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Quotes: Wednesday practice

Posted Oct 17, 2012

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

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Texans President Jamey Rootes
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
LT Duane Brown
ILB Tim Dobbins
RB Arian Foster
DE David Hunter
FS Danieal Manning
QB Matt Schaub
DE J.J. Watt

Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh Conference Call
Baltimore RB Ray Rice Conference Call
Baltimore WR/RS Jacoby Jones
Baltimore FB Vonta Leach
Baltimore S Bernard Pollard

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team’s health in practice today) “Practice-wise, (CB) Johnathan Joseph definitely did not practice. We had a number of guys who were limited in practice. Let’s see if I can remember all of them. (RB) Arian (Foster) was one of them. (ILB) Bradie James was one of them. (DE) Antonio Smith, we had a few guys on a limited basis but Johnathan was the only guy that did not practice at all.”

(on CB Johnathan Joseph’s health)  “I think there are concerns until he gets back on the field. We’ve been down this road before so we know what we’re dealing with. He’s very upbeat today. I like our chances, but I’m going to wait. It’s probably going to be an end of the week decision. We know he’s very capable of going out there and playing. He’s done it before and he’s got a good break coming after this. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to have him with us.”
(on if they would possibly give CB Johnathan Joseph this weekend to rest in addition to the upcoming bye week) “I don’t ever think that way. We’re all hands on deck to go win a football game. If the doctors tell me that they think it’s a problem with it, you think we should hold him, if they tell me that then we definitely do it. To sit here today and say that’s what we should do for the long haul, I think we got to give him a chance because he’s been down this road before and played extremely well. We got to give him a chance to do it again. It’s a very big game.”

(on CB Johnathan Joseph’s injury) “It’s the same thing, just dealing with some groin soreness. We’ve given him some days off before because of it. As of today, there’s nothing but we’ll see where we’re at in a couple days. I don’t expect him to practice tomorrow. I’ll tell you that.”

(on RB Arian Foster’s and ILB Bradie James’ status) “Just a lot of snaps, (ILB) Bradie (James) went from a 30-play player to a 60-plus player and it’s going to happen the rest of the season so I’ve got to protect him in a new way come practice time with how me and (Linebackers Coach) Reggie (Herring) and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) have to handle him. (RB) Arian (Foster), same thing. (RB) Ben’s (Tate) back to work full-time. Ben needs to work. Ben  needs to get back going so he had a really good day today. (DE) Antonio (Smith’s) had a sore foot and some things going on. Just some guys with a lot of soreness that we got to be careful with.”

(on the secondary’s play) “Well last week we got it thrown on us pretty good, faced a great player and you give up six touchdown passes; that’s tough to deal with. But I think we’ve got an excellent secondary. I expect us to bounce back. We’ve got a lot of good players back there. I think everybody was involved in throwing six touchdowns not just the back end. I think it’s getting to him and us holding the ball a little bit offensively, running the ball better. It happened so we got to move on, got to be a lot better.”

(on being winless against the Ravens in franchise history) “We went down that road a couple weeks ago with the Jets, if I recall, so we know that path. Hopefully we can change that. They’re an excellent football team. They’re physical games when we play with them. Special teams are big when we play these guys. Obviously the fact that we’re both 5-1, I know it’s early in the season but a game carries a lot of weight down the road so we know the importance of the game. We bounced back today. We had a really good response today in our attention to what we’re doing and practiced a lot of young guys but they were very good and into what we’re doing. We understand how big the game is. They all carry the same weight, but this one is pretty darn important.”

(on why the offense hasn’t been able to throw deep to WR Andre Johnson) “Well a couple things, I would say people are paying a lot of attention to him. You got to hold up to get the ball down the field. We’re not running the ball well. If you see us running the ball from whatever it was the other night, it wasn’t good we’re going to have a hard time beating and getting the ball down the field and holding the ball in the play pass. That was pretty obvious from early in the game. We got into more of a quick count mode, had to get rid of the ball quick because of their pressure. That’s the way we had to move the ball the other night. If we run the ball, we’ll have our chances to go down the field but it starts with us running it.”

(on how disappointed he is in being ranked No. 24 in average yards per carry) “I’d like that to be a heck of a lot better. What are we sixth, seventh running the ball though in the league? There’s something to be said for that. We’ve been on the field more than anybody in football. I think that’s still true. We’re going to run the ball. I’d like have the average per carry be a lot better from that standpoint. It’s like looking at throwing. I think throwing, we’re like 17th or 18th but we’re in the top six or seven in yards per attempt, which that’s what I look at. That means you are making big plays. Statistics are there for me to study and look that, but there are a lot of things that go with winning and losing, and we didn’t do the things that help us win the other night.”

(on if he considers the Texans a running team) “I think everything we do kind of starts with us being physical as a team. If that means running it, yeah, stopping the run, yeah. That’s extremely important. I don’t know what we’re going to have to do to win each game. I really don’t. I thought the other night once we got going we were going to have to throw the heck out of it, especially in the second half to win. I don’t know what’s going to happen this week, how it’s going to play out but I know it’s extremely important that we handle the run better than we did.”

(on if it’ll be weird to not face Ravens LB Ray Lewis) “I’ve been against him many, many times through my career, and I don’t know that I’ve ever lined up without him being on the other side. We’re both in the same boat. They lost a great player. We lost a great player. That’s part of this league. There are a lot of other guys that are going to be a part of this game. It’s going to be their team against our team and they have an awfully good team. We’re going to have to play very well.”

(on the impact of not having ILB Brian Cushing last Sunday) “Well we’re going to miss (ILB Brian Cushing) Cush. There’s no doubt about that, but he’s not coming back so we’ve got to move forward. Their team is in the same situation there, but I don’t know that one player was going to be the difference in 42 points. We’re all in this together. We didn’t play good enough as a team. Brian or no Brian, so we understand that.”

(on if G Antoine Caldwell passed his concussion test) “He passed the portion that puts him back on the practice field. He did not pass the portion that would allow him to play yet. He was at practice today.”

(on the best way to move on from a loss) “Just go back to work. We’re in a business of response. It’s what our business is all about really. You’re going, you’re going, you’re doing things good and all of a sudden you get in the mouth and it’s not good and you got to respond. We’re starting to respond today and can’t play quick enough. I can tell you that, but that’s part of this league. If we’re going to be a good team, we got to be able to handle these types of things.”

(on OLB Whitney Mercilus and his role) “He did okay. He’s got a ways to go. He hasn’t had a ton of reps. We have two players in (OLB) Brooks (Reed) and (OLB) Connor (Barwin), they’re out there all the time. They’re guys that don’t miss snaps. So he hasn’t had a lot of snaps, but he did get a few, did a few good things at the end of the game. That should pick up for him. He got a ton of practice today because we do have to rest some of those other guys. Throughout the course of these next 10 games, he’s going to have to become a factor. He’s going to have to play better than a rookie. We’re going to expect a lot out of him. I’ll tell you that.”

