Texans head coach Gary Kubiak and some players answered questions from the media after Wednesday morning's practice at the Methodist Training Center. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakTE Owen DanielsQB Case KeenumWR DeVier PoseyQB Matt Schaub
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team singing happy birthday to him) "I'm 51 today so that was my present. It wasn't much of a present."
(on if the team dumped Gatorade on him for his birthday) "They tried and missed. (QB Matt) Schaub had another incompletion for the morning."
(on who was leading the way) "I don't know."
(on the fun after practice) "Yeah, we try to have a good time, try to keep it loose. It's (Assistant Defensive Backs) Coach (Perry) Carter's birthday, too. I guess that brought a little smile to the day. It was a pretty, pretty tough day as far as practice; we're in full gear and got a lot of work to do. But we made it through, we pushed through."
(on his birthday wish) "If this football team stays healthy and keeps going, that would be my wish."
(on the status of DE J.J. Watt) "He's doing great. I don't know if y'all watch him when he's working on the other field in practice, but he's running well, he's in his stance, he's starting to look like himself. It's about keeping his conditioning right now because we know he's going to be ready to go. (Strength and conditioning coach) Cedric (Smith) and Kap (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) got a huge assignment there to have him ready on opening day. I think he's going to be ready before that, but we've got to be smart about what we're doing."
(on any health updates) "No. Just (NT) Shaun (Cody)'s still out and (WR Jerrell) Jackson's still out. Everybody else is back. (ILB Brian) Cushing had a good week, (DE Jared) Crick's had a good week. We won't be in pads anymore this week, so those guys should be ready to go unless something unforeseen happens, so we're good."
(on if the 49ers defense will give him more of a test for the Texans offense) "Well I think Carolina's defense was very good last year; they're a 4-3 team so it's totally different. The 49ers are a 3-4 team; very, very big, physical, in the top of the league all year last year. Their team's built a lot like our team in a lot of ways; they play great defense, they run the ball well. So it's a good test for us. As I said yesterday, our preseason is very real, the teams we're playing are good teams. Next week we have a really tough assignment in (preseason) Week 3. So that's the way this league is built, but I think our preseasons match up good."
(on the physicality of the 49ers and Texans) "Yeah, we're both going to play a lot of people, and it's still the preseason, that type of thing, but that is what we both stand for. I got a lot of respect for (49ers head coach) Jim (Harbaugh), the job he's done there and that football team. So, it's a good test for us."
(on if he still plans on playing WR Andre Johnson this weekend) "Yeah, Andre will play. I don't know if I'll play Andre as much as I'll play the ones, so to speak. I'll have to talk to you guys about that. But he's been good for two weeks now. He's at full-going practice right now and doing well."
(on OLB Bryan Braman) "He's very good. He's a much-improved player. We've talked about guys like (TE Garrett) Graham and you can put Braman in that mix. He's learned our defense. He's always played well for (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano), but he's learned our defense, and, boy, he plays really, really hard, lot of talent. That was a hell of a find for a free agent."
(on the role CB Johnathan Joseph plays as a mentor to the young guys) "Yeah, J. Joe's become a leader. He's a great player, but he's become a leader. What a job that (defensive backs coach) Vance (Joseph) has done and J. Joe and (assistant defensive backs coach) Perry (Carter) have done with guys like (CB) Brice McCain, GQ (SS Glover Quin); they were very young, good players, but they really helped them find another level. I'm very impressed with J.Joe; he's been a great addition to the team."
TE Owen Daniels
(on QB Case Keenum) "It's a lot different even though we're running the same plays. He was having to catch up with that basically starting from ground zero in terms of language. Case has been doing an excellent job coming in and learning the system. It's just different terminology for the same sets, same looks."
(on playing at home this Saturday) "Yeah, we're excited to get back in front of the fans here at Reliant, man. Seems like it's been forever, and it seems like it kind of just was yesterday that we were playing that playoff game, and I don't think I've ever heard a place louder so it's going to be exciting to get back in there. I know the fans are excited to see what we're all about, and they get to see us play a pretty good football team."
(on if he thinks the team is making progress) "Yeah, we're just about done with camp which is nice and it's nice that we have games to look forward to at the end of the week now. It makes putting in the work, a little bit more motivating. You have an opponent come in and we have a good one coming in this weekend. We're taking it day by day, we're working, and we're getting better."
