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Quotes: Wednesday practice

Posted Nov 28, 2012

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



Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
OLB Connor Barwin
WR Andre Johnson
G/C Ben Jones
CB Johnathan Joseph
CB Brice McCain
RT Derek Newton
QB Matt Schaub
DE Antonio Smith
RB Ben Tate

Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak Conference Call
Titans QB Jake Locker Conference Call

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team’s health in practice today) “As far as practice, the guys that did not participate in practice, (G Antoine) Caldwell, (ILB) Bradie James, (T) Derek Newton, (OLB) Brooks Reed. (DE) J.J. Watt was sick, so he missed practice also. (CB) Johnathan Joseph worked with trainers and other than that, everybody was back. I think I got that right, but J.J. just showed up sick this morning so we sent him home and hopefully he’s back here tomorrow and back to work.”

(on CB Johnathan Joseph’s status and if he can possibly play on Sunday) “I think so. (CB) Johnathan (Joseph) worked pretty good with the trainers today, ran pretty good, so that’s a step in the right direction. As always, when you’ve got guys in that mode, they’re closer to being back on the field. The question is, how do they come out of their workouts with the trainers? So we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. I don’t expect him to practice tomorrow. That’s our big work day. Hopefully he takes a few reps Friday and then we’re into a Sunday decision, but today was a step in the right direction.”

(on RB Ben Tate’s status) “(RB) Ben (Tate) practiced today and took a lot of reps. Practiced special teams, also. So we’re just trying to get Ben back going, have a good week of work and then we’ll decide where we’re at at the end of the week. But all expectations are for him to be available on Sunday.”

(on DE J.J. Watt showing up and wanting to practice despite being sick) “Actually, I saw him yesterday and he was fine yesterday so something happened between yesterday afternoon and this morning. He was here. He wanted to go. We had some issues with some sick guys ever since we got back from Chicago, so the best thing is keep them away from everybody and hopefully he’s feeling better tomorrow and we can get back to work. I think he’ll be okay.”

(on overcoming the injuries) “You’ve got serious practice issues, number issues so you’re adjusting stuff. But one of the things we’ve got going on right now with all these guys banged up, we’ve got a lot of young players getting a ton of reps. It’s tough. It’s challenging, but I think it gives you a chance to get better in the long haul so we’ll stay positive, stay focused on what we’re doing, trying to cut down on some of the mistakes we’ve been making and get these young guys a bunch of reps.”

(on how much offensive play calling changes after firing an offensive coordinator during the season) “I was asked that earlier today. I don’t know how much they change. It’s the same group of guys that have been working together so it’s their offense and what they’re doing. Obviously, I’m sure he has his personality and how he may call a game, how he may call plays that we’ll have to adjust to. We’ve got to prepare for the group. We’ve got to prepare for what they do offensively. They can spread the field and throw it. The quarterback runs around a bunch so we’ve got a challenge from that standpoint. Like I said, we’re trying to get a lot of young players and guys in new spots ready to go, so that makes it even more tough.”

(on the offensive line this season) “It’s been a work in progress all year. I think (RT Derek) Newton has played well. He’s come a long way for a first time starter this year. Our young guard has slowly taken that spot over and has played well. We’ve been very pleased with his work and think he’s getting better every time out. (T) Ryan Harris comes in the other day, plays basically the entire game and he’s got a few bad plays, but boy, I thought he held up pretty good and the situation we were in and could very well be a starter this week. Then, we like (G Brandon) Brooks. You all notice we suited Brooks last week. He did play a couple goal line plays, so he got his feet wet, so to speak. Hopefully, there is some more time coming for him. We continue to push and probably going to have to play six or seven guys to get through this thing. It’s just the way it’s working out. I think we’re battling.”

(on the current offensive line) “Well, they haven’t played a lot together so that makes it tough, that’s just the way it is right now. The good thing with (T) Ryan (Harris), Ryan has played a lot of football, has played in a lot of big games in Denver so he’s no stranger to being put in the spot, so to speak. So we’re glad we’ve got him, I know that.”

