Texans head coach Gary Kubiak met with the media today for his weekly press conference at Reliant Stadium.
Breaking it down for you, here’s what I consider the top ten takeaways from the presser:
- Daniel Manning had surgery today to repair a broken fibula (the smaller of two bones in the lower leg). “I think we’re definitely talking about four weeks, somewhere four weeks and (possibly) beyond,” said Kubiak. The good news here is that Manning isn’t lost for the season, he gets the benefit of the bye week and if everything goes well in rehab, he basically misses November.
- Troy Nolan becomes the starter in place of Manning. Nolan played well according to Kubiak. “He played upwards of 30 snaps yesterday without any mistakes and that’s a very positive sign,” said Kubiak. Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said the Texans changed up their scheme after Manning went down. “(The Texans) pretty much played like we thought they were going to play,” said Hasselbeck. “The only time they changed at all was when they had an injury to their starting safety (Danieal) Manning and they played a softer cover two or two shell coverage for the rest of the day.”
- Rookie Brandon Harris will get a look at safety. This is somewhat of a surprise but Harris has been stuck behind Brice McCain all season and has been active for only three of the Texans seven games. Kubiak likes what Harris has done in practice and will let him compete with Shiloh Keo to back up Nolan. “Bright player, understands schemes, understands what’s going on and we think (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) and (Defensive Backs Coach) Vance (Joseph) think that we can catch him up real quick. We’re going to take a look and give him an opportunity to do that and work with him over the course of this week,” said Kubiak when asked about Harris.
- Andre Johnson and James Casey could both play this week. “Yeah, I think there’s definitely a possibility with both of them,” said Kubiak. “James (Casey) should be back at practice on Wednesday if there’s no setbacks here over the next two days. The plan is for Andre (Johnson) to practice this week. That’s the plan as of right now and we’ll see how that goes, so they both have an opportunity this week.”
- DeMeco Ryans’ reps were limited against Tennessee not because he was hurt, but because the Texans played a lot of nickel. “That’s just the way the game is panned out,” said Kubiak. I think (DeMeco) played 15, 16 snaps yesterday. That’s because we were in a lot of nickel defense.”
- Kubiak never entertained the thought of pulling Matt Schaub, even in a blowout late in the 4th quarter. “I’m not going to take a lot of chances with (Schaub), but I hope he plays every snap for us this year and that’s nothing against Matt (Leinart) or anything like that. Matt’s (Schaub) the leader of the football team and whoever’s out there, I want him leading the group. It’s just my beliefs as a coach, so maybe that’ll change one day.”
- Kubiak wants Neil Rackers to be a bit more careful on kickoff coverage. “Yeah, I told (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) that,” said Kubiak. “I don’t want to take away his aggression. I love it, but he’s got to be smart because we don’t need to be looking for another kicker. We may have to put a leash on him or something.”
- The Texans are not considering moving Kareem Jackson to safety. “No, that has not been a topic as of right now,” said Kubiak.
- The Texans did consider moving Jason Allen to safety, for a minute at least. “The topic did come up,” said Kubiak. “He’s playing very well. He played yesterday I think 20-something plays. Boy, he made a great play on that one deep ball I think when the score was 10-0. Sometimes you can start moving too many people and create more problems. We’ve been playing good at corner. We need to stay there.”
- Kubiak liked the run-pass balance yesterday. Some of us get on Kubiak for his pass-happiness at times but it was clear that Kubiak was happy with Schaub’s 18 for 23 effort yesterday. “When Matt’s throwing the ball 23, 24, 25 times in a game, we’re usually playing good football, said Kubiak.”
(read the entire press conference transcript on houstontexans.com)