Head coach Gary Kubiak and players spoke to the media following the team's 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Head coach Gary Kubiak (on what happened during today's warm-ups) "I've been doing this a long time and I've never seen what happened during warm-ups. We came out and (RB) Ronnie (Dayne) re-rolled his ankle. Our team sees him going from getting ready to go to not being able to play. (TE) Jeb (Putzier) fractured his foot running a route in warm-ups so we lost two very important pieces of our puzzle. I thank God the defense and special teams took on an extra load and we were able to muster up a little extra offense in the second half. I feel responsible from the Ronnie standpoint because I should've done a better job of working him out before the game. I thought he was ready to go. He thought he was ready to go. I think it kind of wore on our team seeing him go from ready to not being able to play. He really played lethargic that way."
(on playing conservative on 4 th and inches) "I think we only took about 15 snaps in the first half. Our defense had played well all day long. I was not going to put frustration on them at that point. We weren't very good on offense during the first half. We had very limited snaps. It just came down to find a way to win a game. It's one of the big progressions that this team has made. You have to be able to do that in this league."
(on timetable for offseason evaluations) "I don't think so. You have to take your time with those things. We're going to spend the next few days evaluating ourselves and ranking things that we see. There won't be any drastic decisions. You have to take your time in this business. We have to watch our cut-ups and look at a lot of things as coaches that go into that decision making. We're not going to make any decisions in the next few days. We have to set our groundwork. That's going to happen over a period of the next few weeks."
(on winning the last two consecutive games) "It is very big. Last week was a tremendous step in the right direction for this organization. If we had gave it back today it would have been really tough to go into the offseason. We were able to hang on to that today. I put their offseason schedule in their locker while we were out there in the fourth quarter. I want them to know where we're going. What we're doing and how we're about to go do it. Our offseason begins when they walk out of here today. I'm very proud of how they've work and what they've done. It's a good step forward, but we want to take a big step. The only way you can do it is if you keep busting your tail."
(on RB Chris Taylor) "I didn't know he was about to go the whole day, but he has some explosions. He has some speed. He put that one ball on the ground and we have to get that fixed. He has some big time mobility and needs to play. He needs another chance, but I think he has a chance to be a fine player."
(on what he has learned over the past 18 weeks) "Today is a good indicator of what I've learned most. Every week in this league when you show up there's all different ways to win. I'm an offensive guy and now I'm worried about all three phases of the game. You have to build a team to win games and we've found ways to win some games this year. I think the importance of taking these games one at a time and deciding how we're going to beat that team and then go try and do it on Sunday. You can't do it one way all the time. That's one thing I really learned as a coach."
(on QB David Carr's performance) "We didn't throw the ball much. He managed the game. We had one turn over and it was an audible that we had called a screen and checked out of the screen versus man coverage. It was a matter of him being patient. I know he'd like to have that ball back. It was a game where he just needed to manage it and hang on and our defense and special teams found a way to win it. I think from that standpoint he hung on and did a good job."
(on final thoughts in the locker room before leaving) "I told them I'm proud of them. I know how much they've been through, but I also tell them that I want them to understand that I think we can take a big step as a football team. I think some of the things that I told them at halftime I echoed after the game about the difference between our team and a team that can be a playoff team year in and year out. We have to be consistent as a football team. If we can do that I think we'll be knocking at the door of being a playoff team. That was my biggest message to them."
(on what was said to the team at halftime) "I got mad. I really don't know what I said. I think the gist of what I told them that we need some leaders to step up, carry this football team and find a way to win this game. I think that's the key to our future, finding leadership and consistency. That's the key to this franchise and where it's headed."
(on changes in the roster from the beginning of the season) "That is part of this business and its part of our organization to find players and a couple diamonds in the rough. That's how you get better. You can't sit around and use injuries as an excuse. We've learned that as a team. We've got a lot of guys in street clothes today watching, but we kept playing and we kept battling and I think that's a positive move forward."
QB David Carr (on comparing the win record of this year to last year) "I know it feels better to have a little winning streak right here at the end and winning three times as many games. Last year was terrible we really didn't have something to build on we had to get better on offense we had a lot of things to work on. Last year was disastrous, but this feels pretty good."
