Head Coach Gary Kubiak** ILB Brian Cushing
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on ILB Tim Dobbins' status) "He's doing fine. He wants to go. It's kind of us saying no. We get these young guys ready to play; I've got to make a decision whether we're going to play him. He's not going to play much at all if he plays anyways. So I've got to make a decision tomorrow, but he's going to be okay."
(on CB Brandon Harris' status) "No, I don't think Brandon will play. As a matter of fact, he probably won't even make the trip. He's just got a hip flexor and that's something that can get well in a few days. I feel like if we throw him out there, we're probably going to set him way back. I think we'll take the smart route here and we're going to leave a certain group of guys home and let them rehab."
(on if there are any other injuries) "No, we're fine today. I was hoping maybe (ILB Tim) Dobbins would be back today. That didn't happen, so we'll see where he's at tomorrow."
(on what he thought of RB Ben Tate today) "He looks fine. He should be able to take his reps that we want him to take on Friday night. It won't be many, but I'd like to see him get out there with the first group and take some."
(on if RB Ben Tate will start) "My plan is, if he feels fine coming out of today, he will."
(on the NFL cracking down on unnecessary celebrations and his concerns with that) "Well, I think your biggest concern as a coach is you don't ever want to take emotion away from players. I want guys to have fun playing and get excited when they do good things. Your biggest fear as a coach, something very minor costs you a penalty. You've got to coach discipline. You've got to coach what could happen, but I also think the League will do a good job in the preseason and with the officials warning guys, letting them know what's going on, this or that. They'll go about the process the right way. I don't have big concerns about it, but I think it's always something we've got to address."
(on if he talked to the team today about the official emphasizing unnecessary celebrations) "No, we had too much on our plate today. We're trying to get these young kids to know who to block and which guy to go tackle on Friday night."
(on not having a problem on this team with celebration penalties) "One thing I've learned in this business is you never say you don't have a problem. We've got problems, okay. We address everything. We're always talking about everything. It always gets back to discipline and what they let you do. I always tell the guys, I'll say, 'If they won't let you do it across the street, I'm not going to let you do it over here at practice.' That's like fighting. We know that. We've got to be able to handle it."
(on the young guys getting their first taste of playing in the NFL and the excitement) "Yeah, there have been some guys really getting a lot of reps that were unexpected. You look at our young groups of backs, so that's going to be fun to see. (S D.J.) Swearinger, how far is he? Stuff like that. The bottom line is we may have a good 19 or 20 guys not even available for this game, so that gets down to our young guys playing a ton of football and a good football team to play against."
(on what QB Matt Schaub does for this football team that people don't see outside of the team) "Well, the team knows he's the first one here in the morning and the last one to leave. He's totally committed to a cause here in Houston. He's unflappable when it comes to pressure and stuff like that, which you have to be. You've got to be able to block out noise if you're going to be a quarterback in this league. Regardless of what's going on around him, he's always going to be there for his guys. It takes a lot of responsibility and that's why he's a great player."
(on if QB Matt Schaub has always had that attitude of taking charge or if that has grown year-by-year) "It's something that he's always had, but it's something that's gotten stronger each year that he's been with our organization."
(on the young linebackers receiving a lot of reps) "Yeah, it's going to be tough. We're really challenged inside, especially in the games. Hopefully, we can hold up there and we're going to get a look at all of them."
(on if it's accurate to say ILB Brian Cushing is fine health-wise, but the team is bringing him along slowly) "I think that's accurate. The plan that we've had in place, if anything, Brian's probably a little bit ahead of it. As of the last three or four days, there's nothing that he hasn't done."
(on ILB Brian Cushing's intensity and if waiting to fully get back is the hardest part for him) "Yeah, I think it's hard on him, but I also think Brian's been playing long enough to understand physically where he's at. It's tough. You've got a player like Sharp (ILB Darryl Sharpton) or a player like Brian that loves to bang, loves the physical part of the game. If they go two weeks in a row out here banging, they just get so beat up with how they play. So it's our job to protect them a little bit. They also have to understand and be smart in the process as they get ready to play."
