In the first 2008 preseason game at Reliant Stadium, members of the Texans and Broncos spoke to the media after Houston's victory over Denver.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the status of RB Ahman Green) "All I know is that it is a pulled groin. To what extent, I don't think we will know until tomorrow morning. It was a slight pull. Nothing popped or anything."
(on his thoughts of T Duane Brown) "I have to go back and watch, but it looked like he functioned well in the first half. I'd have liked to actually see him get a few more snaps. I don't think we got many snaps in the first half. I want to say maybe 24 or 26 or something like that, if I'm right. We're going to have to go back and take a look, but it looked like the group functioned pretty good throughout the first half."
(on thoughts of K Kris Brown's kicks versus touchdowns) "It's probably the best thing we did tonight. Probably the best thing we did tonight on defense was play red zone defense, and probably the worst thing we did tonight on offense was play red zone offense. But no, Kris is just something. I'll tell you this: You've got an 80-man roster, which is what we all deal with now, so it's different. We decided as an organization to rely on our kickers. We trust them. They work. We came with two guys, and they have been excellent, and tonight has let you know that."
(on thoughts of playing WR David Anderson and his future) "I think he has a chance to be special. We've all seen it at camp, so it doesn't surprise you when he comes out here and starts to do things. He's tough, he understands the game, our quarterbacks trust him, our players love him, he's just a good football player. He has to gain a lot of confidence and he started tonight in our three wides' and if he continues at the pace he is going he's going to play a lot for this football team. Very, very impressive young man."
(on his thoughts on the quarterbacks) "(QB) Matt (Schaub), I was just looking here. Matt had five throws. I didn't like the last one. He's got to protect that ball and not take a chance with that ball, but I thought he functioned well. (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) is solid as he has always been. Made a great throw today on that one play that we busted up protection. I can't remember what the back was, but we missed a corner out there and we were lucky that we didn't lose Sage right there. But those two are solid, just like they've been in camp. I'm really impressed with (QB Shane) Boyd. I have been hard on him. He hasn't had a lot of reps. He knows this is kind of a really important cap on his career, and with a few reps he went in there and led the team. I was impressed with him."
(on the defense) "There are some things that we have to go look at, but I liked the way we held up on the drives. One-for-four in the red zone is what gave us the chance to win the football game. They attacked us with screens and things like that. We've got to be able to adjust and make them go somewhere else with the ball."
(on RB Steve Slaton) "He looked really good early. His first five touches, he looked faster then everybody else on the field, and that's what we thought we got (in the draft). He can't bounce the ball too much in this league or you're going to lose some ground, especially there at the end of the game. I think it was a good start for him. He's got more speed than anyone else."
(on the running game overall) "We didn't have one at the beginning. We weren't on the field that long on in the first half. We've just got to keep working on it. The thing that I was impressed with was running the ball when everybody knows they are going to run it; I know there was a lot of young kids out there the mentality of the football team has to be where we can run the ball."
(on RB Ahman Green being the only injury) "He is the only one."
(on the biggest concern of the team) "Biggest concern is No. 30. That's a huge concern; we kind of lost him in the same scenario last year. It was the first play of the game against the Colts and we lost him. He has been exceptional, great at camp, but it is a concern. He's out there to help us, so hopefully we can dodge the bullet and get him back out there."
Houston Texans WR David Anderson
(on being a veteran and how it's different from his first couple of years) "Yeah, it's a big difference. My first year was making sure you don't make any mistakes; last year was trying to learn as much as I could. This year, I think I know the offense pretty well, enough to make up when something is wrong but comfortable enough to where you can just go out there and make plays."
(on finding a niche on special teams) "Definitely. You have to get in there and make some plays on special teams if you want to make this team."
(on his touchdown tonight) "It never becomes old to get into the end zone, that's for sure. People always say, 'Celebrate like you've been there before,' but I say, 'Celebrate like you're never going to get there again,' because you never know if it's going to be your last play ever in the NFL."