(on the outside linebacker production) “I like the effort we’re getting. Obviously, the production when you take (OLB) Brooks (Reed) and you take (OLB) Connor (Barwin) you want that sack total to go up and that production to go up. But I think they’re playing well. I think they’re working extremely hard. I think it will come. I really do. The other night it just seemed like when we got there he was getting the ball gone quick and when we couldn’t get there he was making some huge plays. That’s a bad combination. (DE) J.J. (Watt) continues to play well. Everybody else has to pitch in and spread it around a little bit. Everybody’s got to be a part of the success.”

(on what he sees on film about the lack of production from OLB Connor Barwin) “I think a lot of times in this game it’s kind of like being a receiver. You go out there and run the best dang routes anybody can possibly run, but if coverage takes you away by rotation or the progression, or the quarterback, people wonder what happened. I think (OLB) Connor (Barwin) is playing very hard. I think Connor’s technique is excellent. I think he’s very close to having three sacks the other night, but it didn’t happen. We need his production to go up. He’s working his tail off to get it up. I believe it’ll happen because of the way he goes about his business. I believe in Connor. I know it’ll come. He’ll just keep working. Let’s hope it starts this week.”

President Jamey Rootes
(on Houston bidding for Super Bowl LI in 2017) “Really exciting news yesterday to be notified by the National Football League that Houston will have a chance to participate in the bidding process. We would anticipate to receive the bid documents in November and our bidding team will come together here shortly to prepare our plan, receiving the documents in November; and then May 20 through the 22, there will be a League meeting in Boston and we’ll have a chance to present. Actually, it’s going to be a two-step process, because they are doing Super Bowl L and LI at the same time. San Francisco and South Florida will participate in the first presentation and voting process, and then depending on that outcome, the city that’s not selected will go head-to-head with Houston for the opportunity for Super Bowl LI. We all know we’ve got a fantastic city; we’ve got the best fans in the National Football League; we’ve got one of the great stadiums on the planet; and we have the most friendly people in the world. I think there are a lot of reasons why Houston ought to feel very optimistic about our chances, but it is the most competitive beauty pageant you can imagine. Everybody wants this game, and we’re going to go work hard to try to earn it for Houston.”

(on what he and the Houston bidding team have learned from bidding on Super Bowl XLVI) “I don’t know that there a lot of specifics. You don’t get a debriefing afterward; you put together your package, they put them up side-by-side with the other cities, and then it’s a secret vote among the owners. No one really knows who voted for who, so they can’t really tell you a whole lot about it, but we felt like we had a very competitive bid last time. The interesting thing is the process has changed since the last time we went about this. It used to be it was an all-comer – whoever wants to present, for the most part. Now, they solicit interest, and so there are a lot of cities in America that have solicited interest in both of these Super Bowls, and they’ve narrowed down to these three cities for two opportunities. So it’s the first step for the Super Bowl Advisory Committee to say, ‘We want you. We think you have a legitimate shot of winning this, and we know that you can do a great job of hosting the game.’ So in some ways, we’ve already won, but in another, more accurate way, we’ve got our work to do as we prepare for May.”

(on whether the bidding process has already been a benefit to Houston) “Oh, absolutely. It’s benefited Houston because it is a kind of seal of approval on the front end, and it’s not a wild card as to whether you do or you don’t match what the League is looking for. Every year, there’s a little bit of a different theme to the Super Bowl, and so for whatever reason, for (Super Bowls) L and LI, particularly LI, Houston meets those criteria. I think the idea is for Super Bowl L to look back at 50 years of Super Bowls, and then LI would be to look forward to the next 50 years of Super Bowls, and I can’t think of a better city of the future. Our demographics, we are America in the future and we’ve always been an innovative, forward-thinking town, so I think there’s a lot of reasons why Houston ought to feel good about our opportunity.”

(on how the new San Francisco 49ers stadium will compare with Reliant Stadium) “I would say in a lot of ways, when you have a new stadium, it’s a game-changer, so San Francisco certainly should feel very good about their opportunity; but to be in the competition, whether it’s against San Francisco or Miami, is a lot better than sitting up in the stands watching the competition. So we’re going to do our very best to put our best foot forward. Each one of these bids is going to have strengths and weaknesses; one of the great strengths that we have is this stadium, Reliant Stadium, and the ability to decide a game under ideal conditions. Since the last time that we did this, there’s been a game decided in a downpour, and when we go to New York (for Super Bowl IIL), who knows what the weather’s going to be like? But we know for sure at Reliant Stadium, the game is going to be decided under ideal conditions. Then you add all the other things that Houston can do. We’ve had more experience. We’ve had the Final Four right here. We now have one of the great college bowl games in America (the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas) – the fourth-best attended bowl game in America – and now our team is starting to get significant national exposure. And while it may sound like a small thing, perceptually, that’s a big deal, because up until Sunday night, there were a lot of people across the country that didn’t know how special the Texans experience at Reliant Stadium is. But let me tell you something: when those lights went on, the cameras rolled, the pink-out and just the energy and the excitement, they may not know anything about Houston, but they walked away with an incredibly positive perception of our community. And we’re going to have several times this year to be on national television, and that makes a big difference in people’s minds.”

(on how much Houston’s experience with the Super Bowl bid process helps moving forward) “Any time you do something for the first time, it’s a lot easier the second time and the third time, and so we’ve got a very experienced crew – the same folks who have been involved from the beginning when we first hosted the Super Bowl in 2004 (Super Bowl XXXVIII) – a lot of those same faces will be around the table. We’ve learned a lot. We know a lot more about what the ownership is looking for, how those decisions are made, so it’s an interesting process. People talk about the administrative staff and all the logistics of the bidding, et cetera, but at the end of the day the 32 owners are going to cast their votes and nobody’s going to know who they voted for. It’s a very interesting process, and I think we’ve got a good handle on how we can go about setting ourselves up to win.”

(on what the economic impact of the Super Bowl would be for Houston) “I don’t know what it will be as you look out into the future, but I think Houston was something like $300 million the last time we hosted the Super Bowl (in 2004), so it’ll be far in excess of that. It’s a game-changer for a community, and that’s why people work so hard for it.”

(on whether Houston would bid for future Super Bowls if it isn’t awarded Super Bowl LI) “I think Houston is in the mix. Like Bum Phillips, bang on that door and then knock it down is the approach you have to take. The more times you come to the table, and now we’re in a position where we’re being asked to come to the table, eventually something good will happen for you. We hope it’ll happen for Super Bowl LI, but we’re going to continue at it because we know how important it is for Houston.”