(on if they've thought about the intensity of how ILB Brian Cushing will come out on Week 1) "I'm expecting it, but hopefully we get some more out of him in the preseason here. He needs to play some and we've kind of had a target going on here, so we'll keep working toward that."
(on if WR DeAndre Hopkins adds a different dimension to the offense if he's able to develop) "Yeah, I think he's balanced us up in training camp. The ball's going both ways, so that's a good thing. He's obviously shown that he's got some special skills in the red zone to go up and get balls. It's early right now, but I just like the balance that's going on."
(on if it's exciting to add a player like WR DeAndre Hopkins to an already potent offense) "Yeah, and we're probably going to be a little bit different. (WR) Kevin (Walter) brought a lot of physical things to the table with some things we do in the running game. DeAndre brings a different skillset, so we'll have to adjust a little bit, but we can be balanced on the field."
(on how OLB Sam Montgomery looked in practice and if he'll play) "All he did was scout team stuff. He didn't do anything that pertains to the game. It's good to have him back. There's no plan to play him right now. Hopefully, he's back next week and playing against Miami."
(on what are his thoughts of the situation Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is in) "I've got my own things to worry about right here. I'll just say this, (Texas A&M Head Coach) Kevin Sumlin is a great football coach. He'll handle his team the right way. He always has and he'll do a good job."
(on if he's ready to see K Randy Bullock get some game action) "Yeah, I am. Randy's been a little up and down in camp, but he did finish the other day very, very strong. I know one thing, our team believes in him. He works very hard, but he's our guy, so going to get a lot of kicking in here in the next four weeks."
ILB Brian Cushing
(on who he is most excited to see of the young players) "There's a couple. There are a lot of talented guys. Obviously, I'm a defensive-minded guy so I'm excited to see (S) D.J. (Swearinger) and guys like (OLB) Willie Jefferson. A bunch of guys that have really just played well so far, guys like (CB) A.J. Bouye. It's just going to be exciting to see them in game situations because so far we have just seen them in practice. We know they have play-making capabilities and now they get the chance to turn it loose."
(on what he is most excited regarding his comeback) "Just to play again. I know I wake a lot of guys up and bring a lot of energy. (Remaining quote inaudible due to wind)"
(on if he knows how soon he will be back) "No, I'm pretty sure it will be soon but we have a plan and we kind of go day-by-day and don't look too far ahead. I know it will be soon."
(on if he enjoys intimidating opponents) "Well, it's knowing that the other team knows who you are. They are targeting you as a player and they respect you and kind of game plan for you. It's the kind of thing that players thrive off of. It's that intimidating factor and when a quarterback is calling your number out every play to get help and double team you. It's kind of a sense of everything you have worked for and it's a buildup of all the hard work you put in. Other teams showing you that kind of respect is something I look forward to all the time."
(on when he realized he had that impact) "Pretty quickly in the league, I would say about third or fourth game. I think people caught on pretty quick and I haven't looked back since."
(on if he had that intimidation factor at USC) "Yeah, but I think all 11 guys at SC had that on our defense. We had a pretty good group. It's kind of something I've had for a while and known that, so it makes me want to work even harder."
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Sr. Vice President, Ticketing and Event Management John Schriever
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the percentage of how much the starters will play compared to the second unit) "Yeah, our one's will play probably 10 to 12 plays, the guys that are going to play in the game and then our two's will play the second and third quarter for the most part. Our three's will play the fourth quarter, but we've got a pretty good group of guys who won't play. I don't have that in front of me right now with these guys. Any of these guys that have missed some quality time or have some things going on will definitely not play."
(on if RB Ben Tate is still in the mix to play) "Yeah, the plan is for him to work with us 10 to 12 plays with the first group."