(on what he needs to see out of the linebackers that are filling in for injured players) “Well, the first thing we need to do is eliminate some mistakes we made last week. We really take that personally as coaches because when your guys are having mental mistakes, you feel like maybe you’re not putting them through the right reps. It’s just the way you operate as a coach so we’re trying to really isolate those guys. (ILB Darryl) Sharpton’s getting a ton of practice. (ILB Tim) Dobbins is back, (ILB) Barrett (Ruud), those guys got to learn to work together. How far we go, how well we play, how we hang on here and keep working is going to have a lot to do with how they play. We’ve got confidence in them. We need to get them the reps so they can go out and compete with the reps under their belt.”

(on if they’re looking at G Brandon Brooks more at tackle now) “No, he’ll stay inside. He’ll stay inside. If (RT Derek) Newton can’t go, (T Andrew) Gardner will come up and be our swing guy. He has suited once in the last couple weeks. No, Brandon will stay inside. He’s got too much time invested in there right now.”

(on RT Derek Newton’s status) “(RT Derek) Newton was not even on the field today, so like I said, when I talk about (G Antoine) Caldwell, (ILB) Bradie James, Newton, and (OLB) Brooks (Reed), you’re talking about four guys that are behind (CB) Johnathan (Joseph) right now from the standpoint of they have not been with their trainers, so hopefully I say something different tomorrow.”

(on preparing the team to peak at this point in the season) “I think it’s important. As you get closer to the end, you’ve got to be improving. I also think there are challenges, which I keep talking about that this week. There are some big challenges for us as a team. We’re trying to get healthy. We’re trying to get some young guys ready to play in some big, big games for us which are very important. All that together, but the deeper you go into the season, that’s a player’s time of season, in my opinion. They came back and worked really good today. Every time we step to the plate now, we’ve got a chance to probably accomplish even more each time we go out and find a way to win. They get bigger. We’ve got to play better.”

(on how the coaches make sure the team doesn’t look ahead to the Patriots and if he thinks it was a problem in the Jacksonville game) “No, I don’t. I think we were focused going into those games. Obviously we didn’t play as good as we had been playing. It’s really easy. We were really good today. They understand what’s in front of them. I know in this league if you go out there expecting help and worrying about things you’re probably not going to play very good, so we’re focused on ourselves and taking care of our business. We know we’ll have to play very good down there and a lot better than probably we’ve played the last two weeks. Today was a step in the right direction.”

Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on the Titans’ defense) “They’ve got some guys healthy from the last time we played them, (LB Colin McCarthy) 52 particularly, Mike. They’re very good up front just like always. They do a good job rushing the passer. They’re very active as a defense. It’s another challenge for us. Each one is a little bit different each week, but it’s always a challenge.”

(on RB Ben Tate returning and the running game) “Anytime you miss as much as (RB) Ben’s (Tate) missed you’re going to be a little rusty. So we’ll just let it work its way out, just like you said. Obviously, we like what (RB) Justin (Forsett) does and it’s hard to not give the ball to (RB) Arian (Foster), but I think, like you said, it’s a good problem to have and one that usually works its way out.”

(on if he is concerned about his quarterback taking a cheap shot) “Well, there is not a whole lot we can do about it except bring it to attention of the officials as much as you can and let them handle it, try and obviously do what we can to keep him out of the vicinity of the quarterback, and sometimes that’s easier said than done. Let our guys handle it and let the officials handle it. (QB) Matt’s (Schaub) done a good job as far as he’s got a great internal clock. He knows when the ball should be gone and he works with his footwork endlessly to know when the ball should be gone and where it should go. Generally, he takes care of that himself.”

