Head coach Gary Kubiak, Texans owner Bob McNair and players spoke to the media after the team's 27-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the win) "Character and effort it was. You have a team that is going a lot of places this year and we're staring at two weeks left and two games and bunch of players out and a bunch of reasons maybe for something not to go right. It's just one of the most unselfish team efforts that I have ever been around. I've been doing this a long time and it just makes you feel good about your people and where you are heading and what you're doing. It tells you what it takes to beat a great team. We probably couldn't have played any better then we played and we barely got out of there with our lives. That's how good they are and that's how tough this league is. I'm just very proud of our football team."
(on putting pressure on K Kris Brown) "The one thing we weren't going to do is he (QB Peyton Manning) wasn't getting it back unless it was overtime. We knew we had that little play action pass and wanted to run to try to get the ball to (WR) Andre (Johnson) in the middle of the field. But we tried to have patience all day just saying, 'Hey, just run the ball and get us to third down and six, third and five and don't lose our patience.' Right there we wanted to make sure that if we were kicking that it was the last play of regulation. Great job by (K) Kris (Brown) and great job by the offense getting in position."
(on RB Ron Dayne) "I really can't say enough about what he's done this year. I think we all know he comes here and he's actually got turf toe and there are people that tell me he might have been done, he doesn't look the same, those types of things. He came here and I would agree, when we first got him I was concerned, he didn't look like the guy I left last year. He told me during that time, he said, 'Kub, my toe is still bothering me, have some patience with me'. I went to him the week we played Oakland and I knew we wanted to activate (RB) Chris (Taylor) and I told Ronnie, 'Ronnie, this is a big week for you. I want to take a look at Chris Taylor before this year is out, so you need to step up'. Ever since that day he's been something else. And what he did today, it looks like he's got a lot of football left in him."
(on G Steve McKinney and pulling G Chester Pitts) "We started pulling Chester a lot more probably in the last month. We just feel like it's something he's gotten better at and he's doing a much better job. Steve McKinney, I need to say this about him, he was beat up early in the year and we went another direction. Being a veteran player that is hard to deal with. He kept working and kept a great attitude. I told him this week we would start him at center these last two games. We actually had a rough practice on Thursday. We had some things that we were struggling with cadence wise, just because they hadn't been working together. We were concerned. He told me yesterday, 'You don't' have to be concerned, I will be fine' and he was great. He led that group and did a heck of a job."
(on QB David Carr) "I'm just happy for David. That is a team that you play against, if you're doing things the way you want to do them, you don't want to throw the ball too much. It's not like all of a sudden he's going to go out there and throw for 350 and that type of thing, so it was a patient game. He did a good job from that standpoint of managing the game. And on the biggest play he needed to make, he made his best throw of the day to (WR) Andre (Johnson). I'm proud of David as well as everybody."
(on calling the play fake to WR Andre Johnson) "That was the only one. Actually, we didn't have it in the game plan; we made it up there in the series before and had them down there in the box pretty good from running the ball so well. So we said, 'Here's our chance to make somewhat of a big play'. It's a play we run, it's not like we haven't run it, but it wasn't in the game plan. We talked about it on the sidelines; guys adjusted and did a good job."
(on the importance of running the ball) "We ran the ball well and we're getting them down there and getting them down there. When you're playing this team, even though you have them down there as a coach, if you lose your patience and start throwing the ball something bad is going to happen because 93 (DE Dwight Freeney) is going to hit you in the back or they're going to knock the ball out. We had them in an eight-man front, but we're going to still run the ball. We have to pick the right spots to throw it. We had some great arguments on the headset today, ready to stretch the field and go vertical and guys screaming, 'no, keep your patience, keep running the ball, we'll take our shot when we need to'. It's just a great effort on everyone's part."
(on QB David Carr and him dealing with adversity to make the last play) "It says a great deal about the kid. He's been through a lot. When you're a quarterback and your confidence is waning, it's hard. It's been hard, I think, not only for the last few weeks, there have been some hard practices for him. I think that his football team, what they did today, is they took pressure off of him and they played well all around. There is no better friend for a quarterback then your football team running the ball like that. And it sure helps you be successful as a quarterback."
(on FB Vonta Leach) "It's an amazing story when you think about it. It was Sherm's (offensive coach Mike Sherman) advice that we should pick him up. I told you guys in practice, he's not a guy at practice that you would watch practice and say 'Boy, we need him on that field as much as possible' but when the lights go on, he just plays good football. He's been a physical force for us and he's made some nice catches. He made a great catch in the first quarter when David threw that ball behind him. Some guys just do it when the lights go on. He seems to be one of those players. He's been a great surprise."
