August 3, 2011 - AM Practic...

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August 03, 2011

August 3, 2011 - AM Practice

Houston Texans Transcripts
Training Camp Practice #5 (Morning)
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

(Transcribed by Brett Maikowski, Brittany McCray and Jeremy Joseph)

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
OLB Brian Braman
WR Jeff Maehl
RB Arian Foster
T Eric Winston
QB T.J. Yates 

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how much practice the team will do in full pads) "Normally it's pretty mapped out and structured, but we're going day to day right now feeling our guys out. We wanted to get them in the pads today without the pants. We're going to come back in the morning and go full go. You could see us bouncing in and out. Remember, we're fixing to have a whole new group of guys on this team joining the team. Then we're going to have to work that situation. Are they in pads? Are we all out of pads? Hopefully within a week, we're all back on the same page because right now we're on different pages as far as the guys that have been working and the guys that haven't."

(on if any young guys have jumped out at him) "A guy jumped at me today. Earl Mitchell jumped at me today. I was just telling the players I think good players make their big jump in this league from year one to two. It's just fun to watch a guy come out in his second year and be so much more comfortable in what he's doing. He made a lot of plays today. It's one practice, but it was evident."

(on how RB Ben Tate looks) "He's looked fine. It's very competitive back there. Of course Arian (Foster) will be back here to work in a day or two. It's a very competitive situation and it will work itself out. Last year at this time, we had no idea who in the hell our back was. Right now, we think we've got too many. Let's just let them all play and see what happens."

(on if there's any update on signing FB Lawrence Vickers) "Nothing yet. We're still talking to him. I think he's talking to a couple other teams. You can see how those things work. We were involved with Ty (Warren) and then he ended up going to Denver. You never know. (General Manager) Rick's (Smith) working. While we're out here, he's working on those types of things. I'll catch up this afternoon, but I know we're still involved."

(on how TE James Casey looked today) "I thought he did some good stuff. Everybody's looking. James (Casey) is going to bang in here and do the things we ask our fullback to do. We all know the things James does well. We'll go back and look at the film, but he knows it's about respect and he's got to step up and show the players he's capable of handling that load. I think David Bailiff had the best quote I saw the other day. He said, 'I wouldn't bet against him.' I wouldn't either. I think he's going to be a good player."

(on how he plans to work the rotation on punt and kickoff returns) "(Quintin) Demps is part of that equation too. There's an interesting dynamic in football this year because the kickoff is being moved forward. How many are going to be returned? Now you're down to knowing you're going to touch the ball on punt returns. Are you going to touch it on kick returns? So there's a teaching difference. How do you put your team together at the end? We've got a few guys, but obviously Danieal (Manning) has been one of the better ones in the game. He just happened to be on a team with a pretty good one. It's going to be nice to see him get involved."

(on if there will be competition for the punt return job) "I think there definitely is. Like I said, (Quintin) Demps, Shiloh (Keo) has done it, we've even got GQ (Glover Quin) working back there a little bit, so putting this team together will be a tough call at the end who ends up doing that. We get a 46th guy on game day now so that's nice. So is that going to be a returner? I don't know. We'll have to wait and see."

(on RB Ben Tate) "He's in a battle. He's working as a fourth guy right now and that's a humbling experience. You come out here after you miss all last year. He's working as a fourth guy right now and he's working hard. It's a very competitive situation and we've got a nice problem back there, so we'll see how it works out, but he's working good."

(on if the abbreviated practice sessions affects special teams practice at all) "Well what it does, it makes you do more special teams in the morning because in the morning is when you can do the banging and the contact. Obviously all the teaching takes place in the afternoon so it's changed the format just a little bit, but not all that much really. It just keeps you out here a little longer in the morning."

OLB Brian Braman
(on how his first day of camp went) "It went great actually. It's hard work but I knew it was going to be hard work coming into it. I'm just really happy and feel really blessed to have the opportunity to come out here and play with some of the best players in the game."

(on the transition from his time at West Texas A&M University) "It's definitely been a little different so far as the game speed goes. All the coaches at West Texas do a great job of preparing us guys for the next level if we ever get the opportunity and I don't think I'd be doing what I am now if it wasn't for them but it's been a lot of fun and hopefully the learning curve I can catch on quick."

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and his 3-4 defense) "First of all it's the same defense that we ran at West Texas so it's kind of nice that I'm not jumping into something new and Wade Phillips is one of the best in it and I'm really excited to learn from one of the best."

(on his expectations for this season) "First and foremost is making the team. I'm not really worried about the season, I'm just taking it one day at a time and making sure I'm mistake free and hopefully I can catch on."

WR Jeff Maehl
(on how to make the team as a rookie) "You have to be on special teams first and foremost, something that I was fortunate enough to do a lot of at Oregon so they know I can do that. Obviously the NFL is a little different with body types and whatnot on different special teams. Just any way that I can contribute is going to help me make the team. Obviously learning the stuff fast and putting it on the field and not making mistakes."

QB T.J. Yates
(on what Matt Schaub is teaching him) "Just little things about how to work cadences and how he kind of approaches things in the huddle because being a back-up quarterback, you have to be able to do the things the exact same way the starter does. You have to mimic his exact cadence, you have to say the exact same things that he says in the huddle so when you get in the huddle with his guys there's no drop off."

