Head coach Gary Kubiak and some of his players spoke after Tuesday's practice. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakT Duane BrownTE Owen DanielsLB Zac DilesRB Arian FosterWR Andre JohnsonWR Jacoby JonesSS Bernard PollardCB Glover QuinRB Derrick WardT Eric Winston
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on the morning practice) "We just had a light workout today and rested a bunch of people. We obviously have some guys out. That's going to be it for the week. We're going to get these guys healthy and be in the training room more than any other place. We're going to make up our extra days Monday and Tuesday of next week. We just got to get these guys healthy and get in the direction that we are going and use our extra work next week."
(on his message to them team before letting it go for the bye) "I've got plenty of time to talk to them between now and Indianapolis. My big message was to get away from football and enjoy the break. For those guys that are off the field right now, will need to be totally committed to the training room because we need everybody on the field when we come back Monday."
(on any health status updates) "Not really, everybody's in the same boat. Plus, I rested some other guys today. I'll let you guys know Monday to see where we're at."
(on the linebacker situation) "Nothing really changed through the evening last night. It's still the big topic of debate right now is really the three guys that have been out and where they're at. All indications are pointing toward them being back next week. We still got today to continue to look at this process."
(on what he meant about trades being hard to get through in this part of the season) "What I meant was that when I always approach things, I want to fix it with who I've got. I can't sit there and wait on something else to happen. I'm approaching it with, do we move (LB) Zac (Diles) or not move Zac? How do we fix it with (LB Xavier) Adibi and (LB Darryl) Sharpton and (LB Kevin) Bentley? And whose going to be back first? That's all I'm looking at right now. I can't worry about what might happen because it probably won't."
(on how T Duane Brown looked today) "He looked good. He told me that his personal trainer worked him out real good. I don't know about that, but he looked real good. It was not much fanfare when he came back, but it's good to see him back."
(on T Duane Brown's schedule for the bye week) "We just want to keep him working out and keep him going. You can't get reps. That's why we're coming out in our pads Monday and get some good work when we get everybody back."
(on how hard it is for him to place T Rashad Butler back in the backup role) "It is tough, but I'm proud of him. He had his chance in this league and he helped himself. That's all you can do. He's got a lot of good film out there for us to look at as the Houston Texans and the people of this league. That's what you want for players. You want them to take advantage of opportunities and (T Rashad) Butler did that."
(on if he will take a couple of days off during the bye) "Probably not much, I'll probably renew my marriage and see my wife for few days."
(on what RB Derrick Ward's play says for him) "Well, he's telling us we need to get him on the field more. (RB) Arian (Foster) will be totally fresh if he's playing, if not then (RB) Derrick (Ward) will be out there. We were even talking about how good he looked just practicing today. Remember when he came in, we talked about him losing six or seven pounds? He's down now and is really going to help us down the stretch."
(on QB Matt Leinart's improvement) "He's making a lot of progress. (QB Matt) Schaub didn't even practice today. I let (QB) Dan (Orlovsky) and (QB) Matt (Leinart) take it and I'm really impressed at how far he's come."
(on what QB Matt Leinart has done) "He's taken to how we teach a quarterback with his feet and how to read with his feet. He's getting more comfortable. He's got a lot of confidence as a person. He's got that 'it' factor when people are around him. You could see it. I'm excited about the direction of his career. I'm happy to have him."
(on if QB Matt Leinart is pushing QB Dan Orlovsky at the backup position) "He continues to push him every day."
(on what DT Shaun Cody has done to impress him) "He's played hard and played very good."
T Duane Brown(on his suspension) "It was the longest four weeks of my life. You get used to the day-to-day regimen of coming in here and practicing everyday and then when you get away from that, it really hits home. On Sundays, my body was used to waking up early and getting real tense. I was just sitting there watching my guys through the highs and lows. It was tough. It definitely was a life lesson and something that will never happen again."
