Head coach Gary Kubiak discussed the offseason, while several players recovering from injury spoke to the media about their prospects of playing in 2008.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on CB Dunta Robinson running during team workouts today) "That amazed me. That's the first thing I noticed when I came out. I knew he was making great progress. I talked to his doctor before I went to the league meetings, but to actually see him out here running a little bit… he's very determined, and I think he's very determined to get there quicker than people think he can. That's what you want. But that's what he's all about."
(on what reality is for CB Dunta Robinson's comeback timeframe) "I think reality is somewhere in the middle of the season. I think that's what we're being told. That's the expectations, but you never know. This kid's a worker, he's very determined in what he's doing right now, so we'll see."
(on the health of T Charles Spencer) "He looked good running. I could see a little bit of – I guess I should say I could tell that he hadn't run in a while, but that looks very encouraging from the standpoint to see him actually putting full weight on the leg, starting to do some work with the team, and we'll see how much progress he makes."
(on if he includes those two in his mind in preparation for getting the team ready) "Well, I think we're going to have an answer on (Charles) Spencer probably a lot quicker than Dunta (Robinson), of course. I think our expectations on Dunta won't change until we see something that gears us in that direction, but with Spence right now, we're hoping that when we get to the OTA's he's actually doing some football stuff. The question all along has been how it's going to react to getting back to work, so we'll see here probably pretty quickly."
(on how difficult it is to move forward with those question marks) "It's difficult with your numbers but at the same time, those are two players that you know if they're going to be there, they're going to make our football team a lot better, so those two guys have earned the right for us to sit here and give them a chance to get back on that field as quickly as possible. I'm counting on them. I know our football team's counting on them coming back. How quickly? We'll have to wait and see."
(on if it's no longer a question of "if" but "when" with T Charles Spencer) "Well, I don't think there's a question that he's going to go back out there on that field at some point, whether it's OTA's or training camp. I think the question mark is how he responds to going back to full work as a ballplayer. It's been a good two years."
(on if QB Matt Schaub is 100 percent) "I wouldn't say he's 100 percent, but he's fine. He's come out here and gone through the offseason program with the team. He's not quite lifting at the same tempo as the football team, but throwing, all that, yes, he's fine."
(on what he hopes to get out of the offseason program) "Your offseason program in this league is a voluntary program, but if you want to be good you need everybody there. So the pressure comes from within the football team, guys trying to get better. I've always preached to these guys that the key is that we just keep getting better, and if our offseason program is better this year than it was last year and our training camp's better and our season's better, then we're going to be right where we want to be at the end of next year. So just looking at these guys the way they're working, the attendance that we're having right now, that's what you want if you're going to make progress as a team."
(on if the team has changed anything with the offseason conditioning program given the injuries last year) "Well, we've looked real hard at the past couple years and the injuries that we've had, (general manager) Rick (Smith) and (head athletic trainer) Kevin (Bastin) and (strength and conditioning coach) Dan (Riley) have all taken a look at it. There's always things you do differently from a program standpoint, whether it's football or whether it's the offseason program; you take a look at what you did last year, you try to improve it. So the offseason program's no different. But hopefully some of that bad luck's gone, too. But injury's a part of football and you've got to work through them. We're trying to be as smart as we can with the players we have right now that are nicked up."
(on how much movement is left during free agency) "I don't know. I could sit here and tell you not much, and all of a sudden something could change in the next two days. I would think that that's pretty much slowed down. There are definitely still free players out there looking for homes and we've got a few positions that we still need to fill, but between now and the draft I wouldn't think you would see much movement from us. Let's go in the draft and see what happens."
(on if the team is still talking to free agent CB Andre Dyson) "Yeah, I think (general manager) Rick (Smith)'s still having contact with him. Of course, everybody kind of shut down the last few days and went to Florida for the meetings, but that is a player that we're still talking to."
(on if LB DeMeco Ryans would definitely wear a transmitter in his helmet this season) "If we started today, he would, because he's a three down player. But we'll see; we'll see how that works out. The key is, whoever that player is, you want him on the field all the time. So if he's a linebacker that may come off the field on third down, then you'd rather have him not have the helmet. Right now, DeMeco would be the guy to put it on."
(on if you can have two defensive players with transmitters on the field at the same time) "You can have another helmet out there for the next player that would be that guy, but there's no way those two players can have that particular system on the field at the same time."