(on if RT Derek Newton is unable to play having T Ryan Harris available) “Well, we sprinkled him in throughout for a few weeks now and it’s great to have a guy that’s had a lot of experience in the league. I had (T) Ryan (Harris) when I was in Denver. We feel we know what he can do and know how he fits in. It’s great to have an extra guy that’s played some ball. We’d love to have (RT) Derek (Newton) back. When he gets back, he’ll be welcome, but somebody’s got to play and we feel good about everybody that we have on our team. That’s why they’re there, to play and next man comes up if we’re losing. We’re missing some parts and pieces as we have and everybody does. You just make the adjustments and get it done.”

(on G Ben Jones and T Ryan Harris playing together) “They’ve practiced. They’ve had some reps in the game together. (Offensive Line Coach John Benton) JB coaches everybody the same, so they’re all hearing the same message and plenty of drill work and reps together, so I think they’ll be fine.”

(on G Brandon Brooks’ play) “He did well. We put in the goal line a couple reps, but he’s really been developing in practice. That’s what we see. The more times that we can get him out there and help him develop the better off for us in the long run. We’ll see how he works through practice and see if we can get him in the game and if the situation dictates it. We’re working to win. We’re trying to progress and keep everybody healthy.”

(on FB James Casey’s season so far) “That’s the thing that we’re not very predictable when we get in a two back. We can line up in I (formation) or near, or strong, or we can empty out with him and that puts them in a bind. How are they going to make that adjustment? Because if they take a safety to go cover him then you got a linebacker on (TE Owen Daniels) OD and that makes it difficult for a defense to matchup. Then they’re in zone and we do a good job underneath in a lot of what we do. With (FB) James (Casey), it keeps the defensive call sheet, kind of puts them in a little peril to know exactly what we’re going to do, which is what we’re trying to do, keep them off balance.”

(on FB James Casey’s continued progression) “Yeah, I think (FB) James (Casey), never been a lack of effort. James will give you everything he’s got. We just keep working on his technique and he has done some really good things in the running game, also.”

(on if he’s concerned about the turnovers recently) “I think anytime you have more than you’re used to it’s a little disconcerting so certainly we’re not focusing on it anymore or any less. We’re just making sure we hang on to the ball and this team when they won the games, Tennessee; it’s been a function of turnovers. They do a nice job of knocking the ball out, so just like the previous games we’re going to focus on hanging on to the ball and making sure we don’t have those turnovers especially in key situations.”

(on the NFL possibly eliminating all blocks below the waist) “I have no opinion on that one way or another. The rules are the rules. We block within the rules and if they change, then we’ll change. We look at the rule book. We coach our guys the way the rules are made and that’s the way we play.”

OLB Connor Barwin
(on the break after the Lions game) “It was good. It was five days off, six days off, so my body’s completely recovered. Obviously, after Thursday, everybody was beat down, but with the six days off, I feel fine now.”

(on the adjustment he’s making going to the other side) “There’s a little more studying involved. I have to look at different routes that you don’t look at WILL (linebacker). It’s really more playing a true linebacker than you do at WILL. SAM (linebacker) is a little more of a defensive end position. Little more studying, but it’s all stuff I’ve done in training camp and I did last year.”

(on if playing SAM linebacker is more fun) “Well, rushing the quarterback is fun every single play, too, but no, it makes the game a little bit different because you do different things throughout the game instead of the same thing every single play. I think there is some fun in that, to do different things.”

WR Andre Johnson
(on getting back out on the field today) “After a few days off you want to get back to work, so it was just good to be back. But at the same time, I think we needed a few days off.”

(on Lions DT Ndamukong Suh being fined) “I honestly haven’t seen it. I saw a glimpse of it on film, but I didn’t really see. I don’t know how intentional it was or whatever. I don’t decide fines. That’s up to the NFL. I heard about it, but I didn’t really get to see it.”

(on if he was concerned about QB Matt Schaub after get got kicked by DT Ndamukong Suh) “Yeah, I asked him, was he alright. I didn’t know what happened. He was just like, ‘He got kicked between his legs.’ I could tell something was wrong with him by the way he was moving and the way he was talking. I was concerned. I was like, ‘Are you okay?’ He was just like, ‘Man I got kicked in between my legs.’ I know that’s not a good thing to get kicked there. He managed to stay in the game and keep playing.”

