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Texans Practice Quotes: August 21

Posted Aug 21, 2013

Quotes from select players and coaches after Wednesday's practice.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
ILB Brian Cushing
QB Matt Schaub
DE J.J. Watt

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the status of RB Arian Foster) “Well, we pulled him off PUP. He went back to work today kind of on a limited basis, but it was positive. So we’ll take it a day at a time.”

(on how important it is that RB Arian Foster is back at practice) “Yeah, it’s really important and, like I told y’all all along, he’s been working. It’s not like he’s been standing around. Just trying to get all of that soreness out and he felt really good the last two days. So we made the decision today and I think we took a big step forward.”

(on if there’s any chance RB Arian Foster will play on Sunday) “I don’t think so. I hope he’s knocking my door down to play, but I don’t think so. I think the key is that we just have a couple of good weeks of practice and bring him along as if he’s just started training camp. So trying to do it the right way.”

(on if it’s a relief that RB Arian Foster is back at practice) “Yeah, it is, but at the same time, like I told you all, I did feel like he’d be here. I thought it would be a few days earlier, but I was watching him work and watching what he was going through, so I felt confident that we were close and ready to go, but also understand how important it is that they did it at the right time. The key is Arian felt good about it today, so that’s the most important thing.”

(on his thoughts on DE Antonio Smith’s situation) “First off, I’m disappointed in myself because I’ve got to make sure my players keep their composure on the football field. That’s my job. Then, they’ve got a job when they get out there to maintain their composure regardless of circumstances. There are no excuses. We can’t hurt the team. I talk to our guys about that all the time and if somebody’s going to miss some time, that hurts the team. Me and Antonio talked about that. We’ll go through the process now and I have total confidence in our League. I think it’s fair and that they will listen to our side of the story and we’ll see what happens. But right now, the focus is on New Orleans and getting ready to play our opener.”

(on if there is anything new on WR DeAndre Hopkins) “DeAndre is in phase one, so he’s in phase one today. You’ve got to go through five stages. Can you make up five stages between now and Sunday? Yes, you can, but we’ll see. He’s day-to-day right now.”

(on if there were any other health issues today) “No. Let’s see, I think that’s it. I’ve actually got to check. (OLB) Whitney (Mercilus) is very, very close to getting back out here too. If anything, I think we had 82 guys on the field today. That’s the most we’ve had since we opened training camp, so that’s a positive sign.”

(on if OLB Justin Tuggle would start if OLB Whitney Mercilus is unable to go) “It all depends right now. (ILB Tim) Dobbins is back on the field today and working today, so we can slide some people back around. We’ll wait and see.”

(on how RB Arian Foster did today in his first practice back) “He looked good. He looked fresh to me. He looked quick. The biggest thing is he had a smile on his face with his reps and he felt positive. We’ll go in and see how he feels after practice and hopefully we take a bunch of steps forward this week.”

(on the status of G Wade Smith) “He’s doing great. Obviously, we don’t bring him out here. We leave him inside. I’m not worried about Wade knowing what to do. We’re pushing really hard towards opening day with him. He’s doing everything he possibly can do to get there.”

(on if G Wade Smith could play opening day) “There’s a chance, but we really don’t know. We know he’s doing really, really well right now. Until he gets out here and starts with working with Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) and them on the field, then that’s the next big step.”

(on how critical it is for RB Arian Foster to receive touches before the regular season) “Well, I would love to, but we’re going to do the right thing here. Is it a must for him to be ready to go against San Diego and help his team win? No, I don’t think it is, but we’ll keep going and take it day-to-day and see where we’re at.”

(on how long the guys will go on Sunday) “Our starters will definitely play a half of football or a number of plays I should say. I’m going to put a play-count on them. We’ve got to go get a good 30-40 snaps with our guys and get them some good work. Yeah, we still have some tough decisions to make and our young kids turn around and play on Thursday. We’re going to approach this just like we’re playing a normal game.”

(on clarifying that he didn’t say it’s a must for RB Arian Foster to be ready for San Diego) “No, I didn’t say that. I said I don’t think it’s a must that he carries the ball to be ready, in preseason, to be ready for San Diego. Yeah, that’s what I said.”

