The Texans practiced Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center, and met with the media after. Also, Jets head coach Rex Ryan and running back LeDainian Tomlinson answered questions via a conference call from the Houston media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakRB Arian FosterWR Andre JohnsonQB Matt LeinartQB Dan OrlovskySS Bernard PollardDE Antonio Smith
Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan Conference CallJets RB LaDainian Tomlinson Conference Call
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(opening statement) "Obviously our quarterback is not here, so I'm sure that's a big topic. (QB) Matt (Schaub) spent last night in a hospital battling a bursa sac issue but is doing well and I expect him to be out this afternoon and he should be here tomorrow. Everything should be okay."
(on which bursa it is) "It's his knee, a bursa sac in his knee. Battling some issues there with it, so we put him in the hospital to treat it, basically, and get some rest and get off of it. Thought he would be here this morning; made a decision this morning to let him stay there all day. Like I said, should be getting out here at some point and get back out here tomorrow."
(on if he expects QB Matt Schaub to play on Sunday) "He's not here today. I've got to see where he's at tomorrow. But I'm telling you, I expect him here tomorrow. So, if that's the case and he's doing what he normally does, then you're right, he'll be out there."
(on if he's comfortable with QB Matt Schaub not playing for a few days and still being ready for the game) "Oh yeah. Believe me, nobody knows it like him. But (QB) Dan (Orlovsky) practiced well today. Dan and (QB) Matt (Leinart), we'll get them ready to play. I would expect (QB) Matt (Schaub), if everything goes like I'm sitting here talking to you, it should be okay."
(on if QB Matt Schaub had surgery) "No. Just needed some rest, needed some treatment; made a decision that it was best to give it there than sitting around here all day."
(on the intensity of today's practice) "We need to create some chaos out here. We are going into a place (against) a football team that creates a lot of adversity and chaos for you in what they do. So we need to create that environment out here. We need to get rid of last week and that last play of the game. And the only way we can get rid of that is to be honest with yourself and work like and hell and get ready to go the next week and that's what we're trying to do."
(on if the team has moved on from last week's loss) "We got to, we got to. It's difficult, but we came out here today and we battled through practice. It was a very tough practice we put them through but they battled through and we got to battle through two more to get ready to play."
(on when the problem with QB Matt Schaub's knee actually occurred) "You know, we really don't know. I actually met with (QB) Matt (Schaub) yesterday morning for about an hour in the morning, just talking about things. He said was doing fine and then he went home with his wife and had some problems and called us. We sent him to the doctor and that's where it went from there."
(on if QB Matt Schaub is back at home) "No. I'm saying we expect him to get out of the hospital sometime this afternoon."
(on if he sees CB Jason Allen taking on more of a role this game) "Well, my expectations are for him to play in the game. You know, how much? I'll go back and look at practice today. But we'll catch him up. Our expectation is to have him be a part of what we're doing."
(on who else was not able to practice) "(DE) Mario (Williams) did the individual but, and that's not unusual for him. (LB Xavier) Adibi was back on the practice field today. (DE Jesse) Nading and (TE) Owen Daniels were not out here today."
(on TE Owen Daniels' progress) "You know, he's doing better. He's doing field work today. So he wasn't even out here the last two weeks. So, we're making progress here but it'll be day-to-day."
(on if he sees a sense of urgency from his team with seven games left in the season) "I think we've practiced well as a football team. I've always thought that we read well and practice well, but you got to be detailed in what you're doing. We've got a tremendous challenge from that standpoint this week. We better be focused; we're going to play one of the best teams in the game and we're going to play at their place. We better be focused."
(on the problems in the Texans' secondary) "We're in the right spot, we just don't play the technique very well or make the play. I don't see a lot of confusion. I see a little bit of a lack of aggression. That's coaches. Don't put that on players. We got to get them in position to be aggressive as players. We got to be able to take some chances, whether we're young back there or not. I see guys that are working hard and I see guys making some very good plays and then obviously giving up some plays. We got to do all we can as coaches to get them in better position to be successful."
