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Quotes: Thursday practice

Posted Nov 21, 2013

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media following Thursday's practice.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
T Duane Brown
WR DeAndre Hopkins
FB Greg Jones
DE Antonio Smith

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) “The guys that did not practice today were (Darryl) Sharpton, he’s got a sore back. Kareem (Jackson’s) still out. Elbert Mack’s still out. (Jawanza) Starling’s still out. Everybody else was back to work today, so that would include like (Mike) Mohamed, Wade Smith, J.J. (Watt). (DeAndre) Hopkins is back, feeling better. So just four guys out and everybody else was back to work.”

(on if CB Kareem Jackson still has a chest injury of some sort) “Yeah, he’s just real sore. He’s actually run the last two days. I think I said this yesterday. So I think there have been some positive steps towards getting toward Sunday. I think he’s a game-time decision, but he still has not worked with the team. We’re trying to keep him out of any type of contact right now. Today, we worked in shorts. We did not work in pads, but we got after it pretty good. Did not want him to be a part of that, so we’ll see tomorrow.”

(on if CB Kareem Jackson does not start this week and if CB Brice McCain would start in his place) “Yeah, but we’re going to play them all. Until we signed this other guy (Justin Rogers), I think we had seven healthy DBs (defensive backs) on this team. They’re going to rotate. They’re going to all play.”

(on what he thought about FS Ed Reed’s comments yesterday about Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) “I don’t have a comment on that. I just him all the best and glad he’s getting another opportunity. Other than that, I’ve got no comment.”

(on if he’ll coach from upstairs again this week) “We talked about it last night. We’ll probably talk about it again tomorrow. Let me see. I’m in a battle.”

(on if he’s trying to get approval to coach from the sideline this week) “Oh, definitely. I’d love to, but we’ll see. I’ll let you guys know tomorrow.”

(on if the running back situation will be the same this week) “Yeah, it’ll be the same. Last week, DJ (Dennis Johnson) didn’t play much. Y’all heard me mention the word ‘protection’ a bunch last week. In the game we played against Oakland, that was a big factor and him not playing as much because of some of the things that were going on. But we do have confidence in him. He’s working well. Deji (Karim’s) working well. Y’all know we lost Ray Graham and we replaced him with a young man form Michigan State (Edwin Baker) and he’s been working for us the last two days. But we’ll go with our normal three.”

(on how much he feels for QB Matt Schaub is going through right now compared to where he was last year) “I feel a great deal for him. It’s hard for me too because of what he’s done and what’s gone on at this place with he and I working, from that standpoint. So it’s extremely difficult and I respect that. He and I have talked about that many times. I wouldn’t want it any other way and I think Matt has a lot of football left to play and I know it’s a tough situation. He gets nicked and Case (Keenum) comes in and plays real well. We’re giving him that opportunity, but I totally understand. But I think he’s handled himself with the utmost class. He’s a pro and that’s why he’s going to continue to play in this league and be successful.”

(on the threat that Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew presents) “Yeah, they’re actually playing a couple of backs. But I think we know what he has done. We had him at the Pro Bowl a couple of years ago and then he had gotten hurt and missed a lot of time. Very capable. I think, for us, (Chad) Henne, it’s easy for me to walk into a room this week and remind our guys what Henne came in and did here last year. That shootout that we were in. But I think Henne’s settled him down a little bit. He’s a veteran. To me, over the course of the last month, they’ve been in position to win football games, probably a lot like us having a hard time finishing games.”

(on how much he sees players learning from WR Andre Johnson) “Yeah, what happens though, they probably don’t realize and they’re going to realize it down the road when, all of a sudden, guys play a while and people ask them, ‘How’d you learn to practice? How’d you learn to handle yourself?’ They’re going to go back and say that guy. He’s just a rock in everything he does and so competitive in everything he does. I always tell players when training camp starts the examples of how to do things right are in the room (and) it’s your job to go find them. And it doesn’t take long to find that guy.”

