Quotes: Saturday practice


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
TE Owen Daniels
NT Earl Mitchell

Head Coach Gary Kubiak

(on the health status of individual players) "Health-wise, (OT Derek) Newton and (OLB ) Brooks (Reed) did not practice today, they'll both be listed as out. So other than that, we've got game-time decisions with all those guys that had went through practice fine. Y'all can ask me about each one, but J-Joe (CB Jonathan Joseph) should be fine to go. (ILB) Bradie (James) should be fine to go. (TE) Garrett (Graham) still has one more passing of the test for concussion protocol, so we have until Monday for that. But they'll be ruled out, Newton and Brooks.

(on CB Alan Ball's health status) "He's got a chance. He worked a little bit with us today. He worked a little bit on Thursday and got a little sore, we pulled him off. Worked a little bit today with the trainers. (CB) Alan (Ball) can play without practicing. He can go play special teams and stuff like that. He can possibly be ready to go, we'll see. If not, (CB) Stanford (Routt) is here, and he'll have an opportunity to help us out."

(on the play of New England RB Stevan Ridley) "I remember he was a good player in college. I remember watching, I think it was the Cotton Bowl. I went down to watch the Aggies and LSU. He's a heck of a player. Just think about them, they've had a few different backs back there, it's what they do. It's almost like anybody they put back there is successful. They play young guys. (QB) Tom (Brady) has got them in the right play all the time. They're not only running the ball well, but those backs out of the backfield catch the ball extremely well. They're going to play different people back there. They get their other (running) back back this week also, so they're very capable of running the ball very well."

(on getting CB Jonathan Joseph back and the team's health) "It's really big. The biggest thing is his confidence coming back. He felt good on Thursday, he's even better yesterday, and today even better. We were fortunate to get him the rest last week. And I think not taking those guys on the trip, as hard as that is as a coach, you want all your guys there with their teammates, we just knew that it would do them a lot of good to stay home. We just put them through the ringer from a rehab standpoint. Kap (Geoff Kaplan) has done a good job of getting these guys back on the field."

(on ILB Bradie James being a leader for the team) "Yeah, he's very important to the team. He's a leader on our football team. He's kind of a rock. He's a class act and very successful in this business. He's helped Sharp (ILB Daryl Sharpton), he's helped (ILB Tim) Dobbins. And the fact that he gets back in the mix frees some guys up for special teams and makes us just more solid. We went to the game last week with seven linebackers, so you're sitting there hanging on. We'll be back to full strength from that standpoint."

(on the play and practice of OLB Whitney Mercilus)"Yeah, he's practicing, he's playing with a lot of confidence. His repertoire, getting to the passers, is getting bigger the further he goes. It's just the sign of a player growing up. We have guys like that. He and (WR) Keshawn (Martin) and players like that that have to play bigger than rookies right now. So we're calling on him and he's responding."

(on New England's ability to stay on the field on third down) "Well, yeah. It's huge. You have to get them off the field somehow. First off, you have to get this team in third downs. And the thing they're so successful at is all their third downs are manageable. You will not see them in third and long very often. (QB) Tom (Brady) has got them on schedule the majority of the time. So it will be huge for us. And it will be big for us offensively. We have been a very good third down team as of about three weeks ago, and we've struggled for the last three weeks. We have to get back on converting those ourselves so we can stay on the field and have our time of possession."

(on the importance of converting on third downs) "Yeah, it has been. You've got to get in there and beat man coverage on those third and 1s and 2s. You've got to be able to knock people off of the ball and we've just, last week started the game very good and that's why we're successful. And then the second half, when you don't make any third downs, it can get ugly real quick. We have to work it out for us from that standpoint."

(on why RB Arian Foster hasn't had those big plays like last season) "They're coming. I don't know. He's a battler, as far as the runs that he has. We're going to give him some more chances, so hopefully there are some coming here in the weeks to come. The thing about (RB) Arian (Foster) is he just seems to get better as the game goes. He did not carry the ball as much the last two weeks as he has in the past. I think he's more fresh right now than he has been coming out of that tough Jacksonville-Detroit situation we had. I've watched in practice this week, and I think he's really taken another step forward, I think he's feeling pretty good."

(on the team's letter jackets) "Yeah, I just saw a picture of them. They look pretty cool. They want to wear them on the road. They'll do anything to get out of a suit. We'll see what happens."

(on if he got a letter jacket) "No, not that I know of. But maybe I'll get one before all is said and done."

TE Owen Daniels

(on what Monday's game means) "It'll be a fun game. It's a big game obviously. It will be a great atmosphere, playoff-type atmosphere, but it's still a game. It's still just one game of the 16 we're playing this regular season. Obviously, it means a lot to us. It's going to be a lot of fun. I reiterate that over and over and over."

(on this long week) "Monday nights are always a long wait. It's more anticipating and just waiting to play. That's the hardest part about playing Monday night is waiting to go out there and play. Watching all the games all day Sunday and then having to wait all day Monday, but it's worth it."

NT Earl Mitchell

(on what Monday's game means to the team) "It's definitely a good opportunity for us, kind of cement our place in what we've been doing the past couple years. This game is really big as far as making a name for ourselves and putting the legacy on the Texans name."

(on if the Patriots are the most balanced offensive team they've faced this year) "They do bring a lot of threats, passing and running, but just a part is containing that and trying to eliminate their playmakers. They have a lot of yards after catch. We just have to stop that, things that we focus on and that we have to limit them from doing."

(on teams abandoning the run against them) "We defend the run really well. We play a lot of gap control. We pretty much play very sound run defense. It's something that we take pride in. It's something that we have to maintain."

(on third down situations in Monday's game) "It's a great challenge. It's going to be a fight especially on third down. It's going to be a crazy battle going on out there. Hopefully, we come out on top. That's all we focus on."

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