*TUNE INTO TEXANS TV ON HOUSTONTEXANS.COM FRIDAY AT 3:30 P.M. CT TO WATCH LIVE GARY KUBIAK'S PRESS CONFERENCE. **
Head coaches Gary Kubiak and Jon Gruden and members of the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers spoke to the media after the Texans-Buccaneers game.
* Houston Texans
*Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (on team injuries during the game) "We lost Cedric (Killings) there late in the game on the touchdown play where they lost their player. Boy, he's been a fine player for us. I don't know the extent of it. You know, we were running out of bodies there at the end. But, I'm really proud of our guys. I thought they fought through. I handcuffed the coaches from the standpoint of who wasn't going to play and who was going to play. It's one night where our defense was on the field a lot, and I'm proud of their effort. I think we got to take a great look at our players and now we've got to go back and make some decisions."
(on what he saw from quarterback Jared Zabransky) "I see a tough-minded kid. His first play in the NFL he throws an interception, but he comes back and battles all night and gave us a chance to make some plays. We didn't protect him too good early, but that's the NFL. I think the kid has shown that he can play this game, and there's a lot he has to learn. But he definitely showed us some things tonight that warrant us taking a second look at him."
(on how ready the team is for the regular season) "We're ready to go. There's so many things you have to accomplish in the preseason. You have to evaluate your team, but you also want to play well and you want to win games. I think we accomplished a lot of things. I think we were in position to be a 4-0 preseason team. So I like the way we were in position every week. We got to look at a lot of players. We got to play a lot of guys. Our ones showed us good stuff. We've looked at those guys. Now's the tough part. Now's the worst part of the business. When you've got 75 guys in there that gave me everything they had for the last six weeks, and I've got to go tell 22 of them no. It's very difficult."
(on what he saw that will translate to the regular season) "I thought if I looked at our one's progress through the preseason, I thought it was very positive. I thought our starters played pretty good against a Chicago football team. I thought we went on the road and handled noise and those types of things. I thought we played with poise. I thought we beat an excellent team in Dallas when were treating it like a regular season game and we raised our level of play. And then we played a lot of young kids tonight and came in here in a visiting stadium, and I thought they did some good things. There's a lot of positive things going on and now it's time to do it for real."
(on cornerback Jamar Fletcher standing out during the preseason) "Yeah, he really has. And we were out of bodies with the defense on the back end, and he went back in pretty much the whole dang game and he's a veteran in this league. I'm very proud of him and how he battled through. He's a playmaker. If the ball comes his way, he's going to make a play on the ball."
(on the injuries during the preseason) "We were very fortunate, especially with the way we were getting pretty worn out in this game just body wise. We almost had to put Danny Clark back in there for a period of time. I didn't want to do that. We were running low on DB's, but if you look at the overall picture, we're very, very fortunate. We lost Glenn (Earl), which was the biggest loss for with him being a starter, but I think we are very fortunate."
(on what he told Zabransky after the game) "I said those few plays at the end there, son, that's an NFL quarterback. You make those plays, you put us in position to win. And he knows that. He's tough on himself. I think he's only going to get better, but I like what he stands for. He's a tough kid, and you've got to be to play his position in this league."
(on how prepared the team is for Kansas City) That's a tough question to answer right now. I feel good about the team. I feel good about the progress we've made. But, I'm also smart enough to know we fixing to go face a Kansas City team that's coming into our place, hoping that they are the ones that has the big guy, toting the ball and playing good defense under Herm (Edwards) and Gunther Cunningham. So, I know we are fixing to go head-on that day. I just want to make sure our players know that too."
(on the status of cuts and starters) "I will let you know on Saturday."
* Quarterback Jared Zabransky
*(on how it felt to get extended NFL playing time) "It's been such a long time since I'd actually played football. I started thinking about that, it'd been eight months since I'd been hit. So I just took a little while to get comfortable, but once my comfort level started getting to where it usually is, I felt pretty good."
(on how hard was it to be pick on first play) "I felt like it was typical. You know, I went to Georgia in '05 and had almost the same exact play – tried to throw it late across the middle on a keeper. From already being in a situation like that and experiencing something like that, I knew not to get down on myself, there were three quarters left, and my teammates were with me and there was definitely a lot of football left. So all I had to do was stay focused and go one play at a time and just stay in there."
(on how much he's learned over the course of the last month) "Oh, a whole lot. I've got some great coaches here that have really introduced me to the NFL. College football is quite a bit different. They talk about the speed change, but there's a lot more intricacies in the NFL game that you don't really know about coming in, you know, how to use your eyes as a quarterback to control defenses, sitting on your back foot and holding the ball when there might be a rush coming at you and letting it get into another lane to complete a pass. It's just stuff that you take for granted in college, because you're used to playing with guys at a slower pace, and it's just a different game. And my coaches have done a great job in teaching me how to be patient at times and where to go with the football and introducing me to the NFL game."
