The Texans practiced Friday at the Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Gary Kubiak, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and some of the players met with the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak Linebackers Coach Johnny Holland WR David Anderson DE Connor Barwin TE Owen Daniels P Matt Turk
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on dealing with players having an outside shot of making the roster) "It really is because you could sit there as a coach and talk to them all about their opportunities and stuff, but yet they see the lines and what type of players are ahead of them. My approach is if you're out here don't worry about the lines just try to be an NFL player. That was my point I made about (WR) Bobby Williams the other day. He's trying to crack a lineup that has some pretty darn good players that's on this football team. But he's not gotten consumed with that. He just come out here every day and makes plays. There's a lot of people watch camps. Scouts talk and film gets out. If you can prove that you can play in this league they'll find you and they'll find you a place to play."
(on any news of injuries) "No, we'll come back this afternoon and practice. I'll keep (WR) Andre (Johnson) and (DT Shaun) Cody off the turf, but other than that I think we're shooting for Monday. When you start talking about (DE) Mario (Williams), (DE Pannel) Egboh and (LB Danny) Clark those guys we're shooting for Monday."
(on if talks with DE Aaron Schoebel have begun) "No it's the same thing, just evaluations. I think a lot of people are talking to him. To see what's next for him and what he wants to do. We're part of that process too."
(on the timetable of LB Xavier Adibi's recovery) "It'll be a few weeks. The news was good we probably thought that it was better than it could've been. He's going to miss some time I would probably say a few weeks. A few weeks in training camp is a lot so we'll see. This team has counted on him a great deal. It's been unfortunate that he's been nick up a lot and see if can get him back to a hundred percent and keep him on the field."
(on with Adibi being out what is his plan A and B) "We'll just go to work with our starters right know and let this thing play itself out. Obviously, (LB) Kevin (Bentley) or (LB) Danny (Clark) will have to play that spot. One of the other options we talked about was that (LB) Zac (Diles) could move too. Now we have a young kid getting involved in (LB Darryl) Sharpton. We'll just keep going. We've got a lot of football left to play and let it work itself out and keep (LB Brian) (Cushing) and let it work itself out."
(on CB Sherrick McManis) "He's been a nice surprise for a guy who didn't do anything throughout the offseason coming off from injury. We brought him along slowly he's done some good things these past few days. We're very pleased with him as a player. If he could stay healthy we think he has a chance to be a very good football player."
**The Texans practiced inside the Methodist Training Center Friday afternoon, and head coach Gary Kubiak answered questions from the media after. The following is a transcript of his interview.
*(on any update on DE Aaron Schoebel) "No, we'll just continue to do our homework and try to figure out where he's at and what he wants to do. Obviously, he's a heck of a player We kind of waiting here to see what he wants to do more than anything else."
(on what he thought of the play in the red zone during practice) "We need a lot of work down there on both sides of the ball. We really struggled defensively and we struggled to run the ball down there offensively. So it's a big emphasis on competing down there as a team. I thought it was very competitive and if we keep doing that we'll get better down there."
(on the constant switching of personnel in the interior offensive line) "First of all, you got a few good players in there when you're trying to figure out who is the best three. We feel good about a lot of guys who are working in there. We're trying to make it as equal as we can, from a competition standpoint as we possibly can. That gives us versatility as a team as we move forward if we have some problems. It's just a good battle, but we'll keep going that way and keep working that way and settle down until we get near Dallas."
(on if he's looking for something from the offensive interior lineman) "No, it's just overall. It's just who we'll think will be the best three inside and they all have the ability to play a couple of spots. We tried to settle (G) Wade (Smith) down. Get the center kind of going and make him feel good there now let him compete at the guard position. (G) Mike (Brisiel) is important for our team from the standpoint of being versatile. Catfish (C Chris Myers) is the same way. We'll just see. We've got a great group of guys and we're just trying to make sure that they get equal reps."
