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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on September 26, 2011 – 7:57 pm

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak met with the media on Monday at Reliant Stadium for his regularly-scheduled day-after-a-game press conference at 3:30 p.m. CT.

Aside from his comments on running back Arian Foster, who is expected return to practice on Wednesday, here are the highlights:

  • Kubiak was asked if he’s concerned about the play of cornerback Kareem Jackson, who was beaten for a touchdown and several other plays on Sunday by Saints receiver Lance Moore. A first-round pick in 2010, Jackson was the subject of heavy criticism on local sports talk radio on Monday morning. “We weren’t as aggressive in our coverage and stuff to me in the fourth quarter that we had been throughout earlier in the game,” Kubiak said. “I thought that reflected across the board with the group, not just Kareem. Can Kareem play better than he played yesterday? Yeah, he can play better, but he had been playing pretty good football for us… Any time you get beat, that’s not good enough as a team. That’s not just about Kareem. He’s got to get better, but so does everybody within the group.”
  • Kubiak lamented the Texans’ problems moving the ball in the fourth quarter, when they lost a 26-17 lead after back-to-back three-play drives. “We checked the ball down to Ben (Tate); we dropped the ball,” he said. “That would have been a first down. We had a big play on the run, the second play, (that) we thought should have been a big play. We got a half a yard. We don’t make the third down; we had a little problem with protection… We went for a big play on the next play when we got the ball back. We had the play to make; we didn’t make it. We were aggressive and we were playing a good football team that scores a lot of points. We needed to stay aggressive… We had our chances to go put some more points on the board and keep moving the ball the way we did all day long, but during those two series, we didn’t and they score back-to-back touchdowns.”
  • The Texans sacked Drew Brees twice, but Kubiak said the defense left more sacks on the field. “They’re good,” Kubiak said of the Saints. “They do a good job up front. Their guards are very stout, but we did not factor into the game with our pressure like we have been doing the first couple of weeks… Our pressure needed to be better, and it needed to be better at the right time… It was not good when they got going there in fourth quarter and spread us out pretty good.”
  • Asked why he’s convinced the Texans won’t give up a fourth-quarter lead every week like they did against the Saints, Kubiak referenced new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and newly-signed defensive backs Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning. An inability to finish games, particularly on defense, was the main culprit in the Texans going 6-10 last season. “I believe in who’s leading the group,” Kubiak said. “We’ve got two heck-of-a football players that, to me, played very good in the game. Johnathan had a big pick in the game. Danieal had a big pick in the game. We were playing a good football team and you’re right, we did not close the game. We take full responsibility for that. We take whatever you want to give us from that standpoint. But we got a lot of confidence in what we’re doing, and we get our chin back up today and correct our mistakes.”
  • Fullback James Casey ran for 11 yards in the third quarter on a toss sweep to the right, his first-career carry. “It looked like we were going to have to play with two (running) backs, so I had some offense in the game plan where he was very much involved, and he responded,” Kubiak said. “We’re always going to have some wrinkles for him because he’s playing so well and he’s a good football player.”
  • Kubiak said he believes in Casey, but even he sounded surprised by Casey’s career-high five catches for 126 yards. Casey’s previous career-high in a full season was eight catches for 98 yards. “I know he’s got capability, but as far as that happening in that game, I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Kubiak said. “We caught a blitz one time, with him in the backfield on a scat call where Matt (Schaub) made a great play; got him the ball up the sideline (for a 62-yard gain). We didn’t practice that, it just happened in the game. James catching the wheel route on the touchdown; because of the coverage, that’s where the ball went. Didn’t expect that to happen… Some of the things they were doing gave James a chance to make plays, and he made them. I think he’s well on his way to becoming a heck of a player. He needs to continue to get better in the run game, but he’s obviously a threat for us catching the ball.”

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