Matt Schaub: 'Time to take that next step'

Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is aiming for the playoffs this season, setting his ambitions high for an AFC South club perpetually expected to contend only to fall short. Scout recently caught up with the veteran passer to discuss the upcoming season.

What are your expectations for this season now that the lockout is over?

Matt Schaub: "I'm very excited. It's been a long and grueling spring and summer. We were waiting on pins and needles. We've got ton of people who depend on this game and really need this game."

You've been close in the past. What could be different now for the Texans?

Schaub: "The time is now. It's time for us to put the past few years behind us and move forward and reach our goals and take that next step as a football team. We have way too much talent and way too many guys who have played this game long enough to reach that next level and put some of the tough times behind us. We're at full strength. A lot of guys who were beat up last year have had time to heal."

Do you think this is the year the Texans make the playoffs?

Schaub: "Sure, it's been a long time coming for us. This organization has been doing things the right way since Day One. The city deserves it, the organization and fans all deserve it. They've been loyal to us, sticking by us through thick and thin. It's time to make a run."

What will it take for the team to improve?

"Just finding a higher level of consistency. There were too many games where we were up and down. We need that season with not so many peaks and valleys and string together win after win after win."

What's it like playing with Andre Johnson and Arian Foster?

Schaub: "Working with Andre now for my fifth year, he's an incredible player. He's the best receiver in the game. When it's all said and done, he'll be one of the top receivers to ever play the game. His combination of speed, strength and size and ability sets him apart. His work ethic is amazing, no one works harder. He's a team guy, he doesn't say four words.

"Arian has been a great surprise how he turned how and how he's played. We knew had some talent after a really good offseason last year. It's really special as a quarterback to have a running game like that. It opens things up in the passing game. It's really exciting to see his emergence."

Meanwhile, Schaub recently participated in a Gatorade Beat the Heat program at a Houston YMCA intended to educate parents, coaches and athletes about hydration awareness.

"I just spoke to some youngsters about the importance of staying hydrated," Schaub said. "Especially living in Houston, you have to replenish your fluids. It doesn't take long for that sun to take it right out of you.

"We always have Gatorade at practice. It's in almost every corner of the building, especially during training camp. It's the go-to beverage."

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