Conference Call: Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak


(on Steve Slaton's performance against the Titans last season)

I think they're one of the best teams in football against the run. Steve played good football for us last year. We've struggled as a team throughout the preseason and week one running the football. It's been an issue for us so we've got to get a lot better and there's no tougher place to do it than coming there to play you guys.

(on if there are any concerns of Steve Slaton bulking up in the offseason)

No, I don't. I really don't see that as an issue. He's put on a few pounds, five or six pounds, but I think he needed a few pounds as far as the wear-and-tear of the National Football League. It's nothing to lose that in a game on a given weekend. Steve's fine, I think he came out of training camp a better player than he was last year. You know, we've got to help him as a group. We've got to do a better job, everybody around him, and get him some help.

(on if it is a timing thing with Steve Slaton)

The thing for us is that we really haven't come out of games where we had 30-35 carries where you sit there and evaluate it and say, 'Okay, what are we doing good, what are we doing poor.' We've kind of been, in three out of our last four games when you throw out the last preseason game, where we got out of whack, run and pass. Kind of really got one sided throwing the football. When you're a balanced football team, which is what we want to be, you're putting yourself in a tough position. It hasn't been good, it's been frustrating. We've got a lot of work to do to try and get it corrected.

(on the possibility of a running back combination like the Titans with Chris Brown and Steve Slaton)

Obviously, that's two guys we want to play, want to use them both. They're two different type of guys, one's a speed and one's more a power player. You all know Chris because you had him there for so long. That's what we'd like to be but like I said, we just haven't been balanced enough to come out of the game and look at it and see how it performs. We've got to get back to some of the things that we do best and be able to really evaluate ourselves from a better standpoint.

(on Steve Slaton having two 100-yard games against the Titans last season)

I think down there he had the one run where you all stuffed it, and really it was going to be a two-yard loss, and he came out of the pile and went down the sidelines. I think that was his biggest play of the game. You guys are very difficult to run the ball against, very physical defensive football team and a big challenge for us. Hopefully Steve will be ready to go and hopefully we'll play better.

(on the toughness of the Texans)

I think anytime you get your butt kicked, there will be all kinds of questions. I think any question that's asked is fair. It's part of the National Football League.

(on how the Texans will answer the questions of not being a tough football team against the Jets)

Well, we're going to see. We pretty much got the same group that we had last year with a few new faces. Obviously, we got off to a very poor start last weekend and got it handed to us pretty good. Now we got to try to go play better in one of the tougher places we play in this league. We've got one hell of a challenge and we'll see how we answer.

(on the Jets talking about the Texans as a finesse team)

Well like I told you, when you play like we played last week, people can say whatever they want to say. Kind of hard for me to gripe.

(on if the preseason hype affected the players)

I think this game's about confidence and when you're doing things well, you know at the end of the season last year we were playing well, so you've got guys that were confident and some people were confident. That's part of the game and it doesn't take long to get your tail kicked in this league and just start questioning your confidence a little bit and everybody start to question you. That's part of the National Football League. You can't deal with that on a week-to-week basis, you won't last in this league.

(on the Titans defensive pressure and how the Texans will protect QB Matt Schaub)

They've always got after the quarterback pretty good, really got after our quarterback pretty darn good every time we played them. That's a challenge every time we play them, trying to find a way to protect him, trying to find a way to keep third downs manageable, those type of things. If you get in tough, tough pass situations, they can bring it as good as anybody in football. I know everybody knows that, not just us.

(on how the Titans look on the defensive line without Albert Haynesworth)

I think they look excellent. I just told my football team I think they even look better. They're rotating those guys, they play extremely hard. Coach (Jim) Washburn does as good of a job as anybody in football, in my opinion. They're effort to the football, run, pass, chase, whatever it is, to me is a great example for anybody that wants to play upfront in this league.

(on worrying if the guys are concerned about possibly starting 0-2)

Like I said, that's part of this league. You play good people every week. You've got to be able to handle the ups and downs and keep plugging. When things go good, probably everything isn't perfect but you've got to keep that in perspective and when they don't go good you've got to find a way to battle through it. Through my years in this league, it's always been an issue and it's never changed. Obviously, we're disappointed right now and we've got to find a way to bounce back against, to me, one of the top teams in the league.

(on the impressions of the Titans passing offense)

Just watching the Pittsburgh game, I thought to me, Kerry's (Collins) playing extremely well for that team. He's got a big arm, they stretch the field excellent. Mike (Heimerdinger) does a great job of protecting his quarterback and getting him in the best position to be successful. When you add the running game they have, just a very potent offensive football team so you've got a lot of things to worry about.

(on the impressions of Kenny Britt)

I think their receivers that you all have, just watching them play this year, they really impress the heck out of me. They play extremely hard. I thought they stretched the field vertically against Pittsburgh very well. I think you all have got a good group and I guess (Nate) Washington's coming back and makes it even better.

(on Stephen Tulloch)

Those MIKE linebackers are leaders, you know. You've got him and of course you've got (Keith) Bulluck who's been there for years. You can just look across the board at their defense, they've got so many leaders. The attitude they bring and the effort that they exude play-in-play-out is just a compliment to their football team and the way they play defense. You could pick any one of the 11, they all do it the same way.


(on working with Mike Heimerdinger and if that presents an advantage to know possible tendencies)

I think that's very overrated. Mike and I worked together, Mike coached receivers for me in Denver when I was there. We haven't coached together, I don't know how many years it would be probably nine or 10, something like that. Things change in this league all the time. I've got tremendous respect for Mike. I think he's an excellent offensive coordinator and a good friend of mine. He does a good job.

(on Amobi Okoye's key to the defense)

I thought he had his best camp he's had since he's been with our football team. He did some good things in the game. I thought we played hard defensively last week, we gave up some yards. I thought that offensively we never helped our defense, we couldn't keep them off the field. I think he's an improved player but there's obviously another level that he's got to reach for our football team to continue to step forward.

(on Eugene Wilson and Jacques Reeves' injury status)

They're day-to-day. They worked with the team on Monday and I'm expecting them to work today. We'll monitor their progress.

(on Jared Cook)

We studied the heck out of him in the draft. To me, he's probably the most gifted tight end coming out skill wise and stuff. They've got a good one there. We're working with two young ones here ourselves, but obviously he's got tremendous talent.

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