(on the NFL rule that a new stadium must be open for two seasons before it can host a Super Bowl) “Well, they wouldn’t have given San Francisco the opportunity to participate in the process if they weren’t confident that they would be able to fulfill all of the requirements. I think that’s for all three cities. They had to say, ‘Look, if we say yes to these guys, do they meet our standards?’ So I just have to assume that it’s (San Francisco’s new stadium) going to meet the standard.”

(on whether the timing of San Francisco’s stadium construction could give Houston an advantage) “San Francisco is going to be a very strong competitor. We’re not in that first wave, so we have to face whoever comes out of it. All we can really control is ourselves; we can only control the quality of the bid we put forth and the steps that we take over the next several months, and I know we will do as good a job as can possibly be done. We’ve got a great community, a great group of community leaders that care deeply about this city and know the impact that this event can have on our community, so we’re going to have an outstanding bid and lobby hard and let the chips fall where they may.”

(on how Houston hosting the 2016 NCAA Final Four impacts the Super Bowl bid process) “It creates logistical challenges for the availability of the stadium, full stop, and that is what it is. When you start booking events, you have the (Houston Livestock Show and) Rodeo – this is a busy facility, so we’re not always going to be able to participate in the process.”

(on how the status of the Astrodome affects Houston’s bid) “I can’t say now, and I’m not sure right now all the things that will help make this bid great. We’re going to sit down and we’re going to talk about those. It could relate to that; it could relate to the stadium infrastructure. Hopefully there will be some exciting things that we’ll be talking about in May, kind of game-changers that will make Reliant Stadium an even better facility for the Super Bowl, but that’s all yet to be determined.”

Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on what improvements need to be made in the Texans’ running game) “Certainly we need to do things better. It’ll happen periodically. You have to credit the Packers; they did a great job. So we’ll take a look at things we didn’t do so well with and try to improve on them. Nobody’s in a panic mode or anything. I think our running game will be fine. We’ll just have to correct the things that we did wrong.”

(on how to prevent other teams getting the penetration the Packers got against the offensive line) “I think we have to do a better job with our cadence. We have to do a better job just with our footwork, in general. Again, that was one game and we have to correct those things and certainly, anytime you don’t play as well as you should, you try and use that as a teaching vehicle and hopefully we can get that corrected.”

(on if he agrees with Baltimore RB Ray Rice’s experience that as a running back he needed to become a part of the passing game as a blocker and receivers to become more valuable to the offense) “I can’t speak for anybody else. Every offense that I’ve been involved with, the backs are certainly a part of the passing game, not only in protection, but in running routes. (RB) Arian (Foster) has proven to be a fine receiver when we’ve thrown to him and we will continue to do that; not just a check-down but a primary receiver. So I can’t speak for Ray Rice. He’s a fine player. I think he does everything very well. Like I said, if you go back to the years that I’ve been around, we’ve always used a running back as a receiver and a protector.”

(on how rookie WR Keshawn Martin has come along this season) “He keeps taking strides. We just have to keep working him in, getting him the ball. The ball will come when the time comes. I think (WR) Keshawn’s (Martin) learning a lot as we go. He’s playing faster and faster. I think that’s one of the keys. So is (WR) DeVier (Posey). He played fast. He got some things done. Certainly we have to correct both of them, just like everybody else. The young players, we’ve just got to keep working with them and get them developed as fast as we possibly can and as fast as they can go because they’re going to be part of our offense.”

(on what makes Baltimore S Ed Reed a future Hall of Famer) “I think his ball skills and his instincts are as good as anybody, if not better. He’s always around the ball. If he gets within an arm length of the ball, he catches it. He’s such a difference-maker in that regard. He must study the game tremendously because he’s always where we think we’re going to go with the ball. He’s always been that way.”

(on the Baltimore defense stepping up despite being without some key players) “Certainly, with the Ravens, they’ve got a fine coaching staff and I know they’re going to get guys prepared. I know those guys’ reputations and I know a couple of them personally and they’ll do a great job on defense with the guys that they’re playing. We assume that they’re going to give us everything that we got. It will be a tough task. I don’t care who’s playing. They’ve still got fine players; Ed Reed and (Haloti) Ngata. They’ve got a great defense and whoever they’re playing, their scheme has year-in and year-out been great. So it’s going to be a task for us. It doesn’t matter who is on the field, they’re going to play.”

(on what the difference is facing Baltimore’s defense this year from years past) “I can’t really tell you what the difference is. I think we’re playing hard and they’ve got players. It’s going to be a challenge for us because they’re coming in here and they’re a good defense. They’ve got great players.”

LT Duane Brown
(on the Baltimore game) “Big challenge this week. Traditionally, great team, been playing pretty well this year. Just another tough test for us that we got to rise to.”

(on if revenge is a factor) “It’s a lot of things that play into the game this week. First and foremost, you want to get a win, no matter who it is. Besides that, you want to put forth our best effort, bounce back from our disappointing performance last week. It’s always been hard-fought games against these guys. We’ve faced them like six times now, a couple hard fought games last year. We really want to get the upper hand this year. We really want to make the plays you have to make at crucial points in the game to just come out on top. We know how tough of a game it’s going to be every time you play them, that’s just how it is. We’re looking forward to it though.”

(on added emotion because of their last meeting) “You don’t think about it that much. It’s a new year, a new team and, more than anything, we’re just looking to bounce back this week and be the team that we know we are and play the way we know we’re capable of playing. We’re not so much worried about the playoff loss.”

(on the importance of winning and having the best record in the AFC) “We’re not looking so much toward the end of the season and records and things like that, we still have a lot of football to play. We do know that we win this game, we can head into our bye week being the top team in the AFC and that would be a great thing for us.”

(on if it’s strange to think that the Texans and Ravens are the only two teams in the AFC with winning records right now) “It is strange, and I just heard that for the first time yesterday and that’s crazy. But like I said, there’s still a lot of football left to play, and we’re very fortunate to be in the position we are right now.”

(on getting the bad taste out of his mouth from the Packers game) “Yeah, we definitely want to do that. We’re trying our hardest to put Sunday night behind us. We came in today preparing for a new team and having the best practice we could. Everybody seemed pretty focused, pretty locked in, flying around. It would be good. It’s the only way to lose the thought is to go out and win this week.”

(on playing the ravens for the third time this year) “A lot of familiarity. We know what we’re getting, we know the talent that they have over there, we know what to expect of them; from an offense standpoint, what their defense brings. It’s pretty good to have that familiarity and to know the personnel, know formations that they’re going to give you, know blitzes that they’re going to give you. It helps us out in preparation heading into this week. At the same time, we know it’s going to be a hard game, it’s going to be a tough challenged so we got to go out there and execute.”

ILB Tim Dobbins
(on playing last weekend) “I did not play that many plays but hopefully I get to play a lot more this week than I did last week. We ran a lot more dime last week, and I’m hoping we don’t do that this week.”

(on how many snaps he got against the Packers) “I don’t know, probably like 20 or 30.”