(on how frustrating it is to be in that position at this point in the season) "Well, it's very frustrating. I think I've said this all along; there have been some issues. But that's not an excuse for not improving. I thought we had improved coming out of the Indianapolis game and settled down a little bit. I look at the last two weeks and I didn't see that. That's my biggest concern. There needs to be improvement, regardless of any issues you might have."
(on where CB Jason Allen fits in) "He's going to play this week some. I'll have to see how he practiced, but I expect him to be a part of what we're doing."
*RB Arian Foster *(on losing the last three games) "We just haven't finished well. We just got to keep working and stay positive and good things will start happening."
(on if QB Matt Schaub being absent from practice is a case of bad luck for the Texans) "No, I don't think like that at all. Life throws you curve balls and it's all about how you hit them. We just got to keep on moving. I'm pretty sure (QB) Matt (Schaub) will be fine from what I'm hearing. You just got to keep working and stay positive. You can't be too pessimistic when it comes to things like this because it just makes it worse. You just got to stay positive."
(on if he is still optimistic for the season) "I'm still excited to be here. I really am. I get the opportunity to play this game that I love. The same with all these guys in the locker room, we could obviously be doing something else. I get excited every week. Every opportunity we get a chance to play this game, it's a fun thing for me. So, I'm going to approach my job exactly the same every week. Week-in and week-out and go to work and do everything I can to help this ball club get some wins."
WR Andre Johnson(on CB Darrelle Revis) "He's a great football player. He's the best at what he does. He's very patient, very technically sound and can mix it up with you and play physical. He doesn't have to be physical. He has the all-around game at his position and has another great corner on the other side of him. It'll be a challenge for us."
(on if he changes his game at all based on who he's facing) "Not really. I just go out there and play football like I know how to play. You definitely look forward to the challenge. You could say you have arguable the best receiver in the league supposed to be against arguably the best DB (defensive back) in the league this weekend. It's definitely a matchup everybody looks forward to and it makes the game exciting. It's a matchup you look forward to. When you play this game, you want to go against the best to see where you're at in your game. I'm pretty sure he's looking forward to the challenge. I'm looking forward to it too."
(on how important it is for him to have a big game on Sunday) "I always put pressure on myself. I feel like if I go out and play well, then we have a chance of being successful. That's just something, pressure I put on myself. It's not necessarily true, but it's something that I feel like for us to get to where we want to be at, I have to go out and play well."
(on if he adds any tricks to his trade when going against Revis) "You just have to go out there and play. He's going to make you work for everything. There's no time to be messing around. When you're out there playing, you've got to go at it 100 percent. You can see where he's played some guys and guys are lagging off on run plays and he's slamming them to the ground and things like that. You just have to go out there and play your game and that's pretty much it."
*QB Matt Leinart *(on if he's ready to go if he has to) "I think as much as I can be. For the eight or nine weeks that I've been here I've been trying to soak up as much as I can. Learning from (QB) Matt (Schaub) and (QB) Dan (Orlovsky) being here obviously, and just taking advantage of the reps that I get. Today, I got a few more reps from not really getting much at all. As a quarterback, you just got to be held accountable. Whether you're the first string, second or third; if your number is ever called, you got to be ready to play. That's the position here. Kub (head coach Gary Kubiak) does hold high standards for his quarterbacks. You just got to be ready to go. I enjoyed it. Obviously, not having Matt here opens up an opportunity for me and Dan. I'm sure we expect Matt to play, but we just got to be ready to go."
(on the hardest part in preparing for a situation like this) "I've been studying extremely hard in learning the offense as quick as possible. I feel comfortable with the offense. If I would ever get the chance, I'll go out there and execute. That's what my teammates would expect of me and that's what I will expect of myself. You just keep working as a quarterback. You're held to a different standard. Especially with Kub (head coach Gary Kubiak) you got to be accountable for everything. Then going against the Jets this week is tough because they pose a lot of different looks with a lot of different blitzes. The good thing is just trusting your progressions and your reads. That's all I'm trying to do. If I ever get a chance, I'll try to make the most of it."