(on winning two games in a row at the end of the season) "It's nice to go on a little winning streak. It's just too bad it's at the end of the season, I want to keep going. We played a tough game today. I want to give credit to the Browns defense I didn't realize that they were that good. They got up front making things tough, knocking balls down, and just doing a good job. Definitely they got some players up there, just happy that the defense and special teams played so well that we could get a win."
(on the Browns' run defense) "They made some extra coverage a couple of times that caught us as far as pass routes they covered up pretty good. They're going to be good against the run. We struggled a little bit playing against the 3-4, but we did it well enough today to where it could open up a few things."
(on RB Ron Dayne not playing) "Ronnie said he felt pretty good last night we just didn't know how it would react. We ran around during warm-ups and he just couldn't cut in the back. Even as big as Ronnie is, it's going to be a little tough making anything happen."
(on thoughts of possibly playing his last game as a Texan) "I think about it just because people keep asking me about it other than that I know I have a job to do which is to win football games. We've done a good job of doing that these last couple weeks. I think the Colts game did more good for this team and the franchise than any win I have had with this team. The way we handled ourselves after halftime coming back out and not being denied, it was strong for our team. I look forward to coming back to this team its going to be exciting."
(on accomplishing more as a Texan) "Even as rough as it was the thing that I was so excited about is that I have been in that situation where we have lost a lot of those games where we should have won. We came out and we were just flat on both sides of the ball I have been in a lot of those situations just a couple of years ago where we played the same team the last couple games of the season and we came out and couldn't do the same thing that we did in the second half. A couple guys stepped it up on that first drive it was nice to have the ball and take advantage of it and the defense did the rest. It was definitely a good feeling."
(on what made the difference at halftime) "It all starts with (Head Coach) Gary (Kubiak). Obviously he was fired up at half-time and you kind of just use some of that enthusiasm as an individual player. (WR) Andre (Johnson) and some of the other player try to get going, but until the head coach comes and says something it makes all the difference. I noticed how we came up to the line of scrimmage the guys just hustled to the line of scrimmage. For me as a quarterback it says something. We come to the line of scrimmage a lot of times, but that time it seemed as if we had a little fire."
(on reflecting on the season) "Obviously we all feel a little better we only won six games, but it's better than winning just two. I feel better than I felt last year. I feel like it's just endless what we can accomplish. As far as defense, the guys we got going outside I think our young offensive line these last two weeks played very well as far as running the ball. I love to be apart of it, I would love for all of those guys to be apart of it. We all are getting better."
CB Demarcus Faggins
(on how the defense came together during the last month of the season) "It was a whole team effort. Everyone knew that we had to step up and make plays. We had a team talk and everyone came to the conclusion that it was time for us to step up our game."
DE N.D. Kalu (on Texans DE Mario Williams' near-safety) "That's huge. He's showing there why he was the first pick in the draft. He's been playing through an injury that a lot of people don't know about, and that was a huge play. My hat's off to him, and those are the kind of plays we need him to be making all year."
(on defensive performance today) "We bend but don't break. Our DB's are awesome. We let them drive down the field, but when we need a big play somebody made it. That's the kind of mentality we have. I'm proud of our guys. To give up so many yards but hold them to only six points means that we never gave up."
(on Texans DT Anthony Maddox's fumble-return touchdown) "I thought he might be done for the game after that long run, but he's the hardest working man in this business. It was good to see not only a defensive lineman, but Anthony Maddox, get that touchdown."
(on overcoming defensive injuries) "We're in the trenches, the most dangerous position, so you're always going to have injuries. What's so remarkable is how the guys stepped up. (DT) Seth Payne went down and (DT) Thomas Johnson stepped up, and (DT) Anthony Maddox stepped up playing interior lineman. It's just like nobody missed a beat, so that's what's amazing about it."
FB Vonta Leach (on possible personnel changes in the offseason) "If you're not winning, things have to change and personnel have to change. Hopefully, I can be one of the guys that stays here. I love this city and I enjoy being around the guys, so hopefully I can be one of the guys staying here."