(on if he wants more snaps than that) “Yes, sir. Definitely. Obviously I want to play”

(on how he held up in practice) “I practiced the whole time, I held up pretty well.”

(on if getting comfortable is what he needs to work on) “Yes, sir. Definitely got some more reps today, got more comfortable with the scheme that we’re planning on running this week.”

(on whether or not he’ll say hello to Ravens WR Jacoby Jones if he runs across the middle on a pattern)  “Definitely. Anyone crossing the middle, you want to say hello to him.”

(on if WR Jacoby Jones will talk trash) “I’m pretty sure he will. Obviously, he’s coming back to the team that he was just with. Obviously, he wants to have a big game to let them know they shouldn’t have let him go.”

(on if he talks trash) “No, I don’t think I do. I don’t really pay attention to what’s going on; I think about what’s going on, on the field, like they plays they’re running and whatnot.”

(on a big stop he had last year affecting his amount of playing time this weekend) “It just depends on what they’re doing. Obviously, we try to form our defense around the plays that they’re playing. So if they’re doing a certain situation then I could be out there or I couldn’t. But according to the play from last year, that was last year. We’re talking about this week. We’re talking about them, this week.”

(on confidence) “Confidence, I got plenty of confidence, we all got confidence. We lost that one game and everyone’s talking about confidence. We’re bouncing back, we’re focused, and we had a good day of practice.”

(on if he wants revenge from last year) “Not revenge, just another year.”

RB Arian Foster
(on if he thinks the team will bounce back from its loss to Green Bay) “Yeah. It’s part of the game. You win some, you lose some. You don’t want to, but it happens. It’s all about how you rebound from it.”

(on the Texans’ running game) “I think, anytime you play this game you always have work to do. We’re no different right now, so that’s what we have to do.”

(on if he has any idea why he has had big games against the Ravens) “No. It could be coincidence. Who knows? I just play the team in front of me.”

(on if he has talked to Baltimore LB Ray Lewis since his season-ending injury) “Yeah, I talked to him. I think it was a sad day for football when he went down. He’s been the face of the NFL on the defensive side for years. To see him go down like that; it’s never a good thing to see one of your comrades fall. He’s such a good dude and he works hard. I just wished him well, a speedy recovery and hopefully he bounces back.”

(on how much it affects a team when it loses a player like LB Ray Lewis) “He’s a Hall-of-Famer. It’s hard to replace a Hall-of-Famer; but in the same breath that front office or whoever makes decisions over there always has defensive players ready to go and step up. You can’t take it light, by no means.”

(on the keys to being successful against the Ravens’ defense) “You just have to play physical because that’s what they do. They play a physical game and you have to be disciplined and you can’t get frustrated because they’re going to make some plays. They have, it was three, now it’s two Hall-of-Famers over there. Haloti Ngata, I think is going to be a Hall-of-Fame guy. Ed Reed, he’s going to make some plays. That’s just how they’re built, so you can’t get frustrated.”

(on the challenges Baltimore NT Haloti Ngata presents) “I think he’s one of the best in the game. Period.  He’s going to go down as one of the best to ever play the game because of his skill set and his strength and what he’s able to do. It’s amazing watching him on film; it’s fun watching him on film, just be so dominant at this level.”

(on people who downplay the role a team’s running game plays in its success)  “People that say that have their opinions on the game. That’s just not my opinion of the game. I think you’re always going to have to run the ball effectively. You look at New England, a traditionally passing team; they’re running the ball this year very effectively. It’s just one of those things the media picked up and kind of ran with. I think you win games how you can win them. Sometimes you run and sometimes  you pass.”

(on if he felt that he had to be a part of the passing game to make himself valuable to the offense) “I felt that way since I was a young kid because my dad used to be a receiver and so I used to run routes with him. I’ve always had soft hands and route-running ability. Coming out of college, I prided myself in being able to be a three-down back, because there’s not a lot of them. Usually you have guys who can run but can’t catch, or that can catch but can’t block, or that can block but can’t run. So I prided myself on being a triple-threat running back because that’s what’s needed in the NFL.”

(on people talking about the playoff implications of Sunday’s game against the Ravens) “We’re not even thinking about playoffs right now. This is what, the seventh game of the season? We’re not even halfway finished. So it could go downhill or uphill, either way. So nobody’s thinking about that. We’re just thinking about winning game 7.”

DE David Hunter
(on the opportunity to be signed to the active roster) “It’s a great opportunity. I’ve been working real hard, and it’s honestly a dream come true to be a part of a great organization like this and be on a great team and just be able to go out and be a piece of the puzzle.”

(on it being extra special because of his Houston connections) “It’s real sweet. All my family’s from Houston, so it’s just good to be here playing for my hometown team, and all my friends are here so it’s great.”

(on what the coaches say they expect from him) “To be honest, they expect me to be able to still play all three positions, that’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been here. Just go out there whenever a coach says ‘Hey, David, you’re in the game.’”

(on what being signed to the active roster says about the confidence coaches have in him) “I’m glad that they have a lot of confidence in me. Like I said, I’ve just been going out there every day since OTAs trying to get better and just trying to fit in the puzzle here on defense. I feel like I’ve been practicing hard and there’s obviously a lot of stuff I got to get better at, and I’m going to continue to do that. But I’m glad they’ve seen the stuff that I’ve done and have confidence in me.”

(on what it was like when he told his family that he was on the active roster) “Man, to be honest, they told me. I think they kind of knew before I did. It was great, I love my family, they’ve always been supporting me since day one. Just praying for me and telling me to do what I do and I’ll make it. It’s just been great.”

(on if it’s felt like a long time since he’s played football in front of a crowd) “You know what? It kind of does, it’s been a long time. But I’m here now and I’m just excited.”

(on if someone would have told him back in high school that he’d play for the Texans one day, how he would have reacted) “To be honest, I probably would have said, ‘You’re right,’ because when I was younger we did our goals and one of my goals was either I was going to be an architect or play in the NFL, and, obviously, I’m not an architect. This has always been my goal to get here. I’ve had a lot of naysayers, people saying I couldn’t do it, so I’ve always worked hard to prove them wrong and to show that I can play in the NFL.”

(on how much more special being from Houston and playing at University of Houston and now the Texans makes this) “It’s real special. I’ve always feel like God had a plan for me in Houston. I always make a joke saying I can’t escape Houston. Wall is 45 minutes away, small country town and, like I said, my family is all from Houston. So it’s been definitely a great ride, and I just want to keep riding it all the way.”

(on if he’s going to pursue chemical engineering or architecture after his football career is over) “I’m going to stick to what I’m doing now. I’m still going to graduate next semester and once I do that, to be honest, I honestly don’t know. The way I am, when it comes to stuff like that my mind could change today or tomorrow. So, I really don’t know.”

