Head Coach Gary Kubiak**
ILB Darryl Sharpton
DE J.J. Watt
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on DE J.J. Watt's status) "His elbow's just sore. We brought him out here to practice today, wanted to keep him out of contact. As y'all could see, the majority of practice was contact. He'll be out here tomorrow, whether we limit his contact tomorrow. He just had a sore elbow."
(on if DE J.J. Watt's elbow injury is not really a concern) "No, it go screwed up on him, what was it Thursday? So we rested him Friday. He went through his treatment and still a little sore today, so it's probably a precaution."
(on ILB Darryl Sharpton back practicing today) "Sharpton's back to work. He brought some intensity in practice. That's what Sharp is. He's a banger and it's just great to have him out here. If this kid can stay in one piece, boy he's a heck of a player and he can really help this team. Got our fingers crossed we keep going in the right direction."
(on G Brandon Brooks walking off from practice at one point) "Yeah, he banged knees with somebody and got sore, so Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) pulled him out. So we'll go check this afternoon."
(on ILB Brian Cushing receiving more reps this morning) "Yeah, he's basically a full-time participant now. We're going to keep him out of certain drills where we're doing a lot of contact. For the most part, he's a full-time participant."
(on how important it is for ILB Brian Cushing to continue to receive more reps) "It's really important. He knows he needs the reps to get ready to play. We'll still keep our process going where we want to be in a few weeks, but for us to be able to keep him totally involved is a good thing."
(on if he was expecting RB Arian Foster to be practicing today) "Yeah, I was. I was expecting him out. Guys, his calf is fine. His back is sore. Hey, keep going day-to-day."
(on if he knows when RB Arian Foster will be back out there) "No. Like I said, I expected him today and it didn't happen. I'll tell you what though, those four young backs are doing some really good stuff. You guys are watching practice, I told them a few minutes ago, there's nobody complaining about reps and opportunity."
(on how RB Ben Tate is doing) "Ben's fine. He's just coming off the groin soreness. Hopefully, he's back tomorrow or the next day."
(on if the undrafted rookie running backs are going to see a lot of time in the Minnesota game coming up) "I think there's a pretty darn good chance you're going to see them. Yeah, it's a really good group. There are four young men, they haven't missed a day. They're a lot alike in a lot of ways. They're all handling pass protection, which is impressive to me. We're going to find us another back out of this deal. What an opportunity for them."
(on if RB Arian Foster's back injury is somehow related to his calf injury) "No, I don't think so. No, he's working on his calf. His back was bothering him a little bit, a little soreness a couple of weeks ago. But no, I don't think there's any relationship."
(on what LT Duane Brown means to the team) "Everything. First off, he's a tremendous worker. Big respect as a player from what you see. Duane is respected around the league, but yet everyone watches him work as hard as he possibly can work. Very proud of Duane. Great player, but great man too and a big part. Very important."
(on how much game planning he'll do for the first preseason game) "The most important thing is we do what the young kids know, so they can go compete. That's about as far as we get with this particular game and obviously we're going to have a lot of young guys playing on Friday. It'll be good to see somebody else."
(on T Derek Newton receiving a lot of reps with the first team and if he's grabbed ahold of that starting spot) "There's no doubt. He's establishing himself every day. He's a better player than he was last year. He's healthier than he was at the end of last year and it shows every day."
(on if the competition is over at right tackle because of the way T Derek Newton is playing) "I don't think it's ever over. We're always in competition, but I think Derek has taken the bull by the horns and said you guys can count on me, and he's doing that every day."
(on QB Case Keenum's training camp so far) "It's been good. He has some days that he's got to be a lot better, which all players do. I think the thing that's exciting is he has a command of what we're doing offensively and now I need to go see him play a bunch. But a fine young man, he's come a long way. Great battle between him and (QB) T.J. (Yates) right now. We'll see how it works out."
ILB Darryl Sharpton
(on how it feels to be back out today) "It feels great. Anytime you're on the football field it's a blessing and it feels good to be out here."
(on toughest adjustment) "Nothing really, I have been in this system for a while. It's just back out here doing what I do best."
(on whether he was injured swimming with dolphins in Bahamas) "No, it's not true. It was just training and working out."
(on missing camp during the heat) "From what I know, Houston has the hottest training camp in the NFL. I remember from my first training camp out here it was over 100 (degrees) for seven days in a row. It's brutal out here, but I love it. I love playing in the heat and competing and battling."
(on first practice back) "It's great. I think I'm a pretty good competitor. I love fighting through the heat, getting on these pads, smashing, banging and running. I love playing football and I'm just so happy to be back out here."
(on ILB Brian Cushing) "Cush is an unbelievable athlete. He is a great leader on this team and it's good to be playing with Cush again."
(on feeling behind) "Not really. Like I said, I have been in this defense and been in every meeting, so I have been taking mental reps. I feel like I haven't lost a step."
