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What the Houston Texans had to say about Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints

Coach Gary Kubiak and players met with the media Sunday night

Texans Coach Gary Kubiak on any injuries:

"Other than a few nicks, we're checking out (TE) Garrett (Graham).  The last play of the half he got a little hip flexor.  He is the one we are kind of checking out right now.  But other than that we just got some nicks and stuff, so we came out ok."

On if checking him out means an MRI:

"Checking him out.  I don't know. That's what they told me before I left.

On if he's worried:

 "No I'm not.  Because he said he could have gone.  He wanted to play in the second half and I told him no."

On the running game this week:

"I felt good. I wanted to get (RB) Ben (Tate) somewhere between 10 and 15 carries.  What did he carry? Like 12 times maybe?  Eleven or 12 times?  He looked good.  He looked very good.  Obviously he's only been our one healthy veteran back.  But I think Ben is ready.  I think he's going have a really good year.  I've been impressed with his camp.  I thought (RB) Deji (Karim) did some good things there in the third quarter.  Then obviously in the fourth quarter there throwing the ball and trying to get ourselves back in a position to win.  We moved the heck out of the ball, its just scoring enough points.  We have to be better in the red zone and those types of things."

On the first team offense:

"We're moving the ball well. We have to keep the focus.  We get off to such a good start. We missed a couple plays on the first drive.  I think we had a 280-yard half in this league, which is excellent, but you've got to have some points to show for that.  That is a disappointing thing.  We jumped off sides one time, dropped a couple balls.  But we got the ball moving.  We've just got to get more out of it right now.  But I felt better about us running the ball.  I liked their tempo.  One of the good things a bout tonight, we had a ton of snaps.  I think my offense played 40 snaps in the first half, and I think the defense played 32.  There was a lot of football played in the first half.  So it was good."

On kicker Randy Bullock:

 "He's gaining confidence is what he's doing. Every week he's gaining confidence as a young kicker in this league.  We talked about this game being an important game.  'How are you? Are you ready to go?' And boy did he step up.  Really excited to see his progress and (P) Shane (Lechler) got to get in there and hit a couple balls, so that's good."

On the receivers being so young behind WR Andre Johnson and how QB Matt Schaub has dealt with the younger receivers:

 "I think he is gaining more and more confidence in them.  I mean (WR) Lestar (Jean) continues to make plays.  (WR) Keshawn (Martin) is doing goo d things and had a chance to make a couple big plays. I just feel like right now [this is] the most confidence we've had as far as, ok, Andre comes off the field and we keep doing what we do.  Nothing is different and I think those kids have gained confidence.  We really have a tough, tough call.  (WR Alec) Lemon continues to play well for our team and do some good stuff. We've got (WR DeVier) Posey coming back; he had a great workout today.  We ought to have to good group behind Andre, probably as good as we've had."

On not completing lots of balls to other receivers aside from WR Andre Johnson:

"I'll tell you a little secret, he's going to throw it to him some more. That's what we do.  We'll have to sit down and game plan them, and try and find a way to get 80 the ball.  I think we've been distributing the ball a lot better and I think we have confidence across the board in what we're doing.  In a lot of ways, its kind of a compliment to the other guys that Andre can still get the ball that much.  I hope that doesn't go away."

On RB Ben Tate looking good due to the offensive line play and if he feels better about the right side:

"We are more firm on the right side right now with (G) Brandon (Brooks).   I just think that that's what's happened.  I told you all that (T Derek) Newton is making progress as a player.  I think we're just a little bit more balanced in what we're doing. Obviously (G) Wade (Smith) is missing, hopefully we get Wade back here.  We have to battle through that. I don't feel one sided. I feel like we're back to balanced in what we're doing."

On QB Matt Schaub's play:

 "I thought he played good.  He missed a few throws.  Getting his legs going and playing 40 plays.  I thought right before the half he missed a couple.  I'm always coaching quarterbacks with their feet.  I said some things about his feet and those types of things.  But I think he's had a good preseason and he's moved his team.  He's ready to go.  (QB) T.J. (Yates) came in and was excellent and played well. I think (QB) Case (Keenum) played well.  We had a couple plays we could have made for him that could have been the difference."

On the pressure the front seven put on Saints QB Drew Brees:

"The thing that excited me, you're sitting there and (DE) Antonio (Smith) is obviously not here, and we don't play (DE)   (Watt).  I talked to the team about (DE Jared) Crick last night and (DE Tim) Jamison and then you watch them go out and play like starters.  That's every encouraging for our team.  That's part of this business.  Opening night we're going to be without one of our excellent players so those guys are going to have to step up.  So to see those guys do some good things was encouraging.

On if he was satisfied with the first team on both sides of the ball:

![]( "Saints vs. Texans")

 "I wouldn't say that.  I think offensively, like I said, we have to finish some things.  Defensively, we are giving up too many big plays in the first half of each of our preseason games.  That's not all first team, but in the first half of our three preseason games, we have given up some movement of the ball.  A couple 100-yard half's, which is very good in this league.  We have to eliminate that.  But we have been battling through some situations trying to get some guys to the season, but I think that will make us better when it comes time to go.  Some young players getting a chance to play."

On the play of the cornerbacks:

 "I think we are giving up too many big plays.  And I think J. Jo (CB Jonathan Joseph) will be the first one to tell you, and (CB) Kareem (Jackson) from that standpoint.  We are a man-coverage football team.  And those guys get put on an island quite a bit.  We're trusting them to make those plays. And I know they will.  I think they've both had good camps.  And obviously you've got to have a short memory in this business."

