The Texans practiced outside at the Methodist Training Center on Thursday, and after, head coach Gary Kubiak and some players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakRB Arian FosterDT Amobi OkoyeCB Karl PaymahT Wade SmithWR Kevin Walter
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on today's practice) "We had a good practice. As far as (WR) Andre (Johnson) goes; he did not practice today. He did run a little bit. So he did a little bit more. It's going to be a game-time decision. (LB Darryl) Sharpton did practice somewhat. He was a little bit limited in practice. (S) Eugene (Wilson) did not practice."
(on the status of LB Kevin Bentley's knee surgery) "It went as good as we thought. He will be back. We're probably looking at a few weeks, but he will be back and help us this year. I think we got a little lucky with what happened."
(on what caused the injury to LB Kevin Bentley's knee) "I don't know other than the fact that he came in the morning after the game and it swelled on him. They drained it, which is a normal procedure with him throughout his career. After they drained it, he felt great. He came back the next morning and it swelled up again. So they went in and had to clean it up."
(on if WR Andre Johnson's ankle condition is worse than it was last week) "He did practice last week, so that's a change. To say that he's a no, I don't see it that way. I think that he's going to be a game time decision. Obviously he's sorer than he is now than he was last week at this time or would've taken in some of the practice. He did run some. It's not like he didn't do anything. He did run some."
(on if he would consider holding out WR Andre Johnson just to give an extra weeks rest) "I handle them all the same. We're trying to get everybody to game day and everybody ready to play. We don't approach that any different. We got to listen to our training staff and the player too. So it's a combination of both. We just got to keep going all the way to Sunday and see what happens."
(on what kind of impact DE Adewale Ogunleye can have on the Texans pass rush) "He's capable of helping us from a pass rush standpoint. I want to go back and look at one-on-one today. He's obviously much better than last week, I think he improved yesterday. If we see the same thing from practice today, there's a good chance that he's that guy that's up."
(on the development of T Rashad Butler as a starter) "He played good enough for us to win. He held down his spot. He can get better like everybody else. He's better in the run game, especially from the standpoint of the backside and cuts. He held up for the most part and I want to see him improve. I want to see him better than he was this week than he was last week. I'm hoping to see consistent improvement from him."
(on how much S Dominique Barber improved from last year) "He's further along as a player. The mental part is easier for him. If (S) Eugene (Wilson) is unable to go, then he and (S) Troy (Nolan) will both play. We're preparing them both and then we'll see where Eugene is at."
(on the development of QB Matt Leinart) "I like I see. He's getting comfortable each and every week. I think he could go in and function 65-70% of our offense right now. We've got him at that point where we're really working with his mechanics and his feet and some things I think we could change with him to help him to become a better player. It's one step at a time, but he's doing his part and working very hard."
(on how QB Matt Leinart adapting to the changes) "He's adapted well. He fits well with the team. He's a guy that's been to the top in this business from the standpoint of what he did in college and getting an opportunity in Arizona. So guys know that this guy has played You never know we may need him before it's said and done and we're making progress with him."
(on what is it that would put S Dominique Barber ahead of S Troy Nolan) "A little bit more experience. That's about it, but we trust them both. They're interchangeable and could play both spots. I just think that if (S) Eugene (Wilson) is unable to go, I think we'll share the wealth, so to speak, between the two of them and let them show us who's further along."
RB Arian Foster(on winning AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September) "It's a positive individual accolade, but at the end of the day we're trying to get these wins on the board. It's gratifying and I'm humbled by it, but I got to go to work and worry about the next game."
(on being only the second Texan to win AFC Offensive Player of the Month, joining WR Andre Johnson) " It means I'm in good company. Obviously, I watch the way (WR) Andre (Johnson) works and he's compensated for what he does with accolades in everything that he does and rightfully so. The man works hard. I just try to emulate that and do what he does."
(on how far he's come to get where he's at today) "It means a lot, but I expect a lot from myself. There was never anything else for me. I'm not being cocky or anything, but that's how you have to think. You have to think that you're able to do these things or else you're not going to be able to get close to them."
(on staying focused and on track despite past failures) "I knew what my mindset was from day one. From the day I didn't get drafted. I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what I wanted to accomplish as an athlete. So I never let anything derail me from what I wanted to do."
(on establishing his place with the team) "You notice a difference and it's not anything against those guys because guys come and go in this league every day. You know it is different and people look at you differently, but I don't look at them any differently. I looked at them from day one. That's (WR) Andre Johnson and that's how he works. I look at the linemen for what they do. I like everyone from how they are. It was emphasis from day one. I think you got to keep a lot of humility, especially if you do anything in this league, its amplified. If you do good it's blown up, if you do bad it's blown up. Especially playing this position, you just got to take everything with humility good and bad."* *
DT Amobi Okoye(on the Texans defensive unit overall) "We're definitely not satisfied by what we've done so far, but we're working at it. We've got goals that we want to reach; 1-0 every week is our motto here and that's how we think about things. If we don't get the numbers we're looking for pass rushing-wise and sacks-wise with pressures and hurries; we just want to make sure we're 1-0 and win."
(on what are some things the Texans defense is doing to get better) "As far as each individual is concerned, we need to read each other. The thing about pass rushing is that you got to feel each other and know that person is in a certain place and know that you can come underneath or go over the top if you guys don't have game going. I think it's about everybody having a feel for what each other is going to do. Talking out there has helped out a lot."
(on his play so far this season) "Definitely not satisfied, it's the way I've been since I started playing football. Really since my college years, I've got goals I'm trying to reach."* *
CB Karl Paymah(on adjusting with the team) "It's like Denver South. There is a lot of the same scheme and footwork on the defensive side."
(on how similar the Texans defensive scheme is to his former teams at Minnesota and San Francisco) "Minnesota helped me a lot because of their cover two scheme because that's all they really do. It's a heavy emphasis on that. They play a little bit of cover two here. I'm bringing a lot from everywhere I've been and implementing it to this system."
(on if there is a play he made on special teams that stands out ) "I'm just pretty much known for flying down there. Most of the time, they're going to fair catch. If they don't, they're going to pay for it. I just make plays all over the field. I don't keep track. I just go out there and make a play."* *
T Wade Smith(on what are some things the offensive line is working on to prevent sacks) "We just try to be better with our technique. That's what it comes down to. Being sound with technique, that's what I try to do and focus on week-in and week-out. It is not about the guy I'm going up against. Mainly, it's about me honing in on my technique and skills. At the end of the day, that guy is doing the same thing over where ever he's at."
(on his first NFL start last week) "It feels good. I'm still always going to be nervous before every game, but the nerves won't be as high as they were this past weekend. I can tell you that for sure."
WR Kevin Walter(on the Raiders secondary) "This team is good. Offensively and defensively they're in the top ten in each category. They're playing well as a team. We have our work cut out for us. They got a great secondary. We just got to do our thing and execute our game plan."
(on losing at Oakland the last time the Texans played there) "We haven't forgot about that. We know it's going to be tough out there and it's going to be a hostile environment with the Black Hole and they are going to be talking this or that. If we worry about ourselves like we have been and execute like we know we can we should win this game. Whoever is going to out there and not turn the ball over and make the most plays is going to win this game." (on his relationship with Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugah) "Each time we play each other and after the game he comes and talks to me. He knows that I go out there and work and he's the best corner in the league right now. He deserves a lot of respect and I respect him on and off the field and he's a heck of a player."