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Texans Quotes: December 30

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Read quotes from Texans players and coaches following Monday's media availability.

Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips
(opening statement) “I don’t think everybody knows what happened, certainly. I don’t think. But we know the results and certainly they weren’t good. We had some individuals that did some really great things, speaking of Andre (Johnson) and J.J. (Watt) and people like that. The team didn’t do well, but they did well and did some amazing things. We had some areas certainly that we played well, when you’re third in the league in pass defense and seventh overall. Offensively, through most of the season, we were in the top 10 in offense. These things are certainly perplexing, but that’s what happened and everybody’s got to move on to the next year and that’s wheat were going to do. You probably heard the same thing from the players, but I think, overall, again, their attitude was good at the end of the year and I know it seems strange that you’d have a good attitude when things aren’t going well like that. But I thought our guys played hard at the end of the year and I really believe that this team next year, the players will come back and work hard in the offseason and you’ll have some guys (back). You had one of the top running backs obviously or maybe the top running back in the league not play most of the year. So we had some big time injuries. We overcame some of those the previous years, (but) we didn’t this year. That’s about it.”

(on how he would rank this season with everything that he dealt with personally and on the field) “Well, the personal part certainly was tough. But the on the field, the only thing I can compare it to, when we were with the Oilers and they fired us here after we had those great years, and we went to New Orleans. They had only won one game and so that first year in New Orleans, I think we only won four or five games. But we didn’t have many good players and so some of it was expected. We had some years after that we did better, but we never got a quarterback there. We led the league in the defense, but never got a quarterback. This year was a little bit different than that. We had some players. I haven’t been around a team that had a lot of good players and lost as many games. In fact, I was looking at it, I think the last 18 years, I’ve only been around two or three teams that had a losing season. It was tough that way for all of us.”

(on if anyone has told him when they’ll make a decision about the head coaching job or if he has any feeling about it) “No, obviously, they’ve kept it real quiet as to who they’re interviewing and when, and all of those things. This is an unsettling time for coaches, obviously with all of the firings in the league. Of course, with Gary (Kubiak) gone here. It’s unsettling as far as coaches are concerned as to what their future is and that’s no different here.”

(on if this season was the most trying stint he’s had as an interim coach) “Not really. All of them are similar. Like I said, one team had lost 10 out of 12 and another one lost six out of the last seven. This one had lost 11 in a row. You don’t expect to change everything. And that’s why I said, as a head coach, everybody says, ‘Well he is not a very good head coach.’ But I still say my record as a head coach is, and I can prove it by the stats that it’s better than most of the guys out there. It’s 79-57 if anybody wonders and you take that percentage and you’ll see that that’s one of the top in the league maybe all-time for guys who have coached 100 games. But an interim situation is a lot different. You don’t get to build your team the way you want to. You don’t do all of those things. You try to get through the year. We won one out of three or one out of four at New Orleans when I was there. We won two out of three at Atlanta when I was interim coach, but Michael Vick came back. He was out the whole season; he comes back at the end of the year and that helps. So I think it’s a very tough situation. I said going in I don’t think Vince Lombardi or whoever is going to completely turn around a team. Like I’ve done as a head coach and a coordinator, the places I’ve come in, they’ve won the first year every year. It’s hard to do it at the end of a season.”

(on if he could imagine a scenario where he would stay defensive coordinator of the Texans) “I don’t rule anything out. I said before, if you say you want to be the defensive coordinator, they’ll bring somebody else in as the head coach. Everybody knows this is my home. It was great to come back here. It was a tremendous year, the past two years, were just great for me and being with my family at that time. I am thankful that I was here with my dad for those years because it was exciting to him too. We had some great times together.”

(on if he still wants to be a head coach in the NFL) “In certain circumstances, like here. Tampa Bay wanted to talk to me two years ago and I declined that. It would have to be the right situation. There aren’t many right situations.”

