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Quotes: Thursday practice


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
WR Andre Johnson
CB Johnathan Joseph
DE Antonio Smith

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team's health in practice today) "(CB) Johnathan (Joseph) did not practice, as I said before, and all those guys that were limited yesterday were back to work today so that's where we're at coming out of this practice."

(on CB Johnathan Joseph's chances to play Sunday) "I'm thinking very positive about it,  just me watching him. I really had him do nothing yesterday. He did work with the trainers today. He's very upbeat, so we'll see where we're at tomorrow, but I've felt pretty good about him being there for us on Sunday, but until that happens. I think he's feeling pretty good about it today himself so we'll see."

(on the Ravens' big-play capabilities) "I'll tell you the thing they do and one thing about this league you don't see many people just standing there and throw the ball deep way down the field because it's so hard with protection schemes in this game. You see this team catch a lot of slants and stuff and make big plays. (WR) Jacoby (Jones) is an excellent runner after the catch. Their young receivers are excellent runners after the catch so they've got big play capability. (RB Ray Rice) 27 will catch a flat route on you and take it 30-40 yards, so they've got good people once the ball in their hands, weapon-wise. It's going to be a challenge for us, and like I said, the biggest thing for us defensively is this group presents a double-headed monster. They can line up and run the ball right at you. We've got two sets of things we got to worry about instead of worrying about one strength. This team is very, very balanced offensively."

(on if the Texans will miss ILB Brian Cushing more against the Ravens ) "I don't know. We have to move on from that. We've got to become the defense we have now. Last week it wasn't good enough, but we got to get back to work and we got to make it work with the guys we got and find an identity with the new guys that are going in there. We need to get that started this week."

(on the former Texans on the Ravens) "Pretty good players, aren't they? It makes you feel good as a coach. You go back to (FB) Vonta (Leach). We got Vonta as a free agent back when (Mike Sherman) Sherm was here with me. This guy is arguably the best fullback in the game. He's a hell of a player. You got (WR) Jacoby (Jones) here and had a couple rough years with Jacoby early in his career but he's grown up a lot and look at the job he's doing and what he's become not only as a player but as a person. Then Bernard (Pollard) played well for us; so three fine football players but they're all on a great football team also. We've got to worry about the group. It's going to be our group against theirs and they got a heck of a group."

(on why the Texans did not keep WR Jacoby Jones) "Well we couldn't keep him. I don't know how else to explain that to you. You can't pay them all, can't keep them all. That's the only explanation I can give you."

(on ILB Darryl Sharpton's status) "I thought it was next week, because I'll be honest with you, I wasn't even thinking about it because I knew he wasn't ready to come back this week. He could have practiced this week just like (LB Terrell) Suggs in Baltimore. He's in the same situation, but he's not ready. He's very close. He's working with our trainers and running very, very well. But he is not ready to go on the field with the rest of the players yet. I don't know. He's got another week next week so we'll see where we're at in a couple weeks here."

(on WR Keshawn Martin's performance returning kickoffs and punts last Sunday) "I liked what he did. First of all, I was very comfortable with him back there handling the ball. I thought he handles situations good. The one punt return we gave him a chance on he almost came out of there and then the one kickoff return he really probably had no business bringing it out of the end zone, but he was trying to make a play for his team. Other than running into (S) Troy (Nolan), it could have been a really big play. I think our team is excited about how far he's come as a young player not only return-wise but he's helping us offensively too. I think you're going to see him more and more. I'm really am excited about it."

(on OLB Bryan Braman's special teams play ) "He finally got healthy here a few weeks ago coming off a hamstring, pretty good hamstring out of camp. He's played very well the last two weeks. We need him to get on a roll now and lead the way for us. (ILB Tim) Dobbins is playing a lot more defense so now (Bryan) Braman is probably got even more maybe a leadership role so we'll see how that pans out but it's important, very important."

(on ILB Barrett Ruud's progress) "He's doing good. I think we'll have to make a decision here at the end of the week whether we think he's ready to go there and help us. (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) and (Linebackers Coach) Reggie (Herring) have been pleased with his progress in learning our defense. I think he's going to be able to help us whether it starts this week or not I don't know."

(on the secondary rotation) "Well (CB) Brice (McCain) goes first, but (S) Alan (Ball) plays. We'll end up playing all those guys. You could very well be in a nickel game, too. This team will play a lot of three-wides so (CB) Brice (McCain) would start off and we go from there. They'll both end up playing."

