Is it just me, or are the Houston Texans doing what they’ve done in recent years? That is, is anybody really surprised the Texans’ season has taken the trajectory that it has through the first 14 games of the season? The Texans started out the year 5-3, then proceeded to lose four straight after everybody talked about how this was going to be the year that Houston finally made the postseason for the first time in franchise history. Then at 5-7 and nearly down for the count, the Texans rebounded with two straight victories to level their record at 7-7 and remain alive in the AFC playoff picture for another week thanks to a number of wild card competitors stumbling this past weekend.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak joined Sports Radio 610 in Houston for his weekly coach’s show to talk about the Texans ugly win over the lowly St. Louis Rams, how he’s disappointed that the Texans are in the position they’re in yet still excited to be alive for a playoff berth with two weeks to go, how he wouldn’t be surprised to see offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan leave Houston to join his father Mike if he were to return to the sidelines next year, and how he believes in previously struggling kicker Kris Brown.
On the Texans unimpressive victory over St. Louis but also on how it’s all about winning, not style points in this league:
“Yeah, we hurt ourselves a lot throughout the course of the football game, especially early turning the football over there around the 10 yard line, and some penalties on the defensive side of the ball. But we were able to regroup at halftime and find a way to win the game. And that’s what it’s about in this league. Even when you’re not at your best, you got to find a way to win. And it’s nice to know that we’re now at the point where we’re able to get that done.”
On how the Texans and the city of Houston haven’t had a football team alive for the playoffs this late in December since 1993!:
“Yeah it is exciting and obviously we could be in a much better position going back and looking at some of those things. But we’re basically playing in an elimination game this week. Because between us and Miami whichever team doesn’t get it done this weekend obviously has no chance of making the playoffs. You know, it’s a big, big game for our team and after all we’ve been through to be in this position going to Miami with this much at stake, I’m excited about it. I know our football team is. Like I said, they left the football field yesterday, I know they were just happy to get out of there with a win, knowing we’re going to have to play a lot better against an excellent Miami Dolphin team.”
On the injury status of rookie linebacker Brian Cushing and OT Duane Brown:
“Duane, all the tests we did on him today, we didn’t see anything worse than what we’re dealing with. The bottom line is he’s got a knee that’s really banged up that he sprained about three or four weeks ago, that he’s just been trying to play through, through everything for us. You know, he’ll be day-to-day and if he can’t go then Butler will get the start. Butler came in and played very well in the 2nd half the other day. But we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Duane can play and make some progress here. As far as Cush, he’s just beat up. His knee has been bothering him and the reason we gave him a day off is he just got banged up on the turf, then he got some bruised ribs from a shot he took. But this guy finds his way to the field every Sunday and plays pretty darn good. So, hopefully he’ll work through this and I’ll keep you guys up day to day.”
After talking about how he thinks Mike Shanahan will be in the league again next year, Kubiak was asked if he then expected to lose offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Mike’s son:
“I know that Mike would love to have his son work for him at some point in his career. It’s something we’ve talked about. So you know, it would not surprise me at all. But we’re like everybody else – we got work to do right now. We got to get ready to play Miami, and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
On why the team hadn’t brought in somebody to compete with struggling kicker Kris Brown, and on if he thinks Brown has ironed out the kinks after making three field goals against the Rams on Sunday:
“I thought Kris kicked good in the game. He was 3 for 4 and obviously missed the 52 yarder. The thing I liked – to me the 52 yarder looked like the Kris of old. That ball was way up on the uprights. It could have been 65. I think he’s hitting the ball better, but I think bringing Pitman back this week gave him some confidence again – just being somebody he’d worked with for so long. I’ll just say it again – we have a lot of confidence in Kris. This organization has a big commitment to Kris and we’re going to work through this, and I think he is trying to work through this. And he’s actually our special teams player of the game. I thought he kicked the ball pretty good, and obviously we would have loved to have him be 4 for 4 but he did his job.”