The Texans practiced Tuesday morning at the Methodist Training Center and 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 KubiakFB Moran Norris (Tryout)WR Mike Sims-Walker (Tryout)G Brandon Brooks
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the workout went with WR Mike Sims-Walker) "He looked pretty good. Obviously, jumping out here for the first time in this heat that we're having, it's pretty tough, but I thought he did some good things. We'll go back and take a look and watch all the periods and see how he did. It gives us three days. We've got him; we've got Moran (Norris) in here and a couple of other guys. (Keith) Browner is in here defensive line-wise and we got Prescott Burgess in here. It gives us a chance to take a look at some of those guys and see whether or not we can take them to camp and if they can help us out."
(on the veterans not being out on the field) "Well they worked all morning. They worked out together, lifted and came out and worked on the field. I like getting a hard look at these young guys at the end of OTAs because now they know what they're doing and I can evaluate them better and I've got all of our scouts in this week to take a look at them. We get a true evaluation of what we're probably going to get from them come fall. Some good, some bad today, but we've got a couple more days to see where we're at."
(on if he threw more new stuff at them today) "No, not really. Actually, we're going back. That's my message to them right now. We're going to go back and do things that we were doing the last two weeks, so they should have recall. I'm trying to see who's staying on top of their stuff right now. I'm not really trying to overload them, but see who is taking care of their business. We'll find out."
(on the development of the depth on defense) "That's important across the board. In this League, you're always going to lose players during the season and have issues. How you work to those issues usually has a lot to do with the type of team you are. We have to develop depth. Those guys that we're working right now, they become the core of your team because they are the special teams players that earn backup roles and try to get ready to play and may have to take on a big role. You find out a lot about these guys over the next three days."
(on the depth that OLB Whitney Mercilus and DE Jared Crick add where it was lacking last year) "When you go back at the guys that filled roles, a guy that was incredible, Brooks Reed came in as a starter and played very, very well. I'm sure we'll have some problems this year. I sure hope not. It would be nice to go through a season where everyone stayed healthy but that's kind of part of the deal. How deep you are and having guys like that, it gives you a chance to weather the storm so to speak."
(on the difficulty of assessing the tryout players in a short amount of time) "It's hard. Obviously, we've studied them when they've played. They've got a lot of snaps to go back and look at. Really, for a veteran like that, you look at his conditioning level and how he has been taking care of himself. You look at the bounce in his legs over three days because he's been playing a long time. Today was a good, quick look and the next few days, they'll try to do more."
(on his thoughts on the tryouts so far) "I thought they all kind of did something good. They're fresh today, so we'll see how they come back the next two. Three of them have played quite a bit of ball in this League. We'll see, if we think they can help us, we'll take them to camp."
(on the health of the team) "No, we're good. Loni (Hebron Fangupo) is back on the field today, that's important. He's way behind. Other than that, we're fine. Andre (Johnson), Matt (Schaub), everybody, those guys are all working on their own in the mornings before the young guys come out."
(on FB Moran Norris wanting to show he still has it after 12 years in the League) "Well, he looks good. I remember Moran (Norris) when I first came here. He's a banger in this League and he's done it for a long time. There may be a spot for someone to come in here and compete with our guys, so we'll see. It sure looks like he's been taking care of himself."
(on WR Mike Sims-Walker) "He looked good in practice today. We'll see how he holds up physically. He's got good size. He's played some good football in this league, so we'll see."
(on how important it is to add depth at fullback and receiver) "I can sit here and label them 1, 2, 3 or whatever, but I think there are some spots where I think we need to try and improve ourselves going into camp if we can. There are some things that we're looking at and maybe those guys will fill a void. I don't know. We'll see."
(on if a week like this is fun from a coaching perspective) "I tell you what, I feel like I can tell so much more about our guys because they know what they're doing now, so we're getting really good work. A guy that jumped at me today was (Case) Keenum. He's had 10 days of practice. He's not a rookie today anymore in a lot of ways. He came in here and ran the team really well today. He's been taking care of his business, getting better. I feel like I have a much better feel for them now at the end of this process than I would have right after the draft for three days when they don't know what they're doing. I like that and I think our scouts get a real good evaluation of who's probably going to be able to help us going into camp too."
(on G Brandon Brooks) "I did not like what I saw today. He's overweight and he's got to get down, but he has a chance to be a good player. Can you send that message to him? (laughs)"
(on how much weight he wants him to lose) "Well, a lot right now. As of yesterday's weigh-in, a lot. It had been pretty good. I'm not real happy with him right now."
(on if he feels he has a good veteran presence mixed with the rookies out at practice) "Oh yeah. We've got some five-, six-year players out here. I told the guys, those guys that are out here that are veterans right now, that's why they're going to play in this league for 10, 11-years. It's so important to them, watching Troy Nolan work, (Quintin) Demps work, (Tim) Dobbins work. Those guys, they're the heart and soul of your team when it's all said and done because they do so much for you and they've got to be there when you lose players and on special teams with (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano). Those young guys can learn a lot from those guys."
(on how G Brandon Brooks responded to being told he needed to drop weight) "I don't know. We'll see tomorrow. I don't know."
(on if his philosophy has changed regarding how many quarterbacks he'll carry on the roster) "The fear factor has changed. I hope I never go through that again. So to say that you'll probably never see me keep two (quarterbacks) again, that's probably a fair assessment at this point."
(on what is a good number in his mind of quarterbacks to keep) "Last year, we needed six, but they won't let you do that. I would imagine that all the time, you're keeping three. If you think you have a young guy that has a future, maybe you have a practice squad guy too. I would think that would be the most you'd do, but we'll have good competition. Like I said, Case (Keenum) has come a long way. John (Beck) has come a long way. We'll go through it and see what happens."
