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Quotes: Texans Training Camp Day 6

Posted Jul 31, 2013

Quotes from day six of Houston Texans training camp, presented by XFINITY.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
ILB Brian Cushing
WR DeAndre Hopkins
WR Andre Johnson
WR Keshawn Martin
ILB Joe Mays

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if he has any update on T Brennan Williams’ status) “His knee swelled up on him. We drained his knee yesterday. It looks fine. We’re going to calm him down here for a day or two, so I don’t know if that means he comes back after we take our break this weekend or not. He’s up and at ‘em today, but we’ll have to settle it back down and see where we’re at.”

(on if any other players have any issues) “We have a few guys with some hamstring issues. (WR) Jeff Maehl did not practice today, sore hamstring. A couple of guys nicked in practice. We’re at the end of that first week and we’ve just got to really push these last two days. It’s going to be tough, but we’ve got to push them. We tried to take the pads off of them this morning, so if we could liven them back up a little bit for Thursday and Friday.”

(on the quarterback play this morning) “We didn’t throw the ball very good in the team period. Got some tired arms, some tired legs. That’s part of it. Got to come back and be better tomorrow.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins having one of his better practices today) “Yeah, he had a really good practice. I understand he had a great one-on-one. He’s getting better every day. Rolled his ankle a little bit, but kept going. That shows some toughness as a player. He’s made of the right stuff. It’s fun to watch his development right now.”

(on how he plans to use WR DeAndre Hopkins in games, either as a rookie or a starter) “Oh no, he’ll go as a starter. Yeah, I see what you’re saying, he’s going to play more than your normal starter just because he’s so young. There’s so many guys we’ve got to look at too. There’s such a good battle going on after that with what’s happening on our team. So we’ve just got to make sure that we play those guys enough so we can make a good decision, but, yeah, he’ll play a little more than those other guys.”

(on how many different moves DE J.J. Watt has) “I don’t know. I know they work. That’s all that matters. We did our seven-on-seven and our team passed today and it seemed like we couldn’t get a ball off half the time, especially when he’s in there. That’s a good thing. That’s a good thing for us defensively and, offensively, we’ve got to find a way to block people like that that you’re facing throughout this league. It’s a great challenge every day. A great challenge to watch (G) Brandon (Brooks) go against J.J. every day in practice. If that doesn’t make you better, nothing does.”

(on if G Brandon Brooks came into training camp differently this year) “He knows what we’re doing, so he doesn’t have to grind all night on how to run 19-Force. He’s run about a couple hundred of them by now. The game gets easier for him. His talents are taking over.”

(on if he had a chance to watch ILB Joe Mays today) “I watched him a little bit. First off, his conditioning is good to come out here in this heat. He held up the whole practice. I think it helped with us going in shorts today and not banging with him right away. He’ll be a good addition to our team.”

(on what he will talk to the team about today) “None of your business. It’s top secret. I don’t even remember half the time. I was just talking about the schedule.”

(on how the team responded with having referees at practice today) “Yeah, they need that. Like I told you, it takes some aggression away sometimes and you don’t want that. We need them out here to remind them that you don’t line up offsides. We had a few pass interferences today and that type of stuff. Yeah, they’ll be with us through Friday.”

(on working a lot on down-and-distance situations and struggling a little bit on third-down last season) “Yeah, the game is played situational all of the time. So you’re trying to remind them of situations. You don’t just practice to practice. Why are we doing this? What’s the situation? We were a pretty good third-down team for a good portion of the year on both sides of the ball. Again, at the end, it wasn’t as good. I think, offensively, the thing that surprised me is we weren’t a good third-and-short team and, the way we run the ball, we should really be good. That was probably what we did the poorest and then, defensively, when you’ve got somebody third-and-15-plus, you should get off the field and I think we gave up three touchdowns of 70-plus yards on third-and-15. So a couple of glaring things going on there with our team that we have to address.”

