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Quotes: Thursday practice


Head Coach Gary Kubiak** Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
FS Shiloh Keo
ILB Joe Mays
DE Antonio Smith
ILB Jeff Tarpinian

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) "As far as the guys that didn't practice, Ryan Griffin, Shane Lechler, Joe Mays, Kareem (Jackson), (Mike) Mohamed and Elbert Mack. And then Arian (Foster) had his surgery today. His surgery went well and that's about all I know. I don't normally have any more particulars on it, but I know he had it and he's doing well, and (he'll) start the recovery process."

(on if CB Kareem Jackson is trending towards being a game-time decision) "Yeah, I think so. We're going to probably do a lot more teaching tomorrow and be light, so he might be able to do something tomorrow in what we're doing. But I think we're heading toward a game-time decision. If not, then Brice (McCain) is ready to go."

(on how P Shane Lechler is doing) "He's doing better this afternoon, but really, he got the flu really bad, to be in the hospital a couple of days with the flu. He will stay tonight and he's expected to be released tomorrow. You may not see him here all week. He sent word to me today, 'Hey, I'll definitely be there to do my job.' I think he'll be OK."

(on how ILB Jeff Tarpinian has played so far) "Yeah, I tell you, it's been amazing. I looked up when I was watching the game a little bit the other day, looked up and saw him in there, and was wondering what had happened. I didn't know that Joe (Mays) had gotten nicked up. But he's picked up things really well. Reggie (Herring's) done a great job with him. He played good for Joe (Marciano). He's fixing to play a lot of football. Great opportunity for him and a young career that's trying to get going. I think the key for him has always been trying to stay healthy. So if he can stay in one piece, I think he'll do a good job for us."

(on if ILB Jeff Tarpinian embodies the idea of having players who play hard down the stretch and can take advantage of an opportunity) "Yeah, I think what happens, there's opportunity. I don't how many new faces we have out there, but there's some tremendous opportunities for guys right now, players to really take advantage of some situations and can prove that they can play and that they can start. He's a great example from that standpoint. We'll see. We'll see how these guys take advantage of those situations. Getting (Jawanza) Starling back, watching the past two days has been impressive. We had him in camp. He looks like a better player than when he left. So we'll see how it works out."

(on the status of ILB Joe Mays) "He did not practice today. His knee swelled up on him. I put him along with Kareem (Jackson). I think he'll do some light stuff tomorrow and he will be a game-time decision."

(on if it's ILB Joe Mays' knee that is the issue or if it's an oblique) "Well, yes, that's a problem too. He's beat up. How about that? He's beat up."

(on if P Shane Lechler could not play this week and what the team would do) "Go for it I guess (joking). Randy (Bullock) could punt. Randy could go back there and do that."

(on his connection to Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen and his thoughts on him) "I've known DA a long time. He's a little bit younger than I am. I'm very impressed. He's been under some really good coaches in his path toward getting an opportunity to be a head coach. We've crossed paths so many times because he's a defensive guy and those things. Just proud of him and the job he's done. He's got them in position here in mid-November to be a playoff football team. Very proud of him. He's always been a great guy, good friend. It'll be good to see him, but I'm proud of the job he's done."

(on how DE Antonio Smith has played this season) "I think Antonio's played well. What is Antonio? He's in the last year of a contract I think if I'm right. Antonio's been a good solid player for this organization ever since he's been here. He always gives you everything he has. He's a joy to be around as a coach. Antonio likes to have fun, but he knows when it's time to work. I've really enjoyed watching him progress as a football player and a person. I enjoy being around him every day."

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
(opening statement) "Alright, first question about Ed Reed. It really was a privilege and an honor to have coached a future hall of fame player. You can tell by his intangibles partly why he is going to be in the hall of fame because the guy was great around the locker room, did all the right things and wanted to do things well. I wish him well and we wish him well with the Jets."

(on if he was bothered by what Ed Reed said after the game on Sunday) "No. Everybody could see it; he had reduced his playing time. That was the indicator. Anybody that looks at it, we got into a situation where he wasn't playing very much and our young guys are playing."

(on if the Texans thought they were going to get out of Ed Reed when they signed him) "Yeah, I think that's probably an understatement. I think we all thought he was going to be the J.J. Watt of the secondary. Things didn't work out that way."

(on why he thinks Ed Reed was unable to play to those expectations) "The guy had a major operation, you know? He didn't have any offseason. He didn't have any training camp. He wasn't able to play until the third game of the year. I think that was a big factor in my estimate.

(on if the Arizona game was D.J. Swearinger's best game) "Yeah, he's played better and better each game, but I think he played really well last week. He's played well in other games. Swearinger is a really talented player, but he plays the way we like guys to play. He plays 100 miles an hour every play. The good thing about him is that he really is one of those players that make the same mistake over and over. He doesn't make the same mistake twice. Now he makes rookie mistakes, but the next time that comes up, he doesn't make a mistake in those things. I'm really encouraged by his talent and the way he's playing."

(on ILB Jeff Tarpinian) "Jeff has done a good job. He's a smart young player that was thrown into a tough situation. He had to go play in the game and did some good things. He may have to play more. He's got some talent and he moves well. He can cover. He made some tackles in the game, so I was pleased with what he did for the limited time he's been here."

