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Texans Quotes: December 26

Posted Dec 26, 2013

Read quotes from Texans coaches as they spoke after Thursday's practice.

Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips
(opening statement) “All right, the guys that didn’t practice today; Dennis Johnson did not practice. I’m worried about him being able to play. Joe Mays did not practice today. He had some swelling in his knee. Unfortunately, similar to what he had when he stayed out a week. We’ll have to just wait and see how he does. And then Brad Smelley did not practice. So those are the guys that didn’t practice. We started off slow in practice today. We picked it up as the practice went along. I was worried that they didn’t really start out with some energy today, but we picked it up. I was pleased with the ending.”

(on who will start at quarterback this week) “Case (Keenum) threw the ball his normal amount that he would throw today on a Thursday. Looked all right throwing the ball. We’ll have to see tomorrow how sore he is, what complications could or could not come from him throwing full-time today. So we’ll just see about that.”

(on if there’s still no decision about who will start at quarterback this week) “Right, we’ll just see how he (Case Keenum) is. But he would start if he’s healthy.”

(on if who will start at quarterback this week will be a game-time decision) “We should be clear tomorrow just how he feels. I think if he’s all right and able to grip and throw it again tomorrow, then that’s fine. If it starts bothering him again and he can’t throw it as well, we’ll probably have to make a decision.”

(on TE Garrett Graham’s status) “He didn’t practice. He did not practice and I don’t expect him to play. He hasn’t played in several games and he seems to be the same as he’s been.”

(on if he’s worried about the team’s depth going into the last game) “Well, let’s see, we’re down to our fifth running back and our third tight end. Yes, I’m worried about it. I know injuries are a part of the game, but, at this time of year, we’d like to have more people healthy, but we don’t. So we’re going to go with it.”

Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on how it is to develop a game plan with the team’s injuries) “Well, it made it interesting on Monday, I’ll tell you that much. We didn’t really know, but we’ll cover our bases. We’ll make sure that we can field and we can do what we need to do. Obviously, we have people out there and they’re working hard. They’re learning it. We’re training them the best we can.”

(on the way QB Case Keenum threw the ball today and Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips saying that he would start if healthy) “He looked OK, missed some throws, but he looked OK. We’ll let it rest at that. See how he does and see how he responds just like Wade said.”

(on how much he has to change his game plan because of the running back and tight end injuries) “We really try to teach everything in concepts and the guys that we have at running back have been around for a training camp. So the verbiage is familiar to them. So I would say that they understand the concepts, maybe the small coaching points, that’s what we’re refreshing right now. We try not to change too much or be too extravagant, obviously with formations and what not for those guys to get them in a spot where they’d be really uncomfortable. But we’re helping them along and coaches are doing a good job making sure that they understand what they’re supposed to do.”

(on RB Jonathan Grimes starting for the first time and how difficult that can be) “Jonathan’s a smart guy and he’s been around. He had an exceptional training camp a couple of years ago. Ray (Graham’s) been around. So we feel pretty good about where they are. Now, we obviously are not going to be that complex. I think they’ll understand what needs to happen and we’ll be able to move the ball.”

(on how to adjust with the tight ends since they are such a big part of the game plan given all of the injuries) “There’s certain things that you can help them with. Obviously, in years past, we’ve put an offensive lineman in there at times, but you become relatively predictable there. You’re not going to have them run deep routes or anything like that. We’ll be more of whatever we need to do depending on what’s healthy. If it doesn’t work out that we have two tight ends, then we’ll have one and we’ll work with that. If we need a break, then we’ll move guys around.”

(on if they need to target TE Ryan Griffin more considering he’s caught the ball the last 11 times he’s been targeted) “Ryan is taking advantage of the situation that’s presented itself. I’ll tell him that. He’s certainly has done a good job and that’s something to be said. Some guys, if you give them an opportunity, they don’t respond. Ryan has and I think that’s a part of his training. There was a period where he struggled a little bit earlier in the year and he just kept grinding at it. He’s done a good job.”

(on if TE Ryan Griffin is picking up blocking better) “Yeah, I think he has become a really good football player. I’ll just it that way. He’s not perfect, but none of us are. So he’s working extremely hard at it.”

QB Case Keenum
(on how he feels) “I feel good. I think it’s Week 17 in the NFL and everybody’s got a little something, but it felt good. I got out there and was able to do everything I needed to do. I had a good day of practice, one of the better days of practice I think I’ve had actually, just making decisions and throwing the ball in a while.”

(on if he feels like he’ll start this week) “Yeah, that’s how I’m preparing. As long as we don’t go backwards, as far as anything, I think I feel good, feel ready to go.”

(on how he hurt himself) “I think it was on one of the sacks. It just kind of got twisted up underneath of me. I couldn’t tell you for sure, and it not feeling right.”

(on if he feels any soreness right now) “You know, I just got through with some treatments, been icing it up. It feels fine just walking around. It’s just when I get out there and try to grip the ball and throwing the ball, that’s really when I tell a difference.”

(on how meaningful it would be to get out there and start the last game) “I want to go win and that’s my mindset. I think everybody in that locker room feels the same way. I love playing, I love competing and I love winning. It’s definitely better than the alternative and I think that’s what we all want to go do.”

(on what aspects he thinks he needs to improve upon the most) “I’ve got to put my team in a better chance, give them a better chance to win. And that’s in the small things, giving my receivers chances to win, giving them balls that they can make plays on, putting the offense in a good position as far as changing plays or how that goes operating the offense. If I do that, I think overall the team will have a better chance of winning and making good decisions, and throwing the ball away, taking sacks when I need to instead of forcing things. Just making good decisions in bad situations.”

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