Houston Texans Transcripts
Training Camp Practice #9 (Morning)
Friday, August 5, 2011
(Transcribed by Brett Maikowski, Brittany McCray and Jeremy Joseph)
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
CB Brandon Harris
CB Kareem Jackson
QB Matt Leinart
DT Earl Mitchell
ILB DeMeco Ryans
QB Matt Schaub
WR Kevin Walter
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on practice today) "It was good. Obviously it's kind of a hump day for the guys that have been doing it for four days, but we needed to get those new guys going so we came out in shorts. I think we had some good work. All those guys that have been out looked pretty good, but we shut them down at a certain period of practice. It's a good step forward and we'll come out in the pads tomorrow."
(on having everyone practicing now) "We're going to push through Sunday morning and then give them a break, so these next two days are very important. I'm hoping that as we get past Sunday that we're pretty much all on the same page as a football team, physically, how we're feeling and those type of things. We went from 71 guys practicing to 85 today, so it just tells you how crazy this thing has been. I'm glad to see it. It's been good."
(on why TE Owen Daniels didn't practice today) "Sick. We got a bug going on with our team. We've had two or three guys a day. I think we had six today, so we've got some kind of little bug going on. He (Owen Daniels) tried to come out here and I sent him back in."
(on if TE Owen Daniels will just be out for one day) "I hope so. It has been with the other guys, so we'll see."
(on if WR Andre Johnson got sick too) "Yeah, he's not feeling well neither."
(on what's going on with the illnesses) "I have no idea. Actually a couple guys got sick on us, but were able to still push through in practice. The guys that were not feeling well this morning, I think three of them did practice and three of them didn't."
(on how TE Owen Daniels has looked in camp) "He's (Owen Daniels) looked great. He had a really good offseason. I know how hard he worked. I know how Owen thinks. The key to his success is a good training camp and all those things are important to him, so he's well on his way."
(on how the first five days of training camp have gone) "I think we're behind from a standpoint of what we normally would be doing right now, just from the fact that we haven't had them. Now, with the time we've had to work, I feel good about what we've done. I think defensively it's day-to-day. (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips), how much can we do? How much more are we going to put in? Offensively, we're missing some key pieces on our practice field, which concerns me. When Andre's (Johnson) not practicing, Owen's (Daniels) not practicing, Arian's (Foster) not practicing, that's tough. At the same time, it does give you a chance to get better because all those other guys are getting reps right now. We just got to stay focused on them and the other guys will be ready to go."
(on OLB Mario Williams) "I think he's (Mario Williams) looked really good. I think he's taken to what we're trying to do with him. I think his scope as far as football learning has broadened a little bit because now he's a linebacker. He's learning a lot about coverage and a lot of other things. He's been very attentive. To me this year, he's been more of a leader than probably his first few years. I like what he's doing."
(on RB Arian Foster's leaving practice) "He ran one time into the end zone about 35-40 minutes into practice and didn't feel good. I don't know, so I just said get out. He went 35-40 minutes and he looked great. I'm hoping he's right back. We'll see."
(on if he's worried about RB Arian Foster) "I'm not right now. I probably can answer this better in the afternoon, but it was me and I told him to get out."
(on how nice it is to have depth at running back) "It's a nice problem to have because we're going to end up with four dang good ones and may be in a situation where we can keep five. It depends. We're strong at that position right now, but you know how this works. You come out one day and play one preseason game and you go from having a bunch of them to something happening. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that they're all there at the end and we have a good group."
(on RB Arian Foster's injury) "No, he (Arian Foster) just tightened up. He told me his hamstring tightened up, so I told him to get out. You got to remember those guys haven't been doing anything, so that's why we had a clock on all of them this morning. Any sign of any one of them not quite being ready to go, we were pulling them. There are some other guys we pulled too. You just don't ask about them."
(on WR Kevin Walter) "I'm amazed at him (Kevin Walter). I think this is year nine for him and you watch this guy work every day. He's just a pro. Kevin has to work really hard to be successful. It's been that way his whole career. Kevin overcomes some shortcomings with his work habits, his study and all those things. He's a big cog on this football team because everybody knows he will be there every day, every play as hard as he can play and he'll do anything you ask him to do. You can't have enough of those guys."
(on WR Kevin Walter as a complete receiver and not just a possession receiver) "Tell him (Kevin Walter). Don't let it hurt his feelings because they're probably going to call him that his whole career. I bet he plays a long time, so that's a compliment in my opinion."
(on what attributes he looks for in young receivers) "Receivers are different. There are some guys that are big run guys, as far as their speed. There are some guys that are possession-type players, slot players. They all kind of have their expertise, so to speak, and why they're here. You're trying to see where they would fit on your football team, but it really boils down to what they end up doing for (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) on special teams. Young receivers make teams because they usually get in the special teams route, so that's a very big piece."
CB Brandon Harris
(on working with WR Andre Johnson to prepare for camp) "My work with him prepared me a lot: self confidence, competing against one of the best receivers in the NFL - the best, in my opinion. Just being able to go out there and stand toe to toe with him as a rookie. He's a good teacher. He tells you what you're doing good, tells you what you need to work on. Just hearing it from a guy like him who's sincere and he's doing it year in and year out."
(on if a cornerback has to have a certain instinct) "I think it's a combination of them all. Obviously, talent is a big part of it, but at defensive back you also have to have confidence. It's just as much mental as it is physical, and with that confidence comes instinct. When you're confident with the ability to make plays, you go out there and you're not afraid to test what you see. If you see a guy breaking on a good route, you're not afraid to go for it and make that interception as opposed to being a little hesitant."
