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Texans Quotes: October 2

Posted Oct 2, 2013

Read quotes from Texans coaches and players as they prepare for the 49ers.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
RB Arian Foster
OLB Whitney Mercilus
NT Earl Mitchell
QB Matt Schaub
G Wade Smith
DE J.J. Watt
San Francisco Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
San Francisco S Donte Whitner

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on any health updates) “Duane participated today. We were pretty light in what we did, so that I could get everybody involved. Duane did participate. Cushing did participate in what we were doing. The guys that did not participate today were Greg Jones, J. Jo (Johnathan Joseph), OD (Owen Daniels) and Andre (Johnson) were strictly rest, and then (Tim) Dobbins and Brandon Brooks did not participate.”

(on if T Duane Brown took team drills today) “Duane did everything. We were pretty light in a jog through type of mode, but he did take everything. He actually stayed out and did a little bit extra. A big step in the right direction. He’s still day-to-day I would say.”

(on if ILB Brian Cushing is through the concussion protocol) “Not at all. He won’t get through that probably until Friday, but he’s headed in the right direction. He’s doing good and participated today, which has to happen throughout the course of the week.”

(on if the team has put last Sunday behind them) “Oh, no. I thought they were really good on Monday to be honest with you. No, we’re back to work. We've got a great team we’re playing this week. We’re going to have to play extremely well. They’re very upbeat. This is a tough team and we’ve got a lot of stuff to prepare for. We might have had 10 or 11 guys who wouldn’t have participated had we done something different, so we needed the reps. We slowed it down a little bit to make sure we got the teaching. We’re back to work.”

(on preparing for the read option during training camp and now facing two teams that use it in back-to-back weeks) “We knew it was coming back-to-back when we looked our schedule and, actually, it could be coming some more down the road. Jacksonville’s doing some stuff, too. But yeah, these teams, their quarterbacks play a lot the same, as far as what they do moving around, but they are very different in how they go about their reads zone and their schemes. So this team’s a lot of different personnel’s, misdirection, a lot of different things than what we saw last week even though we’ll see the same type of player.”

(on how QB Matt Schaub’s been the last couple of days) “He’s fine. You wish you could go back and play the next day. He’s back to work, business as usual. I spent some time with him yesterday. To come up here on Tuesday, he’s talking game plan and things like that. He’s upbeat, ready to go, wants to get back on the field and get that taste out of his mouth like everybody else.”

(on QB Matt Schaub’s mindset being similar as a coach in terms of moving on quickly) “No doubt. You don’t get to enjoy winning long enough and losing seems like it takes about a month for you to play again. Just the disappointment, but you’ve got to move on. And the thing that you helps you move on, when you turn on the film and you see who you’re playing this week, you better move on. We’ve got to play at their place, which makes it even tougher.”

(on his best memories of San Francisco) “I won a championship, got a nice ring from there. That’s a good memory. I was there one year. Very fortunate to be there for one year. We got off to a very slow start as a football team and played gangbusters the rest of the way. Got to coach a great player. Got to be around a lot of great players, great football coach in George Seifert, great owner in Eddie Debartolo. I was just very fortunate. My football life’s, in a lot of ways, has been Denver and here for a coach, and that’s usual. But I had nice brief stop in San Francisco one year.”

(on FS Ed Reed’s impact in the last two games) “Yeah, I think he played pretty darn good last week. He moved around good. He came out of the game feeling good. He’s moving good today. He’s really locked into our system and what we’re doing. He’s taken a leadership role. If you can watch practice, I think he’s only going to get better.”

(on if there’s any word from the League about CB Kareem Jackson’s penalty) “No, I saw a fine letter, I guess is what they call them, to (Darryl) Sharpton for his, but nothing on Kareem. So I don’t know what means yet. I usually hear from them pretty quick, so we will see. But we put in our submission of questions and all that, and we usually get the response, I’ll either get it this evening or tomorrow.”

(on if ILB Darryl Sharpton was fined for his horse-collar tackle) “Yeah. Usually if you get an unnecessary play, there’s like an immediate fine that you have to appeal unless they think it was a missed call. I don’t know. I haven’t seen anything on Kareem (Jackson) yet.”

(on what QB Matt Schaub needs to fix) “Well, he’s got three glaring big, big plays, mistakes with the ball. It’s like I tell you guys, when you play that position, and what he’d throw it for 49 times the other day? And he throws for 355 yards against the number one defense. So there are a lot of good things going on too, but when you play that position and you make a glaring mistake or two, it’s the difference in the winning and losing. That’s part of being in that position, being in that spot. He understands that. It’s just even more so critical that you’re as a close to 100 percent as you can possibly play. Sometimes, on a given day, you might get away with some things, and you might throw a ball and it gets knocked down or something happens. But when you don’t get away with them and they end up hurting you, they get extremely magnified. Bottom line, they can’t happen and you’ve got to find a way to fix them.”

