Conference call: Texans QB Matt Schaub


(On how things are in Houston in wake of the hurricane)

Well, it's a very difficult situation for everybody down here. A lot of destruction has come through and a lot of people are suffering right now, not only with our team but with the community and people down in Galveston and throughout Texas. It's a very difficult time for everybody but one thing we have to do as a football team is focus on what we have to do to be successful this week. We're right in there with the community in dealing with things so our heart goes out to everybody that has been affected. One thing that we have to do is come to work every day and be ready to go on Sunday.

(On whether or not playing a game on the road will help ease the distraction of the hurricane)

I think it's refreshing to get back to work and go out on the practice field and get ready for a game that we love to play and have all been playing for a very long time. It's a good release from what we had to deal with the past five, six days and get our minds back on to what we're doing with our jobs and what we're doing here. Once we get away from the facility and get home then we have to focus on our families and our homes and getting everything back in order. It's a nice refreshing feel to get back to work and go out to practice and have some fun.

(On if Houston feels like a "ghost town")

There are definitely parts of it that are. I'd say there's a lot of people that are coming back to the city. A lot of us and people in the community had to get out of town because we were without power or some without water and all the necessities that we rely on on a day-to-day basis. People got out of town to Austin or San Antonio so you see a lot people coming back to their homes to clean up and assess damages and check on things. But slowly but surely things are getting cleaned up and people are returning and power is coming back on in certain areas. It's a slow but drawn-out process because there are so many things that need to get done but as a community we're just banding together and pulling together. That's the thing when you have a tragedy such as we did. You just rally around each other and you get through it. You just lift each other's spirits up and come together.

(On if he has hosted any teammates or friends)

Actually, I'm still without power myself. So my wife and I are staying in a hotel right now until we get power back on. I have not hosted anybody but once power comes on I would definitely be open to that. A lot of guys have offered their homes to us so it's just something that you just band together and you help each other out in times of need.

(On if he gets impatient that the Texans are not where they'd like to be right now)

I never got impatient with it because I understand that it doesn't happen overnight. It was very frustrating to be injured last year and to not be out there with my guys and fight and scrapping. But injuries are a part of this game that we play and that's the risk that we run and you just have to keep a positive outlook and bounce back from it and come back stronger the next go around. Each year we go out in training camp and in the offseason and build our team up and get prepared to go out and be successful in the next year. That's what we're working towards and that's what we're focused on.

(On being knocked out of both games last year against the Titans)

I think it's just a result of injuries and they're part of this game. I don't want to say they're bad luck or something to do with that team. It was just part of the game and things that happened and were incurred in that game, it just so happened that both of them were in the Tennessee game. That's part of this game and you just have to keep battling through things and keep fighting.

(On if Kevin Walter qualifies as a well-kept secret)

I definitely think he's really our best-kept secret around the league. A lot of people talk about Andre Johnson and Andre Davis with the big plays he made and the kick returns that he made last year but this guy Kevin Walter led our team in receiving last season. He's a very dependable player. You always know he's going to do the right thing and be in the right spot, he's going to block the right guy in the run game and he's going to stick his face in there. [He has] reliable hands to catch the ball. He's just one of those guys you know is going to be on top of his job. [If] you have a lot of those guys, you're going to be on the right track and we're fortunate to have him. I think by the year's end people are really going to take notice of what he can do.

(On if it's fair to compare him to a Wes Welker or Brandon Stokley)

I don't want to label him and put him in a category with other players, he's his own guy. I think he's a little different from those guys. He's a little bit bigger and I think he can do some really good things for us. He's just his own guy and I'd put him in a little different category from those other guys.

(On his impressions of the Tennessee defense through two games)

Well they're very physical, they fly to the football and they're very fundamentally sound in what they do and in their gaps and coverages so yards are hard to come by against them. You just have to stick to your plan and not get frustrated or impatient with what they're doing. They're very good at rushing the quarterback and stopping the run. You do those things in this league and you'll be successful so they've done a nice job of that through two weeks here and holding teams down from getting points. They're hard to come by but when we get an opportunity we need to take advantage of it.