*QB Dan Orlovsky *(on practicing with the first team today) "It was nice to do reps today. I've probably gotten a handful this year, so it was nice to go out and run our offense. I'm just doing my job. I don't think I would go out and prepare any differently. I haven't, up until this point. It was nice to be out there."
(on if he talked to QB Matt Schaub and if so, how is he doing) "Yeah, I've talked to him. He's doing well. I talked to him last night real quick. That's about it. I haven't talked to him today." * *
(on if he has a feel on when QB Matt Schaub will be back in time to play this weekend) "I have no idea. Like I said, I'll prepare the same way. I honestly felt that I did a good job of preparing with our offense every single week and I won't change that. My job is to get ready to play no matter what the case is. I'll be ready."
*SS Bernard Pollard *(on finding a win by any means necessary) "That's what it been like. It has to be like that from here on out. I think a lot of the guys are down, but this is football and we have to continue to play like pros. We are sitting at 4-5 right now. We have seven games left. We are going to take every game one game at a time. Coach is cracking down on so many things and I think this is going to be better for us. This is going to be better at the end of the road for us."
(on the coaching staff cracking down the team) "It's an inside thing, but it's going to be good for this team. I'm excited, I'm really am. I'm excited that we get a chance to go out to New York and to play that team and turn this thing around against that team. I think that's going to be a big thing for this organization. Like I said last week, it's a must win. This week, it's even more. We want to win every game, but I think the urgency is there. We just got to go out there and play smarter. I think today we kind of cracked down on each other and said some things. I think on Sunday it has to be put on the grass."
(on how does the team overcome their lack of explosiveness on defense) "Just go out there and play. Being in this league, the good thing is you get to play six or seven days later. That's the good thing about it, but I think from our team we have lost three straight games that we should've won. We can't turn back the hands of time. We can't dwell on that. Like I said, we are excited that we get to play the Jets and go on out there to New York. I think the big thing for us is to go out there and turn this thing around. We have to turn this thing around. We hate losing and everybody talking about us, but it's about us. It really is. It's about us sticking together and over coming this hurdle."
*DE Antonio Smith *(on how difficult it is to be focusing on the Jets after losing to Jacksonville on the last play of the game) "It's going to be difficult to put that type of loss behind you, but you got to. You can't dwell on it. You can't sit and lick your wounds. You got to move on."
(on if it's up to veterans to teach the younger players how to win in the NFL) "I think now, it's beyond the teaching point. You must win by any means necessary. Everybody got to be held accountable to doing their job. We got to get here and get done what needs to get done. Get it done the right way so we could win. Winning is the priority right now, by any means necessary."
Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan Conference Call(on how he accounts for defeating the Texans in each of the last two seasons) "I think we had some two pretty good teams coming in there. I think that's probably the main thing. I think they'll be more familiar with how we play right now. They are coming into our place and we plan on winning and so we'll see what happens."
(on what is the key to having a physically and mentally tough team) "I think that's what you do in the offseason. That's what you do in training camp and all that. You surround yourself with players that play that style or you can bring that style out in those players. Guys will do what you demand of them. When I came in, that was the vision I had for what I thought our team would be as a physical football team and able to play great defense. If you play great defense, you've got a chance in every game. That's where it starts. In offensively, I believe in the ground and pound philosophy. I still think that you've got to run the football in this league to win consistently. When you look at Houston, that's the thing that jumps out at you. They are second in the league in rushing average and sixth in passing. They got a pretty darn good offense over there."
