Found January 02, 2012 on
Fox Sports Houston:
Texans coach Gary Kubiak expects rookie quarterback T.J. Yates to start the first ever playoff game for the franchise Saturday against the Bengals at Reliant Stadium. Yates separated his non-throwing shoulder in the season finale against the Titans, but Kubiak said Monday that all indications are that Yates will be able to make the start Saturday afternoon.
"Obviously we have to get him back on the field to be good and confident about that," said Kubiak. "But all indications are that we'll get there."
Yes has been the starter for the last five games since Matt Schaub and his back-up went out with injuries. Jake Delhomme played the majority of the game Sunday after Yates went out.
Even if Yates is somewhat limited due to the injury, Kubiak said he will go with the rookie Saturday: "He's very young and this is a big, big game but he's the best guy for our football team. If he's able to do the things we need him to do in practice then we'll turn him loose and let him go."
Despite the fact that Yates is a rookie who was pressed into playing only after the Texans lost Schaub Leinart, Kubiak said he's confident Yates can handle the enormity of a playoff game.
"He's very sharp," said Kubiak. "He handles the group very well. (His teammates) have a lot of confidence in him. Even though he's young and has his own issues he can help everybody out. And he seems to bet getting better every time he goes out there."
Meanwhile, Kubiak is now charged with a getting a team which has never been to the post-season ready for a playoff game. Some key players such as Jonathan Joseph, Danieal Manning and Antonio Smith have playoff experience but the majority of the Texans roster is void of post-season action. Yates, receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster are among the players that will participate in their first- ever playoff game Saturday.
Kubiak, however, has reached the Super Bowl six times as a player and assistant coach.
"You can talk about it all you want but they have to go experience it," Kubiak said. "They'll see the energy; they'll see the difference in the speed of play when they show up on Saturday. We've got a few guys that can talk to them about it and Antonio got it started right after the game when he talked to the team yesterday. It will only take two or three plays on Saturday to see that the temp just went up."
On the health front, beyond Yates, Kubiak said players like Foster, Johnson and Joseph should be ready Saturday. Foster and Joseph were held out of the season finale with minor aches and Johnson played on a limited basis since he is recovering from a hamstring injury. The Texans may even get starting guard Mike Briseil, who missed the past three weeks with a fractured fibula, back in time for the game.
Kubiak also revealed that Danieal Manning will go back to returning kick-offs. Manning started the season as the kick returner but after he broke a leg the Texans decided to use an array of returners.
BEST OF MAXIM
While listening to Gary Kubiak’s press conference from Monday, one of the media members said the Houston Texans only have 7 players with playoff experience. To make sure we looked up the Texans roster and found out that the Texans have 11 players with game action in the playoffs and actually have 5 players who have played in the Super Bowl.
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