August 2, 2011 - AM Practic...

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August 02, 2011

August 2, 2011 - AM Practice

  • Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - Morning practice

Houston Texans Transcripts

Training Camp Practice #3 (Morning)

Tuesday, August 2, 2001

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


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
General Manager Rick Smith

DT Earl Mitchell
FS Glover Quin

OLB Brooks Reed
QB Matt Schaub
RB Ben Tate
WR Terrence Toliver


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on WR Andre Johnson's injury) "He dislocated his finger in a one-on-one drill this morning and we're getting it looked at, so hopefully he's back here this afternoon.  We'll have to wait and see.  I wasn't at the drill so I just got the information.  I have a big lump in my throat like everybody else, but hopefully he'll be fine."

(on how long a dislocated finger takes to heal) "Like I said, I was at the 9-on-7 drill and it happened over at the one-on-one drill.  Right away, they took him to get it looked at so that's where they're at right now; should be back here shortly is what they just told me, so we'll know.  Hopefully it's just a dislocation and they're able to get it back in place and they're able to get back to work."

(on if WR Andre Johnson's injury is just part of training camp) "Yeah, unfortunately.  We came out here this morning and like I tell the players all the time, you're one play away from getting a chance to be a starter in this league.  (Dorin) Dickerson worked as a starter today.  Jason Allen got sick.  (Sherrick) McManis worked as a starter today.  Wade Smith got sick on us last night.  We've got a little bug going around.  Shelley Smith is starting at left guard.  That's the NFL.  We'll go back and see how they did, but it's a great opportunity for those guys today."

(on meeting with DE Ty Warren yesterday) "I had a visit with him.  Obviously, (General Manager) Rick's (Smith) been visiting with him a great deal going through this process.  We're impressed with Ty (Warren).  He's a heck of player.  I know him personally, obviously from being from here and I think he's trying to decide where he wants to go next.  He's got some options and we're hoping we might be one of those options, so we'll see.  We're part of the process right now."

(on not having much time before the season starts) "It's a fluid process.  Everything we're doing right now is to bring them along and not slowly, so to speak, but we do have a sense of urgency from a standpoint of when we've got to be ready to play.  We were able to stay outside all day today.  That's a good sign.  The weather wasn't too bad, so I'm hoping our first day in pads will either be in the morning or Thursday.  I'll have to make a decision as we go.  I'm trying to spend a lot of time with our trainers and doctors on how to go about this and try to go about it the right way."

(on if the team is picking up things faster than anticipated) "It's been a good two days.  The pickup part, you're probably talking more about the defense since they haven't been together.  I've been impressed.  You've seen us have a lot of jog-through situations late in practice where we're getting excessive reps so we can teach off it.  It's a little different approach, but it's important.  It's something we've got to do.  It's not something to see if we can do.  We got to do it."

(on what he wants to see out of WR Trindon Holliday) "I just want him to show me that he knows what our receivers do in our playbook right now.  That's the most important thing.  He's had a year to study and if he knows what he's doing, he can compete.  He was never asked to play that position in college and I'm asking him to do it.  It's been a good couple days for him.  He's way ahead of where he was last year, so we'll see how he does."

(on if there's more excitement and expectations for the team this year than in years past) "I think we do.  Obviously to me, the last 10 days is what added to that in the fact that we were able to get some pieces for our defense that we knew were very important.  You never know in free agency if you're going to get them or not, but (General Manager) Rick (Smith) and (Vice President of Football Administration) Chris (Olsen) did a great job, so that has added to it.  Just being on the field with J.J. (Watt) and just watching some of these young guys that we drafted and the athletes we have on the defensive side of the ball right now watching practice is very exciting.  We're looking forward to it, but we just have to stay focused on what we're doing."

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips' respect among the players) "When he walks in a room, he doesn't have to introduce himself.  They know what he's been doing, how long he's been doing it and it's been successful.  I heard him telling a story to the team the other day about Robert Brazile.  I was wondering in my office if they know who Robert Brazile is.  Just listening to him, talking to him and the credibility that he instantly brings to the coaches, the players on this field, to this city is awesome, just glad to be with him."

(on if FS Shiloh Keo is pretty vocal on the field) "He is.  You can tell he's a leader.  Where he comes from, he's the leader of their football team.  You see that in him.  Special teams will be a big part of his career early.  He's got a lot to learn, but he's very eager to do it."

(on if there's any update on RB Lawrence Vickers) "No, there is no update.  I think he's supposed to be visiting today, but I have not seen him.  He is a player that we have some interest in and we're going to talk to him."

(on QB T.J. Yates) "I tell you what, if you want to pick out a guy that's made the most improvement from practice one to two, it was him.  It was a tough situation, asking a rookie quarterback to run the second and the third group the first day of camp and he's never had a rep.  He had a tough day yesterday, but I told him this morning when we walked on the field, 'You're a second-year pro today so you better be better,' and he was better."

(on if QB T.J. Yates is performing as they thought he would) "We've got to see.  He's smart.  He knows what he's doing.  He knows how to find completions and he's going to get a lot of time, so we'll see."