(on if he told QB Matt Schaub to suck it up after he got kicked) “I didn’t say that. He was just like, he was alright. Like I said, he kept playing. He didn’t have to come out of the game or anything so he was able to suck it up.”

(on possibly clinching a playoff spot with a win this Sunday) “That’s what we play for. That’s one of our goals as a team. Like I said before, there are bigger goals than just clinching a playoff spot. It’ll be great. It can be done on Sunday.”

(on how every game gets bigger and the excitement) “Yeah, we’ve never been in this position before as a team, but at the same time, it’s a new position for us. At the same time, we’re learning as we go through this experience, but we know every game gets bigger and that because you have a chance to fight to be the top of the AFC. We know how big that could be for us if we’re able to get that accomplished. Every game gets bigger and is going to continue to get bigger.”

(on if some of the doubters serve as motivation) “I think you’re going to have doubters no matter what you do, how well you play. You’re always going to have doubters because people have their own opinions about who is better than who. That’s just part of it. That’s just the nature of the business.”

(on if he feels like the team is learning from last year’s playoff exit) “I think that’s why we’re in the position we’re in right now. Just having that experience from last year, we know what to expect. I think we found out a lot about our teammates. I found out a lot about our team and the people we have on this team. Right now, we’re kind of in the same situation. We lost a few guys and we just have to have guys step up and the guys that have been playing, we just have to turn our game up even more. When you’re 10-1, you have the best record in the NFL, it’s going to be a big game for every opponent you have. The games are only going to get bigger and bigger and we know that.”

(on the NFL possibly eliminating all blocks below the waist) “I don’t know. You see some guys, we lost (ILB Brian Cushing) Cush to that. I don’t know. It’s been going on for a while. It would definitely make the game different. A lot of times, when you see teams run screens and things like, that there are o-linemen are down the field chop blocking and things like that. It’s been big, just with the player safety and stuff like that. I don’t know. Sooner or later it’ll probably be a touch game or something. If they do, we just have to find a way to adjust to it and keep on playing.”

(on how that would change running the offense) “I don’t know. We’d just have to see how our offense works without guys cutting, chopping guys down. I know that is a big part of what we do. The rule isn’t in now so we’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”

G/C Ben Jones
(on his thoughts about NFL discipline) “They’re trying to protect the quarterback. He’s a vital part of the offense. He’s definitely vulnerable. In an offensive scheme, he’s looking at the pass downfield and you can definitely take a shot. I understand it from an offense. They’re trying to protect the quarterback, but I can see from the defense. They have that edge. They’re trying to get to the quarterback. That’s their job. They get paid to get to the quarterback so I can see from their side, too.”

(on working with T Ryan Harris) “We’re good. I’ve been working with (T Ryan) Harris since I’ve been here, since camp was over. When I was on scout team with him and he rotates every week. I think since Week 3 he’s been rotating just like me at guard and tackle right there, so I’m with him every day in practice. I’m comfortable with him or (RT Derek) Newton beside me.”

(on what it’s been like playing with the talented Texans’ offense) “It’s been an eye-opening experience. We got a lot of great talent on this team. I’m just out there trying to do my job, just giving them enough time so they can do their thing. I knew growing up, watching (WR) Andre (Johnson) when he was here. We actually played against (RB) Arian (Foster) when he was at Tennessee. It’s just great having all these guys on one team and I’m just glad I’m a part of the Texans because it’s a great team.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on what he did today in practice) “Today I just did, of course, some more straight ahead running and some agility things, side-to-side and position drills. Today, I still felt pretty good during those things, so hopefully tomorrow we progress to the next stage.”

(on if he thinks he could play on Sunday) “Yeah, I stand by what I said. I felt pretty good running around on Monday. Today, I had another good day, so hopefully by the time comes the end of the week, I have a chance to go out there and get some practice time in moving forward.”

