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Quotes: Tuesday Week 1

Posted Sep 2, 2014

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media before Tuesday's practice.


T Duane Brown
RB Arian Foster
CB Kareem Jackson
CB Johnathan Joseph
FS Danieal Manning
OLB Whitney Mercilus

T Duane Brown
(on how important it is to show the fans that the team has made progress) “It’s very important. We want to first and foremost, play for each other and go out and every man be accountable and do their jobs. Coming out and starting off on our home field, we know the fans want to be out there fully supporting us. We want to give a good show and show everyone what we have in store.”

(on having Arian Foster back for the regular season) “It’s huge for us. I think Arian is a big part of this team, a big part of our offense, a very special player. When he’s out there, great things happen. It’s great to have him back there again.”

(on what concerns him most about Washington’s defense) “I think their front is very good. They have great pass rushers on the edge. Just overall, I think they play well together. They fly around. They create a lot of turnovers. They have a pretty good defense.”

RB Arian Foster
(on the news of J.J. Watt’s contract) “Any time somebody is a hard-working cat and has success in this league, you always root for him to get rewarded and that’s what he did. I’m happy for him, his family and this organization.”

(on if he has concerns about not playing in the preseason affecting him or if it’s not an issue) “Not an issue.”

(on how he is physically) “I’m wonderful, physically.”

(on opening the season against Washington) “I’m excited about that. I can’t wait to play football.”

(on if he’s looking forward to all the starters being on the field for the Texans) “Yeah, that’s what you play for. The lights (are) on. (I’m) excited about that.”

(on if he believes the Texans have the talent to be a playoff contender) “I’m really not worried about all that right now. Just one game at a time. That stuff will take care of itself as the season progresses. Just one game at a time. Right now all our focus is on Washington.”

(on what he sees from Washington’s defensive front seven) “Obviously they’ve got some proven guys: (Brian) Orakpo and (Ryan) Kerrigan. They’ve got guys up there who have been doing it in this league at a very high level so you have to respect that. They look fast and physical on tape. Every season is different so their chemistry is going to be different with new guys coming in and out. You never know how it’s going to play out but from what we’ve seen, they look like a solid front seven.”

(on if he feels the need to prove that he is an elite running back or if he worries about the perception of where he ranks among other running backs in the NFL) “No. I don’t have worries about other people’s opinions. That’s their business.”

(on if he feels like he has something to prove to himself) “Yeah. I’ve been like that since I’ve been in the NFL. I proved to myself I can play in this league and that’s part of the reason why you keep that little chip on your shoulder just because you remember the days when you had your doubts and everything like that. It’s just constantly get better every day.”

(on how hard it is for a three-down running back to go out and bang around without hitting in the preseason) “I feel like it could go both ways. I feel like if you’re a veteran player who understands how the game is played, it could work to your advantage, taking some hits off you in the preseason. On the flip side, it gets you used to the load you’re going to carry in the season. I feel like it’s pros and cons. Life is about balance so you’ve got to play the cards you’re dealt.”

(on if he takes a measure of pride in being one of the few three-down backs in the NFL) “Yeah, I mean, I guess. In the NFL they have a saying that kind of goes around the league that says, ‘The more you can do.’ I do. I take a lot of pride in being able to be a three-down back, blocking, running, catching. I feel like I’ve done it at a high level for years and I’m going to continue to do that for as long as I’m in the game.”

(on if he still has as much fun playing now as he did two or three years ago) “Yeah, absolutely. It’s fun being out there with you teammates every day. I feel like as you progress in this league, you start to realize how short of a career it is in juxtaposition with your life span. So you start to enjoy it more and more every day. Chopping it up with the guys is one of those things that you start to not take for granted.”

(on if talking to the media is as much fun as it used to be two or three years ago) “No, not at all.”

(on if there was ever a time where he enjoyed talking to the media during his career) “It’s just like part of the business. I feel like when it’s good, it’s great and everybody’s writing great things about you. When it’s bad, they’ll write bad things about you and you kind of just have to smile through all of it.”