(on the quick strike to WR Andre Johnson) "It was very important. We practiced Friday as well as I've seen our team practice. Maybe as bad (practiced) Thursday as we've practiced, and as well Friday as I've seen us practice. That's how big our mood swing was this week. I told them after practice Friday, 'You're going to play well, because something happened to you overnight Thursday and everybody came in here and decided we're going to play good football this week'. And when you start out like that and then they would come back and score 14. One thing I think our football team has grown up from is that doesn't bother them like I've seen it bother them before. When that team fires off 14 you get a little nervous, but we just kept doing what we were doing. I think our drive before the half may have been the best drive of the day because what it did it stopped their momentum and got ours going again."
(on how he communicated his unhappiness after Thursday's practice) "I can't even tell you. Sometimes out there I ask people after we leave, 'What did I say to them?' I know I was upset, but they were upset and everybody should have been because we were sloppy. We talked about it and the biggest thing that came out of it right is that we said it's not okay. I just told them (that) sometimes you have a tendency when things are struggling to say, 'Hey, it's ok, lets go'. I just stopped and said, 'It's not okay anymore. I don't want to hear that word out here and we're not going to practice that way'. It's not like we haven't had those days before. When I looked back this week I think something really happened to them that day when they walked off the field and the way they came back Friday."
(on what happened to swing the attitude last week) "I don't know. You might have to go ask them. I just saw a group that's paying attention to detail and what they planned on doing today. You look around and you look at some of the guys that are playing now and there are 18 or 19 guys on IR and you look at all those young players out there playing. I look at (FB) Vonta (Leach), I look at (CB) Von Hutchins playing on defense. There are reasons why it shouldn't be right, but they are finding reasons why it can be right. I see them saying 'No, we're going to figure this out; we're going to get this right' and today was just a heck of a day. When you see a group of guys give it up for each other like that, it's a great day."
(on if he talked to Mr. Bob McNair) "I saw him in the locker room. We gave him the game ball and told him how proud he should be of his guys. They have been through a lot but he should be awful proud of them and I think he is."
(on what Mr. McNair said) "He had a hard time saying much. I'll catch up with him here in a little bit."
(on how the win can turn the corner for the team) "The corners…they get turned gradually. The key is that we keep going. There is no one play or one day that you say, 'This is fixed,' it doesn't work that way. You look at today and our team is able to say, 'Golly, look how unselfish that was?' Andre Johnson caught four passes. Andre wants to catch 10 or 12, I want him to also, but for our team the best thing to do for our team to win, that is not the case right now. (WR) Eric (Moulds) wants to catch passes, and I don't know if Eric caught a ball today, but he blocked his tail off. If you want to be successful in this league week in and week out, you have to develop a very unselfish franchise and football team and that is what we're preaching. When you're not finding ways to win, you wander in the preaching, but today they were abler to look at it and say that's what that was for our team."
(on QB David Carr not getting sacked) "We ran the ball. We ran the ball a ton. We paid special attention to (DE Dwight) Freeney like everybody in football does. We did some things, double teaming him, chipping him and trying to do some of those things. They take him out of the game a lot right now to try to rest him for rushing the passer, so we tried to pay special attention to some of that. The bottom line against this team, if you throw it too much, you are going to see Dwight Freeney show up. And if you're able to stay in a game like we were today, hopefully you can get in control."
(on how big the win is) "It's real big right now. I'm going to enjoy Christmas."
Texans Owner Bob McNair
(on beating the Colts) "That is the first time for us. We beat one of the best teams in the league. It was a wonderful game and our guys played almost errorless ball. We played about as clean a game as we could play. That's the kind of result we can get if we play that way. I am really proud of them."
(on the win being on Christmas eve) "It couldn't be nicer. It's a wonderful Christmas present."
(on alleviating some frustration with the win) "It does because this is the sort of thing that we know that we can accomplish if we go out and everybody does their job and we eliminate the mental errors. You know having first and ten instead of first and fifteen. We went out today and played a clean game and we just never quit."
(on QB David Carr's performance) "I thought his performance was outstanding. He really managed the team well. We had a game plan and he executed the plan. And then when we needed big plays, it couldn't have been bigger than the pass that got us into field goal range. That was a lot of pressure and he performed well. I'm very proud of him."
