The Texans practiced Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center and after, head coach Gary Kubiak and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakOLB Whitney Mercilus
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how the team practiced today) "Not very good. I'm trying to push them a little bit and they look like they are saving a little bit for the last day tomorrow and you can't have that. We didn't have a very good day. We've got to come back tomorrow. That's football, but we wouldn't have won today, that's for sure."
(on if there were any health issues) "We're fine. We've got some guys that are bothered by the heat. We went for about an hour and 35 minutes. I told them they're going to have to go for two hours here in about a month, so it let them know where they're at. We just got to keep pushing them."
(on how DE Keith Browner has looked) "He's done a good job. It's hard. It's a very short period of time to watch guys, but all four of those guys have held up well and done a good job. Like I said, we've got a decision to make whether to invite them to camp or not, so we'll see."
(on how G Brandon Brooks responded to the comments about his weight yesterday) "Well he weighed in lighter so I don't know what he did last night. He can't play at the weight he was at yesterday, he can't help the team. I'm trying to teach him a lesson now before we get started."
(on OLB Whitney Mercilus) "He's doing good. He's doing a lot, trying to learn special teams and handling his job outside. So he has a lot on his plate right now. He has a lot of ability and should be able to help us a lot."
(on what makes him think FB Moran Norris can help the team) "I don't know. Our situation right now, I'm a little bit concerned. I've got James (Casey), who plays two spots for me. He is filling a tight end role as well as a fullback role. I've got a young kid I'm trying to convert, who is a defensive football player. It's a little hairy conversion. Can we get there by September? I wanted to get a guy with some experience. Moran (Norris) has played well. He played well in San Francisco and has done some good things. I think he's an 11-year guy; he's been around for awhile. It's an opportunity for him if it's still in his tank to help this team. I was impressed with him. To be honest with you, I heard him on some radio show driving home from work one day and I listened to him talk and I called (Executive Vice President/General Manager) Rick (Smith) and said, 'Let's bring him in for a tryout.' I've been impressed, he's looked good."
(on how the team was today) "Not good today. We would've got beat today. We went a little longer today. We just weren't very sharp on both sides of the ball and I tried to let them know what is going to be expected of them a month from now. We have to send a message and get it sent here quick. Today wasn't good enough."
(on if it was a function of the young guys trying to learn) "I think everybody is ready for their summer break too. We've got a lot of work to do and we've got to finish on a good note tomorrow but today wasn't very good. That's football, but we have to bounce back tomorrow. We didn't win today, I know that."
(on if anyone has distinguished themselves as a third receiver) "No, it's a young group battling. We'll see. There's a long way to go. Each guy does something good every now and then, but there has been nobody to distinguish themselves. We've got a long way to go."
(on WR DeVier Posey) "He's inconsistent. He missed a year of football, which you can tell. He has to respond to corrections quicker, but the talent is all there. Missing all that ball last year has had an effect on him, so we have to get him caught up."
(on if he had any additional thoughts today on WR Mike Sims-Walker from yesterday) "Not really, I'm just trying to evaluate him here over a three-day period and hopefully we can see if we have a spot for him and if we think he is physically fit and ready to do it. It's been a good two days. I have to look at him tomorrow, but it will be a decision that we'll make next week."
OLB Whitney Mercilus
(on how much easier it is to go out and react instead of thinking about what he's supposed to be doing) "It's a lot better. I'm playing a lot faster so I'm able to press a bit more and it just makes everything much easier for me to play and make plays."
(on the toughest adjustment going from a 4-3 in college to a 3-4 in the NFL) "Having my hand down a lot and just being up in a two-point (stance) and getting that good get-off. A three-point is kind of like a track stance, you're able to get off faster. I'm always trying to adjust to that."
(on if he has a good enough grasp of the Texans' defense that he could whatever the coaches ask of him) "I'm pretty confident that if they asked me to do something I'd be able to do it, no matter what they ask."
(on the biggest challenge for him thus far in his transition to the NFL) "Not really a whole lot. It's just that I have a little trouble with the punt formation because in college we do the spread instead of the traditional punt. That's a little adjustment for me. Also adjusting to the new environment, the heat, and as the practice went on, having to repeat and being able to concentrate while you're tired and hot."
(on the goals he's set for himself this season) "Goals were just to come off the rock and just make plays and be a dominant player just like everybody else on the defense."
(on how it's been to deal with the Houston heat) "It's been a smooth transition. Not too bad. But the first day really got me. It got a lot of players. They just tell us to keep hydrating so that's exactly what I'm doing so I'm ready to go each practice."
(on if there is anything someone can do to prepare for the heat in Houston) "There's not really a whole lot you can do just to prepare for this because one day it could just be abnormal and it can get you."
(on the significance of wearing no. 59 in Houston) "The challenge is stepping up to expectations, especially fans throwing it out there and talking to me and interacting with them. You know, you've got big shoes to fill. I don't mind it at all. I'm just out here just trying to get better and make a name for myself."
(on if it makes sense that he's wearing the same number as former Houston Texans ILB DeMeco Ryans) "I don't play the same position as him but I have to be a factor off the edge though."
(on how far he thinks he's come in the last few weeks) "I think I came a long way, no doubt. Definitely learning the system, adjusting to the different type of techniques they look for and all that. So I'm feeling a bit more confident in going through these mini-camps."
(on what has been most-surprising for him going through OTAs and mini-camp) "The most eye-popping thing? Well, not really a whole lot. I mean, of course there is a higher level of talent in the NFL, so that's expected. That's nothing that surprised me or anything like that. Once again, just the environment that I'm adjusting to."
(on if it weighs on him that he still has to sign his contract and if that affects him) "It doesn't affect me at all. I know eventually it's going to get done. I just come out here and get everything off my mind and just concentrate on what I have to do and then later I can worry about that."