(on if ILB Tim Dobbins and CB Brandon Harris won't play) "Yeah, Dobbins and Harris look like a no go right now."
(on if there is a silver lining with several veterans not playing and getting a longer look at young players) "Well, I'll say this, for a first preseason game, it's probably the least amount of guys we've had ready to go. We've got a lot of guys nicked up and out. That bothers me a little bit, but, at the same time, we'll definitely get a good evaluation of these young players because they will play such a great deal in this game."
(on what he has found with this group of players and the ability to load up on special teams) "I just think our team is going to be built, after the core of our team, we're going to be very young. From a backup standpoint, from a depth standpoint, this football team's going to be extremely young. We've got to go find some guys that can help us. When you look at outside linebacker right now, inside linebacker, those things, we've got to find some guys, the running back, that can help this football team very quickly. It's really really important. It's a big game. It's probably the biggest game these young guys play because it's the one they play the most."
(on going to great lengths to protect players in training camp and if the injuries have been bad luck) "I just listen to the trainer. If he says they can go, they can go. If they can't, they can't go. I think we came into this camp with a lot of guys that were on our program. So we started, even though you've got 90, we probably started with 84 or 85 to begin with and then we've had some issues along the way. When you're sitting here waiting on Cush (ILB Brian Cushing), you're sitting here waiting on some of these guys to come along the right way and (RB) Arian (Foster), and some of the things going on. Obviously, we've got a program for (WR) Andre (Johnson) and what we're doing. It gets you down in numbers pretty quick, but it's an opportunity. It's an opportunity for those young guys."
(on if he will play WR Andre Johnson at all on Friday) "I don't think so. No, I don't think so."
(on if he probably won't play guys on Friday who don't practice on turf) "For the most part, guys who had no turf work during camp, they will not play."
(on if he expects to have RB Arian Foster back at practice next week) "Yeah I do, but you know what, I thought I was going to have him back last week. I know he has worked hard the last two days. He will stay back from the team and be part of a rehab process, a big group of guys. Hopefully, we make a lot of ground with him while we're gone for a couple of days."
(on the amount of injuries being a league-wide thing and if the fewer padded practices make players more susceptible to injuries) "I don't know. I don't know what the answer is. To get ready and play, you have to go out there and hit. That's the way the game is played. At the same time, you're sitting there every day trying to coach your guys to practice a certain way that you don't get people hopefully injured. That's usually staying off the ground. We've been lucky so far this year, but you're right, it seems like every year, there's more and more or sometimes you see big-name guys getting hurt early in camp. Hopefully, this is our year to stay healthy."
(on a lot of players around the NFL suffering from torn ACLs or serious injuries and this team being lucky not to have any of those so far) "We've had our share of nicks. The good thing we've got going right now, we've got a bunch of guys, we should walk back on the field next week with 10 or 12 guys coming back for Miami, so we can get close to full-string pretty quick. I guess if it's going to happen and you're going to play a lot of young guys, this is probably the game to do it."
(on his goals in the preseason and how important winning is) "I think it's important. I think it's a habit just like anything else. We're going to play a lot of guys, but obviously we're going there to win a game. You want to have enough stuff on players where you can evaluate them. One thing you do in this league when you're out chasing free agents and stuff, you promise these kids you're going to give them a chance and, to bring them in here and have them stand around for a few weeks and never really get an opportunity, you don't feel good about that as a coach. Well, I feel good. These guys are all fixing to play. They've had plenty of reps and they know it. I think, from a program standpoint, you feel good about giving them an opportunity."
(on OLB Sam Montgomery catching up) "Yeah, he's worked the last couple days. It's been scout team stuff. We're going to leave him back also and let him rehab. Hopefully, next week, Sam gets in the lineup right there in Reliant (Stadium) and finds out what it's all about. But he's got ground to make up, along with the some of the other ones, but he's on his way to doing that now."