(on keeping the team motivated) "It is a credit to Coach Kubiak and the coaches to be able to get these guys ready to play like that. I have been admiring the job they have done all along and I think you saw the results of it today. The Colts had everything to gain and they needed this win badly and our guys outperformed them today. Coach got them ready to play."
K Kris Brown
(on kicking the game winning field goal) "I just go out there and tell myself to just enjoy the moment, stay in the moment. That's the way I play the game. I just go out there and do the same routine I did earlier in the fourth quarter. I hit it about as good as I can hit a ball. Once I hit it, I knew it was good."
(on what this means for the Texans)"We've certainly had to deal with our fair share of adversity. There are a lot of guys in this locker room who've had to endure most of it, and I'm sure that this win is huge for the organization. The way that we did it, too, it was a team win. Offense, defense, special teams, everybody contributed."
(on beating the Colts) "When you look at the way teams have beaten the Colts this year, all of them have kept their offense off the field. When you look at the two possessions that they had, one was a fumble, and the other we forced them to kick a field goal. That was the biggest part of the game, that they weren't able to score touchdowns on those possessions."
(on his kicking routine) "I really don't pay attention to where the ball is at on the field. I never really know what yard line the ball is on. I just go out there and pick a target and kick the ball to the target. I think that if you start going out there thinking, "Oh, this is a long kick" then all of a sudden I'm going to think I really have to kick this one good. If you do that, that's when you screw up. I just go out there and go through my routine, pick my target, and just hit it like I did earlier in the fourth quarter."
QB David Carr
(on how big is this win) "This was big just to see the guys faces on the sidelines and to see how they came up to me to congratulate me and tell me that I deserve it. You can't beat that, that's why you play the game. We all make a lot of money in that locker room all around the league; winning games is fun losing games is hard. But to have kind of camaraderie to have every man come to you hand to hand that means more that anything to me."
(on what was being felt while the field goal was being kicked) "I knew Kris (Brown) would make it, first of all I was praying just let him do his best. After that something told me to button my chin strap I got punched in the face like four times. It was definitely worth it."
(on the feeling of beating the Colts) "We've talked about how to do it, we've talked about doing just (enough), being in here at the end of the game talking about how close we were. Every time we play them I say the same thing we have to run the ball, and when you run the ball the pass protection takes care of itself, as you saw today I don't think we got a sack. When they run the ball like that they can't rush up the field they can't do what they do. (T) Ephraim (Salaam), (T) Eric (Winston), (G) Steve (McKinney), and (G) Chester (Pitts) all of those guys they battled they neutralized them so when they did throw the ball it made it easier."
(on play throwing the ball to Johnson) "(Wide receiver's coach) Kyle Shanahan came to me, I guess him and Gary (Kubiak) and Troy (Calhoun) were talking about it. They were drawing these pictures and I went over to Andre and said 'If they do this, you do this and if they do this, you do this, and then we'll be alright.' Then he just gave me the nod because he doesn't talk, and it worked, so it was sweet."
(on this being ranked the second biggest win for franchise) "I'd say this and Dallas (from 2002) was definitely top two. Just because where it falls on Christmas Eve and the kind of season we've had to go through and just the nonsense we've had to put up with, and guys just battling together, the close games we've lost in the stadium, just heartbreak throughout the whole year, things haven't gone our way but today they did. God was looking out for us and He gave us the opportunity to go out there and make the plays and they were there to be made, and I just feel great.
(on momentum with McKinney) "With Steve it's just like riding a bike, it's the same thing, me and him have been working together – he was the first center I had, I don't even think about it anymore when he's out there as far as communication, what you have to do. He and Chester (Pitts) work really well together and like I said it's like riding a bike, we just go out there and don't worry about it any.
(on comparing win to David & Goliath) "Not quite to that point, that historical point, but it was definitely a big challenge for us. The only way we're going to get through it is to have a something little extra on our side – and you know the man that doesn't get enough credit is God for giving us the opportunity. You don't just walk in when a team is trying for home field advantage and beat a team like this with all their guns blazing – it takes a little something extra, and that's what we had today."
(on momentum for next game) "It's going to be hard to calm this group down, but that's fine with me. I mean it was buzzing in the huddle – the guys were excited. That's how our offense is supposed to look. When Gary (Kubiak) came to here that's what he wanted to do – run the ball, play action a couple of times, get some big plays, and you win the football game; play good defense. That's the blueprint – if we can find a way to do that every week, and be consistent that way, we'll be pretty good."
(on RB Ron Dayne) "Ron Dayne is fun to have the huddle, there's a buzz going around, and he's standing there with his puppy dog eyes like, 'Am I going to get it again.' He's totally excited but you can never tell looking at the guy – he just looks like he wants to go eat."
