Aside from the news about free safety Danieal Manning, who is out at least four weeks after leg surgery, and wide receiver Andre Johnson and fullback James Casey, who could return this week, here are the highlights:
- Kubiak said “it’s a feel” as to how he and running backs coach Chick Harris divide carries between Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Foster had 25 carries to Tate’s 15 in Week 7. It was a 15/9 split in Week 6. “We’re going to let Arian go,” Kubiak said. “I try to watch him after he touches it a couple times and then I’ll say something to Chick like, ‘Put Ben in,’ or Chick will say, ‘Hey, that’s four plays in a row.’ So we try to just have a feel for it. Obviously, it helps when you come back with a fresh set of legs like Ben. Ben’s got a lot of speed… It’s a great situation for us as a football team. You don’t want to take the ball out of Arian’s hands. He seems to play better the more he touches it, but at the same time, I think it’s been a progression getting Arian back to the top of his game, and he’s definitely heading that way right now. We’ll need them both.”
- Kubiak on fullback Lawrence Vickers, who made his second consecutive start in place of Casey: “What a big step from last week to this week not only for us offensively, but also for us special teams-wise. He’s very physical. He’s starting to grasp what we do and how we coach a fullback. I think you’re going to see growth from him throughout the season, so that’s what I’m really excited about. (When) James comes back, we’ll use them both. There’s a place for both of them in what we do.”
- Kicker Neil Rackers made a highlight-reel tackle on a kickoff in the fourth quarter. Kubiak was asked if he was worried about him after the play. “Yeah, I told (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) that,” he said. “I don’t want to take away his aggression. I love it, but he’s got to be smart because we don’t need to be looking for another kicker. We may have to put a leash on him or something.”
- After linebacker DeMeco Ryans went tackle-less at Tennessee, Kubiak explained that it was a result of personnel packages. “I know I’ve seen some comments people wondering rep-wise what’s going on,” he said. “We played a team yesterday that had us in dime. Our defense was on the field for I think 58 plays, and 40 of them were in dime playing against nickel.” Brian Cushing is the Texans’ only inside linebacker on the field in passing situations. Ryans played 15 or 16 snaps on Sunday.
- Quarterback Matt Schaub posted the highest passer rating of his career (147.7) on Sunday, going 18-of-23 with 296 yards, two touchdowns and completions to seven different receivers. Kubiak said it was one of the best games he has seen Schaub play. “He started 0-for-3, so he was 18 for his next 20,” Kubiak said. “Psychologically, sometimes that’s a little hard for guys to do when they start a game like that.” Schaub also was not sacked in the game and was hit only twice. “We were protecting him well,” Kubiak said. “When Matt’s throwing the ball 23, 24, 25 times in a game, we’re usually playing good football.”
Tags: Arian Foster, Ben Tate, DeMeco Ryans, Gary Kubiak, Kubiak day-after pressers, Lawrence Vickers, Matt Schaub, Neil Rackers
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 2 Comments »