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Texans Practice Quotes: August 22

Posted Aug 22, 2013

Quotes from select Texans players and coaches.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
T Duane Brown
WR Andre Johnson
WR DeVier Posey

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on any injury updates) “(NT David) Hunter missed practice today. He got rolled up in practice. He’s got a sprained ankle. I don’t know, I wouldn’t say it looks good for this weekend, but hopefully he’ll be back for Dallas. So he’s going to miss a few days.”

(on the importance of the third preseason game for the starters) “Yeah, it’s always important. You want to be stepping forward. Everything you’re doing, I think, veteran guys kind of know, guys that have played and know how they want to feel as they move in the preseason. We still have some tough decisions to make. We’ve got to look at a lot of players in the second half, so we still need to continue to do that. All of the pieces won’t be in place when you’re talking about (RB) Arian (Foster) and (DE) Antonio (Smith). You’d like to have them all out there, but we’ve got to keep plugging. We’re going to face issues during the season too and we have to respond to them, so this is a good opportunity to do that and we’re playing a really good football team, so a great test for us.”

(on the backup quarterback situation) “I’m going to keep pushing both of them to the end with this thing. There’s not going to be any decision made. I’ll decide who goes second here probably tomorrow after our visit with the coaches tonight, but then they both will play obviously a great deal against Dallas. We’re going to take this thing all the way until the end. I think it’s extremely close. They’ve both played well and I think it’s important for us, as a team, to push them to the end and just see how it goes throughout the course of preseason.”

(on if he’s surprised how difficult the backup quarterback decision is) “No, I thought it would be because they’ve both responded. A young player’s responded to becoming a better player and a veteran’s responded to the pressure of somebody pushing him. That’s what putting together a team is all about. It’s making us all better.”

(on how he’ll decide who the backup quarterback is if it’s neck-and-neck) “Somebody’s got to lean at the finish. One of them has got to lean. We’ll figure it out. It’s a nice problem to have. We’ve got to good ones.”

(on how ideal the Saints are for the third preseason game, especially for the defense) “Yeah, you’re going against one of the top quarterbacks in the game for the past 10, 12, 14 years, however long (Saints QB) Drew (Brees) has been playing, defensively for us. Offensively, it’s a totally different scheme. (Saints Head Coach) Sean (Payton’s) changed. (Saints Defensive Coordinator) Rob Ryan’s running the defense. It’s a big 3-4 defense, big outside guys. Special teams-wise, if that returner’s back there, he’s as good as there is in the business. It’s a heck of a test and they’re a very fast football team, turf-built football team. It’s a challenge for us, but we’ve played them a lot. Hopefully, in a way, we’ve helped each other get ready to play each and every year. It’s a good test. The fact that we’re playing Sunday afternoon puts us in our normal routine, so to speak. All the indicators help us get ready for opening day.”

(on if he would carry three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster) “I think it’s probably too early to say that because you don’t know what else is going on with your team, but I would say that we’ve got three very good ones and you don’t let good football players go. So they’re all playing very good.”

(on how RB Arian Foster looked today) “Yeah, he looked good. He did more. He put his pads on with everybody else. I think we went from like 10 reps to 20 today. We picked up his work. He felt fine coming out of yesterday. Today’s the same, looked the same to me. We’ll just keep taking it almost as if he started training camp yesterday.”

(on if there has been any decision whether RB Arian Foster will play this weekend) “No, I don’t see him playing. Like I said, I hope he has such a good week that he’s feeling like, ‘Hey, I can go play 10-15 plays,’ and talking to me that way. I think with the time he’s missed, the smartest thing is to get in a couple of good weeks of practice. We’ve got the game week coming up of opening day plus an extra day because of the Monday Night. So we’ve got a lot of time to put Arian through some good work. It’s important that we put him through the steps right away.”

(on S D.J. Swearinger’s hit and if the rules are becoming problematic) “It’s over. The kid did nothing wrong. It’s over.”

