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TEXANS: Schaub's Always Been a Tough Guy

Posted Oct 4, 2012

Transcripts of conference calls with Houston's Gary Kubiak and Andre Johnson with Jets reporters during the day Thursday:


On the start to their season…

Well, I think the biggest thing, we’ve played pretty clean as a team. We’ve protected the ball through the first month of the season. I think we have two turnovers and we’ve been able to take it away a little bit. Those things, winning turnover battles in this league, kind of goes into winning. It’s always been that way. That’s probably the biggest reason we’ve had a good September, but we’ve got to keep going. Obviously, coming to your place is a tough place. That’ll be essential that we continue to protect the ball.

On Matt Schaub’s toughness…

I think he’s a tough guy. He’s proven that in this league for, I think, nine years. For Matt, it was year three before he got a legitimate chance to be a starter when we went and got him. His progress is kind of like the old-school way, where guys sat around for a couple of years and learned and then took over. I think it’s been a process for him as a player here, through his time here in Houston.

He’s had his share of nicks and some things that have taken him out of the games, but when he’s been able to stay healthy, he’s played pretty good for us. I think he’s always been a tough guy. In this league, if you play that position, you’re going to get the chance to be tough. You’re going to get knocked around and have some good days and bad days and have to work through them. That’s part of being an NFL quarterback. I think Matt is still a young player, growing, even though it’s year nine, headed in the right direction.

On if Schaub gained respect from his teammates after his ear incident …

First off, I think they respected him way before the incident in Denver, but I think there’s always times during the season, each and every year, there’s always moments and things that happen with teams that could jump-start you or send you the other way. Every game has three or four big plays that are the difference between winning and losing.

Obviously, when you look like you might lose your quarterback and he bounces back up and misses a play and comes back in and leads his team to a win, that’s an emotional lift. It’s what you’re looking for from your leader in this league. If a guy wants to be a great quarterback and a great leader, he’s got to be able to do those types of things. I think Matt’s done it before. I don’t think that’s the first time. Obviously, it got a lot of attention.

On how much he will prepare for both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow playing…

I think they’re very difficult to prepare for because there’s basically two forms of offense that you could encounter on gameday. The time you have to prepare doesn’t change. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do this week in preparing for them, our defense preparing for them offensively. To be honest, the same thing for our offense.

All of the stuff Rex [Ryan] does and all the great defenses he’s had for years in this league make it very difficult on you to prepare. I just left a special teams meeting, where [Mike] Westhoff does a tremendous job with their group. We’ve got our hands full preparation-wise. We’re getting to work on that today. We’ve had an extra day this week, and we’re actually getting our week started today. We have a lot to do to get ready to play.

On losing key players due to injury…

First off, we talk about it from the start. It’s something I kind of learned from Mike [Shanahan] when I was in Denver. You always approach it that you’re going to have three or four crises in each and every season as a football team because of just the number of people that you have. If you let your team know that, if you talk about those things, then when they happen, I don’t think they get so shocked about it and they find a way to work through it.

Obviously last year, we lost our receiver and our quarterback, so we had a very difficult situation going on. We expect a guy to come in and play well and then you try to find other ways to win games if you have to. I think it’s something every team encounters in this league. Injury is a part of this league and staying positive and moving forward with your guys is the most important thing you can do. I know they’re going to do that. They have a great football team. Having some adversity with those injuries, to me, makes you stronger. It makes you come together as a group and makes you stronger. We’re expecting them to do that.

On the Jets ranking 31st in rushing defense…

I think a lot of it comes from last week’s game. If you look at what San Francisco was doing and San Francisco’s quarterbacks have a great deal of yardage rushing in some various situations. I don’t think Rex is worried about Schauby running around on him like that. It’s a totally different way for us to look at them and prepare with what they faced last week in San Francisco.

For us, we know we’re going to face a great defensive football team, always have. We haven’t beat them since I’ve been here and we’re expecting their best and know we’ll get it. We’re trying to stay focused on what we can do to prepare to win and stay focused on our team and the things that we have to do to be successful. That’s where we’re trying to approach this game.

On if it’s shocking to see a Ryan-coached defense struggle…

I think it’s a tough league. Week in and week out, there are highs and lows in this league. You have to work through them and move on to the next one. I’ve always been extremely impressed with what he does, how his players play, how prepared they are and how good they are. We’re expecting the same.

On the minimal recovery time for Schaub’s ear injury…

Well, first off, he’s not missing like half of his ear, he just cut his ear. I think we’re stretching this thing a little bit. When his helmet came off, it cut the bottom of his ear and cut it pretty good. Yeah, I mean, he showed great toughness in working through that game, but he was fine and just had a bad situation happen when his helmet came off. I don’t know if I’m helping you there [laughter]. I’m glad he was able to work through it.

