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Quotes: Texans OTAs Day 1

Posted May 20, 2013

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media following Day 1 of OTAs.


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
WR Andre Johnson
OLB Brooks Reed
QB Matt Schaub
DE J.J. Watt

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the status of OLB Brooks Reed) “He’s fine. Brooks has been fine for two-and-a-half, three months, so he’s doing good.”

(on the status of ILB Darryl Sharpton) “Sharpton’s good. He’s back to work today. We’re kind of going to be a little protective with him, keep him out of some special teams drills and stuff, but he’s back to work. (CB) Brice (McCain) is back to work on kind of a temporary basis. Other than that, those other guys are still out. Y’all know who they are, Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) and those guys.”

(on the status of ILB Brian Cushing) “He’s fine. He’s doing great. He’ll be ready to go. Our goal has been training camp the whole time. If it was up to Cush, he’d be out here today, but we’ve got to do it right.”

(on the status of S Ed Reed) “He’s doing really well. The expectations are for him to leave Colorado at some point this week, from a rehab standpoint, but yeah, it’s going good.”

(on how he plans to handle the roster and depth chart at inside linebacker) “I think the most important thing right now is that we get these young guys in position to rep. (OLB) Brooks (Reed) is repping inside right now, so that lets (OLB) Sam (Montgomery) and (OLB) Trevardo (Williams) rep with the first and second groups and (OLB Bryan) Braman rep with the first group, so I think right the key is that we just get them all going. We can settle them down. Brooks can always move, but we wanted to make sure these young guys stayed in one spot so we could really evaluate them.”

(on whether OLB Brooks Reed and ILB Darryl Sharpton are practicing at the same inside linebacker position) “They’re opposite inside, as of today. It’s going to change from day to day, but we know that Brooks can line up outside and play tomorrow if we opened the season, so we’re very concerned about getting him his reps inside from that standpoint.”

(on OLB Brooks Reed) “He’s fine. He’s a really sharp player, and he’s got a bunch of it from phase two of the (offseason) program, he got a bunch of reps in there, so we just think it’s best that if he’s going to get a ton of reps in the OTAs (Organized Team Activities), so to speak, it’s better off for him getting them somewhere he hasn’t played, because we always know he can go back.”

(on the importance of having QB Matt Schaub during Organized Team Activities this year after not having him in 2012) “I nearly forgot about last year, that he had missed the whole thing. He’s got a good season under his belt totally healthy, and obviously he comes back out here, he’s had a good offseason. He’s getting pushed by (QB) T.J. (Yates) and (QB) Case (Keenum), and that’s a good thing. Having him work full-time with the team, that’s important. There are going to be certain guys that are going to get some breaks; you’re going to see me sit some older guys as we go through this thing, but it’s good to have him back full-speed.”

(on the importance of having QB Matt Schaub throwing to the young receivers on the team) “Well, first off for the young buck, for (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins), we put him with the first group. That’s tough duty, but what happens is he’s not only getting coached by us; he’s getting coached by Matt in the huddle, he’s getting coached by (WR) Andre (Johnson) in the huddle, so that’s the best thing for a young player like that. Put him in an environment where he’s getting help from players as well as coaches, so it’s been a step in the right direction.”

(on how WR DeAndre Hopkins looked in his first practice with the full team) “I thought he was fine. I think first off he was better, mentally. He’s been through it a couple times, and just the speed of these guys – like today, they just watch how our guys work and how fast they practice, how they talk, how they’re so much into what they’re doing. So it’s a big shock for these young guys, but the key is for the next 10 days to get them all comfortable with their teammates and what we’re doing so that they can compete come summertime.”

(on what steps they have taken to improve the team’s special teams units) “Well, we got (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) some help, which I think was important. In this business, it seems like there’s a coach and an assistant for every dang position nowadays, and Joe’s been doing it by himself for a long, long time. So we had an opportunity to get Lig (Assistant Special Teams Coach Bob Ligashesky) in here and help Joe out, so I think that’s a big plus. Obviously, we think our team’s getting more athletic with some of these young guys that can run, so any time you get faster as a football team or special teams, you get better.”

(on the progress of the rookie defensive linemen on the team) “(NT Chris) Jones is doing fine. He struggled a little bit that weekend that we got together. It was a little bit different for him being in a 3-4 type situation and us playing him in a couple of different spots. He looked a little better to me today. (DE) Delano (Johnson), I’m thinking of him being a young player, he’s been very impressive this offseason. There will be plenty of reps to go around; I’ll rest (DE) Antonio (Smith) some, (DE) J.J. (Watt) some throughout this course, and we’ve got plenty to look at.”

