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Parsing Kubiak’s weekly presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on January 10, 2012 – 9:27 am

Notes from Texans head coach Gary Kubiak’s his weekly press conference from Reliant Stadium on Monday afternoon:

  • Kubiak said that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ impending interview for the Tampa Bay head coaching job will not be a distraction. Phillips will interview Friday evening, after players and coaches have already gone home and finished their preparations for the week.
  • Tight end Owen Daniels “does have a hand issue” but “it’s not going to keep him from playing.” Kubiak said Daniels, who was injured against the Bengals on Saturday but returned to the game, is “fine” and will be back on the practice field on Wednesday. “That’s nothing that’s going to hold him back,” Kubiak said. “He will be ready to go. It’s not an issue from that standpoint.” It was reported Sunday that Daniels might have a broken right hand, but Kubiak said he’s still in an evaluation process.
  • The Texans entered Saturday as healthy as they had been in a long time, and they made it through the game with no major issues. Wide receiver Andre Johnson (hamstring) had a play count in the mid-40s and “came out of the game fine.” Right guard Mike Brisiel (fibula) played about three quarters before getting fatigued but “should be even better this week.” Rookie outside linebacker Bryan Braman “should be ready to go” after leaving Saturday’s game with an injury. Free safety Troy Nolan (ankle), who was inactive on Saturday, “has an excellent chance to be ready to contribute this week.”
  • Kubiak on what the Texans need to do differently against Baltimore this time around after losing 29-14 at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 6: “Well, they closed and we didn’t. When you look at the game, I think it was a 14-10 or 14-13 game late in the third quarter and then they made big plays in the pass game in the fourth quarter. We had opportunities offensively and didn’t make them in the fourth quarter.”
  • Kubiak was asked how he has dealt with the Texans being tagged as underdogs. “I think it’s kind of been our situation since we’ve lost some key players, especially since we had our quarterback situation,” Kubiak said. “I think a lot of people have said there are a lot of things we can’t do. We’ve had to go to work and try to prove them wrong, so to speak. That’s been part of our motivation as a football team and will continue to be that… Regardless of how tough our situation is – this is a tough one this week, a tough place to play, a great football team – we know if we play our type of football then we’ll have an excellent chance to win. We’re staying focused on that.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on January 2, 2012 – 8:12 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.

Here are the highlights:

  • Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates is “feeling pretty good” after injuring his shoulder on Sunday and is expected to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, Kubiak said.
  • Free safety Danieal Manning will resume returning kickoffs in the playoffs. “That will definitely happen,” Kubiak said. “Danieal will go back there. Jacoby (Jones) will take the punts. We’ll go back to full strength.” Kubiak said the Texans have been practicing that way the last couple of weeks. Manning averaged 27.4 yards on 13 kickoff returns this season and 26.9 yards per return in his career. He hasn’t returned in a game since fracturing his fibula in Week 7 at Tennessee.
  • Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is “doing good” after coaching in the press box on Sunday, Kubiak said. Phillips had taken a two-week leave of absence for surgery on his kidney and gallbladder. “It was a long, tiring day for him to be up there for three-and-a-half hours,” Kubiak said. “He told me the chair wasn’t real comfortable, so we’ll try to get him a more comfortable chair. But he came out OK. It’s a long road back from what he’s been through. Like I said, we’re just trying to make sure he gets his rest and he’ll be ready to call the game on Saturday once again.”
  • Kubiak was asked about entering the playoffs on a three-game losing streak. “Well, you’ve got to let it go,” he said. “You could come in with a three-game winning streak and you’ve got to let it go, too. We haven’t been at our best in all three phases, but I did think we took a step in the right direction yesterday.”
  • Asked what concerns him from Houston’s game at Cincinnati in Week 14, Kubiak said the Bengals made the Texans “play sloppy.” The Texans had two turnovers in the first half as they fell behind 16-3 before coming back to win 20-19. “We can sit here and say we didn’t do things well, but you got to give them credit for how poorly they made us play by their effort,” Kubiak said. “They’re a heck of a football team. They are a lot like us in a lot of ways, the way they’re built.”
  • Kubiak said cornerback Kareem Jackson will continue to start at cornerback opposite Johnathan Joseph, although the Texans will likely play a lot of nickel on Saturday because of the Bengals’ offense. “Kareem could have played better yesterday; a lot of guys could,” Kubiak said. “He needs to find the ball better in a couple of situations. He was in good position and didn’t finish the play, but for the most part he’s had a good year, and it’s time for him to be even better.”
  • Kubiak on rookie outside linebacker Bryan Braman, who made a special teams tackle with no helmet on against the Titans: “Yeah, he’ll go hit anybody. He doesn’t care. He’s played really good for us.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 13, 2011 – 6:13 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.