(on him being close to being out of bounds on his touchdown catch) "I felt like I kicked the pylon, so I know if I touch that then I'm in. I'm pretty sure I got my toes in, and that's all you can hope for. As soon as I saw him put his hands up, it's not like I'm going to complain, so that was the way it went."
(on what play he scored on) "It was basically like a comeback, but it's a whirl because you are closer to the end zone. So, everyone in the NFL kind of runs it; you have to go in the back of the end zone and come back out. I saw that (QB) Sage (Rosenfels), I was one of his only options besides running, so I just came out there and was hoping for the ball. When I got open, he bit it, and he put the ball in a spot where only I could catch it."
(on if he was surprised they threw the ball to him so much tonight) "Not really. When they told me in the beginning, I was going to play the third receiver in the first quarter and running with the starting group in the second and third quarters. So, that means a lot of balls. Especially when you have a guy like (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) in there with you, who I've been with with the two's for a long time, and so it just worked out that way."
Houston Texans QB Shane Boyd
(on playing against the Broncos tonight) "It was just fun to get out there and start playing football. It's just what we do. We've been banging on each other for a couple of weeks now and it's good to bang on some other people and take some frustrations we got out in camp out on someone else."
(on RB Steve Slaton's performance tonight) "He was able to be a workhorse. He's more of a scat-back-type guy but he showed he's able to carry the ball, carry the load, take some hits and keep us on the field. That's what (head) Coach (Gary Kubiak) told us. He told us to protect the ball. He told me to remind (RB) Steve (Slaton) to hold onto the ball and stay inbounds and keep the clock rolling."
(on how RB Steve Slaton reacted on the field as far as being a rookie) "He reacted good. He acted like most rookies. He took his bumps and he can't do anything but get better from here on out. He's going to be a great player; he has a lot of skills. We know what we can do as far as his ability, so he's going to continue to get better and better with each game."
(on the speed of the game) "Same speed. I've been around for a couple of years now, but it's a different speed as far as practice. It's live bullets, and you are getting hit now. It's a little different in that aspect but I had the offensive line blocking for me and the backs, all the skill positions, doing their jobs. The game slows down when you are controlling the game like that."
(on how he rates his performance tonight) "There were areas I can improve on, but it felt good, for one, to just get the win, to lead that final drive and get a win. This is preseason, the games don't count, but at the same time it's good to start a winning atmosphere and that's what we are trying to get in Houston is a winning atmosphere. Coming off last year's 8-8 and continuing to build."
Houston Texans T Duane Brown
(on what surprised him about the game) "Just the tempo, really. You can practice against it, but there's really no comparison to an actual game. Everybody's flying around. Linebackers are really closing the gaps and they've just go to go, but I picked it up and I felt pretty good out there."
(on hitting somebody from another team) "It felt great. You try to lay off people after a while in practice, but going against people that you don't know too much about, you just get in there and get after it. It was a great feeling."
(on how he would grade his performance) "I'd give myself probably a 'B.' I think I did pretty good, especially in pass protection. But I have a ways to go, a lot of polishing up on my technique and everything to get ready for next week against New Orleans."
(on being able to prepare by practicing against DE Mario Williams) "Oh, it helped tremendously. Like I said, you don't find too many guys with that size and speed. So I was pretty ready for the speed of the defensive ends, but they didn't have his strength, so it was a bit easier."
Houston Texans K Kris Brown
(on having a game-winning kick) "It never gets old. That's why you play the position. That's why you play this game, to have a chance to put your team up with one kick and, just like we did today, have it be the last play of the game. That's what you play for."
(on knowing the kick was coming based on the way the Texans drove down the field) "Yeah, you could kind of get a feel for the way the game was going. Once they tied the game up, all we needed was one good drive and (QB) Shane (Boyd) did an awesome job of putting us in a position to do that, so that's what it takes. That's playing this game in the National Football League."
(on this game boosting his confidence even more in the wake of his strong 2007 season) "Well, it's huge. To come back in training camp and to continue the work that (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) and I have done on my technique and what we're doing, just to be able to continue what we did last year, it's been huge. It just reaffirms that some of the things that we've been doing were the right changes to make."