(on if he has a plan for the number of plays for ILB Brian Cushing this week) “Yeah, he probably won’t go quite as much as the guys. If they go 30-40, Cushing’s probably a 25-play guy. We’ll just make sure we take another step forward.”

(on what quarterback will come in after QB Matt Schaub) “I don’t know. I’ll make that decision later. I’m working them both behind Matt. We’ll see where we’re at Friday.”

(on DE Antonio Smith’s response to his conversation with him) “Well, he’s very disappointed. He wants to be on the football field and be out there with his teammates and he understands that there are consequences that go with losing your composure in a given moment. At the same time, like I said, we stand behind our player and let’s go through the process and let’s see what happens.”

ILB Brian Cushing
(on how it felt to get out there today and get going last week) “It felt very good. Obviously, it’s been a little bit of time, but just to get out there and playing football is a great feeling. It just felt right. Obviously, there’s a big difference between practicing and playing in actual game situations. Going back out last weekend was the first step.”

(on how it felt to make a tackle for a loss against Miami) “It felt good. Obviously, I want to be an impact player. I want to be a game-changing type of player and I think that the team and city kind of expects that out of me, and I expect that out of myself. To go back out there and prove that I’m 100 percent and make plays like that is exactly what I want to do.”

(on the goal of making the Super Bowl and how much the team talks about it) “I think it’s obviously our main goal and our final goal, but there are a lot of steps that lead up to that. It’s mentioned here and there, but the main thing is to take the next step and, game-by-game, in order for us to first make the playoffs, we have to have a good enough record and, for us to make the Super Bowl, we have to win in the playoffs. There’s a ton of steps before we start talking about the Super Bowl and it becomes a realization. It’s one of those things that we have a lot of work to do before that’s a real understanding.”

(on players slowly coming back to being fully healthy and if it feels like things are under wraps) “Yeah and, at the same time, you look around in the NFL right now and how banged up some teams are and how many injuries teams have suffered. Obviously, we haven’t really quite unleashed all of our players. We’re all healthy and that’s the biggest thing. No one’s really out for the season or has some pretty serious injury right now. The biggest thing is being healthy and staying healthy. It’s a long season, we understand that. So I think we’re just trying to do preseason right right now.”

(on the defense playing well with him in there last season and how eager he is to get back as a result) “I am and obviously it helps that we open up on Monday Night Football, which is a great stage to really perform on. It’s a chance to go back out there and really establish our role as a dominant defense. To help with that is going to be a tremendous feeling.”

(on what DE Antonio Smith is going through) “It’s tough. To not be able to play in the first game of the year, it’s what you work for. You work the entire camp to run out of the tunnel in the first game and, like I just said, it’s Monday Night Football. It’s the biggest stage you can get on besides the Super Bowl. I know how frustrated he is right now. He’s just going to have to work to get back and whatever happens happens with that situation.”

(on Defensive Coordinator’s Wade Phillips’ system and picking it up) “Practice and we had pretty much everything working against us too with the lockout and not really as much time to get it down pat. Wade’s a great teacher. Wade’s a great teacher. But at the same time, he keeps things simple. He wasn’t ever really too complex and he really taught us the right way how to do it. Like I said, he keeps things simple. You play faster, you play with more confidence and therefore you’re able to make more plays and just go out there and have more fun.”

(on the potential to having a top defense and the transition to playing a 3-4 scheme when Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips took over) “Yeah, we sure hope so. It was able to really work out for us. We believed in the system, which I think was the most important thing was that when (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) came in here, no one questioned it or had any doubts, but everyone really bought into it and really went full-go with it. So I think that was the biggest thing and, once we bought into it and just worked at it, we saw what was coming from it and we saw how much better we were playing. We were attacking and dominating offenses and shutting teams down. It was just a really good feeling and obviously we wanted more and we were feeding off it and we felt great about playing in the 3-4.”