Here are the highlights:

  • Kubiak announced that right guard Mike Brisiel has a fractured fibula and will miss at least 3-4 weeks, and that the Texans released veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason.
  • Kubiak discussed the support from fans, who gave the team a hero’s welcome back to Reliant Stadium on Sunday. “It means a great deal for the bus to pull down Kirby last night and see all the people that came out,” he said. “A lot of the players spent a lot of time with them after we got here. All of our families were sitting here in the parking lot waiting on us. That’s what you work for. That’s why we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing, to get to that point where everybody could experience that. Obviously, you guys know for me, I grew up five miles down the road, so it’s special to see that excitement. But I know the hard work that’s been put in and the job that the coaches and players of this organization have done. To walk around our building today and see how proud everybody is that works here and is part of this organization is a great day. But we got a lot to look forward to and still got a lot of work to do, so we got to focus on that right now.”
  • Asked about the criticism he received last year, when most fans and media wanted him to be fired, compared to the praise he’s receiving this year, when fans and media are starting to mention him as a coach of the year candidate, Kubiak said: “I try not to listen when they call for my head, and I try not to listen today. That’s the best way I try to handle it.”
  • Kubiak said he has no plans to rest banged-up players like defensive end Antonio Smith or inside linebacker Brian Cushing after clinching the division. “We’re going to go about business as usual,” he said. “You get 46 guys on game day. Everybody’s got to play. You start talking about resting players and those type of things, you’re not getting better. I’m going to be smart with every player we have, but at the same time, we’ve got a game to win this weekend and we got to be at full-strength to get that done. My concern is how good are we going to be three weeks from now, so that means we got to get better this week and win another game.”
  • Earlier this season, it was reported out that wide receiver Kevin Walter had a broken shoulder and would miss 10-12 weeks. He returned after missing only one game. Last Friday, Walter was not at practice because of an illness and was questionable for Sunday’s game. He wound up with six catches for 76 yards and the game-winning touchdown. “I could stay up here all day talking about that kid,” Kubiak said. “Y’all know what I think of him. He’s a man, now. You’re going to get the same thing every day or every week. I got on the elevator with him at the hotel Saturday night, me and a couple of the coaches, and he was white as a ghost, didn’t look very good. We asked him how he was doing. He said, ‘Coach, I’m fine. I’m ready to go.’ That’s Kevin. He goes out there and makes a huge play at the end. He’s a true pro. He’s a pro’s pro, got tremendous respect on our team. I’m happy for him. That was a heck of a deal yesterday.”
  • Kubiak said that players like quarterback Matt Schaub and outside linebacker Mario Williams have been extremely important to the team’s success, even though they’re on injured reserve and can’t play. “When the buses parked last night, the first guy waiting on us in the parking lot was Mario because he did not make the trip,” Kubiak said. “That meant a lot to the team, and Mario had brought a lot of guys’ families over for them. I told Matt this after the game, I told Schaub, I said, ‘I know it’s a great day for you, but I know it’s a tough day because you’re not out there playing.’ I let Andre (Johnson) know how I felt about him after the game, but I could sit here and talk about Mario, I could talk about Matt Schaub, I could talk about (Darryl) Sharpton, I could talk about all those guys that have been a part of this that unfortunately aren’t going to be a part of it as we move forward. We’re here today because of a lot of people and our players understand that and they respect that. We carry those guys with us every week that we line up right now.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on December 6, 2011 – 3:33 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.