Houston Texans DT Frank Okam
(on his first game) "A lot of emotion. You're excited. It was kind of hard because you knew you weren't really going to get in until the second half and then control your emotions that whole first half, but seeing the first string go out there and dominate that first series really got you jacked up and going and got the blood flowing. And just being able to go out there and try to show what you can do as a player, that you can succeed in this league, I think is important for all the rookies."
(on how the preseason compares to playing a Division II school in college) "It still felt like the big game. It's your first game, so it's definitely the biggest game at least of my NFL career. I thought about it when I got to college as a freshman; I thought I was going to be a little bit overwhelmed. But just like in college, I was able to focus on what you're doing and try to make plays. If you focus on your assignments and executions, you really can be successful in this league."
(on how he would grade his performance tonight) "You know, I really don't know a grade that I'd give myself. I just know I tried to play my hardest out there and give it all I could and whatever happens, they'll do the grading. I just will focus on playing."
Houston Texans QB Sage Rosenfels
(on his performance tonight) "I think, for the most part, as a group we did a lot of good things. It's good to go out there against somebody else. We've been beating on each other for two weeks, and I think for the most part we did good things. Offensively, we didn't turn the ball over. We did on special teams, obviously. That was sort of our Achilles' heal last year and hopefully we'll clean that up this year."
Houston Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
(on how the defense played tonight) "We were planning on going out and shutting them down for two series coming out with the first unit, but our second and third guys came out and stepped up and played well for us. They played good red zone defense, kept them to field goals and that's what kept us in the game and helped us go on winning."
(on how the secondary played tonight) "The secondary played well. They had a couple interceptions. That's always big. We are harping on getting turnovers this year and that's a big thing for us and that made this thing happen for us."
(on using the headset in his helmet) "It worked out good. Starting out, it was good, but when it got going on us, driving the ball on some series, we got a couple calls that were delayed. Then the system shut off, so we had to go back to the hand signals."
(on how big of an adjustment it was to use the headset) "Not a big adjustment at all. I didn't even have to make an adjustment. It's just easier for me. I don't have to look over there and get any signals; I can just stand there and listen to the calls. But we always are going to take our signals in every game, because you never know when it will go out on us."
(on if he does a lot of teaching on the sidelines while he isn't in the game) "You do a little bit here and there, if the young guys have a question for me. But for the most part, they know what they are doing. I just like to let guys go out and play. I'm not the type of guy who wants somebody up trying to tell me, 'Do this, do that,' every play. You just want to go out and play your game and don't have anybody on your back the whole game."
Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on facing a different team on defense) "It seems like these past two weeks has been a year's worth of time. It's good to go out there and play someone else's defense other than your own. Your defense starts to adapt to what you do as an offense, but when you start facing someone else, you start seeing some different defenses and they don't quite have a key on what you do."
(on good things he saw from game) "Guys were playing well. Guys in tune to what we were trying to get done in situations especially at the end in the fourth quarter, tied ball game, just working the clock. Once we got in field goal range we got to use as much time as we could and getting a field goal with no time, giving them no opportunity. Guys were doing what they had to do and not making the mental mistakes that you usually see in first preseason games. That was good to see."
Houston Texans RB Steve Slaton
(on if Kubiak told him to protect the ball when he was on the field) "Definitely. That's how you lose your job quickly, if the ball hits the ground. I don't want to have my first show out there and put it on the ground."
(on how much his performance helps his confidence) "It helps out a lot because moving up to the NFL, you have a lot of doubts of what you can and can't do. Just having that opportunity to go out there and make some plays was a big thing for me."
(on if he likes being able to show that he could be an every-down running back) "Definitely. I think the whole stable of running backs could all go in there and hold their own."
(on how well he did tonight) "I think I did well. The one thing about our running back group is that we all have something different to offer. We're all not the same, so we offer a change of pace and it makes it hard on a defense to just game plan for one guy."
(on how hard it was waiting for his chance to get into the game) "It's just like a hurry-up-and-wait thing. Luckily, I got in there in the second half to do some kick returns. That knocked out my little jitters, to finally get that first hit and knowing what it's going to be like, and it got a little easier from there."