(on the Texans tight end unit) "I'll tell you who has really done a good job. (Tight Ends Coach) Brian (Pariani) has done a good job with them. I'll tell you, it's interesting because you talk about setting the roster; you usually carry three, sometimes four tight ends and if you sit here talking about OD (TE Owen Daniels) and (TE) Anthony (Hill) being a part of that, then what's going to happen to those four? I just think it'll work itself out. Right now we need to get OD and Anthony to the point where they can get back on the field, but it's very competitive. (TE) James (Casey) had a great day today. He's becoming a better player. It's a good group to pull from and there's a couple of them that could play fullback. So that will have something to do with it before it's all said and done."
(on the play of DT Earl Mitchell) "He's been a great surprise. I can't say I'm surprised; he's a guy we drafted. He has a great motor and playing like a veteran, kind of making us better in our rotation. He's making a lot of players better on our team right now."
(on if the play of WR Dorin Dickerson has been a surprise to him) "Yeah, he has been. Obviously we put him in a position that he hasn't been working at all the time and boy, has he held up. It's exciting to see and I think it will be very exciting to see him play for (Special Teams Coach) Joe (Marciano) in special teams. He's a physical kid."
(on WR Kevin Walter) "I just think he's a worker. He does his job every day. He's a lunch pail type football player. There's not a lot of flash. It's just productivity and accountability and that's what we want our organization and team to be about. That's what he's stands for and he's trying to hold off a heck of a player that's on the rise right now. He just makes our team better."
(on if there is anything wrong with TE Owen Daniels) "No, he's doing pretty good. He's upped his rehab on his sore knee. He's taken some steps forward. Like I said before, it will probably be a good week and half before we know where he stands. Right now it's very positive."
(on LB Danny Clark's injury) "It's a calf or something, but we expect him back quick. We expect him possibly Monday."
Linebackers Coach Johnny Holland(on LB DeMeco Ryans settling in) "(LB) DeMeco (Ryans) is very unique. He's been a good football player and he's really taken his game to another level. He's a very good student of the game, conscience of everything that's going on around him and what's big for him is his leadership as far as he brings to the team. He leads by example and we really love having him."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans and LB Brian Cushing playing off each other) "Yeah, they definitely play off each other. (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) is more under control and he is solid in his responsibilities, his technique and drill work. (LB) Brian (Cushing) is a playmaker. He's a big guy. He's a strong guy that can dominate the game and he has a knack for making plays. Him (Brian Cushing) and DeMeco (Ryans) really work great together. They blend with each other."
(on how competitive LB Brian Cushing and LB DeMeco Ryans are against each other) "Well, that's what you look for. When I'm looking for players, the first and most important thing is if he is competitive. Those two guys take it to another level in the weight room and probably driving to practice, who's going to get here first. Those guys are very competitive and that's exactly what you're looking for in a player."
(on being pretty solid at linebacker this year) "The five years I have been here, we've been building guys with great character, guys with good chemistry and our guys are trained to play any position. We hope that with (LB) Brian (Cushing) out, someone will get the opportunity to come in and show what they can do. I've got a lot of confidence in our back-up players that they can get it done. It's an opportunity for someone else to show what they can do."
WR David Anderson(on having steady hands and how he honed his technique) "You just have to concentrate and focus on the ball. I think a lot of people get carried away with thinking about other stuff when the ball is in the air or worry about the guy that's on them. There's only one thing that matters and that's the ball, when it's in the air, grab it. I think my brother beat the fear out of me when I was little; he was 10 years older and used to throw the ball as hard as he could at me when I was little. When I was six he was 16, you do the math, it was coming pretty fast. I've had a knack for catching the ball ever since. "
(on the key to playing a slot receiver in the NFL) "You have to have knowledge of defense and have to have a knack for getting open and finding the spots. I think a lot of times you're matching up against different guys; you see a lot of different scenarios, and a lot of different defenses, so you have to have a general knowledge of football itself on what kind of spacing and the offense and things like that. Having a good knowledge of their defense and situational defense helps too. "
(on his favorite match-up last season) "I think going against the Ravens was pretty fun. They had a great 3-4 defense, nickel package; they blitzed, and were all over the field. I made a couple of plays on big third downs and had a couple of big catches. That was probably my favorite game going from the slot and nickel package."
