The Texans practiced Wednesday on Day 6 of training camp. Head coach Gary Kubiak, assistant coach David Gibbs and safety Bernard Pollard spoke with the media after practice, and the following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak Defensive Backs Coach David Gibbs SS Bernard Pollard
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on LB Brian Cushing's absence in this morning's practice session) "He had some personal business that I knew about when we started camp that he had to take care of. He had to take a day off and I told him to get it done today. He'll be back this evening. You probably won't get to see him this afternoon practice. It's no big deal. It's something I knew that had to get done so we picked the right day to do it. There is never a right day so I picked today."
(on any new injuries to report) "No, we're pretty good today. (DE Pannel) Egboh was out today. We're down 10 bodies. I took the pads off of them and try to regroup their bodies here before we make a big push toward the weekend, but we had a good practice. We had six linebackers practicing and they practiced very well."
(on the job of LB Danny Clark and LB Kevin Bentley replacing LB Brian Cushing) "That's what we're going to find out. That's why we didn't make any big moves to start camp with all of the sudden (LB) Brian (Cushing) is not with the first group. That stuff works itself out. X (LB Xavier Adibi) has been on the shelf and he has been there a few times during his career. We got to find a way to keep him healthy on the field. Now you get to watch these other guys work. (LB Darnell) Bing had a great morning this morning. So, it'll all work itself out."
(on the progress of QB Dan Orlovsky) "He's up and down. As a player, he's doing a lot of the things much better than he did last year. There are still some lapses from the standpoint of being consistent, but when you're the guy that's not playing a lot every day that's usually what happens. He has just got to find that level of consistency with his amount of reps."
(on the play of LB Darryl Sharpton today in practice) "He's done some good stuff and made some nice plays today. You got six (linebackers) in a two-hour practice. I hope they are making plays."
(on SS Bernard Pollard taking over the role of emotional leader in the Texans defense) "He's just a leader as a person. He's loud and talks, but he works. I tell you all the time there is different personalities on the field. Guys don't mind you being a loud guy as long as you back it up with how you work and he does that."
(on if the team is accepting SS Bernard Pollard as their emotional leader) "I think so. I think he's a confident football player. He's got a lot of confidence in himself. He loves to compete. That's what the game's about. Everybody has his own way of going about it and he has his."
(on the skirmish between SS Bernard Pollard and T Eric Winston earlier this week during practice) "I wouldn't put it all on (SS Bernard Pollard). I think they were all involved. He was too long in the tackle. (C) Chris (Myers) was coming to help his teammate. (T) Eric (Winston) was coming in late. Things like that hurt our football. They were all making mistakes. You hurt players like this. We're way too tired and way too beat up to be fighting. We should be focusing on football."
Defensive Backs Coach David Gibbs(on the impact SS Bernard Pollard has made with the Texans) "Well (SS) Bernard (Pollard), everybody knows about last year, he came in and settled us down in the back end. He played really well and played the best football probably of his young career; he kept on going in the offseason at the OTAs and has really become a good, solid football player. He continues to come out here and work hard every day, and continues to improve and get better."
(on how SS Bernard Pollard has changed his personality) "Yeah, believe it or not he's really tempered it down a little bit here. He's learned how to control it for the most part. Every now and then he lets it go, but I think it's good. He wants our defense and our team to be a tough team. Sometimes he pushes it a little too far, but he's trying to bring toughness and an attitude, something that we needed last year and he's carried it over to this year."
(on whether or not his intensity was an issue in Kansas City) "I don't know I wasn't there. When he was younger he was a little ornery, but young guys are. Defensive guys sometimes have that personality, and like I said, he's matured as a man and a football player. There's a fine line, and like (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak always says, as long as he keeps it out here on the field and no one in the locker room takes it personal, then it's okay."
SS Bernard Pollard
(on being an emotional leader on defense) "It's not about becoming that guy. I'm just a piece of the puzzle. I'm a voice that's going to be heard, I'm not trying to step on anybody's toes. The game of football, the way I play the game of football, I play hard. I want to go out here and show my teammates that (No.) 31 is going to play hard, 31 is going to have your back no matter what. The other 10 guys, they understand that, we're all going after one goal. It's not even about the first 11, it's about the second 11 that have to come in and relieve us. We're having a blast out here, it's training camp, but we all understand that the Super Bowl is where we're trying to go."
(on whether or not he thinks his teammates are gravitating toward his attitude) "Definitely, this is on the field, this stays on the field, I don't take this attitude off the field. When I'm in the locker room, I'm quiet, I love playing the game, me and the guys play the game. Me and (T) Eric (Winston), me and (C) (Chris) Myers, even though we fight, we were playing the game right after practice. This is a brotherhood that we all have. We know and we understand that on this grass, this is our job. Guys are trying to take our job, opponents are trying to beat us and put us out of work, we're not going to let that happen. It's a new aura around here, it's a new attitude, everybody is excited, and we're building a powerhouse."
(on how things are different from this year to last year) "Being here through the offseason, letting the guys see me work, the guys know and understand how I work in the weight room. It's just not on the field, I work in the weight room, I work in the classroom, I want to do the things that are going to make the team better, that's the biggest thing. In training camp, being here sweating with the guys, attitudes, fighting, bleeding with these people, this is what football is all about, there is no other sport like it."