The Texans practiced outside at the Methodist Training Center on Wednesday for Day 7 of offseason training activities (OTAs). After, head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media and the following is a transcript of his interview.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on what SS Bernard Pollard has done and what he expects him to do now that he has a year under his belt) "He was exceptional, to pick a guy up in a season like that and coming in to play. He was exceptional for our team. I think he's very comfortable right now with what we're doing and with himself. His leadership skills are starting to take over from that standpoint. He's kind of an enforcer in a lot ways. That's what he is. He's a very physical player."
(on how rare it is to get a player like SS Bernard Pollard that makes an immediate impact) "That's very unusual, and that's a credit to (general manager) Rick (Smith) going out and finding a guy like that. But you do see some players sometimes start somewhere and after a couple of years something doesn't go right and they take advantage of their second opportunities. There are other guys out there like that. (TE) Joel Dreessen is a player like that. So if a guy is going to make it in this league after they're told 'no' one time or 'not here', some of them leave and some say, 'Bull corn. I think you're wrong.' He's one of those players who have proven that."
(on what two key decisions are going to be regarding positions) "I wouldn't say it's a decision, but we've got some altering to do, (general manager) Rick (Smith) and I, as far as the roster and how we bring guys because our count system is going to change if we have two kickers in camp and a snapper in camp. All of sudden we're a little bit lower in other spots. If I had to go to one place that's going to be the sticking point throughout camp as we work, I'm going to have to work around at our tight end position because OD (Owen Daniels) and Anthony Hill will not be participating in training camp. You go carrying six tight ends to get through training camp, and you got other problems at other spots. So we've got some work to do from that standpoint."
(on the health and attendance situation) "Everything's fine. (TE) James Casey, he and his wife had a baby boy yesterday. He's with his wife today, so he's not here. I think we had a little hamstring issue with (G) Mike Brisiel, and (CB Mark) Parson's ankle is a little sore but everybody's out here."
(on if he did not expect TE Owen Daniels to go through training camp) "Yeah, it's been the thought all the time. He's way ahead of schedule and he's doing very well, but it's been thought of all the time that if we get to camp that he would do some possible work like seven on seven, non-contact type stuff. But not throw him right back into full bang, so to speak. There's going to be some maneuvering to do. (TE) Anthony (Hill), realistically, probably won't be ready until the beginning of the season."
(on how he's been impressed by RB Steve Slaton since coming back from his neck injury and how he's looked with the weight loss) "That's good, but the impressive thing to me has been Steve's reaction to (RB) Arian (Foster) lining up with the first group, and his reaction to coming back from a rough year. He's been very positive, he's been better. I think he'll come back and play very well. So that's what I've been impressed with."
(on how DT Amobi Okoye lost his love of the sport a little bit in his sophomore season and now he has it back ) "He did? He didn't tell me about losing the love. You've got to love this game. I think players are always looking for an edge in, 'What can I do to get better and what can I do to play better?' Obviously, he wanted to take a look at being a little lighter, like he was in college, and we're ok with that. He's got a job to do inside, and if he can do it at 290 (lbs) instead of 305 (lbs) that's fine. He's having a good offseason and some good OTAs. Last year in camp he missed some time with his knee a little bit, but he looks a little bit better physically than I think he has."
(on DT Amobi Okoye's 5.5 sacks as a rookie and how he thought it was going to come that easy all the time) "That's the first thing you find out in this business. You can be a great player and have two sacks, so you shouldn't measure yourself just on sacks. Obviously when you have a lot, you get a lot of attention from the league. He's always been able to rush the passer and I think we as coaches can help him. He's doing everything he can to get better and that's all we can ask."
(on how the guys on the defensive line in the past have gotten the message that they need to pick it up) "Yeah, I think it's all of us. There are a lot of expectations from everybody, and there should be. That funnels throughout the whole football team. They're no different. When they play well, we play well."