(on the radio contact in defensive helmets being cut off with 15 seconds on the play clock) "That's the way they do it on offense. If I'm talking to a quarterback and the play clock hits 15 seconds, it cuts off, so that's no different."
(on defensive coordinator Richard Smith thinking it evens the playing field out) "Yes, I think it's very good. It's great to be able to talk to a quarterback during the game. You've got somebody out there who's your quarterback of your defense, so why shouldn't you be able to talk to him, also? I think it's a good thing. It's going to eliminate a lot of signals and stuff like that, which people worry about from various standpoints, but I think defensive players and coaches have work to do because that's not just an easy thing to get used to. It takes time. We will have to practice with DeMeco (Ryans) wearing that thing."
(on how often the radio technology fails) "You have problems with it. You've got to have a backup system (signals). I know for a quarterback, when they get knocked around, sometimes it'll get moved in their helmet and go out for a play or two. My biggest question is to see a guy like DeMeco (Ryans) who's thumping every down, how the helmet's going to hold up, the system's going to hold up. So those are things we'll have to work with."
(on what it means to play the Dallas Cowboys on prime time in the preseason) "I just found that out walking over here. That's great, you know. The preseason, it adds a little emphasis to it, of course us playing Dallas but to have it on a Friday night (as well). And then we're going to go to New Orleans the week before and do a little work with them in practice, so I like the way our preseason's setting up."
(on going to New Orleans early) "I'm going to talk to (Saints head coach) Sean (Payton) here this afternoon. We've made a decision that we're going to take our team – we play New Orleans the second game. We're going to take our team down there, hopefully on Tuesday night, practice against New Orleans Wednesday, Thursday, by our self on Friday and then play them on Saturday, so it's just a little change of pace, change of scenery during camp, and work against a very good football team."
(on the positions of priority heading into the draft) "Well, I think everybody knows our football team from the standpoint of we're talking about tackle, we're talking about corner, talking about a young d-end, running back. I think everybody knows that. The thing that we have to do is evaluate all the players. We've got to make sure that pick plays for this football team for a long, long time. You don't just pick a guy because he plays a position of need, you pick a player that you know is going to be a successful player in this league for a long, long time. So that'll all sort itself out, but hopefully we can fill some of these holes we have."
(on having a second round pick) "You naturally would love to have it, but we have our starting quarterback form the fact that we don't have it, so I feel good about that. There are always possibilities of regaining that pick somehow, some way; that's something Rick (Smith)'s dealing with on a daily basis. But one thing we do know is we know the picks we have, so we've got to do a good job with those."
(on if the media has to worry any more about the potential of trading QB Sage Rosenfels) "I don't think so, you know. I mean, that was a big topic down there (at the league meetings in Florida), and I know that Minnesota was interested in Sage. You guys know I think the world of him. He means a lot to this team. We've got a starting quarterback who's been hurt, so as I said all along, the only way we would have ever entertained it (was) if we thought our football team was getting better, and that never took place. So I'm glad to see him back to work. He's a big part of this team."
RB Chris Brown
(on injuries in his past) "Some of the things I've had just people falling on my foot wrong, getting turf toe; some things you really just can't help. It just comes down to having bringing luck going your way. If I just work hard every day, hopefully I can just play a whole season this year."
(on if he has to not think about injuries) "Oh, most definitely. You can't really worry about it, because if you start worrying about it and things happen, more things start to happen, so you've just got to go out and work hard every day."
RB Ahman Green
(on how he feels) "I feel pretty good, just getting back in the swing of things in terms of the team stuff. I've been working out for a while now. I had the remainder of the season off, so I could start early, which I did."
(on meaning a lot to the team) "I expect that because they felt a need to come get me in the offseason last year, and it's the reason why I'm here. All I've got to do basically is get into shape and be ready to run the ball, catch the ball and just do what I was supposed to do out here on the field."
(on what last season was like for him) "It was frustrating. I had a lot going on, on and off the field, my dad dying and things like that. I'm not special, because everybody goes through that – if you're a school teacher, mailman, doctor, whatever – you have down time in your life and career, you've just got to deal with it, and I had to deal with it."
WR Andre Johnson
(on his offseason) "Offseason went by pretty fast, but we're back at it again. So it's great to be back amongst my teammates, and I'm excited about this season coming up."
