ALAMEDA - Today is conference call day with the opposing team. Local media spoke with Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak this morning. Running back Arian Foster is still to come.
Here's Kubiak on this season's Raiders:
"They're obviously running the ball extremely well, with big-play capability. Their kicking game is always excellent - their punter and kicker are as good as there is in football - and defensively, up front, they're getting after people, causing havoc and they're very good up front. And anytime you play the Raiders, you better be able to beat man coverage. They're off to a good start, they've played a very tough schedule with the Jets and New England back-to-back and we know we're going to get a big test out of them."
The Texans got Foster back last week but will be without star wide receiver Andre Johnson because of a hamstring injury.
Johnson has missed to previous games against the Raiders and won both. Kubiak isn't looking forward to games without arguably the best wide receiver in football:
"Shoot, man, I tell you it's very difficult. In this league, teams lose players and you have to emotionally get over that stuff and move forward and figure out how you win the next game. Andre has missed a few games in years past, so it's not a shock to the team, but at the same time it's a big blow from a production standpoint. You don't replace Andre, you just have to have everybody else play a little bit better."
Kubiak was also about outside linebacker Mario Williams.
Williams had established himself as an elite defensive end but with the switch to the 3-4 defense, Williams now is not exclusively attacking from the edge:
"He does both. If you're going to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, you got to have the ability to do both. He doesn't make his living in coverage, that's no secret right there, but he's got to be able to do some of that for us to be successful. So, we ask a lot of Mario, and it's a big adjustment for him playing the outside linebacker position, but he continues to make progress every week.
Williams is tied with teammate Antonio Smith with four sacks to lead the AFC.
*The following players were not practicing during the portion of the session open to the media this morning:
TE Richard Gordon (hand)
FB Marcel Reece (ankle)
DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder)
CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)
Wide receiver Louis Murphy was practicing after being out all season with a groin injury.
The full injury report will be available after practice.