(on DE David Hunter) "He's one of those guys in all honesty was hanging by a thread the last cut of the practice squad. If he only knew how close he was. Then he stays here and then on the practice squad he just starts getting better and better. Our players respect him. Our players in a lot of ways name the scout team player of the week. The guy they respect. The look they're getting in practice. I think he got it two or three times. That tells you. You're happy for guys like that. I know it's very important to him, hometown kid. We think he can help us so we'll see, see how it works out."

(on RG Antoine Caldwell's concussion tests) "He's still on the practice mode but he has not been cleared to play. That next test will come I think tomorrow after practice, so we'll see."

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
(on the Ravens' offense) "This team obviously is very strong offensively. They've been known for their defense, which they've been great on defense for a long time. Their offense has been top of the league this year. They're throwing the ball more. They're making more yardage. They're in the top 10 in offense. They're right up there in pass offense along with a great running back. They've got all the weapons. When they added (WR) Jacoby (Jones) now, they have really three receivers that give you problems. Their tight ends are good. They have a great running back, and their quarterback has been outstanding."

(on the Ravens' big-play capabilities) "They are a big play team and they have big play players. (RB Ray) Rice can make a big play at any time. (WR Anquan) Boldin and (RB Jamal) Lewis and those guys can make big plays anytime. The quarterback can throw the ball. He's got a great arm. I don't know if everybody gives him credit for that, but he's got a tremendous arm. He threw it flat-footed about 68 yards on one of their game tapes we looked at. He's capable of throwing it. We saw it last year in our first game. He bombed us a couple times. You have to be ready that he can out throw your coverage sometimes."

(on if the game film of last Sunday's loss looked as bad when he watched it) "It did to me. It's never as bad as it seems. It's never as good as it seems. When you win, it's never as good as you thought it was. Same thing as you lose, it's usually not as bad as you think it is. We try not to go back to that game, but we got beat in some of our base coverages. We get beat on the blitz and nobody covers the guy. That's my fault. We can't do those kinds of things."

(on OLB Whitney Mercilus' progress) "(OLB Whitney) Mercilus is coming along. He just hasn't had much opportunity. We put him in some last game. We're going to play him a little bit each game and give him an opportunity. The guy works hard work, is a smart player, and is a really good athlete."

(on getting OLB Whitney Mercilus into the game more) "We did that last week a little bit in the game, but it's got to fit on what everybody does. That's not always the case right now."

(on facing the Ravens) "It'd be another big challenge. Again, offensively they're awfully strong and it's a big challenge for us to stop them and play well against them. That's good for us. We welcome the challenge."

(on CB Johnathan Joseph's health) "I think (CB Johnathan Joseph) J-Joe is going to be fine. We had this a couple weeks ago. We had to keep him out of practice some, but he played well in that ballgame. I'm hoping the same thing happens."

(on if he's concerned about the team's pass rush) "I think we've had a good rush. I don't know all the stats, but we're up there in the league as far as rush is concerned. I think people are concerned about our rush, our four-man rush. I don't see that."

(on OLB Connor Barwin's lack of production and the rush) "He had an opportunity for three and didn't end up with any. Our pressure is good. We're knocking some balls down. It wasn't as good as we wanted last week, obviously the pressure and the coverage. We've got to do better this week and we will."

(on if one of his defenses has ever given up six touchdowns prior to last week) "Probably, in 30-something years, I'm sure we have. It's something that kind of humbles you certainly. I'm not embarrassed because our team plays hard. We didn't try to do that. We played as hard as we could. They made some great catches on us. Some of those things happened. The ball bounced the wrong way a couple times on us .We had some big penalties that hurt us. I think it's just a clunker. Sometimes you have those. You go on from that and I think we will."

(on how his dad Bum Phillips used to say, "It got worser and worser.") "Well he's pretty good with the English language. Our team didn't play well. Like (Head Coach) Gary (Kubiak) said, they beat us in all three phases. But they got beat like that before, too and everybody in the league except one team has been beaten."

(on ILB Barrett Ruud's progress) "He's doing fine, smart guy. He's learned the calls and things like that. He's actually the signal caller. He catches on quickly that way. It's hard when you haven't had a guy at all to see what he can do and where he can fit in the defense during the game. That's the problem."