(on possibly bringing in another quarterback) "No, I don't think so. I think nowadays you really only work once a day in camp. The second practice is teaching and walkthrough. With four guys, I think you're fine."
(on if there was anybody else that had trouble at the weigh-in) "No, everybody else was fine. Everybody is alright."
FB Moran Norris (Mini-Camp Tryout)(on if this is a tryout) "Yeah, it's a tryout. I'm just trying to come out here, give three days hard and pray for the best."
(on what kind of opportunity this is for him) "Any opportunity is an opportunity. It really don't matter. I'm just trying to make the team right now."
(on if having some familiarity with the Texans makes him more comfortable coming in for a tryout) "It feels…let you know more people in the locker room. You still got the running back coach (Chick Harris) and Coach (Gary) Kubiak. So it makes you feel more comfortable, more relaxed."
(on if it's a comfort to already know the Texans' offensive scheme) "Yeah, it is. So that's always a good thing."
(on how much he has left in his legs) "Man, you take it year-by-year. I feel fresh though."
(on what he brings to the Texans that the team wants) "I bring the physicality to the game. Toughness. That's what I bring to the game."
(on embracing the no-glory position of fullback) "I've been doing it for awhile. I mean, I just know my role. I know I'm not going to catch 100 balls or run the ball 50 times. But what I'm gonna try to do is make all my blocks and catch all the balls that are thrown to me."
(on if the Texans told him what they wanted to see during his tryout) "They just told me to go out there and do my best; try to earn a roster spot."
(on if he feels confident) "Yeah. I feel confident."
WR Mike Sims-Walker (Mini-Camp Tryout)
(on having a short time to show what he can do) "I mean, it's tough, but I'm a vet. I've been in the League probably (five) years already, so I don't put a lot of pressure on myself. I just go out here, try to soak up all I can."
(on what it's like to be out practicing with a jersey on) "It's been a long time coming. I haven't played football since we played here (with) Jacksonville in October. I'm just trying to knock this rust off. It's easy to go out here and train by yourself but you've got two or three guys in front of you and there's different movements and different cuts, so I'm just trying to get adjusted."
(on what he's trying to show during his tryout) "That I can play football. There's a lot of injuries. I don't think talent has ever been an issue for me. Just staying healthy, going out here and make plays."
(on how much he has left in the tank) "I've got a lot, man, I'm 27. I'm not old at all. I've got a lot left, man. I feel good. My body feels great and I'm just ready to go."
(on how he looks at this opportunity) "It's a big opportunity. A lot of young guys. A couple big vets in Andre (Johnson) and Kevin Walter. Just trying to help any way I can. Whatever role they give me, I'm just going to take it on."
(on what is so attractive about Houston's offense that he's seen over the years) "It's wide open. You never know what they're going to do. They've got so many weapons. They spread the ball around, running and pass. They mix it up. It's one of the best offenses in the League."
(on what it's like being at the Houston Texans' facility after being a Jacksonville Jaguar for so long) "It's good. It's a lot of positivity around here. They're coming off a great year and pretty sure they're past that and moving on. I think a lot of promise over here and I'm happy to be a part of it."
G Brandon Brooks
(on the biggest challenge he's faced going through three weeks of OTAs) "Just trying to digest an NFL playbook. My playbook in college was like a magazine compared to the playbook here. But you spend the extra time getting in an hour or two early to watch film and go over the playbook, I think really helped me out so far."
(on if he has heard people say that the Texans don't normally have linemen his size or if he thinks about it) "I try not to think about it. I just make sure that the angles that I take to make my blocks are proper. I think by focusing on my technique, that'll eliminate how heavy I am. But I can still get there."
(on if he feels his weight isn't a bad thing despite the sometimes negative perception of heavier linemen) "Yeah, but at the same time I have to make sure I stay under control with my weight. Don't want it to get too high. Just now, I'm trying to eat salads and eat right."
(on if it's a battle for him to eat right) "It's not a battle but it helps to eat right instead of eating junk food all the time."
(on the role his size has played in the schemes he's been in) "I don't necessarily think my size does too much. I just got to make sure that I can fit into the scheme I have and I think I do that well."
(on his impression of his team since he's been in Houston) "Hard work, first and foremost. This is a really hard-working team and I'm trying to live up to the work ethic they have."
(on what it was like having a father who was a bodybuilder and if that motivated him at all in terms of fitness) "Growing up, every boy want to be just like their dad. I started lifting from an early age and it continued to help me to this day."
(on how early he started lifting weights) "I don't know, probably seven or eight, just messing around with some weights."
(on what it was like watching his father when he was growing up) "Just like any other father except he was curling like, I don't know, close to 225 (pounds). A little different than what I was used to seeing."
(on if his father was like a super hero to him) "Yeah. Kind of, yeah."
(on if there are any teammates he has especially leaned on in his transition to the NFL) "Yeah. Antoine Caldwell, Chris Myers and Duane Brown and also Wade Smith. All have helped me tremendously."
(on what his teammates have specifically helped him out with) "Just getting the plays down is probably the biggest thing."
(on what he's learned from Offensive Line Coach John Benton) "I learned so much from Coach (John) Benton, more than you could ever imagine. Coach Benton, he's hard on me, but I understand what type of player he expects me to be and I have the same expectations."
(on how much he has had to learn in Houston compared to systems he's played in before) "I played in a similar zone scheme in college. But here it's more angles and technique than what I did in college. So that's the biggest thing I've got to get down."
(on if there are any specific goals he has for the season) "Really just to come in and compete."
(on if he's dropped any weight since he's been in Houston) "No. About the same."
(on if his weight is an issue for him working in the Texans' zone scheme) "No. Not at this point."