DE Connor Barwin(on how well he thinks he is doing with dropping back) "Well, I haven't gotten an interception yet, so it hasn't been perfect. But, it's something that I'm comfortable with. I don't want to bring up basketball but you run backwards a lot in basketball and I've played basketball most of my life. You know, I can run backwards and see what's going on in front of me. It's something that I'd say kind of comes naturally to me so I didn't have to make too much of an adjustment."
(on his speed and bull rush) "I mean, it makes a complete difference. (LT) Duane Brown for instance, I can't run by him but as soon as I bull rush him a couple of times, that'll at least give me a chance to run by him. When you have a little bit of power, it makes your speed just that much better."
(on having a chance to observe DT Earl Mitchell) "We're in the meeting room together. I pay attention a little bit just because, you know, I was in his shoes last year. Yeah, I watch him. He has definitely improved a lot since he's been here. It's just getting used to (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach) Bill's (Kollar) coaching and all that stuff."
(on seeing similarities between himself and DT Earl Mitchell) "Yeah, there's some similarities. There's definitely some similarities. It's a different position but he's short and has to use his speed and his leverage. And for me, I have speed and that's something I need to take advantage of just like he needs to take advantage of every single play."
(on speed frustrating offensive linemen) "Yeah, you've got to wear them out a little bit. You know, those guys are lazy most of the time. They hate facing fast guys. But you've got to have power, like I said before. You can't just run around because they'll just push you around the edge every time."
(on offensive linemen taking it out on him when bull rushing) "No, I'm taking it out on them when I'm bull rushing."
TE Owen Daniels(on when he thinks he'll be ready to play) "The whole plan all along was just to be ready for Week One. The more time we can have before that, the better. We're still taking it kind of week-to-week listening to the doctor. I'm going to see him here in probably the next week or two and if he gives me the go-ahead, then we're good to go."
(on the Texans tight ends) "We're trying to be the best group in the league. That's been our motto, our call the last couple years; myself and (TE) Joel (Dreessen) and we've got (TE) James (Casey) added and there's a couple other good guys that are really working hard. I'm just waiting for my chance to get back out there; working hard and doing as much as I can, catching balls, looking at the game a little differently and really focusing in mentally when I can't get the reps physically. I'll be excited when I get back out there. Hopefully I can step in and help the guys out right away."
(on if the competition at the tight end position has put pressure on him) "I'm not really concerned about any of that. I'm concerned about taking care of my own business, going out and getting better. I'm glad everyone else is getting better. If they weren't, then they wouldn't be helping out myself, they wouldn't be helping out the team. Seeing (TE) James (Casey) get better and seeing (TE) Joel (Dreessen) really improve, makes me have to get that much more better. That's fine with me. I'm always looking to be the best I can be, so they're helping me out with that."
(on how the team will be able to keep all the tight ends) "It' going to be tough. I don't know what they're planning on, four or five (tight ends)? That's a lot. I think, usually in the past, we've kept four at the most but I think a fifth one can squeeze on here if they help out with special teams. That's the biggest thing; there are only two guys, maybe three, who are going to be playing a bunch. Myself and (TE) Joel (Dreessen) and then someone else will step up in there and do something to help out, like (TE) James (Casey) did last year. There are spots open for special team, so they can show (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) that they can do the job."
(on what seeing the Texans give WR Andre Johnson a contract extension means to him) "Well (the Texans) did the right thing. I've never seen a guy sign a deal like that and walk around the facility like nothing happened. I think to (WR Andre Johnson) it was all about principle of the matter. I think he helped out the team years ago when he signed his deal. It was kind of a team-friendly deal and they reciprocated it, which was great to see from our organization. They signed (LB) DeMeco (Ryans), they signed Dre. I see no negatives in it."