(on if the team has enough quarterbacks) "Yes, we have a bunch of good ones. Coach Kubiak always said there's going to be a lot of competition on this team since he's been here, and we have a lot of competition at every position."
(on if QB Matt Schaub and the team are ready to take another step forward) "Yes. It was Matt's first year really being a starter, and Matt came out and played well for us. We had a lot of injuries last year. We lost a bunch of guys, and guys stepped up and made plays for us. We know what we have, and hopefully we can keep adding to what we have and become better as a team."
(on if playing against Dallas in primetime during the preseason is a good thing) "Yes, it is. Every time we play them, it's a rivalry. Even like when we played them last year in the preseason game, it felt like a regular season game. Their guys were amped, our guys were amped and we went out and gave a good showing, so I'm pretty sure it'll be the same way this year."
(on QB Sage Rosenfels wanting to be a starter in the league at some point) "Sage is a competitor, and any guy that likes to compete wants to be a starter. No one wants to be a backup; everybody wants to be a starter, but unfortunately, it's a tough situation. I think Sage is a great quarterback and I think he helped our team out a whole lot last year. I'd hate to see him leave, but sometimes things like that happen in this business."
CB Jacques Reeves
(on how he would evaluate his performance in Dallas) "The first seasons I was pretty much trying to work on my craft, trying to make myself better. I got the opportunity last year to start for them and did a pretty good job."
(on if he prefers a man or zone system) "I'm accustomed to both. My first three years in Dallas, we did a lot of man. We played a lot of man, and it wasn't until last year when (Cowboys head coach) Wade (Phillips) got there that we changed to some of the zone concepts, so I'm comfortable playing in both situations."
(on criticisms that he has great speed but not good cover skills) "I mean, those are fans, those are outside sources; those are not my coaches. Now, when my coaches start criticizing what I'm doing, what I'm not doing right, that's when I take notice of it. But outside sources, I'm not too worried about."
(on the Texans' secondary) "I've been out here with these guys for a couple days, and we have a good secondary here. I've never seen a group work so hard, and it's only day two. I'm really impressed with the guys they have around us, around me, really."
(on what he thought about the Texans when with the Cowboys) "Well, we never really played you guys in the regular season, so all of our beef was with the Redskins. So we never really got a chance to get a rivalry started during the regular season; it's always preseason, and that's not as important."
(on his thoughts about the Texans organization) "Me personally, I love the organization. I love it. From top to bottom, it's a first-class organization. They treat the players with respect, and I love it. I love it."
(on if he feels he's taking a step back by leaving Dallas) "I guess Dallas had more veterans on that team, but this is a young team, so we can only improve; we can only get better. A couple wins away from the playoffs, so this is a team that's not far at all from being in the playoffs. Two more wins and we're there."
(on if he fits the Texans' defensive system) "I fit the system. I understand what these guys are trying to do defensively, and I think I fit that well."
(on how he fits the Texans' defensive system) "We play a lot of man. I like to get in the receivers' faces."
(on if that was a style that Dallas was getting away from) "Yes, simply because of the zone concepts. A lot of zone blitzes. We weren't able to get up in the receivers' faces simply because we had to read two receivers most of the time."
(on CB Dunta Robinson) "Right now, he's out here rehabbing trying to get us up ready to play. Pretty much, we're just getting to know each other, talking a little bit, but that's pretty much it."
(on playing his former team on primetime in the preseason) "I mean, I won't look at it any different than any other game. But it'll be nice to see some of the people I left, get the chance to talk to them and play against them."
CB Dunta Robinson
(on his knee) "I'm running. I definitely wasn't expecting to be running this early into it. It's been five months and I'm already out here doing things that people didn't think I would do, so it's feeling good. I've just got to make sure I keep working hard."
(on when he will be back) "Right now, I can't say. If my knee continues to get better each week like it has been, then, you know, anything's possible. Maybe the first game is possible. It's not something I'm going to just rush into. It's all on how I'm feeling physically and mentally. If I feel like I can do it mentally, then I'll try to get out there."
(on what the danger is of pushing it too hard) "Just coming back and reinjuring yourself again. I was telling Will Demps today; I was like, 'My knee is feeling too good; I've got to slow it down a little bit,' because you start doing things that you're not supposed to do and a lot of bad things happen. So it's all about me working hard like I have been, continuing to put these hours in, and we'll see where it goes from here."
