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Gary Kubiak's Monday Afternoon Press Conference Before The Playoff Opener: Secrets Revealed!

Well, maybe not so much "secrets" as "interesting nuggets." I may have overplayed my hand a bit with that headline. My apologies. Highlights after the jump.

From this afternoon's presser:

(on QB TJ Yates’ shoulder injury) "It’s a shoulder injury to his non-throwing shoulder, which we talked about that yesterday. He is feeling pretty good today. He is sore. Like I said, we still think he could have came back in the game yesterday. All indications are that he will be ready to go next weekend. Obviously we got to get him back on the practice field and to feel good and confident about that, but all indications are that we will get there and do it day-to-day. As far as all that other stuff, I don’t know. We’ll see how he does.

(on if he’s concerned about anyone injury-wise) "We came out of the game, (Derek) Newton’s has a hip issue he is dealing with; he will be day-to-day. (Bryan) Braman has a stinger, he will be day-to-day. Jason Allen had some back spasms yesterday, was unable to play in the second half. He will be day-to-day. That’s the four biggest guys as we move forward. Then of course we are hoping that (Mike) Brisiel is back on the field this week, probably know a little bit more about him tomorrow, but the hope is that he will be able to contribute to us next weekend."

A Mike Brisiel return would further cement my working theory that fractured legs are the new hangnail at Reliant Park. Back to the highlights:

(on if QB TJ Yates is still the starter) "If he can play, he is going to play. He played really well yesterday. He was really sharp early in the game, continues to do good stuff, as I’ve told ya’ll. He is very young and this is a big, big game, but he’s the best guy for our football team and if he is able to go and do the things that we need him to do in practice, then we will turn him loose and let him go."

(on how he gets players ready for the playoffs) "You can talk about it all you want, but they have to go experience it. They’ll see the energy; they’ll see the difference in the speed of play and the energy when they show up on Saturday. We’ve got a few guys that can talk to them about it. Antonio (Smith) got it started right after the game when he talked to the team yesterday but they’ll see the energy build this week. They’ll see what it’s all about and like I said it won’t take them long, probably two or three plays on Saturday, to see that the tempo just went up. But it’s time to get some experience and this is where we want to go as an organization and playing games like this, win a championship Sunday, we have to learn to do this. Looking forward to the first one."

(on who will start at the other corner now that CB Johnathan Joseph is back) "Kareem (Jackson) will still start. I mean, this team is going to make you play everybody. They made us play a bunch of Nickel the first time we played them. They’re very capable of spreading you out and doing those type of things like Tennessee did to us yesterday. Kareem could have played better yesterday, a lot of guys could. He needs to find the ball better in a couple of situations. He was in good position and didn’t finish the play, but for the most part he’s had a good year and it’s time for him to be even better."

I don't even have a joke here. The ongoing praise of Kareem Jackson in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary has become one of the mysteries of the faith for Texans fans.

(on if it helps to have so many coaches with playoff experience) "Oh, no doubt. No doubt, yeah. I think if anything, it keeps you from doing too much. Well, it’s kind of hard to do too much right now because of the pretty short night for us and one day to get ready to go, so maybe that’s a good thing."

(on how the fans can help the team on Saturday) "Well, they can help us by being real loud. They’ve been that way all year, but I know this city is excited about Saturday afternoon. I just want them to know how excited we are as a football team. We’re looking forward to going to battle with them. That’s the key. We’re all in this together. It’s a big, big game for everybody. We’re looking forward to giving our best effort, and I know we’ll get theirs."

And finally...

(on if FS Danieal Manning will return kickoffs in the playoffs) "That will definitely happen. Danieal will go back there. Jacoby (Jones) will take the punts. We’ll go back to full strength. We’ve been working that way the last couple of weeks, so that will definitely happen."
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