(on how the increased pressure by opposing defenses has affected QB Matt Schaub without T Duane Brown) “Yeah, we’re playing through a rough stretch. We’re playing some good football teams. We’re playing without out left tackle. That’s part of this game. Something we have to work through. The guy that replaced our left tackle the other day played really, really well. Ryan (Harris) went in there and took a big step forward and played well. He’s been getting hit too much. He’s been down too much. He’s been down 11 times if I think I’m right in four games. I think last year, we might be three or four at this point. Hopefully, we can improve upon that. It all goes together. Everything goes together.”

(on what happens when he talks to the League about penalties, like CB Kareem Jackson’s) “No, there’s a protocol you go through. You submit your questions. They send back their answer. If you don’t like the answer, then you pick up the phone. I haven’t gotten the answer back yet. Usually, the phone’s getting picked up on Friday’s if you’ve got a problem. You also as a coach nowadays, something they started new, we’ll get films like every Friday morning of big plays that happened in the NFL that were ruled one way or the other that are very controversial calls. The tape explains to us why to us why they made this quick or why they shouldn’t have made this call. Usually, there are three or four that they say they don’t want this called and there’s three or four that say this is the way we’re going to call this play. That’s part of protocol now and Dean (Blandino) does a good job of communicating with all of us because we’re always getting information from him.”

(on if the team is throwing the ball too much) “Yeah, I think we’ve had to, but we have thrown the ball too much the first two games. If we’re not throwing it as much as we did, we’re not going to win. Obviously, in Baltimore, we got down. So we’ve been in games that have brought about us throwing the ball too much. Don’t want to play that way. We were very balanced the other day and consistent in what we were doing. Threw it a lot in the overtime period and right before, threw it in the two-minute period right before the game ended. I liked to play much like we did the other day for three-and-a-half quarters.”

(on QB Colin Kaepernick this season) “Big powerful player. Very difficult to tackle, extends plays. One of the big things that jumps out at you is he’s got a tremendous arm. Once he does start to move the ball, can get 60-70 yards down the field very easily. So big, big play guy and can beat you all kind of ways. Opening weekend, he throws for 400 against Green Bay and then now he’s running all over the place the last couple of weeks. A dual threat in everything he does.”

(on his thoughts on RB Arian Foster conducting a players only meeting) “I think it’s good. When you’ve got guys that care and they’re all in it together. I think those things are good.”

(on if he expects G Brandon Brooks to be ready by Sunday) “I don’t know. He didn’t practice today. He’s battling a toe. We’ll see where he’s at each day.”

Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on how good it is to see T Duane Brown back on the field) “Oh it’s great. He did a little bit last week and we’re hoping he can go out there and play. He looked good today with the tempo we had today. He looked good.”

(on what they can do to help QB Matt Schaub) “Just like always, anybody that makes a mistake on our team, we correct them. We show them what the deal is and why they made a mistake the best we can and keep putting them in different situations throughout the week. Like anybody else, that’s what we’re doing this week.”

(on how he expects QB Matt Schaub to respond) “He’ll respond very well. He’s a mentally tough kid. He made a mistake in the game and he came back and made a great play, the first play back, had to dodge the rush and threw the ball out to Andre (Johnson) in a difficult situation. I think he responds very, very well. Matt puts a lot of pressure on himself. I think he’ll do very well. Like I said, he’s a mentally tough kid. He’s been through different situations throughout the year and throughout his career. I look forward to him doing very well.”

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins not getting a catch until the very end of the game and if that was the plan) “I don’t know that it’s that. The ball went where it needed to go most of the time. They were playing a safety low and three deep. Our tight ends did a fine job getting through the spots. Matt (Schaub) is distributing the ball where it needed to go and I don’t know that it was that much one or the other. Certainly they are a great defense with very good corners and as I said a couple weeks ago, it’s not like we’re targeting one player or another. We put them all in the right spot and if they’re in the right spot then Matt will find the right one.”

(on how important G/C Ben Jones has been to the team in his new role) “Ben, since he got here, has been a very bright guy. He swings it inside and can handle all of the three (positions). He’s really progressed. I think, obviously, he might have a chance to play a little bit more. He’s worked on it and I think he’ll do fine. He’ll be in sync with the rest of the guys up front because he’s been practicing and played a lot last year.”