General Manager Rick Smith

(on what has changed with the Houston Texans in the last few weeks) "Well, I think our football team has improved; that was the design of the offseason. I think we had a productive offseason. You go back to even before the lockout; we were able to get some key guys under contract. We signed Owen Daniels back. We signed Derrick Ward back. We were able to get those contracts done. Shaun Cody was done and then we had a productive draft, I felt. To kind of finish that off with the free-agent acquisitions that we had, I just felt like we improved our team and that's what we set out to do."

(on if he changed his philosophy in the offseason by going after specific needs) "We've done that in the past. I think from a philosophical standpoint, the only thing that was different was we had a lot more time. With the lockout we were able to really, really hone in on our plan and we were able to go over it numerous times, ad naseum at certain points; I'm sure my guys were tired of talking to me about it. I really felt like, especially from the college free-agency standpoint, I think the reason we were able to sign the guys we had rated fairly high in that group is because our preparation was so thorough, and then our guys executed. That was the only difference, in terms of how we go about our offseason plan and how we evaluate our football team and evaluate our needs."

(on the approach to getting unrestricted free agents CB Johnathan Joseph and S Daneial Manning once the lockout was over) "It was a decision. It was an internal decision and an organizational decision that we had to make, whether or not we were going to try to maybe make the big splash and sign one guy or if we were going to try to maybe sign two guys. And we contemplated that decision for a few days. A lot of reports, we were in on a couple different things and different options. What we decided when we decided, we felt like Danieal Manning and Johnathan Joseph would come in and really help our football team and impact us the best way. That's why we decided to go in that direction and we were able to get those deals done."

(on what the selling point was to sell Danieal Manning and Johnathan Joseph on signing with the Texans) "I think everybody understands that our football team is close. We have not realized our goals over the last couple years, particularly last year, when we took a step back. I think people understand that our team is close and they understand that we've got something special here, that we're building something special and they wanted to be a part of it and that was a big part of it. They wanted to be a part of what we're doing and they were excited about joining the Houston Texans and what we can accomplish together."

(on what areas of the team he would like to address, possibly the fullback position) "My job is to continue to always try to get better. So, the roster is never set, in my opinion. We will continue to look and I think there are some areas on our team that we might be able to improve depth-wise. You mention the fullback position and we've got a free agent in town today, visiting with him. He's taking a physical now. Lawrence Vickers is here, visiting of course. So we'll talk with him and visit with him later today. We'll continue to try to upgrade our roster constantly."

(on the status of free agent DE Ty Warren) "We had a good visit yesterday. I think this is a good spot for him (Ty Warren). We talked a long time about all the reasons why I think it's a good spot for him; I think he believes so. But he's got some options. He visited a couple different places. He's at another club now. We'll get a chance to re-visit with him later today and see where he is in his decision-making process."

(on the health status of free agent DE Ty Warren and if he is confident in that) "You know what, he's coming off the hip injury, obviously but our doctors, we did a pretty good work-up yesterday and we feel pretty comfortable about where he is."

(on when he would like an answer from free agent DE Ty Warren) "I'm not going to pressure him (Ty Warren). Those guys (free agents) can't practice anyway until Thursday. I think this is a good spot for him. I think we've done everything we can do to communicate that to him and we're going to let him make a decision on his terms."

(on if he's gotten more personal satisfaction out of this offseason than any other because of the moves he's been able to make) "I don't know if I get more personal satisfaction out of it. I'm just trying to do a good job. I think that I've got a great group of guys that work with us. I can't tell you how proud I am of the personnel staff, the coaching staff, our operations staff; there was a lot of work to be done. (Vice President of Football Administration) Chris Olsen and (Football Administration Analyst) Kevin Krajcovic, in terms of helping with the contracts; you know we did over 40 deals in seven days. That's just a tremendous amount of negotiating and brain power that we're trying to recover from. Everybody did a great job and I think our team is better. Again, that was the design of the offseason. So we feel like we were able to get better and now it's just time to go out and play."

(on the play of his rookies so far) "It's early, it's a couple days. I think our team is more athletic. I like the fact that I don't see a lot mental mistakes, which means that they're locked in, so we'll give them a chance to compete."

(on what clicked to make him pull the trigger on the deals to sign CB Johnathan Joseph on S Danieal Manning while being in the running for CB Nnamdi Asomugha) "Again, what we were trying to do is be patient. We were trying to make an internal decision, which way to go. So I had to get in the game on both fronts, on all fronts, actually. It was just a matter of us feeling like, as an organization, that we knew what we wanted to do and we had given all the parties time to make decisions. When we made our decision, we were able to communicate that to everybody involved and then we were able to execute and get the players."

(on if stocking the roster provides for fewer excuses than not living up to what everybody wants) "We don't look for excuses, in general. We've never looked for excuses. We're going to try to do the best job that we can do. I'm going to try to put the best football team on this field and we're going to try to have those guys execute the best that they can. That's always been our goal and that will continue to be our goal."