(on the right side of the offensive line) “(T Derek) Newton’s had a good camp. He’s a better player than he was last year. He went against a really good player the other night. It was a good test for him. There was some good and some bad. That’s part of the growth process, but he’s had a really good camp. (G) Brandon (Brooks) is a better player. With Brandon, it’s really more of Brandon getting 100 percent comfortable scheme-wise because, when Brandon knows what he’s doing, it looks really good. Sometimes, we have some issues, but he’s working at it. The more he plays, that should start to get itself out of his game.”

(on G Wade Smith’s status) “He’s doing really good. We don’t have him on the field yet. We’re pointing toward maybe Monday toward getting him on the field with Kap (Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan), so I think we’re in a two-week process right there. He’s going to be very close and his work has been excellent. He’s done a good job.”

(on the status of FS Ed Reed) “Ed will be back. Actually, we’re going to send Ed to the surgeon to take the last look at him in Vail. I can’t remember his name, (Dr. Marc) Philippon I think, but that’s going to be the last step. That’s going to be the last step and then he’ll be back for good and we’ll start working toward hopefully getting back on the field.”

(on the decision coming up with FS Ed Reed as far as the PUP) “Yeah, we’ve got some tough ones, with (WR DeVier) Posey coming back and Ed and his situation. Lot of things have got to get worked out and we need to get them worked out on the field. We’ve got to just keep playing these guys.”

(on if FS Ed Reed has already seen the surgeon) “No, he has not. No.”

(on if S D.J. Swearinger is the starter if FS Ed Reed is not available) “No, (FS) Shiloh (Keo’s) been the starter. Shiloh’s had a wonderful camp. He got banged up the other night, but he made it back to practice. He’ll be ready to go this week.”

(on if he has his running back rotation set for this week) “No, (RB) Ben (Tate’s) going to play a lot. We’re going to play Ben as if he’s a starter playing a half of football. He’ll probably get spelled by (RB) Deji (Karim) and then after that, I think we need to take a hard look at (RB Cierre) Wood and (RB Dennis) Johnson the most. So that’s the way we’ll go about it.”

(on the progress of OLB Whitney Mercilus) “It’s been good. He’s worked really hard the last two days. Hamstrings are touchy. He’s running almost full speed. I think he’s day-to-day. The farther we go along in the week, we’re already to Friday, so we’re running out of time this week to throw him out there with all of the time that he’s missed. I think his path is correct in getting to opening day for us.”

(on the status of WR Alan Bonner) “Yeah, he’s doing better. He actually ran pretty good today. He’s definitely not going to play this week. The problem we’ve got with next week, I can sit here and talk like next week, but next week’s like Thursday. It’s like three days after we play Sunday evening. It’s going to be a very quick turnaround. There’s not going to be much practice time and we’re going to be playing a lot of young players. It would be hard for me to speculate right now.”

(on RB Cierre Wood’s impact on special teams) “The other night, I would say he’s inconsistent. We’re trying to get him consistent. He made a couple of good plays and a couple that we can’t have, but you expect that from a young player. I think that’s the key with a guy like him, he’s very talented. He’s very smart. He knows what he’s doing. We’ve just got to get it all looking like a problem, looking like the same all the time. He’s got a couple of big opportunities coming up here. A little bit come Sunday and a lot come Thursday. He needs to step to the plate.”

(on how WR DeVier Posey’s looked since being back at practice) “Just his work habits to get him back out there. Obviously, he’s fresh compared to the other players. You saw a spark right off the bat and naturally he’s got to go through some of the pains of legs getting worn out after a few days, bringing himself back. He’s got a process he’s got to go through and I think he realizes that, especially with the long practice we had today.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins’ status) “We have not moved forward. We’re still at phase one. He feels about the same, so obviously he is not going to play this week. He’s ruled out this week. He’s doing better, but the process has not moved past stage one.”

