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Quotes: Texans Training Camp Day 8

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
T Duane Brown
WR Andre Johnson
T Derek Newton

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on RB Ben Tate's status following practice) "His groin was sore. We were really worked a lot of young players this morning. I think we had 21 guys out of practice today. Our focus was on the young guys and, when his groin got sore, we took him out."

(on WR Alan Bonner's status following practice) "It looked like a little hamstring tweak. Him and I think (TE Adam) Schiltz, the same thing. We've got to evaluate them. We've got a couple days here where they can get some treatments, so we'll see where we're at when we come back Sunday."

(on what it means to have a player like WR Andre Johnson who does not have an ego) "I mean that's what you want. You've got to have people like that that are so driven. What he does speaks for itself, how he handles himself and the way he's fought the fight here in Houston to be on a good football team and what he's been through. And he understands once they get, what's Andre, 10-11 years? Once they've played that long, they understand it doesn't last forever and they want to get everything they can out of it. If anything, it should be a motivational tool for our football team."

(on what his message was to the team before taking the day off tomorrow) "I think we had a good week. I try to show them good examples of veteran guys that have been here every day for 13 days and why they're good players, why we can count on them. We try to talk to them about things they've got to stay away from if they want to stay in this league. That's a constant message to young and old each and every day. It's been a good week. We need a little break here and we'll come back and get going Sunday."

(on if ILB Brian Cushing has done more than he's been doing in practice) "Yeah, he did. One of the reasons I kind of took the pads off on him was the second 45-minutes of practice that way he could get a little more work."

(on what ILB Brian Cushing did during the team portion of practice) "He took anything we were doing, considering what was pass stuff. Try to keep him out of the banging right now, the run game. He's gotten more reps. That will pick up on Sunday once again when we go back."

(on RB Ben Tate saying he tweaked his groin) "He'll be fine. I think it's precautionary. We wanted to work a lot of young players today and the minute he said he was sore, we got him out."

(on if there were any other health issues) "We had a couple of things. What did I mention guys? A little concerned about (WR Alan) Bonner. A little concerned about (TE Adam) Schiltz."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins and the challenges that face rookie wide receivers) "First off, my expectations for him are tremendous. That's why we drafted him. That's why we put him in the position we put him in very quickly. He's going to play across from a great player. I'll always tell you, we're going to do what we think we have to do to win. How many balls does that mean he's going to catch? I don't know, but I know he's going to be a big part of our football team. He'll make us better and boy is he working toward doing that. He's been exceptional."

(on over the course of his coaching career if he can think of another rookie wide receiver like WR DeAndre Hopkins who has started right away) "I don't know. Tells you how long I've been doing this, I forget some of that stuff. I don't know. I think I had Ashley Lelie in Denver as a rookie starter if you go back that far. I don't worry about what year they are. Once we get there, they're all the same to me and they've got a job to do, and he's doing a good job of taking care of his."

(on what he thinks of WR DeAndre Hopkins' hands) "They're exceptional. All the contested stuff is what he's exceptional at. When it's close and it's him and another guy, he makes a play because he's got big strong hands and he's a very physical player. That's what he was at Clemson too."

(on if it changes play-calling at all when you have a guy who has a certain skillset like WR DeAndre Hopkins) "You've got certain positions you may want to put him in. That may change you a little bit, but I think he can do everything that we do. It's just nice to be balanced. Somebody wants to take something away, it's nice to know that you're good and balanced and can go either way with the football."

T Duane Brown
(on building chemistry with the offense) "Definitely, you like to have your ones in to get that chemistry going. Running backs have to get a feel for the linemen, get on the same page and get in sync. We've all played together long enough to get a good feel for each other. The main thing is getting healthy. That means more than anything to have a healthy back, back there is more than anything."

(on the right side still being a problem ) "I don't think so, you know, those guys are working hard over there. We've got a solid starter in the right guard position; we still got two guys battling at the right tackle position right now. And I think that'll be solidified here in a couple of weeks. I don't think it'll be a problem at all for us."

(on what it is like seeing the battle for the right tackle position) "It's great see. Both of those guys are playing at a high level this training camp. Both bring a lot of physicality to the right tackle position. Both are pretty good at pass protection and both are really going at it. It's good to see because you know who's ever sided there is really going to help us out a lot."

(on the right side being strong) "Absolutely. We got (G) Brandon Brooks starting at right guard right now, a guy with a lot of upsides. He's very, very strong; very athletic. And two guys are battling for the right tackle position who are playing at a very high level this training camp. I'm sure that starter will be named soon here in the next couple of weeks and whoever it is will definitely help us and we will be going forward."

(on the chemistry building with the line) "Absolutely, having a starting five and starting to gel and blend that chemistry and continuity means everything. The offensive line is all about being in sync and in rhythm so having five guys solidified there means a lot."

