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Quotes: Day 8 of Training Camp

Posted Aug 3, 2014

Read what the Texans said to the media following Sunday morning's training camp practice.

Head Coach Bill O’Brien

CB AJ Bouye

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

WR DeAndre Hopkins

WR Andre Johnson

DE J.J. Watt

 

Head Coach Bill O’Brien

(on the uniforms today not split up by offense and defense) “We felt like it was a good time to divide the team up into a blue and a white team. Basically, have a scrimmage without pads on. We had shells on. We’re able to accomplish a lot of different situational work. You know, it’s good because situational work is all about the coaches and players getting on the same page. Eventually you want it where the players are thinking exactly like the coaches and vice versa. That is what we tried to simulate today, and it is a work in progress, but I thought we were able to get a lot accomplished today.”

 

(on the different offensive line combinations and if Derek Newton is the best option to potentially step in at left tackle) “That’s a good question. We always have plan B. Right now there are a number of options, that’s one of them. God forbid something were to happen to Duane (Brown), but you always have to be ready for things like that. Duane has come back in great shape and he is practicing very well. We don’t anticipate those things, but again you have to be ready if they do happen. So, yeah, (Derek) Newton is an option. There are other guys that options to. Training camp, when you’re in your eighth or ninth practice, you’re going to get some bumps and bruises. So there are guys that are not in there right now that will hopefully be candidates for that job too.”

 

(on when Will Yeatman is expected back) “Yeah. He should. That was a concussion, so we’re taking obviously, the necessary precaution with that and making sure that he is healthy and ready to go when he comes back. He’s a great guy and he’s working very hard to get back, but that is what that was.”

 

(on if the situational football that the team has been implementing is geared toward the preseason games) “I think when you get closer and closer to your first game, you know, preseason game, you better have all of your ducks in a row as far as special teams situations, obviously, two minute, red zone, third down. There will be certain things that will still have to be covered after the Arizona game and headed into Atlanta, but hopefully you get the foundation of your situational work is covered going into the first game.”

 

(on how the Texans will treat the preseason from a coaching perspective) “Well it is very important that we map out how we go into each game as far as how many reps each guy is going to get, whether he is a veteran guy or guy that has been around for two or three years or maybe a rookie. We have plan for that in each game. Obviously, things occur that make those plans change. The biggest thing going into these games is we want to play good, solid, fundamental football. We don’t want to make mistakes. We want to make sure that we have a good substitution process. Make sure that we eliminate line of scrimmage penalties, hang on to the football, create some turnovers on defense, so we want to come out of the preseason with a good feeling about our fundamentals as a football team. I think that is very, very important. Obviously, any game we go into here in Houston, we’ll always go into it trying to win. We want to win each time we step on the field whether it is practice or in a game. That is obviously a part of it to. We definitely want to come out of it with a sense that we are a good fundamental team and a team that is coming together hopefully toward the end of preseason.”

 

(on the command and execution coming from Ryan Fitzpatrick) “I think he is getting better every day. He’s more and more comfortable. You know, there is a lot to this offense. It’s good to have a guy that has been in a few offenses. Obviously, a 10-year guy, and he’s a very bright guy. He loves this offense, as do all the quarterbacks because it is a quarterback friendly offense. You have to put a lot of time into it, but once you get down the ins and outs of the offense, you begin to get those things down and you feel pretty good about it. He’s really improved every day I believe.”

 

(on mentioning Chris Myers and Ryan Fitzpatrick having trouble on snaps) “Yeah, I did. You were out there. You saw it.”

 

(on if Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chris Myers fumbling the snap is a concern) “No. It’s a lot of snaps in training camp, but it does have to be eliminated. Certainly, to me, it’s not troubling. It’s just something that we have to do a better job of spending some extra time on it and make sure that it stops and that we eliminate it. I thought it was a lot better today. Nothing out there is taken for granted, so when mistakes like that happen, we have to go back and make sure that hey, we’ve got to do extra. We have to make sure that, that is a fundamental part of the game, the quarterback-center exchange, and we can’t tolerate those things.”

