HOUSTON TEXANS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
(on the what the addition of Jonathon Joseph has meant for the secondary)
Yeah, he has been exceptional. We knew that we were getting a great player but the thing that has been the added bonus has been the leadership that he has brought to the football team. He is a wonderful person, and his work habits are great. He and Danieal (Manning) have brought a hell of a lot more to our team than just the ability to play the game, which we know is excellent. They have brought great leadership to our group.
(on if the jump from 30th to first in total defense is beyond what he hoped for)
I think so, it's been tremendous. Where we ended up last year and to have the amount of changes that we had, I think we had four new starters and actually five when you think about where Connor (Barwin) is at now and losing Mario (Williams). With no offseason, the job that Wade (Phillips) and his staff have done, and the players deserve a lot of credit for their adjustment period and getting going, it's been unbelievable. They have been getting better every week this year. Obviously, the last two weeks we haven't played well in the fourth quarter and that's something that we have to do a much better job with. We are very pleased with the progress we have made, it's been exceptional.
(on playing key players and risking injury versus wanting to win and have momentum going into the playoffs)
Yeah, the injury deal, there is nothing that you can do about that. That's part of the game. The biggest thing for us right now is we have not played as sharp as a football team, especially the last two weeks as we had been playing. I'm talking about penalties and turnovers so our focus right now is on ourselves and trying to improve some of our problems. We will go play this game just like any other one and we have to go out there and get better and get better as we move forward into the next week. We will keep our fingers crossed from a health standpoint, but we have to go play and find a way to correct some mistakes.
(on if he feels it's important to get back on track going into the playoffs)
Well I think it's important that we improve. We have to feel better about ourselves. I think we have played four or five in a row now where we have turned the ball over where I think we have lost the turnover battle in three of those five games. That's something that we definitely can't do if we are going to continue to win so that's something that we need to fix. We obviously had a ton of penalties last week and so the focus is that we need to feel better about how we are playing as we go into next week.
(on if Andre Johnson will be on a play-count this week)
I want him out there. Heck, I wish we could have had him out there against Indianapolis a little bit. That didn't happen. He has made progress. He practiced a little bit on Monday, we had an extra day. Today will be the first time he will go back out as a full participant and practice and if things go well this week, obviously I would love to have him go out and play 15-20 plays to get himself back going before next week.
(on his evaluation of T.J. Yates through four games)
Well he has played like a young player. He has made some mistakes. He has 130 throws in his NFL career and that's not a lot, but he has done some dang good things. He makes corrections when he makes a mistake, he will not come back and make it again. He has to protect the ball better for his football team, but he has shown a lot of ability. He has shown the ability to handle the team in a tough environment and get us all in the right spot. He is going to have to play better as we move forward, but we are going to have to play better as a football team. I have been very impressed with his progress. He has been put in a tough situation and I think he has handled himself very well.
(on if he is more likely to use a timeout in the first or third quarter with a young quarterback)
Not really, that stuff he has handled really, really well. We haven't had any huddle problems or cadence problems. Those types of things are big signs whenever you are playing with a young kid. He has been pretty good with that. I'm treating him just like anybody else. We have to protect him better. He has his strengths as a player which we are having to adjust to as we move forward. T.J. (Yates) has to play like a four-or five-year pro here. I know that's a lot to ask but that's what we have to get done as we continue to move forward.
(on if he considers playing the veteran quarterbacks now on the roster)
Well I think that you have to look at our situation. If we had a veteran quarterback that had been on this team and been with this team and knows this offense inside and out, those are things that might creep into your mind. Our situation is such that one has been here four weeks and one has been here three weeks, so they are obviously not totally knowledgeable with our offensive scheme and they are trying to catch up. Neither has played any football in quite a while so it does make our situation unique right now. T.J. (Yates) is the best guy for our team right now and we will keep working with Jake (Delhomme) and Jeff (Garcia) if something happens. Our situation has been a little unique.
(on if he wants to get Jake Delhomme and Jeff Garcia any work or if T.J. Yates needs all the time possible)
I think that T.J. (Yates) needs all of the reps that he can get. We are working Jake (Delhomme) and Jeff (Garcia) a lot more in practice then we did two weeks ago. They are up in their repetitions and a little more knowledgeable as far as what we would take them into a game with, then where we started four weeks ago. It continues to be part of the process. Jake is getting reps in practice, quite a few so we will just keep working from there.
(on how the Titans have changes since the first time the teams played)
I think they have been playing very well. I'm sitting here staring at the New Orleans game and they played well against New Orleans and had every opportunity to win that game. Offensively they are throwing the ball. Matt (Hasselbeck) threw the ball extremely well last week. Defensively they are keeping points down from people and special teams wise they always give us fits because Alan (Lowry) does so many things. I think they have been playing very well and they have an opportunity to get into the playoffs so I know they are going to come in here and play extremely well.
(on if the first game will provide more motivation for the Titans to play well)
That game was a close football game until right before the half where we were able to get some turnovers and made a few big plays. That's the NFL, everybody has good players and you have to go back and do it again. Like I said, I know they are going to play very well and we are going to have to play a lot better than we played the last two weeks.
(on the differences between coaching in college and the NFL)
Boy that was a long time ago for me. I enjoyed it. I coached at Texas A&M for two years and obviously at that level you have a big influence on young men and their lives and the direction that they are heading. I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed the teaching process because you are coaching kids that have a long way to go from a teaching standpoint if they are going to play some more ball and play pro ball. It's a long time ago for me but I really enjoyed it and I got a chance to do it at my alma mater, so I really enjoyed that.
(on how often Owen Daniels gets jammed at the line of scrimmage and how good he is at getting off the jam)
That's part of this league, when you have good tight end people are going to try to get their hands on them and try to do most of their dirty work in that first five yards. That's part of playing that position and as a coach you can move him around and try to free him up and those kinds of things, but it's something that they all battle, not just Owen (Daniels)…He is a big part of what we are doing. He has battled a knee a little bit the last two weeks. He has been able to go. He had it drained here a couple of times the last three or four days. He is a fine player and getting him involved and getting him some touches is a big key for our success.
(on the importance of Arian Foster to the team)
He missed four games really and he is second in the league in yards from scrimmage so that tells you how much he means to us. The biggest thing nowadays in football is when you get a back who is a three-down player and never leaves the field in nickel and base and those type of things and is just as effective catching the ball as he is running it, that's very important. Arian (Foster) is a big focal point of our offense and Ben (Tate) has been able to come in and still give us some quality time when Arian does get tired in games, so we have been fortunate from that standpoint.