(on his injury being complicated) "Yes, it's a complicated injury, but like I said it's all about the rehab and the way I've been rehabbing, the way I've been attacking this thing, I feel good, man. Like I said, I'm ahead of schedule, so I've just got to keep working, man. I can't really give y'all a timetable on when I'm going to be back, but one thing that I do know is that I won't miss the 2008 season."
(on if he is worried losing a step when he comes back) "No. If I come back, it's going to be probably a little bit better. I'm not worried about losing a step. I think guys lose steps when they don't take their injuries serious. If you come out here and attack these things, then you can come back better than you were before, and that's my plan. I'm not going to hurt my team by coming out there and losing a step – even though I think me being 85 percent, I feel that I'm better than half the corners in this game – but if I come back, it's going to be 100 percent. And losing a step, that's all mental. That won't be a part of my game."
(on if he feels like an unofficial coach these days) "Man, I just want to be out here so bad. I want to run around with the guys. One thing you take for granted is your health sometimes and not being able to do all the things that you're used to, but sitting around, not doing anything, that's killing me, man, seeing these guys out here running around. You want to sweat with these guys because that's part of the game, and right now I'm not able to, and those are the things that push me a little bit harder to get back and to make myself better."
(on how he feels) "I feel like an outcast, on the outside looking in. You want to do things, but you know there's things that you can't do. You've just got to wait, but time will tell."
(on when he thinks he will come back) "Really, they haven't been giving me a timetable. (It's) just whenever you feel ready. Dr. Andrews seems to think that I can be back maybe the first month of the season from talking to him, but there's really not a timetable on it. If I feel like I can get back out there and I can be the same player that I was, then I'll get back out there, but I'm not trying to rush it, come back out and reinjure myself and go through this all over again. I'm going to take my time with it. The coaches are giving me time, and that's the most important thing is just when I feel like getting back out there."
(on if he encouraged to be feeling so good) "I definitely am. Like I said, when I was laying on that table a couple of months ago, I never thought that I'd be out here running around in April the way I am now. So it feels good, man, but I can't get ahead of myself. There's still a lot of work to be done. I've still got to continue to push myself the way that I have. Anything is possible. And that's my main focus, just keep working hard, just keep working, man, and just get back out here with my team."
(on what he would say if he could speak to Texans nation) "Dunta Robinson'll be OK. That's the main thing. I will be back. You'll see me out there in that 23 jersey running around again, and you'll see the same player I was before this injury."
(on if not definitely knowing he'll be back is the hard part of recovering) "No, the hard part is just pushing yourself through this injury. I haven't had a day yet where there hasn't been pain in the therapy. Some guys, they just won't go through that pain, but you've got to push through it to get better. And that's the hardest part. The hardest part is rehabbing, bending your knee, straightening your knee, icing, hours of agility, getting back in the weight room, trying to build your quad muscles. Those are the hard parts. I'm not really worried about playing because I know if I can get back on the field, I'll be back to the way I was. I don't think I'll lose a step. I don't think any of that stuff will happen. I think I'll be the same player I was."
(on what it means to be out on the practice field) "It's definitely big to be out here. Like I said, a couple of months ago, you didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't see this day as soon as it's come. So it feels good to be back out here, but still got a long ways to go, still got a long ways to go."
QB Sage Rosenfels
(on being back at work) "It's nice to get back to the work and see a lot of the guys that we haven't seen in a long time and get ready for next season."
(on what it was like to be a headlining story of the offseason) "Well, you know, it's been an interesting offseason and I guess, I think as a quarterback I think you'd like to have a chance to make your team your own and this is Matt (Schaub)'s team and I understand that, and obviously there's some frustration there obviously, but I'm excited for next year and I'm excited to get back to work as I said and I'm excited to have Kyle Shanahan as a coordinator because I think he's going to do a great job this year."
(on if the speculation was hard on him) "No, it just gets a little frustrating. But at the end of the day, I was just going to do whatever happened, and as I said, I'm happy to be out here and happy to get back to work."
(on if he is glad the speculation is over with) "You know, I try not to get too wrapped up in it because it would probably drive you nuts reading stuff in the paper every day, so I tried to stay out of it as much as I could and let everyone else deal with it."