(on ending the season with two wins) "Anytime you close out the season with two wins, especially with the kind of season we had, it's real big to start off for next year. We knew we weren't going to the playoffs and basically we had nothing to play for, but we had a lot of pride for the Texans fans and we wanted to end on a high note for next year."
DT Anthony Maddox (on his first career touchdown) "I got off the ball fast and swiped at the ball. The ball was rolling around on the turf and I jumped on it. Everyone was yelling 'get up, get up.' I got up, with the ball in my hand, and ran towards the end zone. About thirty yards later, I was there. I was tired after that. Overall, it was exciting. It was my second sack of the season and my first career touchdown."
(on if he got to keep the ball ) "I did not. (CB) Dunta (Robinson) grabbed the ball away from me and threw it in the stands. He's going to get fined for that"
DE Antwan Peek (on ending the season with a victory) "That's big time for us, because everyone is going to come back with a positive attitude. There's not going to be any of that 'oh, we're coming back and we've got to work that much harder.' We're here. There's a lot of talent on this team, and guys have shown over the season that they're willing to step up and do what takes to help this team win."
(on how much better this team can get) "The sky is the limit, especially on defense. We've got too much talent on this side of the ball, and the coaches know it. The challenge over this summer is to become dominant not only on the field, but in the playbook and in our workouts."
(on disappointment over the season) "You can't cry over spilt milk. It's the way you finish that matters. Next year, we're going to come in and work that much harder to begin just as well as we finished this year."
(on how close the team is to reaching the playoffs) "We're very close. If you look at the games we lost, we've lost a lot of close ones. We could easily have won four more. We just have to come in and eliminate the little mistakes we made this year."
(on the difference between the end of this year and the end of last year) "Sometimes when it's going badly, you can't wait until it's over, but when it's going well, you hate that it's over. Right now it's like just when we get on a good run, it's over."
CB Dunta Robinson (on ending the season with two wins) "It feels good to know that we've got a lot to look forward to in 2007. After a 2-14 season, we didn't know what was going to happen in '06." We closed it out on the right note, winning two straight games. And the only way to go is up for 2007."
(on persevering this season) "After those three straight losses at the beginning of the season when we were getting blasted it was like, 'man, are we going to start this down slide again?' But nobody gave up in this locker room. You see the potential in this locker room and tat makes you not give up and guys didn't give up."
(on what the team needs for 2007) "I have no idea. I can't play general manager because I don't know how a general manger thinks. Whatever it is, we need people that are going to help turn this around. You've got to get guys in there that are going to help us win."
(on the defensive improvements) "We just preserved for the entire season. Guys never quit, everybody kept battling on the defensive side of the ball. With all the injuries we just kept plugging guys in and guys just kept making plays."
(on the pieces that the defense already has in place) "A lot of teams love (DE) Antwan Peek. I'd rather play with than against him. (DT Anthony) Maddox has been a pleasant surprise for us. You saw the big play he made, sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and touchdown. These are guys that are helping build this defense and are going to help make this defense an outstand defense. We need those guys back."
LB DeMeco Ryans (on ending the season with two wins) "It's big for our team and it's big for this franchise to build on for next year. When you end with a win, you have something to build on for the offseason. It's just a matter of us going out and getting better in the offseason and coming back and competing even better next year."
(on having the most tackles of a rookie in the past 20 years) "It's always nice to be touted as one of the best and have a big-time stat, but I credit that to the other 10 guys that are around me on defense. We wouldn't be talking about me without those other 10 guys out there."
(on the future of the Texans) "I see us eventually winning a championship. I see a playoff team year in and year out and eventually winning a championship. That's a goal that everyone should have, to be the best, and we're going to get it done."
(on the defense's performance against the Browns) "We knew that the game was going to be in our hands. It was up to us to get the turnovers and get our offense the ball with a short field, and we did a great job of that."
(on the defense giving up lots of yards but few points) "There's just not any quit in us. No matter how far they drove on us, we just reminded each other in the huddle that someone had to step up and make a play, and we did that."
(on the defense's improvement over the season) "It's night and day how we just developed as a unit, and that's how it should be. The chemistry is there now, and it's a matter of us just continuing to play together and get better."