(on the keys to rookies coming in and playing well and how important confidence is for that) “Yeah, I think so. That’s the biggest thing is trying to make your mark early, whether it’s in camp with your team or first-game improvement to other teams around the league. The biggest thing is kind of being fearless and going out there and playing the game that you know how to play. You’re not going to know everything at first because you’re a rookie. You’re not going to know the defense really like a veteran. The biggest thing is playing hard and giving everything you’ve got, and you’re going to be successful if you do that.”

(on if he’s ever had a legal hit that injured a player for the season) “I don’t think so, maybe a couple of games. I’m not sure if it was a full season or anything like that. It’s the nature of the game that we play in. It’s a very physical sport and those kinds of things are going to happen. Like you said, it could be completely legal. It could be in the context of completely legal. If something happens where he gets hurt and he can’t play anymore and there are so many variations of injuries that can happen too. Guys are just getting bigger and faster and stronger and it leaves no room for injury.”

(on if preseason injuries are a result of the new CBA rules because of less contact) “Well, I think if you look at most of the injuries in preseason and some of the guys weren’t even touched. So I have no explanation for that. I don’t think anyone really does right now. Everyone wants to talk about, ‘Oh, they’re not training enough or, oh, they’re training too much.’ No one knows. Whether you’re running around with no one and getting hurt or you’re getting hit and you’re getting hurt, it’s just football and it’s going to happen.”

(on if more knee injuries will occur because of the rules) “Probably. Probably and it’s unfortunate. I wish maybe you can find a happy medium between the knee and the head, but obviously guys are so fearful of a fine, such a magnitude of number that these guys are getting fined as. It’s ridiculous. Obviously, they want to stay away from that area, but then guys are being lost for the year. It’s a lose-lose situation and I don’t know. I just think something needs to get done about that. What? I don’t know.”

(on what separates Saints QB Drew Brees) “I think his elusiveness. I think his pocket presence is unbelievable. He’s one of those guys that doesn’t even have to see things to feel them. He can feel the pressure and move around. I think he’s got a great relationship with his offensive line and, in that way, they work very well together. Any time he’s in trouble, he makes unbelievable throws or a check down to guys like (RB) Darren Sproles, who are just almost impossible to cover one-on-one. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in my opinion in the NFL. He’s just very good at what he does.”

(on if he likes playing the third preseason game against a guy like Saints QB Drew Brees) “It is a very good test. It’s a good test to see where you where you are and a great matchup. To play against a guy of a caliber like that is a good judgment. At the same time, if you consider yourself one of the best, you want to compete against one of the best. That’s what we see as a defense and we know it will be a great test come Sunday.”

(on fitting players to Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme and the depth of the team) “I think so and obviously it’s a big credit to Wade as usual and what he does and how he just molds guys here that fit his scheme perfectly. At the same time, I think it’s not just a blind guess of bringing guys in here. He knows the personnel he wants and the kind of players. When he gets here, they already have a certain job in his mind of what to do and how to do it. I think, like I said, just a lot of credit to him.”

(on if it’s fun watching the young players play at a high level in the defense) “Sure and obviously in the preseason, you don’t play full games. Some games, like the first and fourth, you hardly play at all, so you get a lot of opportunities to see these guys play. There’s certain guys you can’t wait to see them in game situations and game experience. All kind of focus goes on them. You get a great opportunity to see what they can do and what they’re made of.”

(on coming out of the tunnel last against Miami for introductions) “Oh, it’s special. This crowd is awesome. You don’t see that in preseason games, just the kind of energy and love for the game they have in this city, it’s awesome. Obviously, to be introduced last and kind of the ovation I got, it’s nothing else but motivating. Obviously, you want to go out there and have your best game and prove that you’re back and prove you worth. That kind of noise. It’s extremely motivating and makes you want to play that much more.”

(on if DE J.J. Watt will take his spot back coming out last from the tunnel) “I don’t think so.”