Houston Texans RB Chris Taylor
(on being back from injury) "It feels great running out the tunnel and seeing all the fans and everything. It was a great feeling."
(on missing the game) "I didn't realize how much I missed it until I actually ran out there. I knew that now that I'm here, I didn't want to go back to where I was."
Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan
(on LB Louis Green) "He feels good right now but we won't know for sure here for a couple hours. We feel pretty good about where he's at, hopefully with no setback."
(on LB Boss Bailey) "He has an ankle sprain and we'll have to check that tomorrow and see how bad that really is. It will probably be a couple weeks."
(on LB Louis Green and seriousness of injury) "Lou's got feeling right now, it's a good sign and very positive. Hopefully there is no setback."
(on how the team played) "We need a little more continuity here and I thought we got it. The guys have some experience as a group which is what you need on the offensive line. I will have to take a look at the film for sure."
(on penalties) "Well you know you're going to have those penalties, it's part of the game but we had way too many penalties. I think we had thirteen penalties or somewhere in that area. It's hard to win with thirteen penalties, but you know it kind of goes with the territory and watching young guys play, so hopefully we can improve over the next
Denver Broncos RB Andre Hall
(on how he felt about the 2nd Quarter ) "It's still early, we have to be patient and go back to the drawing board"
(on how frustrating it is not getting into the end zone) "It's preseason, we'll find it, it's preseason"
Denver Broncos T Ryan Clady
(on playing with the first team) "I think we played well. Our offense made some big plays. I think I need to get a little more physical."
(on the Broncos' offensive line being a work in progress) "There are things we need to improve on. There are a few things we can go over in practice to see where we can improve."
Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler
(on thoughts of first game) "Obviously you want to win. We're disappointed in that. We've got a lot of young guys. We've got to look at the film and see what we did good and what we did bad."
(on growing pains of offensive line) "We've got a whole new offensive line out there. Two young guys on the tackle so I mean we're going to have to grow with them and they're going to have to learn game by game and make mistakes that rookies make. We'll work with them and I thought they had a good performance."
(on the talent of the offensive line) "I thought they've had a great game so far. I couldn't be happier with the protection in the pockets we've gotten so far."
(on the team being physically healthy) "Yeah, good numbers to start with and good numbers to end with. Can't get too excited when we don't play too serious."
(on the pressure of leading a young offense) "I think every quarterback in the league feels like their offense is on their shoulders. You're the trigger man, you wait for the decisions out there. I try to be. Definitely coming into my third year, there's even more pressure."
(on his touchdown run) "Great protection to start off with. I was looking for a pattern slightly for the drive going out of there. I felt like the clock was going off, I had to go. I was still looking downfield to see if we could make a play. Had some great looks downfield with (WR) Eddie Royal and (TE) Tony (Scheffler). It's one of those things."
(on injuries of the defense after first drive) "Me and the team, we're all professionals out there. We know the risk involved with playing football. You hate to see it but you know it's part of the game. So guys, they bounce back and we had the huddle. We made a great attempt at the second drive. We weren't wasting a lot of time out there."
Denver Broncos T Ryan Harris
(on how frustrating the loss is) "Very. You think about how you want to start the season and that's not it. There are no excuses for stuff like that. I didn't play very well"
Denver Broncos S Marlon McCree
(on how it felt to be in a Denver Broncos uniform for the first time) "It felt pretty good. We have a lot to clean up but overall pretty good"
(on this year's run defense compared to last year's) "The run defense worked well for us and we have two more pre-season games to touch everything up"
Denver Broncos RB Selvin Young
(on coming back to Houston) "It's always good to come back to home. This is where I'm from. It really felt good to come home."
(on his first season as a starter) "My tempo can never change. I have kept the same mindset that I had that got me here. A lot of players have a little success and want to do things their way, but I am one of those guys that sticks with what got me here."
(on playing against his former teammate DT Frank Okam) "We did not get a chance to go heads up but I was watching him. I watched his footwork. I watched him on the kickoffs also. It looks like he will be a good fit for the Texans."