Head Coach Gary Kubiak** WR DeAndre Hopkins
CB Brice McCain
OLB Sam Montgomery
NT Daniel Muir
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on G Wade Smith's status) "Yeah, he got dinged a little bit, so we took him in. We'll get it looked at, him and (CB Brandon Harris), (Harris) got a little sore groin this morning, so we pulled him out."
(on OLB Brooks Reed back practicing) "Yeah, Brooks is back. Got pretty much everyone going again. We took our pads off today, freshen up here working into Friday. Get these guys legs back under him. We got a lot of guys who were out of contact back to work today."
(on any more concerns about G Wade Smith) "I really didn't even know that they took him out there until the end, but Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) just told me he obviously banged knees and they're going to take a look at it."
(on how OLB Sam Montgomery is looking) "I know he did a little bit today. He's just behind. It's going to take some time and we're trying to work him through the soreness of his ankle sprain and obviously he's not going to be a part of what we're doing this week I don't think. I may be premature in saying that, but a long way to go."
(on the status or RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate) "I think you'll see Ben back tomorrow. That's what I'm hearing. As far as Arian goes, the biggest thing with him is we've got to get him back and involved with the process. You're watching Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) go through it and everybody's got to go through that process to get ready to play. The quicker we get him back, the better. I know that he worked good today, but we haven't had some goal of Friday or nothing like that right now. We're just trying to get him where we get him back involved in the program and start getting him ready to go."
(on how difficult it is to get a player ready on the fly during the middle of training camp) "It's really difficult because, right now, things start going fast. We play Friday and we're going to play a couple of games real, real fast after that. As a young guy (OLB Sam Montgomery), this is a huge week for a young player where he's fixing to play his most. There's nothing he can do about it, but we've got to get him back here as quick as we can."
(on the linebacker corps being thin) "(ILB Tim) Dobbins is out today. I'm concerned about that going into Friday, but I'm sure hoping I get Dobbins back."
(on what he's seen out of OLB Willie Jefferson this week in practice) "Willie's been good. Hasn't missed a rep. He's kept up with what we're doing. He's kept up with (ST Coordinator) Joe (Marciano), so Willie's got a tremendous opportunity to help this football team quickly. We'll see how he does in the game."
(on if injuries concern him in general, especially with several players being lost for the season around the NFL) "No, it does. The work never stops. You've got to get ready to play. We just preach to our guys over and over again about protecting each other. There are some things there's nothing you can do something about, but we've had our share around here, so hopefully maybe we'll have one of these years where we'll be pretty clean. That would be nice."
(on how the secondary looked today) "They made a lot of plays. I thought they made a lot of plays in the third-down period earlier in practice. We're a man coverage team, so that's what we're expected to do. At the same time, offensively, we've got to beat man coverage."
(on how ILB Joe Mays has looked since joining the team) "He's done really well. Great addition to the team."
(on what kind of training camp CB Brice McCain has had) "He's had a real good camp. He started slow because of all of the situations with his foot coming out of last year, but he's full speed. He doesn't miss anything right now and he's having a good camp."
WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on the defensive backs complimenting him) "It means I have been out here putting in work and deserving for them to say what they're saying about me. I'm going against great competition, top-notch Pro Bowl competition out here, so for those guys to say that, it's an honor. They are making me work. Nothing is easy out here. A lot of guys talking about me making tough catches, but those guys are making a lot of plays on me as well."
(on if he has surprised himself) "No, I haven't. I expected to do everything that I've done."
(on whether he is anxious about the game speed Friday night) "Yeah I am, but we go pretty hard out here at practice and we've got a great defense out here. I don't know how much better a defense can get than this defense."
(on stepping on an NFL field for the first time on Friday) "It's going to be great. It's a dream come true, but I'm not really worried about that. As soon as I got out here the first day, all the dreams and stuff go out the window and it's time to go to work."
(on how practice will translate into a game situation) "I feel like I'm going against a great defense that's putting me in those situations against tough defenses, so I feel like I match up pretty well."
