Posted on: December 9, 2008 6:13 pm
"There’s a lot of yards out there—to have 550 yards in a football game, I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of one like that. And to do it on the road in that temperature was really special." - Gary Kubiak
Kubiak is not the only one impressed with the Texans' performance this past week. For the third time this season, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has been nominated as one of the finalists for the FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week award. And Steve Slaton has been nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week honors for the sixth time this season.
“I don’t know if I could imagine any quarterback going in there in that temperature and in that place and throwing for 414 yards," Kubiak said of Schaub's performance against the Packers. Schaub completed 28-of-42 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns. He set a franchise record in passing yards and matched a career high with attempts.
Slaton gained a game-high 120 yards on 26 carries against the Packers and had three catches for 40 yards, but was quick to note that his performance was a "team" thing and not a "me" thing. “It’s just the O-line, the fullbacks and the receivers blocking their guys downfield. They are doing a great job and it’s leaving me with mismatches with linebackers.”
You can vote for Schaub at http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=players-air-and-ground and for Slaton at http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=Rookies
Posted on: November 6, 2008 5:55 am
With Ahman Green hobbled, rookie Steve Slaton looks to carry the bulk of the load against the best rushing defense in the NFL Sunday when the Houston Texans host the Baltimore Ravens in the Ike Bowl. The Ravens are allowing just 64.2 yards rushing per game, fewest of any team in the NFL.
“You just have to take what they give you,” Slaton said. “They don’t really give up to much, but you have to keep pressing and rely on the run game."
Slaton knows, of course, that the main man in Ravens' defense is Ray Lewis. “He’s a man. He’s definitely a man, I think. He’s a leader of their defense and he has been for so long. He’s going to be one of the guys I’m going to have to look out for.”
Slaton also stressed that the Texans have to protect the football. “It shows in all our losses. Whenever we turn the ball over it’s not in our favor. So, we just have to keep the ball under control.”
The Ravens extended some high praise to Slaton as well.
“He’s a homerun threat,” Ravens' Head Coach John Harbough said of Slaton. “Every time he touches the ball, you worry about taking it the distances. Whether it’s one of those zone runs they run where he’s a one-cut guy and he hits it, or it’s a screen or a swing pass out of the backfield. He’s kind of the total package and he’s scary.”
Harbough also offered praise to Texans' backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels. “We think Sage Rosenfels is a starting quarterback in the NFL,” Harbaugh said. “He’s proven that. We think people in Houston feel that way. We think people all around the league feel that way. So, we don’t think there’s any drop-off at all.”
Rosenfels will start for injured starter Matt Schaub. But Texans' center Chris Myers doesn't really view Sage as a backup either. “You consider him a starter that comes in behind another starter. We look at it as if we have two starters on our team. We’re pretty lucky for that. Not many team can say that, that they have two great starting quarterbacks to be able to get the win anytime.”
Still, Rosenfels knows he is the backup and feels he has something to prove. “I've been a backup for eight years,” Rosenfels said. “So if there are 32 teams, for eight years that's 256 times that teams have said, ‘This guy's not our starter.' I think there’s some (naysayers) out there.”
“I feel I've played pretty well 95 percent of the time this year and in that (Colts) game and last week. But a winning quarterback plays good for the entire game and that's what I have to do this week," Rosenfels said.
Controversy surrounds the play that Schaub was injured on. “Well, I think it was (a chep play). The ball was already gone and a player went for my leg, which isn’t what they are supposed to be doing. So, that’s all I can say.”
Jared Allen, the Viking whose hit injured Schaub, apologized after the game.
“It’s hard to tell what a guys intentions are. Playing against him the whole game, I can’t that I think it was intentional. When you going after a guy, you can’t really help where you fall at, but then again, you never know. Some guys want to get that guy out of the game just to make it that much harder for us. So, I don’t think he meant to do it on purpose though,” Texans' left tackle Duane Brown said.
Starting strongside linebacker Zac Diles, who leads the Texans with 66 tackles this year, broke his left tibia in practice yesterday.