(on the rookie offensive linemen) “First off, the number three (T Brennan Williams) is a little behind. He’s got a little issue with his knee. We’re trying to get him healthy and get his physical conditioning up with the rest of the team. Quiz (T David Quessenberry) is really very impressive right now. He’s smart, played all over the place in (rookie) mini-camp and handled it. He’s going to get a ton of reps at right tackle now with (RT Derek) Newton and the Williams situation.”

(on the status WR DeVier Posey) “He’s doing good. He’s doing really good. I think he’s ahead of schedule, whatever that schedule is. I think the big key to him will be when we go to (training) camp, is he a PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) guy or is he somebody that looks like he’s going to be ready early in the season. I don’t know. Right now he’s doing good, though.”

(on what are realistic expectations for WR DeVier Posey at this point) “I don’t really know. I know his goal is to make it hard on us to put him on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) once camp starts, so that’s a good thing. He’s working hard.”

(on if windy conditions are the best challenge he can give to punt returners) “You must have been watching. It wasn’t very good today. It’s tough, and Lech (P Shane Lechler) kicks a tough ball to catch, especially down there inside the 50 where he was kicking, so we’ll keep working a lot of people, but today was about as tough as it gets.”

WR Andre Johnson
(on his thoughts on WR DeAndre Hopkins after his first practice) “He did good. You could kind of tell that he’s thinking a lot when he’s playing, but that’s part of being a rookie. He’s picking up everything pretty well. He went and made some plays today and that’s a good thing. I think day-by-day, he’ll continue to get better and better.”

(on if he is looking forward to playing with WR DeAndre Hopkins) “Definitely. We have a lot of talent at the wide receiver position. All of the young guys are very talented. I think they’re going to help us out a whole lot.”

(on if he provided any advice to WR DeAndre Hopkins today) “We’ll go in and watch the practice and stuff. I’ll talk to him from there. He sits next to me in the meeting room. I’ll tell him what I see.”

(on how he felt to be back on the field for Organized Team Activities) “I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but football is back. It just seems like the offseason goes by so fast and then you’re right back at it. It was a lot of fun and it was great to be back out here.”

(on having QB Matt Schaub on the field for Organized Team Activities compared to a season ago) “It’s great to have everyone healthy. I couldn’t tell you the last time I did OTAs, so I’m happy just to be back out here with my teammates and everything is feeling good.”

OLB Brooks Reed
(on whether he is moving to inside linebacker) “I’m not 100 percent switching positions, but I’m trying to learn another position. It’s coming along. I’ve been in the playbook a lot, picking up little things. Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) played the position, so I’m always asking him things, but I’ll get the hang of it.”

(on what he picked up when he played inside linebacker briefly in 2012) “Just to be patient. As the SAM (strongside) linebacker when I was playing the first couple of years, you’re full-tilt, you’re going, but in the middle positions you’ve got to be more patient because you’ve got to shuffle in between players more.”

(on whether there is more thinking involved playing on the inside) “A little bit. Your eyes have got to be better, and that just takes discipline and repetition.”

(on how ILB Darryl Sharpton looked in practice) “He was good. By the end of the year, everyone is beat up. He knows what to do, he’s a smart guy, and obviously physical, so he’ll do a great job.”

(on how he feels about playing inside linebacker) “I like it, and I hope they keep me there, but it doesn’t really matter where they put me – at SAM (strongside) or middle – I’ll do both to the best of my ability.”

(on whether the coaches have told him whether he will be playing inside or outside) “Be prepared for either way, and it all kind of depends on what these new draftees do, so we’ll see. It’s just a matter of time.”

(on whether he can make it a moot point by playing great at inside linebacker) “I expect myself to be the best out there, but at the end of the day it’s their decision to keep the best 11 on the field.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on working with rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins) “It’s great. He’s been out here now since rookie minicamp for a week now, so just a great attitude, great work ethic. He’s just absorbing the whole offense. He’s getting thrown in there with us in the first group, and you can just see the talent and the ability that he brings to the table, so we’re definitely excited and it’s been good to start working with him.”

(on how much WR DeAndre Hopkins can help the offense) “He’s such a dynamic player and the run after the catch, the ability to go up and get the ball; he’s just going to bring an added dimension to our offense.”

(on taking motivation from the way the 2012 season ended) “Whenever you’re not the last team standing at the end of the day, that’s motivation to get back at what you’ve been doing and start working toward next season. Last year is in the past, and this is the time to get better individually and as a group, and if we all get better by a little bit, we’ll be right where we want to.”