(on if he will check with the Texans' training staff before taking any supplements) "Definitely, we are responsible. This is our profession. We have to be responsible with any supplement. Anything, medication or anything you put in your body. You have to make sure it follows the NFL guidelines. I was being a little bit naïve and it got me."
(on if he is worried about his reputation) "I was very worried about it. I consider myself to go by the book. I come in every day and work out. I really haven't been into supplements that much in my professional career and even my collegiate career. I just didn't want to let my teammates down and let my fans and family down. I feel like this is my chance to redeem myself. I still got a half of a season left to go out and get the job done. So that's what I plan on doing."
TE Owen Daniels(on if he believes that the bye week came at a good time) "I think we need a break right now. We got some guys nicked up and need to get some things squared away. So it comes at a good time. It's always good to get an extra break to get ready for Indy. We'll have guys fresh and healthy and we'll be ready to go."
(on what has been the biggest difference for his play this season) "I just think that it's just getting back in playing. It just takes awhile to get used to everything and get back in the flow. Especially if you haven't played football like in the situation that I was in. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable each week and hopefully keep going that same direction."
(on how excited he is coming into the bye) "I feel good. I think I'm starting to feel like everybody else. You get little nicks here and there. It'll be good to get healed up this week. I'm excited. It's all positive."
*LB Zac Diles *(on if the off week is welcomed by the team) "Very much so. I haven't made any plans to go anywhere. I'm probably going to stick around here for a while. I'm tired of getting on planes. So I figure I'm going to post up around here for a little bit."
(on how does he fell of possibly moving from "Will" linebacker to "Mike" linebacker) "At this point, I'm going to do what the team needs me to do. We lost a great player and someone that I respect dearly and think highly of. If they need me to move over to Mike then I'm fully prepared to go out there to get the job done. If they want me to stay at Will, then I'm prepared to do that too."
(on what are the challenges of making the switch from Will to Mike linebacker) "It's not really too much. I've played the position before coming out of college. I played it my rookie year here. I just need to get in there and watch tape and pick (LB) DeMeco's (Ryans) brain a lot over the course of the next couple of weeks and get more acclimated to the position. In the Will position, you just listen to DeMeco and go and do your thing. As a Mike you get to make all the checks and adjust to formations. It's a lot on the plate as a Mike linebacker. So, I definitely have to go and pick his brain."
*RB Arian Foster *(on if he's looking forward to the time off) "Yeah, it'll get a chance for everybody to get healthy and get their minds away from football a little bit regroup and come back for this 10-week run."
(on what he's going to do during the bye week) "I'm just going to relax and just hang out. I'm going to get some workouts in and watch some film, small things like that. Just trying to stay involved a little bit, but trying to get my mind off it for the most part."
(on T Duane Brown returning today) "It's good seeing him with a smile on his face. It's good to have him back."
WR Andre Johnson *(on the new NFL "devastating hit" policy) "I always approached it, you might as well catch it because you're going to get hit anyway. When you look at it, it's hard for both sides because I think when you see most receivers go up for a ball in the air and after they catch it most of the times the first thing they do is tuck their head and try to ball up and protect themselves. You look at a defensive guy and you see a guy jumping at him the first thing they do is to tuck their head too to try to protect themselves. I think that's what kind of leads to a lot of it. It's tough because the sport is violent. The guys are just out there playing and they just go and hit you. I don't think they are thinking about the helmet-to helmet contact. Guys are just out there playing." *
WR Jacoby Jones(on if his calf bothered him in this past Sunday's game vs. the Chiefs) "Honestly, I was so happy to be out on the field with those guys. I didn't even feel it until after the game."
(on the NFL's new "devastating hit" policy) "I don't have nothing against it. I don't want to take those licks. You can't really fault those guys because they're being football player and you don't want to take anything away from them being physical. They're just playing football. You can't be mad at them."
(on if defensive players will change the way they've been playing since the new "devastating hit" is effect) "I don't think so, especially when you find these players on certain teams that have those hard hitters they're going to be like that. So, you just got to suck it up and be ready for it."
