The Texans practiced Tuesday morning at the Methodist Training Center on Day 4 of Training Camp. After, head coach Gary Kubiak and some players answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakILB Bradie JamesWR Lestar JeanFS Danieal ManningWR Keshawn MartinDE J.J. Watt
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
"I tried to do some different things this morning, trying to get them going quicker in our team periods. I thought offensively, we responded really well in the early part of practice. I'm just trying to teach them that this is how you come out of the locker room, this is how you get ready to go - that type of stuff. There was some good and bad, but we're battling and will keep working."
(on if there are any particular players that have jumped out to him out on the field thus far) "I tell you, it's so early right now. I think (WR DeVier) Posey made a couple of nice plays this morning and continues to improve. I think our receivers continue to improve. I think (WR Keshawn) Martin has done some good things. Defensively, for some reason today I really noticed (OLB) Brooks (Reed) a lot. I thought he made a lot of plays. I thought (NT) Earl Mitchell has upped his game and (DE) Antonio (Smith)really made a lot of nice plays this morning. It's a battle, and it's somebody different every day, and that's a good thing. That means you're heading towards being a good team."
(on what expectations he has for WR DeVier Posey) "He has a lot of talent, a lot of ability. You could tell in OTAs and stuff that he had missed a lot of football, but I see him catching up. I like the way he works. He's in very good shape and can go all day, so that's what you've got to do in this league to play receiver. He's on his way. He's had a good week so far."
(on if he has liked the competition between the offense and defense) "Yeah, it's very good. I told the team after practice today, when talking about some of the things I thought we were doing well, that I thought we were running the ball well and that's something we do well as a team. We need to stop the run better than we are doing right now. Defensively, we're really getting after the quarterback and doing well against the pass. We've got to throw the ball better with our young receivers in our group. You've got strengths and weaknesses and you've got to work through them and get as close to as consistent as we can be in everything we do."
(on the team practicing in pads today) "We need to thump a little bit more. It's a fine line. You're working in your pads and you want to be physical (but) you want people to stay up and stay healthy. We've got to continue to get more physical because we are a physical football team."
(on T Derek Newton and G Brandon Brooks) "I think there have been flashes. I think that Gump (RG Antoine Caldwell) has done some good things. (RT Rashad) Butler has done some good things. The young guard (Brooks) has the ability, he has big-time ability, but he has to catch up. You see flashes of what you're looking for. I think Newton is still a young player, but he's a physical player. It'll be interesting. It'll sort itself out in the games, probably not in practice."
(on C Chris Myers embracing his role as a leader) "Chris is a leader on the team now, he really is. I knew Chris, of course we drafted him in Denver. Talk about a guy that went from the bottom of the totem pole to working his way to the Pro Bowl, this guy has done it and he loves to play. Chris loves to play, loves to work and he is a leader on the team."
(on if there is a target date for WR Andre Johnson to return) "I would say next week. I would love to tell you that it's Monday. I hope it's Monday, but I would say next week."
(on what he sees in RB Justin Forsett) "First off, he understands what we're doing. He kind of understands our system a little bit from Knapper (former Texans quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp) in Seattle. That's been easy for him. He's a well-conditioned guy who can do a little bit of everything. He catches the ball well and he should play special teams, so he has an excellent chance to help our team."
(on if this was one of WR DeVier Posey's better practices) "I think he's been doing some good stuff every day. You know, as a receiver, you don't know how many times a ball is coming to you. He had a chance to make a couple of nice plays today and he made them. I'm watching his whole body of work and it's been pretty consistent."
(on if there is any new injury news) "No, we're good today. (CB) Brandon Harris rolled his ankle but jumped up and went back in, so we're good today."
(on TE Owen Daniels not practicing today) "I sat (NT Shaun) Cody and Owen; that was strictly just me. Probably every third or fourth day, I'll sit those two guys."
(on the fullback competition) "It's an interesting dynamic. James (Casey) is our starting fullback, but we do a lot of different things with James. The young kid (Derrell) Smith has a lot of ability. I think he's got a chance to be an excellent one, but he's a former defensive player trying to learn to play offense, so that's his struggle right now. Of course, the old man that we brought in (Moran Norris) - don't tell him that - Norris has been playing a long time and he's a banger. He's a big banger. They're all kind of different, so we've got to sort out who's going to be the best special teams help. How do we set our roster? Two fullbacks? One fullback? What are we going to do?"
(on FB James Casey's versatility) "Yeah, he's like my Jim Thorpe. He's got to go do everything. I'm going to play him everywhere. He gives us a lot of versatility offensively and causes problems for people, so I've got to use James the right way. I'm starting to do it in training camp and not waiting until the season."
(on how much the competition on the right side of the offensive line picks up with them in pads) "It's picking up. It's very competitive. They're going back and forth right now and what we do, one day one of them works with the ones. The next day the other one works with the ones. They're split right down the middle. We'll see who gets it done."
ILB Bradie James
(on teammates looking to him for leadership) "Well that's my role and my role is to do that and be productive. I'm not trying to come in and step on anybody's toes. I'm just trying to come in and fit in and have fun and bring whatever I can to make this team better. To say that is an overstatement but we have to work and earn everything that we have this year, so that's what we're working toward and that's our goal."
(on his perspective of ILB Brian Cushing now compared to when he did not play with Cushing) "I didn't know him. Now it's great to be with one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL. I try to help him on fundamentals and doing all the right things. I think he'll be as or more productive this year than he was last year."