(on ILB Joe Mays choosing to come to the Texans in part because of fitting into the 3-4 defense as opposed to a 4-3 defense) “Our inside guys, we ask them to be very active. We do a lot of blitzing and stunting. That’s why Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) is in there. He fits what we do because this guy runs extremely well. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he can catch up, but what a good addition to catch a good addition like that at this point in training camp.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins getting his ankle wrapped and if he’s okay) “He rolled his ankle a little bit, but he finished practice.”

(on RB Dennis Johnson and his performance today) “He’s been a pleasant surprise. He’s a small player, but he’s a strong player. He’s stepped up and blocked blitzes, which that’s important to me and he’s keeping up with what we’re doing. I think you all have seen it, he’s been impressive. Will it continue? We’ll see.”

(on if he’s pleased with the depth and versatility on the offensive line) “Yeah, I think we’ve got some good depth. I’m concerned about the young tackle (T Brennan Williams) we have and him keeping up with the team right now with where we’re at because he’s missed a lot of time. But I feel good about (G) Ben Jones and some of those young players that we have. It’s a good group and, right now in camp, we’re at that point where they’re really worn down, so we’ve just got to keep pushing through.”

(on if there are any other issues) “A few hamstrings today. (WR Jeff) Maehl didn’t practice and (WR) Lestar (Jean) was bothering him a little bit. Just wear and tear.”

(on what he’s concerned about on the offensive line) “I’m concerned about everything right now. I’m concerned about everybody on this team, everywhere we play, so got to keep going.”

(on his high school coach Rene Hancock attending practice and saying how he never has an attitude) “Oh, he’s a special man in my life. He was my high school coach and teacher. I worked for him when I was a kid. You name it, he was a big part of my life. It’s fun to have him come out here and see him. Coach (Jerry) Donahue from St. Thomas who I knew for many years is out here every day. It’s a great reminder where you come from. So that’s why it’s always special to me to wake up every day and work for my hometown. I grew up five minutes down the road. It’s pretty special every day.”

(on still looking like he can throw the football) “No, I promise you I can’t. Those days are over.”

ILB Brian Cushing
(on what he brings to the team) “I think I add a different dimension to the team. I think I just add a lot of things that some guys can’t bring. I think I’m a pretty good player.”

(on the Texans becoming the new ‘Texas’ team’ over the Dallas Cowboys) “I don’t think we really pay attention to that. I think for the most part, we try to be the best team that we can. I think the other things just take care of themselves.”

(on the guy on the other inside linebackers) “I think that’s what we just addressed in getting (ILB) Joe Mays and he’s an excellent football player and I think that he’ll definitely cover that for us.”

(on how his injury will play out from here) “I think the biggest thing is you just got to get healthy. We’ve got two very good starters and I know that come week one, those guys will be out there.”

(on ILB Joe Mays coming to the team) “It’s exciting bring him in. I think he’s a tremendous football player and he adds a lot to the team. Anytime you add a play maker like that it only makes you better.”

(on the hit from ILB Joe Mays on QB Matt Schaub) “Yeah for the most part, we’ve forgotten about that. You know, he was in a different uniform. I assume he’s going to be bringing that kind of stuff for us so we’re excited about that.”

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on who he would compare himself to in the NFL) “I wouldn’t compare myself to anybody in the NFL. I feel like I’m my own special wide receiver. I feel like I can do a lot of different things that a lot of guys can’t. There are a lot of great receivers in the NFL but I would put myself in my own category.”

(on the wide receivers catching tennis balls being shot out of a machine to improve their hands) “It’s been an experience. That was my first time catching (the tennis balls). You just work on your hand-eye coordination and it’s just a smaller ball. It’s coming out so you’ve got to be on it.”

(on if WR DeVier Posey brought in the tennis ball machine) “I’m not sure who did that but I see (DeVier) Posey doing it every day. So I kind of wanted to go over there and get some work in with him.”

(on being prepared knowing that QB Matt Schaub is going to try to get the ball to him) “I feel like a lot of teams are going to focus in on Andre (Johnson) so if I can take a little bit of pressure off of him and make a couple plays each game, it’s going to help the team out.”