(on if WR DeAndre Hopkins still follows WR Andre Johnson around like talked about in the offseason and training camp) “Yeah and it’s, to me, it’s hard on Andre too because he’s got a lot of guys pulling on him, but Andre’s unselfish from that standpoint. But yeah, Hopkins played a lot of football and I know Andre’s tried to help the best he can. We’ve got a lot of young players there. He and (DeVier) Posey are still very young guys, and Keshawn (Martin) is a very young guy. So kind of growing up together.”

(on how hard this season has been on WR Andre Johnson) “Oh, I know it’s very difficult on him. It’s difficult on everybody. But you’re asking me about Andre, yeah and Andre got a great taste the last two years of success and winning playoff games. He’s always had individual success as a player, but he got a taste of what it’s like to play in January and play in those big games. There’s no substitute for that. So that makes its even tougher, but it makes you appreciate things too I think.”

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
(on his thoughts regarding Ed Reed’s comments yesterday) “As far as Ed Reed’s comments, from what he said and what I can gather, I don’t think he’s going to ask me to induct him into the Hall of Fame and do the Hall of Fame speech for him. When he does go into the Hall of Fame, wherever I am, I’m going to be clapping my hands and saying, ‘Hey, well deserved,’ because he’s been a great, great player in this league. There are players cut, coaches fired, disappointments in this league and in life, and I believe the way you deal with those things tells a lot about what you are and who you are. As far as our scheme is concerned, I think a lot of players have fit into it real well. I just let the record speak for itself. We’ve got seven guys on defense that have been here since I’ve been here, and I feel like they play real well within it. When we let Ed go, I went down to the training room. I looked him right in the eye, shook hands with him, and I said, ‘Thank you.’ I said what I said to y’all that day, ‘It was an honor to coach a guy that’s going to be in the Hall of Fame and I wish you good luck.’ The truth is the truth.”

(on the season that DE J.J. Watt is having) “J.J. is a fantastic player. He’s everything as advertised. You can see it every week; I think the quote average fan who doesn’t watch the defensive line all the time sees him show up. I think it’s just obvious to everybody. Of course, if you see it on TV, I know they replay his tremendous plays, but they don’t do all of them and don’t do all of them justice really. He’s just a fantastic player with a great attitude and has become a really good leader for us. I think that will help us in the future.”

(on DE J.J. Watt excelling despite a disappointing season as a team) “He’s a phenom. I used to tell those guys, ‘Some guys are better than the rest of them.’ Well, he’s better than the rest of them.”

(on if he’s become extra motivated after not recording any stats against St. Louis last month) “I think he’s always motivated all the time. It’s hard to say. You’d have to ask him on that kind of thing, but there is not anybody more focused on football, especially during the season that I’ve been around in a long time.”

(on if offenses have figured out what they have to do to avoid DE J.J. Watt) “Well, I don’t know. It has a lot to do with how many passes they are throwing. We haven’t been ahead in the games. Those are opportunities to make plays and we just haven’t been in that situation enough to be able to let him loose on all of that.”

(on what concerns him about the Jaguars offense and particularly QB Chad Henne who had a big game against the Texans last year) “Henne had a big day against us last year. We respect their quarterback, his ability and he’s really smart. He really threw deep the ball really well against us last year, which is something we pride ourselves on not giving up very often. That’s why we are we are on pass defense. We don’t give up a lot of big plays. He made a whole bunch of them in that game last year.”

(on the inside linebacker position right now) “It’s pretty much a juggling routine every week, as far as inside backer is concerned. (Darryl) Sharpton didn’t practice again today. We’ve got some concern about his situation, but we did get Joe Mays back and (Jeff) Tarpinian is practicing, but a different position than he started last week. That’s where we are.”

(on if there’s something about the scheme that results in inside linebackers getting hurt a lot) “Yeah, I think it could be that (joking).”

(on the way ILB Jeff Tarpinian played last week) “On our coaches’ tape, we had him for nine tackles and seven assists. So he had 16 tackles, made 16 plays in the game, and covered pretty well. He was really active. Obviously, he’s got some things that he can do better, as we all do. I thought he played, for his first game, first starting game, a new defense, new scheme, I thought he did well.”

