Player notes, battles, rookies, and injury reports for the Houston Texans
Texans Training Camp Notes 8/5
"That might have been one of our better practices," said Gary Kubiak. "I'll tell you, we were bouncing around, very physical in the front end of practice and a lot of mental stuff on the back end. Trying to freshen them up here the rest of the week and get these kids in the position to go and compete."
Kubiak was asked if anything in particular stood out today about his team—
"No, I just liked the way they responded. They had an excellent morning yesterday morning and I thought we were a little bit sluggish yesterday afternoon, but this team bounces back. It knows when it needs to pick it up a notch and we definitely did that today."
Much of the coach's post practice press conference was dedicated to Saturday evening's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. Regarding newly acquired running back Mike Bell, the news was negative.
"As of today I would say no," Kubiak responded when asked if Bell would play. "He claimed he had this problem before and he was back in a couple days, but we don't feel like he's close right now. As of right now I would say it doesn't look good."
The answer was similar when one reporter asked the Texans head coach about Andre (Johnson)—
"We've got a bunch of Andre's. (the receiver?) There is a good chance that one doesn't play.
The head coach wasn't so sure about running back Chris Brown, or potential third or fourth-string quarterback Shane Boyd.
"I don't know yet," Kubiak said when asked about Brown. "I have to make a decision. He looked pretty good. He came out of yesterday pretty good and we'll see how he comes out of today. We'll take him a day at a time.
"Don't know (about Boyd). Like I said, we'll talk about that tomorrow night. I would be talking out of turn if I tried to give you those answers today. Really haven't thought about the playing time yet. We'll do that tomorrow night."
The news is better for Texans fans that are looking to see projected starting running back Ahman Green. Gary Kubiak confirmed his appearance—
"Yes, we plan to play him. He's had a great offseason and having a good camp. He needs to play. His stages need to pick up as we go through preseason. But yes, he'll play."
As for the splitting of the reps between Green and the younger running backs including Steve Slaton, Darius Walker, and Chris Taylor, the Texans head coach will make that decision tomorrow evening.
"We're going to talk about it as coaches the playtime," said Kubiak. "We'll start talking about that probably tomorrow. I'm hoping they all work and I actually want to see those young guys more than anything."
Kubiak was asked by the media what he wanted to see during this preseason—
"We've got a lot of things we need to look at. I couldn't put my finger on one thing that I want to see. I think our preseason is a very good preseason; we play dang good football teams. We line up against Denver, at New Orleans, at Dallas and Tampa Bay. We're going to work against darn good teams. We're going to get to work against a 3-4 (defense) team. Its set up for us to get the work we need in the preseason. We need to look at everybody. We've got some key young players that we need to see if they can help us. We've got to remember that we're a very young team, so the bulk of our team has still got to get plenty of work and we'll do that."
-Gary Kubiak turned his focus on the fairly underachieving defensive tackle Travis Johnson. Kubiak reaffirmed the importance of the development of the former first-round pick—
"It's very important. Travis is a first round pick and a big factor in this organization. We've been pushing him to get the most out of him and he did play pretty darn well last year. But, if he becomes a great player, a Pro Bowl player, then our football team is going to benefit from that. So that's our job as coaches; is to keep pushing him and see if we can find that."
When asked if Johnson could develop into the player that the Texans thought they were drafting when they spent a first-round pick on him, Kubiak gave the predictable answer—
"I think he's capable of it. I think he's capable of being one hell of a player, but his conditioning level has got to be the best it's been and keeping him healthy and that is why we're taking a different approach with him so we'll see."
Will Johnson develop into that monster in the middle? Who knows, but the talent is definitely in him, and nearly as important, the talent is certainly around him with Amobi Okoye and Mario Williams.
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