 

(on Ricardo Matthews batting three balls against the first team offense) “(Ricardo) Matthews had three batted balls? Did he really? I saw a lot of batted balls, but I wasn’t sure who had them. But, yeah, I think those guys, they’re coached very well. Bill Kollar does an excellent job. I mean, this guy is a really good top notch defensive line coach, the best that I have been around. He’s tough, he’s detailed and those guys play hard on every snap. They play with good technique. Those guys because of their talent and their coaching, they’ll improve every day and that is what they are doing as a group.”

 

(on working injured veterans back into the lineup) “Each case will be determined on an individual basis. We’ll determine how much a certain guy has to play based on what type of injury he’s had or how many year’s he’s been the league or how he’s done in practice and things like that. Obviously, we want to get all of those guys game repetitions before we play our first regular season game, but each one of those will be determined on an individual basis.”

 

(on traveling fans and observations for those fans) “I hope there are thousands of members of the ‘Traveling Texans,’ I can tell you that because playing on the road in this league is very difficult, especially within this division. When you have to go to Indianapolis and you have to go to Tennessee and you have to go to Jacksonville, those are tough venues to play in. Plus, you’re playing at Pittsburgh, at New York and you’re playing in the ‘Black Hole’ in Oakland, and those are tough places to go. The more Houston fans we can have there, the better.”

 

(on the players stating they like staying all together at the same place during training camp) “We have a strong belief here in how to win, how to put together a team, how to create team unity, team chemistry, you know, all of us that have worked in this league or worked for various head coaches throughout our careers, we’ve all taken the good from those head coaches. And one of the great things that I learned at an early stage in my career from every head coach I worked for, and then obviously Bill Belichick in New England, was training camp is an important time for the team to come together and eliminate distractions and have everybody together communicating about football and getting to know each other and going through the grind of training camp. So that is part of the process of trying to put together a winning football team.”

 

(on Jay Prosch having a hand injury and if he is less of a weapon for the offense) “No. Yeah, something happened there. He’s a tough kid. You know, he’ll be back in there sooner than you think. And so we’re going to take every precaution necessary with him. He’s really come in here, for a rookie at this stage of his career; he’s learned the offense pretty well. He’s out there. He can do certain things, can’t do other things. As soon as he can be full contact, he’ll be ready to go.”

 

(on the family time of the field at the end of practice) “I think it is great. Now my family is still on vacation. They don’t want to be around me, so they’re still on Cape Cod. But you see Mike Vrabel’s two sons out there, you see Hannah and Cal (McNair), their two sons out there today, you see the players that kids, their families are here. You know, I think that is fantastic. When you’re sons and daughters and nephews and nieces can come to practice and watch how these guys operate and how hard they work and then after practice be able to spend some time with them. I think that is a pretty neat thing and something I love about the NFL. It’s been good so far watching that.”

 

CB AJ Bouye

(on what he has shown the coaching staff in order to make an immediate impact) “From camp I think I’ve shown these coaches that I can play outside, I can help on special teams. But we haven’t gotten the first preseason game yet so that’s when it really counts. I just want to show them that I’m physical; I can run with anybody, I can play deep ball and stuff like that and just help this team out any way. And I can return kicks.”

 

(on how different camp is this year than last year) “I mean, it’s kind of different, you know, just more situational football. But to be a coach in the NFL you’re a great coach so it’s just different things. But O’Brien just has more situational football and it’s a little bit more physical, so you know.

 

(on if he likes the physicality) “Yeah, that’s what he wants, physical, so that’s what we’re doing.”

 

(on how comfortable and confident he is this year) “I feel more comfortable because I know what it takes to help this team out. I’m more focused on taking care of my body this time, just trying to be the best teammate, just trying to help everybody out. So, just getting ready to win, you know.”

 

(on the feedback from coaches) “Not really hearing anything. I try not to worry about that. I just try to play as hard as I can and take advantage of every opportunity.”

 

(on how frustrated he was when he was shut down for the year last season) “It was very frustrating because when I was hurt I was looking back on it just realizing what I could have done different—taking care of my body, hydrating myself, studying more of my playbook. It seems like I wasn’t really focused at the time but at the same time that injury humbled me.”

 

(on if he blamed himself for his injury) “Yeah, not on the coaching staff. It was just my fault and it helped me out a lot realizing what I needed to do going into this year.”