QB Case Keenum
(on how he feels about getting out there and getting reps) "It's been great. I take every day seriously as I can and work each day as hard as I can. I know this week's going to be really cool getting to play here in Houston in front of the Houston home crowd again, so I'm really excited about that."
(on if he sees progress in himself) "I definitely, definitely have, in all aspects. It's very good to see how far I've come, but how far I need to go, too. So it's kind of both sides there."
(on if it felt any different to get into the game on Saturday) "Yeah, it was different. It was the NFL. We're playing the Carolina Panthers, we're not playing SMU or Tulsa or somebody that I've played a lot of times. It was Carolina Panthers, and it was different, but it was football; same size field, same 11 players on each team, just a little bit bigger, stronger and faster players. But it was a blast, it was a lot of fun and I'm having a blast playing football. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else in the world."
(on his thoughts about facing San Francisco) "It's going to be a good test. I think good teams want to play good teams to get better. I think that that's important, and a good team like San Fran coming in and pushing us, and as far as defensively being able to go out and execute against a team who's done really well in the past and has a good team. It'll be really good."
(on having to calm himself down during a game) "You know, you always have to calm yourself down. If you're going out there calm with no butterflies, then you're probably doing the wrong thing. Your adrenaline, something's wrong inside. I always say that if you don't feel some excitement, nervousness that you probably need to be doing something else."
(on the biggest step he thinks he's taken) "It's hard to say because I feel like I've taken steps each day. The one I made today was important, the one I made yesterday was important, and the one I'm going to make tomorrow's very important, too. They're all very important."
(on if his preparation has changed now that he knows Head Coach Gary Kubiak wants to see him play more) "No, I think as a quarterback you got to prepare the same way each week, whether you're starting or backing up. I guess it's a little bit different being a preseason game, but I think every quarterback has to go out and prepare on their team like they're going to go and lead their team and be the guy that's playing in there. So I'm going to prepare like I know how and study the game plan and be ready to go for anything."
WR DeVier Posey
(on the rookies singing Happy Birthday to Head Coach Gary Kubiak) "That's just part of being a rookie. You expect things like that. It is coach's birthday. I don't mind singing Happy Birthday to him."
(on the pressure to play well soon) "I really don't feel like it is any pressure. You get drafted in this league. You get picked up in free agency to become a pro and be the best at what you do. When I'm out here, I'm just trying to work on my craft and get better every day. This is my job. I want to be professional so that's what I try to do every day."
(on if there's anything he has learned about himself as player) "I have to play at a high level every day. I know the talent is there. I'm supposed to be here. I just have to play at that high level every single day and I need to get that out of myself every single day."
(on what it means when the coaches tell the rookies that they don't have time to be rookies) "Exactly what those words mean. We have to come in and develop and we have to get better every single day. They (coaches) have to see improvement. They have to see us working and that's just what we try to do."
QB Matt Schaub
(on RB Ben Tate) "He's a hard worker, he really pushes (RB) Arian (Foster) and vice versa. They really go hand-in-hand and make each other work to get better. Ben's (Tate) such a patient running back which fits our zone scheme really well. He can break tackles, he's a physical runner, but, at the same time, he's got speed and quickness as well."
(on getting WR Andre Johnson back on the field this weekend) "Yeah, you want to get everyone out there to get some game action before the live bullets go in September. So it'll be good if he gets out there and we can get some balls completed and just get into a rhythm."
(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak charging him with an incompletion for missing dunking the Gatorade jug on him) "The thing was, it was (OLB) Connor (Barwin) and I both, it was a combined effort, and we had to go over the top of a few guys from the top shelf. It was a long way to go, and it didn't quite carry good enough, but we got him pretty good. We were more impressed with the rookies singing 'Happy Birthday' to him."
(on QB T.J. Yates saying Head Coach Gary Kubiak still has some speed ) "I don't know about that, I think that might be a little brown nosing. I don't think he's too quick."
(on how he feels the team is coming together) "We're working hard, we're just working through things. We got a bunch of young guys and guys that are new to this system, so just trying to bring them along. They're really studying and working hard, and guys are improving every day."
(on if QB Case Keenum picked up on anything from the offense quicker than he expected) "I mean, yeah. He's done a good job because it's so completely different from anything he's ever run. How we teach our quarterback play, he's really embraced it, grasped it and is working hard to get better at it."