T Duane Brown
(on what he looks forward to in the third preseason game) “I definitely look forward to it. First game, played six plays. Last game, played just slightly less than one quarter. Get a pretty substantial amount of time this week and to gauge where I am and where I need to be for that first week and going against a pretty good opponent with the New Orleans defense. They’ve got a pretty good pair of rushers on the outside. I always look forward to going out to play and just reaching another level. Just taking another step forward and improving as a player. This will get me ready for Week 1 and looking forward to it.”

(on being called for holding last week and if it was shocking) “I was a little shocked the way that the play was developed. I kind of baited the inside move and he took it and I thought I let him go and apparently they thought I held him a little longer than I should have. You never like to get flagged and I really take pride in that. Better now than the regular season I guess.”

(on not getting holding calls against him in the past) “It means a lot to me. My craft is everything. Working on my technique is everything. I pride myself on being athletic and being able to move my feet to get into position, and that’s when you get holding calls, when you’re out of position. I’ve been fortunate to be able to play pretty well and I’ve been lucky in some cases I guess. Just looking to keeping that going.”

(on if the focus feels different with the team this year) “I think the focus is at an all-time high, discipline is at an all-time high. I think we have very high expectations for ourselves. I think we’re holding each other accountable more this season than ever and we have a big goal in mind. The playoffs aren’t enough for us this year. We know we have a long road ahead of us and we’re not looking further than we’re supposed to, but we know the kind of talent we have with this team. This preseason has been very, very focused and very, very disciplined. Everyone’s locked in.”

(on getting RB Arian Foster back in the huddle) “It’s been great. It’s been great to see 23 out there just getting his feet wet, shaking the rust off. He’s been trying to recover the whole preseason and, to have him out there means a lot to us. We know what kind of player he is, very special player and to have him out there, a symbol that he’s somewhat ready to go.”

(on a lot being made about DE Antonio Smith’s battle with Dolphins G Richie Incognito and what his opinion is of Incognito) “Incognito’s a good player in my eyes. I think he’s a very intense player, a very passionate player. I think he does a little extra here and there and, when you’re going against a guy and you guys have that kind of history, it’s tough. I spoke on it a little bit yesterday. It’s tough to be in Antonio’s shoes when you have something that happened last year where he felt like he was done a little dirty and that sticks in the back of your mind. I think Incognito’s a good player and I was out there in the Pro Bowl with him. He’s a nice guy. He plays hard. It just unfortunate to have that kind of exchange when you’re going against someone. I think play to the whistle without a doubt, but you’ve got to protect each other as well. You’re trying to play hard. You’re trying to do your job, but this is everyone’s livelihood and you never want to put that in jeopardy.”

(on if Dolphins G Richie Incognito plays dirty) “It’s not my place to say that. I would say he plays hard. I’m not a defensive linemen, so I don’t go against him. Everyone has something here or there where you take a shot or someone takes a shot at you. I don’t want to call him a dirty play. He’s just intense. I’ll say that.”

(on the importance of keeping your composure and how he’s been able to maintain that) “You’ve got to keep the team in mind and it’s tough. It’s very tough. This is a violent game, controlled violence out there and everyone is a competitor. Everyone’s adrenaline is going. Everyone is prideful out there. You never want someone to get the better of you. You never want someone to take a shot at you and, if they do, then you have to keep the team and the game in mind, and not ever try to feel like you have to get back at them in that moment. You’ll have your chance. You’ll always have your chance, but between the whistles and legally. It’s just hard to try to keep that cool and I manage to do it, but some people can’t at all times.”

(on if he’s ever had a situation where he’s had a history with a guy) “Absolutely. I won’t name any names, but you have those guys you go against every year. There’s always words exchanged. There’s always a little something extra here at the end of the play and, like I said, you know it’s coming. You know it’s coming, but you have to be the competitor that you are, but be the professional as well, and keep the team first at all times and never take it out for yourself.”