(on if he has a different outlook heading into this season since he had a minor scare with his back injury last year) “No. I’ve always been kind of a thinker in the sense of what’s next. I’ve always thought like that. ‘What am I going to do after football?’ My perspective hasn’t changed. I don’t want to be 60 years old and not be able to walk for sure. You never know how your career is going to play out. Every play is a risk you take but that’s what we signed up for, so I’m here to do that until I’m not here anymore.”

(on if he knows how long he wants to play and if that changed after last year) “No. I’m going to play until I feel I’m done.”

(on what he wants to do after football) “Enjoy life.”

CB Kareem Jackson
(on going against Washington wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon) “Those guys have some big-play ability. I think that’s what they pride themselves on.  As a team, we just have to go out and execute.”

(on Washington QB Robert Griffin III) “He can do it either way, throwing the ball or running. We have to do the little things right and hope to contain him on Sunday.”

(on having Danieal Manning back on the team) “It’s great. For him to be back it was like we didn’t skip a beat. We know what he’s capable of in the DB room, to have him back, to be a piece of the puzzle in the secondary to go out and help us win on Sundays.”

(on Danieal Manning getting up to speed with the defense) “He’s kind of taking a crash course right now. We’re just trying to help him anyway we can and get him on the same page with everybody. That will definitely help us on Sunday.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on Danieal Manning coming back) “It’s fun, man. I’ve got him right back over in the corner in the locker right beside me. It’s a good opportunity to have him back. A proven player in this league. It’s good for us to have him back.”

(on if Danieal Manning will struggle to learn this defense) “I don’t think so. He’s been over here early in the morning the last couple days trying to pick up things from a defensive standpoint to get himself ready if he’s asked to go out there and play the game. I think he’s handled it well, coming back here and transitioning to what the coaching staff wants.”

FS Danieal Manning
“I’m excited, man, and grateful. Rick (Smith) kept his word. He told me a long time ago, that if this opportunity came, he would bring me back. He kept his word.”

(on it being genuinely exciting to be back in Houston) “It is. Like I said, not much has changed with me. I was joking around with the guys that I actually just took a little bit of a vacation because I didn’t want to practice in this heat for training camp.”

(on how he feels health wise) “I feel good. I was healthy after working with those guys up there and the training staff here, those guys got me right. I healed up well. I’m stronger than ever and I feel good.”

(on if he sees himself in a role as kick returner) “Right now, however Coach Lig (Ligashesky) wants to put it. I know we have a meeting pretty soon and I’m out there in special teams. I don’t know if he has me right now out there on kickoff return, but I don’t know if I’ll be starting this week.”

(on if he’s willing to return kicks) “Everything is still the same when I came back. It was the same way where I came from. It’s all the same.”

(on how he weighs the disappointment of it not working out with the Bengals and the excitement of coming back) “Some of that was out of my control. Some things just didn’t work out for me. All I can do is what they ask me to do and what I can control. I played all the preseason games. I made every practice. I feel like I executed all I could do. It just came down to a numbers situation. That’s the deal.”

(on what the biggest challenge will be in getting caught up with the defense) “Just getting adjusted again. Some terminology is going on, but it’s still ball when the lights come on. It’s just ball. Once you figure that out, it’s all good.”

(on walking back into this building again and if it feels like home) “It really did. It felt like I just never left. Like I said, it felt like I was just on a vacation. Some of the things that I learned there, it’s funny because it’s some of the same terminology and defense here. I kind of put that together.”

(on if the team has been clear to him about what his role is and if he has to earn his spot back as a starter) “As an older guy, I know that’s what it is. The young guys have done well and have been in this system all through preseason and OTAs, so I’m quite sure that if I want to come in that’s the way I have to get in, through that door.”

(on if it’s difficult knowing he has to compete to be a starter after being the starter for the past few years) “Like I said, I had the same experience in Cincinnati. I’ll do the same while I’m here.”