(on how special it was to be back in Houston if this is the end of his time as a Texans coach) “It’s great. Like I said, I don’t know if there has been a—I’ve come in a lot of times in different places and they hadn’t won. They weren’t winning the previous year and we won the next year. In fact, we went to the playoffs the first year eight times in a row. I’ve been real lucky there as a head coach and defensive coordinator. This was one of the best because it was home. I thought we could help. San Diego, they were 4-12 the year before and we went 12-4 so that was pretty significant.”

(on if there was one thing that surprised him the most this season as far as the team) “Surprised me the most? Yeah, losing the games we lost by close scores was the key as far as being surprised. Like I said, I don’t think anybody knows the answers, but we know the results.”

(on thinking this is a great situation to coach despite some people not thinking so) “I think it is. I’ve seen it happen before. I’ve seen teams. I told our players everywhere I’ve been, you can have the same players and have a completely different team. Some of it is momentum. Some of it is confidence. There are quite a few things involved, so I don’t know.”

(on losing ILB Brian Cushing two years in a row) “We still won 13 games last year. It isn’t one player. We gave up less yards than we did the previous year when we won 13 games, so it’s kind of one of those years that’s baffling.”

(on if they met with players this morning and how was it different from last season) “Any season that you lose, even if you’re in the playoffs, losing the last game, you want to say, ‘Hey, let’s move forward to the next year.’ It’s the same thing. I know we lost a lot of games, certainly, but I think the players feel the same way; ‘Hey, we need to come back next year and we have to do better.’ That’s the same this year. I think they have more to prove. They want to prove more, but we lost the last game the previous two years, so those things hurt you a little bit, especially right at that moment.”

(on the inability to get turnovers) “It’s year-to-year, obviously, but anytime you’re behind in ballgames and yesterday the Titans were ahead at the end of the game and they got an interception at the end of the game. I thought we came on the last few games as far as turnovers are concerned. We had a couple of fumbles in the game that didn’t go our way. We picked it up from there and it’s something that you strive for all the time. We probably made people punt more than anybody in the league too. We had one game where they punted 11 times, but we got beat. Fourth down stops are also counted, when you stop somebody on fourth down, that’s a turnover but those don’t count as turnovers per se, but they are. We had a few hidden ones and teams didn’t have to go for it on fourth down sometimes.”

(on how tough is it to wait and see how this process develops in terms of who they name head coach) “Like I say, it’s unsettling for coaches. It’s unsettling for me because I’m building a house and I’m almost finished with it. I’m trying to get out of Dallas, but I may have to go back. So we’ll see.”

TE Ryan Griffin
(on approaching the offseason with uncertainties within the organization) “Yeah, it’s an uncertain future. Hopefully we can get it nailed down in the next couple of days so we have some direction going forward as an organization. For me personally, I’m just going to take this time to rest and relax and get my mind focused on next year.”

(on the many changes he’s seen with the organization in a short period of time) “I’ve seen a whole lot since the time I’ve been here. A lot of disappointment and I’m ready to get that taste out of my mouth.”

(on if he thought about what he was able to do once given the opportunity to play) “I just tried to do my job every day, whether I was third string or the starting tight end. I just mentally prepared like I was the starter. I did some good things but I also made some mistakes and I’m looking forward to building on those.”

(on if he has had the chance to reflect on becoming the starter by the end of the season) “It’s funny, on the flight back from the game from Nashville, I was just thinking about everything that happened this year. It’s been such a crazy year for me and I’m just happy the Texans took a chance on me. Hopefully, I can perform in the upcoming year.”

(on if he could have had a more tumultuous first year) “You know what? Yeah, it’s been a difficult year, no doubt about it, but I still love these guys in the locker room. They are my teammates. Whether we won 14 games or lost 14 games, they’re still my brothers and I enjoy playing with them.”

G/C Ben Jones
(on what Wade Phillips said to the team after the game yesterday) “We were just going out there and we were just trying to get a win. That’s been our goal here for the last quite a few weeks, just stay together as a team. This team has got a lot of talent. We’ve just got to find a way to win and try to eliminate the mistakes.”

(on if Wade Phillips said anything about his own situation to the team after the game) “He said when it comes to the point, he would let us know what was going on.”