(on if it’s important for him to sign an extension before the season) “Obviously, I’d love for that to happen, but at the same time, it’s not up to me and it’s not in my hands. I know my caliber of football and my style of play will take care of itself. Obviously, I need to stay healthy. I know that. Some things have been pushed back with my injury last year. Obviously, I want to be here. There’s no hiding that, but at the same time, I’ll let that stuff take care of itself.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on RB Arian Foster being back) “Yeah, it was great to see him back out there, see his explosiveness from all this rehab. You come back, you’re pretty fresh. It was great to have him back in the huddle to get another piece of the puzzle.”

(on what it means to the offense to have RB Arian Foster back) “Yeah, it’s huge for us. He’s one of our most explosive playmakers in the run and the pass. It’s great to have him back in there. His ability to get one cut, get downhill and make people miss. The factor in the play-action game, we can check it down to him and he’s going to make, most of the time, the first person miss and then get big plays for us.”

(on the difference with RB Arian Foster back in the backfield instead of RB Ben Tate) “Yeah, it was a little different. We were asking Ben to do a lot more, the young kids to do a little bit more and pick up the slack there. Ben’s been around here for a number of years, so he’s no stranger to being in there full-time. We were just moving forward and going, but you can definitely tell when he’s in there what he means to us.”

(on if he feels more comfortable in terms of protections with RB Arian Foster back there) “Yeah, again, it’s just the amount of football he’s played. He’s seen all of the blitzes and understands our protections, much like (RB) Ben (Tate) does. Those guys have seen it all, so I’m comfortable with whoever’s in there because we make sure whoever’s in there that they understand their responsibilities and pick that up. Throughout camp, they’ve understood how things work because we see it every day. You don’t go through a training camp against our defense and not see every blitz and look, so it’s been good for all of our backs.”

(on if he talked to RB Arian Foster about how he felt after practice) “I haven’t really asked him, but I suppose he was fine.”

(on how often does the team talk about the goal of winning the Super Bowl) “Here and there. It’s not something that, once we get going and we’re going through the grind and we’re going through a game week and we’re going through practice, our focus is on that day, how we can get better, how we can go get prepared to play the Saints this Sunday. That stuff takes care of itself and it’s something you work towards throughout the season. It’s something that, once we get to this point, we’ve just got to put our blinders on and focus on the next step right in front of us. We can’t think about the big picture right now, but we’ve got to understand that, to get there, we’ve got to prepare, we’ve got to practice, day-in and day-out, our work ethic has to be at that type of level.”

(on how WR DeVier Posey has looked since he’s been back at practice) “He looks great. It looks like he never even suffered an injury. It’s remarkable how he worked all offseason. I saw him every day in here, all hours and I thought I haven’t seen a guy work that hard from the injury that he had at his position and come back and look the way he looks right now. It’s exceptional.”

(on what WR DeVier Posey brings to the offense) “Just an added weapon. He’s a big target, pretty explosive. He can run, he can go get the ball and, if you look at our receivers right now, they all have some pretty good size to them and ability to go get the football.”

(on all of his weapons at wide receiver and how exciting that is) “Oh, absolutely. With those three guys and then you add in (WR) Keshawn (Martin) and (WR) Lestar (Jean), those five guys at receiver, we’ve got a pretty potent receiving corp. As far as numbers, (WR) Andre (Johnson) has all the numbers. Those other guys are young and have taken steps in their career. Keshawn and Lestar last year got a lot of time and (WR) DeVier (Posey) late in the season. We just need those guys to continue to get better and it’s my job to help them to get better.”

(on what he’s noticed about the progress of WRs Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean) “Just their overall experience level. Just understanding everything we’re doing in the run and pass. You don’t have to ask them or question what they’re doing. You just call something, a new play, and they go out and they do it. They understand what to do and what we’re trying to get done. Just their comfort level and their ability to separate at the moment the ball is being delivered. They’re just full-go.”

(on how important the third preseason game is) “Yeah, we approach our game week, everything we do, our meetings, our install, our preparation, it’s like we do in the regular season. It’s a rehearsal for what we’re going to do and how we’re going to approach San Diego. It’s a chance for guys to get into their routine and prepare as if it’s a regular season game. It’s important for us to go out and show what we’ve done all offseason and training camp and put it out there on the field. Just let everyone know, let our teammates know, that we’re ready to go.”