*SS Bernard Pollard *(on going into the bye week in first place in the AFC South) "Yeah we're 4-2, but I think from a defensive standpoint the beatings that we've taken and just all the things that have been going on, it just really seems like we have a losing record. I think it's time for us to evaluate ourselves and look in the mirror and just change the things that need to be fixed. For me, I'm going to do everything that I can. I have to be me, I have to go out and play my game. We just got to fix some things."
(on how much will it help mentally to get away for the bye week) "It's going to be good. I'm really just looking forward to just sitting back and not worrying about having to come in to look at any film or game plans. That's what I want to do. I just want to get away. I honestly do. It's just to that point that I don't think a lot of people understand it. This thing can take you and my mind is just boggled down with plays. It's just so much right now and just to get away is big."
*CB Glover Quin *(on the Texans' secondary's performance against Colts QB Peyton Manning in the first game of the season) "We did a lot of different things to try to mix him up a little bit, but it's kind of hard to do that with (Colts QB) Peyton Manning. For the most part, we slowed him down in the first three quarters. We went up on them 34-10. I think we gave up a lot of yards in the fourth quarter. I think we just have to go back and look at what we did and the things that we did well against him and capitalize on that again and just don't give up the big plays to him. We got to make them drive the ball down the field and make some plays on third down. I think we did a good job on third down with him the last game we played against him through the first three quarters. We just have to do that again."
(on the positives defensive backs coach David Gibbs has taken away from the secondary through the first six games) "The fact that we keep playing hard, we keep doing the things that we need to do to get better. We've been giving up some plays and things of that nature, but we're still playing with a lot of confidence. We're still playing and working hard. We have no other choice but to get better. The talent is there. The talent is in the group. We just have to work and continue to bring it out and perform on Sundays. That's just about it."
(on missed tackles resulting in yards after catch for the opposing team) "We view that as not getting our job done. We pride ourselves on being physical as a defense and as a team, so in that sense we have to tackle. We understand in this league that they're going to make plays, catch the ball and make runs, but we have to tackle them. We limit the yards after contact and the yards after catch. Nine times out of ten, you'll end up happy with the results because that's how a lot of teams beat you. They run break tackles, go 80 yards. The throw a short pass, break tackles and then go 60 yards for a touchdown. We just know that we have to tackle better and be more physical and rally and swarm as a defense and make tackles as a team and not one-on-one."
*RB Derrick Ward *(on getting more opportunities running the ball) "It would be nice. I'd love to get out there and showcase what I can do. We'll see how it goes next week when we get back."
(on what is he going to do in his time off) "I'm going back home. I haven't seen my daughter in a month. I'm going back home and spend some time with her and just relax."
(on how much time in his bye week will he spend on working out or letting his body rest) "You got to continue to work out every day. You don't want to just go back home for the week and not do anything. So, I'll get cardio in and get my belly back right so when we come back next week we'll be ready to go."
*T Eric Winston *(on T Duane Brown returning and T Rashad Butler going back to a backup role) "I told (T) Rashad (Butler) after the game that I was really proud of the way he played. Especially in this last game. (Chiefs DE) Tamba Hali is as good a pass rusher there is in the league. He's been playing very well, if you see the games he had against the Colts and Cleveland, against really good tackles and he put some numbers up. Rashad barely gave up anything against him. I just told him that I was really happy for him and no matter what happens coming out that he's got nothing but to hang his head high and be happy with the job he did because I think he came in there and played pretty well against some pretty tough opponents."
(on the team not beating their chest about being 4-2) "Our wins have been close and tough. Our losses haven't been the same way. Not that it matters how you lose. You lose. At the same time we've got to be more consistent about it. Obviously, we've got some issues that we got to face here coming up. There's no way to sugar-coat it and it's probably best that we don't. We've got to face those issues head on and the whole team has got to overcome it and just not one side or the other."
(on what type of issues that the team currently has) "It's just inconsistencies. One week we put up 35 and the next we week we don't put up that much. Defense obviously, one week play very well and the next not often. Special teams is the same way."