(on what has been a key to Jets QB Mark Sanchez's improvement this year) "You expect improvements in your second year in a system. He's done a really great job in the offseason. He probably studied more than any player I've ever been around. He knows this system. This has becomes his system. He knows everybody's responsibilities. He's also doing a good job recognizing coverages and things like that and fronts where before, he was kind of playing by the seat of his pants a little bit."
(on what was the key of getting out of a 4-5 hole last year) "I'll tell the key after the game. I'm just kidding. I just think that you do what you believe in. With us, there was no question that we believed in the direction that our team was heading. We stayed the course and it worked out in the end."
(on how did he kept his players focused from the media during their rough stretch) "I think with us, it was just the belief that we had in each other. That's it. That's what you do in the offseason. That's what you create, that kind of environment and you surround yourself around those kind of people. We are fortunate that we have an organization that recognizes it is committed to winning. It has a belief and we believe in our system. So it doesn't even come up, regardless of what people say or whatever. They weren't the ones playing games or coaching or anything else. We knew we had a good football team. We just had to go out and prove it."
(on the job CB Darrelle Revis did against WR Andre Johnson and what to expect Sunday) "They're were moving around (WR) Andre (Johnson) a little bit. They had him playing the slot a little bit last week doing different things. He's a matchup nightmare. In my opinion, he's the best receiver in football. It doesn't get any tougher than that. We have the only corner in the league that would dare try to cover this guy in man coverage in (CB) Darrelle Revis. He is, in my opinion and it's not even close, the best corner in football. Those two guys go at it. You've got the best corner against the best receiver in the game. That's going to be a great matchup and great to watch. Is he going to be manned up every snap? No, maybe not. But there is going to be opportunities where he's going to be manned up."
(on what was he able to do to limit WR Andre Johnson on his signature 18 yard curl route last year) "I think it starts with the pressure that you're able to put on the quarterback. I think that's the big thing. That's a route that takes time to throw and we were able to get some pressure on (QB Matt) Schaub last year."
(on what improvements has he seen in CB Antonio Cromartie since coming from San Diego) "Cro (Cromartie) is doing a great job here. One thing you saw last week was him tackling that big back that Cleveland has two times in a row, where guys didn't get off blocks in front of him. He had to make a tackled and he did. He put him on the deck. That was something that, he supposedly wasn't a tackler or anything else, but when you play for the Jets, everybody's a tackler. I think he's got great physical talents. It's just a matter of him coming in and getting used to how we play and our style of play. He's been terrific for us."
(on what is the biggest difference in RB LaDainian Tomlinson this year) "I just see that this is still LaDainian Tomlinson. If somebody's expecting something else, good luck to you because he's still got the great moves. He's got speed. He's got vision. He's great out of the backfield. He's doing a great job in pass protection. Oh by the way, he can really run the football. We knew we were getting a great player. Has he even exceeded my expectations? He probably has a little bit. I just knew he was going to be great, but he's been better than that even."
(on what impresses him about RB Arian Foster) "It's like, wow. He's really doing it, averaging 5.3 (yards) a carry, already 930 yards rushing and ten touchdowns. I think that speaks for itself. He's a big, strong guy. He hits it. Wow. He burst on the scene this year. Obviously he was around, but it was like man oh man, the game he had against Indianapolis to start the season, I was like jeez. You see it on tape. Then the young man behind him is only averaging about 6.5 a carry, (RB) Derrick Ward, so they really got it going."
(on CB Kyle Wilson struggling and why young corners struggle early on in their careers) "There's so much to it. You can be challenged mentally. It's not just the guy is always going to be lined up here. There's all kind of things. They're learning multiple coverages and stuff. (CB) Kareem Jackson is going to be an outstanding player—an outstanding player and so is (CB) Kyle Wilson. There's no doubt. But it's just a different game. The skill level is phenomenal in this league and you may have a guy covered in college, which you think is covered in college, well that's open in the NFL. Your technique has got to be outstanding and you've got to be basically on top of guys and stay square. There's so many things to it and everybody makes mistakes. They're all going to get beat. (CB) Darrelle Revis gave up a touchdown this year. Those things happen, but the guys that make it are the ones that can learn from it, take coaching. (Jackson) has got some great coaches there. (Sr. Defensive Assistant) Ray Rhodes is an outstanding coach. He's going to get better. I hope its next week, not this week."