(on if he hopes the Texans will feel the same about him as they do WR Andre Johnson) "I hope so. It's been talked about. I think they just need to see me come back and play in some games. I'll take their word for that."
(on if the Texans see him healthy again, things will move along, contract-wise) "That's what they've said. So hopefully that will happen."
(on rookie TE Garrett Graham) "He's working hard. It's tough. Tight end in this offense; there are so many things they throw at you and so many different spots. He came from a pretty good system at Wisconsin where we do a lot of similar things but terminology is different. It's a lot more exact, a lot more detailed at the NFL level. But he's working his butt off. He's staying quiet. I'm helping out as much as I can. It's good to help a fellow UW alum."
(on if TE Garrett Graham being a fellow Wisconsin Badger makes it easier to help him out) "I always try and help out the younger guys. It's just a different connection since we've known each other and had a previous relationship a little bit and kept in touch over the years. It's a little easier to communicate that way. I think we're a little more comfortable with each other than I would be with a guy that I just didn't know at all."
(on if he's pulled any pranks on the team's rookies) "Not yet. But I think this is a year where we've got a couple vet tight ends. Myself and (TE) Joel (Dreessen), we'll figure out something for those young guys, whether it's a dinner or a prank; a dinner where they're paying or a prank. We'll figure out something when the season comes along."
(on if anyone pulled any pranks on him when he was a rookie) "I think that's why I just really haven't done much the last couple years because when I was here my rookie year, it was Mark Bruener and Jeb Putzier and they were pretty cool about not messing with me too much. Little things, here and there but no big deal, nothing to write home about."
(on TE James Casey's one-handed catches in practice) "(TE James Casey) makes silly catches all the time in practice. He did it all last year; 'oohs' and 'ahhs' even when (the media) aren't out here. That's kind of his thing, making those one-handed grabs. He's definitely a player who can help us out. He's really versatile, in terms of learning to play tight end and being able to do that fullback stuff and work in the slot. That's exciting when you can have three tight ends that can be on the field. It really causes problems for defenses. They have no idea what you're going to line up in, what kind of set. We could spread it out or pack it in, in the power game. So having him be available to do all that stuff is really important."
(on TE James Casey's versatility being a rare asset in the NFL) "Everyone is usually locked into one position. The thing about this offense is that you're everywhere as a tight end; you're on the line, you're out wide, you're in the backfield. (TE James Casey) fits in really well because he's versatile like that. He's a super-athletic kid and a smart kid on top of it. Nothing's really been too much for him so far. He's still learning, it's his second year, he's still kind of getting the hang of things like that. But it's very encouraging to see him from last year to this year. He'll definitely have a chance to make some plays this year."
P Matt Turk(on his goals for the year) "When you do your job, you're going to average 30 yards and help your team win. That's really my goal every year, to get a little better at the skills that I have and fine tune those and help my team win football games."
(on being in the league a long time and honing his technique) "It's really just about getting on the field and kicking balls. You know I kick a lot of footballs. I evaluate at the end of the season what I need to work on and what I want to focus on and I work on them."
(on doing anything unique in the offseason to work on his leg strength) "The last couple years I've went back to the way I used to train in college and my first couple years in the pros. It's really intense but I feel so much better during the season. I feel stronger and it makes the season really easy to get through."
(on his training routine in college) "I could never tell you. I don't want anyone to know. When I retire there will be a book that comes out."
(on why his training routine in college has been so effective) "It's a lot of strength training, stretching and flexibility. As a punter, usually the first thing to go is your flexibility. Keep your flexibility and you have the strength to back it up, you can do it (punt in the NFL) a long time."
(on what he has done to work on his directional punting) "I've just done it. I've always done it when I came into the league my special teams coach (Pete Rodriguez, Washington Redskins) required me to be a directional punter. Most of the guys weren't directional punting and he wanted to set us apart as a coverage unit. So, we directional punted. From the get-go, I pretty much figured out I had better be a directional punter if I'm going to work."