(on what the offensive line loses if G Wade Smith is not ready for San Diego) “Just a veteran guy. He works his tail off. What he brings from experience, playing between (C) Chris (Myers) and (T) Duane (Brown), just his level of knowledge in the offense and the adjustments and just his hard work and his determination not to let his guy make the tackle or get through the line on the pass protections. We have guys that we’re confident in. (G/C) Ben Jones can go over there and fill in. He played a lot of football last year.”

(on the importance of having RB Arian Foster back Week One) “Yeah, if there’s any question, I definitely want him out there. What he brings to our offense and to our team is important.”

(on how many things have to go well to win the Super Bowl) “It’s such a long year. You have to understand what it takes to get there and how hard you have to work every day in here for 16 weeks throughout the regular season, fighting to get into the postseason and then putting yourself in a position to vie for a championship, but we have the right pieces of the puzzle. Ultimately, things do have to go your way. You might have to get a bounce here or a bounce there. Ultimately, it’s your hard work, it’s your preparation, it’s things that you do in the building, on the practice field and just throughout the grind of the season. Those details go a long way to putting you in that position.”

(on if it was weird hearing T Duane Brown get called for holding) “You know, it kind of was. To be honest, when we were on the field, because I’m so in-tune to getting the next play and figuring out what the next situation is, that I didn’t know, on the field, it was him. It was when we came off the field in between series and we were looking at the pictures and getting ready for the next series that I asked Karl Dorrell, our QB Coach, and I said, ‘Who was that holding on?’ and he said, ‘Duane,’ and I was like, ‘No way. I don’t believe that.’ So we’ll just have to clean that up (joking).”

DE J.J. Watt
(on what motivates him off the field to be so involved in the community and his foundation) “The motivation for that is I realize how fortunate I am. I mean, I get to wake up every day and play a game and they pay me a lot of money to do it and I realize that I am in a situation that I can give back and I can go out in the community and I can make a difference. My whole life my parents have taught me to give back, to realize how fortunate I am and to give back. That’s really what it is. When I have the opportunity to go and put a smile on somebody’s face just by shaking their hand or giving an autograph or taking a picture, that’s powerful. And it’s not going to happen my whole life. So, while I have it, I want to use it. It’s pretty cool. It’s special and it’s one of those things that seeing a kid’s face light up is just as good as a sack. It’s just as good as a tackle for loss; it’s just as good as a batted ball. It’s truly special and it’s an honor to be able to do that and I try to do it as often as I can.”

(on if he thinks head coach Gary Kubiak is ever going to let him play on offense) “I don’t think it’s going to happen. You never know.”

(on DE Antonio Smith’s suspension) “I support my teammate. I know he’s going through the appeals process. I hope we get him back as soon as we can.”

(on if Dolphins OL Richie Incognito is a dirty player) “I think that is—I think a lot of people think that.”

(on how nice it was to see RB Arian Foster back at practice) “It’s good to have him back. You want your starting running back out there and we’re glad to have him on the field.”

(on what the team needs to do to take the next step) “We need to finish. Last year, we didn’t finish at the end of the season and that’s exactly what we need to do this year. We need to finish.”

(on how excited he is to play more against New Orleans) “Like I said, I’m always ready to play and I’m always chomping at the bit to get out there. Excited. Excited is all I can say.”

(on if there is something he needs to do when not having DE Antonio Smith out there next to him) “Just play. Treat it like a real game. I treat everything like a real game. I treat practice like a game. Like I’ve said before, there’s no ‘turn it off.’ There’s no ‘just because it’s a preseason, playing it one way.’ You play the way you play, all the time.”

(on if he misses not having DE Antonio Smith at practice) “Of course. That’s my brother and I miss him. Like I said, hopefully we get him back as soon as we can. I know there’s a process he has to go through but you always miss your brother out there.”

