Texans head coach Gary Kubiak moves past the preseason and on to regular season roster cuts.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak spoke to members of the media Friday about the players the team had released.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the cuts that were made today) "I guess the topic today is going to be our cutdown process, so, I'll start with that. We've released 20 players. We will not actually release these guys until tomorrow, but we're letting you guys know today. We are going to release 20 players. We still have two moves that we have to make before the deadline. We have to get that done. As of right now, we've released Drew Hodgdon, Mike Brisiel, Bethel Johnson, Jon Abbate, (Jared) Zabransky, Darius Walker, Brandon Frye, Keenan McCardell, Wali Lundy, David Anderson, Alfred Malone, DelJuan Robinson, Victor Degrate, Trent Bray, Brandon Mitchell, John Walker, Tyrone Poole, Dexter McCleon, Tim Bulman, and Chad Stanley. Those are our twenty, if my number's correct. That gets us to 55 and as I said, we still have a couple moves to make as a football team. Those will be made by the deadline tomorrow, which I think is 5:00 p.m. here for us in Houston. It was a very, very difficult day. As I told you all last night, when you have these kids that have been going hard for you since March 1 trying to make this football team, and there are a number of guys that are getting let go today that were part of this football last year. That makes it even more difficult. That's part of the process. I've had a chance to visit with each and everyone of them, except Tyrone Poole. I haven't visited with him yet. I sat down with everyone of these kids today, and some of them could be coming back via the practice squad, those types of things. There is still a lot to do as we set the roster, but that's where we're at as of right now."
(on if Keenan McCardell's contract played a factor in him getting released) "I'll have to let Rick (Smith) talk to you about contracts, from that standpoint. The bottom line was were we going to keep a sixth receiver. It's a simple question. You look at Bethel (Johnson). You look at David (Anderson). And you look at Keenan (McCardell). Bethel, he's a guy that has speed and some special teams ability. You look at David, he's a guy that can play all the spots, plays well on special teams, and he's done a good job for this team. Then you're looking at a guys who's all about class, leadership, bringing a mentor-type situation to your receiver group. He could definitely have helped up. But, what really happened, and I've mentioned this to you over and over again, this is the way I see, and I tell the kids the same thing. The key has been the emergence of number 12 (Jacoby Jones). We drafted this kid in the third round, and had I been standing here today with him having a slow process of becoming a player in this league and helping this team, then there's no doubt we're keeping six. I think his growth in such a short period of time and what he's been able to do has helped us keep five wide receivers. That's the bottom line. That's how we ended up. All three of those guys did a heck of a job. They all could have added something to our football team. We feel comfortable with the five that we have. A couple of those guys are special teams players. I expect Kevin (Walter) to continue to play special teams and two of them are our starting returners. It helped us add a spot in a couple of different directions."
(on what happened to punter Chad Stanley since last season) "I've only been around Chad (Stanley) of course, through last year and the camp this year. We talked today at length. He was the first young man that I saw. He was up there early. He would be the first to tell you he didn't kick as well last year, especially when we got out of the nice environment of Reliant and got on the road, New York a couple of times, and then New England. He didn't kick the way he's capable of kicking or the way he had in the past. We thought that it was important that we push him this year. That's why (Matt) Turk was brought in. They're both better punters because of the competition, but we just feel that Matt won the job, and then it was compounded a little bit with the fact that Chad's plant leg has been bothering him the last two preseason games. He tried to work through it, but I'm sure it affected him. It was good competition. It made our team better, and we just feel that Matt won the job."
(on what area the remaining two cuts are going to come from) "That's really hard. I'm not avoiding the question. It's really difficult. There are a lot of ifs involved in this situation. There are a lot of phone calls going on around the league right now. We're fielding a lot of phone calls. We're making some phone calls. It's natural to look at our rosters and see seven linebackers, 10 defensive linemen, four tight ends. You can do the math and look at the different spots of where we're going to have to find another spot or two. There's still a lot of business to be done over the course of the next 36 hours, so to speak. We'll see what happens."
(on what it means about the depth at running back when your starting running back from last year was released) "The thing you hope is that means you're getting better. We added a great running back in the offseason. Ron (Dayne) ended up playing well for us late last year. Samkon (Gado) had an excellent offseason and an excellent training camp and Chris Taylor isn't even there. That would have made it even more difficult to make that spot. Wali (Lundy) and I talked today. He's a better player then he was last year. He started for us on opening day, but I think he improved. I think the group as a whole improved and it was a tough call between him and Samkon. We felt that Samkon had won that position and it was very difficult to let Wali go. I think he'll play in this league and play for a long time. But, you can't keep them all. When you start talking about 53, that's not a lot of jobs. It's just a tough decision."
(on how the offensive line is shaking down) "Probably the most difficult spot to cut down because we have some young players there. We had to make a very difficult decision on Brandon Frye, a draft choice, who has some ability. He was behind the players because of his ankle. He missed a lot of time. He was behind. I think the message is, we're going to draft our guys, but at the end of the day, we have to get ready to play Kansas City. Even though he was a draft choice, we had to make a decision there that's best for our football team. You have young player like (Kasey) Studdard who's done some good things and makes your roster. We're really keeping three centers, but the way we look at it as a staff, we see Steve (McKinney), if anything happens to one of our guards, we see Steve as the movement guy for our football team. That's kind of the way that panned out when it looks heavy at the center position, but that's the reason. And Scott Jackson is actually a kid that has emerged over the course of the last two weeks. We were playing Kevin Barry ahead of him. He got hurt. We gave Scott a chance to play against Dallas and, of course, this week. He's got some versatility. He can play inside as well as outside. I think him stepping up the last two weeks made us comfortable with him in that role. But those were some difficult decisions."
(on if he expects center Chris White to play this year) "I think Chris (White) has shown that he can play in this league. I think if I go back and look at Chris's progress when you look at last year and you look at the OTAs, you say 'holy smokes, this guy may be ready to be a starter in this league for a long time.' We think that process has slowed down a little bit during training. Not anything to where it went backwards, but we think it slowed down a little bit. I think Chris, we would all like to see him put a little weight on, from a size standpoint. There's no doubt in our mind that he's going to be a player in this league. That's why we found a way to hang on to three of them."