 

(on if it was his conditioning that caused his injury) “It’s not really conditioning. It’s just hydrating myself, drinking a lot of water, stretching more and the athletic trainers that helped me have a movement prep system and stretched me out and improved my flexibility.”

 

(on if any of his teammates took him under their wing) “I just listen to J-Jo. I usually go to him when I have questions. He’s just telling me to stay on top of my body and showing me stuff in meetings and stuff and I talk to him a lot about it. He tells me he’s going to help me out a lot this year.”

 

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

(on how important post-practice time with his family is) “It’s awesome because really, for training camp, it’s the time I get to see my family, actually. The kids come out every day and we get to run around on the field and play. It’s my conditioning. It wears me out a little bit. They’re running circles around me. It’s a lot of fun for me.”

 

(on how nice it is to have family time after practice) “Definitely. I think in the NFL, you spend so much time together, so you become family and you start to get to know coaches’ and players’ families. It just makes you that much closer on the field just because of the bond you form off (the field).”

 

(on the feeling at practice with the first preseason game only being six days away) “It’s hard to even think that it’s that close just because when you’re in training camp it’s a grind every day and you’re basically just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s crazy that it’s that close from now. There’s not a whole lot of thought about that right now. Today we worked a lot of different situations. It’s a day-to-day deal right now in terms of practice and what we’re trying to get accomplished for the day.”

 

(on if he’s pleased with his progress and more of the offense seeing the same things) “I think I’m pleased with some of the carry over that we had from the offseason workouts, the OTAs and minicamps, to how we were able to come out here and not start from square one during training camp here. So I’m pleased about that. There’s still a long way to go. I’ve still got a lot of things that I can do, eliminating mental clutter and just speeding up the process and all that stuff. But, yeah, it’s a process out here and I really enjoy it.”

 

(on what he’s learned about WR DeAndre Hopkins in the time he has had to work with him) “DeAndre has done a great job. He works hard, comes every day. He wants to win. Obviously a guy that wants the ball thrown to him. If you’re a guy who wants the ball thrown to you, I’ll throw to you. You catch it; I’ll throw it to you again. You saw that yesterday in practice, kind of some of the spectacular plays that he made. But we’ve got a lot of talent on offense, a lot of different weapons to pick and choose and to throw to and we’ll try to highlight each and every one of them.”

 

(on how he knows that DeAndre Hopkins wants the be thrown to) “We have plenty of discussions about that. He’s also a young guy and he’s got a great willingness to learn and he puts his time in, so that’s impressive and thing you want to see as a quarterback.”

 

(on if the celebration after DeAndre Hopkins’ catch in practice shows the kind of camp he’s having) “He has put together a few good days in a row now in terms of some of the catches and plays that he’s made. But again, training camp is such a day-to-day thing and the NFL is all about consistency, being able to go out every game and to do the right things, to be in the right spot, to make the big plays. He’ll have an opportunity to do that this year and I really am looking forward to it.”

 

(on if center-quarterback exchange issues have been a function of the ‘mental clutter’ he referenced earlier) “No. When I say ‘mental clutter,’ it’s more just my thought process, whether it’s checking in and out of plays or getting guys set up. Just a lot of different things that the quarterback has to do and getting everybody on the same page.”

 

(on if a lot of developing a relationship with a receiver goes unsaid) “There’s conversation but a lot of it has to be done on the field. With that being said, you’ll see me all the time after a particular series or set, a couple reps, I’m in the background talking to those guys. ‘Hey, this is why they expect here,’ and ‘Maybe you did it right,’ or ‘Maybe you did it this way and I don’t want it that way.’ But there’s a lot of talk, especially after the reps on the field just in terms of the things I’m expecting out of them.”

 

(on if he’s always been vocal with his teammates) “Yeah. I think it’s just important as a quarterback to be that communicator, to make sure that everybody is on the same page. The biggest thing is with a lot of these guys is just them knowing what I expect out of them. I think that’s a lot of the communication.”

 

(on if his beard is hot) “I didn’t really even notice. No. It’s just on there now. It’s part of who I am.”

 

(on rookie QB Tom Savage saying that Fitzpatrick was trying to get him to grow a beard) “Tom probably made that up. I think he could grow a pretty gnarly (beard) though. I might nudge him in that direction.”