(on if he will be amped up on Friday) "Of course I'm going to be amped up. It's my first NFL game, you know? If I'm not amped up, something's wrong."
(on how he has improved since OTAs) "I got in my playbook over the break that we had and I just try to pay attention to details. First OTAs, I was a starter, but I wanted to be a solid starter. I didn't want to be a questionable starter. I wanted to come out here and deserve it and I feel like I just came out here and worked hard in practice."
(on enjoying the moment in the NFL) "Of course I will walking out there and just looking around, but once the game starts it's game time and all that goes out the window."
(on his mentality during a jump ball) "I feel like every ball is mine. That's my accountability, but when the balls in the air that's the mentality I play with in the red zone or backed up on our own goal line."
(on when that mentality started) "That started in I think fifth grade. I've had that mentality since I've been playing recreational football."
(on knowing S D.J. Swearinger for a long time and him being a talker) "Yeah, D.J.'s been a talker since I can remember. I remember watching, we didn't play against each other in high school but they were a good football team and we were too, so we used to watch the Friday Night Light's highlights and stuff and I'd see him out there talking smack but he'd back it up as well, so I give him credit for it."
(on going against S D.J. Swearinger) "I love it because I'm a bit of a talker myself. I'm not the quietest guy you know, but I do most of my work on the field with the football, not with my mouth."
(on how he has improved a lot since OTAs throughout training camp) "Yeah I feel that way. I feel like I've got a lot of stuff I can improve on still. I took a lot of strides to become a better player. It's paying attention, to watch (WR) Andre (Johnson) and other wide receivers out here but I feel like I got a lot of work to do but I feel like I can do it."
(on if watching WR Andre Johnson as helpful as he thought it would be) "Of course it is. Sometimes I get caught up watching him instead of running my route, honestly. But you know, watching him off the field as well as on the field, no I don't think I could be in a better situation."
(on him and WR Andre Johnson spending time together outside of the football field) "Oh we did a couple of days; we just went out to dinner. But you know, we really don't have that much time to hang out but before camp and stuff like that started, he handled himself like a pro everywhere he goes."
CB Brice McCain
(on the talk Deion Sanders gave to the defensive backs following yesterday's morning practice) "I've been following him forever. It was good to talk to him. I talked to him before but this time he really came out and talked to all the guys. It was a lot of fun."
(on his rehabilitation process this past offseason) "Long. Very long but it helped. It helped a lot, I feel great and fixing to get back on."
(on if he did his rehab in Houston) "Yes, the whole time."
(on if he had to stay in Houston to do his rehabilitation) "I could (leave) but I decided to stay here to rehab."
(on his goals for this season) "To be the best I can be. To be the best I can be for this defense and the best I can be for me."
OLB Sam Montgomery
(on his mindset) "Mental preparation for getting ready for whatever comes. I'm just working hard to make sure I stay in shape. My body weight was weighed in today, it was doing really great. I went out there and killed the runs. I'm just trying to make sure that I'm mentally and physically ready for when they call my name."
(on this being a big week for him since he's been out most of camp) "It's just a small window of opportunity and it's something that when my name is called, I must take advantage of it. I have a great support system. I have my teammates; I just have everybody in the building, coaches, the weight room guys. I have everybody in there to help me, to motivate me to do what I need to do, as well as myself."
(on how his ankle feels) "The ankle feels pretty good. I'm doing drops, doing cuts, doing sprints, getting out of stances and everything I can normally. It's a little sore at times but still I push through it and get better every day."
(on if he feels like he's behind) "I honestly feel like I'm right there with the team. I come out there every day with my notepad and my book and I take a lot of mental reps. I write down everything, I do what I'm supposed to do. I just take advantage of every last opportunity that I'm given."
(on how he's dealing with the adversity of getting hurt early in camp) "Well you know in life there is a lot of adversity. Every man or woman has to conquer adversity in life. I believe that's one of the things that helps you grow into a man or a woman. I just believer that I'm writing my history right here of what kind of guy I am and what kind of player I'm going to be."
(on if he'll be ready when his name is called) "Yes, definitely."
