Head Coach Gary Kubiak
On if he thinks S Ed Reed will play Sunday:"I think he's as close to playing as he has been. His progress has been really good. It was a tough decision on Sunday. I think he was very, very close, but we decided to go in the other direction. We'll see where we're at. It's a day-to-day deal. He's ready to go practice today and take an even bigger load than he has been taking the first two weeks. I think we just continue to go day to day, and hopefully, we get there this week."* *
On what kind of impact S Ed Reed has had without being on the field:"I think his presence … Obviously, [I have] tremendous respect for what he has done in this league and where he has been. We have a lot of young players on our defensive side of the ball. I think he's had a lot of leadership from that standpoint. Now, hopefully, we're getting healthy enough that it transfers to the field with the guys. He's been a good presence with the football team."* *
On if targeting rookie S Matt Elam is a part of the game plan: "I think if you get too concerned with stuff like that, you quit doing what you do best. You look to attack a defense, not one player. Obviously, they're a great defensive football team – it's starts up front. If you can't handle things up front, you're in trouble against them. We don't get too consumed with one guy. We've got to be consumed with ourselves, No. 1."* *
On what the Texans thought of S Matt Elam heading into the 2013 NFL Draft:"We really liked him coming out of the draft. We studied him and D.J. [Swearinger] – the kid that's playing for us a great deal. He's a very explosive player, a guy that can cover ground but can also cover, too. We thought very highly of him, and he's played really well for them."* *
On T Duane Brown's playing ability and his injury status:"He's a hell of a player; he has been for us. Like I said, it's going to be an end-of-the-week decision. He's got a sprained toe. We'll see where we're at. He's one of those players where he can play without practicing. He's got a lot of snaps, a lot of games under his belt. You want all your guys there, but if they're not, then that's part of this league. [We'll] find a way to adjust, find a way to still be effective on Sunday. Hopefully, he'll be there. We'll see where he's at when we get to the end of the week."* *
On how much film S Ed Reed watches and how much of an influence he can be because of his familiarity with the Ravens:"He's a very studious guy, as far as leading film sessions [and] understanding offenses, understanding splits, understanding what's going on from a scheme standpoint. I'm just talking from going against him for so many years, just how smart he was as a player. As far as a guy being on the team that you're playing, we have to let Ed [Reed] worry about getting ready to play for us and his job with our football team. [I] don't bother players from the other standpoint. We've got so many things we've got to do better as a football team. We could very easily have been off to an 0-2 start. We've been very fortunate. We're going to have to clean up our act to have an opportunity to go on the road and beat a great football team like yours."* *
On how flexible DE J.J. Watt makes the Texans' defense and his playing abilities:"First of all, he's a hell of a player. He works really hard at the game. I think he studies his opponents better now than he did as a younger player – that's only natural. Antonio [Smith] is back; when Antonio is in there, we're more balanced in what we're doing. J.J. [Watt] is very smart. He understands [defensive coordinator] Wade's [Phillips] scheme, where he can move him around and try to give him the best chances to be successful. With him, it always comes down to effort. He's a guy that plays hard and loves to play."
On the importance of having a tandem of athletic tight ends: "I think it's really important, because if you've got guys who can run, block and do both, you're not very predictable when you've got them in there. We've been fortunate [that] we've got a couple good ones, and we've got a young one that we like, too. It gives us the flexibility to do a lot of two tight-end stuff and those types of things. I just think that's part of the game nowadays. If you've got those 6-4, 6-5 guys who can sit there and run and beat man coverage, obviously, they're a weapon for a lot of people in this league, not just us."
On how WR Andre Johnson is doing: "He's doing really good. His protocol process today [is that] he'll work with the trainers. He's expected to practice with the team tomorrow in pads, so that would be step four or step five, however that process works. All indicators are – if everything goes well throughout the course of the week – he should be ready to go, but we'll see where we're at each day."* *
On if he thinks S Bernard Pollard deserved a $42,000 fine for the hit on WR Andre Johnson: "That's part of football. Hell, our guy got one, too, I think, the same amount. It seems like every week there are four or five of these in every game now, and [they're] trying to get these targets lowered and all those types of things. I think it is tough on players, but I understand what the league is doing, and I think they're doing the right thing. I just can only speak from my perspective. You've got to do anything you can to talk to your players about it. You hate to see your guys getting those nasty letters. I mean, that's a lot of money. But it is part of the game now."
On how he would game-plan for the Ravens without RB Ray Rice: "It's not going to change for us at all. I think the young man [Bernard Pierce] playing behind him is a helluva a player. We really, really liked him coming out, and [he] has done some explosive things for them. We would not expect it to change anything that they do. You always prepare for people to be at full strength. You can't get caught up in those things. You never have that answer, really, until Sunday, so we've got to prepare for their offense."* *
On the team's confidence in K Randy Bullock: "We have confidence in him. He's 1-for-5, [but] I think three of the four he's missed have been over 50 yards, so it's not like we're giving him a bunch of chip shots. He's got to do his job. He's got to get us off the field with a win there in regulation last week, but we like him. He's a worker; he's young. We're going to stay behind him, but he's got to do his part and work through this and be ready to go this weekend."* *
On the challenge of making sure RB Ben Tate and RB Arian Foster are satisfied with their carries: "Well, that's impossible. *(laughter) *That's literally impossible. You try to start with a pattern, you try to get them both involved, and then games start to work out the way they work out. The last two weeks for us, we've been in a throw-mode almost nearly entirely in the fourth quarter. We feel good about both of them. We want them both to get their touches. We'd like it to be somewhat close to even, [but] you never know how that's going to pan out. We feel good about both of them. I think Ben [Tate] has had an exceptional camp and has started off really well. I think Arian [Foster] is continuing to catch up, and I thought he was better this week than the first week."
On WR DeAndre Hopkins and the tandem he is forming with WR Andre Johnson: "He gives us a little bit more of a balanced field. I think his progress has been good. It can get so much better though – that's what is encouraging. Even though he played so well last week [and] makes plays, there are a lot of mistakes we've got to get corrected. He's a very young guy, from a game-plan standpoint and keeping up – all those things that go on in this business. I guess the thing I'm most excited about is the fact that I think there's going to be continuous improvement."
On if winning on the final play in each of the first two games is more luck or the sign of a good team: "I think part of this league is knowing you're going to be in close games, and you've got to find a way to win them. It's like looking at you guys last week when it's a 6-0 game at halftime. You've just got to keep plugging in this league and find a way each and every week to get out of the stadium with a 'W.' I think when you come to realize that, you get more consistent as a team. We'd obviously like to be in a helluva lot better shape than we were the last two weeks, but you've got to do what you've got to do."