(on S D.J. Swearinger’s hit last week and if the rules are rough for defensive players) “It’s very rough. It’s very rough. You have a very small area that you’re trying to target to hit somebody and you have a split second to make that decision. Swearinger, being a young player, he’s trying to go by the rules and you look at his hit and then you look at (CB) Brandon Harris’ hit, he barely touched the guy, but they considered it to be illegal, considered it to be with vicious intent and he got fined for it, he got a penalty for it. Swearinger has a big target. He doesn’t want to hit him high. He goes low in a legal area and he ends the guy’s season and it’s a very tough deal. When you have those rules in place, it really makes it hard for them and I’m an offensive guy, so I don’t have any bias. I think that’s just the way it is.”

(on if he’s ever had a block that ended a player’s season) “No, I haven’t. Cut-blocking is something that’s been in the rules for a long time and it’s something that we do a lot, but there’s a way to go about it to where it’s safer for the defender. You have to be athletic enough to get in front of the guy and just cut ohm off. Never aim for the back of a guy’s legs. Never aim for the side of his legs. I’ve been successful at doing that and getting my block completed without anyone getting injured.”

(on how concerned he is that G Wade Smith will be ready for Week 1) “Not too concerned. They’re doing everything they can. He’s doing everything he can to get healthy as soon as possible. If it happens to be Week 1, that would be great. It would be awesome to have him out there. He’s a big player for us up front and for our team. If not, we have (G/C ) Ben Jones over there, who’s been doing a great job this preseason, who we expect to do a great job filling in that void if he still takes a little more time to heal.”

(on when he started to be aware of his holding penalties streak) “Someone brought it to my attention last year I think right before I got my first one of the year. That’s how it always happens. I got jinxed. I really didn’t pay attention to it too much. Sacks are something that I think about a lot, trying to keep guys off the quarterback. Sometimes, you have to hold a guy in order for that to happen. I didn’t really keep track of it until maybe a couple of weeks before the Minnesota game. Someone said you’ve been going this long without a holding call and then the next thing you know. It’s all good though. I don’t pay attention to it too much. I just try to do my job.”

(on when he got good at not getting holding calls against him and if that was something that happened in college) “No, no. I really didn’t become that good of a technician at the left tackle position until just a couple of years ago. Hand placement and footwork is something I struggled with my first couple of years in the league. Over time, it’s just something I worked at. You try to latch onto guys, but you have to get them off at some point in time and you have to move your feet just to stay in front of them. I guess just a few years ago.”

(on how he learned not to draw holding penalties against him) “Coaching. Coaches around here. (Offensive line) Coach (John) Benton. The older players, Ephraim Salaam, he was here, Eric Winston, Chester Pitts when he was here. Those were guys who took me under their wing earlier in my career. Just helped me out a lot and just experience as well. I’ve been going against some pretty good defenders that you couldn’t really grab that much. He had to use your hands to keep them at bay.”

(on how he sees QBs T.J. Yates and Case Keenum progressing) “That’s a great battle we’ve got at the number two quarterback spot. Those guys have played really well. It’s really hard to pick one of them right now. Both are very talented. Very, very poised when they’re in there and I think they’ve progressed very well.”

(on working with T Derek Newton and how much he’s helped him) “Derek’s coming along pretty good. He’s a guy who I really, really am pushing for. I think he has a lot of talent. He’s going against one of the top defensive ends in the league last year and I think he played pretty well for the most part. He gave up that one sack, but the one biggest thing I saw from him this year is that he didn’t let it get to him. It was a bad play, but he let it go and continued to have a pretty good game in my opinion. I’m just doing everything I can to keep his confidence up. I just continue to give him pointers. He’s got another pretty good player this week against New Orleans. I think he’ll do fine.”

(on if his offseason boxing training has helped him at all) “Yeah, I think so. It’s really just made me more confident shooting my hands and punching when I see, I kind of second-guessed myself and relied on my feet a lot throughout my career, but I feel more confident. I feel like I’m also in better shape because of it as well. I haven’t gotten tired at all through training camp. It’s pretty good because it’s hot out here.”