(on his status moving forward this week) “Like I said, I did some running straight ahead Monday. Today, I had the chance to go out and do some agility position work and I felt fine. Hopefully, moving forward they just increase things going forward and I have a chance to play Sunday.”

CB Brice McCain
(on if he’s changing things to prevent giving up a lot of points) “No, we’ve just got to do what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to do what we’re taught to do and get better at the secondary, communicate better and do our job. Everybody out there, do their own job and make plays.”

(on if making stops when he’s needed to is his badge of honor) “Yeah, we always find a positive out of anything. Getting a stop when we needed to get a stop, that’s a positive but giving up yards is a negative. We need to limit the yards, limit the points and keep getting off the field like we continue to do. Communicate better and make plays.”

(on what the huddle is like) “’Let’s get off the field, let’s get off the field.’ Kick the field goal; we’re going to win with our offense, man.  Make teams kick field goals all day, we’ll win every game. Our goal is stay good in the red zone, most important place on the field. Stop the team from getting in the end zone and make them kick field goals.”

RT Derek Newton
(on how frustrating his injury was) “I kind of felt bad about it, but things happen. It’s something I just have to deal with and right now I’m just working towards bouncing back.”

(on what he’s seen from T Ryan Harris) “(T) Ryan’s (Harris) helped me out a lot since he’s been here. Helping me better my techniques, better at learning how to pass, throw, run block better, just how to approach the game better each game. He constantly helps me out. I constantly ask questions because he’s had more years than I have in the game, obviously, so I think he’s been a good help for me.”

(on his chances to play Sunday) “Feeling pretty good about it, rehab’s going good so I continue to push everyday harder and harder. I’ll see where I’m at Friday.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on Lions DT Ndamukong Suh getting fined today) “I didn’t even know it happened, don’t really care. We’re on to Tennessee.”

(on if Lions DT Ndamukong Suh should have been suspended) “It doesn’t matter to me. It’s not my decision. I’m on to the Titans.”

(on what he meant when he said Lions DT Ndamukong Suh was not the type of player to play for the Texans) “I’m on to Tennessee.”

(on if the past two weeks have been the best he’s played) “I don’t know if it’s the best of my career. I just know that we’re winning football games and we’re doing it in different ways, but as a football team we’re finding a way to end the game with a win. The past two games it’s been tough for us. We’ve had to come from behind. We’ve had to make plays in the fourth quarter and overtime. As a team, we’re just finding a way to do that, whether it’s on defense creating stops and getting us the ball back or offensively converting opportunities into points.”

(on if he feels more pride in the team’s last few wins, given how much the team has relied on him in those games) “As a quarterback there are going to be times throughout the season where you’re called on to do that and as an offense the past two games, we’ve had to come from behind. We’ve had to create points late in the game. As a group and as a passing offense we’ve been able to do that. We’re going to need that going forward because not every game is going to be like it was the first part of the season where we’re playing with the lead and everything where we’re just using clock. It’s good to have that every once in a while.”

(on WR Andre Johnson’s recent success) “It’s remarkable to see what he’s done not only this season, but in the past couple weeks. It’s something that we see all the time in practice. It’s just him being (WR) Andre (Johnson). You can really see he’s taken it upon himself to take his game to a new level. It’s pretty remarkable to watch.”

(on the team’s urgency) “Yeah, just a sense of urgency to keep it going because we know we’ve got something special going and we just want to keep that thing moving forward and keep this ship in the right direction.”

(on T Ryan Harris’s play) “Yeah, very confident in what (T) Ryan (Harris) brings to the table. He’s played a lot of us this year rotating in and out so very confident in him and his ability. Now he’s going to be called on to do it possibly a little more because if (RT) Derek (Newton) misses time, but very confident in what Ryan can do.”

(on FB James Casey’s’ versatility) “I think just that. He’s just very versatile in his ability. He lines up at full back and blocks linebackers. We put him out wide receiver. He’s in the slot for us. He lines up at tight end. We can just move him around so many different spots and he can run all those different routes that we do as an offense. He creates mismatches for other teams whether they put a linebacker on him or try to use a DB type to play him. It’s a luxury that really helps us out.”