(on if it’s hard for him because he doesn’t know what kind of direction the team is going to take) “Yeah, definitely. But right now, you’ve just got to be able to control what you can control and that’s just trying to get better as a player. We’ll go out there and try to get better this offseason, get in better shape because you don’t know. You’re out there and everybody’s competing for their spot.”

(on how surprised he is with how the season developed) “Yeah, it’s definitely been a (180) from last year. Last year, we were so close to going to the next level. That was our whole goal this year was going to the Super Bowl and everything. So this year, we’ll just try to get everything back on track. Hopefully, we can surprise a couple of people next year.”

(on what he thinks needs to be improved upon) “We just have got to go out there and finish games. I know a couple of games this year when we were up and didn’t finish. Just try to eliminate turnovers. That’s usually what it comes down to is whoever turns the ball over the most in this league is going to lose.”

(on what he needs to do to improve personally) “You can always get better as an offensive linemen. It’s always technique or just watching a little more film on guys and prepping. You learn each year a little more and a little more form other guys. It’s just a process for an offensive linemen.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on the uncertainty of the offseason) “I just let them handle their part. I do my part as a player, go and prepare in the offseason (and) get ready for next year. Do everything I can to help this football team as a player. I’ll just let them take care of everything else.”

(on if he’s ticked off about the way this season went) “Oh, man. It’s beyond ticked off. Now, the best thing about is we hopefully can put it past us and learn from it. Hopefully, we’re not in the same situation again next year. So hopefully the team learned from it and don’t want the same feeling we had in our mouth yesterday.”

(on if he’s amazed at how badly things went this year) “Without a doubt. It’s kind hard to put your hand on what went wrong just over the course of the year. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. If it wasn’t offense, defense one week, special teams one week. It was just a mixture of everything.”

(on if he thinks the team has the pieces in place to turn things around next year) “Without a doubt. You just look at a couple of teams around the league that weren’t in the playoffs last year and made the playoffs this year. They didn’t make any drastic changes, just a couple of changes here and there. I think we have the right people on this team in place as far as core guys and things like that. Obviously, some change is needed and I’ll just let them do their part and us as players, we have to do our part.”

(on how sad it would be if DE Antonio Smith is not back next season) “Oh, man, Tone. The ultimate leader of this team, great teammate. Words can’t even describe what he meant for this team, not just as the guy on the field, just in this locker room, his presence and things like that. Any time it’s a possibly of losing a guy like that, it’s going to hit everybody pretty hard in the locker room.”

(on if it’s better to approach this offseason with anger about what happened or forgetting about what happened and wiping the slate clean) “I think, as a player, whatever motivates you, whether it’s anger or just forgetting, whatever it is to get you motivated for the next season. There has to be something that motivates you from this right here. Hopefully, it’s some anger and hopefully you will forget because, in football, you have to have a short memory.”

(on what motivates him for this offseason) “Just the game itself. I just want to be a winner.”

FS Shiloh Keo
(on what he wants to improve for the 2014 season) “I feel like I really need to work on my tackling. I feel like I missed too many tackles out there this year. Other than that, just keep progressing. I feel like I’ve made solid strides each year and I just want to continue to do that and become one of the best players in the league.”

(on his thoughts on his season outside of the tough team result) “Personally, for this season, it was a great season. I was able to get on the field. One thing a lot of guys understand about this league is it’s a physical game and a lot of injuries happen. You have to always be ready. I feel like a lot of guys get their chances that way, through injuries. Nobody ever wants their buddy to go down but sometimes it happens and the next guy has to be ready to go.”

(on if there is a sense of relief with the season ending) “I think it’s a little bit of excitement because it’s been a rough year; no one expected it to go this way. Now that it’s over, we have the opportunity to get ready for the next year because that’s all we can do.”

(on his emotions as he cleans out his locker) “I’m upset because it didn’t go the way we wanted it to. Other than that, I’m trying to plan out my offseason and figure out where I’m going to start training and maybe take a little vacation and get away from football a little bit and just relax.”

WR Keshawn Martin
(on if it’s strange not knowing the direction of the team and changes that will be coming) “Yeah, it’s kind of strange. You don’t have a feel for who your coach is going to be. It’s just kind of different but you have to get used to it.”