(on if the Texans had been calling him and telling him what's going on) "Not me personally, but obviously I've been meeting with my agent and those types of things and trying to get those things figured out."
(on if there was any part of him that hoped something would've happened so he could start somewhere) "Well, as I said, I think as a quarterback you'd like to call your team your own some day and you'd like to have a chance to be the starting quarterback in the NFL. That's the lifelong dream that I have, and I'm 30 and who knows how much longer that dream could happen. Hopefully, I've got seven or eight more years left in me, but that is the frustrating part of it, but again, I support Matt (Schaub) as much as anybody else on this football team."
(on if he would ever ask for a trade) "I'm not going to get into all that, but as I said, I'm excited to get back to work."
LB DeMeco Ryans
(on the preseason schedule) "I look forward to it just because it's the time where football, the NFL, is just beginning, so this is an exciting time for everyone and we definitely will be excited about that. But I think it's just a process of where we're just trying to get better week in and week out with our team during the preseason weeks. I don't think it's anything we get too excited about because it really doesn't count, but it's just to see where our team is, see where the camaraderie is between all of our guys, see how we're playing, meshing well together."
(on if he followed the owners' meetings closely regarding defensive headsets) "I didn't follow it closely, but I did hear about that, that I will have the transmitter in my ear. It'll be unique, something different. I think we're now all on the same playing field with the offense, so they don't have the advantage on us any more."
(on if he looks forward to having the transmitter) "I think we've managed it well with the signal calls, but I think it helps us where offenses don't have the chance to steal your signals. (Defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith) could just talk directly to me, and I could just relay it to the defense. I think that'll speed the process up a lot quicker, getting calls in so we're turned around and ready, waiting on the offense, instead of waiting on the calls or we're getting mixed signals or you can't see the signals. It's going to be a lot easier for us."
(on how the transmitter will help defensive coordinator Richard Smith) "That'll be a great help, and it gives us a chance for him to alert us on certain things that he may think is coming, like if there's a screen or a draw that he thinks is coming. It gives us a chance to get that information a lot quicker than doing hand signals."
(on having a new starting linebacker this year) "We have a small group right now, but I think it's going to be interesting. I see Zac (Diles) moving over to the outside position and doing well for us. He's been in the system for a year now and he understands it well, each position, so it's going to be a smooth transition for him."
QB Matt Schaub
(on how he feels) "I feel great. It's good to have everyone back in town and be with all the guys and out here working. The offseason goes by pretty quick, so it's good to get back out and get back to work."
(on if he is getting back to being 100 percent) "Well, I am. Working on the strength and getting it stronger. That takes time. It's not going ot happen overnight getting the muscles back in there after the surgery and working 100 percent, but it's coming along really well."
(on what he hopes to accomplish this season) "Just to keep improving, to get better and stay healthy and be out there with my guys and get to the playoffs and keep getting better. We took a lot of strides last year and we just want to take that next step and become a better team."
(on if bringing in C Chris Myers means much to him) "Oh, definitely. Bringing him in here, he's a big guy and he's played for a few years in this league so he's a veteran, so it'll be good to add him into the mix."
(on if he is where he thought he would be physically) "Oh, I am. I'm where I thought I'd be and even more so. I just need to work on getting the strength back and getting it going."
T Charles Spencer
(on if he is excited to be out here) "It feels good, man. It feels good to be out here with the team again."
(on coach Kubiak saying looks like he hadn't run in quite a bit) "It's been a while running. I've been running inside, but when you run outside it's a lot different. So I'm getting used to it, running on the ground, and we should be ready to go."
(on how he feels mentally and physically) "I'm excited, man, every day I come to work. I was dealing with a lot, but I never second-guessed myself, never doubted myself throughout the whole process. I look forward to contributing to this team."
(on when he will return) "I don't know. We'll see. I take it a day at a time. We'll see how I'm feeling."
(on if he has any doubts he will be back) "Negative. I never have doubts."
(on if has had any doubts along the way) "No. Never doubted myself. If you doubt yourself, you'll never get things accomplished."
(on the biggest thing he has to overcome) "Probably just getting back in shape. The football drills are a lot different than being inside lifting and doing some lateral things inside. Just getting back in football shape is probably the hardest thing right now."