(on the Titans’ defense) “Just they’re very active, they do a lot of different things up front movement wise, they’re just very active. They always give us a tough time. We got to make in game adjustments. They’re a group we know well and they know us well so it’s always a tough battle.”

(on if the overtime games and errors are concerning) “No it’s not concerning. Obviously we don’t want to have that to happen, especially the past two games in overtime, we’ve got to eliminate those and not put ourselves and our defense in tough situations where they’re forced to make a stop. Fortunately, they’ve done that for us but we have to eliminate those things. It’s just something that we’ve got to avoid.”

(on not overlooking the Titans) “That’s not hard for us at all. It’s easy for us to focus on the next thing at hand. That’s what the leadership in this locker room, the veteran players, our coaches, are great at doing. We’re all in here for the Titans and focused on them.”

(on having the ability to understand when to get the ball out as a quarterback) “I think you got to have it a little bit. It’s something that develops over time, but I think you got to have that innate ability to understand that you’re protection no matter how many guys they’re bringing where it’s four or maybe even three, eventually the guys are going to get to you and you got to get the ball out. Especially when teams are blitzing, you’ve got to understand protections, but you have to have an innate ability to understand when to get the ball gone. It’s something I’ve been okay at doing and want to continue that.”

(on understanding when to make a throw) “Yeah, in certain protections you get everybody out whether you’re in an empty set or something like that. You understand that any type of blitz might make you hot and you have to get it out. You’ve got to understand where the pressure might be coming from and where you can find soft spots in the pocket to make a throw.”

(on the one thing he could do better right now) “I think just finding some plays off schedule when things aren’t perfect, as far as rhythm and timing. I think moving within the pocket, being able to find things, find receivers where they can make something happen, where it’s just not necessarily on time or perfect drop, one hitch, two hitch and throw the ball. You might have to find a way to make a play.”

DE Antonio Smith
(on his thoughts about playing Tennessee this weekend) “I think that for us as a defense we really want to get back out there and rectify some problems that we have and try to get our defense back on track and get our focus up. There’s a couple people still banged up, bodies still sore but get them healthy by Sunday and get them ready to go.”

(on how he feels the defense has played the last couple of weeks) “Like I’ve said, I’m proud of my boys because each week, got to find a way to win, and we keep winning. But you can’t just sit and act like the yardage didn’t happen, the touchdowns didn’t happen. A lot of the things we have not let happen this year we let happen in the last two weeks. The defense that we are, we take pride in being one of the best. We definitely want to get that fixed, get a stop.”

(on how worrisome the defensive struggle has been) “It’s pretty stressful. It was like an emotional rollercoaster. All the fans think they were going through it, that was what we were hearing all week, ‘Man, you almost gave me a heart attack!’ But we almost gave ourselves a heart attack, too. To go from, ‘Oh, man, we’re about to win it,’ to ‘Oh, man, they’re about to kick a field goal,’ to ‘Oh, man, they missed, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!’ And then you win the game. It’s just as emotionally straining as it is on the fans.”

RB Ben Tate
(on how it feels to be healthy) “I actually felt good to walk out with the team to practice and come back with the team from practice. Just feels good to be back out there with those guys.”

(on being able to contribute again) “Actually, I’ve been chomping at the bit for the last two weeks. But, yeah, I’m excited now, and I’m going to contribute any way I can.”

(on practicing with special teams) “It’s a little weird, but nonetheless I was over there ready to work.”

(on if he’s looking forward to his first hit) “No, I don’t look at myself as taking a hit, I’m always saying if they’re ready to for the first hit. I’m going to hit them first.”

