The Texans took part in their fifth day of offseason training activities (OTAs) Monday morning outside at the Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on Monday's work) "It was good. We're back in our routine. Today, we were in 7-on-7 and a lot of individuals, so pretty much the same routine this week as last week."
(on QB Matt Schaub) "He's better right now. I know it's just the offseason and OTAs, but he's in total command of what we do, in total command of the offense and the team. That's a great place to be in as a player. We've just got to continue to get better around him, but Matt's got a chance to be a great player for a long time. Long, long time."
(on if there is anything specific that QB Matt Schaub can do to get to the next level) "I think if there is one thing I'd like to see him do, in a few situations last year, I'd like to see him leave the pocket a little bit more and pick up a few first downs. He's not a guy who runs a lot, but there are certain coverages that are conducive to a quarterback taking off and running. So I think he can learn from that. Matt's a sponge. He lives here and works so hard and has total respect of everybody."
(on how comfortable he is with QB Dan Orlovsky as the backup as compared to last year) "Obviously, I'm more comfortable. He's a better player right now than he was last year. It's a really big camp coming up for him, training camp and stuff. Dan's had some chances in this league, and he's got all of the tools that Matt (Schaub) has. The question is for him, 'Does he continue to progress and get better?' He's been a better player for five days here, and we need that to continue for the team."
(on how Orlovsky reacted after being demoted last year) "I don't really like that word 'demoted.' Really, what happened was that there were great expectations for him, and it wasn't happening as fast. I really, personally – and I told Dan this, so it's nothing new to him – I really just thought it was about his standard in how he prepares and how he plays and how he practices. We've got one here for the quarterback. Our quarterback is going to play good. It just wasn't happening at the same pace it should have. So we felt more comfortable with Rex (Grossman), who had played in a lot of football games. Dan could have done one or two things. He could have sulked; he didn't. He worked all year. He helped Matt (Schaub), and he's a better player because of it. I'm proud of the way he went around his business, and now it's time for him to take off."
(on if Orlovsky is definitely the backup QB or if it's too early to tell) "I don't think anybody definitely has anything. It's time to work, and what he has to do is he's got to earn the respect from everybody. If Matt (Schaub) is not practicing a day, he has to continue to have this football team practicing well. They've got to know if something happens to Matt, we still win. That's your job as a backup quarterback."
(on if Orlovsky has his trust) "If they're out here they've got my trust. I'm going to work hard on him though. I'll continue to work hard on him."
(on the strides the team is making on defense) "We're so much more sound in what we're doing. Way ahead from that standpoint in teaching. We've got some situations that we've got to work through with (training) camp now with (LB) (Brian) Cushing and stuff. Our flexibility as a football team and what we're doing, we're way ahead. Way ahead of where we were last year. So I expect us to improve and be more consistent."
(on what forced DE Mario Williams to leave practice last Thursday) "That was four days ago. I have no idea. I'll have to go back and take a look, I don't remember."
(on who's standing out from all of the rookies) "I think our one (first-round pick CB Kareem Jackson) has stood out, just by how he's jumped in, and no surprise. He's everything he thought he was. I don't think that's been a surprise. I like what I see out of (TE Garrett) Graham. I think they've all pretty much what we drafted is what we got. The young back (RB Ben Tate) is way behind everybody right now, but we've got to be smart and get him well before he competes."
(on RB Ben Tate's status) "I think he's still a ways away. Does that mean next week? I hope so."
(on if everything is OK health-wise) "Yeah. (WR) Glenn (Martinez) didn't practice today, but (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) and (LB) Kevin (Bentley) went back to work."