Kubiak: A Big Challenge Ahead Of Us

Houston coach Gary Kubiak talked with the Indianapolis media in a conference call earlier this week. He spoke about his quarterback situations, the Texans' tough season so far, last week's game against the Ravens, the first game against the Colts, and more!

On the season being like a rollercoaster so far:

"You're exactly right. Obviously we're struggling right now as a football team. We struggled early in the season, started playing better football there for a period of time and we're back to struggling right now. Our biggest problems have been turning the ball over from an offensive standpoint and defensively, we haven't been getting any. So those two things add up to some struggles regardless of who you're playing. We've been playing hard, we just have to play a lot cleaner, and obviously we're going to have to play very, very clean against (the Colts). They've been playing extremely well and had a big win on the road last week, and then we understand how difficult it is to play (up there). So a big challenge ahead for us this week."

On the quarterback position and taking care of the football and particularly Sage Rosenfels:

"That is the job of a quarterback as far as managing the football game, protecting a football game. At the same time, they haven't all been his fault. We have to do a better job of protecting him in some situations, have to do a better job of decision-making, so everybody is involved from that standpoint. We just have to all take responsibility to improve as a football team and quit shooting ourselves in the foot. This game is hard enough when you're doing it right, doing it clean, and right now the bottom line is we're not very clean from that standpoint. And we added a bunch of penalties to it last week, too, which is something we haven't been doing. So like I said, not very good right now, we have to find a way to turn it around."

On if he has to talk to Sage Rosenfels about not trying to do too much the way the last Colts-Texans game ended:

"I think you learn to do that as a player. Obviously Sage has been in this league for a while, but really hasn't played a great deal of football until he got here with us over the course of the last two years. He's getting his opportunity as a player and he has worked hard for that opportunity and wants the opportunity to be a starter in this league. So it's a big opportunity for him. He can't try to do too much. He has to do his job. We have to play well around him and well as a football team to have a chance to win. It's not all about just at quarterback, and he understands that. Like I said, he just has to play his position as good as he can play it and hopefully as clean as he can play it."

On playing a tough schedule and losing to good teams:

"That's this league. Everybody has good players and good football teams, and you have to get yourself eventually as an organization in position or where you have a chance to be successful against anybody in this league. And that's what we're trying to do. It's a big challenge. We were making a lot of progress, I felt like, throughout last year and I felt good going into the season. We knew what our schedule was. We knew that we were going to play some good football teams. And we'll keep battling even though it's been disappointing right now. We'll keep battling. As our young players continue to learn how to play in those types of games and figure out a way to excel in those crunch-time situations, then this organization will get to where it wants to go. But that's part of the process and you can't shy away from the process. You have to look it right between the eyes and you keep battling and keep taking yourself back to those points and figure out a way to get over the top."

On getting wind of discontent after last week's game:

"There's a lot of disappointment here, which I understand. I understand the frustration. I've been doing this a long time in this league. I've been on two Super Bowl teams that came back the next year and went 5-11, so I understand the good end and I understand when you're struggling. The only way you survive in this business whether you're playing or coaching is just continue to battle and believe in what you're doing and just keep pushing. And that's what we're going to do. We're going to stay positive. Struggles and all that stuff is part of life, and it's part of football, too."

On taking the blame for last week:

"It's my responsibility. This football team has done some good things. It has played itself into some positions against some good football teams where it's had some excellent chances to win. And when we've gotten into the crunch-time in those games, we're not handling those opportunities very well. If you look at last week, the score to me is not a big indicator of the football game. It's a 19-13 football game with a minute to play in the third quarter. But we played very, very poorly in the fourth quarter as a team. It's my job to figure out a way to get them over the hump, to figure out a way to put them in position to be successful, and as long as I'm in this business I'm going to take that responsibility. These guys are working their tails off for me, and I just have to continue to do a better job for them."

On red-zone efficiency and the Colts offense being No. 1 and the Texans defense being last ... what has worked for the Colts and not for the Texans:

"For them, they just have so many playmakers. It starts with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and he's surrounded with playmakers. And the job they do down there is incredible. You look at some of the plays they make down there, some of the catches, some of the throws, and just excellent at what they do. From our standpoint, you're right, we've been as bad as I've ever been around. We're searching and will hopefully continue to battle and trying some different things down there, but we have to figure out a way to hold some people to some field goals, and we haven't been able to do that thus far this year."

On him being smarter if they win Sunday:

"That's part of the business. Every week in this league is 16 people that have it figured out and are headed in the right direction and 16 teams that don't. I've been around long enough to be on both ends of the stick. But you just have to keep working, and we understand the tremendous challenge we have coming to (Indianapolis). We just have to keep battling as a football team."

On teams being accused or admitting to quitting, and him being convinced his team will work to the end no matter how things turn out:

"I don't have any doubt. I have a lot of young players, and to me, they're battling their tails off. It wasn't a lack of effort by any means last week. It just was not very clean at the end of the football game, which put us in a very ugly position. But our kids have been working extremely hard. They went through a tough time early in the season, and also dealing with the hurricane, nobody has griped, they just keep plugging. We're all disappointed where we're at right now as a football team, but nobody's disappointed in anybody's effort."

On saying they could have won last time vs. the Colts and if that enters into any motivational factor:

"I don't believe in that. We didn't win. We did some good things for about 56 minutes, but you have to play 60 minutes in this league, and the Colts did. They deserve the credit for finding a way to win the football game and making the plays. So regardless of what took place, it wasn't good enough and it's going to have to be better for us."


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