(on what the veterans tell the rookies) "Staying consistent every day and working on something. Don't take each period for granted. Each period you have to work on. One thing that coach is trying to get you to see and if you stack those good days up, you become the player that you want to be."
(on how good the defense can be) "Defensively, you have to earn everything you set out to do. Nobody is going to give you anything and this team is not under the radar anymore, so people will be shooting for us just like we'll be shooting for them. It's all about everybody playing well and doing the right things and being on the same page together. Defensively, you can't have 10 men doing one thing and one guy doing another. Everybody has to be one the same page. The chemistry has to be there and then you can turn it loose.
(on the linebacker unit's identity) "This is a close knit group already. Coming in, these guys played together. I'm the only guy that wasn't here last year, so the identity is these guys just run to the ball. They're very tenacious. They have great chemistry. They love playing with one another. And now it's getting to the point where guys are really holding each other accountable because everyone knows what's going on. So I'm just trying to get in, fit in and keep everybody looking forward."
WR Lestar Jean
(on the opportunity to play more) "It makes me feel like the coaches see something in me and I just got to go out there and show them that when they put me in that role, I belong in that role."
(on what the coaches like in him) "My work habits, I understand the offense and know what I'm doing better."
(if he ever compares himself to RB Arian Foster because they're both undrafted free agents) "I can't compare myself to him because he's a great running back. He's definitely shown that the past two years. I haven't done anything in the NFL. Once I establish myself and make some plays, then I could answer some questions."
(on what WRs Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter tell him) "They just tell me things to do that helped them get better. They just try to help me. Like today I was having a bad day and Kevin and Andre were just trying to lift my spirits up and stay positive because they've been through bad days before too."
(on the toughest part of the offense for a wide receiver) "Just knowing what to do every time because it varies on the defense you're going against."
(on how he describes himself as a receiver) "Just go out there and play hard and try to play harder than the opponent. I feel like I can do everything. I feel like I can run routes…and I may not be running a 4.3 but I feel like I can down field if I have to."
FS Danieal Manning
(on what he needs to focus on in training camp) "Pretty much just being a better vocal leader out there, getting our guys in the best position to make the plays. That's pretty much it. Last year I was learning myself. Now I feel like I got a year under my belt in this system, and I can only add on to it."
(on the next goal for the Texans) "Definitely getting into the playoffs. Well, number one, winning Week 1. Getting into the playoffs and playing for that appearance in the Super Bowl."
(on if he thinks the younger guys are coming along) "I do. We're getting Roc (Carmichael) back, he seems healthier and B-Money, we call him, Brandon Harris, he's going to play a lot. The guys that have been playing, Brice McCain, he's been doing a great job with the nickel spot, and he's getting some chances to play with the ones at corner. So guys are getting some great opportunities out here to show what they're made of."
WR Keshawn Martin
(on the advice he gets from the veterans) "I feel like every time I make a good catch or I don't do something right, a quarterback or receiver comes up to me and tells me what I need to do and stuff like that. Those are great guys, so I'm going to continue to listen to them and continue to get better."
(on if he has to make more of an adjustment receiving or returning in the NFL) "I would say the receiving part just because it is a faster game than college. Corners get on you faster. That's just an adjustment I've got to make."
(on if he's getting more reps with WR Andre Johnson out) "Yeah, definitely. A lot of the guys are getting more reps. We've just got to take advantage of our opportunities."
DE J.J. Watt
(on going through training camp a second time) "Oh, it's awesome. I feel so much more confident. I understand the full concept of the playbook, so now I really get to just focus in on my game. (Defensive Coordinator) Coach Wade (Phillips) is such a genius. It's fun to see his whole defense now where I'm not just focused in on my job. I can see everything."
(on talk of him being the star of the team) "I mean, I hear it. It's extremely nice. My teammates are being very generous. But at the end of the day, it doesn't happen if I don't come out here and put the work in. It doesn't happen if our defense isn't great, if our team isn't great. While I appreciate all those talks, I'm just going to come out here and work hard every single day to make sure that we stay with those sorts of talks."
(on how good the defense can be) "We can be great. It's a lot of fun. We have great chemistry. Obviously, we're playing for Coach Wade Phillips who's phenomenal. The best part about defense is we fly around. Guys make plays, guys have fun and we're enjoying ourselves. That's what makes a good defense."
The team worked out inside the Methodist Training Center in the afternoon, and head coach Gary Kubiak answered a few questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on any health updates) "From this morning, I rested Owen (Daniels) and rested Shaun Cody. But, other than that we're fine. Kareem (Jackson) is still probably a day or two away, but, other than that, we're okay."
(on QB Matt Schaub having to sit out of the playoffs due to injury) "Yeah, it was really difficult. The team was moving forward and good things were happening. I specifically remember the big win in Cincinnati and seeing him in the locker room, and Andre (Johnson) too, and obviously they were excited for their team, but when you're hurt, you don't feel like a part of it. That type of stuff makes it tough. But I think it makes you hungrier. So we need him to come back, stay healthy and continue to push this team to another level."
(on Special Teams Coordinator Joe Marciano and Running Backs Coach Chick Harris being original coaches) "They've been a part of the process from an expansion team throughout, what, 10 years now? Is this year 11 or is this year ten? Anyway, they've been doing it a long time. First off, they're great coaches and I just really appreciate the fact that when I came here they stayed with me, and they've done a great job. To see all their hard work through the years and development of this organization, reap some awards last year was very great."