RB Ron Dayne
(on finding a home here) "It's been fun. I got the opportunity to carry the ball. Being able to carry it like they've been giving it to me, it's just been fun. It's not like I couldn't run the ball, I just never got the opportunity to run the ball this many times, week after week."
(on getting over 100 yards) "I felt good. As long I help the team win, it doesn't matter what I got. Whatever I can do to help the team win, that's my main goal."
(on ankle injury) "I'm alright, I'm ready to go again."
(on feeling of making 100 yards & carrying the ball) "I feel good. I'm blessed to be able to get another opportunity to be able to carry the ball like they've been giving the opportunity to do. It's been fun. I'm just trying to take advantage of it. Each week I get the ball, I'm trying to show coach that I want to be here and I want to help this team win. I'm going to do what I have to do to help this team."
(on the O-line making a hole) "They've been doing great ever since I really started carrying the ball and starting. They've been playing really well, blocking real good, and just making it easier for me. I just run through the holes. The guys make the lanes and I run through them."
(on attaching a message to this win) "I don't know, maybe the coaches could, but I don't know."
(on this game being the biggest game) "It's just been fun. I never really had the opportunity to carry the ball this many times week after week. When I was in New York I would get a hundred, then I would probably get the ball two or three times the next game. I never really had the opportunity to do that. I mean the Texans believe in me and they gave me the opportunity. I know I can run the ball; it's not like if something happened to me where I couldn't run the ball. The line is doing great – as long as they keep doing their job, I'm going to do mine."
(on feeling Texans being an opportunity) "This is the biggest opportunity I've had since I've been in the NFL."
(on turf toe) "It was harder early in the season when I came in. I couldn't really give them everything I had, but I wasn't going to lay down and say I was hurt. I would get out there and go. It was kind of a blessing in disguise when coach deactivated me where I didn't play for two or three weeks and it just got me healed up all the way, and I feel great."
(on bad Thursday practice) "We just knew we had to go out here and win. We always believed. As long as we believe that we have a good team like I've been saying since I've been doing interviews and been down here. We've got a good team, we just have to put it all together."
WR Andre Johnson
(on beating the Colts) "You've never seen more excitement around this place. This is the most excited I've seen the fans and the team since I've been here. I think this day was really big because we've never beaten them before."
(on the holding call against him) "The holding call was on me when (Texans RB) Ron (Dayne) got the first down. I just had a bad feeling when I got to the sideline. Coach Kubiak just told me, "You're going to have to make the play to put us in position to win the game." They gave me the opportunity and I was able to make the play."
(on the difference today) "If you look at the offense today, where were the mistakes to take us out of position? No mistakes. When you're out there and focused on your job like that, the sky's the limit. We went out and executed."
(on what this means for the future) "Looking at us play today it shows what type of team we can be. We didn't go out there and make those mistakes and hurt ourselves."
C Steve McKinney
(on the game) "I had a great feeling going into the game. The way we started, guys just kind of hung together and played like we were glued to each other. That's just what you've got to do. You've got to believe in each other and keep pounding them and keep driving the other guys off the ball."
(on the Texans' blocking) "It was definitely pretty good. I think (the Colts) would have sold their souls to be able to stop the run today."
(on if this was the Texans' most complete game to date) "It was pretty complete. You have to look at the way it happened and, first of all, look at the opponent. I mean, we were playing a great football team that nobody gave us a chance to beat, and here we are running the football on them and the defense is stopping them. Holding Indianapolis to 21 points is no small feat in itself."
(on the game-winning drive) "When we got the ball with 2:40 to go, I didn't have any doubt in my mind that we were going to get into field goal range. I looked in (QB David Carr's) eyes and I could see that he had confidence and that he believed that we were going to go down there and do it."
(on winning against his former team) "I was just like, 'Thank God.' I've been here for five years and I've lost to (the Colts) nine straight times since I left there. You can imagine what that would feel like, to leave a team that you have a lot of friends on and have had a lot of good times and success with, and to go to a team where you have to play them twice each year. For four straight years, we lost to them twice a year. I just knew we weren't going to let that happen this year."
(on if this is the Texans' most surprising win) "I was talking to David (Carr) about this, too – where he thought it ranked. I think we both agreed that it's definitely in the top two between this and the Dallas game. It would be a toss-up."