Here are the highlights:

  • On the injury front, Kubiak said that wide receiver Andre Johnson is day-to-day with a mild hamstring injury that has the Texans feeling “very fortunate.” Punter Brett Hartmann has a torn ACL and is out for the season. Linebacker Brian Cushing has a “sore knee” but is expected to be fine to play on Sunday at Cincinnati.
  • Kubiak called rookie quarterback T.J. Yates’ first NFL start on Sunday a “good first step.” Yates finished 12-of-25 for 188 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. “Just his play in particular was encouraging,” Kubiak said. “He can get a lot better and there’s so many things he’ll get to learn from throughout the course of the game and watching himself on tape play that many plays, but the things that were very positive were when we had some bad plays or he got caught in some bad situations, he kept us out of them getting really bad. He avoided probably three or four sacks on his own with his ability and made smart decisions with the ball.”
  • Kubiak said cornerback Kareem Jackson was the Texans’ defensive player of the game, calling it Jackson’s “best game as a pro.” Jackson made a leaping interception on a flea-flicker pass in the first quarter and defended wide receiver Julio Jones in the end zone on the game’s final play. Kubiak credited new defensive backs coach Vance Joseph for Jackson’s improvement from last season. He also said the arrival of veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Danieal Manning have helped Jackson grow up. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Kubiak said. “He has had a lot of ups and downs. He had the expectations of a first-round pick and what we went through last year. His toughness has shown, mentally and physically.”
  • The Texans can clinch the AFC South title with a victory at Cincinnati and a loss by the Titans against New Orleans, but Kubiak said he doesn’t plan to talk to the players about that this week. “You’re going to hear about all that stuff as the end of the season nears, but our focus has just got to be Cincinnati,” Kubiak said. “It will be a tough place to play. They’re a playoff football team right now, playing very well. We’ve got to go do it at their place… We’ve got enough things to worry about, and so we just have to stay focused on ourselves.”
  • Kubiak thinks the Texans’ offensive line is playing well but is “out of sync in a few things” compared to before the bye week. “I think we’re going to even play better before this year is over,” he said. “I think we’ll get back to the way we were doing things a couple weeks ago. We’ve made a big improvement from Jacksonville to this week. I thought we played much better, so I’m expecting those guys to continue to move forward. I think all five of those guys have taken every snap, except for maybe a little bit in that Tampa game.”
  • Like many of his players did after the game, Kubiak raved about the crowd noise at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. “I was walking out of the tunnel with DeMeco (Ryans) after the game, with him and his mom,” Kubiak said. “He looked at me and we started talking about the game; he said, ‘Coach, that’s as electric as I’ve ever seen our stadium,’ and it really was. From warm-ups, it felt like playoff football… Our fans were just tremendous yesterday, and we fed off of that as a team and our energy was there all day long. It was nice to see.”
  • Kubiak said the prospects of fullback Lawrence Vickers returning against the Bengals are “pretty good.” Vickers has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. “I think if we went out there today, Lawrence would practice,” Kubiak said. “We’ve got a couple days here, but we’ve been missing him. He played really well for us in that stretch. We were running the ball so well… it would be good to get Lawrence back not only from an offensive standpoint but from a special teams standpoint.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 29, 2011 – 10:28 am

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.

Here are the highlights:

  • Kubiak confirmed that quarterback Matt Leinart will miss the rest of the season with a fractured collarbone. He also said the Texans will sign a veteran quarterback to take his place on the roster. Rookie T.J. Yates is now the Texans’ starting quarterback, and recently-signed Kellen Clemens will be his backup at least for this week.
  • Kubiak called an ultra-conservative game plan in the second half with Yates on Sunday, but it wasn’t for lack of confidence in the rookie. He did it to protect Yates, who was the Texans’ last quarterback standing, and keep the Texans from having to use tight end/emergency backup Owen Daniels under center. “I love O.D., but I don’t know if he could’ve gotten us over the top,” Kubiak said. “I was trying to make sure (Yates) was upright the whole half. We had a two-score lead and the way we were playing defense, I made sure that I didn’t put him in a bad situation. I’m not scared to go call the game or have any hold-back at all. We’ll go play. We’ll give him his opportunity to play just like everybody else.”
  • Kubiak shot down a question about what it’s like to be 8-3 but feeling down because of all the Texans’ injuries. “I’m not down,” he said. “I’ve got some issues on my hands, but I’m not down. This team is not down. I want everyone to know that. I want the city to know that. We’re excited about our opportunity. It has been very challenging, but hey, that’s part of life. You get some challenges, you’ve got to step to the plate and find a way to get it done.”
  • Kubiak said the Texans named outside linebacker Connor Barwin and rookie defensive end J.J. Watt co-defensive MVPs of Sunday’s game. Barwin had a team-record four sacks, two other quarterback hits and 10 tackles. Watt had two sacks, seven tackles and batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. “There hasn’t been a game this year where we’ve given a player of the game to two players, and we could not separate those two guys in this game,” Kubiak said. “They were exceptional.”
  • Wide receiver Andre Johnson (hamstring) and free safety Danieal Manning (fibula) were both “fine” after returning from injuries on Sunday, Kubiak said. Johnson was targeted three times and caught two passes for 22 yards, both from Yates in the fourth quarter. Kubiak wishes he had given Johnson about 10-12 less snaps in his first action since Week 4. “Dang it, I had him in there too many plays,” Kubiak said. “He got tired on me. He took a step forward. It’s going to take a few weeks for him to get back to himself, but for the progress he’s made to play yesterday and come out of the game OK, I feel good about that.” Manning, who had been out since Week 7, played about 30 snaps and made a tackle on the Jaguars’ first play of the game. “He came out fine, feeling good,” Kubiak said. “I just walked past him in the locker room—very upbeat. It’s amazing what he’s done.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on November 7, 2011 – 5:46 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 an injury update on wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Antonio Smith, here are the highlights

