Head coach Gary Kubiak and players spoke to the media on Thursday following a morning workout at the Methodist Training Center. Following are their comments.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on day two) "We practiced pretty good. It's great to have this kind of weather this time of year. As we know it's not going to stay like this for long, but we had some good work. Bounced around good. I will say again that the thing that has been impressive I think is there is a lot of poise out here right now. There are not a lot of sloppy things going on and that's good; that means we're growing up a little bit. So, just excited about that."
(on if everyone was at practice) "Today yes, everybody is here. You know the guys that are missing and the Kailee (Wong) situation. Other than that, everyone is here. We had one young guy roll an ankle pretty good so we'll have to wait and see, (Luke) Smith-Anderson."
(on he's seen QB Matt Schaub taking over the leadership role) "Yes, I have. That is his personality. I think that's his strength. We kind of knew that. People kind of gravitate to the young man. He has a lot of confidence in what everybody is doing and not just what he's doing, and you can see that on the field with players asking him questions, 'Where do I go here?' He has got a great grasp for it. He can worry about a lot of people, not just himself, and that is pretty evident watching him work out here."
(on LB Charlie Anderson) "He's in a battle. (LB) Shantee (Orr) played well for us last year and they are battling at that same position. And you've got Charlie, Shantee, Danny Clark came in here to battle for that spot. Charlie is a young player that we could probably talk about six or seven of those guys around here that have been around here for a few years, are good young players that need to take another step and become good or great players and Charlie is one of those guys. He has shown signs of doing that. He missed a lot of time last year in OTAs, but hopefully he can stay healthy, work hard and make a lot of ground up."
(on positions for LBs Danny Clark and Shawn Barber) "We are going to play our best three linebackers. Right now Danny is playing some Mike, and Shawn is playing the Sam and the Will position. But, we're going to play our best three linebackers. We know who our middle linebacker is and Morlon (Greenwood) played well and Morlon has a spot on this football team, but, we have very good competition at the linebacker spot this year and that is a good thing for our team. Who the final three will be, we'll wait and see."
(on possibly bringing in other kickers) "I like our two kickers. We all know that last year definitely not one of his better years, but I think that (P) Chad (Stanley) is very capable of being a top punter in this league. And (K) Kris (Brown) struggled at times last year, but finished extremely strong. I think we have two very good kickers. The important thing is you have to continue to have competition for those guys, but yet, those are roster spots that are so valuable, so it's hard right now with the cap. So what you try to do is bring in somebody who can do both, which is kind of what we did with this kid from Florida (Eric Wilbur), he can kick off and he can punt, so hopefully he'll push them."
(On S Jason Simmons and RB Ahman Green's deal to switch numbers for charity) "I think it's good. I have noticed that throughout our offseason and working out these first few days, we have some veterans on this football team. When Ahman Green walks on the football field, it's instant respect because of the way he's played and stuff, but the guys that we have on our team that are up in years, so to speak, and have been playing for a while are classy guys and that's what we want because we have such a young group that they have to have good role models every day. I think we've got that right now."
(on the battle at cornerback to play opposite Dunta Robinson) "That is Petey's (DeMarcus Faggins) job. Petey has played really well for us. He came off the injury and played for our football team last year, but we've got to have competition to get better everywhere. That is why (Jamar) Fletcher is here and that is why we drafted the kid we drafted (Fred Bennett). Von Hutchins is doing a good job out there, and Dexter Wynn. Our football team is more competitive, not just that spot, but our whole football team is more competitive."
RB Ahman Green
(on the first couple of days of OTAs) "It's going good. It's a luxury—you don't realize how big of a luxury it is to play in 80 degree weather at practice, because in Green Bay it took me a while to get warmed up. But out here, I just come out here and jog from the stadium over here (to the practice facility) and I'm good. I don't have to put all the Icy Hot on and all of that stuff."
(on the atmosphere at practice) "The team atmosphere is great. These guys are young and hungry. I remember when I was their age, I just had a hunger in me that I wanted to not only get better, I wanted to help my team get better. I knew my role was to play special teams and be a third-down back and so I did it to the best of my ability. Then in Green Bay when I became a starter, it was the same thing. And I can sense that here in every position. All the young guys; even the guys that are starters that are young—(DE) Mario (Williams), (S) C.C. (Brown) in the defensive backfield—those guys, you can tell that they're hungry. (WR) Andre (Johnson), all of those guys. They want to get better. They want to stop being the pushover in the AFC South."