(on what he sees from LB Brian Cushing this year) "Oh man, well Cushing last year, that is so rare to see a rookie come burst on the scene like he did. He was tremendous. He's just getting his legs and everything else under him coming off that four game suspension. We had a very similar thing happen last year with (LB) Calvin Pace and unfortunately, he was hurt this year and so he'll miss four games again this year. He'll just now start hitting his stride."
(on if his defense has met his expectations so far this year) "I definitely expect more from our defense. We've had some injury issues early in the season. Really (CB) Darrelle (Revis) hadn't really been Darrelle until the last two weeks. We also had three starters, three brand new starters on the back end when Darrelle was out. There were communication problems. We weren't very sharp. We were going through the same thing we were going through last year. It takes a few games to hit your stride on defense. We'll end up being the top defense in the league, that's my opinion, when it's all said and done. That's how it always is and I think the worst I ever finished when I was a defensive coordinator was sixth in the league in total defense. I expect the numbers will improve. It's a little embarrassing being where we're at now, but there's only one way to fix it and that's to play better."
(on if there is anything that can be done this late in the year to help the Texans defense) "They've got some outstanding players, so I think it's just a matter of time before that team starts playing better. You've got one of the premier pass rushers in the game. You've got a ton of high first round picks. There's plenty of talent. I'm sure it's going to get better. I hope not this week though."
(on his dad's time in Houston as head coach of the Oilers) "He really had a great time in Houston. He loved it there. I think it would've been interesting to see if he would've stayed there longer. He really loved his time in Houston. He loves the people there. That easily could've been home to him I think. He just really appreciated the people there and the way of life and everything else there. I know he had a great time and if they would've stayed together one more year, who knows, that team might've done it then."
(on how often he works on Hail Mary passes and defending those week to week) "Oh man. Quite honestly, the young man did exactly what you're coached. You've got to knock it straight down. The kid was doing exactly what you teach the guy. It's just one of those unlucky bounces. That's what happened. You hate it for the young man and all that, but hell he was coached properly. Those things happen. If he would've gone up and tried to intercept the ball and would've bobbled it, someone would've caught it. You're darned if you do, darned if you don't. I don't think I've ever seen that though, with the guy literally knocking the ball down and a guy catches it. It's amazing. I've seen guys go for interceptions, miss it and guys catch it or offenses get a lucky bounce. Clearly, the young man did exactly what he's taught to do and knock the ball down. He probably wanted to spike it a little more than it came out, but I feel bad for the young man."
(on if he coaches his team to knock Hail Mary passes down as opposed to attempting to catch them) "Absolutely. You definitely try to spike the football. That's what the young man did. It's just an unfortunate thing that happened."
(on if he has ever seen a team lose like the Texans have two weeks in a row) "My dad used to tell me this, he said, 'If you stay in it long enough, it'll happen to you again.' I'm like, 'Oh, that's great.' I remember one time getting smoked by one team and he made that statement to me. I'm like, 'Dad, I appreciate it. It makes me feel a lot better.' That's the way the game is and I'll bet you Ray Rhodes has had that happen to him before. He's been around the game so long and things. You hope it doesn't happen to you, but you know, I can honestly say nothing has ever happened like that to me, but I'm sure guys with more experience than me have gone through similar things. We've been able to pull out some of those games this year and I hope that trend continues this week."
Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson Conference Call(on what the Jets such a physical team) "I just think it's the mindset of our head coach. That's the way he's built this team and we are kind of carrying it out."