(on how he feels physically at this point in camp) “I feel great physically. I’m following Andre’s (Johnson) routine off the field. He’s been in it for as long as he can so hopefully I’m just following in his footsteps.”

WR Andre Johnson
(on if there is anything specific he has been working on with WR DeAndre Hopkins) “No, I wouldn’t say it’s anything you can narrow down. I work on him with everything. Anytime I see him doing something or doing something wrong, I tell him about it. So I wouldn’t just say it’s one specific thing.  All the rookies’ heads are spinning right now because there’s a lot thrown at them every day. There are new plays installed and things like that so they have to learn something new every day, and including the stuff that was put in the days before. It’s a lot coming at them right now. He goes out and makes plays and you know he has mistakes. I’ve been here 11 seasons and I still make mistakes, so that’s just part of the business. But right now, out here on the field you just try to make sure you know everything and just get everything correct. “

(on how he teaches WR DeAndre Hopkins) “Yeah, me and him sit next to each other in the meeting room. Any time we are watching film or I see something, I just tell him like, ‘hey do this like this or change this up a little bit” and stuff like that. He’s willing to learn and he wants to be a great player and that’s what I love about him because he wants to be great. You know, you can’t ask for more than that. He comes out here, he works hard and that’s all you can ask for.”

(on appreciating WR DeAndre Hopkins catching skills) “Yeah, he has great hands. We were over there on the Jugs; he was snagging them with one hand like it was nothing. That’s one thing when I saw him out on the field working, which was one thing I noticed about him, the way he caught the ball. I think he’s going to be great for us. He’s going to help us out a whole lot.”

(on how the expectations are different this year than they were last year) “I mean, we don’t have all of the same players as we had last year. Every year, we have to regroup and find out what your team is made of and it’s never the same. Every year, you bring in new guys, you draft guys, and you lose certain guys so it’s a new team this year. We’re out here just trying to build up a foundation.”

(on his off-field routine that WR DeAndre Hopkins has been following) “It’s kind of weird because I was in the hot tub one morning and he came in there and was like, ‘You do this every morning?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ So every morning now, even this morning he beat me here in the hot tub, so I came in and he was already in there. It’s just little things like that. He’ll see me doing little exercises. He’s always wanting to know what is everything for. He’ll see me doing exercises and he’ll be like, ‘What does that do?’ or ‘What does this do?’ He’s willing to learn. He wants to learn. He wants to know what makes him better and that’s a great thing. That’s what I love about him. He’s willing to work and he wants to know how to be great.”

(on if he’s excited that another defender might have to go to the other side of the field to cover rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins) “Yeah. I always say that the more weapons you have, the better it makes it for everybody. It not only helps me, it helps Owen (Daniels), it helps Arian (Foster). It helps everybody. That’s a great thing.”

(on if today was rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins’ best practice) “I don’t know. Probably. He made a lot of plays today. He makes plays every day. Rookies, they have so much coming at them, they kind of go up and down. The biggest thing I try to tell him is just try to come out and be consistent every day. That’s what you try to do as a player. Just try to come out and be consistent every day. He went out and made a lot of plays and you just have to try to continue to build off of it. I’m pretty sure he will. Like I said, he’s always willing to ask questions and wants to get better. He’s a great worker and he’ll keep it up.”

(on what he’s seen in WR Keshawn Martin’s progression) “He’s comfortable. He’s very comfortable. When I saw him the first two days, that’s the first thing I said. I was like, ‘He looks so comfortable how in what he’s doing.’ I think he’s confident in what he’s doing. You can tell in his play and the plays that he’s making. I think he’s going to help us out a whole lot.”

Keshawn Martin
(on the learning curve and his improvement from a year ago as a kick returner) “Anything out here that we do, you can get better at. Kick returns, punt returns, most of it you really just have to trust in your blockers, read your blocks and just hit it.”

(on if he enjoys long kick returns or long receptions better) “I would say a long kick return because that just shifts the whole momentum of the game. If you return a long kick like that, usually you win the game.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins) “DeAndre is doing a heck of a job. He doesn’t look like a rookie. Every ball that gets thrown to him, he catches with his hands. He’s a pretty good route runner. He’s young and coming along very well. I look forward to seeing what he can do in the preseason.”

