The Texans practiced Thursday at the Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Gary Kubiak and some of the players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakLB Kevin BentleyT Duane BrownTE Owen DanielsWR Andre JohnsonWR Jacoby Jones
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on any injuries today) "Cush (LB Brian Cushing) practiced today. (WR) Andre (Johnson) still did not practice. Other than that, we're okay. Everybody's fine. So Cush is back to work and we'll see where Andre's at tomorrow. It'll probably still be a game-time decision. I don't think he'll do much."
(on if he thought he had a home-field advantage with the altitude when he was at Denver) "We really never talked about that stuff. People have made a big deal out of it. I know some teams have come in there three days early and some teams come right before the game. I remember in the playoff games we played teams did differently, but for us we never made that big of a deal out of it."
(on if takes the altitude into account as the Texans prepare to travel to Denver) "No, it's my understanding if you come in there three or four days before, then you're going to struggle a lot more than just coming in there for a day and playing a game and getting out. That's the way I understand it. Our conditioning level has been good. So hopefully it'll stay that way."
(on if he's more worried about the condition of WR Andre Johnson this week) "I would say it's the same at this point today."
(on what would it mean if WR Andre Johnson would become the first receiver in NFL with three 1,500 yard seasons) "It would mean a lot. It is something that I thought about and I know it would be important to him throughout the season. I would be honest with you, seven or eight weeks ago, I didn't think there was a chance in hell in where he was with his foot and the time he had missed. Yet he continued to play well and have big days. It would mean a great deal, but at the same time we got to be smart in what we're doing with him. So, I'll strictly listen to him, but it has been on our mind."
(on will Denver CB Champ Bailey cover WR Andre Johnson) "Yeah, I would imagine. They are a big man coverage team. He's still a hell of a player and been doing it a long time and still playing well."
(on the rarity of having both a running back and wide receiver on the same team leading the league in yardage) "I've never had that. Obviously, I've had a leading rusher before and a leading receiver before. But I've never had two guys this high, to be honest. (RB) Arian (Foster) has got his work cut out for him. It's a good challenge for our offensive line because we let a lot of people back in the race last week from that standpoint. So we'll see what will happen over the course of the next two weeks, but that would be a very nice accomplishment for the young man and the guys up front."
(on LB Darryl Sharpton's development over the course of the season) "What happened was he got a chance to play and kept getting better and better. In last week, it was so impressive what he did. The whole team watched the film together. He's a guy that's proven every week that he belongs here. He's getting better. We are giving a chance to lead a little bit more in these last two weeks. I'm very impressive with what's happening."
(on what stands out about LB Darryl Sharpton) "He's a downhill physical player. He was beat up for a five- or six-week period. He had an ankle. He had a broken hand. Now he's gotten healthy. It's just his physical presence on the field."
(on the status of TE Owen Daniels) "He's back. He was mad at me for about five or six weeks when we went through that situation when we sat him. I thought it was best for his career moving forward. So he's got a smile back on his face. He's played like Owen Daniels these last two weeks. He'll be back and he'll be an all-pro. I've been very impressed with the job the training staff has done with him. It's been hard on him, but we did the right thing by him and he'll benefit from it."
(on if DE Mario Williams underwent surgery) "Yes he did. He had surgery Tuesday. He was actually out here today walking around. He flew back here yesterday and had some pretty extensive work done on both sides. He's not feeling very good and has got a long road back. It was done, and to my understanding, done well and successful."
*LB Kevin Bentley *(on if he has any concerns playing in the high altitude in Denver) "I'll say the first 10 minutes or so in the game you'll feel the affect because your lungs will work a lot harder. You'll feel a little bit tired. I've been up there to play a few times and that's the way it's been."
(on what are his concerns going into Denver and QB Tim Tebow) "You know obviously you're always worried about yourself and trying to make sure we're doing things right. He does create some problems. He's made big plays in the running game. He scrambles really well. What people fail to realize, the kid can throw the ball. It's not like he's some slappy that gets back there and scrambles around and takes off running. He could actually throw the ball and throws really well on the run. That's going create a problem for us because it's, do you go out of coverage to go tackle him because he's a runner? Or, do you stay into coverage because he could actually throw the ball down the field and get it to where it's supposed to be. They are going to create some problems. They do a few different things that we know we have to prepare for, but I feel like if we're disciplined and on our keys we should be okay."
(on how disappointing it was once he realized they lost their shot at the playoffs) "It's very disappointing. I know for me personally, you play the game to win and get to the postseason. Coming from Seattle, I was in the postseason every year and that's what I expected. When I came here we didn't get it done the way we should've. It's very disappointing. You're going to be at home and you're going to watch your buddies play. Some of the same guys that you beat during the year and some of the guys that you know your team is better than their team and you didn't perform as well as you could've on that day. We are going to watch somebody get crowned the Super Bowl that we probably played neck and neck for three quarters or four quarters and came up short."
*T Duane Brown *(on the offensive line's performance against the Titans last week) "It was definitely not the best work we've put on film and watching as a team always puts things in perspective for you. I wasn't satisfied with my performance at all. As I'm sure other guys are. You learn from it and got to use it as motivation going into this week."
(on if the altitude in Denver is a concern) "I don't know too much about it. Talking to (C) Chris Myers, who played out there, he said it can be, but I'm not going to worry about it too much. We'll see what happens. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape."
(on getting off to a fast start this week) "That's always your mindset going into it to try to get going. We had a pretty good feeling in warm ups and pretty good attitude and intensity. We just came out flat and they were on their game and jumped up ahead. We couldn't recover from that. We got to get going this week. I know we say it every week, but I think everyone knows the sense of urgency and what we got to get done in the first quarter."
TE Owen Daniels(on head coach Gary Kubiak wanting him back for next year and saying he will be an All-Pro) "It always means a lot when a coach compliments you like that. It's good that they can see that I'm feeling a lot better and I'm kind of close to where I used to be. Hopefully, I could do that here. It's awesome that he recognizes that."
(on why he hopes to be an All-Pro with the Houston Texans) "Well, I've got nothing left after this season. I'd like to stick around. There are a lot people in the same situation. We will see how it goes. I've always said that I want to play here."
(on if his current contract situation bothers him right now) "I think there is so much uncertainty with it. Not necessarily where I'm going to be, but with the CBA. I can't really start to think about worrying about it. I got two really important games for this team and myself. So, I'll worry about that on January 3."
WR Andre Johnson(on possibly becoming the first receiver in NFL history to have three seasons of 1,500 yards receiving) "I would like for it to happen, but if it's not meant to happen then it won't happen. I'd rather be playing to go to the playoffs than to be worried about getting 1,500 yards. Of course, you would love for it to happen."
(on being the only team in the NFL to have players in the top five in rushing, passing and receiving) "We know that we have an explosive offense. I think the biggest thing for us is to become more consistent as an offense. We just come out and work hard and try to do what we can to make the team better. I think we could be very explosive at times. If we could become more consistent, I think we could be even better."
(on if he ever thought about going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame) "No. It's a place I would like to be at the end of my career, but I think I still have a long way to go until I accomplish that."
*WR Jacoby Jones *(on any concerns going into Denver this week) "It's our last two games. Our main focus is for us to get wins. We go into Denver with our heads high and we set up there to get a W. We're out here working hard. We got one more practice to get before we head on the road."
(on if his return game has been frustrating for him this season) "I won't way frustration. You got to look at the other teams and their special teams and punters. Every team we faced has been doing a heck of a job of hanging the ball on me or making me fair catch. We got two games left and you never know what will happen. I might take two or three back in one game."