(on if the pay raise has hit him) “A little bit. I’m not a guy like that; I’m kind of a simple guy, so it hasn’t fully hit me that much. People try to make jokes and different things like that, but I kind of keep it the same. They just try to say ‘Big Money’ or something like that, but I just try to keep it the same and stay humble and hungry and just thank God every day for my blessings.”

(on if the veterans are saying he has to start picking up the tab) “Yeah, they said something to me about that today. I told them, ‘Let me make a little more money first and I’ll handle it.’”

(on who was teasing him) “(DE) Antonio (Smith). He was the first person that I told because we were having dinner and I told him he was like ‘Yeah, so you got to pay for dinner now.’ It was great, man. Like I said, I love it, I feel really blessed. I just want to be a valuable piece of this puzzle and keep doing things to where coaches believe in me and keep representing for my family and for myself.”

FS Danieal Manning
(on if he was disappointed when he got the letter that he was fined) “No, I expected that. They’re following up and they’re going to do what they do and I’m going to do what I do. See if I can appeal it and hopefully I can win.”

(on how he feels the team is reacting to the loss) “I say it over and over; I’ve been playing seven years, this is a response league. You’ve got to respond to what happened. We can’t do anything about that game; we don’t play those guys again, so we got to respond and play better against that team.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on facing the Ravens) “It’s a very good football team across the board that’s coming in here. It’s going to be a battle. It always is against them. Obviously, it’s a new year. We’ve played them a bunch in the past, but we’re excited for the opportunity and the challenge that it presents. We got to have a good week of preparation to go out on Sunday and play well.”

(on if the Texans want revenge from last year) “Last year is in the past. It’s unfinished business based on how we played last week and that we want to come out and get the taste out of our mouths and play well and play our style of football and come out with a win this week.”

(on the Ravens’ defense and its injuries) “They’re still a good group, obviously. One of their players hasn’t played yet this year in (LB Terrell) Suggs and they lost a couple the other day, but they’re still a good group. They’ve still got talent. They always have. They make you really play well. You’ve got to play smart, fundamentally sound football to beat them and you’ve got to keep your situations manageable and you’ve got to take advantage of opportunities when you have them because you might not get any others.”

(on familiarity with the Ravens ) “We obviously played each other a lot over the past couple years so there is some familiarity there with them. But again, you’ve got to go out and execute your plan and execute the plays against what they’re doing. They do a lot of different things on defense so you have to identify the looks and take advantage of what they’re giving us.”

(on the team’s frustration with last Sunday’s loss to Green Bay) “It’s just overall frustration that we didn’t really get anything going. We played a good football team and we didn’t play up to our standard and our level of expectations that we have for ourselves in this building. We’ve got to go out there this week and get back to what we do best.”

(on the importance of Sunday’s game and possible AFC playoff  implications ) “I think anyone that told you that we didn’t know that that was out there would be lying to you. We understand who we’re playing and what situations we are in right now, but that’s nothing that we can think about right now. We just have to go out and find a way to go 1-0 this week. That’s all we can think about. All that other stuff will sort itself out down the road. It’s too early in the season to start thinking about that, but obviously as players and as people in this building we understand there. We’re not in the business of talking about that yet.”

(on the running game struggles on Sunday ) “I guess especially when you get in a game that we were in last week and we’re having a hard time getting the running game going. Then once we got down there is only so many runs out there that you can run in those personnel groups and those situations. You’re trying to get yards and you’re trying to move the football in a timely fashion so you can try to get back in the game so that’s where we were at there in the second half of that ballgame to where a lot of the runs that we use on a weekly basis were out the window because of the personnel groups and trying to spread it out.”

DE J.J. Watt
(on the Ravens) “They’re a good football team. They’re balanced. They have a good running attack. They have a good quarterback. So it’s a good challenge, it’s a zone scheme somewhat similar to our scheme so it’s going to be a good game for us. We’re excited about it.”

(on how the team has responded to Sunday’s loss) “I think we’re doing well. We had a very good practice today, great start to the week. So really excited to get back on the horse, it’s one game. It’s behind us now and so we’re really excited for the challenge this week and what lies ahead.”

(on if the team is motivated because of what happened against the Ravens in last year’s playoffs) “We want to win. Obviously we never beat them before so you want to get that win, but more importantly we want to win just to get back on track. We’re really excited about an opportunity to play another game and we want to get back on track heading into the bye week.”

(on if the team wants to get the bad taste of a loss out of their mouth) “Of course, you never like having a loss in your mouth for too long so we’re excited to move forward)”

(on what impresses him the most about the Ravens offense) “I think the balanced attack. The running game and the passing game, they have a good quarterback, good running back, obviously good offensive line so they’re a good all-around team.”

(on how important it is to get to QB Joe Flacco early and often) “I think that’s what we always try and do. You got to stop the run first and foremost then attack the passer and make him uncomfortable and hopefully force him into some bad decisions. That’s what we try and do every week.”

(on Ravens RB Ray Rice’s praise of him) “I think you’re always trying to earn the respect of your peers, and so to hear something like that it’s nice. But also, I fully understand it’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league so I’m trying to do everything I can every single week to make sure I stay at that level. It’s very difficult to do, but just putting in the time and the effort and loving playing for this team.”

(on what makes Ravens RB Ray Rice as good as he is) “He’s tough to bring down. He’s got great balance. He’s got great strength. He’s extremely hard to tackle and he’s got great vision. He’s a very good player.”

(on prepping for the Ravens no-huddle offense) “It obviously poses a challenge. A lot of teams in the league are starting to do a little bit of the no huddle and it just makes you do things a little bit quicker, but we’re always prepared for it. We practice it, and we’re always ready.”

(on hosting the Ravens) “It’s a good challenge for us. Obviously, they got us both times last year so we’re excited for them to come down here to Reliant, playing in front of our home crowd and get us back on track. We’re excited about the challenge.”

(on the importance of Sunday’s game and possible playoff scenarios down the road ) “Absolutely, that’s your goal. You want to be the best team in your league, and this is an opportunity for the best teams in our league to go head to head. As a football player that’s all you can ask for, man against man, team against team, an opportunity to go on the field and settle it there.”

(on the play of OLB Connor Barwin and other defensive players) “They’re playing good ball. He had a couple opportunities last week, but Aaron Rodgers is a slippery guy. They’re playing well. They’re playing good football. I’m getting sacks because of those guys are giving me opportunities by keeping the quarterback contained. I said it before, it’s a team game. You’ve seen me get some stats, but it’s also, I have to spread the credit because I wouldn’t be able to do it without those guys.”

(on Ravens QB Joe Flacco not being a slippery quarterback like Packers QB Aaron Rodgers) “He’s still a good quarterback, and any quarterback is tough to get to in the first place. Then you still have to bring him down. It’s a good challenge. I’m always looking to get some more quarterbacks so I’m excited about it.”