(on the young players making an impact on special teams) "Well, that is usually the heart and soul of your special teams comes from your backup core of your football team. Like I said, we're going to be extremely young from that standpoint, so they'll get a chance to do it throughout the course of the preseason. I think the biggest thing we got going on right now is we got some really young players getting quality reps too from a standpoint of defensively. You look at (OLB) Willie Jefferson, you look at (S) D.J. (Swearinger), so some guys are going to be expected to contribute even more so."
(on what the issue with special teams was last season) "Well, I think we got affected at linebacker because when we lost Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) and (ILB Tim) Dobbins started playing as a starter. Dobbins is our captain of special teams and really didn't play special teams the last half of the season. I think some of the things like that affect us, but there's always a ripple down effect so to speak and how deep you are with those young players or how quick you can get them to help you has a lot to do with your success."
(on OLB Justin Tuggle and if he can tell that he hasn't played the linebacker position for that long) "You know, it's been an adjustment for him, but he's fixing to line up and start so he's fixing to play a lot of football. We like him. He comes from a background that says he's going to be able to do this. His dad was a great player and he's really adapted to what we're doing. Let's see how he does, but he's a smart young man, he's got the physical tools and let's see how far he comes."
(on if OLB Justin Tuggle will start Friday) "Yeah, he's going to play a ton of reps, yes."
(on the importance of OLB Brooks Reed given all of the injuries at linebacker) "It's important to have Brooks back. I'm glad he's going to be able to get his reps in this week because he missed a little bit of time."
(on his expectations for OLB Brooks Reeds this season) "They're big. I know the sack totals were down last year and, I said this before, I think when (ILB) Brian (Cushing) is involved inside that's going to help Brooks and it's going to help (OLB) Whitney (Mercilus). But we think Brooks played well last year. We just asked a lot of him and hopefully we settle down this year and stay healthy with Brian and those things pick up."
(on OLB Whitney Mercilus' health) "We talked about Whitney a while ago, I think the conversation went something like 'possibly middle of next week.' But when you're coming off a hamstring like that, you're not going to jump out there next Thursday and play on Saturday neither, so I think we'll take it day to day."
Senior Vice President, Ticketing and Event Management John Schriever
(opening statement) "The bag policy that is being implemented throughout the NFL, fans going forward, if you bring a bag, it has to be a clear bag. It cannot be bigger than 12-by-eight inches and, if you bring a small clutch, it'll be six-and-a-half by four-and-a-half inches. This is just an additional security measure that we're implementing this year."
(on what happens if somebody brings a bigger bag) "At the game, we'll give out one-gallon zip lock bags that they can put their stuff in."
(on the reason behind the new bag policy) "The NFL's been looking at this for a while. After Boston, they looked at another security measure to make game day safe."
(on how much the clutch bag does not have to be clear) "The clutch bag does not have to be clear, but it will be searched when they come in."
(on how much security they are going to have to have to make it a timely manner to get into the stadium) "Actually, we think that people will adhere to this policy pretty quickly. We've done it here at training camp and have had very few issues. We are adding probably 80 to 100 staff each day."
(on if security is going to be out even farther beyond the gates) "As people come in and, as they park their cars, they will be handed a policy along with a zip lock bag if they have to put their stuff in there then they can use that."
(on if the addition of 80 to 100 security staff is considered a good amount) "On game day, for security, we have about 1,200 people. Obviously, it's a big hire."
(on what to do with people who have babies) "We're actually sending to all season-ticket holders one of these bags, the 12-by-12-by-six bag, so hopefully they can use that for their diaper bags on game day."
(on if the bags are big enough to fit all of the bottles for babies and other stuff) "It's a decent sized bag. You can fit quite a bit in it."
(on mentioning Boston and if he meant the Boston Marathon incident) "The NFL was looking at that prior to that. After that incident, they just thought we needed to take another step regarding security."
(on if people can come with more than one bag) "It's one per person. If you have four people, you can have four bags."