The team practiced in the afternoon, and Kubiak answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of his interview.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on NT Shaun Cody's injury improving) "Yeah, he's doing pretty good. He had a big time improvement in the first 48 hours. I'd say he's probably the same today as he was yesterday but he's moving around good. They've got him on some type of stimulator that he's working on. I think that we probably get to next week and I'm not Kap (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) to tell you, but I'd imagine next week they'll get him moving around and see how he does."
(on ILB Darryl Sharpton's injury) "It's slow. It's positive but it's slow. We knew we were looking at a process that was possibly a month or five weeks. The question with him is going to be once we get there in two and half or three more weeks and start setting our rosters, is he close? Is he ready to go or is he still a ways away? So it's taking some time."
(on his plans for QB Case Keenum) "I really haven't talked with the coaches so I'd rather not get into that. But like I told you, I would like him to play a little bit more than he did last week. I would like him to play with some of our 'twos', offensively line wise, in this game. Do I switch him and John (Beck)? I don't know but we'll work through that tomorrow."
(on WR Lestar Jean playing inconsistent) "They're young. (WR DeVier) Posey really had a good morning and made some good plays. Lestar (Jean) had a good game. He's been practicing well. He dropped the ball (in practice) but that's part of it. The young kid (WR Keshawn Martin), we've switched him from one side to the other, so we're trying to check him as far as understanding our offense because he's going to have to play a couple spots. We probably slowed his process down a day or two but he picked it back up today. That's going to be an ongoing deal as we work through the preseason."
(on WR Andre Johnson's snaps) "He's definitely going to play (this weekend), unless there's any type of setback in the next two days. He's definitely going to play. Will he play as much as I play the starters? Probably not. I'll probably put a play count on him like I did the ones last week."
(on WR Andre Johnson) "He's fine. He's doing everything. He's taking all the reps he can possibly take. His conditioning level looks pretty good. Really it's a matter of just Andre (Johnson) getting back out there and getting hit again and beating bump again. He knows he needs to play and he's working his way toward getting there."
(on rookie K Randy Bullock) "Randy (Bullock) is all business. He's been pretty professional since the day we got him. He's got plenty of leg to do this job. It's a lot to ask of a young man and he's battling a savvy, veteran kicker who has been pretty successful in this league. He held his own last week and we'll keep going and see how it works out."
(on if the pressure is too much for K Randy Bullock) "Oh no, he's fine. He handles himself very well. He handled himself in college. I expect him to handle himself here. That's why we drafted him."
(on if there were any misses in this morning's kicking competition) "I think Randy (Bullock) had one. There's big debate on whether the other guy (K Shayne Graham) had one. It was close. We'll get the video out and see but they both kicked well this morning."
(on what he likes about QB Case Keenum) "I've told you this over and over again, this kid loves to play. That's important. I know that sounds cliché but he comes out here every day ready to work. He's very smart. He's picked up what we're doing. Guys kind of gravitate to him. We've got guys from all over this country trying to make this team and he can take his group and get them going in the right direction like he did the other night. He's got that 'it' factor and he's trying to figure out how to play the quarterback under the center again, and I think he's come a long way."
(on if he sees some of himself in QB Case Keenum) "I'll tell you, he achieved. He's the leading passer in NCAA history. It's amazing what he's done. I think the thing that's been impressive is after what he did in college and then you don't get drafted. There is no 'Why me?' in this kid. He has come here bright-eyed and ready to go every day. He knows he's got a challenge ahead of him but he is really answering the bell each and every day. He had a great morning this morning."
(on how turning 51 compares to other birthdays) "I don't know. These birthdays aren't what they used to be. I spent 29 of them in this league and at training camp so they're just another day."
(on if he's concerned that the offense isn't playing as well as the defense) "I think our defense is playing extremely well. I think our offense is doing some good things, too. We're trying to regroup with a young group of receivers and a new right side of our offensive line. I think we're kind of at where I thought we would be as a team. I think both sides of the ball got a lot to work on but we have played very well on defense. We moved the ball pretty good on offense last week. We can't turn it over, though."
(on if G Antoine Caldwell and T Rashad Butler will start this weekend) "I don't know. We've talked about maybe rotating those guys. All four of those guys will play three quarters of the game somehow, some way. That's the way we're doing it. Whether we let the guys operate and think of themselves as starters this week, we haven't made that decision."