(on his biggest jump on the field being from his mental growth rather than anything physical ) “It’s a lot, mentally. Just coming out here every day and working hard, it’s a mental grind, more than physically. Some guys, mentally, they don’t have it. That’s why some guys don’t stay in this league that long. Mentally, I just try to stay level-headed, stay even-keel, and just work.”

(on discussions with head coach Gary Kubiak) “He tells me to keep working, keep making plays and keep grinding and so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m looking forward to playing on Sundays.”

(on the mental preparation of the offseason) “Being real disciplined, catching those extra balls, running routes. I was just trying to get everything down pat before I came out here for camp. Once I came out here, I just continued to work and continued to get those extra balls after practice and do as much as I can.”

ILB Joe Mays
(on talking to QB Matt Schaub) “We talked, man. It’s over with. I’m just glad to hear that everything is okay. Hopefully the fans can accept me. I know how mad they was about it and believe me I was upset too.”

(on fans accepting him when makes big hits) “I think they will be alright once I do that, so I just got to go out there and play my butt off and do whatever I can for the team.”

(on the defensive system) “I like it. I always wanted to get back into a 3-4. I played in 2010 in a 3-4 and I felt I can succeed in it. This was one of the main reasons why I chose the Texans to come play because I wanted to get into a 3-4 and I like the way they run their system.”

(on why the 3-4 is good for him) “It’s easy for the linebackers. You just play one gap and you go downhill, make a play, and then pass responsibilities is not hard either. As easy as I think it may be or I say it may be I still have to go in and put the work in, so I can try to pick up the playbook as fast I can.”

(on the other linebackers) “Oh yeah, I’m very impressed. These guys definitely know how to work. They are true professionals here, so I’m just trying to add whatever I can and adapt as fast I can.”

(on the defensive line) “Big. They big, athletic and I like it. I like the way this defense is set up and now I’ll just try and get in where I fit in.”

(on opportunity to fight for starting job) “Well, I have an opportunity to definitely fight. That’s one of the reasons why I chose here, because I can compete, come in and try to start. I definitely don’t mind playing special teams because that’s how I made it in the league is playing special teams. Now, I’m just trying to do whatever I can to get on the defense.”

(on his chances to start) “Yeah, I like my chances. If it’s open as they say it is, and I think it is, I like my chances.”

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) “I love Coach Phillips, man. He lets the players play and the defense is player friendly, so he lets us go out there, attack, and make plays. That’s definitely one of the reasons why I came here.”

(on getting mixed in early) “That’s what they told me. They told me they wanted to get me in there and throw me in the fire to see what I can do. Hopefully I did okay enough, but it’s still a learning process. I’m trying to do whatever I can and I’m trying to learn the playbook as fast I can.”

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips saying he feels better after adding him) “It makes me feel good, man. I’m glad and I’m happy that they view me as a guy that can come in and help. Now, it’s my end. I got to hold up my end of the bargain: come out, perform, and do whatever I can.”

(on what is the biggest thing he needs to do here) “I think adjust to the heat. This is different. The humidity, yeah, it’s hot out here. I have to adjust to that.”

(on adjusting to heat vs. altitude) “That’s a tough one. That altitude is a beast, too. I’ll say the heat. The heat is definitely tough. You come out here, you’re sweating, and you want to give up but you know you got to keep going.”

(on if the chance to start was the reason he came here) “Yeah, definitely. It’s that and this is a winning team. They showed the past couple years they are consistent and they go out there, put points on the board, and win football games. I know first-hand from playing them last year; they beat us when I was in Denver, so I figured I could come in and help a winning team.”

(on what other teams he explored) “I had quite a few. I had Washington, Kansas City, San Diego and Oakland. Yeah, the whole division. That’s just a couple, but I had quite a few more.”