(on if he plans on giving RB Arian Foster 20 carries again and how he plans to split carries between him and RB Ben Tate) “I’m not sure. I think it’s a little early to say that. The ebb and the flow of the game certainly predicts some of that. I think they both ran the ball very well. We’ll go in see how it goes and try and rotate them and see what happens from there. I don’t think there is any one way to predict that, you know? Just wait and see the game and see how it works out.”

(on how he views the players calling a player only meeting) “I think for all the right reason, it’s great. Knowing our guys, it’s for all the right reasons. They are very dedicated to what they want to do. Here is a group, because it is about them going out and performing. We teach them and we try to get them in the right spot, but if they’re accountable to each other and they want to do that on every given Sunday, then that makes us successful and I think that’s the right reason to call one of those and they decided that they needed to do that—more power to them.”

(on if he saw a difference in the players after they called the players only meeting) “I didn’t see them. I met with them to go over the film. To me, our tempo in practice was good. It’s always been good. I really don’t pay much attention to it. I’m so focused on what I need them to do and working with each of the guys to make sure the schemes are done properly. I don’t have great observation skills I guess.”

(on the 49ers defense) “The two inside guys are very, very good obviously. They’re around the ball a ton. They’re physical up front. Justin Smith has been playing for a long time and been doing very, very well. They have got a lot speed on the defense. They create a lot of problems. It’s hard to find creases, whether you’re running or passing against these guys because they do a very good job and I know they are very well coached.”

(on how much QB Matt Schaub’s great first half helps to look past some of his mistakes) “I think we executed in the second half. We were moving. We had one three-and-out. We stymied and still had some plays. We missed some third downs in the second half, which we should’ve had. I think as a group, we operated much, much better. We still have to work at that consistency thing. We’ve got to be able to make plays to finish the game out.”

RB Arian Foster
(on if he could talk about why he called the team meeting) “No.”

(on if he would say what was said in the team meeting) “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

(on how important it is to get together as a team as a result of the outcome of the last game) “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

(on what he said to QB Matt Schaub after the game to help him) “Everybody has bad games. Everybody has bad runs. This is the NFL. It’s not easy out there, especially at that position. He’s our quarterback. He’s our leader. I’m riding with him.”

(on if it bothers to see fans burning jerseys and attacking QB Matt Schaub) “Does it bother me? Not in the sense where I’m losing sleep over it. Fans are passionate. They’re going to be passionate, so you’ve got let them to be passionate. So I can’t say they’re wrong for what they’re doing. That’s how they feel. I just feel like, if it was there cousin that position or somebody that they knew that was playing that position that had a couple of rough games, I don’t think they would react the same way. That’s just the nature of the beast. I can’t blame them for it. I just know that we’re very emotional creatures and I guess their emotions get the best of them sometimes.”

(on if the past game can help the team get closer) “Not really because nobody’s talking about it except when we get questions from y’all. There’s not really any issue. We don’t make it one.”

(on what’s the goal going into this week’s game) “The goal is to win. Score more points than the opposition.”

(on how they are going to score more points than San Francisco) “By any means possible, whatever we’ve got to do.”

(on if he’s where he wants to be right now) “I don’t think I’m ever where I want to be as an athlete. I feel like I’ve got a lot of teammates that feel the same way. We’re always striving to get better, but it’s the truth. You’re always striving to get better as an individual and as an athlete. There’s 1000 ways to skin a cat, so however we can get that W, that’s what we’re going to do. The game’s going to play out how it does and we have to execute in certain situations.”

(on how the team responded in practice today after last week’s tough game) “The season isn’t over. This is the National Football League. Only one team has gone undefeated and won the Super Bowl. That expectation is very high. It’s not realistic, but it’s very high. You’ve got to understand how to take losses in the NFL and how to take wins. You can’t walk around with your chest out when you get a big W (win) and you can’t walk around moping when you get an L (loss). You have a game to play the very next week and the media and fans are very, very fickle in the sense that, if you go on an eight-game win streak, nobody’s going to remember. You’ve just got to keep pushing forward.”

(on where the running attack is right now) “I think we’re on the brink of doing what we set out to do every year, which is to be a very dominant run game. We’ve got some wrinkles to iron out, but we’re getting to where we want to go.”

(on DE Antonio Smith saying there are positives that can be taken from last week’s game and if he feels that way) “Absolutely. I felt like we had them on the ropes and we had the game won, we just made a couple of critical errors in all phases of the game that could have prevented a Seahawks win. It’s over, but you just take what you can form that game, the good and the bad, and you move on.”