(on if the quarterback has to also look off the defensive line) “If they have to, it’s a good thing because that means you’re affecting the game. You’re affecting the quarterback’s thought process so hopefully that happens because that’s the point of putting your hands up even if you’re not batting the ball, and if you’re not getting the sack hopefully he has to think about and think about where he’s throwing. Any way we can affect the game as defensive linemen we’re trying to and hopefully it works.”

(on if it would be tough to stay fresh against the Ravens’ no-huddle offense without DE Tim Jamison available) “I think we’ll be fine. We’re very well-conditioned athletes. Obviously we’re going to miss (DE) Tim (Jamison). We wish he was out there with us, but we practice very hard and we take care of our bodies very well. We’ll be there to handle the challenge.”

Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh Conference Call
(on the losses of LB Ray Lewis and CB Lardarius Webb) “It just means that we have to replace them and play better all the way around. That’s kind of the way it works in the National Football League and really football generally. So everybody has to deal with that.”

(on CB Jimmy Smith’s play) “He’s been doing well. He looks good. He’s a talented guy. We drafted him high and obviously we have expectations for him. I really have a lot of confidence in Jimmy.”

(on the biggest challenges the Texans present) “I just think all around they’re just a superbly talented and tremendously coached football team, all three phases. Special teams have always been at the top of the league, always been dangerous, really well coached by Joe Marciano, always does a great job. Offensively, first of all it starts with the quarterback and he just continues to prove himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. They have weapons everywhere. Every one of their skill guys is a weapon. They can all get behind you. They all run routes. They do a great job of mixing things up as far as run, pass, screen and stuff like that. Then the offensive line, every year no matter who they put in there, they play the exact same way. That’s a tribute to their coaching and their schemes and their talented guys. They’re tough and they run and cut and get up the field and get downfield. They really just play well. Defensively, what (Defensive Coordinator) Wade’s (Phillips) done with those guys, they’ve become now arguably the best defensive football team at this time and it probably starts with the front seven. They create a lot of one on ones with what they do and they win them most all the time on both levels. The safeties just got great football instinct and understanding and then the corners, two top cover corners. There are really not too many weaknesses in there that we can find.”

(on what stands out about DE J.J. Watt) “(DE) J.J. (Watt) is a guy that I personally just loved him in the draft, loved meeting him and loved the way he played. He’s playing exactly the way we thought he was going to play. He’s big. He’s got great hands, great strength, natural football instincts. He gets his mitts on so many balls it’s just incredible. I remember the play from the playoff game when he got his hand up there and caught the darn thing, a bunch of sacks obviously, plays the run and the pass equally well. He’s a really, really great guy.”

(on RB Arian Foster’s abilities) “He’s just perfectly attuned to that scheme, both his talent and his understanding of the scheme. He and the offensive line are in perfect sync. He has great vision. He’s got the ability to take it around the edge. You could give it to him. He’s got the ability to cut it all the way back past the back side edge if you allow it, or find any crease in there. That’s what makes it so tough on a defense. He can burst. He’s got that (Eric) Dickerson style that upright, burst style and he’s a hard runner. He’s got it all.”

(on the difference Ravens WR Jacoby Jones has made since joining the team) “Been a big plus for us, he’s just been a big plus. He’s been a joy to be around, really a hard  worker. Great attitude, always positive, and he’s an explosive player, as you guys know. You guys know him better than anybody. All those things have really shown up for us this year.”

(on how the Ravens go about replacing LB Ray Lewis’ leadership) “Well you don’t replace it specifically. We’ll all have to replace, it’ll be up to all of us, 53 players, 20 coaches, front office, scouts, cafeteria workers, we’re all going to have to grab onto the rope on that one. He’s just, like you say, he’s arguably one of the greatest leaders in all of sports.”

(on if they’re worried about a team coming off a disappointing loss having an extra edge) “No, not really. We don’t really think too much about that. We’ve got enough issues of our own to concern ourselves with.”

(on what makes RB Ray Rice so special) “He’s low-built. First of all, he’s a great guy and he’s a hard worker, really a conscientious guy. He’s low-built. He’s fast. He’s got tremendous balance. He’s got great power, quickness. He’s hard to bring down, and he’s versatile. He can run it and he’s good in the pass game. He’s a willing pass protection guy. He’s not the biggest guy ever so I’m sure that the Texans and other teams would like to get a big guy out on pass protection, but he’ll stick his nose in there, that’s for sure. He’s just really a versatile back.”

(on if Sunday’s game could come down to who runs the ball better) “Yeah, it could. It could, sure.”

(on if it’s unusual in an NFL game like Sunday’s for the running game to be such a focal point) “Yeah, in a lot of ways it is because you know Houston to me epitomizes that because they have a way that they want to play. It’s very clear cut and well established that they believe in kind of an old school style. They run the ball to set themselves up, stay on schedule and to run to set up the pass. That’s how they’ve been very successful.”

(on if he thinks that the trend of the NFL becoming a passing league is overstated) “I would agree with that. That to me is not just an overstatement, it’s a foolish statement. It’s true that you have to be able to throw the ball to gain lots of yards and probably score points. But you need to be able to run the ball too, and if you can’t stop the run, which we found out the last two weeks, it sure makes it tough sledding. Running the ball and stopping the run in our opinion will always be number one priority.”

(on how important it is for the Ravens offense to have a few big plays in Sunday’ game) “We’re pretty good right now at getting big plays so that’s something that we’ve managed to do. I’m sure that they feel like if they can take away the big plays that’ll be a plus. So that’s something that we’ve been counting on thus far.”

Baltimore RB Ray Rice Conference Call
(on how he has felt this season) “I’ve been feeling good.”

(on what jumps out to him about the Texans defense) “Number one, I said it last year that those guys were an aggressive bunch and tremendous respect for that defense, what they’ve done. My condolences, speedy recovery to one of my good friends over there (ILB) Brian Cushing, he definitely anchored the defense. He’s the guy that got everybody rolling, but they still haven’t lost a step. I got tremendous respect for everything that they play. They play defense the way it’s supposed to be played, a physical bunch. It’s definitely going to be a challenge on our end.”

(on how big of a factor ILB Brian Cushing was in the Texans’ run defense) “He was a major factor. The guy, for his size, he could run with anybody. He’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s just an unfortunate situation, and especially on our end as well. We lost a few guys and they lose their anchor, but at the same time you got other guys in there playing at a high level. It’s just a tremendous respect for who they are. I knew last year after we played them in the playoffs that they were going to be a force to be reckoned with coming to this season and obviously their record is what it is and they only dropped one, but they’re still a tremendous bunch.”