(on the importance of having short term memory) "That's the one thing you have to especially do out here because I've gotten lucky I've gotten so many reps that you're kind of forced, you have to move on to the next play because there's so much stuff mentally that you have to think about for the next play. If you're thinking about the thing you messed up last play it's going to affect the next play in front of that. I kind of learned that in college. You have to get over whatever just happened on the previous play."

(on what areas he's excelling in) "I think I'm doing a good job picking it up and being able to kind of take over the huddle and spit the plays out and go out there and kind of take command. I still have to work on my foot work. I only have a couple days of this kind of teaching as far as foot work goes so I'm trying to get that down and get my timing down with the receivers."

(on how working out with the team at Rice has helped prepare him) "Absolutely. I was here in the summer for almost a month and a half, two months working out with the guys every day at Rice. That made the transition that much easier. Every day that I was out there with those guys, after we were done I would go straight in my car and start making notes and stuff that I heard and stuff that Matt and Dan (Orlovsky) taught me on. It helped the transition. Jumping into getting the playbook I noticed a lot of things, I recognized a lot of things that was going on."

RB Arian Foster
(on how it feels to be the NFL rushing champion) "I'm not this year. It doesn't feel like I'm the NFL's leading rusher. It felt like it week 16 last year or week 17 last year but it doesn't feel like it right now."

(on how long he celebrated last season) "During the off-season it didn't really hit me until like mid-way during the off-season that you had a goal, you set out a goal and you accomplished that goal and that's what feels good about it. The crazy thing about this league is that, Coach (Kubiak) says it all the time, that you have to prove yourself every single day. You could lead the league in rushing one day and the next day they'll forget you fast. You have to keep on making your mark."

(on how he will follow up last year) "I think (the media) set standards. I just play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Statistically speaking, it's hard to put up numbers like that back-to-back-to-back. My job is to be the best running back for this team, meaning do my job on every play that I'm in there, and that's what I try to do. Individual accolades always come with that when you're playing at a high level, but you can't get caught up in statistics. Sometimes it could be very misleading."

(on if he would be okay not statistically having another season like last year) "I want to be great, put it like that. Who doesn't want to be great? Everybody wants to be great. We play this game to have our names remembered and that's what I work for."

(on what's impressed him so far from the running backs) "Today was the first day in pads and I just like our combative attitude as a unit right now. We're out there hitting, we're not tentative. We're hitting the holes hard. It's hard to be a cohesive unit the first day out as an offense because it takes so much work but we're going to get where we need to go."

(on if any guys that didn't believe in him have apologized) "I didn't count them, but I'm not vindictive in nature. You hear a lot of 'I knew you could' and you hear a lot of 'I was wrong about you', but I treat everybody the same. I love everybody."

T Eric Winston
(on the first day of practice in pads) "First day in pads is always a little bit of a struggle. I'm kind of wondering who stuck the weights in front shoulder pads, I kept falling on my face a few times but other than that it is what it is, we've got a long way to go but I think it was good for everybody to get pads on. You got through a couple of days of what we call spiders, those little foam pads and everyone is getting too aggressive because everyone is itching to get out there and prove themselves."

(on if there is pressure on the offensive line) "I don't look at it as pressure. I look at it as a chance to make big plays. You don't have to get Arian a whole lot, he's going to go. You don't have to give a guy like Matt Schaub a whole lot of space; you know Andre Johnson and those guys. So, I just look at it like we've got to give those guys a chance so we don't have to do anything special. We just got to do what we do and these guys have already proven that they're going to go out there and open up great stuff."

(on Michael Lombardi's comment that the Texans are soft) "I know this, you don't luck into 1,660. You don't luck into 2,000 yards rushing as a team so you can call it whatever you want, you can call it finesse, you can call it whatever but, I'll take those yards, I'll take those touchdowns and I'll take that production so Mike Lombardi can call it whatever he wants. He can come out here; I've never seen him at practice before so, he might have a different take on it if he's not 2000 miles away commenting on something he's never seen before. That's kind of the old school mentality on this as well, if you're not hitting every day, if you're not doing that I guess you're not tough but I'm not going to worry about that; that's something that if we can go out there and get Arian Foster over 1,600 yards again, if we get Matt Schaub to 4,000 (yards passing) and we can score those big touchdowns in key moments than he can call us whatever he wants."

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and his 3-4 defense) "Well obviously they're aggressive. I mean Wade has been an aggressive coordinator everywhere he has been and he's going to continue that. I think we have great athletes to give him a chance to be aggressive and I think that's what is important so, it's going to be fun and practices are going to be challenging. They are going to make us a better offense and I hope that we make them a better defense because we're all in it together. If we don't, score then we can't win and if they don't keep them out of the end zone than it's hard for us to win so it all comes in together, I think we both have to challenge each other but at the end of the day I think we are going to make each other better."

(on his high school days at Midland Lee) "I remember everything; you can argue that those are some of the best days you could ever have playing football so enjoy it. Don't worry about anything else other than what's going right now. Don't worry about going to college, don't worry about anything else. Enjoy every second you've got there, you'll never play on another team with so many friends and so many guys you've grown up with. That's the special part about it."


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