(On if Kyle Vanden Bosch's relentless style of play comes through on film)

Without a doubt. He's one of those high motor, high intensity guys. Maybe one of the highest motors in the league and that's his M.O. and he's going to bring that to the table every week and every play. You have to be prepared for that to go 60 minutes of relentless football against him because he's going to keep coming and keep coming and you know he's going to be there. You always have to be prepared for all his stuff.

(On how hard it is to stay committed to establishing the run)

That's the key. Being in this running game system now for four years dating back to my days in Atlanta with Alex Gibbs, you have to be patient with it because you're going to get those ugly one, two, three, maybe four-yard runs. Eventually you'll get a 15 or a breakout run for 30 and you just have to keep hammering away at it and keep chipping at the rock, then you'll finally get a big one. You just keep after it and keep after it because it's such a huge part of what we try to do with our play-pass and our play-action because that's what it all feeds off of. So you have to stay true to the run and keep working on it. You can't just abandon it after one week and say you can't do it or because a guy's hurt. You just have to keep plugging away at it and have faith in the system and trust it because once you lose trust in it, it's not going to work. You just have to mentally stay wired into it.

(On how much a young QB can learn sitting behind and watching a veteran)

I learned a lot from Mike [Vick] and sitting back. You know not just on-the-field things, just how to handle my weekly routine and handle the team and guys. How I would handle things given my opportunity. Just by watching him I just learned an incredible amount of those things. It's so different coming from college into this league and being the quarterback and running the team. It's tough as a first or second-year guy to handle those situations and I think I benefitted tremendously from having three years behind Mike.

(On if it's been tough for Ahman Green to battle through injuries the past couple seasons)

Well it's definitely been tough not only for him personally but for us as a team because he can help us out in so many ways. He's a big factor for us not only in the running game but in the pass-protection game and catching balls and being a very dependable player. But like I said before injuries are a part of the game and he's had his share so we just need to get him healed up and get back on the field. In the meantime, we've got some guys that we have faith in and trust and that have shown that they can play very well in this league so we're just going to depend on those guys to fill in that spot.

(On if he feels like Steve Slaton can give the Texans a speed burst similar to what Chris Johnson has given the Titans)

Oh, without a doubt. He's a change of pace guy. He's shown that he can carry the ball a bunch of times, he can block, he can catch and he's really maturing a lot here throughout training camp and the preseason and into the regular season here. He's one of those guys where you give him a crease and he can get into the secondary and make some people miss. It's very hard for the first guy to bring him down and he's shown that he can run behind his pads and get underneath people and make people miss. We're definitely excited about the skill set that he brings.

(On how a homerun-hitting running back changes a defense's approach)

I think the defense has to be very conscious of their lane assignments because the cut-back guy, if they ever run a play and he cuts back and there's nobody home he can take it to the house every time. When you have a guy like that, guys have to play things so much more honest and they can't try and jump things or play overly aggressive.

(On how much of an eye he keeps on Albert Haynesworth and how much it seemed like he weighed when he landed on top of Schaub last year)

I can't keep too much eye on him. They have a bunch of good players on their defensive front so we just have to be aware of how they're lining up and just be stout up front. I have compete faith in those guys up there and I just have to get back there and get rid of the football and can't worry too much about the rush. I have to just focus on my downfield throws and play the game and let things happened. As far as how much he weighed when he landed on me, I think we're still trying to find a scale that can measure that.

(On what he's seen out of Mario Williams playing against him in practice)

We haven't really run since, gosh, the third week of training camp or even earlier than that [with] first team versus first team. But he's a guy that's starting to come into his own and we saw that last year late in the year. He had a tremendous season with us last year and so far this year he's picked up right where he's left off. He can create a lot of havoc and destruction in the backfield, he's just really coming into his own and we're really excited about the way he's progressing. He's just adding a lot of moves to his repertoire and just creating a lot of havoc and people have to pay attention to where he is because he's developing into a premier pass-rusher in this league.

(On if he and Mario Williams have ever had discussions about how they can get better)

I think the big thing was, throughout training camp and even back in minicamp is, he's really working with Duane Brown our new left tackle on things because he's a rookie coming in and hasn't really seen the caliber of talent that he's going to face week in and week out in this league, especially in this division. I think the two of them put their heads together and really just tried to help each other out, Mario [Williams] more so for Duane [Brown] than the other way but I think that just made them get so much better and incredibly ready for the season.

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