(on getting all the linebackers healthy) "This is a very dangerous sport, I can attest to that. We had a couple nicks and bruises, but we always find a way to get through it and we have good depth."
(on how the defense can improve from years past) "Every year you have to take your standard to another level. We've been in the top of the league ever since Coach Wade Phillips came here. Every year we are getting more and more comfortable with his system and our expectations grow every year."
DE J.J. Watt
(on why he was practicing on the side-field) "Just resting up a little bit. Camp is a grind; just resting up a little bit."
(on having his elbow brace back on) "Elbow is a little sore so the brace is back. It's just precaution. I just want to be smart with it. I put it through a lot of work over the last week. It's done a lot of work without the brace for the first time in a long time, so I'm bringing the brace back just as kind of a security measure, you know, to make sure it stays secure and it stays safe."
(on why he has his elbow brace back on) "It just got a little sore. I worked it a lot and I worked it really hard so that's kind of why I gave it a little bit of a break here lately."
(on his work ethic in regards to working on the side-field as an individual) "No, it has nothing to do with an individual at all. We're just trying to give my elbow a little bit of rest here and that's all it is."
(on how the fans treat him) "The most important thing to me, is my play because none of these people aren't out here cheering for me if I don't play well so that's why putting in the work, putting in the time, putting in the effort is the most important part. But then, when I have a chance, after practice when I'm on break to say hello and to sign autographs and to take pictures. I mean these are the people who are out there buying 99 jerseys. These are the people that are supporting my foundation. These are the people that are showing me so much love so I feel like they show me so much love, I want to show that love right back. I'm very, very fortunate. I mean, walking out here every single day is crazy. It's the stuff you dream about as a kid and I really it enjoy it but like you said, at the exact same time I need to make sure I'm putting the best product on the field for them so that's what I'm focused on every day."
(on his work ethic and where his motivation comes from) "It's all self-motivated but it does nothing but help. I mean, when I'm working out by myself, in the off season when you're working out by yourself, when you don't want to put in a workout. When you have those feelings of, 'Man I'd rather just sleep', you're self-motivated, but then you also think about all for these fans. All of these people who come to watch, all of these people that turn on their TVs every Sunday and want to see you play well, makes it that much easier to get into the gym and put in your work."
(on his Yahoo! commercials)"It's been great, man. I'm glad people like those. They're pretty funny. They were fun to film and I get a lot of people enjoying them so that's great."
(on how important it is to have ILB Darryl Sharpton back out on the field) "It's nice to have him out there. He delivered quite a blow today on one play at least and he's fun to watch. He's fun to watch; the guy can lay some hits."
(on Coach Bill Kollar being an asset to the team) "Coach Kollar is a fiery guy, but he's really, really smart. Coach Kollar really knows his stuff. In the meeting room especially, I mean, he points things out. He's really good at picking things out of other teams and tendencies and things like that that you can use. His experience, he's been around for so long, he's a great asset for our team."
(on how many different moves he utilizes at the line of scrimmage) "I don't even really classify them as moves per se, because I just go with the flow. You kind of feel what the offensive lineman is doing and sometimes it's a combination of moves, sometimes it's one move. As long as it works, I don't care how many moves I have or how I get back there. As long as I get to the quarterback, that's all that matters."
(on the freedom Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips gives him) "Absolutely, I love playing for Wade because he understands. I trust him and he trusts me. He puts us in position to have success and in turn he gives his trust to me. I try and use it as freely as I can while still being smart and never hurting the team. I take some chances here and there, but they are always very calculated risks and risks that are going to give me an advantage."
(on the brace effecting him last year) "No, like I said last year, it didn't really bother me a whole lot. Cosmetically, I'm just not a huge fan of the way it looks but it never really bothered me from a playing standpoint so I don't see it being an issue whatsoever. It's just something I have to play with and that's it."
(on whether not having specific moves is unique) "If you watch the film, you can see a move here and you can see how you can classify things as moves, but it's not like I line up and I'm saying, 'Okay, I'm going to swim move on this player' or 'okay, I'm going to rip on this play.' It's all based on the guy I'm playing against, what he has been giving me all game, and what I have been setting up. That's why I say you can't really classify it because I don't just sit there and say, 'From the jump, okay, this is going to be a swim move." It's all feel and all just going with the flow."
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
ILB Brian Cushing
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if he's secretly glad DE J.J. Watt is wearing the elbow brace) "I don't know. I think it's probably smart. If his elbow is going to get sore on him, it's smart to wear it at least for a week or so until he gets the soreness out of it, but I think he's fine."
(on DE J.J. Watt playing well last season wearing the elbow brace) "Yeah, if it's good luck, he needs to put it back on anyways (joking)."