(on what was the key to catching on to the 3-4 defense from a 4-3 in 2011) “I think (defensive coordinator) Wade’s (Phillips) done a great job with us. I think he has a great plan and he knows how to use the guys he has. We trust Wade so much because he’s been successful wherever he’s been and he knows how to use the guys properly. He trusts us and he puts us in positions to have success and then he gives us a little bit of freedom because he knows that we know what we’re doing also.”

(on how much more complex their defense is now from that first year) “Well that first year we had the lockout, so that obviously changed a lot of things. You had to simplify it a little bit just because of the lack of time. But as we’ve gone on, we’ve definitely picked it up a little bit. We have a bunch of guys who have played a lot of years in this defense now and everybody’s getting pretty comfortable with it. And I think you’re only going to see more progress with that because guys are comfortable and because you don’t have to think about your assignment as much. You just go out there and let it loose.”

(on how much different the defense is without DE Antonio Smith) “Of course he’s a great player. Of course you want him out there; you want him playing. He can do a lot of things on the field. But my mentality is you’ve got to play with the 11 you’ve got. Just like when we lost Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) last year, it’s my job to step up and make those plays. It’s time for guys to rally and make those plays because (DE) Antonio’s (Smith) a guy who can make plays out there. For however long he’s out, we don’t know how long for sure yet, like I said, it’s my job to step up and make those plays, just like last year.”

(on what he’s seen from specific players who can step up and fill in for DE Antonio Smith) “We have a good D-line and I think that’s one thing, we have some depth. Whoever it is, you’ve got Jamo (DE Tim Jamison), you’ve got (DE Jared) Crick, you’ve got (NT) Terrell McClain, who’s been playing great. We have some guys that can fill those spaces. So it’s just another chance for those guys to get some more reps and to show what they can do. I assume the Saints are going to be playing their ones longer just like we’re playing our ones longer, so it’ll be a chance for them to play against the ones and that’s always great. When you get to see the best in the League against some starters, that’s a chance to see where you stand.”

(on New Orleans QB Drew Brees) “Drew Brees is a very good quarterback. He’s a guy who’s been around, who’s had a lot of success in this league. He gets the ball out fast. He has great eyes and he makes his decisions quick and as a defensive lineman, that puts pressure on you because you need to get there faster. You need to get your hands up in the passing lanes when you can’t get there to get the sack. He’s a very good quarterback. He has great command of his team. He’s a great leader, so it’s a nice challenge. It’s always good to have a challenge like that in the preseason to get you amped up and ready to go for the regular season.”

(on feeling like a caged animal right before the game) “I don’t think I’ll actually feel like they’ve fully taken the chains off me until the regular season, but any I chance I get for them to throw a little bit of meat into the cage, I like it, and I’ll take it. I’ll take any bit I can.”

RB Arian Foster

(on how it felt to be back at practice) “It felt good. I felt really good.”

(on if he’ll be ready for the season opener) “Yeah, I’ll be ready.”

(on if everything medical-wise has been a process to this point) “Yeah.”

(on if his rehab has been more than what he thought) “I wasn’t really expecting anything. You get a little injured and you go through the injury process, so it’s part of the game.”

(on if the calf injury was connected to the back injury) “No, it’s just separate, separate injuries.”

(on how he hurt his back) “Just a lot of hard work, lot of hard work. Moving stuff, lifting stuff.”

(on if he was concerned at all that he wouldn’t be ready for the season) “No, no, no.”

(on if he feels he needs preseason reps or if he can start Week 1 without them) “I’m not a huge fan of preseason. I feel like I’ll be ready for September 9th without any (reps). I’ve been playing for a while, so I know game speed. I just have to get myself back acclimated with just football, but I’ll be fine.”

(on if he can get back to game speed with practice) “Yeah, yeah.”

(on what the toughest part getting acclimated to game speed is) “There’s not really a tough part. It’s just getting back into the flow of things. I wouldn’t really call it tough; it’s just part of it. You just kind of get back into the flow of things.”

(on clarifying what he meant by saying he got hurt lifting and if he meant weights) “Just hard work. A lot of hard work. If I told you how I hurt it, that would give the opponent a key on me. Would it not? Well, if you know how you injured it, then you know what part is injured.”