  • The Texans ranked 30th in defense last season. As of Monday, they rank No. 1 in 2011 under new coordinator Wade Phillips. “It’s just been fun to watch,” Kubiak said. “I didn’t know it until this morning until I walked in and saw the league stats, but there’s a long way to go and a lot of big football games to play. But the job that he’s done and (linebackers coach) Reggie (Herring) and (assistant head coach/defensive line) Bill (Kollar), (defensive backs coach) Vance (Joseph), (defensive assistant) Bobby (King), (assistant defensive backs coach) Perry (Carter), they’ve done a tremendous job. The players have just bought into what we’re doing and they’re playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
  • Kubiak said the defense has gotten better each week since opening day. “The reason we’re getting better is to watch these young players get better — watch J.J. Watt get better; watch Brooks Reed get better,” Kubiak said. “Troy Nolan comes in and plays well. (Brian) Cushing, we know the level he’s playing at. DeMeco (Ryans) is getting back to full health. DeMeco played really good yesterday. The key is toward the back end of the season you want to win every week, but are you getting better as a football team? Right now, we’re doing that.”
  • The secret to the defense’s turnaround under Phillips? Pressure. “Going against Wade for years as an offensive coach, he does a hell of a job of busting protections,” Kubiak said. “Being able to bust people’s protection schemes and get heat on the quarterback is the key in this league… He does a lot of things, and our guys have responded and done a good job of learning it at a very quick pace.” Kubiak also said that the acquisition of cornerback Johnathan Joseph has been key to the Texans’ success so far this season.
  • As fullback James Casey works back toward 100 percent from a chest injury, fullback Lawrence Vickers continues to carve out a role in the Texans’ offense. “Lawrence has come in and boy, has he played well,” Kubiak said. “That’s the third week he’s started and that’s the best he’s played. You guys see how we run the ball here lately, so you got to give him a lot of credit along with our guys up front. Lawrence has taken to what we’re trying to teach and do. We ask our fullback to do a lot in our offense and it takes some time, and he’s really starting to take to it. He’s playing very well. James is OK… He needs to continue to get a week or two under his belt where he continues to come out of the game healthy… We’ll need them both before we’re all said and done, but Lawrence has taken advantage of an opportunity. That’s probably the best way for me to put it.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on October 31, 2011 – 5:52 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 injury updates on Andre Johnson, Darryl Sharpton and James Casey, here are the highlights:

