Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 11/28/11

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Houston Texans during play against the Detroit Lions at Reliant Stadium on October 19, 2008 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON Gary Kubiak looks and sounds like a guy who could use a good long nap on a warm beach somewhere, with a coconut full of island spirits resting on his belly. He grabs the sides of the podium with both hands, like it's a big square steering wheel, and he leans forward to rest on it a little. He sounds like a guy who either just woke up or hasn't been to sleep in a long time. Considering what Kubiak does for a living, and what has happened to him over the last two weeks, the former is out of the question. "I'm not down," he said. "This team's not down. I want everybody to know that. I want this city to know that." He does not look especially convincing as he says this, but then this is how Kubiak always looks. Gary Kubiak is The Man with the Furrowed Brow, it's just a little extra furrowed these days. His Houston Texans have lost their top two quarterbacks for the season, and will start T.J. Yates, a rookie fifth-round pick, on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Houston signed veteran Kellen Clemens last week, but he probably is not ready to contribute. Kubiak said Houston will sign a veteran quarterback this week. It worked out Jeff Garcia and Brodie Croyle, among others, last week, and Kubiak mentioned them as possibilities. Kubiak was asked if he could rule out Brett Favre. "I don't think you can rule out anybody," he said. But anybody wouldn't be ready to play by Sunday, so it goes to Yates. This will be his big opportunity. He is an Atlanta native who played his college ball at North Carolina, where he set school records for career passing yards, single-season passing yards and total offense. He is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. He is 24 years old. He is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He is, in the grand scheme, some guy. Some guy with a chance. "There have been some tremendous things happen in this league with guys getting opportunities," Kubiak said. "I remember when Brady got his opportunity with Bledsoe going down and of course Kurt getting his opportunity." Brady as in Tom, Kurt as in Warner (Bledsoe as in Drew). The Texans are hoping for magic if they can get it. A healthy quarterback if they can't. Kubiak speaks highly of Yates. He is more mobile than Matt Schaub or Matt Leinart, the guys he once backed up, and he supposedly makes all the throws. The physical ability, Kubiak said, is there, and the offense he ran at North Carolina is similar to the one Houston runs. Schaub told a local radio station Yate has picked up the offense faster than anybody he's seen. "I think he has a lot of ability," Kubiak said. "It is a tall task. We'll rally around him." Much as Kubiak likes this rookie he drafted, the plan was never to play him this year, which is why the Texans are looking for a veteran. Remember, they still have the best record in the AFC (8-3). They still probably are going to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They still very much need to find a quarterback with the potential to beat, say, the Baltimore Ravens in January. "Whoever we bring in, we're gonna have to hope we can catch him up very quickly," Kubiak said. So that is the plan. The plan is to avoid having to start a rookie third-string quarterback in a playoff game. But for now, there is reality, and reality is that Schaub and Leinart are done, and Yates is the guy. Reality is that even if Kubiak isn't down, nobody can blame him for looking it. "I've been part coach, part counselor the past couple weeks," he said. "I've got Schauby in my office all day last Monday and today I've got Lefty up there. It's just difficult."
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