(on getting back the job as starting center) "It was tough, when I wasn't playing. It was difficult for me personally, and I tried to deal with it as privately as I could. I didn't want to affect the team at all or the locker room so I just kept a smile on my face and just went to work every day and kept playing. I just knew I'd get my chance again, and sure enough, I did. I'm very grateful that it was against the Colts today and that we were able to pull out the victory."
DE Antwan Peek
(on if this win makes up for previous difficulties) "With the last couple of weeks, especially that game last week, it kind of frustrated a lot of people. But this just shows the character of this team by the way we came out today and played."
(on the Christmas Eve win) "I'll tell you what, it's not going to get any better than today, so I'm going to go ahead and enjoy it. I've got my family waiting outside, so I'm going to go cheer with them a little bit"
(on winning despite people saying the Texans had nothing to play for) "People were wrong. We did have something to play for: the first win against the Indianapolis Colts. That's what we were coming out here to do. We didn't think about what happened last week; we were thinking about beating the Colts."
(on QB David Carr's game) "He's been through so much this year, from the fans booing in certain situations today. That's what comes with this territory, but the one thing that you've got to do is come out and continue to play hard week-in and week-out. And that's what we did. (QB) David (Carr) did a great job; I can't take anything away from him, especially the way a lot of things have gone for him this year. He's hung in there; so has the rest of this team. They gave us a chance to win this game. To come out and get this victory, it's the best feeling I've had since I've been here.
(on what he thought during the game-winning drive) "Well, we didn't want to go into overtime unless we were going to get the ball first. If you can't get the ball back, you don't want it in Peyton Manning's hands first. The offense had been pounding them all day. We felt good about the situation. We got the ball back with two minutes and something left, so we felt good about it and (K) Kris Brown's kicked the ball well in practice all week; hasn't missed one all week. (He) has been kicking them from deep all week. We felt putting the game in his hands. He came through like clutch kickers are supposed to."
(on the game) "We knew they were going to come out and score points, we just couldn't get down. We held them to a field goal on a critical third and short which was probably the biggest play of the game on defense. It was a great team effort on defense. It was the first time we have beat this team and I am happy to be a part of it."
(on what the win mean to this team) "We have been through a lot this season. Week in and week out we are going to keep fighting until there are no games left. There is no quit in anybody on this team. We have a lot of heart and we showed that today."
(on the win) "Hats off to Ron Dayne, hats off to the offensive line, Andre Johnson made a big catch. David Carr managed the game and that's what you need against a team like this. The best way to beat this team is to keep their offense off the field. That is what we were able to do today. When the offense game on the field we made plays in critical situations so it feels good, real good."
(on winning in the last second in the way other teams have beat the Texans) "It feels great. I know there are going to have a million and one excuses for why we beat these guys. They are going to say Dallas Clark didn't play. The same things happened when we played Jacksonville. They had a million excuses. We have been in a lot of tough situations. We have lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter, but we made plays when we had to today. You have to remember how many guys we have on injured reserve, how many starters we are missing from Domanick Davis, Seth Payne, Travis Johnson. All the excuses, they can keep them. At the end of the day we won 27-24, and that's all it boils down to."
(on this being the biggest win since he has been here) "Definitely. We have beaten everybody in the division except the Colts. To get it done against a team that is top five in total offense and the best signal caller in the league it feels good to get this win."
LB DeMeco Ryans
(on keeping Colts QB Peyton Manning in check) "It was a big key for us today. You know, not letting him get going on us. We tried to throw him off a little bit. You have to go into the game knowing he is going to make plays and not get frustrated. We did a great job of that today."
(on this win being a taste of what the team can do) "This is a start of a new beginning here. This is the way it should be around here."
(on having something to play for) "Every time you step onto the field you have something to play for. Your pride is on the line, and knowing that this organization has never beat the Colts, it was our motivation going out there to get it done when people say you can't get it done."
(on Ron Dayne) "We knew going in, to beat the Colts you have to run the ball. What a great job today. Credit our offensive line and Ron (Dayne) for really running the ball well."
RB Chris Taylor
(on the game) "It was a great win today. Everybody contributed, and we just had a lot of fun out there. When you have fun out there you start playing good and came out with a win."
(on the mindset that the Colts were not going to stop the running game) "That was our goal into the game. We wanted to pound the ball on them. (RB) Ron (Dayne), he did a great job running the ball today. I just to go in and spell him and tried to contribute."
(on how difficult RB Ron Dayne was for the Colts to tackle) "You can't tackle him he's so low to ground, and so big. It's hard for people to wrap him up and tackle him. He keeps it trucking."