New head strength and conditioning coach Cedric Smith yells intructions to players on Tuesday morning.
The Texans went through strength and conditioning work outside at the Methodist Training Center on Tuesday morning, and a few members of the team spoke with the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
TE Owen Daniels QB Matt Schaub WR Kevin Walter
TE Owen Daniels(on if he signed his restricted free agent tender) "I did not sign my tender, but the Texans stepped up and put a document together that allowed me to come out and still rehab and be around the guys, so it's definitely an act of good faith on their part to protect themselves and me as well."
(on if the document is an insurance policy in case something happens) "Exactly. Like I said, they definitely want me around here with the guys rehabbing, so we put that together so even if something happens I'd be compensated and they'd be protected."
(on how his rehab is going) "I'm about four and a half months out of surgery. Everything's going really, really smooth. My goal is to be able to do everything that I would do before by June 1st and we're right on pace to do that."
(on how he views his contractual situation) "We've had some positive talks, my people and management, at the combine. They've indicated they want to get something done; we've just got to wait til I get healthy and cleared and see what happens."
(on if his being healthy is the key) "I think so. They've seen how I've progressed and they've talked to (assistant athletic trainer/rehabilitation coordinator) Roland (Ramirez) and (director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer) Geoff Kaplan and I think that's why they stepped up and put that document together for me."
(on if he feels more at ease from a financial standpoint) "They put that max tender on me again and I looked at it as a positive thing because if they didn't really want me around or they saw a future in somebody else, they could have tendered me at a much lower level and let me go and just see what happened from there. But that first and third (tender) indicated that they want me around for sure. So I'm happy about it."
(on why he would doubt that the Texans want him) "It's a business. They're always trying to find new guys and even though I've played well and done some good things for this team, you just never know. So it's good to see that for sure."
(on if he expects to get a new deal as soon as he's healthy) "I think so. And we'll talk before then, even after they see me, it'll probably go pretty quickly. It won't be a long, drawn out process if we're actually going to get something done."
(on if he'll go through minicamp, etc, if he doesn't have a deal done) "I'll be here. I don't want to have a situation—it got a little messy last year but we've both kind of come back together, myself and the team, and cleared the air and are both looking at it as a real positive situation. So I'll be around, I probably won't be doing minicamp and OTA stuff just because of my knee situation, but I'll be ready."
(on if it's imperative for him to have a new deal before the season) "Imperative? At some point I'd like to get something done, definitely. I don't want to say I won't ever show up if I don't get a deal done, but then again I'll never say never to doing something like that."
(on him sounding positive about everything) "All I can really worry about now is controlling what I can control and that's getting my knee healthy. I've been working my butt off since I got hurt. I've been here every day in the offseason doing my thing so all I can really worry about is that."
QB Matt Schaub
(on if it's good to start working out as a team again) "It is. The offseason goes by quicker and quicker every year, but it's been fun to get back out here with the guys and working out and begin working on the 2010 season."
(on the team having higher expectations this season) "Absolutely. They've been high for us for the past three years, but we're progressing slowly these past years and we're looking to take that next step and make a big jump this year."
(on what it will take for the team to take the next step) "It's being more consistent, being able to win those close games. There were so many tight ballgames, close games, and we have to find a way to win those in the fourth quarter. Those one or two plays that help you win the game, we've got to make those plays."
(on how last year's success will help the team moving forward) "When you start progressing and getting better, you go into the offseason after winning those last four (games) with a lot of confidence. It's propelled us here into the workouts and we're just taking the ball and running with it."
(on potentially drafting a running back) "We like the guys that we have here, but you can never have too many in this business, whether it be with injuries or just sharing the workload. We're just excited about the opportunity to improve our running game, and with the guys that we have, we feel we can do that, but we're going to add people where we can and that's up to the guys upstairs and the coaches to decide who to take."
(on if he quieted any doubters by playing in all 16 games in 2009) "Well, that's for outsiders to decide. I know what I'm capable of and I have confidence in myself. It was great to be out there for all 16 games, missing a little part at the beginning of Jacksonville, but that's for other people to decide and make their own judgments on."
(on the importance of having WR Kevin Walter back) "Oh, it's huge. He's one of the most dependable guys we have on our team (and) the hardest workers. We always count on him to make a play and be in the right spot, so he's one of the leaders on our offense. The continuity is there, so it's good to keep Kevin here."
(on what he has done during this offseason) "Well, my wife and I moved into a new home and we had a little girl last week, so I've been pretty busy."
(on becoming a father) "It's amazing. It's a great time in our lives and we're just excited about it."
(on carrying the momentum from being named Pro Bowl MVP into this offseason) "It was a fun week. It was a great opportunity and a great thing to be a part of that game and be down there with a bunch of my teammates. We're here to get ready for the 2010 season and take our team to the next level."
WR Kevin Walter
(on if he ever thought he would end up with another team) "You never know. Free agency, you never know. There were some other teams out there that were interested and we just kind of had to let it fall where it did, but I'm glad to be back and this is where I wanted to be. It worked out great for both sides."
(on how he fits in the Texans offense) "I think I can do a lot to help this team. Obviously, help catching the ball and making plays and doing my job, helping (WR) Andre (Johnson). We've got a lot of playmakers on this team—(WR) Dave (Anderson), (WR) Jacoby (Jones). We're going to run the ball well this year. I'm just glad to be part of it."
(on being back out with the guys) "Oh yeah, it's good to be back with everybody. Everyone's excited. This is our second day back, everyone's excited and we're getting good work in. We're going to do a good job."
(on the importance of offensive continuity) "Absolutely. We've got a good chemistry together, everyone on this offense. We all know what we need to do, we all have our own role on this team and I know what my role is and I'm ready to get better."