On QB T.J. Yates:

 "I think T.J. has answered a challenge in a lot of ways. He has been pushed and it has made him better as a player.  I think we maybe go back a couple weeks in camp and T.J. struggled a couple days and he and I had a big sit down talk about just his approach and what we're doing.  And since then he has been really, really good.  It continues to be a very difficult decision.  I think they're both playing well (QB T.J. Yates and QB Case Keenum) and I'll split them half's this week.  We're going to have three good ones. I know that.  I think they've all done their job."

Tackle Duane Brown

On playing against the New Orleans defense and finishing drives in the red zone:

"Against a defense like that, it was very encouraging heading into the regular season. The only thing that we needed to do was finish drives. Getting into the red zone and getting into touchdown territory. We have to convert those field goals into touchdowns. That's the only thing. Because playing against a team like New Orleans, you can have three field goals, four field goals and then a couple of big plays and they get back in the game. I think we moved the ball very well, but just trying to finish those drives with touchdowns instead of field goals."

On playing against a playoff contender like New Orleans:

"It was great. It was great going against them. We were able to get the most reps that we've got all preseason against a great front seven and a great defense overall. I think it's good for our team and it's good for me personally facing some good competition over there on that D (defensive) line. It's good for our team as a whole. They always play us tough every game we've played them. We expected that. This game wasn't any exception.  I thought we performed pretty well."

On if this game makes him feel better about where the offensive line is heading:

"Absolutely. The run game is something that we put a point of emphasis on all week. We wanted to get our ground game established and not have to drop back so much. We came out smoking. Everyone was firing off the ball, very physical. (RB Ben) Tate did a great job of running and that's very encouraging for us heading into the regular season. We also passed the ball well. We moved the ball very effectively. Only bad thing I had to say was not finishing in the red zone. Not getting touchdowns. But very good performance overall I think."

On the Texans' passing game getting over 300 yards in three straight games:

"It's awesome man. All of our quarterbacks have done a great job of dropping back."

Defensive end Jared Crick

On getting this much preparation for the season:

"It's crucial to get these snaps in. Especially in a starting role to get the feel of the game, and the speed of the game going against other teams starters. Come regular season, you'll be going against the best. It's good to go against that kind of talent."

On the feeling of the first team defense:

"You know we're gelling together, especially us younger guys up front. You know with (DE) Antonio (Smith) and (DE) J.J. (Watt) being out, I thought Timmy (DE Tim Jamison) and I did a great job of stepping in and filling in with the communication and knowing our roles. We can keep on improving through practice into Thursday, and then into the regular season. I think we'll be great defensive linemen."

On the pressure put on the quarterback at a unit:

"I thought we did a good job. You know they resorted to going to screens and stuff like that. I think that was probably due to the pressure we were putting on. You know we have great pass rushers on this defense. It's nice to see them going to work. If we can keep doing that into Thursday down in Dallas, we'll be good."

Tight end Owne Daniels on what the offense needs to work on before the beginning of the regular season:

"The next two weeks we need to continue to progress and get better in all areas. I think if we look at tonight we want to finish drives better and (score touchdowns) when we are in a position to do that. To drive down the field all the way and only get three points out of it. It is easy to that team to get right back in the game. Finishing drives and getting touchdowns is going to be big for us."

On the continued success of the passing game during the preseason:

"The quarterbacks have been doing an excellent job. Everyone has been doing a pretty good job catching the ball, and obviously the (offensive line) have been protecting well for us. Everyone has been doing a great job in practice and it has been translating over (to the games). That's what we want to see. We have two really good backup quarterbacks. They have done a heck of a job these past couple weeks. It is fun to watch."

On how to finish drives with touchdowns more often:

"Making sure we don't have any lost yardage plays. That is always to come back from when you are closer down to the red zone area. Penalties also hurt in those situations. Erasing those mistakes and staying in normal down and distances and just continue to do what we do. We know it is important to get touchdowns instead of field goals."

Receiver Andre Johnson on takeaway from today's team performance:

"I mean, it is a game. You play to win. We just try to make the best of the opportunities. We got a lot of opportunities in the first half of the game. I just did what I could."

On amount of playing time during a preseason game:

"We're just playing. We are given opportunities and we try to make the best of them. They work us a lot in practice. Whether it is preseason or regular season we are trying to win."

On readiness of first team offense for the regular season:

"We will continue to work through next week. You can never be satisfied with where you stand. The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to continue to get better as a team."

On readiness of entire offense for the regular season:

"I think we have to become more consistent on third downs. We had a few third downs that we should have converted that we didn't. I think just being more consistent overall, having blown drives and things like that. We had some dropped balls today which is rare. We have to eliminate stuff like that."

On the performance of RB Ben Tate:

"He ran the ball well. He has been having a great (training) camp. Nothing has surprised me about what he is doing. He has been working his butt off. I am a big fan of Ben."

On the chance to run a two-minute drill:

"When (the Saints) had the ball, I was looking up at the clock, hoping we have a chance to get our two-minute drill in during the preseason. You don't do just do something like that in practice and go into the regular season not having done it during a real game. It was great to have that happen. We handled it well. Of course you would like to (score a touchdown). But we got points, and that was a big thing. If the situation was different and the game was on the line, we would have had to go for it and try to win. But it was big for us to drive the ball down (the field) like that."

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