(on if the 49ers defense is similar to the Seahawks defense) “No, not in my opinion. They have different players, different schemes.”

(on not really have a hangover after last week’s game) “No, I don’t think so. I know so.”

(on QB Matt Schaub putting a lot of pressure on himself and if he’s his own worst critic) “This is the highest level of football, so every play puts pressure on him. Like I said, this is the nature of the beast. Somebody’s always behind you or the media or this or that. There’s always some kind of pressure plus your own expectations that you have to live up to. Everybody’s under pressure. He’s fine. He had a couple of bad games and that’s fine. But he did some good things in those games as well. I’m not a very pessimistic person, so I don’t tend to dwell on it. I keep calling you guys out, but the media’s very, you all see blood and y’all are going to jump on it and make a big drama about it. If he plays two good games in a row, we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about something else. He’s fine. We’re riding with him.”

(on being more involved in the passing game this past week) “I’m a chess piece, just go where Bobby Fischer wants me to go.”

(on if he feels like the Texans are the best team in the division) “Do I feel like we’re the best team in the division? I feel like we’re the best team in the NFL.”

OLB Whitney Mercilus
(on QB Colin Kaepernick and how he compares to Russell Wilson) “Oh he’s different in terms of physical assets. He’s different from Russell Wilson in that he has longer legs, so he runs like a gazelle. It seems like it’s about the same type of scheme they run, just like Seattle. I think they’ll run it a little bit more.”

(on what will change if ILB Brian Cushing can or can’t go) “We’re just going to stick to our same game plan that we’ve been running. If he’s ready to go, great. If not, then we’ll just continue on.”

(on if it helps playing Seattle and San Francisco in back to back weeks with the way they run the read option) “To see Russell Wilson and see what type of offense they run from Pete Carroll and then go to San Fran and they run almost basically the same thing. It’s very similar, so that helps.”

(on spying QB Russell Wilson at times on Sunday) “I thought it was a good call definitely. For somebody that scrambles out of the pocket so much, it definitely helps so that you get him down so he doesn’t hurt you with his feet and things like that.”

(on what physically or mentally sets ILB Brian Cushing apart from other middle linebackers) “Just his tenacity, determination and drive, just everything that he brings to the table as an individual and also what he brings for this team in his passion, love and enthusiasm.”

(on if Sunday was a coming out game for him) “Not much of a statement game, but for me, it just shows my progress. I’m coming along in a positive way and hopefully I can continue that week to week.”

(on what he took away from the players only meeting) “It was good. Definitely it was good to see where everybody’s minds were at and things like that. Of course, it’s the same like it’s always been; we’re down for our brothers no matter what. Somebody can have a bad game. It can be a costly penalty or a bad play, it doesn’t matter. We’re still going to figure it out.”

(on if he thinks the players only meeting was needed after only four games) “Honestly, to me personally, I don’t think it was needed. We already know what the moral is and things like that. We already know how close and tight knit of a group we are so we definitely can get the job done.”

(on how getting a win in San Francisco in primetime can change some perception about the team) “Yeah, if we go in San Fran and win the game then it definitely is going to change a whole lot of perceptions, especially coming off of a loss like that which was so close and things like that. Definitely, we’ll be aiming for that ‘W’.”

NT Earl Mitchell
(on if the players only meeting was a good thing for the team) “Yeah, definitely. We were able to express ourselves just with everybody. We had guys come with their points and their opinions and just wanted to let each other know that we’re all in this together, no matter what and no matter what anybody else thinks about us. We’re just going to continue to play and play our game.”

(on which player did the most talking in the meeting) “It was a lot of guys talking. Matt (Schaub) definitely came forward and told us how he felt. We had Antonio (Smith) and he really expressed himself. Ed (Reed), he definitely came up to us with some wisdom. We all just wanted to listen and make sure that everybody was taking a responsible role.”

(on if he’s spoken in one of those meetings before) “I’m a pretty quiet guy. I try to just play my position. I’m definitely just doing what I can to play to the best of my ability. The guys know where my heart is because I’m just a team guy. That just shows through my play.”

(on if he thinks the team only meeting was needed) “I think it was definitely good. I’m not sure if it was necessarily needed. I think the guys, they feel like this is definitely our team and it’s our team. When guys take the opportunity and want to step up and pull guys to the side, I think it’s good that we have that camaraderie. There are a lot of teams that don’t have that. For us to have that, it’s really nice.”