(on RB Dennis Johnson) "Yeah man, he's definitely come on these past few days, somebody that I've taken notice of. Definitely hitting the hole hard and also stepping up real big in pass protection. Yesterday he caught a couple of people, hitting them right in the mouth so we know he will step up, he has a lot of heart. He plays fast. It's good to see."

(on RB Dennis Johnson) "Oh yeah, he's short but he's stalk. He's strong, very low center of gravity and that can play to his advantage when he's going against some of the taller guys. Like I said yesterday, he caught a couple people sleeping."

(on if he has gotten to see WR DeAndre Hopkins play) "Oh man, yeah. Now we have our new iPads, I've had a chance to watch a lot of the one-on-one reps with the receivers. It's amazing. He's very, very talented. He goes to get at his highest point. Whenever a ball is thrown, you put your money on DeAndre."

(on if he has seen a young wide receiver as good as WR DeAndre Hopkins) "I haven't, I haven't. I don't want to compare him to anybody but I think someone that I saw that young would probably be Larry Fitzgerald with that kind of hand-eye coordination and that kind of focus. It's great to have him on our team; it's a huge weapon for us."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins playing bigger than his size) "Oh yeah, he goes out on the field, he throws the ball up and every corner that I've seen on him is at a disadvantage. He's going to get it and if he doesn't get it, it's going to be an incomplete pass. That's always a good thing."

(on T Derek Newton settling into the tackle position) "Yeah when you're a young player and you're still try to get a grip of the game and watching an older guy go to work and go about his business against that defender can be helpful, so you get a different view of it. To see some of the things that work for him, to see some of the things that don't work for him. It's always good to have a more experienced guy that you can learn from so that's what I took from it when I was going with Ephraim (Salaam)."

WR Andre Johnson
(on head coach Gary Kubiak giving veteran players the day off) "Well, you're not 21 no more, so you're not going to be out here just running around all crazy like you used to. I remember I could come out here and practice without even stretching, but as you get older, things change. Your body change and sometimes you have to get rest on certain days and things like that to make sure your body is feeling well. It's great to have a coach that has played the game and knows what your body goes through. It helps you out a whole lot."

(on who decides when he has a day off) "Sometimes they come at you with a schedule and sometimes it may alter here and there. Normally, if something is bothering you, you have to go in and report it. Let them know what's going on. For me, I'm feeling fine. Anytime I can get a day off, I'll take it but other than that, I'm feeling fine."

(on the new Pro Bowl format) "I don't know all the details about it. I heard some things about it.  I don't know. I just don't know how that will turn out, but it's a change. Sometimes changes are good and sometimes they are not, so we'll see how that works out."

(on getting rid of kickoff at the Pro Bowl) "Well if I make it, I don't have to worry about running down on the kickoff."

(on what he does during days off) "I still come in and do my same routine every morning whether I'm practicing or get a day off. I'm doing everything I need to do to make sure my body is feeling well.  That's pretty much it. It's nothing special. I just keep the same routine. Just keep doing the same thing: stretching and doing my different exercises that I do on certain days. I just treat it the same."

(on how far the team has come over the past week) "Well the thing about it, we have done some different situations out here in practice. The biggest thing is that you want to be able to win any kind of way. We worked on some different situations throughout this first week of camp and that's what it's all about. No matter what type of game you are in, you want to be able to go out and play and win any kind of way. That's what we are going to try and do."

(on DE J.J. Watt becoming a phenomenon) "Well, he's definitely made a name for himself, but the thing about it is you have to keep doing it. You can't have a great year and then turn back around and have a bad year because they are going to talk about you. The big thing about this league is just being consistent. I think he will. I don't have any doubts about him and the way he plays the game. I think he is a heck of an athlete and I think that you rarely find guys his size that are as athletic as he is. I think the way he works and the way he pays attention to details and things like that. I think he is only going to get better, so maybe he can go out and break the sack record this year. Hopefully."

(on FS Ed Reed being patient with injury) "He's been through this situation before. We talk a lot and he's just trying to get the mental part down. Other than that, he's doing fine. He knows when he'll be ready and he's out here working hard. You see him, he's over there doing all the drills and doing all his different exercises and things that he needs to do. He's looking good and when he feels ready he will be out here. To be honest, I'm not really worried about that."

RT Derek Newton
(on getting physical during practice) "It's going good. First few days, I was a little rusty, but as I continue to get more and more plays everything is starting to work the kinks out."

(on the left side of the line) "Those are great guys over there. Great group of veterans, so I mean, along with us being young players, it gives us a chance to really just sit there and talk with them to see what we got to work on to be great players like they are. It's a lot to look up to and it motivates us just to do great every time we go on the field. It motivates us to have a lot of energy doing that."

(on GM Rick Smith building the team) "Oh man, it's been great. Just to get the opportunity to be in the situation I was in last year was great. I was a young player out there with a lot of veterans, so I felt comfortable after a while because they were consistently talking to me, staying on me, motivating me to work hard. With that, you can't ask for nothing better when you got a lot of guys around you that motivate you and keep you up."

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