The Texans practiced outside at the Methodist Training Center on Thursday and after, head coach Gary Kubiak and some players met with the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
*Head Coach Gary KubiakSS Bernard PollardLB DeMeco Ryans DE Antonio Smith *
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on any injury reports) "(TE) Owen (Daniels) didn't practice. (WR) Andre (Johnson) did not practice today. (LB Xavier) Adibi did not practice. (S Dominique) Barber had his knee scoped this morning. He banged his knee in practice the other day. So he's going to be out."
(on what is going to happen to S Dominique Barber's spot on the roster) "Well, we will have to decide. He's our most productive special teams football player on this team. We will have to replace him this week and we'll have to make a decision on how we are going to do that and who we do that with. We'll have to wait and see."
(on how did S Dominique Barber injure his knee) "He got hurt in a drill yesterday and his knee swelled up on him and we had to go in and do some work on it this morning."
(on if S Dominique Barber had any issues with his knee before yesterday) "No, he was fine."
(on how much of a hit on the roster is the loss of S Dominique Barber) "He's a tough guy to lose. He's been the guy that has been on the field the most for us on special teams and probably our most valuable player from that standpoint. That's a big blow and so we got to have somebody to step up this weekend and we'll have to decide who it's going to be."
(on what his options are to replace S Dominique Barber on the roster Sunday) "We'll have to see after the scope at what type of time we are talking about. I don't know that yet. It could be a three-week deal or it could be something that could take him out for the season. We will have to make that decision here in the next couple of days. The immediate situation is that we have to take somebody that's active and give them a chance to help us on game day. So that's what we got to do."
(on if not practicing WR Andre Johnson was a precaution) "Yeah, it is a little bit out of his routine, but we held him out again today and then we'll see where he's at tomorrow. The plan is still that he should be ready to go, but we just decided not to practice him today."
(on the status of TE Owen Daniels) "It'll be a game-time decision, but he did not work with us today."
(on what does it say about WR Andre Johnson's ability to play through injuries) "It just tells you what he's made of. He's out there playing not at 100 percent and to not being 100 percent he gets double-teamed too. He gets his work cut out for him, but he knows how important he is to the team and it is for him to be out there. So he's giving us everything that he has."
(on if he would look at S Torri Williams as a possible replacement for S Dominique Barber) "Yes, that's a possibility. I don't know the severity of Dom's (S Dominique Barber) situation. He's obviously not going to play this week. We'll have to decide going into next week."
(on how did S Torri Williams play on special teams during the preseason) "He did a pretty good job."
(on the key players on the Jaguars offense and the issues that they cause) "The running back is number one. You start with him. If you can't find a way to slow him down, you're never going to stop him. He's a great player, but if you can't find a way to slow him down, you're not going to get the ball and it's going to be a long day. Their quarterback is playing exceptional. He's missed some games due to injuries, but if you look statistically, I think he's in the top five in football. He's playing very well and he's always played well against us."
(on the status of QB Matt Schaub) "He's fine. He actually practiced lightly yesterday and took his full load today in practice and was very upbeat. He'll be okay."
(on playing a tough schedule and still being at 4-4 at the halfway point of the season) "We are playing a tough division. First off, we are going to play tough division games. Then we drew some tough divisions. I think our two outside games this year are Baltimore and the Jets are the two that we drew. That's a part of the game and we got to work through it. If we want to get to where we want to go, we get a chance to play them all. From that standpoint, you can't ask for anything more, but we got to play better than what we are playing now."
(on being satisfied at being 4-4 playing against top teams, statistically, in the league) "You are never satisfied in this business. We feel like we should be better than what we are right now, but there is a lot of football left to play and let's see if we could start playing it better."
(on how much RB Arian Foster has grown on and off the field) "A great deal, just the way he handles himself. The way he prepares to play, the way he practices and the way he works. He's leading the National Football League in yards from scrimmage. That's big-time. That's not good, that's big-time. That tells you what he's doing right now."
SS Bernard Pollard(on the challenges the Jaguar offense will bring) "They are going to run the ball. They've got some burners at receiver. I think the biggest thing that we are worried about is that they have three very good running backs and four with the quarterback. He's able to get that ball out there to the receivers. So I think the biggest thing for us is to understand what we have to do. We start off games good and we tend to mess up, but I think that the biggest thing for us this week is to go in there and don't concentrate on it, but concentrate on it."
(on if he believes that the team should be instinctive this week) "Exactly, and I think that we have to understand that. We have to get good and we have to win. This is a must-win for us. I think you have two 4-4 teams coming in and it's a division game. We want to win. We are not going to press for anything. I think that it's time for us to show that we could win."
(on why this game is more important than others) "We've dropped two straight. I think that the last two that we've dropped, we've beat ourselves. I do feel like we are getting better, but with getting better there is still some of the things that leave that gray area and the uncertainty that things are happening and we can't allow that."
*LB DeMeco Ryans *(on having leadership playing middle linebacker) "If you're a leader, you're a leader. Being at the Mike (middle linebacker) doesn't automatically make you a leader of the defense just because you're the Mike linebacker. If you're a leader, the guys around you will know who the leader is. You can't just place a guy in and say he's the leader. Guys around you will have to look up to you and respect you. You have to play well to lead the troops. So that can be any position out there on the field."
(on what is the toughest part for him recovering from injury) "I think the toughest part is sitting at home and watching the guys play and not able to be out there and be a factor or help out. It's like I'm at home helpless. Of course I'm cheering as hard as I can. I'm the biggest cheerleader right now for the guys, but it's just tough not being able to help."
(on how tough it is for him to see the team lose) "That makes it even tougher to know that you see the mistakes the guys are making and just knowing that guys can correct those mistakes, we could be on the other side easily. It's even tougher sitting there and not being able to help. I've never been in this position since I started playing football. I've never missed a game. This is the first time that I have to sit back and watch my teammates go out and play without me."
*DE Antonio Smith *(on the challenge of facing a good run game from the Jaguars) "I think that is going to be the way they are going to attack us. I think that we got to stop the run if we even want to think about rushing the passer. If not, they'll run the ball on us all day."
(on will Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew be a target for the Texans defense this week) "Yeah I think he'll be a target for us, but sometimes he likes to hide behind the offensive linemen. You can't see him and he squirts out and he's hard to tackle. You think he's on the ground when he's not. What we really have to do is gang-tackle him this week and put a lot of hats on him."
(on this game being a must-win for the Texans) "You got to view it the same way. We need a spark. That's why it's a must win. We need a spark to push through November through December. That's when you got to win if you want to get to the playoffs. I was always brought up believing that a division game counts as two games. You got to win in your division. Beat the teams in you division. That's why it makes it a must win. Plus we want to gain back our number one spot in this division. To do that, we got to win division games and we got to win this next game."