(on what he has seen from the team this week) “A lot of guys, we definitely came in and were excited. We’re trying to play to the best of our ability. We know what we’re capable of. We know we’re a really talented team. We just have to put it all together so we can beat good teams.”

(on going up against another mobile quarterback in Colin Kaepernick) “He’s a dynamic player. We definitely have to make our plays. We know what he’s capable of so we just have to make those stops whenever we get the opportunity.”

(on how much it helps going against QB Collin Kaepernick after playing against a similar style with Russell Wilson last week) “It definitely helps. They are very similar players and have a very similar style offense. We just have to make sure that we make plays just as he wants to make those big plays.”

(on how important to the team is it to get ILB Brian Cushing back) “It definitely would be good. Cushing is a great player. Having him on the field, having his presence, he demands a lot of attention from the offensive linemen. It’s definitely good for everybody. I’m just hoping the best for him.”

QB Matt Schaub
(on the players only meeting) “Yeah, I thought it was great. We had a really good meeting. All of the leaders got up and said their piece, just things on track, get everyone on the same page. I think it was well received. Sometimes those things can go other directions, but our group is focused and on the same page. I think it went really well.”

(on what he thinks of RB Arian Foster calling the players only meeting) “Well, Arian came up to me the other day and Dre (Andre Johnson), and he went to a couple of other guys, wanted to get together. So we were able to get together. It was just something that needed to get done and it was good that it happened when it did.”

(on how supportive his teammates have been since Sunday) “They’ve been great. Our team has been really good. Very supportive. Moving forward and getting ready for San Francisco, but they’ve been great.”

(on if he needs his teammates to be overly supportive after this past week’s game) “It’s really nice to have. I think any player in that situation leans on your teammates, leans on your guys in the huddle and in the locker room for some support and they were all there. We’re moving forward as a group.”

(on what he did to put away Sunday’s game) “Yeah, it’s pretty easy when you go home to three little kids and they have no clue what just happened to you and what you’ve been through. You go home to your family, wife and kids and your support group, and you kind of just get your mind off things as best as you can.”

(on what he needs to do to improve and prevent those mistakes like from last Sunday) “Just go right back to the drawing board. Go right back to work the next day. That’s the thing that you’ve got to do. It was one play the other day and it was a very important play, but we’ll be better when we get back into that situation again. You just go right back to work and get right back in the film room, get right back out onto the practice field and go to the next one.”

(on if this past Sunday was the roughest moment he’s had other than the playoff loss since he’s been a Texan) “Yeah, I definitely think so.”

(on fans criticism and if it hurts) “You know what? I don’t have time to really even process any of that because it’s on to the next one. In our world and what I do, I understand what happens when things occur the way they did on Sunday, much the same as, if we take it down the field and we score and win the game, sometimes you get a little too much praise in this position. It goes both ways, but, at the same time, we’re onto the next game. You don’t have time to look at the rearview mirror and look at your past, good or bad. You’ve got to move onto the next one. You have to have a short-term memory or else you’re going to affected going forward. That’s not the way I am. That’s not the way this team is.”

(on if any of the fans criticism gets to him or if he can tune it out) “I’ve been around it enough throughout all of my playing days that you just tune it out. You don’t even pay attention to it. You just go out and cut it loose.”

(on if there’s been one piece of advice that he’s received since Sunday that has helped him out) “Yeah, there’s been a bunch. It’s all of it. It’s an accumulation of all of the things, whether it be coaches or teammates that say stuff, family. But ultimately, the harsh part about this business is you have to wait seven days until you can go and get that taste out of your mouth. It’s not like other sports when you play the next night or next day. The only thing we can do as a group and me personally is go get ready to play San Francisco and go win that one.”

(on if he’s itching to get back out there) “Any time you don’t achieve your ultimate goal of winning, you can’t wait to get back out there. I could have gotten back out there on Monday and played, but you’ve got to wait a week. Winning cures a lot of things and that’s what we’ve got to do as a football team to get back on track and that takes care of itself.”

(on if he can audible in this offense) “it depends on the play, depends on what we have called. We’re not a team that goes to the line of scrimmage and we’re sitting there and standing there trying to figure the defenses out and go from one play to another play and snap the ball with one second. We’re a rhythm offense that goes and lines up and we go beat any defense that we face. So we’re not one of those teams that’s going to change plays every time we get to the line of scrimmage.”

(on the loss hurting so much because of his teammates) “I play for my teammates, my family, this coaching staff and this organization. Ultimately, when you don’t get things done, you’re letting your teammates down and the guys that you’re in the huddle with and that’s what hurts more than anything else.”