(on if it will be tough on him if he does not play on Friday against the Minnesota Vikings) "It will be tough on me not playing on Friday but I'll just watch my teammates, support them and just do what I have to do."
(on if it's a new experience for him to have to watch practice and take notes) "No. It was the whole thing of being a pro. Learning how to get out there and learning how to get yourself better without even being in plays. Ed Reed does such a great job of it. A lot of older guys helped me out, just helping make me into a pro. That's what I'm taking into my own game, helping me perfect my craft."
(on if he got better while watching practice) "Yes. I learned the playbook."
NT Daniel Muir
(on DE Antonio Smith) "As far as Antonio Smith comes, I've always said coming here, I definitely wanted to be part of this, but before I came here, I was always a fan too. I like watching the D-line (defensive line) play. Antonio Smith I think is one of the most underrated guys in the NFL. The guy makes plays point blank. They may not be pretty. They may not be exciting to a lot of people, but he makes plays and he's very productive."
(on the way DE Antonio Smith plays being exciting to him) "Absolutely because I appreciate good D-line (defensive line) play. Good offensive line and good defensive line play I really, really appreciate. When you see a guy that's close to perfecting his craft and works hard at it every single day, it's an awesome thing."
(on seeing what DE J.J. Watt did last season and what's the one thing that has been different or that he's learned about him) "Well, I don't know what he did last year because I wasn't here, but usually when you see guys who have had the success that he's had, a lot of times they taper off a little bit. I did that in the past where I had some success and I kind of sat back a little. It's very easy to get comfortable and a lot of times that can destroy you. But as far as J.J. goes, he comes out here every day and works hard. In film study, he works hard and he's really, really trying to perfect his craft and that's why he's very good. To be honest with you, what he did last year was historic at his position, but the way the guy works, knows this defense, I see him doing way more damage than even last year to be honest with you."
LB Brooks Reed
(on his knee) "I feel good. It's just a contusion. Something that a days' worth fixed, but there's some swelling and stuff. It was just helpful to just take that day off and just get the swelling down, but I'm better today."
(on if his knee is worrisome) "No, when it happened I was pretty scared maybe I did something to it, but I got it all checked out and there's nothing wrong."
(on if he is playing on Friday) "I don't know what the reps are going to be like for this game, but we'll see. I'm not sure what's going to go down."
(on how he describes himself as boring) "I just don't like doing the personality interviews like, 'What's your favorite movie' and all that."
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
RB Ben Tate
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if there is an update on G Wade Smith and CB Brandon Harris) "Yeah, he's got, me and Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) were just talking about it, he's got a bone bruise in his knee. Banged knees, swelled up on him a little bit. He's fine, but we'll probably be real smart here for a couple of days and see where we're at. Brandon, hip flexor, just started bothering him a little bit this morning. He pulled himself out, smart on his part. We'll see where he's at tomorrow, but that was from this morning."
(on if there are any other injury updates) "No, not that I know of. We've got our big group of guys that have been out and have been missing time. I think we've got like 16-17 guys. I couldn't sit here, unless you asked me about each one, I couldn't remember them at this point."
(on if he's ready to talk about his plans for Friday yet or if he's going to do that tomorrow) "I think I'm going to have to sit down and talk about that tomorrow with the coaches. I'll answer your questions as best I can, but the bottom line, my protocol has been to play our starters for a little bit, for a series or two and then to play our two's for a good quarter-and-a-half and then play our three's in the last quarter or quarter-and-a-half depending on how that goes. But I've got a big group of starters right now that are a topic of conversation whether they'll play at all because we are playing on turf and we have rested some of our guys on turf. Have to visit that."
(on if he would be inclined to leave in WR DeAndre Hopkins longer) "Yeah, that's what we'll talk about tonight. Obviously, there are some young players that will play more than a starter. Hopkins is going to play more. (T Derek) Newton needs to play more. (G) Brandon Brooks needs to play more. Yeah, you have your starting group and, yet, when there are young players, obviously you're going to pick their load up a little bit from that standpoint."