Titans Head Coach Mike Munchak Conference Call
(on hearing the news about former Oilers coach Jack Pardee’s health) “Yeah, I just heard about that like you said this morning. I wish him the best. I haven’t talked to coach in a while. I really enjoyed getting to know him. Actually, I got to see both sides because I coached one year with him and I retired on his staff, which I enjoyed. He’s an ex-player and we obviously had some very good football teams during those years that he was with the Oilers. I always enjoyed and what I’ve used as a coach probably is the fact that he used to make a lot of points by telling stories of his playing days. I always thought that really sunk in with myself and the players when he made his points that way and told stories that way and that’s something that I’ve used with my guys even as a line coach. I thought that players really respond to and was a technique he used I thought was great. I just wish him the best and his family the best as he goes through all this. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to speak with him.”

(on what he sees when watches Texans DE J.J. Watt on tape) “Relentless, special player, they don’t come around that often. I remember looking at him in the draft and thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is fun to watch.’ Just because he does about everything, he plays hard, he’s everything you’d want when you want a guy on your football team. I knew the Texans got something that had a chance to be a really, really good one. He’s proven out to be that. I just think no matter if two guys are blocking him, one guy’s blocking him, whatever you’re doing to him, next play he’s going to find a way to make the play and make a difference from tipping balls to creating plays for his teammates by grabbing the tackle or grabbing the guard so his teammate can make a play and stays on the field, just loves to play the game. You enjoy guys even though they’re on other teams. I might not enjoy him twice a year when we play against him, but you enjoy watching guys that play the game that way because you can tell what a passion he has for what he does. That rubs off on your team. I think that has a lot to do with why other guys around him are playing much better.”

(on if DE J.J. Watt reminds him of anyone  he played against) “It’s hard as far as how hard he plays. When I played against Randy White back in the day, he reminds me of the fact that he’s got a lot of other talents. He can beat you a lot of ways. They’re different types of guys, but the way of just keep coming, keep coming every snap. He wants to win everything he does. I think it’s hard size wise they’re different, but I think that mentality and that type of player he can be. I know he plays on the tackle, see him slide over to the guard a little bit more especially when he’s rushing. I know he played at the end spot. He’s got something special going on right now this year and hopefully we can contain all that on Sunday.”

(on what DE J.J. Watt does so well to swat passes) “It’s hard. I think it’s obviously something that you think, ‘Well, everyone could do that.’ That’s something everyone should be able to do, but he has a knack for it. He knows when to keep going with the rush. He has a feel for the quarterback. He has a feel for eyeballing the quarterback and getting a feel for the right time to get up in the air and make a play with his hands or he clears the penetration. It’s not like he stands at the line of scrimmage and waits to jump. He’s trying to win his match. Somewhere in that battle he realizes that another victory is batting the ball. Other guys have a knack for stripping a ball, defensive players and some guys are just better than others at it even though everyone works hard at it. I think he has that knack for because he, again, he gets push, because he gets in the lane, because he’s physical. That obviously puts him in position to be closer to the quarterback and the throwing lanes where he can do those things. It’s just another thing like I said, those plays, we found out last week we tipped the ball early in the game and got an interception that led to three points and we lost the game off a tipped ball that led to us losing the game. You realize that those things are huge factors in football games.”

(on the challenge of preparing for the Texans with a new offensive coordinator) “The good thing is Dowell Loggains has been on our staff for a long time. He knows these players very well. He knows the system from which we’ve been working so that makes it much easier than someone, and you wouldn’t do that obviously, bring someone from the outside during the season. If I didn’t feel this could be a good transition I wouldn’t have done something like this during the season. I felt it could be something that we could handle well and improve on some things immediately meaning this weekend. It’s unfortunate that we’re playing the best team in the AFC this weekend when he has to call his game. Obviously, we’re familiar with the Texans. We know them well. They know us. That helps too even though they’re playing so darn well and they have such great personnel. He still hasn’t done it before so there’s still going to be some newness to it. I think he’s got a great feel for the players, what they’re capable of doing, and hopefully we’ll take advantage of those things in the game this weekend.”