On if there’s a small piece of Schaub’s earlobe missing…

No, you’ll have to see him for yourself, but I see the same-looking guy that I saw before the Denver game. It’s not like all the sudden there’s body parts missing or something. He’s OK.

On if he thought the Jets did different things on defense without Darrelle Revis

No, I really don’t. They’re one of the few teams in the league that can lose a shutdown corner and they have another one, so that’s a great strength of theirs defensively. They can put [Antonio] Cromartie on anybody in football and feel very good about that. I didn’t see them playing any different. They’re going to lock you down, they’re going to play man, and they’re going to pressure you as a team. That’s the way they’re built, so I didn’t see anything different from there.


On how Darrelle Revis’ absence affects the Jets defense…

He’s the best defensive back in the game and that pretty much speaks for itself. He’s able to be on one side of the field and pretty much hold it down. That’s pretty much it. Everybody knows how important he was for that defense.

On if he has ever played against Antonio Cromartie

I’ve never had a chance to play against him. I think he’s a good player. I think he has great length as a defensive back. It’s rare that you find defensive backs his size. A very fast guy. A lot of people don’t really talk about that, but he can run real well. I think he’s a good player. A lot of the times he doesn’t receive a lot of the credit that he should receive because he plays with Revis, but I think he’s a pretty good player.

On Matt Schaub…

He’s a leader. He goes and prepares well every week and gets right to the play. He goes through his reads and makes the best decisions. He’s playing very well right now and hopefully we can just keep doing what we’re doing as a team and keep this thing headed in the right direction.

On Schaub’s toughness…

He has always been tough. He has been battling through injuries. He has battled through a lot of different injuries since he’s been here. His toughness is not a question. We all know that he’s tough and I wasn’t surprised that he came back during the Denver game. I didn’t see what happened, but as I was jogging back down the field and I just heard him hollering wearing his helmet. He wanted to go back into the game. We know how tough he is. He’s just tough.

On the Jets defense…

I think that one thing that stands out about them, any time you watch them play, is they play physical. I think that they’ve just been catching bad breaks. They had the big injury with Revis and what happened to Santonio [Holmes], those are two key players on their team. Sometimes when you have things like that happen, it just kind of sucks the energy out of your team. I’m sure they’ll be ready Monday night. We’re not just going to walk in there and win the game. It’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy. It’s already hard enough winning a game in this league anyway. I think Rex [Ryan] will have those guys ready and they’ll be ready to go.

On losing key players like they did last season and the Jets have this year…

When things happen, at times it can affect you in a certain type of way and guys’ roles become different. It’s just about everybody finding their role. I think that’s what we did a good job of here last year. We went through the same thing. We lost a lot of guys and guys’ roles changed. Once everybody found their role, things started to head in the right direction for us. Sometimes you have things happen and you have to learn from them, so that people learn their role and things start to pick back up for you. There’s still a lot of football left. They’re 2-2. It’s not like they’re 0-4 or anything like that. There’s still a lot of football left to be played. Things can’t just change for you. Everybody has to go out and do what they have to do to make the team successful.

On if they have seen anything on film they can take advantage of…

When you look at the film, you see places that you have the opportunity to make plays, but then you see opportunities that teams missed against them. You just have to go out and execute your offense. Nobody in this league is perfect. I’m not going to go out and catch every ball. Sometimes people get back. That was last week. We can’t dwell on what another team did. We have to go out and execute our offense the way we know how to do it.

On being in the organization when it was struggling to win games…

It was tough. I’ve been through a lot of tough times with this organization. I’ve seen the worst of the worst. Being the only guy that’s still left from that time, the guys that are here now, sometimes they ask questions about things that went on then. Sometimes I talk about how things used to be. Sometimes they just shake their heads and can’t believe it. For me now, it’s like a relief to finally have a good football team and know that you can compete with anybody and feel like you’re going to win every time you step out on the field. It was tough, it took a long time, but I’m finally happy that we have a good team and we’re in the situation that we’re in right now.

On if not having to face Revis changes his approach to the game…

No, that’s one thing I couldn’t speak for anybody else, but I never approach it that way. You have to prepare. Of course, you know what type of player Darrelle Revis is, so you know that it’s going to be a great challenge. I don’t change my preparation just because he’s not playing. I’m going to prepare like I always prepare for anybody. That doesn’t change anything, just because he’s not playing. 

On if the team’s struggles in the past were due to quarterback struggles…

It was just more team stuff. I just don’t think that we were good in a lot of areas. Right now, we’re finally in a position where we’re a good football team. It was just a lot of things that were just bad and a lot of things that we couldn’t do. I remember the year we went 2-14, we could hardly ever do a five-step dropback because David [Carr] was getting hit. It was just a lot of things that were going bad for us. That’s pretty much it. It had nothing to do with one particular player. I just don’t think we had a good football team.

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