WR Andre Johnson
(on if there’s more of a special feel with this being the third preseason game) “I wouldn’t say there’s a special feel. I think it’s more of just knowing where you need to be. As the veteran guys, we know where we need to be after this game. I think that’s about it. When I walk off the field Sunday and the game is over, I want to feel a certain way and, if I feel that way, I know I’m ready to go out and play.”

(on the talent level around him at wide receiver) “I even told them I think it’s probably one of the most talented groups we’ve had, if not the most talented groups we’ve had since I’ve been here. A lot of young guys. The next oldest guy in the room is only in their third year, but they all are very talented.”

(on how impressed he is with how fast WR DeVier Posey has been able to come back from his injury) “I was impressed during the time I was going during the summer. Just from talking to the trainers and stuff, everybody was saying how good he was looking. But me, thinking about the injury that he had, I was just like there’s no way he can be out there running like that already. I had a chance to see him run. Sometimes, when guys have injuries they rush it because they want to come back. I just pulled him to the side and I was like, ‘Really man, how are you feeling?’ He was like, ‘I feel good.’ Every day, he’s going to continue to get better and better. To see him out there now practicing and taking reps with us is awesome. He’s a big part of our team and you hated to see what happened to him last year. I think it was a setback, but I know he’s going to be a great player for us.”

(on WR DeVier Posey’s work ethic) “I think it’s great. It just shows his dedication to the game and to his teammates, and how bad he wanted to get back and be with his teammates. He’s excited. He’s a little antsy out there right now, but it’s fun. It’s great to see him back out there just because of what he went through with the injury and stuff.”

(on drafting WR DeAndre Hopkins and WR DeVier Posey coming back from an injury so quickly and what it’s like adding them as weapons) “Well, I always said the more weapons you have, the better you are as a team. I’m happy to have DeAndre. I’m happy to have DeVier. I’m happy to have (WR) Lestar (Jean), (TE) Owen (Daniels), (TE) Garrett (Graham). All those guys can go out and make plays. When you have that many guys who can go out and make plays, you can’t just worry about one guy and that’s a great thing to have. The more playmakers you can have, the better for your team, so I’m happy with it. I’m all for it.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins’ mindset given that he won’t be able to play this week) “He wants to be out there, but he can’t. He’s doing fine. He just wants to get back on the field and play football. You don’t see anything like that coming where you get a concussion or whatever and you have to miss some time. He just wants to get back out there, out on the field. It’s just his biggest thing right now.”

(on the Buccaneers having an outbreak of Staph Infections and what the training staff does to prevent that) “I would think it just takes everybody, not just the training staff, guys just being clean themselves. Not wearing things you practice in, in the cold and hot tubs. Just keeping everything pretty clean. When you come off the field, make sure you’re getting things in the bins and getting them washed and everything like that. We have hand sanitizers and stuff all around this building. I think it just takes a collective effort between everybody to keep those things down.”

(on if the way the roster is right now if he feels the team is in the middle or end of a great run) “Everyone has an opinion. Leave it up to everybody; I was washed up last year. Everybody has their opinions, so it doesn’t really matter I don’t think. I think there’s a nice window there for us. I don’t think that the window is closing. I think that we have a lot of young guys and us older guys have to show the young guys. We have to lay that foundation for them and show them the way we go out and do things, so that, when that time does come and I have to move on and other older guys move on, they just fit right in. That’s how you handle that.”

(on if the window is wide open) “Yeah, I don’t think it’s closed. I don’t think it’s small. I think it’s a nice sized window there and it’s just up to the players. It’s about how we go out and perform.”

(on if given the choice, he would prefer to get the championship out of the way as soon as possible) “Hopefully, I can get a couple before I retire. That’s the hope.”