(on the offense becoming more dynamic as young players begin to step up) “We definitely will be. When you add in a lot of young talent that brings a lot of ability, you’re excited for what they can do. And going into year two and year three, that’s when you see a lot of guys make the most progress and the biggest jump, so definitely excited to see those guys come out here and get back to work.”

(on whether he has changed anything in his preparation for this season) “Well, I’ll say this year not having to rehab like I was last year with my foot injury is a big plus, because I can get started right after the season getting ready for this year. It’s motivation to be the last team standing this coming year, so it was obviously a disappointment the way we ended, but it’s fuel to the fire.”

(on how he feels) “I feel great.”

(on practicing with WRs Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins) “It’s great. I’ve been working with Andre now for going on seven years, so it’s like riding a bike when it comes to our relationship and how we operate on the field, but with DeAndre’s ability and what he brings to the table and how hard he’s working to just immerse himself into the playbook, you can just see that once he gets it and once he’s in there and doesn’t have to think and can just play, it’s just going to be a big help to us.”

(on what he expects WR DeAndre Hopkins’ learning curve to be) “Well, there’s obviously a learning curve, but when you get right in there and you’re with the first group from day one, and all the meeting time we’re going to have and all the extra time on the field, he’s going to be ready. We’ve got four months til we play, so we’ve got a lot of time.”

(on the importance of WR DeAndre Hopkins practicing with the first team) “I think so. He’s in there, he’s proving himself to all the veterans. In our offensive huddle, we have guys who have been together now five, six, seven years and we’ve been in a lot of battles together. When you have a young guy that comes in and he just jumps in there and starts making plays and shows that he belongs, that’s the ultimate sign of respect for him and older guys notice that. So he’s got a ways to go, but we’re looking forward to his work and what he can do for us.”

(on whether WR DeAndre Hopkins did anything to impress him in the first practice) “It’s only day one out here, but you see that he’s not got the ‘deer in the headlights’ look. He’s ready to go and is very positive and just works hard.”

(on how RB Arian Foster looked) “It’s hard to tell on the first day, but he looks fine. He’s Arian – he’s a hard worker and he’s going to be ready to go, but he takes care of himself well.”

DE J.J. Watt
(on being back on the field for OTAs) “It feels good. This is home. All the off-the-field stuff in the offseason is a great time, but it feels good to be back on the field with the guys and playing football. It’s what we do best.”

(on how much he remembers from the last game of last season against New England) “Not one bit. I don’t remember one bit. I’m focused on 2013. That’s all I can look at and 2013 is going to be even bigger and better for the Houston Texans, myself and everybody involved in this organization.”

(on planting the seeds to develop players for the season later in the fall) “Yeah, we have to set the tone. We have a lot of new faces on this team and we have to let them know what it’s like to play in this organization and be playing in this city for this team. There is a culture around here: you work your butt off. That’s what you have to learn. These guys are doing a great job. That’s how you have success in this league.”

(on his message to the young players) “They know I’m an open book. I’m here to tell them whatever they want to hear. They also know that they aren’t going to get much advice if they’re not going to work hard. I told every single one of them, ‘You need to be willing to come in here and work your tail off and prove to us that you belong here.’ So far, these guys are doing a great job. That’s what it takes to make it in this league and especially on this team. If you’re not willing to work and put in the effort, then you’re not going to make it very long.”

(on if he keeps setting goals for 2013) “Higher and higher. Higher and higher. There is no reason to try and repeat last year. I’m trying to be better than last year. Every single day I come to work out, every day I come to practice, I’m trying to be better than I was last year.”

(on if perfection is attainable at the defensive line position) “Absolutely. I don’t see why not. Last year was fun, but nowhere near my potential. I’ve got a lot more to go and it started right here today with day one. I look forward to a lot of success this season.”

(on the feeling of working on the field compared to inside) “Your first day back, there’s a little bit of rust to knock off, but I felt pretty good. I’m a lot farther along this year, at this point, than I was last year at this point. If I can start higher, that means I’m going to finish higher.”

(on what makes him further along than last year) “I’ve got a whole ‘nother year under my belt. I have more experience, a lot more confidence. I’m bigger, faster, and stronger; it’s going to help out.”

(on if he sees himself as a leader now that he’s been here a couple years longer than many of the young guys) “Of course. This is my third year now. I’m needed to step up and that what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to become a leader of this team, and more so lead by example. I’m vocal when I need to be vocal, but I’m trying to lead by example with my effort and my play.”

(on if he feels the younger players are following his example) “Yeah, we try and turn everything into a competition. We’re always trying to get better, so whether it’s running wind sprints in the offseason or whether it’s in the weight room, whether it’s a drill, everybody is trying to be the best. With that competition everybody gets better. That’s what it’s about.”

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