"He'll be gone for the year," Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's going to have to have a rod inserted. They're going to try to get that done tonight. We lost a kid that was becoming a great player. It's difficult on the football team to watch that today. We just wish him the best."
"He was having a tremendous year. He was playing great for us, and we’re losing a good player. We’re going to have to have someone step up and fill his shoes," Texans' linebacker DeMeco Ryans said.
“We were just in a drill working on; I think we were either on punt or punt return. Actually it was a half speed drill. Somehow he claims he kicked himself. I’ll have to go back and look at it. I haven’t seen the film yet. But, just a freak accident, but we all heard it. It was obvious that something bad had happened when he hit the ground,” Kubiak said.
Posted on: November 4, 2008 8:04 am
sage<sup> </sup>n. One venerated for experience, judgment, and wisdom. From thefreedictionary.com.
There were some in Houston calling for a quarterback controversy after last year. The Houston Texans finished the 2007 season 8-8, their first non-losing season in franchise history, and backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels was a big reason the Texans posted their most wins ever, going 4-1 as a starter in 2007.
Then, with his one chance to shine in 2008, Rosenfels led the Texans to a 27-10 lead over the Indianapolis Colts, befoe his own self-destruction enabled the Texans to pull out a 31-27 come-from-ahead loss in the most shocking of ways. On the Texans' last three offensive possessions, Rosenfels lost to fumbles that resulted in 14 points and then threw an interception that sealed the Texans' fate.
Then, when Matt Schaub returned and led the Texans to three straight wins, Sage returned to the backup status and was quickly a forgetten man. That is, until halftime of this past Sunday's game against the Vikings.
With Schaub hobbled by a knee injury, Rosenfels came in and led the Texans on two excellent drives, one resulting in a touchdown and the second ending with an interception in the end zone. Rosenfels finished 21 of 29 for 224 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT.
The Texans are in a very rare position in the NFL in that there is not a huge drop off if their starting quarterback gets hurt. We have seen the Patriots suffer inconsistencies with Matt Cassel at QB and we have seen the Cowboys offense simply collapse without Tony Romo. But the Texans offense did not miss a beat, and actually seemed to move the ball better, against the Vikings after Rosenfels came in.
They’re two guys that do a lot of good things and are going to have a heck of a career. But at the same time, they are two guys that have to clean up their issues of turning the ball over," said Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak of Schaub and Rosenfels.
Schaub will be out anywhere from two to four weeks with an MCL injury, meaning Sage Rosenfels will once again be the Texans' starting quarterback as they go up against the Baltimore Ravens in the Ike Bowl. This game was scheduled for week two of the season but was postponed due to Hurricane Ike.
“I think the biggest thing is that I’ve got to go out there and I’ve got to play as close to a perfect game as possible," Rosenfels said.
The injury is an opportunity for Rosenfels but a heartbreaker for Schaub. "It's sad because he's making a ton of progress," Kubiak said of Schaub.
For now, though, the Texans have to put aside their sympathy for Schaub and rally around Rosenfels as they try to get that elusive first winning season. A 3-5 start means they will need to go 6-2 in the second half of the season to accomplish that feat. The Texans last three losses have been by a touchdown or less, including an overtime loss at Jacksonville. "The difference between a 6-10 season and a 10-6 season is very, very small. We have to win those close games," Rosenfels said.
For Kubiak, the difference is the turnovers. "We’re at the bottom of the league as far as turning the ball over. And to me, that starts with quarterbacks’ decisions, and I’ve talked to them about that."
In the end, no matter if it is Schaub or Rosenfels at quarterback, the Texans offense will move the football. But they have to protect the football in order to take that next step. Don't look for a drop in production from this offense as Sage may ver well be the best backup quarterback in the league. But the won-loss record will be dictated on whether or not this team can start winning the turnover battle. The -8 turnover differential is the biggest reason the Texans sit 3-5 and not 5-3 or 6-2.
Hopefully, Rosenfels will take that sage-namesake and play smart football and those turnovers will diminish.