CB Kareem Jackson
(on if the secondary is more physical and active) "I think that it was a little bit of the excitement and us not wanting to have that sour taste like last year. For having a year like that last year, no one wants to go through that, so everybody is committed to what we're doing so we're just coming out and working hard every day just trying to get it done."
(on CB Johnathan Joseph and S Danieal Manning) "It was good and exciting for those guys' first day. Those guys are playmakers and that's what the coaches brought them in for. I can already see that they're going to be a vocal presence out there as well as a physical one so it's going to be exciting."
(on if he's trying to pick up a few things from CB Johnathan Joseph) "Every day, all day with a guy like that, a veteran guy. We didn't' have a guy like that with experience in the DB (defensive backs) room last year until the end of the season with (CB) Jason Allen."
(on if he's on the right track to turn the corner from last year) "Definitely. Definitely. I had a couple of good first days so I'm just looking forward to keep working and learning from (Defensive Backs) Coach VJ (Vance Joseph) and getting better."
(on Defensive Backs Coach Vance Joseph) "He's big on technique and seeing things with your eyes. If you can be consistent with those two you can play in this league."
QB Matt Leinart
(on training camp) "You know, I got a great mindset going into this camp. I'm going to work my butt off to know this offense and to be ready to play."
(on connecting with TE Joel Dreessen in practice) "Yeah, Joel (Dreessen) had a big day. OD (Owen Daniels) had a big day yesterday, Joel had a big day today. We got a great group of tight ends. They can all run and catch. They're extremely smart players. Anytime we get our matchups, we know our tight ends are going to win most of the time. That's a great luxury to have in this League. Obviously we have great receivers and running backs that can catch, but when you have great tight ends that can do everything, that makes it easier on us."
(on what made him want to return to the Texans this season) "I just think it was the experience here I had last year. I really grew as a quarterback and I felt like I can get just so much better as a quarterback, just the way I was coached last year and the way I was taught, and the attention to detail they expect us to have at the position. Kubes (Head Coach Gary Kubiak) played a big part in that, just to be back with him, to learn from him."
DT Earl Mitchell
(on adjusting to the new 3-4 defense) "The adjustment hasn't been too much of a learning curve for me. I played a lot of nose tackle last year, so it's just a matter of working on technique again and it's pretty much like riding a bike. I'm just trying to get after it."
(on playing for his home team) "It's cool, you know. You've got a lot of people in your corner and they're wishing you well, so it motivates me to do well and I want to do a good job for the team. I want to represent my high school and all my peers."
(on the difference in the defense's attitude from last year) "On defense it's just that people are flying around, they're just trying to play on edge because we have a big chip on our shoulder. We just want to fly around and represent (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips real well."
(on if he is in the mix for more playing time) "Oh, definitely. That's all I've been doing; just making sure that I can get on the team and if I get on the field I'm going to make sure I'm going to be productive for my football team."
ILB DeMeco Ryans
(on if OLB Mario Williams is making him a better pass rusher) "Just working with Mario, working with (Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar) and (DE) Antonio (Smith) just working on some things I've never done before. It takes some getting used to, but it's just a grind; it's just trying to get things down with the new techniques."
(on if he will take credit for OLB Mario Williams' first interception this season) "No, I can't credit that to me, but we're just working. I like our new defense. I like the scheme. (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) is great. It feels like it definitely gives us a chance to be successful."
(on the pressure on the defensive backfield) "It's no pressure. Each year brings on different challenges. We have a new team this year, new challenges, new guys back there in the back end, but I like the way those guys are playing here in training camp. Their confidence is high and I like how they're being aggressive and making plays on the ball."
QB Matt Schaub
(on TE Owen Daniels' training camp) "He's had a great first few days, as opposed to last year when he was mainly working with the trainers, trying to still come back from his injury. It's just huge to have him out here with a full offseason under his belt. Working with him, on our own, you know he's ready to go."
(on if he had to make adjustments last year when TE Owen Daniels was coming back from injury) "Yeah. He wasn't quite the same, especially when he was in and out of the lineup. He was nicked up and he had a hamstring (injury). It was hard to get in a rhythm with him but we've worked enough now that it's second nature for us and all our other tight ends played huge for us and stepped up for us; Joel (Dreessen) and James (Casey) and Garrett Graham is playing well and looking good."
(on Houston's young wide receivers) "They're looking good. The young receivers are smart and talented. They're doing a lot of good things. Obviously, as we go here, we're putting more in, as far as the install and more and more stuff is building in their minds. They have to learn to keep that straight and just understand their job when they come out here. But they're performing well and they're not deer in the headlights, so to speak, so we need to keep them growing and progressing."
(on critics who call the Texans "soft") "We don't pay any attention to that. The people that are outside, they don't know how we play, how we work. I don't put any stock into it because they don't really know what they're talking about."
(on if a team can be soft if it runs the ball the way the Texans did last year) "I don't think so. I don't think we can run the football the way we did, protect the way we did, play the way we did and be considered that."
(on how much the team has talked about and gone over starting the game fast) "Absolutely. That's a focus of ours, both offensively and defensively. We got to start games better, not playing catch-up, obviously. It's a 60-minute game; it's where you finish that's most important. But we can help ourselves out a tremendous amount if we just start faster and put some points on the board early in the game, set the tempo, have the defense go three-and-out and we'll be in good shape."