  • After the Texans’ last two victories, players from the Titans and Jaguars have accused Texans players of being dirty. Kubiak was asked if those comments bother him. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said. “We’re going to put 46 guys out there and play as hard as we can play. Other than that, I’ve got no comment on it.” Kubiak said that cut blocking, which has often drawn the ire of defensive linemen, is “just part of what we do.”
  • Asked about the secondary’s performance on Sunday, Kubiak said “the whole group played well.” That included Troy Nolan, who started at free safety in place of the injured Danieal Manning and had five solo tackles. “Troy tackled well,” Kubiak said. “That’s what we were very encouraged by.”
  • Kubiak said fullback Lawrence Vickers, who has become more involved in the offense since Casey’s injury in Week 5, is getting better each week. “He was better yesterday,” Kubiak said. “There’s a lot of things we can help Lawrence with from a teaching standpoint or the way he’s been taught to play this position before and what we ask our fullback to do. He’s responding to that, so I see him getting better every week. He played very good on special teams. They’re a good special teams unit. We had problems on the edge when we were punting. We moved Lawrence to the edge in the game and he did a heck of a job on one of the top special teams players in football. Lawrence is helping this team more each and every week.”
  • Backup running back Ben Tate lost a fumble 9:31 remaining on Sunday, which set up the Jaguars for a touchdown that made the score 21-14. It was the final carry of the game for Tate, who finished with only five carries for 42 yards. Arian Foster had 33 carries for 112. “I don’t like the way the numbers came out,” Kubiak said. “I think they would have come out different if we don’t fumble the ball because I think Ben’s fixing to get probably five, six, seven more carries right there late in the game. But when you come out of it, you wish you’d been a little bit more balanced in what you were doing. You always go in trying to get it to a certain point depending on how the games go.”
  • Kubiak said that, along with Manning and cornerback Johnathan Joseph, strong safety Glover Quin has become a leader in the secondary. “I think GQ has taken on that responsibility, too,” Kubiak said. “GQ has got a lot of confidence in what he’s doing. Just defensively right now, we’ve got a lot of confidence as a group, so when that’s going on and we’re playing as well as we’re playing there, I think more and more guys have a tendency to lead in their own way. I think our leadership is growing on that side of the ball.”
  • The Browns signed running back Chris Ogbonnaya off the Texans’ practice squad two weeks ago. With injuries to running backs Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty, Ogbonnaya could be in line for a substantial role on Sunday when Cleveland visits Reliant Stadium. “We’re happy for Chris,” Kubiak said. “We were unable to find room for him and for them to come get him, that says he’s doing a heck of a job, so we’re all happy to see him playing. That’s good for him.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on October 25, 2011 – 8:05 am

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 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.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on October 18, 2011 – 9:49 am

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 injuries to Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Dominique Barber and a host of others, here are the highlights:

  • Kubiak compared defensive end Tim Jamison, who had two sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery on Sunday, to team captain Antonio Smith. “I see a young Antonio, is what I see,” Kubiak said. “He’s got a ways to go, but it is exciting to watch him play every week. He played the most he’s played this year for us and he played the best. So I think that’s telling us something, so you’re going to see more of him.” Jamison (6-3, 285) was undrafted out of Michigan in 2009. He was cut twice and spent parts of his first two seasons on the Texans’ practice squad. Smith (6-4, 280) was a fifth-round pick in 2004. He was cut twice and spent parts of his first two seasons on the Cardinals’ practice squad, along with a stint in NFL Europe in 2005.
  • Kubiak was asked why cornerback Kareem Jackson started over Jason Allen. Allen had started the previous two games while Jackson sat out with a knee injury. “Kareem had not been healthy,” Kubiak said. “He got healthy last week. He had a great week of practice. As I’ve told you, we look at both of them as starters. We felt good going into the game. Kareem’s a very physical player. This team’s a very physical football team, run the ball a great deal, so we started Kareem and he played well.” Kubiak said the 51-yard catch by Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, who appeared to beat Jackson on the play, was not Jackson’s fault. “That’s not even his play,” Kubiak said. “We didn’t play the coverage the way we were supposed to play it.” Kubiak did say he would like Allen to play more moving forward.
  • Kubiak said he was “very excited” about the play of rookie Brooks Reed, who made his first-career start at weakside linebacker in place of Mario Williams. Reed had six tackles, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed. “It wasn’t too big for him,” Kubiak said. “For his first time out there, to walk into Baltimore and start, I thought he was very active in the game. He played solid. He graded out good. Can he play better? Yes, but for a first-time starter in this league, I think we all have to be excited with what he did… I think his future is very bright, and we need it to be right now.” Reed and strongside linebacker Connor Barwin played every snap in the game.
  • Kubiak said wide receiver Trindon Holliday is “still a possibility” in the return game. Holliday was signed last week to relieve Danieal Manning and Jacoby Jones on returns, but he was inactive on Sunday. “The problem that we have right now is that when you have injuries on your team, which we’ve had, there is a trickle-down effect to special teams,” Kubiak said. “We lose (Dominique) Barber yesterday, who is arguably our best special teams player, we start to have body issues. You’ve got to replace (players) from the standpoint of how you compete on special teams. So it is an issue right now that Joe (Marciano) and I have got to work through. I would like to have Trindon come up and return some kicks, and hopefully we can find the roster spot to do that, but we’ve got some other issues.”
  • Kubiak seemed satisfied with the play of wide receiver Derrick Mason, who had three catches for 27 yards against the Ravens after joining the Texans via trade last Wednesday. “For a guy that just practiced for two days, he came in and made a few plays for us,” Kubiak said. “Had a few mistakes in the game that we got to get corrected, so we got to take another step as coaches with him. I think Derrick can help us… He’s very smart, and I think he’ll feel better this week. We’ll feel better about what he can do, but he stepped in and did what we asked him to do yesterday.”