(on DE J.J. Watt saying he's going to wear the brace full-time) "Yeah, I think probably a confidence thing for him or at least until the soreness gets out of his elbow. Yeah, if we can have that same production we got out of him last year with that brace, then let's put it back on."
(on if there is any new update with RB Arian Foster) "No, just his back is sore, stiff. We've actually got him inside this afternoon. He was out here for a few minutes and we sent him back inside. We'll see. He's day-to-day."
(on if RB Arian Foster not practicing is getting frustrating to him at all) "I'm sure it is for him. Obviously, I want everybody out here because you want everything coming together and guys working together, but you've got to do what you've got to do too. We're just listening to Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) and get him back here the right way. Right now, we've got a big focus on four young running backs and getting them ready to play. What an opportunity for them and obviously history says you never know when those guys are going to have to step in there and go, so we've got to really make sure we're doing a good job with them."
(on how he's going to divide reps up among the running backs on Friday) "I don't know. I haven't even thought about it. I probably won't make that decision until Wednesday."
(on if he's determined the reps for anyone on Friday) "No, done nothing yet. I'll make that decision. We're going to push here and work against ourselves through Tuesday and then probably do a little Viking work Wednesday and Thursday morning and go play."
(on if there are any other health issues) "No, (OLB) Brooks Reed banged his knee. Him and OD (TE Owen Daniels) had a collision this morning. We kept him out this afternoon. We think he's fine and expect him to be there in the morning, we'll see."
(on how ILB Darryl Sharpton's first day back went) "Really good. He brings an edge when he plays. He's a physical player. Just hopefully we can keep Sharp upright. He's got some work to do to catch up with the team. At the same time, we try to do everything we can because, when Sharp hits, he gets beat up because he loves to hit. We're trying to get him ready, trying to protect him at the same time."
(on if he has to tell ILB Darryl Sharpton to tone it down at all) "You can't do that. What we try to do is (LBs Coach) Reggie (Herring) tries to keep an eye on his reps and what he's doing. We'll get to a point, we've got a couple of more days in pads here this week and then we'll calm down for a few days. It's kind of a measured situation. How many reps does he take? But he needs to bang too because he's getting ready to play. Obviously, you don't want him going out there and taking 100 reps either."
(on if RB Arian Foster is really missing anything right now) "Arian's not missing anything he doesn't know. Just like anything else, players need to prepare to get ready for the season and there's nothing he can do right now, but we do have plenty of time, so hopefully we do get him back here pretty quick."
(on if there's anything new on FS Ed Reed) "No, he's doing great. He's coming along as scheduled. He's doing fine."
(on if the new rules have an impact on the way the game is played) "Yeah, it has an impact as far as all of the ways of tackling, launching of your head, the placement of your hips and stuff. So I think that has changed for players, but I think players have adapted to it pretty darn well. That's a big change. There are a couple of special teams changes and things like that. I just think some of the illegal hits guys are having to change their aiming point when they tackle and stuff like that, so that's a difference."
(on if there is much discussion among coaches and team members about the new rules) "Oh no, we talk about what to do. When you're rushing the passer, where you go on the quarterback. You can't go below his knees. You can't go to his head. You better have any aiming point somewhere at the waist line. Yeah, we talk about those things all the time."
(on not practicing live tackling and being concerned that players are ready to tackle) "That's always the biggest concern, how you tackle when you get going because we're not going to take each other to the ground in camp, and you can see what we go through not taking guys to the ground as far as injuries and stuff. That is always the biggest concern, but (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) and them do a good job emphasizing individual drills and those type of things, but there's nothing better than playing."
ILB Brian Cushing
(on how it felt being back out there today) "Good, good. You know I've been kind of doing some stuff here and there. Today was probably the most I've done as far as work load. It just feels great to be back out there."
(on if he noticed a change in the style of playing due to the rule changes set by the NFL) "No, I don't think so. I think those rules have kind of, you know, are just pretty necessary and pretty obvious things that you shouldn't do. As far as style of playing and everything, I think guys are still aggressive playing hard. I don't really think it's going to alter the game too much."
(on if the style of playing will still stay the same this year even with the new rules set by the NFL) "Yeah, I think so because it's an instinctive game. Guys are going to be playing the same way and I think any of the rule changes are pretty necessary things that guys shouldn't be doing in the first place."
(on how his first hit felt today) "Well, you know, like I said, it's been a couple of days I've been doing some things so you know, I've hit, I've covered. I've pretty much done everything and I re-enacted every scenario I'd have on a football field. I've covered all my grounds as far as that. Now it's just continuing to get better and continuing to work my craft and progress more and more every single day and just take one day at a time."
(on starting practice with a knee brace on and then taking it off) "No I kind of went back and forth with it just to see how I felt. The biggest thing is contact period to keep it on just in case I got rolled into, but it's not going to make any difference just running around. It's really just based on a comfort level now whether I'll wear it or not."