(on his development) “I feel like I’ve developed pretty good. I feel like I still could’ve had a couple more plays out there, but overall I feel like I had an OK season.”

(on what’s going through his mind as he cleans out his locker) “It was a tough season, but it’s’ the NFL. You’re going to have tough seasons sometimes, but you just have to come back harder next year.”

C Chris Myers
(on what it’s like to clean out his locker for the last time this year) “Different feeling than years past. In years past, even before we were in the playoffs, 8-8, 9-7, where maybe you just kind of come up short and had a few wins that season, but just didn’t get it done. This year is different. Kind of going through this streak and a season up and down, lots of injuries, starters going out and just changes, Coach Kub (Gary Kubiak) getting out of here. It’s just different. You’ve got to keep pushing as a player and test your character, test your will. I give it up to the rest of the guys on this team. No one kind of packed it in. We had every excuse to, but we didn’t.”

(on if it’s kind of crazy the way things developed this year) “Definitely. To go from 12-4 to 2-14, I don’t know if that’s ever been done before. But it’s something that I hope none of us ever have to go through again, especially with the losses and that losing streak we’re on. It was something that was rough to experience.”

(on what he thinks happened this season) “A lot. I mean, a lot. Just between two both sides of the ball, all three sides of the ball, injuries. Just not being able to get the job done in the fourth quarter in a ton games. Out of those 14 games, I think we were in the fourth quarter in 10 of them to win, to be able to get the win. And we just didn’t get it done. I think that was the difference between last year and this year. We were getting those games done and winning those games compared to this year and we didn’t.”

(on if it’s a relief that the season is over or if there is a little bit of nervousness now with the offseason) “Both. Relief that it’s kind of over and you can kind of move on and get a fresh start. But then on the other hand, that fresh start means there are a lot of changes. It’s something that, me personally, I’ve never been through before in my career and a lot of these guys on the team haven’t been through. So we’re going to have to take it step-by-step and day-by-day and go from there. I’m looking forward to a fresh start.”

(on if he pays much attention to where the head coaching situation might be headed) “Not much because I understand the will and the character of the guys on this team that we’re going to be able to take this and turn it around. For the most part, we had the same guys that went 12-4 and then we went 2-14. So it’s not like our guys can’t do it. It’s just we didn’t get it done this year. We have to turn it around and be able to fix those key things.”

(on if it’s hard for him with all of the uncertainty of this offseason) “It makes it harder, but I think that’s why you’re a professional about and that’s why you’re playing football for a living, because if you were to go ahead and pack it in and quit, this isn’t the job for you. You come out here to play football and have fun with it day-in and day-out.”

ILB Darryl Sharpton
(on if it’s relief that the season is over or a little nervous about all of the changes coming) “Obviously, we had a disappointing season, so I’m frustrated about that. That’s pretty much my main sentiment at this point.”

(on if he wants to be back here next year since he’s a free agent) “Yeah, I love Houston. It’s a great place, great organization. This is where I got my start here in the NFL. So yeah, I love this place.”

(on if he thinks he’ll be back next season) “I don’t know. I hope so.”

(on the organization giving him his start and sticking by him through his injuries and if that makes him want to be here even more) “Yeah. I appreciate the support and the help this organization has given me. Like you said, they’ve stuck with me through the ups and downs, and I really appreciate that.”

(on having a relatively injury-free season and what he can attribute that to or if it was just better luck) “A little bit of both. Just maybe getting engaged. Definitely keeping track of my hydration a lot better, hydrating constantly. I think that’s a big factor as well, as well as doing little wellness things like yoga and staying on top of my massages and stuff like that.”

(on if this defensive system needs to change) “I love our defense. Yeah, I love the defense.”

(on if he has not lost confidence in the strategic approach that this team plays defense) “Not at all. I think we play defense very well and we’ve done so. It shows up on film and statistically. I think we have a pretty good defense.”

(on if it makes him crazy that the team wasn’t able to force more turnovers) “Oh yeah, definitely, the turnover ratio definitely didn’t swing our way.”

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