(on what he expects in the coming days) "You know, I hope I can be with this football team- whatever way it is. I felt like when I made my decision to come to Houston, I wanted to be with the Houston Texans. They've shown me a lot of love and they've got personnel from top to bottom that has been great toward me, and I just want to be in Houston."
(on how much he's learned from Kubiak) "A whole lot. He's definitely there all the time. He kind of stands far away, but he's watching everything, he's got a good eye for stuff and he tells you exactly what's on his mind, which is good for me."
(on if it was good to get the two-minute drill in) "It was. You want to come out with a win and I wanted to win it for our guys, and they battled and hung in there. You know, things don't always work out the way you want it to. That's why we play this game. It's not always for the big wins or the comeback wins, it's just to come back the next week and prove that you can win that football game."
* Wide receiver Jacoby Jones
*(on the team's performance tonight)"I think we played hard and worked hard tonight, but I wish we could have come out with a win."
(on the preseason)"I think we did pretty good overall this year. I think we will have a powerhouse this year."
(on looking forward to the regular season) "I treat the preseason just like the regular season. I get a feel for the game and just basically getting ready for Kansas City."
* Running back Wali Lundy
*(on performance and making the final cut)"I think I showed them I could get on special teams and help the team out. I had one tackle on special teams. I ran the ball well. Our offense did a good job blocking and I got into the end zone. Hopefully, everything will work out tomorrow."
* (on what he needed to show in tonight's game)*"Just that I can make plays. I felt like I had a good camp, and I didn't make enough plays in other games. I felt like I had to come out here and make some plays and show them what I could do with the ball."
* Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Head coach Jon Gruden
(opening comments) "I am obviously very disappointed that Paris Warren's season is over. It puts a real stain on tonight's effort. But I am proud of our guys. We started lousy. We couldn't have started any worse, but McCown got us going and made some plays. A lot of young guys did well for themselves tonight and there were some guys that obviously didn't do as well. We'll have to make some tough decisions here, but I like our football team."
(on the Paris Warren injury) "I believe it was a terrible dislocated ankle. It was a freak thing. On the touchdown reception you could see that the ball was slightly under thrown and he was pulled down from behind. It was ugly. I think you saw our team out there and it was a credit to see how important he was to our guys."
(on players on the bubble that made a difference tonight) "We're on the bubble here. Me, our whole team, is on the bubble. We've got to get it right here. We've got to win some games. And we'll do the best we can to keep the right 53 guys and if we don't have 53 guys out there then we'll go get some players from some other teams here but we do have some guys that did do well tonight and you saw it for yourself."
* Defensive end Gaines Adamas
*(on his first preseason) "Overall, I feel pretty good, but I have a lot more room for improvement. I have to come out this week and get ready for the regular season."
(on his major improvements over the preseason) "I think I became a better player by becoming a better listener. [After] listening to some of the veteran guys who were teaching me some things to help me improve my game. So really, I think I have become a better listener."
(on his goals for the regular season) "[My goal is] to come out and do my best and help this team be the best team they can be."
* Running back Earnest Graham*
(on how he thinks he performed in tonight's game) "It's the last game of preseason, so everybody is trying to put good stuff on tape because they have decisions to make on Saturday. Plays were called, so I did what I've been doing since I got here, just trying to make a play and it went down for me."
(on the preseason) "I didn't play as much as I usually do in the preseason, but I was in there, and did what I wanted to do, which was hold on to the ball, make some strong runs when I was in there. I wanted to be good on protection. I wanted to be good on special teams, so I was pretty solid all the way around. We have a long way to go as far as the season is concerned."
(on looking forward to the regular season) "I'm very excited about the regular season. I think it's going to be an exciting year, we have some things coming together."
* (on personal goals for the season)* "I want to go to the Pro Bowl on special teams. That's definitely a goal of mine."
Quarterback Luke McCown (on playing for the first time since 2004)"It feels great to get into a rhythm and get some things going. We were a little sloppy to start. We had a fumble and I have to do a better job at feeling the rush. We did some good things. We put some drives together as a second offense. We did some good things. We have to go back and evaluate it, and get ready for the regular season."
**(on rallying back from the early miscues)"We just wanted to go out and play. As a second group of offensive guys, we wanted to go out and get into a rhythm, put some good plays together, and I think we did execute some plays and I think we did that for the most part."
(on the upcoming cuts)"You know what, for me it's out of my control. All I can do is do what I can do on the field. They have some tough decisions to make and who knows, we'll see."
(on Paris Warren's injury) "Paris is great player. He really is one of the classy players on this team. To do what he's done out here and play all the positions, he's such a great football player. That's what he is, he's a football player. He's a great friend and my heart is literally broken for him tonight."