(on Gary Kubiak saying that ILB Joe Mays was probably a game-time decision and if ILB Jeff Tarpinian would replace him in the lineup) "I agree with Gary. Tarpinian plays the MO linebacker behind Mays, so that would be the first guy to go in."

(on if there would be an issue of calling in plays with a new inside linebacker in the lineup) "No, (Darryl) Sharpton is the main guy that does it since (Brian) Cushing has been gone. Sharpton has been calling it, but Sharpton's practice was limited today. We're still short in that area, no offense to Sharp."

(on CBs Brice McCain and Brandon Harris play if Kareem Jackson is out) "McCain is the next guy up at corner, on the outside corner. Brandon plays the slot corner, that kind of thing."

(on if CB Brandon Harris has made improvements) "Yeah, he made a couple of plays in the ballgame. That's what he does. He makes smart plays. He makes competitive plays. That's what I like about Brandon."

(on the challenges that QB Terrelle Pryor poses for the Texans defense) "He's the biggest, fastest quarterback in the league. I put him right with Cam Newton. The guy can make plays just by running the football, as good or better than any quarterback in the league. He has the longest quarterback run in the history of the National Football League against a pretty good Pittsburgh defense. He went 93 (yards) against them. He's a quarterback so he can throw the ball, but he's also a great runner and has great speed and has great size. He's a real threat."

(on Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and if he has any edge having coached with Phillips in Atlanta) "I wouldn't think so. It's been since 2003 I guess. We've changed a few things. Some things we haven't changed, but he's a smart coach. He'll know what we're doing. Hopefully, we know what they're doing. That's part of coaching. You look and see what the players are doing. It's not what I can think of; it's what our players are doing. Dennis is on top of things. He's a good coach."

(on if there is a fine line between winning and losing and if that can be applied to this season) "Yeah, there is a fine line to winning and losing, certainly. I think you're on it though. I don't think if you win, you happen to be lucky or if you lose, you're unlucky. I think you have to earn it."

(on if they considered looking at Charles Woodson in the offseason when they were looking at Ed Reed) "I think all things were discussed, but I wasn't in on all of those conversations. I would assume."

(on if they asked for his input) "No, I assume that all the bases were covered."

(on being back to his normal role at practice today and his thoughts on Gary Kubiak being back) "It was great to have Gary back. I think the players are all excited about it. The coaches are all excited about it. It gets back to a more normal situation for us. Obviously, it was abnormal during the game and even the next week. It's not something I want to do every week, that's for sure.

FS Shiloh Keo
(on the new faces playing in the secondary recently) "I sit in our room and we talk a lot. We're all on the same page and, when we go out to practice, we're all flying around out there. We all hold each other accountable and have the same expectations. It doesn't really matter who is out on the field, whether it's a young guy or a vet, a guy who's played special teams mainly. We all have that same expectation we're going to go out there and make plays."

(on what the secondary misses if CB Kareem Jackson can't play this week) "A playmaker. He's a big playmaker. But like I said, we're all ready. We're all getting the same coaching. We're all taking the same reps, whether mental reps or practice reps out on the field. We're expecting to fire on all cylinders when we're out there."

ILB Joe Mays
(on his status this week) "I'm going to be a game-time decision. I'm looking forward to playing, but I'm just going to do whatever is best for the team."

(on if he thinks he'll play this week) "I'm not sure. It's kind of tough tell. I don't want to sit here and tell you that I will or that I won't. Right now, I felt good today. I felt better today than I have the past couple of days. We've just got to monitor it from here on out."

DE Antonio Smith
(on what it meant for him to sign autographs for the military members that were at practice today) "It puts a smile on my face. Any time that you can make somebody else's day brighter, that's what the world is all about, creating smiles, laughter, happiness, peace."

(on some military members at practice today saying that they give to everyone and the players do the same for them) "That's how it works. They're over there doing what they do, so I can be over here doing what I do."

(on how he views where this team is right now trying to break this losing streak) "How do I view it? I view it as a team in desperation of a win. We'll do anything and by any means necessary to get that. That's what I see right now."

(on the challenges of the Raiders' offense) "A quarterback that's probably the best running quarterback I've seen since Michael Vick. When you can run like that and you're hard to tackle, it makes people worry about you being hard to tackle and run. It opens up the passing game. I hate these types of games. I always have hated elusive quarterbacks. But it's our next challenge so we've got to step up to it."

ILB Jeff Tarpinian
(on ILB Joe Mays being a game-time decision and what it would be like to start this week) "Yeah, I'm just trying to do my job and do what my coach tells me, and really just learn the playbook. I've been trying to fill the role I can on defense. The coaches do a great job of getting me prepared."

(on how tough it is to be prepared after being here for such a short period of time) "Obviously, not going through OTA's and camp, I'm just following it step-by-step and watching a lot of extra film. Taking the iPad home and watching extra film, which helps out a lot. I'm trying to watch as much film and get as many reps mentally as I can to help me prepare."

(on how much time he's spending studying film at home) "I definitely just try to make sure to watch the practice over and over again, and just kind of see it so you get those mental reps. You miss on that during camp, just the mental reps of seeing it over and over again so it becomes second nature. That's kind of what I've been trying to do on my own."

(on if he's talked with ILB Joe Mays at all because he was thrown into the mix very quickly when he first came here) "Yeah, I kind of follow his example. He's a great player. I've just been watching the older guys and do my job and do what it takes, but I'm definitely following their lead."

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