(on if ILB Barrett Ruud may play this Sunday) "It just depends on the numbers. We still only have 46 guys for a game."

(on Ravens RB Ray Rice) "He's a playmaker. Again, I think they use him more in the passing game than they have, which is a big problem for you because now he gets out in space with the ball. Last week, a big, big play in the game he just checked through and they dumped it to him and he went about 50 yards. He can run with the ball. They can certainly control the ball in the running game with him running the football. He had over 100 yards against us last year in the first game. He can do it all."

(on if he would prefer to face versatile players) "No. We'd rather play against guys that aren't versatile at all, only one-dimensional."

(on Ravens RB Ray Rice ) "He's just a really good player, and that's what it comes down to. You got to have one eye on him all the time if you're a linebacker, where he's going. Then you got to make sure when he checks through or when he runs, he runs routes well, too. When he's coming out of the backfield, we've got to have somebody on him and maybe somebody helping."

(on ILB Tim Dobbins' adjustment to a starting role) "Good, he's doing fine. Last week they played all three wide receivers the whole game really, and so we didn't really play our base defense very much. The game before we did and I thought we did it well. This team is a little more like the Jets in that they're more of a conventional two-back (offense). They got to play their fullback who is a really good player. They play two tight ends a lot. The team we played last week was all three wides every play."
(on ILB Bradie James playing more last week) "He was fine. (Head Coach) Gary (Kubiak) does a good job resting players that need to be rested during the week at certain times. We didn't have him take every snap this week, especially after the Monday night game.

(on if CB Johnathan Joseph's groin injury hampered his play the last two weeks) "I don't know. When we get into the game, we think guys are completely well. Whether he was or was not, I don't know. I've seen him play better, certainly."

WR Andre Johnson
(on the team responding this weekend to what happened in Week 6) "That's all it's about. After you lose a game you want to come back and win the next one, so. Everybody'll just be looking to see how we respond as a team. That's pretty much the nature of the business so we'll just see what happens."

(on how the Ravens defense looks to him right now) "Well, it's still a good, physical defense. When you're talking about a guy like (Baltimore LB) Ray Lewis who's arguably the greatest defensive player that ever played the game, you can't replace a guy like that. His numbers and stuff speak for itself; what he's meant to that franchise. You just have to keep playing; you can't worry about the injuries that they have. We have to worry about ourselves and go out and execute our game plan."

(on if it will be weird to face a Ravens team without LB Ray Lewis) "Probably would be a little bit because you're used to him being there, but you still have to go out and play the game."

(on if he wants revenge ) "You can't avenge a loss from a previous season because it's not the same game. Maybe if it was a playoff game it would be a little different, but it's a regular season game. It's not win or go home, so I wouldn't say it's a revenge game. Our big thing is just going out, winning and get our record to 6-1 going into our bye week. That's our main goal."

(on if he's had a chance to reflect on the meaning of reaching 10,000 yards receiving) "No, it hasn't really sunk in. I don't know. It doesn't seem like I have 10,000 yards receiving for some reason, I don't know why. It just hasn't really sunk in. Maybe over time it will, but I know it's a big thing and not a lot of people have done it so I'm just glad I was able to accomplish it."

(on how much the playoff loss to Baltimore motivated the team in the offseason) "I just think our whole season last year motivated everybody. I don't think the loss motivated us, I just think what we went through the whole season, we found out a lot about our team and we were excited to get back for this upcoming season. We won our first playoff game, we lost our sixth one and now we're gonna try to win our seventh one. That's pretty much it."

(on what he thinks about success Baltimore WR Jacoby Jones has had) "I'm happy for him. Before he left, I used to talk to him a lot and before he actually was traded there were rumors going around about it, and he felt he would probably be traded. I told him sometimes change is good, sometimes change works out for the better of the player. So I'm excited. I was excited for him to see him run back that kick last week. I texted him and told him I was proud of him. I don't want him to do it against us. I'm just happy for him because I've seen him grow so much as a person and as a player. It's great because our friendship is bigger than football, so it's great to see your friends and stuff doing well around the league."

(on if anyone texted him after reaching the 10,000 yards receiving milestone) "Well, I've had a couple friends text me and stuff about it. Chad (Johnson) was here at the game, and I talked to him after the game. But I've had a few guys reach out to me."