(on how quickly ILB Jeff Tarpinian picked everything up) “Pretty well. We pride ourselves on being player friendly. Players not making mentally mistakes defensively. There are still techniques involved in all of that. You’ve got to hone in on those things. He didn’t make many mistakes mentally and that’s our first step to be able to let him play the game without making mental mistakes.”

(on if the defense is missing some leadership on the back end given the young safeties starting) “D.J. (Swearinger) has come in and played tremendously well, except for one tackle obviously. We play with who we have and they are young, but they’re energetic. They’re doing some good things. They make some mistakes, but they’re guys that we count on right now and they’re worth counting on.”

(on if he is surprised by how FS Shiloh Keo has played) “No, I knew he’d come in and play a role like he’s played, and had some interceptions, had some production. We’re pleased with that. Like everybody though, we need one more play.”

T Duane Brown
(on if the game this week is one that they can’t take for granted) “No, can’t take anything for granted. That’s definitely a lesson we’ve learned, can’t take anything for granted, can’t look past any team. Jacksonville, we know we’re going to get their A game when they come in here on Sunday. But we’re fighting for our third win. That’s all we can worry about. They have a tough defensive front. We’re very familiar with them, so we know what to expect. We’re just going to go out and play hard.”

(on if there’s always bad blood between them and Jacksonville) “Oh, yeah. It’s been like that for a while. I don’t think it will change any this week. We always play each other very tough no matter what the record is. So this Sunday will be no exception.”

(on if the Jaguars look at the Texans right now and see some opportunity) “I’m sure they do. I’m sure they do. They’ve been playing pretty good football the last couple of weeks, so they’re to keep that run going. We’re on an eight-game losing streak, so I’m sure they’re smelling blood and they want to come in here and give us a nice one. This is a hungry team. We’re going to fight. We’re going to battle. We’re looking to fight on Sunday and I expect the same for them.”

(on if he feels for a guy like WR Andre Johnson with how this season has gone) “Yeah, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for him. He’s been in this organization for over a decade. He’s seen the highs and lows. Coming off of two playoff seasons, everyone thought that this kind of streak would be behind us and we would never face this at this point. But it’s tough. It’s the NFL and it happens. The best thing about him and watching him is about how he goes about his business day-to-day and week-to-week. He’s out there playing some of the best football he’s played in his career. It’s motivating us as well.”

9on what kind of teammate WR Andre Johnson is) “He’s a great teammate. He’s a man of few words, but he goes out and leads by example. He’s a true professional. He comes in every day; he gets here early and just goes about his business like I’ve never seen a guy that late in his career do. He’s a student of the game. He practices hard, plays hard and that’s all you can ask for.”

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on how he bounces back from a disappointing game and if he has talked to Gary Kubiak about it) “No, I don’t worry about stuff like that. I just try to go out there and do my job, whatever I’m assigned to do. That’s what I try to do.”

(on if Sunday was the first time he had been benched for mistakes) “Yes.”

(on what kind of mistakes he made in the game) “It was a MA (missed assignment) on a play. That’s it. It was one route that I messed up on. I guess I didn’t have that much room to mess up on, so one play got me benched.”

(on his reaction when he was taken out of the game) “I wasn’t too happy because I’m a competitive person. I like to be on the field, so I wasn’t happy. It wasn’t a happy feeling.”

(on if he responds well to situations like that) “Oh yeah. You’ve got to. You can’t put your head down over something like that. You have to keep going to the next play.”

(on having one catch for 7 yards and if he takes that as a challenge to improve and move on) “no I don’t really look at stuff like that. Each game is a different game. Win or lose, you have to go out and try to play your best. Zero catches, zero yards, you’ve got to do what you can.”

(on if he’s concerned about his dreadlocks after a Jacksonville defender pulled some out last week) “No, I’ve had them since high school and they haven’t been pulled yet, so I think I’ll be alright.”