 

(on how long he will keep his beard) “I don’t know. My wife is over there. It’s probably a better question for her.”

 

WR DeAndre Hopkins

(on mentality compared to last year) “I have the same mentality that I had last year. I put last year behind me. I’m just coming out here with a new focus and just trying to be the best player I can be.”

 

(on Coach O’Brien reminding players of last year as motivation) “No, he doesn’t at all. Last year was last year and this year is this year.”

 

(on difference between last year’s off-season compared to this year’s) “I probably trained a little harder last year, the combine, a bunch of rookie stuff that you have to go to. You really don’t have a lot of time to focus towards training and this year, I had a whole off-season just toward training, so yeah.”

 

(on being able to dictate the focus during this year’s off-season) “Yeah, it was great; I had a lot of structure, I trained at Clemson with a few guys that are in the NFL, so it was a good off-season.”

 

(on building chemistry with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) “I think all of the guys out here are building chemistry with him, it’s not more so one than the other. We’re all out here working, trying to be the best players we can be.”

 

(on conversations with former Clemson teammate WR Sammie Watkins) “You said they play tonight? I didn’t know that. I wish him the best.”

 

(on excitement for the game against the Cardinals next week) “We’re all excited to go out and hit somebody other than ourselves, and then we have to go into the locker-room and talk to each other, so it’s always exciting, going to hit other guys besides ourselves. We’ve been practicing hard, so I think we’re going to go out and put forth our best effort.”

 

(on practice having a game-week feel to it) “I guess so; you can say so. We’re not looking forward we’re taking it day by day. We’re not looking past tomorrow right now.”

 

(on jump-ball passes in the end-zone becoming more utilized) “We’re just trying to win football games, so however that’s possible.”

 

(on attitude during camp) “We’re out here having fun. You know you have to have fun on your job, or why else would you do it?”

WR Andre Johnson

(on if he is excited for the first preseason game) “You kind of get tired of going against your teammates all the time so it’ll be good to just go against somebody different. I think just being—even though it’s just a preseason game—just being in that game atmosphere, it changes things up a bit. You get to find out where you’re at as a player and what you’ve done through training camp so far. That’s what guys use it for, to get a chance to see where they’re at in the first week of the preseason and use it and find things they need to work on and just keep getting it from there.”

 

(on if Week 1 brings a different vibe to the locker room) “I think you know when it’s regular season and when it’s preseason. It’s definitely a different feeling but it’s a game, man. You know, guys love playing in games so when you go out there, even when it’s preseason, you’re going out there trying to win.”

 

(on if he is rushing back to play in the first preseason game) “I would hope to. It doesn’t matter what game it is; you want to play. It’s best that I do what’s best for the team. If that’s me being out there then I’ll be out there, and if it’s not then I won’t.”

 

(on if he’s comfortable with the offense with so little time off the field) “I’m still comfortable with it. It’s not like it was in the past where you had the back-to-back practices with the two-a-days and stuff like that. So you have the walkthrough and practice in the morning and walkthrough so I get the reps then, so other than that I’m fine.”

 

(on how DeAndre Hopkins looks compared to last year) “He’s definitely comfortable. He’s playing with a lot of confidence and I think that’s been the biggest thing. So he definitely looks comfortable and that’s something you want to see him continually build on. The plays he was making out there were awesome. It’s great to see and I just keep telling him—I keep saying do what you’re doing. Don’t be satisfied with it. Just keep working. And that’s the thing about him. He works hard to be great. That’s a great thing to see in a young guy like that.”

 

(on if he saw the offense today) “I got to see bits and pieces of it.”

 

(on if he watched the Hall of Fame ceremony) “I got to see a piece of it. I didn’t get to see all of it. Hope to get to watch a replay of it. I always say that I like to get the chance to watch it because you get a chance to see everybody. Everybody has a story. Every player has a story about what led them to football and different situations throughout their life. You like hearing stuff like that. You get to learn a lot about guys that you watched play growing up. I was actually happy to see Andre (Reed) get in. I think he really deserves it. It was great to see him get in.”