(on why he specifically decided to make a change at offensive coordinator at this point) “Just the things on offense, I think on that side of the ball. I just want to be as productive as I feel capable of being with the people we have. It’s not to blame on anyone. That doesn’t mean all of our problems are fixed by any means. It’s not all Coach Palmer’s fault for where we’re at that we’re 4-7. That’s not it at all. It’s the fact that sometimes you need different direction even though he’s a really good coach sometimes you just need a different fit in the room to kind of take things a different direction. Everyone sees things differently and approaches their job differently. I felt we reached a point where with the people we had and what’s been going on in some of our games that it was time to do that. Like I said, I wouldn’t have done it during the year if I didn’t feel we could advance from it and still be very competitive and have a chance to win these last five games.”

(on RB Chris Johnson’s season) “I just think we’ve hung with it. We didn’t give up on what we believe in that he could do well on the guys up front. We’re blocking better. That’s gotten better, but I think we’ve stuck with schemes and things that weren’t necessarily working. We kept our confidence even though it didn’t look right and we weren’t getting the production we wanted. Some of those games you have to look at the numbers within the numbers when you’re not winning or you’re getting blown out or you’re way behind, it’s hard to stay in a game plan and get a feel for really where you’re at. I think we saw some real positives and we stuck with it. I think CJ started getting more touches, more carries, and quit trying to do too much on his behalf and just starting hitting holes. When he does that and we block it well, he has the ability any time he touches the ball to score. I think that’s the advantage of having a guy like him that he can take any play to the house like that. But, we’re heading in the right direction. Last week, I thought we could have done better than we did. The Texans, the top defense in a lot of categories, it’s going to be a huge challenge for us. If we’re going to do well and have a chance to win the football game, we’re going to have to do it running the football also.”

(on his evaluation of the Texans’ defense against Jacksonville and Detroit) “They had injuries. I know that they’ve overcome a lot of those, especially last year and this year and every team has them. I think just moving some people around, different parts. I think communication factors in, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I think on Sundays other teams are going to make plays on you. That’s how it is in the NFL. You’re going to get some teams especially, I know that Jacksonville surprised people. We just found out. We got surprised ourselves this weekend. We all know they’re a good football team. I think people take for granted that when you line up on a Sunday you’re going to have days like that someone gets got hot, makes some good throws, you miss a tackle, you’re playing man to man, you miss a couple tackles, big plays happen. That’s what I think happened to them, a couple breakdowns, guys running into each other. Things happen. You’d like to get that out of the way, but the good thing is for them things are happening, but they’re still winning. That’s what very good football teams are able to do. They won two overtime games, which everyone could say well they could have lost those two games very easily, but they didn’t.  They won the games. They made plays to win. They believed they could win. They did it. You’re going to have days where guys are going to make plays and I think some of it is just a combination of those things, having some guys in and out of the game because of injury, teams making plays because you know what they’re pretty good players too on both sides of the ball, and that’s going to happen. The bottom line is they responded with two wins.”

Titans QB Jake Locker Conference Call
(on the firing of former offensive coordinator Chris Palmer) “You hate to see when anybody loses their job, but I’m thankful for all the hard work, appreciate of all the hard work he put in on our behalf for these first two years and all the opportunities that he gave me. Like always, you wish those guys the best going forward.”

(on how he thinks the play calling will be different now) “That’s something that we’ll get a feel for I think throughout this week at practice, kind of get an idea of some of the things that he’d like, how he likes to call situations and stuff like that. I think that’ll be something that we’ll have a little more comfort and familiarity with at the end of the week.”

(on if the coaches get his input when putting the game plan together or if he is too young for that) “No, I think they’ve all done a great job of Coach Loggains understanding what the things that I like to do, the things that I’m comfortable doing and trying to find ways to create that in the offense.”

(on the Texans’ pass defense recent struggles) “Yeah, they’re a great defense and at the end of the day that’s what it comes down to. What they do they do really well. They’re’ very disciplined in it and they don’t make a lot of mistakes. The guys that they’ve been playing against get beat too and it’s a lot of good football teams in this league. In my mind it doesn’t make me think of that unit any less. They’re a talented group. They come to play every weekend and got to prepare really well to have success.”

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