(on what it’s been like to learn from WR Andre Johnson and watch him on a daily basis) “Just watching him, you learn a lot. You don’t really have to ask too many questions. You just try to go out there and do what he does and do it better. I don’t want to be Andre. I want to be DeAndre.”

(on if he finds himself thinking he needs to make the big play when the team is struggling) “No I don’t think like that because that’s when you press yourself and you try to do more than you’re capable of doing. All you can do is what you’re capable of doing and your ability to do. I really don’t go out there trying to think this is where I have to make a big play. If there is a call for me to get the ball or he reads me and I’m open, then I go out there and try to do what I can.”

(on if they’ve been working on their red zone offense) “We’ve worked on it the same each week. We don’t press it more than the different. I know we haven’t had the success in the red zone, but we’re going in looking at it as the same.”

(on if WR Andre Johnson has motivated him after watching how great he is and the way he makes plays) “Yeah, of course. I think he motivates the fans. They think they can go out there and play football after watching Andre. He motivates me, especially being beside him and learning little things that he picks up on. I try to do it and I might not be as fast at picking up on it, but I’m not too far behind.”

(on if the competitive young receivers help to push him even more) “Those guys are in the NFL, so it’s always a competition. They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t capable of making plays on this level. It pushes me when I’m out there going against a NFL defender. That’s what pushes me.”

(on if he sticks to his routes or breaks off when QB Case Keenum leaves the pocket) “Case, we know he’s capable of making plays outside of the pocket so we know we kind of have to be on alert when he’s scrambling around. It’s kind of a clock in your head. You don’t want to break off your route too early, but at times, when the crowd is screaming and you’re not getting the ball, you know something is happening. More than likely, it’s Case scrambling around.”

FB Greg Jones
(on if there’s some bad blood playing his former team this week) “No, because it’s a lot of new faces on the other side. There’s one or two guys that may still be there that I’m still cool with. For the most part, it’s a whole new everything over there.”

(on Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew having nice things to say about him) “Yeah, it is what it is. That’s one of my closest friends. I’ve got some things to tell him. I think I’m going to tell him that out there on Sunday.”

DE Antonio Smith
(on facing Jaguars QB Chad Henne and what concerns are going into this game) “Stopping them and getting the win. I don’t care how we do it, we just need a win. I think the greatest thing about his game is that he gets the ball off fast, so it stops you form making big plays and sacks and things. But in watching film, he does throw picks. As long as we can keep a lead on them and keeping them passing that ball, I think we’ll be able to get him.”

(on FB Greg Jones saying that the Texans and Jaguars don’t like each other and if he agrees that there’s a dislike between them) “Maybe the first year was like a little rivalry thing going on.  These last few years, I don’t think it’s been that bad of a game. It wasn’t one of those games you’ve got to ‘break them or break us a part’ every snap and things like that.”

(on the parity between the Texans and Jaguars this season) “Now, it might be another rivalry, since we’re both on the same playing field. In the past, I don’t think it was like that, last year and the year before. I always like a good battle. They can hate me all they want. They can come in the best they’ve got. It just makes it more fun for me.”

(on some people in the media going through the schedule before the season and picking wins, and if the Texans can’t take this game for granted) “You dang sure can’t. You can’t chalk anything up. I’ve learned that thus far in this year. I’m not going to lie, us players do do that. I did that when we first got the schedule during the year. I’ve been wrong almost every one of them. You can’t do that this game. I’m not going to give any extra fuel. I know y’all want me to say it. You can’t chalk it up to be a win, but I would love it to be a battle anyway. I think that’s something that we need. We don’t need a blowout or anything. We need a drag out, earn the win type of win.”

(on what he thinks about FS Ed Reed’s comments about this team and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) “You just have to take it for what it is. Everybody has their opinion, like y’all have got y’all opinions. He has his opinions. I don’t know what to say about that. All I can say about it is it’s his opinion.”

(on if he thinks Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme is a good fit for the defensive players here) “I like the scheme. I don’t know if anybody else feels that way. I can’t speak for them. Everybody has their own voice, so I can’t speak for everybody. But I like getting up the field and having a little fun.”

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