 

(on Bill O’Brien saying he’s picked up the offense quickly) “I think when you’ve been around the game for a while you’ve seen a lot of things—you’ve see a lot of offense. So it’s really some of the same things with different names. You just have to try to get that old stuff out of your head. I was in the same offense for eight years so when you hear something in this offense you’re like, ‘Okay. We had it this way last year so I have to think of this word.’ Some of the same things but it’s different. It’s different. And it’s a challenge but at the same time you just have to study it, man. And I think that’s the biggest thing, just studying it and staying on top of it.”

 

(on if the coaching staff has told him how they were going to use him) “I don’t—you’ll have to ask them about that. I can’t answer that question.”

 

DE J.J. Watt

(on the mentality as camp starts coming to an end) “To be 100 percent honest, you kind of lose track of the days, you don’t even know what day of the week it is. Coach (O’Brien) kind of said at the end of practice, ‘At the end of this week, we have a preseason game’, and I was like, ‘Oh jeez, we do.’ It’s kind of one of those things where you’re just so focused on day-to-day. Athletes say it all of the time, it’s so cliché, you focus on one day at a time, but you really are. If you actually take that mentality and you actually take that approach, you really can get better and you can kind of get lost in it, so that’s good.”

 

(on being where the team wants to be) “I don’t know if you can ever really plan out exactly where you want to be necessarily. I think that we have every single day worked to get better, so I think we’ve definitely done that. I think every day we’re learning, every day we’re doing different things to make sure that we’re correcting mistakes, and that’s all you can ask for.”

 

(on purpose of blue and white teams today) “I think you can probably ask coach on that one.”

 

(on having rest and family time following practice) “It’s great; it’s cool to interact with other players’ families. It’s nice to see other guys’ kids playing with (Ryan) Fitzpatrick’s kids, he coaches kids. It gives you a chance to get to know each other. It helps create chemistry and it’s also for the guys that have families here. It’s really nice for them to get a quick break, and just to say ‘hello’, ‘hey’, ‘nice to see you’ to family.”

 

(on approach and preparation for week of pre-season) “We’re still in training-camp mode, so it’s still just focusing on one day at a time, still focusing just on improving that day. As we move forward, we’ll get more into game preparations and things like that, but at the moment, it’s just making sure you get better each day.”

 

(on if there is more to the statements ‘trying to get better’ and ‘being a good teammate’ or if it is just lip-service) “I think that’s absolutely what we’re doing, you know? You’re right. Trust me, I know that I speak in a lot of clichés, but clichés get to be clichés because they’re true. So ‘working hard every day’, yeah, I can promise you that. We’re working hard every single day. We’re doing everything we can to improve on that day. We’re trying to learn things, we’re trying to be a good teammate, trying to do all of those things, and if you actually take it to heart and you actually do what you’re saying, you’ll have success. You can’t let it just be lip service. You can’t just talk about it; you have to do the actions.”

 

(on younger guys getting more reps) “You have that next man up mentality, whether it’s for one practice, or whether it’s for ten practices. It’s an opportunity to get reps, and if it’s an opportunity for a second string guy to get reps with the first string that’s a chance to get better, that’s a chance to show what you can do against the best, and you have to take advantage of that, so I think it’s going really well.”

 

(on being impressed by teammates) “A lot of people impress me. I can’t tell you who, but I tell them, so that’s what matters.”

 

(on watching the whole Hall of Fame induction) “I didn’t get a chance to. I watched a little bit of it in the beginning, the real early beginning part. It’s always a pretty cool thing. I did see the Jim Kelly and Andre Reed pass. That’s pretty special.”

 

(on visiting the Hall of Fame) “I have; I was at the Hall of Fame a few years back, I think it was four or five years back now or something like that. It’s a pretty special place. “

 

(on the Hall being inspiring for a player) “It’s very cool to see the history. It’s very cool to see what guys did, how they earned their position there. So much history, so much hard work, so much dedication went in to getting a bust in that place, so it’s really neat to see and respect all of the men that came before you in this game.”

 

(on working on the jugs machine) “I think hand-eye coordination is extremely important no matter what you do. The jugs machine, I don’t think it’s ever going to lead to anything, if it does, it would be great, but hand-eye coordination is literally something that I have worked on my whole life, so I’ll always do that. You want to be as well-rounded of an athlete as you can be.”

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