(on what the Ravens’ locker room is like following LB Ray Lewis’ injury) “What Ray (Lewis) has done for this organization and program, he’s set a tone here. The mood is we got to go ahead and carry it because he wouldn’t want us to let up. He wouldn’t want us to let down so the mood is obviously there’s no way you can say you’re going to replace a guy like Ray Lewis, but the mood is next man up and we want to be able to fill his shoes and fill the void that he left. That’s for Lardarius Webb as well.”

(on DE J.J. Watt) “(DE) J.J. Watt’s a beast. What he’s doing, what he’s doing right now is crazy because he’s designated as a defensive end but he’s essentially doing it from inside. A lot of guys are pass rushers but they pass rush off the edge, and from what he’s doing inside, causing that kind of damage is amazing. He’s definitely a presence. You got to know where he’s at, at all times. They have a tremendous d-line because as soon as you let J.J. Watt off the hook, the guy (DE) Antonio Smith comes in and makes a play. Obviously, with the speed they have on the edge, they have a great defense. There is a reason why their record is 5-1 right now.”

(on how a guy with his size blocks a player like DE J.J. Watt) “For me, it’s technique. You got to cut him some times. You got to try to just hang in there, but I’m always guaranteed that I won’t be matched up on (DE) J.J. Watt often.”

(on if part of the challenge with DE J.J. Watt is knowing where he’s at) “Yeah, you got to know where he is. He’s a presence. Any great pass rusher in this league, they pick and choose their spots. They try to find a weakness, and that’s where they go most effective. You just got to know where he’s at and pencil him in. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. It’s going to be work, but I think we got our hands full this week with that whole defense. Knowing where J.J. Watt is, is very important. There is a reason why he leads the league in sacks right now.”

(on Ravens FB Vonta Leach and what he has meant to him in the running game) “In the running game, he’s tremendous. He’s a guy, like you said, I don’t have to worry about sticking my head in there often because he’s doing it for me. I got a great fullback, but I got even a better person. We hang out a lot off the field. The relationship that we have is amazing, but one thing I’ve known about him is he’s been a great teammate to everyone. I’ve seen what he’s done for Arian Foster. We both were at Vonta’s camp this offseason and we all hit it off pretty well.”

(on what WR Jacoby Jones has meant to the Ravens’ offense) “Jacoby’s a special talent. That guy, he’s like lightning in a bottle and anytime gets out in open space you only can say that he’s gone because he has that kind of speed. He’s a great fit with this team, great fit with the locker room. He’s another guy who, former Texan, and I’m sure he has a lot of relationships down there as well.”

(on if he thinks that people underestimate the value of the talented running backs)  “I think me and Arian (Foster) and few other guys, Matt Forte, and I respect every running back in this league, but I don’t know about what you called it, ‘devalue,’ but I just think that we evolve with the change. The change is being the pass first league. Arian Foster can catch just as good as he can run, but obviously we all get paid to run the ball, but we get paid to make plays as well. I just think the way he catches the ball sets him aside from other backs as well. You got to know where he’s at all times.”

(on if he consciously made an effort to focus on being able to a factor in the passing game) “Yes, because sometimes it’s our job to be a decoy and we have to know what our job is. Those are not the stats that get talked about, but if you know where Arian Foster is all the time and he runs a swing route and he takes a linebacker out to pitching, the window opens up for Matt Schaub to make a throw. It’s the same over here with me with Joe (Flacco). We got to do our job and catching is one of them now. We got to be able to catch just as good as we can run.”

(on when he started to figure out that catching the ball would be important for him to learn) “Early in my career when what got me to a Pro Bowl was my all-purpose yards.  I said if I could continue this then you know what, I’ll take it. I don’t have to rush 1,500 yards. It’d be great if I did, but if I gave you 1,200 or 1,300 yards rushing and 600-700 yards receiving, I think it’s the same thing as going for rushing for 2,000 yards.”

(on what else impresses him about RB Arian Foster’s game) “His footwork, his feet, his patience, his power, people talk about 40 times and all that other stuff. You could throw that right out the window with Arian Foster. It’s not his 40 time, but his patience, the way he runs. He trusts. Obviously, when you study the other backs he’s one that I study because of patience. We all feed off each other, and it’s a copycat league. Obviously, I try to take a few tools out of his book and use his patience. It’s something that I wanted to work on.”

(on RB Arian Foster’s vegan diet) “Personally, myself I couldn’t do it. You have to be totally committed to it. But I’ve seen it done because I played with a great in Ricky Williams who’s a full vegan and it was amazing to see number one, the guy perform at a high level. It was amazing to see his diet, amazing to see the change in the way he did things. If you can do it, you can do it. You got to be mentally strong to do it as well. Arian is a very cerebral guy. He knows what he wants in life. His focus is obviously on football, but I know there’s a greater purpose after football with that guy. Obviously he’s totally committed to what he wants to do.”

(on if RB Arian Foster’s commitment to his diet says a lot about him as a person) “It says a lot because you got guys who go through the season, for me, I got to have a lot of grilled chicken and fish so I couldn’t do it. It says a lot that when a guy sets his mind to something he’ll do it. He’s a firm believer in it, and that’s what he wants to do.”

WR/RS Jacoby Jones – Provided by Baltimore PR Staff
On how he approaches this game going up against his former team: “[It’s] like every other game. It’s another team that we have to face. That’s a good team. [They’ve] got great talent. We have to get a ‘W.’”

On what stands out about his time in Houston: “I think I had a good five years there. They gave me an opportunity to play in the NFL, and I appreciate them for it. I moved on to another [team] – breath of fresh air.”

On how fortunate he feels that the Ravens were eager to sign him: “As soon as I saw [a] Maryland [area code] pop up on my phone, I was thinking about a Super Bowl ring. I was ready to roll.”

On if he has any ill feelings towards the Texans: “None whatsoever. It’s a business. It is what it is. They did what they had to do, now I have to do what I have to do.”

On why he thinks it worked out that he is here instead of remaining with the Texans: “It’s life, I guess. You go through your obstacles, your ups and downs. I am back up again. That’s what it feels like.”

On how it feels to contribute so much to the Ravens and if he expected it: “I am just playing my role. Whenever they call my number to show up and make a play, that’s what I plan on doing – making that play.”

On what he needed to do to complete his 108-yard kick return touchdown on Sunday vs. Dallas: “For one, I need to follow Anthony Allen, because he has the vision. He is a running back, so he has the vision to see the holes. I had that mesh with the wedge, so everything timed out right, and I just squirted right out of the gate.”

On if he would normally return a kick that deep: “If they give me another kick like that, yes, I will do that again – straight up.”

On winning “Celebration of the Week” on the NFL Network: “Ah, I’m closer to a ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ player. That’s all that is.” (laughter)

On if he has a dance lined up for the next touchdown: “I said I was going to be humble and not dance, but I think I have something in my sock. I’ve got something. I’m going to pull something out.”