(on getting fined and suspended last year) “That was rough, man. It was rough. I just try to come out and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. I’m not a dirty player. I know a lot of people said that and think that. I just come out play physical and play fast. That’s how I was taught growing up and that’s what I try to implement in my game each and every day.”

(on the Texans interest in him after last year’s incident) “I wasn’t worried about the players. It was more the fans. I read blogs and all that stuff. My wife does, too. She went on the internet and see all that stuff about they wanted to kill me and all types of stuff. I was just laughing, but I think I was more worried about the fans and how they would respond to me coming here. Hopefully, it’s a good one.”

(on wife finding a blog that said fans wanted to kill him) “Yeah, somewhere along the lines, but I don’t think it was serious. I think they were just mad that they thought I took a cheap shot on (QB Matt) Schaub. That’s rightfully so that they feel the way that they felt. Hopefully they feel a little bit different about me now.”

(on wife’s reaction to signing with Texans) “She was worried about how (QB Matt) Schaub was going to react. She was happy, but at the same time she was hoping that I didn’t get jumped in the locker room.”

(on what QB Matt Schaub said to him) “Oh nothing, I just spoke to him and said what’s up to him and that I’m looking forward to playing for the team. He just said, “Hey, whatever happened last year is last year. It’s water under the bridge and let’s move on.’ No hard feelings at all.”

(on if he thought the hit on Schaub was clean) “It was a football play. It’s one of those bang-bang type of plays where there is not really anything I could have done differently. With me being as short as I am, I definitely didn’t think I was going to hit him in the head and I definitely didn’t try to. At the end of the day, the NFL made the right decision and luckily I’m still playing the game.”

(on DE J. J. Watt) “He’s a big boy. He’s a big boy that can move and he’s relentless. He doesn’t have any stop in him, so I love that about football players. The fact that they can keep going and going and going because that’s how I am myself. I think I’m going to gel well with the guys here.”

Afternoon Practice:

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on any injury updates) “We came out of the morning, (WR) Jeff (Maehl) is a concern right now with a hamstring. He was back over here this afternoon. (WR) Lestar Jean has got a slight hamstring. Other than that, no, I think we’re good. We’re just going to push through these next few days and I want to hit for the next couple of days before we give them a break. Those two guys would be the concern going into tomorrow morning.”

(on if the team will be back in pads tomorrow) “Yes, we’ll be in pads tomorrow and (Friday) and, that’s when our break comes, after that (Friday) morning practice.”

(on what he’s seeing in the special teams unit and if K Randy Bullock is doing what he wants) “Yeah, I think Randy’s looked really good. He kicked really good in here yesterday. (P) Shane (Lechler) is so impressive with what he does. (P Andrew) Shapiro, the young man, at least he gives us another leg that do both in camp. I think one of the key things of getting (Specials Team Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) the help of Lig (Assistant Special Teams Coach Bob Ligashesky), I think has been good as far as us spreading out our teaching, spreading out our work. I think it’s been very good. I think are young guys are probably further along than they’ve been.”

(on if there is a battle among the return guys) “Yeah, we’ve got a lot of guys to look at from that standpoint, but the biggest thing we want to do is we want to take a hard look at (WR Alan) Bonner. We want to take a hard look at (RB Dennis) Johnson. We know what (WR) Keshawn (Martin) does. So we want to look at those guys. (FS) Shiloh (Keo) can do it. We’d also like to possibly get (WR) EZ Nwachukwu in there as a kick returner and take a look at him.”

(on what he’s seen from WR Alec Lemon) “It’s interesting, I actually told him one day, I said, ‘Alec, you’re not getting a lot of reps.’ He’s buried on the depth chart a little bit, but every time he gets a chance to make a play, he seems to make it. That’s impressive. That’s what he did in college. He’ll get some opportunities here in the preseason and we’ll see if he continues to do it.”

(on players catching tennis balls after practice) “Yeah, the coaches really like it. The players like it. If you can catch it, you ought to be able to catch that big one, so anything you can do to get better.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins’ status after this morning’s practice) “His ankle, he rolled his ankle a little bit. No, he’s fine. He finished practice. He’s good.”

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