(on if he wants opponents to avoid knowing how he got injured) “I mean, you don’t know where though.”

(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying he wasn’t quite ready a few days ago and what was the breakthrough that got him back onto the field) “There was no change. There was no break. I think it’s just me being aware of my body. You guys pressing Coach (Gary Kubiak) for answers and him giving answers that he doesn’t know 100 percent what’s going on. I know my body. I knew it wasn’t a huge issue. I just had to give it time. Before the season, y’all are thirsty for news, so it’s one of those stories.”

(on running the ball fully into the end zone even though it was a light practice and if that was just enjoyment about being back) “I’ve been doing that since I was a rookie. That’s just part of my deal.”

 

(on what are his realistic expectations for this season and if the Super Bowl is realistic) “You can’t win the Super Bowl in the third preseason game, so it’s like there’s not a point in talking about it. I’ve always been, just like you said, just take it one game at a time. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We don’t even know who’s going to be on the team yet. My expectations are just that, expectations. You can expect whatever you want, but you’ve got to go put the work in.”

(on if now was a good time to be injured since he was able to get back) “I guess if, yeah, you put it like that, it’s a great time to get injured if you’re going to get injured.”

(on if this offense has the potential to be one of the best offenses) “We’ve got all the potential in the world. We’ve just got to go execute. I haven’t played with them out on the field yet. Today’s my first practice, so I’m not that big of a part yet. So cross that bridge, but I mean, obviously we have a bunch of talent here and it’s always fun to watch.”

(on the young running backs and if it takes him back watching them compete for a roster spot) “Yeah, you kind of look at how they do things and how they look at me and how they look at (WR) Andre (Johnson) and how they look at guys in the locker room, and just kind of putting you back in the mindset of you just don’t know. It kind of takes you back.”

(on if he’s watched the young running backs much) “Yeah.”

(on his thoughts on the young running backs) “I like them. They’re working hard. They’re young and they’re hungry. They’ve just got to stay focused and they can’t worry about anything else, but themselves. They’re on the team right now, but they’re not on the team. That was the mindset I took when I was undrafted.”

(on if the young running backs talk to him) “Yeah, I’m the big homie.”

(on if he’s content with his workload) “The thing about that is, when you’re a scatback, the knock on you is ‘Oh, you can’t carry the load.’ But when you’re a workhorse it’s, ‘You’re getting too many carries.’ It’s like people just find things to talk about. I stopped listening. So sure, the workload’s big. I don’t really care, man. Whatever. I’m over it.”

(on being profiled in GQ) “About time, man. No, I’m just playing. It was cool. You know, they called and of course I said yes. It was just a nice opportunity, man. Fun people. I had a great time with the photographer and the whole crew there. It was really good. Really good people.”

(on if that was why he grew his beard) “No, I grew the beard because I didn’t feel like shaving it no more. It’s a hassle.”

(on if there was a time coming back from his offseason injuries where he faced some mental frustration) “Yeah, you get frustrated. I mean, I wasn’t dying. I still had a smile on my face. You just get a little—‘Well, I’ve got to keep working.’ I’ve still got food and water and a house. Perspective, man. Some people don’t have that.”

(on how he was frustrated with his offseason injuries in terms of football) “Well, see I don’t look at things in just terms of football though. It’s hard to shake me like that. I came from the bottom.”

(on what it was like working with the dog in his GQ picture) “Scary. Dogs ain’t really my thing. I got bit in the face when I was a kid. I don’t have anything against them, it’s just I’d rather not.”

(on what kind of dog bit him when he was a kid) “One with teeth. It was big. It was big.”

(on if he needs preseason snaps in order to get ready for the regular season) “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I think some people do. Some people don’t. I feel like if I get a sufficient amount of practice carries and get my wind up football-wise, because I’ve been training since March. My wind is fine; it’s just getting that acclimation back to football. I don’t know, man. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

(on having a little boy) “It balances the hormones out, because I have a little girl and a wife. He really doesn’t do much now, so we’ll see when grows up. Right now, it’s just crying and eating and defecating.”

 

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