On why he feels like he is on “the up” right now: “We’ve been successful. But, you have to stay in your same routine, and you have to come in and work every day. I get on the JUGS machine every day, twice a day, even the one at home. So, as long as I am on that straight path, we’re going to be alright.”

On if it was important to put last year’s playoff game in the past and not think about it: “Of course. That’s the only way you can be successful in life. If you dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Once I put it behind me, I am rolling now.”
On how he thinks the Houston fans will receive him on Sunday: “I don’t even care. I am [a part of] Ravens Nation. They love me, and I love them. That’s all that matters right now.”


FB Vonta Leach– Provided by Baltimore PR Staff
On the Texans’ front seven: “It’s a team that they’ve been building for years and years to come. You have Antonio Smith, you have J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, and also you have Brooks Reed on the other side. They get after the quarterback real good – create a lot of mismatches.”

On if playing physical football is the best answer to dealing with the Texans: “They play very physical. Not only are they physical, they are very athletic. J.J. Watt causes a lot of problems in there from the end techniques. Like I said, the [pressure] package can get out there, they blitz a lot. Wade Phillips has a defense that he wants to get after you a whole lot.”

On if he looks forward to the collisions like old times: “It’s going to be a good game. You’re going to have a good offense going against a good defense on both sides of the ball, so we are going to see how it plays out.”

On if he sees it as a budding rivalry: “I would say we’ve played each other [often enough to be a rivalry]. When I was in Houston, we played the Ravens like three times, and now I’m here, and it’s probably my third time in two years that we’ve played. I think both teams know each other pretty well, and both teams want to be a team on the top of the AFC. It’s going to be a great game – great matchups.”

On if there is pride on the line even though it’s not a playoff game: “Yes, you always want to go up against the best, and they are 5-1 coming into this game, and we are 5-1. May the best team win.”

On how he describes WR/RS Jacoby Jones’ speed: “Jacoby is real fast. He has top-end speed. He can make moves and get out of small creases, small holes and the rest is on him. He’s like a track guy”

On what he thought when he first found out that WR/RS Jacoby Jones would be joining the team: “I was happy. I knew that he was an addition that could help our team on the offensive side and special teams.”

On if there is anything he can take from the Green Bay game to help him against the Texans: “Yes, you can take a little bit of it. I watched the game as they were playing, and now I’m watching it on my iPad. There’s a lot of stuff they did pretty good with Green Bay with utilizing their front seven. We can take a little bit from that game, but we have our own game plan that we are going to put in and do stuff that we’re good at, and we’re just going from there.”


S Bernard Pollard– Provided by Baltimore PR Staff
On if this is special game or just another game: “Nothing special, just another game. I think for us, nothing is … I don’t think about this for myself. For us as a defense – for us as a team – like I said before and I’ll continue to say, we should be pissed off, and we are pissed off about the way we played – the things that we’ve put on film. We own it. We are going to fix it, and I think it starts with the preparation throughout the week. Things are going to change.” 

On moving forward without LB Ray Lewis and CB Lardarius Webb: “This is the game. This is this game. Injuries are going to happen. We cannot help who they happen to. Guys are going to get dinged up. Guys are going to get beat up. Guys are going to be lost for the season. It just so happens that we lost two great players on Sunday. Next man up – it’s been like that all year. We have been playing with a lot of guys. Like I continue to tell people, we are gelling as a defense. We are still continuing to gel, but I think it’s to a point now where we have to take a stand. We have to take a stand. Two weeks in a row, 200 freaking yards rushing? We have to take a stand on what we do. We have to walk out there with pride. We have to play pissed off. We have to. It’s a must. The next man up, like I said, these guys are going to step into this thing, and I think for us, we have to support our offense and special teams getting the ball back to them. We cannot continue to ask our offense to go out there and put together these 35-, 40-point games. We can’t continue to do that, because it’s one-sided. We aren’t helping them.”

On if the struggles of giving up yardage has to do with defensive coordinator Dean Pees: “Don’t blame the coach. Don’t blame the coach, because the coach doesn’t play. Dean has made great calls. It’s about us going out there and executing. We have not been executing. We are tough and physical. Nobody can question the abilities that we have. We get pressure in the backfield. We had guys in the backfield numerous times, we just did not tackle; we did not execute. I think for us, like I said, we take that personally. The coaches have done a great job. They are here all day, every day, planning, putting things together for us to go out there and get the job done, but it’s on us to execute. They can’t push a button to make us wrap up and tackle. We are pros; we have to go out there and play like it.”

On it being difficult to bring down RB Arian Foster as a competitor: “We can’t talk about anything being difficult to bring anyone down, because we haven’t brought any [player down]. Dallas came in with four, five running backs, and we didn’t bring anybody down. We understand what we are going up against Sunday. Arian is a great back. This scheme is powerful; it’s explosive. But, that’s fine. We are powerful, we are explosive, too. Like I said, we are putting things together. We have to focus on what we are doing, and we just have to go tackle.”

On penetrating and breaking down into the football position and doing something: “It’s just about being focused and executing. You can’t question – just our toughness – you can’t question are we playing fast, because we are playing fast. We just aren’t executing when we get to the player with the ball. Numerous times you guys have seen that we’ve missed tackles, and I start with myself. Like I continue to say after the game, I pride myself on tackling, and I did not do a good job of that. Like I said, we have a team that we take that, we own it. That’s on film – that’s us. Two weeks in a row, so we have to put a stop to it.”

On if there was some bunching up on defense: “It’s just not executing on the tackle. We had one play where the running back stiffed-armed one guy and then stiffed-armed another guy and ran for a touchdown. The other guy was me. We have to get guys on the ground. We have to get them on the ground.”

On how he would describe WR/RS Jacoby Jones’ speed: “Jacoby is very fast, as you guys see. He is very fast. We know and understand we have burners in him. We have burners in Torrey [Smith], we have burners in Deonte [Thompson], we have burners in Anquan [Boldin]. Our tight ends are great. All of the weapons that we have on offense can run. It’s actually pretty neat to see these guys together. Talking with Joe [Flacco] – him talking about his weapons – these are his weapons. This is what he has to work with, and he’s having a blast.”

On what the loss of CB Lardarius Webb means to this football team: “It’s tough anytime you have a player go down. Obviously, you guys know Ray [Lewis]. He’s a legend. Lardarius [Webb] has worked his tail off. He has worked his tail off to get where he has gotten. He’s a player that the dudes enjoy. He loves the game. Having said that, this game is very tough, very physical, and the injuries when you go out there, nobody is exempt. Anybody is open to an injury at any time. Like I said, it sucks that it happened to two of our great players. It’s a tough loss having Lardarius out, and it’s a tough loss having Ray out. But like I said, it’s the next man up. We can’t continue to go back and forth about the injuries, because it’s not going to heal his ACL or his triceps. [It’s] the next man up, and we are going to go play.”

 

 

 

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