(on if Chad Johnson came to watch him break the 10,000 yards receiving mark) "It just so happened he was in town, and he called me and he was going to come to the game. I thought he was playing (around). But he actually came to the game and watched the game as a fan. And after the game was over, he was down in the family room, and I had a chance to sit down and talk with him for a little bit. I got a chance to talk to him earlier that day, too. He's a good friend from back home."

(on if responding to the opposing team's touchdown was a focus of the Texans offense this week) "You can't control the other team's offense. When another team scores points you want to go out and try to put points on the board, also. That's just football. The team goes out and scores seven, you feel like your offense has to go out and score seven more. We knew against the Packers they were an explosive offense, their offense is pretty wide open. They're slinging the ball all around the field. So we knew they were very capable of scoring points, and we knew that when we got the ball we had to score points. But we weren't able to do it, and we lost the game."

(on Baltimore's offense being similar to Green Bay's in respect to scoring ability) "Yeah, they can score points. We can score points, too. You have to just find ways to win games, whether it's 10-7, 31-30, you just have to find ways to win. We just didn't go out and execute our offense the way we should have last week, so hopefully we can get back on track Sunday."

(on the history of never winning a game against the Ravens) "Well, like I said before, you just have to go out and execute your offense. When we played them last year, last time we played them in the playoff game, it was just one play away from winning that game. You can't worry about the past, the past doesn't really matter. All that stuff is over with. When we played them in the past we had guys that aren't even in this locker room anymore. Whatever's happened in the past is in the past, you have to deal with the future."

(on Ravens FB Vonta Leach) "I talked to Vonta (Leach) the other day, same old guy, nothing has changed. We talked on the phone, actually. We haven't texted. I talked to him just about every week or every other week. He's just excited about the game, he's excited to come back to Houston and stuff like that. Of course, he hit me for a couple tickets. But like I said, our friendship is bigger than football. He's a guy that's going to keep you laughing whether he's here or talking to you on the phone. He's the same old Vonta."

(on if there's any value to think about winning this game resulting in leading the conference) "We know if we win Sunday, we'll have the best record in the AFC, but we still have nine games to play after that. I've seen when teams that went 6-0, 7-0, then come back and lose seven or eight games. You just have to take it one game at a time; you really can't get caught up. Of course you want to have the best record in the AFC after this week but you really can't get caught up in if you have the best record like, 'Hey, we're in the lead,' and forget about what else you have to accomplish. You have to take it one step at a time."

(on if he's disappointed he won't get to go up against CB Ladarius Webb) "Yeah, you always want to go against the best, so this is just unfortunate situation what happened to him. I wish him the best in his recovery with his injury. But I like to go out against the best players; it makes me better so that's just what I like to do."

(on Baltimore LB Terrell Suggs) "He's a heck of a player so we'll see what happens. I know he's battled through a tough injury so maybe he'll be out there, maybe he won't. We'll just have to wait till Sunday."

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on how he feels about Coach Kubiak feeling positive about his chances of playing Sunday) "I feel the same way, for the most part. I, obviously, want to test it out tomorrow, and I pretty much feel the same way that he feels, other than if my groin was to fail me. But other than that, I feel the same way."

(on how much his groin was bothering him Sunday night) "It's kind of hard to say on a scale of one to 10. But it is something that you just want to get behind you and move away from it. But obviously it's still here so taking it day by day."

(on how long his groin has been an issue) "Well, actually a couple weeks ago, then it disappeared, then it flared back up again."

(on how much the injury has hindered him trying to get the job done on the field) "As long as I'm out there, health is not a problem because if it's a problem, I shouldn't be out there in the first place. So for me, it's just about getting 100 percent healthy."

DE Antonio Smith
(on the Ravens' offense) "They've been putting up a lot of numbers, way more than numbers than they had put up when we played them last year. This offense is one of the top offenses in the league."

(on the mindset going into Sunday's game) "Mindset going in is don't let them be top on us. That's it. Try to keep them from scoring more points than our offense scores. You just got to stop them, and I think the number one thing in doing that is getting them off the field on third down."

(on the difference between going into a bye week with a win or a loss) "You're sitting almost two weeks without being able to redeem yourself. That's a long time to fester and sit on a loss. Nobody wants to do that because losses hurt and most of the time you want to be able to come in Monday, watch film, and then let it go and go to the next game. If you got a bye week, you've got so many days before the next game that you just got to sit and fester on that loss. That's just as far as going into the bye week, not to mention how big of a game this game is."

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