HOUSTON – Players with the Houston Texans addressed the media on coach Gary Kubiak’s collapse during Sunday night’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday afternoon from the team’s locker room.
Here is what several players had to say about their coach, what it was like without him on Monday and where the team goes from here after losing their sixth straight game.
Defensive end Antonio Smith on Kubiak’s condition:
- “No. As of right now, they told us he’s all right, he’s responsive. The family just asked us to respect their privacy right now.
- “As leaders on the team, each and every one of us I consider as leaders, every man on this team is going to have to put that into perspective. We’ve got to do the job that we’re here to do. And that’s how he would want it to be done.
- “Oh, yeah. When I saw it happened, I was real worried. But I prayed on it, so I have no worry in my heart. I know he’s going to be all right. We’re just waiting on him to get back here.
- “No, we can’t let it affect our focus. That would be doing our coach, who is our family, a discredit. That’s something that he wouldn’t want us to do. A loss of focus, no. Probably a more channeled focus. We’ve got to focus a little bit more because we’ve got to find a way to get a win. That’s going to be what it is.”
Defensive end J.J. Watt on preparing for Sunday:
- “Obviously, our thoughts are with our Coach. But it is the NFL and you have to prepare for Sunday.
- “Yeah. I have no idea what the medical correlation is, but I know that this is an extremely difficult profession. Obviously, being a head coach in the National Football League, you have a lot of stress, you have a lot of weight on your shoulders. Coach Kubiak’s one of the hardest working guys I know and his truck’s always the first one here and the last one to leave. The guy lives for it, and he lives and breathes this game. He puts it all out there for us and obviously we hope to get him back soon.”
Left tackle Duane Brown:
- “Pretty scary sight. I was pretty nervous coming in for halftime. We got the word that the paramedics were out there around him, so I kind of walked back and saw him on the ground. Just confused. Like I said, kind of scared. We quickly got the word that he was okay and he was stable. That was a big sigh of relief for us.
- “We were a bit concerned to hear it at halftime. It was kind of tough to completely focus on our game plan and what to try to expect in the second half. But like I said, once they gave us the word that he was starting to improve, he was doing a little better, we took it as motivation. We wanted to be motivated to go out and play harder in the second half, but we didn’t really think about it too much.”
Receiver Andre Johnson on Monday’s practice:
- “It was definitely different. You’re used to a certain routine, stuff like that. It was different not having him here today.
- “I feel like he’ll be back this week. Just knowing him and knowing his passion for the game, I don’t think he would miss a game. I think, if he can be out there, he’ll be out there.
- “If he’s not here, then Rico (offensive coordinator Rick Dennison) can handle it. That’s pretty much it. When you have adversity, you just have to adjust to it. Right now, we’ve been going through a lot of adversity. This is another piece of it that we have to deal with. In my opinion, I think he’ll be back.”
Punter Shane Lechler on Sunday night’s game:
- “Yeah, I did. I was brought in here to help this defense out, make teams drive 80-90 yards to score. You give them a short field like that with a hot quarterback that finishes games like he does, it’s a tough situation.
- “I won’t be going up there (to visit Kubiak in the hospital). I’ll send him a text later on. I’m going to let the doctor’s handle what they need to handle. Our prayers and thoughts are with him and his family. We’re going to go at it like that.”
Inside linebacker Joe Mays on the possibility of not having Kubiak for Sunday:
- “That doesn’t matter. That doesn’t really matter. I think we’re in great hands with whoever has to step up. You’re in great hands because we have a great group of coaches. We have a great group of players. At the end of the day, we’re going to go out and play great football. That’s how I feel about it.
- “Yeah. He (defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) ran practice. He ran our team meeting today. I’m not sure if that’s the route that they’re going to go, but that’s the way it looks.”
Cornerback Kareem Jackson on preparing for the rest of the season:
- “Got to keep fighting, continue to play. We’ve got a lot of games left. Hope for the best. We definitely have to win out. We’ve got to keep fighting as a team. Everybody’s got to stay in-tune with what we’re doing and just continue to work and get better.”