(on teammates calling a meeting to rally around him and if that makes him feel good) “Yeah, it’s great. Our locker room our team, the guys that we have that grind every day in practice and go out there working to achieve a common goal, they’ve been excellent. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys.”

(on how much Head Coach Gary Kubiak has helped him through the loss on Sunday) “Any time, I talk with him, we see the game so similarly that, when you have his support, he’s been doing it long enough, has played a number of games, and been around so many players, that words of advice and things like that, it just helps. So we had some good conversations and we’re moving forward.”

(on what makes it particularly helpful to have a coach like Gary Kubiak talk to him since he played the position) “It’s very helpful. I’ve said numerous times in my seven years here, it just helps because he understands what we go through. He understands the daily grind that we go through physically and mentally, and how much things affect you positively and negatively. And he understands all of that. He understands the weight of the position. Having been around so many players in his past and also playing the position, just helps relate to what we go through on a daily basis.”

(on some keys to not allow him to continue to be affected when things don’t go right) “Just having faith in my abilities and what I have been able to do in my career. I can look to my teammates for support. We just rally around each other, whether it’s a mistake I made or a mistake other guys make. We’re all in this together. Ultimately, it takes 11 guys in the huddle to get things right. At my position, things are magnified a little bit, but, at the same time, we just get things done as a group.”

(on a guy burning his jersey after Sunday’s game) “I don’t think anything about that. That’s someone’s choice. My goal is just to make sure, when we get done this thing at the end of the year, he’s going back out and he’s going to get one to wear.”

(on the 49ers defense) “Yeah, they’ve got a great pass rush, very good defense up front, good secondary. Much like we faced last week and the week before for that matter. They’re a good group and have been for a couple of years. We’re going to have to be at our best come Sunday night in their building. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

(on not getting too high and low and if that attitude is helping him go through the aftermath of last week’s tough game) “Good or bad, it’s a long season. I’m not going to change. I’m going to be the same guy. My team needs to be the same guy. When things are going good, I’m never going to get too high and, when things are not going so well, I’m going to be the same guy when I step into that huddle for those guys.”

(on if he deleted his Twitter account) “I haven’t been on there since January or the New Year. Why have something that you don’t even utilize? So it’s gone.”

(on if him deleting his Twitter account has to do with this past week’s game) “It has nothing to do with it. I’m not a big social media guy. Has no bearing on anything and doesn’t affect me going forward or regardless.”

(on how important this game is) “Yeah, it’s a big game for us. You look at the last two weeks, we need to get those weeks out of our system and we need to get a win, whether it’s home or away, a neutral site, against whomever. We need to go out and get a win. We need to gout and play 60 minutes, play good football, the style that we know how, and we’ll be fine.”

(on the importance of getting ILB Brian Cushing back for Sunday) “Yeah, it’ll be huge. You just look at what he brings to that side of the football, as a leader, an emotional leader on our football team. He’s an impact player and, to have him out there is a big plus for us.”

G Wade Smith
(on QB Matt Schaub) “He has been and will be our guy going forward. He’s the leader of this team and we have full confidence in him.”

(on having full confidence in QB Matt Schaub) “If you’ve interviewed me over the time that I’ve been here, it’s the same thing. Just the whole situation, him taking the blame for games that we’re losing, I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it’s legitimate. We play this game as a team. There are 53 guys that are on this team and I think there’s 46 that line up and player every week. When we lose games, we lose them as a team. Like I said, he’s our guy; he’s the leader of this team. We expect to do great things this year with him leading the way.”

(on players getting their frustration out in the open after last week’s tough loss and if that’s helpful so that chemistry isn’t dissolving) “I don’t about that. I would expect guys to be angry after the losing the game because we care so much. It’s very important to us. This is what we do. We put everything we have into winning ball games and that was a game we should have won. And so understandably, everybody was angry. All of that extra stuff as far as things dissolving and all of that, I don’t know about all of that. I just know that we have full confidence in every guy that lines up and plays. We look forward to having an opportunity to get better this weekend.”

DE J.J. Watt
(on his thoughts on the players only meeting) “I think players only meetings will stay players only meetings.”

(on the challenges that the 49ers present with a mobile quarterback like Colin Kaepernick) “They’re a good football team. Their quarterback can move around. He’s very fast. He’s a big guy and they’re one of those teams that are tough. They’re a tough team. They’re good football team. They’re well coached. It’s a good challenge for us this week.”

(on the challenge of going into San Francisco with a 2-2 record) “I’m playing this week. I’m focused on one week of football. I’m looking to go out west and win a football game. That’s all I can focus on.”

