Texans coach Gary Kubiak spoke to the media after the team's ninth practice of organized team activities (OTAs) on Tuesday.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the team looked after the holiday weekend) "I thought we looked good defensively. We were sluggish offensively. We were not as sharp, I guess I should say. We gave them a long weekend, and we've got to get going here again. We've still got 5 good days of OTAs left. We've got a lot of things that we need to get accomplished; a lot of teaching that we've got to do. So we need to stay at it."
(on where the team is at compared to where he would like them to be) "We're further along as a team. We're trying to get these young guys caught up, is the biggest thing. So I'm probably judging it more on how far they are. I think defensively our young kids are a little bit further along than some of these guys offensively. Obviously, (RB) (Ben) Tate has been out. (WR) (Trindon) Holliday has to figure out how to play wide receiver in this league. So he's struggling with that. (G) Shelley Smith has been doing a good job. The bottom line is that we've got to get all of these young guys caught up with what we're doing so they've got a chance to be competitive in camp and try to earn a job."
(on his overall impressions of WR Trindon Holliday) "He is what we thought he was as far as his talent and all that. But in this league he's going to have to play wide receiver so he's got a long, long way to go. He's way behind. He's got a long way to go to prove to this team that he knows what the hell he's doing. It's probably not a good day to ask me that question."
(on what he means about WR Trindon Holliday having a long way to go) "Well, I don't know how much offense he played there (LSU) from the standpoint of what was expected of him. There are not many specialists in this business. You better know what you're doing to cross a board. So he's getting plenty of reps as wide receiver. We're down to seven guys right now as we work. He's going to have to prove to these guys that he's keeping up. That's what's going on."
(on if he is feeling ok with his group of quarterbacks before going to camp) "I'm fine with (QB) Dan (Orlovsky) and (QB) Matt (Schaub), obviously. I'm trying to get a feel for (QB) (John David) Booty and take a look at (QB) Tyler (Sheehan) also. I think we go to camp with three, maybe four, but I think it's going to be three with our tight end issue and having two kickers in camp. We're losing some luxury right there, so I've got to make a decision with those two kids."
(on how rookie CB Kareem Jackson has progressed) "He's been good. He's been way ahead of a lot of the guys who come in here that are young. He's been coached extremely well, so he's way ahead from that standpoint. A lot is being asked of him, and he's getting a ton of reps and working with the first group, but our expectations are very high of him."
(on how beneficial it is for rookie CB Kareem Jackson to be way ahead of the young guys) "Nick's a back end guy. From a coaching standpoint, this kid's very well coached up. Some of the things that you may have to work on knowing, he already knows them. So David (Gibbs) had a head start from that standpoint. But we knew that. That was one of the reasons we were very excited to get him."
(on what he thinks about the offensive line) "It's very competitive. We weren't good enough at running the ball, which is a big emphasis for this football team and what we're trying to do. We've got two tackles that have been pretty solid players for a couple of years now. Inside, we're very competitive, and that's why (G) Wade (Smith) was brought in here. (G) Mike Brisiel is missing some time now, he's had some issues. It's going to be a very competitive situation throughout camp. It'll be interesting if (G) (Antione) Caldwell, (C) Chris (Myers) and (G) (Kasey) Studdard can hold those guys off because it's going to be very competitive."
(on if he thinks the offensive scheme makes them a finesse group) "I promise you we don't want to be a finesse group. We threw the ball as well as anybody in football last year. For our football team, to function better and to win a few more games, we've got to find a way to get more physical and find a way to control the football especially at the end of games. If we're going to be committed to the run, we've got to find a way to get better."
(on how the running backs are doing catching the ball in the backfield) "They've all got pretty good hands. They're all pretty good. (RB) Steve (Slaton) kind of leads the group. I don't know much about (rookie RB) (Ben) Tate right now, but he had good hands in college. So we'll see. Our group of guys catch the ball pretty good."
(on how SS Troy Nolan looks) "He's way ahead. You can tell he paid attention to what he was doing last year, and just didn't take an I.R. year and do nothing. He was into what was going on, into game plans and into meetings, and because of that he's got a chance to be very competitive real early."
(on if SS Troy Nolan is mentally and physically ready) "Mentally, like I said, he's done all of his homework and has done what he needs to do, so we'll see. It's hard to tell until you put the pads on right now, but obviously he's kept up and is doing a good job."