(on if he thinks the AFC is more wide open than the NFC) “You know what, in this game, it’s just weird. I think when you look over the years, once the playoffs start, the team that plays the best always ends up being the champion. It doesn’t really matter what you do during the regular season. It’s about getting to the playoffs. Nobody’s saw Baltimore winning the championship. They lost four of their last however many games. They got hot at the right time and played their best football at the right time, and that’s what it’s about. All that stuff you do during the regular season, it just sets up you up to try to achieve that ultimate goal. I think that’s something that we didn’t do last year. I think we started playing our worst football towards the end of the season. That’s something we have to change.”

(on if he ever gives advice to QBs T.J. Yates or Case Keenum while they are battling) “No, I haven’t played quarterback since high school, so I can’t give them advice.”

(on if he talks to QBs T.J. Yates and Case Keenum at all) “Even though it’s a great competition going on, they’re very close and that’s a good thing. That’s the great thing I see about it. There’s no animosity between them. They’re getting along very well and that comes with the game of football. You have to go out and compete for jobs, but, at the same time, you build friendships. There’s a decision that’s going to be made in a few weeks. May the best man win.”

(on if there’s a sense of relief with the wide receiver weapons around him right now) “Yeah, yeah. I don’t know how long it’s been, but I always wanted other receivers here to play with. We had other guys here that can make plays, but they’d be here for a year or two and they’d be gone. We just never had anyone here just consistently with me. Now, with these young guys that we have, I think we have a great group and it just seems like a group that you can keep together for a while and that’s a great thing.”

WR DeVier Posey
(on how he has felt after his first few days of practice) “Getting back into it. Yesterday was kind of rusty and getting used to being back around people, I was moving a bit gingerly. Today it felt better. Just watching film, ‘Oh, I could be better at this,’ and ‘I ran my route better in my rehab.’ So just trying to get used to being around guys but I think I should be okay by Saturday.”

(on if he thinks he has a chance of playing against the Saints) “I haven’t discussed that with the guys, this training staff or the coaches. It’s just been more about, ‘Alright, let’s get the dust off you to get you in shape. Let’s just take it day-by-day’ and that’s really what we’re trying to do.”

(on what it will feel like when he actually suits up for game action) “I don’t know. I mean, I’m looking forward to it. I feel like I’ve cleared a big milestone, being able to practice and now I’ve got a whole other set of problems as far as the game plan and learning this position, learning that position, what are we doing this week and polishing my routes as well. Just trying to focus and take the same attitude that I took with my rehab toward football and toward maintaining for the season.”

(on if he is surprised at how soon he has come back from his Achilles injury) “I think I’m a bit surprised. I thought it would be a little bit more challenging as far as just thinking about my leg or being more of a mental affect. It hasn’t really bothered me as much as I thought it would. I just figured, you know, ‘I’ve ran that route before. I’ve ran that route over 50 times with our training room staff.’ And just the job that they do, as far as preparing you, is you’re almost over in rehab like, ‘Dang.’ Like, ‘This is starting to get tough.’ When you get over to practice, ‘This is not as bad as rehab.’ Or ‘I didn’t have to do this before I ran routes.’ Just being able to clear that mental hump is really what I’ve been doing.”

(on if he’s going to be more apprehensive on the field the first time he gets hit) “I think a little. I think it’s going to have the opposite effect. I think once I get hit and tackled and get up and know I’m fine, I think it will just be, ‘Alright. The chains are off. Let’s go. Let’s just play and I’ve cleared my first tackle, my first big hit.’ Honestly, really the only bad things that can happen to you as far as another injury, but I think once that happens for me, I’ll be okay.”

(on if seeing season-ending injuries scares him) “No, it doesn’t scare me. I feel like I went through a season-ending injury. I mean, just the time of it wasn’t during the season. If it happened during the season, I would miss the season. Just to know I’ve dealt with it, I don’t know if anything really scares me. I don’t move around. I don’t feel like, alright, I’ve got to watch my knee. No. I’m playing and I trust my rehab and trust the work and strength that I’ve put into my quads and hamstrings and calves and hips and I trust my routine. We maintain it.”  

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