(on being perceived as an 'old guy' at 30 years old) "I was speaking in football terms. Age is just a number. I don't care if I'm 40, as long as I can still do the things as a running back, I'm going to do it at 40. When I said youth, I'm talking about on the field, playoffs, championship games, that type of youth. There's not a lot of guys that have done it. Myself—playoffs, (DT) Jeff (Zgonina), the defensive lineman—Super Bowl. People like that that have come in and have that experience, we want it to rub off on the young guys. Right now, it is that they're so hungry that they need guidance. They want to get there. With Andre, he's been to a Pro Bowl, so he's got the hunger and he played at Miami, so he has that championship experience. You've just got to find the direction, not the right drive, to get there."
(on his leadership style) "I lead by example. I'm not much of a talker; I talk when it needs to be said. Pretty much, when I say something, it needs to be said. Other than that, I let my actions do the talking, on the practice field or in the game."
WR Andre Johnson
(on QB Matt Schaub earning the respect of his teammates) "His first day here, we worked out together. He called everyone up and said what he had to say, and that was big. A lot of people don't do that on their first day being with the team, and I think just by him doing that, he caught a lot of guys' attention."
(on if the possibilities for the offense this season) "Everyone is excited about it. Coach (Mike) Sherman is the offensive coordinator now, and he's put in some plays and everyone's trying to get them down pat. We're out here making plays and learning at the same time, so it's all going to take time and hopefully we can get it all down in OTAs so that when we come in at training camp, we can have it down and we won't miss a beat."
(on if he has set goals for the 2007 season) "Right now, you want to be better than you were the season before. Other than that, right now I really haven't set any goals, but the goal for this tam is just to get into the playoffs. That's my biggest goal for this year. That's everyone's goal throughout this organization, and if we do that, when you get into the playoffs it's a new season and then who knows what can happen from there."
(on WR coach Larry Kirksey) "You can tell he's been around a great group of receivers. He's watching you when you don't think he's watching. Today, he was telling me, 'What do you see?' and I was like, 'I don't know what you're talking about.' When I got in the stretching line, he was like, 'I'm watching you at all times.' So every little thing I do, my first day out here, he told me to put my shirt in my pants. He's on my about every little thing, but it's not a bad thing; it's a good thing. He watches everything you do, so when you're out there doing something wrong or something he thinks that can be done better, he's going to talk to you and let you know."
(on the rookie wide receivers) "All three of them have a lot of talent. The first day we came out, I was just watching them as we did some drills and all three of them are really talented. They ask questions trying to learn things because they don't get many reps, so we just try to help them out as much as possible. Any question they ask, I try to tell them what to do or just try to help them out as much as possible. But it's a learning process for them and they use this time now to learn as much as they can about the offense and get it down pat so that when it gets to training camp, they can go out and compete for a job."
WR Jacoby Jones
(on looking forward to playing in front of an NFL crowd) "Man, I can't wait to see it. My flesh will probably be crawling, but I can't wait to see what that's like."
(on the biggest crowd he played in front of in college) "I'd say 7,000, and that was Tuskeegee's homecoming. At most, we'd probably get a handful in our stadium (at Lane College). We played at a high school stadium."
(on if he dreamed of playing in the NFL while at Lane) "What I did was I made it a goal instead of a dream. So with a goal, you reach your standards; if it's a dream, if you don't make it, you're just like, 'Man, that was my dream.' So what I did was set it as a goal."
(on if he feels he has to prove himself versus Division I players) "Of course you have to dominate, but you have to work 100 percent harder than anyone else. You've got to block 100 percent and run after the catch, everything, harder than a D-1 player. That's how you stand out."
(on his feelings on draft day) "The first round went by and the second round went by and I started biting my nails. Then the third round came up and I didn't know the Texans were on the clock, and my uncle said, 'You're going to go at the 73rd pick,' and I knew something had to give. So we walked in the house and my phone rang and it was the Texans. Mr. Smith (Texans general manager Rick Smith) said, 'We're going to take you.' The first thing I said was, 'What took you so long to call me?' My mom cried, she fainted, everything. It was emotional."
(on learning from WR Andre Johnson) "Hey, that guy is amazing. You see he's that big and can move like that and run routes like that. I steal some of his things, but don't tell him that. I'm trying to steal his knowledge."