(on if he still has the anger that he had after the loss to Seattle) “I have a lot of anger, man.”

(on if it is just what the doctor ordered to go on the road and focus on the team with no other distractions) “It’s another chance to play football. That’s always what the doctor ordered.”

(on getting ILB Brian Cushing back if he can play) “Obviously, we would like to have him back. I know he was at practice today. I don’t know all the medical statuses. If he’s out there, I’ll be excited to play with him. If he’s not, we’ll play with the 11 we’ve got.”

(on what ILB Brian Cushing does that makes him different form other middle linebackers) “He can make plays. He can go sideline to sideline. He can make plays. He flies around. He enjoys the game.”

(on the challenge of QB Colin Kaepernick) “He’s a big, fast quarterback. He’s mobile. The guy went to the Super Bowl last year. He’s obviously a very good player. Like I said, it’s a good challenge for us.”

(on how much of an adjustment it is playing the read-option) “We have a great defensive coordinator. He puts together a great gameplan. He’s very smart, been around the league a long time. He’s going to put us in the right situations as players and we have to go out there and make the plays just like every single week. That’s our job.”

(on if it bothers him that fans are treating QB Matt Schaub the way they are) “In this locker room, we’re behind him. That’s all that matters. We’re going to go out there on the field, and we trust him and he trusts us, as one football team like I said on Sunday. No one player is going to win or lose you a football game. We need to go out there as a football team and win games. That’s what it comes down to.”

(on how hurtful is it when the fans turn on the team like they’ve done) “That’s fine. I’ve been booed here before. I know what it feels like to be booed here. You win a couple of football games and everybody is back on your side. The NFL is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ business. We understand that. We’re not little kids. Our feelings aren’t going to get hurt. We’re adults. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to win football games. We’re going to get the fans back on our side. That’s fine. You pay for the tickets, I understand. You pay for the jerseys, I understand. You want to see wins. Everybody wants to see wins. I don’t like losing. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to win football games and y’all can cheer for us again.”

(on if having a top 5 offense and defense makes it more frustrating that they’re 2-2) “It doesn’t matter how the ‘L’ gets put in the column, it’s frustrating. Like I said, we’re past all that. We’re focused on this week. We’ve got a great challenge ahead and we’re really excited about it.”

(on if he feels bad about who has to line up against him due to his added anger) “I feel the same way every week.”

San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
(on dealing with a quarterback controversy last year with QBs Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith and what guided him through that) “First of all, I never thought of it as a quarterback controversy and, secondly, that was last year and I don’t think it’s really relevant to what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

(on QB Matt Schaub and if he thinks he’ll be able to bounce back from the troubles he’s had the last few weeks) “He’s a very good player, very good football team. (They have) a dynamic team on both sides of the ball and a dynamic returner. Very solid on special teams. Very good football team that has played in contested competitive games this year. We understand and I think our players beginning to understand what the challenge will be this week and the kind of task that is in front of us. We’re preparing for that that. Big game. The next game is always your most important game and your biggest game. This certainly will be formidable for us and a huge challenge.”

(on if the Texans are much better than a 2-2 team on film) “I’d say a very good football team.”

(on how QB Colin Kaepernick has handled things so far this season) “Well, he’s been extremely competitive like you would expect. He works very hard at his craft and his preparation. He’s such a great competitor, wonderful competitive heart. His execution has been good and he continues to grow. Very pleased.”

(on QB Colin Kaepernick being disappointed in how he’s done this season and he’s utilized that) “Well, just like everybody when you’re 2-2, you’d rather be 4-0. With that becomes motivation and in comes a drive to succeed and have a better result. That was then and this is now. This game is what we can control and that’s what Colin is what he’s thinking about and what’s important to him.”

(on if they have increased the amount of read-option plays this year or if it depends on the opponent and game plan) “It’s part of our offense. It’s something that is at the disposal of our team to use, like anything, in terms of scheme is. We’re not going to talk about what we’re going to do, but it’s always good to let the opponent know anything’s possible.”

(on the combination of ILB Brian Cushing and DE J.J. Watt) “They’re great players. They’re great football players, top guys at their position in their sport, that or near the top.”

(on DE J.J. Watt’s ability to get in the passing lane and if that changes their game plan with QB Colin Kaepernick or if the team will limit the plays he gets out of the pocket) “Yeah, every game presents challenges. Very good scheme defensively. Wade Phillips does a good job and his staff. They have really good players that present a lot of challenges. It’s a big task like I’ve mentioned. Our job is to prepare for it and that’s what we’re in the process of doing.”