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Parsing Kubiak’s day-after presser

Posted by Nick Scurfield on October 10, 2011 – 6:40 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 the news about Mario Williams being out for the year and Kubiak’s comments on how the Texans will try to replace him, which we covered here, here are the highlights:

  • Kubiak said that cornerback Brice McCain “should be fine” after getting “a little dinged” against Oakland. He also was optimistic about right guard Mike Brisiel, who was injured in the fourth quarter. “Mike kind of got an ankle and a knee kind of got rolled up in a pile,” Kubiak said. “Everything seems more positive today, so we’ll see where we’re at come Wednesday.”
  • Kubiak was asked if he sees any mechanical issues with quarterback Matt Schaub, who was the subject of intense scrutiny on local sports talk radio on Monday morning. “No,” he said. “Anytime you get beat, everybody can do something better – me, players, everybody. Matt made a lot of good plays, made some that he would like to have back. They were very aggressive in what they were doing defensively, and so when you’re being played that way, you’re going to have some ugly plays. They key is do you make some big plays to burn some of the blitzes and stuff that we got? We did have a lot of big plays, had nine plays over 20 yards, but just didn’t make enough big ones to win the game.”
  • After the game on Sunday, fullback Lawrence Vickers was especially hard on himself for dropping a potential touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, essentially taking the blame for the loss. “We win and lose as a team,” Kubiak said. “Everybody wants to do their part, and he had a chance to make a big play there. It didn’t happen, and he’ll get a great chance to come back this week if James (Casey) is unable to go and play as a starter. He’ll get his opportunities to help this football team. He played hard, but like I said, we could all do things a little better.”
  • On the final drive of the game, there was a play on which Schaub was sacked, a facemask penalty was called on Brisiel and the Raiders were penalized for having 12 men on the field. After much deliberation, the officials said the 12-men penalty was automatically declined and the facemask penalty would be enforced on the Texans. Asked what explanation he received on that ruling, Kubiak said he’s waiting on one. “I’ll let you know,” he said.
  • Kubiak said tight end Joel Dreessen was “adamant” that he caught a pass in the third quarter that was ruled incomplete, a ruling that Kubiak unsuccessfully challenged. “I’m listening to him, but they gave me plenty of time for us to look at it,” he said. “What we felt upstairs is that we didn’t think we ever saw the ball hit the ground, but with the two views they were showing on the scoreboard, the one thing that was hard to say, ‘Will they overturn this?’ I thought it was a big play in the game. It’s a first down, (and) hopefully they got another view that’s better than ours and he did catch a ball, but it didn’t work out that way.”
  • Kubiak said wide receiver Jacoby Jones has “got to step up big.” Jones played more than 70 snaps against the Raiders and was targeted 11 times, but he had only one catch for nine yards. “He’s just part of the group, and the group wasn’t good enough as a whole, but he’s going to have to step up and make some big plays for us to continue forward,” Kubiak said.
  • Kubiak revisited the final play of the game, when Schaub was picked off in the end zone as time expired after scrambling to his left: “We’re working the right side of the field. We got a play going on over there, which was exactly what we wanted. The rush flushing left came across his face and when he went left, I think the first thing Matt thought of was, ‘I’m going to try to score right here.’ He started downhill and here comes a safety. He’s got to make a decision. Do I think he could’ve scored when I go back and look at the film? Probably not. I mean, you got to make that decision. He’s the guy out there; he’s a quarterback… Once he knew he couldn’t do it, he’s got to do something with the ball or the game’s over. It didn’t work out.”

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