(on if he's looking at signing a veteran backup linebacker who is used to the 3-4 defense given that ILBs DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing are coming back from injury) "That's one of the things, as we talked about, always improving the roster. We're looking at that position to maybe try to add some guys, veteran players that we can give an opportunity. That's certainly a position, just like the fullback position is. But again, that's across the board in all of our positions. We're going to try to improve everywhere that we can and there are a lot of free agent still without jobs. We'll entertain every opportunity that we have to improve our football team."

(on his assessment of WR Jacoby Jones' time with the Texans and signing him back) "I think he has matured. I think his level of play, last year, obviously was his best year and I think that was a product of experience. I think it was a product of his personal maturation process. I gotta be honest, I think who he surrounds himself with I think has helped him. It was nice to see him evolve the way he did last year and produce the way that he produced. He's still got some inconsistent things about him that he's got to correct but I think he's immensely talented and I think he can help us."

(on if there is a degree of bad luck in the way the team has lost some of its games the last two years) "What we've got to do, we've got to execute. That's all. We've got to execute, particularly in the times of a football game where you've got to really be locked in. That's the discipline part of and then guys have got to step up and make plays. That's what we've got to do. We didn't do a good job of that in games at the end last year. I will pretty much tell you that we're going to be focused on that this year and I would expect that we will perform a heck of a lot better in those situation this year moving forward." 


DT Earl Mitchell
(on his progression since his rookie year) "I think I have the ability to do good things, obviously I have confidence in myself but I got to keep working and do whatever it takes."

(on the possibility of more playing time) "It's the nature of the business. Once your number is called, all you can do is just do what you can do. It's pretty nice though and I wish him (former Texan Amobi Okoye) well, but I got my job to do and I got a career of my own so I've got to do whatever I can do."

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) "You can just tell that everyone knows their responsibilities and everyone is on the same page. We just listen to what he has to say because he knows a lot more than us, because obviously he's been coaching longer than most of us have been playing."


FS Glover Quin
(on if he's a true free safety) "I feel better and natural back there. I just feel like that's what I was born to do, but I like to play whatever they ask me to play and so now I'm actually working out the strong safety so you have to know it all. You have to know the strong (safety), you have to know the free (safety), you have to know the corner and you have to know the nickel to be a versatile player.  It's been a good transition and it's been fun you just have to continue to work at it."


LB Brooks Reed
(on what he's learned from the veterans) "Just tempo of the practice and keep your mind in the game when you're not taking a rep. When you're on the sideline you're taking mental reps watching your guy do the repetition and you learn from him, too."

(on if his biggest adjustment is size and speed of players) "Yeah, size and speed. In college I really didn't drop into coverage that much and that's something my eyes have to get adjusted to. Just coverage, reading the receivers like Andre (Johnson). These guys are running around here like, 'Holy cow.' I'm slowly getting a grip on it. I'm progressing every day, so hopefully by tomorrow I'll be better."

(on what film they've looked at on the 3-4 defense) "That's one thing that they harp on is that it's been a proven system and what we have to do is buy into our system even though it may be different than what we were trained to do in college. As soon as we do that then this defense will be very successful."

(on who has taken him under their wing) "Connor (Baldwin). He's the starter right now and he's helping me try to come along.


QB Matt Schaub
(on WR Jacoby Jones) "He's done good. He's really matured a lot and we just look for, he needs to take that next step and we really expect him to. I feel like he's primed to really take off."

(on how WR Jacoby Jones played last year) "He had flashes of excellence, and that's what we expect of him. He's a big play guy. The more he's out there the more comfortable he gets so that's our job right now, is to get him out there and get him involved."


RB Ben Tate
(on getting No. 44 after FB Vonta Leach left) "Well it went back to last year. I tried to get it from Vonta (Leach) but 'Leach to the Beach', he wanted a ridiculous number for it so that wasn't going to happen. Unfortunately, he's gone this year but I had a chance to get (number) 44 back."

(on if many players ask for money for number changes) "I would guess, but I don't think it's as outrageous as what Vonta (Leach) was asking for."

(on how anxious he is to get back on the field) "I'm very anxious to get back to a preseason game and get to show everyone, the fans, the organization, teammates, what I can do. I've been working hard this offseason to come back from this ankle injury and I'm just looking forward to having my opportunity."

(on if he was frustrated not having a year like RB Arian Foster last year) "In a sense yes, but it is one of your teammates and I am happy for him that he's doing well. It will just help me be a better running back knowing that I have to go out there and compete against those other guys every day."

(on what the running backs bring to the team) "We're all a little different. From Derrick (Ward) to Steve (Slaton) to me to Arian (Foster), we all are a little different. At the same time, I think we have one of the best backfields in the league this year. It's all competition, it's all fun, we're all friends."


WR Terrence Toliver
(on being a Houston Texan) "Well it was my first choice to be here with the Texans organization. They have a great offense, great quarterback, great receivers, so I'm just here to make the 53-man roster."

(on being in camp with WR Andre Johnson) "It's fun. Being in high school watching him, being in college watching him, and I'm out here playing with him so it's nice. It's nice to come out here and compete and watch him."

(on coming from LSU to training camp) "It makes it much easier. We ran a similar offense, the same kind of plays but different terminology, so it's made the transition much easier.

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