(on how much football he has left in him) “Man, I don’t know. I keep playing and it’s still fun, I’m still young, running around with those guys 10 years younger than me, so I’m going to still play.”

(on how different this defense is from the one he left) “There is a lot of flexibility in this defense. Coach Romeo Crennel, he does a lot with everybody. He uses all the guys on this team and all their skillsets, so I think that’s a big thing that we have, a big plus, and the veteran players that we have on defense.”

(on teaching D.J. Swearinger the defense last year and if the roles have reversed this time around) “Yeah, it kind of has. The new guy here, Kendrick Lewis, he’s been really helpful too. All the guys, I think they’re helping me out because I’ve been here and we’ve been friends for a while. I think that all helps out too.”

(on if he has a great appreciation of this place) “Yes, you really do. Just the city, I’m not talking bad about Cincinnati, but there’s just not much you can really do out there. My family is here and you appreciate all that, just how God sets you up with the friends and family that you meet here. The organization is great and we all learn, I feel like I learned a lot, and appreciate it more the things that you have here versus where you come from.”

(on if he was keeping up with the guys here while he was in Cincinnati) “Oh yeah, we talked a lot. I was keeping up with most of the players; I was giving them a report of what I was going through and some of the ups and downs that was going through. These guys here in the locker room, there was nothing that I really was keeping form them whether I was performing well up there or not or had a bad day at practice. They pretty much knew. I tried to, even when I was here, I tried to always be honest with the media and fans on how I played on the field. It just translated over there and they were honest with me. When it became time to make cuts, they called me and let me know. It wasn’t a lot of bad stuff going on.”

(on the reaction of some of his teammates to him being back with the team) “Some of them were looking at me like they were staring at a ghost. I guess you guys reported that I was maybe coming back before we made it official, but it was cool. I was calling and letting them know. Some of the guys I was cool with, I let them know.”

(on J.J. Watt getting his contract extension) “Man, that was amazing. Right on time. I think it’s very well deserved. J.J. has proven what type of player he is, on and off the field. Most important thing, and it’s obvious we see what he can do on the field, but off the field he’s such a great guy, man. The guys that have a chance to be in the same breath with him and play on the same field, man, it’s amazing to be with somebody like that. You’re happy that he’s able to be rewarded the way he has.”

(on what sets J.J. Watt apart from others around the league) “It’s cliché, but his work ethic with all the talent that he has. I just feel like his heart is genuine, a genuine heart. He cares about the game. He understands what it does for him. At the same time, he gives to it and it gives back to him. I think that’s one thing that everybody should know about J.J.”

(on looking across the locker room and seeing Andre Hal’s locker with No. 38 and if he’ll be able to get it back) “We talked about it. I don’t know, we have to talk to Jay Bird (director of equipment services Jay Brunetti) and the NFL. I didn’t get to meet the guy the first day I got here. Now we’ve had a chance to talk and he’s willing to give it to me, but I really don’t know yet. Now, I’m 27. It’s strange to see him running around and I’m looking around and thinking, ‘I didn’t do that.’”

OLB Whitney Mercilus
(on having Danieal Manning back on the team) “It’s good. It’s good to have him, definitely. He’s an older vet so he brings a lot of knowledge, a lot of seniority. It’s good to have him back.”

(on how much better he feels about his game coming off his performance in the last preseason game) “That’s just preseason. It’s all about moving forward, pretty much just improving each week, showing the coaches I can play every Sunday.”

(on what it means to get the regular season started) “It’s exciting. It’s a way to go out and show everybody that we’ve got something special here that we can win games and do it week-to-week.”

(on Washington’s offense) “They’ve got a pretty good team, definitely. A lot of explosive players. It’s definitely good competition to match up with.”

(on J.J. Watt’s contract) “It’s pretty cool. It’s a well-deserved contract for him and we’re very happy for him.”


 

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