(on if running the ball and being physical go hand-in-hand) "Yes absolutely, the best way to be physical is coming out with the ball in your hand and hitting or attacking people. A lot of times you get a tag or a stigma of being thought of as a finesse team because your offensive line pass block a lot. If you run the ball a lot it's more of a physical attitude."
(on how is he adjusting so far from his move from the Chargers to the Jets) "It's been a great adjustment. We run the same offense. That's something that I didn't have to think too much and worry about because I knew the offense that we ran. I have worked with (Jets) offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer before in San Diego. It was a good transition."
(on the Texans' defense this season) "I think that it's a group that flies around. Really, I think their front four controls the tempo of their defense. When they are playing well, then that defense is off the charts. They're causing turnovers and flying to the ball and doing the things that you expect out of a good defense."
(on his thoughts on Texans RB Arian Foster and his play this year) "It's been fun watching him. His development has been great. I think that system fits him well. With him coming out from college and running that same system, the zone scheme; I think their offensive line do a great job of blocking for (RB) Arian (Foster). They've been doing a good job of not only running the football, but they are throwing the ball well. They are an explosive offense."
(on if he see any similarities between Jets RB Shonn Greene and Texans RB Arian Foster) "Yeah, (RB) Shonn (Greene) also ran that system (zone scheme) in college also. He's real good at his reads and knowing what to expect. When he comes down hill, I've seen people that don't want to hit him. He's a physical guy. It's been fun to watch his development also."
(on what type of advice would he give to young backs such as RBs Arian Foster or Shonn Greene in maintaining a high level of consistency throughout their careers) "I could just say that every day you better come to work and look to get better at something. If it's something you need to get better at, go work on it at practice. Never be satisfied at where you are in your career. You always want to try to get better because the truth of the matter is, they are always looking to replace you."
(on what's been the biggest difference for him this year) "Just being healthy and being in an offense that really likes to run the ball and know how to run it. I think that's been the biggest difference."
(on what does he see on film that make the Texans defense so successful against the run) "I think that B. Pollard (SS Bernard Pollard) has done a good job of adding a physical presence on that defense. Especially if he's down in that box, he could be a intimidating presence. When he's down in the box, he makes a lot of tackles for them. They do a good job of freeing their linebackers up and allowing them to run to the football."
(on going against Texans SS Bernard Pollard in their days in the AFC West) "It was just a lot of physical matches. You always knew what you were going to get out of B. Pollard (SS Bernard Pollard). I really enjoyed playing against him when we played against each other twice a year. He's a guy that you have to respect in that secondary. You got to look and see where he's at all times."
(on how big is it to have the starting offensive line to be healthy all year and not miss a game) "That's huge. I don't think that you can talk enough about a unit that is able to play together. That really puts them on the same page. It helps us out a lot knowing that those guys are staying together and they communicate well together."
(on how impressive is QB Mark Sanchez's command of the Jets offense) "He's been very impressive. Especially with this only being his second year in the league, only his third year really playing at a high level of football since college. It's very impressive the way he picked up the offense and the way he controls the offense."
(on what's been so impressive QB Mark Sanchez's ability to cut down on turnovers) "I think he knows more of what's going on. He understands coverages and he understands the defense and what they are trying to do to him and he understands his reads."
(on the TCU's season so far this year) "I'm so excited about the way those guys been playing. I hope they can finish off the season strong. Obviously, I would love to see them get a shot at the national championship. Just to go to another BCS game, which will be their second straight. It would be a great accomplishment for our program."
(on if he would've ever thought that TCU head coach Gary Patterson would achieve this type of level of success) "Yeah, Gary was obviously there when we first started the tradition of the way we play football there. He just kind of continued the tradition. The values was already in place. He's done a great job doing that."
(on how often does TCU head coach Gary Patterson talk to him and his teammates from the 2000 team that set the standard for the program's success today) "Well that comes up a lot. Especially when we are all back there in the summertime, those are always like that. Gary does a great job in the appreciation that he shows to the guys that have come before the guys now and he's really great to be around."