San Francisco 49ers S Donte Whitner
(on how his shirt sales are going) “They’re going pretty good right now. It’s been day one, but they’re going pretty good.”

(on if the fines and penalties are getting frustrating for him) “Yeah, it’s frustrating, especially when you get out there and your intent is to do it the right way and the legal way, and you continue and you still get fined. Yeah, very frustrating.”

(on if hard-hitting safeties are an endangered species in the NFL) “I don’t believe so. I believe that they just have to understand the guys that do it right and the guys that do it wrong. My job is to go out there and play as physical and as fast as I possibly can, and to do it the right way and to show youngsters all around the country that love the game of football and love the safety position how to do it the legal way and take pride in that.”

(on if he can still play the way he grew up learning to play) “Yeah, I believe so and that’s what I’ve been doing. This is actually my first personal foul that I’ve received. Out of all of the hard hits that I’ve had over the years, this is the first one that I’ve had. I’ve been in the National Football League for eight years, so I’ve done a good job of going out there and not targeting guys with the crown of my helmet. I go out there and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, and that’s that hard and physical. That’s a big deal when you play defense in the NFL. If you let these guys know that they can run all over your defense and through your defense and past you’re your defense, you’re going to have a long day. So I’m going to continue to play the way I’m going to play.”

(on if it’s true that he’s changing the way he spells his last name) “Yup, I actually put the paperwork in yesterday afternoon. I’m just waiting to get the paperwork back. From here on out until I retire, my name will be Donte Hitner, without the W.”

(on when he started hatching the plan to change his last name to Hitner) “I thought about it in the offseason. I asked my mom and she said no. It’s forever going to be her son and her little boy, so I have to listen to what she says. After all of these hits and people talking about it, I asked her again three nights ago and she said, ‘You know what? I don’t have a problem with it. Go ahead.’ So I went ahead and did it yesterday.”

(on if changing his last name is kind of a protest showing that guys can still hit hard in this league) “Kind of, but I don’t want to be wrong in what I’m doing. Actually, it’s a protest the right way. I’m not out there head-hunting and hitting guys helmet-to-helmet. I’m doing it the legal way. I want to show that guys can hit hard and bring fear out doing it the legal way. This is a tough game. This is a game for grown men and, when we sign up for that, we all know that. If you don’t want to play football, if you don’t want to be physical, if you don’t want to be hit, then don’t play or don’t come around guys that I like it. And that’s the game of football. Just do it the right way.”

(on if changing his last name to Hitner will cause the League to look at him more closely) “Yeah, you can continue to look at me, but if I’m doing it the right way, what can you do?”

(on if QB Matt Schaub is a quarterback that their defense fears) “Yes. The reason why is because, he had a couple of mistakes the last couple of weeks, you look at their offense as a whole, he’s the guy that keeps that offense going. He’s the guy that gets the football down the field in the right coverages with Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. He’s the guy that sometimes checks out of the wrong offense and the wrong offensive set or play or formation and gets those guys into the right set, whether that’s getting it to the running back, (Arian) Foster or (Ben) Tate, or getting into a play action. He does a good job and, if we’re not on our P’s and Q’s, and if we’re not going out there to prepare as he’s going to prepare this week, then we’ll be in trouble. But we’ll go out there and prepare.”

(on going against a quarterback who has thrown three pick-sixes and if the defense licks their chops a little bit because of that) “Yeah, of course, always. As a defensive back, if you see football’s being tipped around and guys getting interceptions and running them back, you look for the opportunity out there on the football field, and you go into the game feeling like that’s going to happen and vice-versa. If he looked at our film and saw guys running through our secondary catching 60, 80-yard passes, he’d be licking his chops also. This is the NFL and we want to get any advantage we possibly can.”

(on the Seahawks saying the Texans offense was predictable last week and if he thinks the offense is predictable) “I don’t think they’re predictable because, if you look at the first half, they pretty much did what they wanted to do on Seattle’ defense. When I looked at the game, I think they had over 250 yards in the first half or something like that. I believe that Seattle said what they said because they won the football game, but Houston’s offense pretty much did what they wanted to do running and throwing the football, so I don’t agree with that.”

(on the similarities and differences between QBs Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson) “They’re very similar. Both guys can get it done with their arms, strong arms. (They can) get it done with their legs. With the option stuff, they can both do that, run that offense. They’re pretty much identical. The only think that’s different is I think Russell Wilson is what 5-10, 5-11 and Kaepernick is what 6-3, 6-4. That’s the only thing different with those guys.”

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