(on if he's figured out a numerical sequence for quarterbacks after QB Matt Schaub) "It'll be Matt, T.J. (Yates), Case (Keenum) and hopefully there will still be some more left for (Stephen) McGee. He's done a good job. That's a lot to get four guys their reps, but Matt will play very briefly in the game."
(on if it's important to get QB Case Keenum reps with the second group to see how he responds) "Well, that's naturally where he's going to play. Really, after our one's, our offensive line is a set of two's and then we spot play the rest of the guys. I think the way we'll work the preseason games, (QB) T.J. (Yates) will basically play with the same group except for maybe the last game against Dallas. But yeah, I'd just like to come out of it with them playing right down the middle and see how it goes."
(on if QB T.J. Yates is still the number two quarterback) "Yeah, T.J.'s the two, but he's getting pushed every day and very hard and (QB) Case (Keenum) is, they're right there battling for a job. I think T.J.'s done it in the past and he's in position right now to me to continue to do that. We'll see how it goes. I also think (QB Stephen) McGee has done a lot of good things in practice. Probably the best group we've had since I've been here and hopefully we can get all enough time that their play makes a decision for us."
(on if he would get RB Ben Tate some touches on Friday) "Yeah, I would, but I'm going to watch him practice in the morning. He'll be back on the field in the morning with all the indications I have and then we'll go from there."
(on if he knows who will start at running back on Friday) "It will either be (RB Ben) Tate or DJ (RB Dennis Johnson). One or the other."
RB Ben Tate
(on how glad he is to get back out practicing again) "It feels good, ready to go."
(on his health) "I'm fine, I'm fine. I told you that a couple days that I was going to be fine and it wasn't a big deal."
(on his injury becoming a story) "You turned it into a story. It's not really a story. You turned it into a story.
(on his injury being news) "It's your job to turn it into a story, though."
(on if he will practice tomorrow) "Yes, I expect to be at practice tomorrow."
(on if he could play on Friday) "Yes, ready to go."
(on the shirt he's wearing) "Oh, it's the offensive lineman shirt. What's it say? I can't read it. Yeah 'Trench life.' Yeah, that's (C Chris) Myers. Myers actually came up with that with all of the offensive linemen. They started out getting it then I was like 'Myers, I think I'm a part of trench life. I have to get down there and cut D-linemen (defensive linemen) and step up on backers. I feel like I'm a part of trench life, too.' He was like 'Oh, you can go ahead and grab a shirt. That's a good point.' Myers came up with that."
(on if the shirts are new this year) "I don't know. That's something you would have to ask (C Chris) Myers. I can't speak for him. He came up with it. It's a good shirt. I like it."
(on representing for the offensive line) "I'm representing for my OL (offensive line). I like them. They're good guys."
(on if the other running backs got them) "Yeah, I think just about all the other running backs got them."
(on if he was first to ask for a shirt) "I don't know who started it. Might be something you have to ask in the locker room. I don't know who asked for it first, but I'm wearing it."
(on him being right about having to block) "I have to, exactly. It's part of the job."
(on if he remembers being a rookie and getting yelled at by veterans) "Oh yeah, I got yelled at probably more than any rookie in the history of the Texans. Yeah, I remember. I remember still."
(on what he remembers his rookie year being like) "Your heads spinning because you want to let your ability take over, but, at the same time, you're trying to stay in your playbook. You're tired from staying up later than most other vets probably staying up. You're in your playbook because you want to go in and compete, but, at the same time, you're thinking when you're out there and, when you're thinking, you can't let your ability take over. It takes a while before you get comfortable and things like that, especially four or five days in. You're head starts spinning, then it takes a while and you're just like 'man, this is going crazy. I just want to wait until the games get here.' The games are actually a little easier than practice."
(on if you to have to talk yourself into not getting discouraged when getting adjusted as a rookie) "I feel like it helps build your mental toughness. The coaches know what they're doing. Obviously, they are on you for a good reason, but, at the same time, they are on you trying to make you mentally tough and let you know that you need to get in your playbook. So it's a mental game going back and forth with those guys."