After the Texans' third practice of organized team activities (OTAs), head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on how Day 3 of OTAs went) "It was good, we're back to working individual and seven on seven today. Down a few body's once again, and a receiver down today. But good work, we're going to keep this pattern going for probably two weeks until we change it a little bit."
(on his thoughts of some of the CBs behind Glover Quin and Kareem Jackson) "Well it's so competitive. What (defensive backs coach) David (Gibbs) has is a group of young hungry players. There's no tenured guy back there or that type of deal, no "the guy." They're just all guys battling their tails off, and it's very competitive. You've got a young kid who's been given a tremendous opportunity that's going to have to earn his keep. So it's very competitive, and I really like it. It's a young very excited group. Really (SS) Bernard (Pollard) kind of leads the group from that standpoint
(on where CB Fred Bennett fits in the mix) "He's got to get in the mix he's got plenty of opportunities out there as a player to start, and to battle for a starting job. I know last year didn't go the way Fred wanted it to go, but we're very wide open. He's going to have to get himself back into the hunt from the standpoint of how he does his job. He's had a good offseason, he's done everything that we've asked, and he's got to get himself into position to compete for a job at mini-camp."
(on how important this summer is for CB Antwaun Molden) "It's very important. He's just missed so much time. Every time he's been out here he's shown that he belongs and that he has the ability to start in this league. It's just about him holding up. It's been a good offseason for him, and I can say the same thing about all of them. It will be very competitive."
(on the difference between this year's OTAs and last year's OTAs) "The biggest thing is that the core of our football team is much stronger. I think that in the past our core has changed from time to time, but I think our core is pretty strong right now. We know who our guys are, and we're trying to find out which young guys can help them so from that standpoint it has changed. Also, when a few guys have missed practice we still practice pretty good football because our depth is better and when you have a veteran like (LB) Danny Clark coming in here things don't stop, they don't slow down. So from that standpoint I think we get much better at practice"
(on what he expects to see out of TE James Casey) "I'll tell you what, I'm already seeing it. He's gotten tremendous reps because of our situation at tight end. James is showing right now what you should see, a second year player who is hungry for some more time on the field and a chance to be a dang good player. I always say good players make the biggest step from year one to year two, and if this offseason has been any indication, he's heading in that direction."
(on Casey going back to school during the offseason) "He's smarter, so that's not going to be a problem with him."
(on what he sees in WR Trindon Holliday) "First of all, him (Trindon Holliday), (WR) (Dorin) Dickerson, and (WR) (London) Crawford are getting a ton of reps with (WR) Andre (Johnson) not being here. We had the young man (WR) (Trey) Stross down today, so they're working with the second group and that's unusual in the NFL this time of year. If they're going to do it they're getting a chance to do it. So he's been impressive, and I think everyone knew he was a returner and that's why we drafted him, but he's held up outside too so we'll see."
(on if the interior of his offensive line is set) "We have our starters, we have our guys that we are going to camp with as starters. You look at two young guards, (Kasey) Studdard and (Antoine) Caldwell, they've earned the right to say I'm a starter right now. You're sitting and staring there at (G) (Mike) Brisiel who's trying to get his job back.You've got (G) Wade (Smith) who's been a starter in this league. And we bring in (G) Shelley Smith. We are as competitive in there as we've ever been as a team. It's going to be hard to hold a job, and it's going to be very competitive to get one, so that makes the team better."
(on his thoughts about the center position in his offensive line) "First of all, I think (C) Chris (Myers) is healthy. Chris played coming off of a high-ankle sprain, which is hard to do, all last year. Wade will push Chris. Catfish (Chris White) is still there. (Brett) Helms is a young player. So it's the same thing: more competition than there's been in the past."
(on if CB Kareem Jackson has been living up to his expectations) "Yeah, he's been very impressive. He jumps in there like he belongs. We've got a long way to go, but I like his size, he has good size strength and is very well coached. He acts like he belongs."
(on if he worries if Jackson will be overwhelmed at all) "I don't think so. The program he came from, how he was coached, and the games he played in. You see players come out of schools like that, they're usually not overwhelmed. That's the type of guys they've been covering all of the time. We'll get Andre in here to get him going too."
(on how far backup QB Dan Orlovsky has come) "He's better this year than he was last year at this time. He's more confident in what he's doing. It's a big offseason for him with the team. The team needs to see him get better than he was last year, and we'll give him every opportunity to do that."
(on what he's looking for in defensive coordinator Frank Bush) "Frank is very comfortable leading a group. There's no doubt what he expects so he's way ahead from that standpoint. I seem to think that one of Frank's greatest strengths is how well he works with his staff. He pulls from (Sr. defensive assistant) Ray (Rhodes) and he's got (Asst. head coach/defensive line) Bill (Kollar). He's got guys around him that have been in this game for a lot longer than I have or Frank has, and Frank pulls from those guys and they do a good job as a group. They did a hell of a job in the last twelve weeks last year, and I need that to continue."
(on how Bush having a year under his belt will help him) "The first thing you figure out is that you're not going to do it yourself. If you don't trust the guys working for you and to pull from them, then you have no chance as a coordinator and it's the same way for the head coach. That's the point I'm trying to make: I think Frank has done a great job of using the help around him to make everybody better. So I'm much more comfortable in what he's doing."
(on the defense's slow start last year) "Well, we did play poorly early, and I think a lot of that was out of Frank's control. We had some players that we were counting on that weren't here or didn't go through camp, and I think that heart the football team. It's my job to make sure we get those guys ready to go, but I thought Frank did a great job all the way around. But he'll take accountability for all of it, that's what he's made of."
(on the defensive line rotation)"I think for the first time in long time, we're not sitting here staring at what is our combination. We know what it is. It's just about us doing a better job with them and them getting better. I like the way our guys have adjusted to watching last year saying, 'Ok, I need to do this to get better.' Some guys are trying to get a little lighter. That's good to hear because it is about all of us growing together and we know what our group pretty much wants to be and (DT) Earl (Mitchell) should add to it. What happens to competition with the corps guys we know who they're going to be. We'll see what happens."