Kubiak Monday Q&A, Part 1

Kubiak Monday Q&A, Part 1

Head Coach of the Houston Texans Gary Kubiak spoke with the media on Monday afternoon to address what happened in Sunday's third consecutive loss this season.

Q:  Is the fact that Texans CBs are the leading tacklers a bad sign?
A:  "That's a big concern. I will say this, (CB) Dunta Robinson played really well in the game. So since you're mentioning our corners I want to make sure to give him his due. I thought the kid bounced back and played really well this week. But that means people are getting in the back end too much. That's been happening frequently so it's definitely a concern."

Q:  Are there possible defensive changes that are going to be made?
A:  "I don't anticipate any personnel changes. We're going to have to make some changes in what we do and how we do it. We're going to have to get better real fast. The only people that are going to change things around here are the ones that are doing it right now on a day to day basis, and they're going to have to step to the plate and just do it better. That's coaching and playing."

Q:  Do you think the errors being more are more mental or scheme based?
A:  "I think it's a combination of a lot of things, but the bottom line is if you're having a lot of mistakes in alignments and technique and those type of things, then you're probably doing too much. That's what that's telling you, so that comes on us as coaches. But at the same time we're not a group that can sit there and run one defensive scheme all day long against these type of people that we're playing. We're going to have to do something, so we're going to have to challenge our players, but at the same time as coaches we're going to have to do a better job so we can't come out of these games and say, ‘Well the reason we gave up these plays was because we were misaligned or our technique is wrong.' That can't be an excuse; things have to be fixed. When you look at the film, you've got to be able to see that guy's better than you or they made a great play or whatever. But it can't be miscommunication or a technique issue. That's got to get fixed."

Q:  Talk about C Drew Hodgdon's and T Ephraim Salaam's play on Sunday.
A:  "You know, (C) Drew Hodgdon had a big mistake early in the game after our first touchdown. We came back, and snapped the ball off cadence. It looked really ugly. But that was all on him, he did play hard. He played like a young player; he gets out of control at times. If he can find a way to fix those things, he's got a chance to be a good player, I think, for a long, long time. But he has got to get those things fixed. They've been a part of his game for a while and they did show up a couple of times yesterday. I thought (T) Ephraim Salaam was solid. We probably protected the quarterback, yesterday, better than we have the first three games, but we can still protect him better. I thought he was solid. I think he'll improve each week."

Q:  Were there issues with having new offensive linemen?
A:  "Well it's very tough, because you all know how much we were counting on (T) Charles Spencer and for (C) Mike Flanagan to be out. We brought him here to run that group up front, so that's two big misses, right there. But that's part of the game and you've got to find a way to work through that. I think leaving (G) Steve McKinney at guard was the right decision. I thought he played better this game than he has. I thought he was getting better, but if we have to have changes because of injuries. There's nothing you can do about it. You've got to make them and go on."

Q:  Does RB Ron Dayne have a future as a starter?
A:  "I want to see him and (RB) Samkon Gado both play, and I said that the other day.  The problem with some of these games we've been in, it's been hard to sit back here and take a look and actually evaluate both of them. I think we had 18 carries here, if I'm correct. That's not many plays to evaluate two backs from. So, hopefully we can get in a mode where we can come out of a game with 30 or 35 carries where they're splitting the time and we can evaluate both of them. But I thought (RB) Ron Dayne was better this week than he has been."

Q:  Were any defensive adjustments made at half to stop Washington's short-pass game?
A:  "I think we did a lot of things. We played two-deep; we played man free; we played three-deep; we did everything. They did throw a bunch of those screens, which you know that's part of their game. That's the way they get the ball to (WR) Santana Moss' hands and some of those players' hands and some of those quick screens. The thing you hope is that those plays don't hurt you, that they're not big plays. But the way they were running the ball and us having to commit somebody else to the line of scrimmage because of the way they were running the ball, some of those plays turned into big plays. But you're right they looked way too easy and we've got to do something to fix it and make it harder on them anyway."

Q:  Talk about the lack of pressure from the Texans defensive line.
A:  "Yeah, I'm surprised. Coming out of the preseason I thought we did some very good things on the defensive side of the ball throughout the preseason. We expected that to only get better. We have played some good groups, some good teams, which you're going to play them every week. But it has been very disappointing and until we find a way to get some pressure on the quarterback, it doesn't matter who is on the back end, they're going to have a hard time holding up. That has been very disappointing, us beating one-on-ones up front and trying to create pressure is a problem. You can solve the problem by bringing more people and you're exposing your back end even more. It's got to get fixed will all eleven of them doing a better job, not just one or two. But it's definitely an issue."

Q:  What is the difficulty of pressuring quick drops?
A:  "With some of those things they do it's hard. Washington will max protect you or else they'll throw the ball quick on those screens and those type of things. And when they do max protect they're very good at what they do, so it's a guessing game from that standpoint. But it's a guessing game from the defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint. They guessed a heck of lot better than we did and we just have to do a better job."

Q:  Are teams playing their best games against the Texans?
A:  "No, I think that's too easy. That's way too easy. We have not played well and yesterday was the worse and that's a fact and we have to take a hard look at ourselves and how we're doing it and who we're doing it with, why we're doing it. And there's got to be some drastic improvement very quickly. There's no excuse for what happened yesterday. There's no reason for that to take place like that."

Q:  Did you ever expect to play like that?
A:  As I told you yesterday, I take full responsibility for it. It was very disappointing and we've got tremendous amount of improvement to do to become competitive on a week in week out basis. Yesterday was very bad and I don't have an excuse for you."

Q:  How are you going to avoid a similar game?
A:  "The only way I know how to do things is to keep working. I know that is something you hear all the time, but all you can do is stay committed to what you're doing and keep working. There are some good times. They are very short. They have been short lived in the first quarter of a couple football games. But until we can consistently go out and play a football game, and this league is too tough; you'll get exposed so fast. And right now we're getting exposed on a regular basis from that standpoint. The only way I know how to do it is just keep busting our tails in here and out there on the field. Hopefully that work, along with some confidence gets us playing a lot better very quickly."

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