FOXBORO — Texans head coach Gary Kubiak  isn’t about to fall into the trap of using a newspaper column as bulletin board material to fire up his team – at least not publicly anyway.
The Texans head coach was asked Wednesday during a conference call with the New England media what he thought of Arian Foster using Dan Shaughnessy’s column in the Boston Globe as motivation for his team this Sunday in the AFC divisional showdown at Gillette Stadium .
“I guess I really don’t know what you’re talking about so it’s hard for me to comment,” Kubiak responded. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Reminded that Foster changed his avatar on Twitter to a few paragraphs from a column that says that this will be a rollover game for the Patriots.
“I don’t get into that kind of stuff,” he added. “We’re just getting ready to go play football.”
Kubiak admitted Wednesday that getting ready to play football this time means not assuming things will get better just because his team was horrible on Dec. 10.
“You’re making a huge mistake if you start saying, ‘If we would have done this, if we would have done that, we would have been fine.’ We weren’t fine, we got our tails kicked. They were very, very explosive,” Kubiak said. “When you look at what they’ve done to some teams in their building this year, they’re sitting there, they got us down 28-7 in the third, they had Denver down 31-7 late in the third, they had Indy down, golly I think it was 49-17, you know what I mean. They’ve really gotten after some teams. Games can get away from you there if you miss opportunities or make mistakes. We’re going to have to come in there and play a 60-minute football game. We’re going to have to step to the plate and make some plays.
“My approach, when you play Bill [Belichick ], his football team is such a great organization and well coached team, I don’t think you ever know exactly what you’re going to get. They’re a veteran football team that is able to get a lot done from week to week and game plan wise. You could get a lot of things obviously that you’re not going to practice or haven’t seen on film so I think it’s about what we do and being good at what we do and staying focused on that and getting your players prepared from that standpoint. I don’t think you look at one film and say, ‘OK, this is what we’re going to do.’ I think you have to do what you think you do best and go out there and perform.”
Here is the remainder of the conference call with Kubiak from Wednesday:
Q: When you guys play a team for the second time, either a division game or this week, what are you able to take from the first game that helps you in the second?
GK: For us, I don’t know how much good we can take out of that one. It was obviously not very good from our standpoint and excellent on their behalf. I don’t know. It’s kind of like playing in your division ‘ you play your division opponents, you play them again. Sometimes you play them real close together, sometimes you don’t but you’re playing teams twice. It’s been five weeks, so obviously you go back and look at that game but I don’t think this game is totally different. It’s a new season. I’m sure they’ll be a lot different. They always have a lot of new wrinkles. Obviously we have to do a lot of things better than we did the last time. I think every opportunity to play in this league usually ends up being quite different than what you faced the first time.
Q: How much do you think Garrett Graham is going to help the passing game with his return?
GK: Garrett has been a good, solid player for us all year long. He’s been good in the pass game as well as on the line of scrimmage. He gives us flexibility in our offense and what we do. I had actually forgotten that he wasn’t available at that time so it’s good to have him back. He’s been a good player for us. He played well last week. It’s good to have him back ready to go.
Q: Another guy that didn’t play in the first game was Rob Gronkowski . How different will that be?
GK: The challenge for him is just amazing because of the size and the ability to’¦matchup-wise this guy has worn out a lot of corners and safeties. He’s very tough to handle from that standpoint. The thing that’s so impressive to me is if the ball is close he’s going to make the play, he’s going to make the catch. To me, they do the same things, they’re very efficient with what they do. It just gives them another weapon in how they go about their business. He’s very impressive as a player.
Q: You guys were able to run the ball well with Arian Foster and control the clock last week. Are those two things you would like to continue and utilize up here?
GK: It’s always been a part of our success when you look at our season. If we come out of games that way, we’ve usually had a very good chance to have some success. I think the focus really for us is we’re going to have to make plays. We’re going to have to be aggressive in our approach. I don’t think there’s one way to win any game. I don’t think you can lock yourself into that. We have to go in there and be aggressive in our play in all three phases. We’re going to have to step up and make some big plays that we did not make the last time we were there.
Q: How important was it to get Matt Schaub a playoff start last week?
GK: Yeah, it’s huge. He’s been working; he’s a nine-year player. He’s had that old road as far as a quarterback career ‘ starting in Atlanta and not playing for awhile and getting his opportunity with us. He’s played some good football. Obviously injuries held him back last year so it’s good to see him get his football team in this position. I know that was a big one last week for him. Everybody is trying to get in the playoffs in this business and trying to find a way to win games so it’s a good start for him and obviously a big, big challenge this week and he’s going to have to raise his level of play. We’re happy for him. We’re glad; he’s worked really hard to have this opportunity and we have to go out there and help him every way we can.
Q: The Patriots like to call themselves a game plan team and they’ll morph week to week. For your team, it’s kind of weird because you had missed opportunities early that might have changed the way that game went.
GK: I think everybody in this league is a game plan team. We all have our strengths. I think everybody has people they want to touch the ball so to speak and people they want to take away. That’s part of this league. I think one of the things that stands out to me in all my years in this league and being a part of some great football games, a lot of playoff games, I think when teams are successful at this time of year, plays kind of come from everywhere. I don’t think you can go into a game and say, ‘This guy has to carry the load or that guy has to make every play.’ I think everybody has to step up and be accountable and usually when a lot of new faces are making plays, you continue to move on. I think it has to be spread around. That’s just my opinion as far as the chances for our success. We’re going to have to have some young guys make some plays.