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Texans Quotes: September 2

Posted Sep 2, 2013

Quotes from Texans players on Monday.

CB A.J. Bouye
OLB Willie Jefferson
OLB Whitney Mercilus
OLB Justin Tuggle
RB Cierre Wood

CB A.J. Bouye
(on how it feels to make the Texans 53-man roster) “It feels great. I’m not surprised or anything. It hasn’t hit me yet, but it feels good staying around with my teammates. It’s been good. I’m just ready to start the season.”

(on if he expected to make the team right away) “Of course. That’s how you have to come in thinking—that you’re going to make the team. I knew there was going to be a lot of competition and it was going to be a grind every day. I knew I was going to have to put in work.”

(on if he slept at all Thursday night) “Not really. I didn’t sleep that much. I just watched ESPN.”

(on what was on ESPN) “Highlights really—baseball. I was trying to catch highlights of the UCF game.”

(on why he wasn’t drafted) “I really don’t know. Maybe it was because they didn’t see anything. A 4.5 40 time, that probably might have been it. I also had an injury my junior year, so maybe that’s why. At the end of the day, I’m glad I’m here.”

(on the opportunity of playing in the NFL) “It’s a big opportunity. A lot of people thought I wasn’t going to make it and very few thought I would. Just to be here today, I’m trying to take advantage of it, have fun, and help this team win any way I can.”

(on his opportunity to pick the brains of S Ed Reed and Deion Sanders during training camp) “Yeah, it’s been wild, but I’m just glad that I’m here and that I’ve been able to do that stuff.”

(on what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips told him after his penalty in Dallas) “Don’t do it. It’s stupid. It was selfish too and he was right.  I learned my lesson.”

(on his 4.5 40-yard dash) “I ran at a pro day. I’ve ran faster. I was hurt that week. I strained my hamstring.”

(on what he felt when it was official that he would be on the 53-man roster) “Like I said, it hasn’t hit me yet, but just the fact that my dad was so emotional with it. He’s excited. He’s been dreaming about this day for the longest and living through me. He’s very happy. I was a little nervous at first, but I’m just glad to be here with them.”

(on what his dad said when he called to tell him he made the team) “He was just yelling and I think he wanted to cry or whatever, you know? He was the only one that I thought believed in me and so he knew from day one that I could make it here.”

(on if he got emotional when he told his dad that he made the team) “Not really. Like I said, it hasn’t hit me yet. I was just glad. I mean, I felt like I was going to be here anyway.”

(on if he was still recovering from his knee injury during his senior season) “No, not really, no pain. The hardest part of the ACL was probably my junior year, trying to do the rehab in the offseason and stuff. I felt 100 percent come game time. I felt good with that.”

(on the veteran leadership of the team) “We have good leadership, not just at my position, but you can ask any other player, like (ILB) Brian Cushing, anything about special teams and all that. They came to me to answer questions. They haven’t avoided me or anything. As for as the DBs, I ask J. Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph) a lot about techniques and stuff so he’s been helping me out a lot. I talk to (S) Ed (Reed) a lot. I talk to all the DBs. We’re like brothers there. We’re always talking, staying close.”

(on which teams he considered other than the Texans) “A couple of teams like San Diego, Philly, Arizona.”

(on how he was able to adjust so quickly to the speed of the NFL) “I played against big school teams and stuff and some people are afraid to get beat because they know who that player is and things like that. At the end of the day, they’re just like me. They have a point to prove, so my mindset is just to shut them down, embarrass them, make them irrelevant. That’s the mindset that I have every day coming in and it helped me out a lot with getting used to everything and playing with confidence.”

(on how much he knew about the Texans before he got here) “I watched them because I knew about the team. They were a great team. They were winning. They went on the streak early in the season, so everybody was on them. I was actually rooting for them so that was good. I never thought I would be here.”

(on which player was toughest for him to cover during training camp) “Besides (WR) Andre (Johnson), probably (WR) Keshawn (Martin). He’s very quick off the line. (WR Lestar) Jean, his routes are different, so it’s hard to adjust to him. Those two, we’ve been competing and it’s been helping me out a lot.

OLB Willie Jefferson
(on his thoughts on making the team) “When I officially made the team, I was so happy, just a lot of hard work and dedication paid off. A lot of old things from my past fell off my shoulders. I was blessed just to be a part of the team, be a part of the organization and to get that call saying I was part of the 53.”

(on what he was doing when he found out he made the team) “Me and (RB) Cierre (Wood) were sitting in our hotel room staring at our phones.”

(on if he and RB Cierre Wood are roommates) “No, we’re not roommates; we’re just close friends in the hotel.”

(on if he didn’t think he had a roster spot clinched) “No, I had been talking to my parents and everything, like a lot of people I talked to during the week, they just told me to stay humble and just stay focused and leave it up to God. Whatever he’s got planned, it will work out.”

(on the key to him turning things around in life and making the team) “Like I said, keeping my nose clean and just work. Just try to stay dedicated to the organization. Stay focused. Listen to my coaches. Be here for the team.”

(on if anyone helped point him in the right direction) “Yeah, I had a lot of help after the situation that happened at Baylor happened. I went home for a while for like that summer and just was talking to a lot of people. Lot of people came up to me and told me to keep my head up, keep working, saying everything will be all right and that somebody will find me. It just so happened that I did and I ended up going to SFA (Stephen F. Austin) and getting myself right and just doing the right thing.”

(on what his father’s reaction was to him making the team) “He was happy. I want to say he was happier than I was because I do this for my family and my friends and everything back at home. I have a lot of people counting on me, so I just try to stay focused and do my best.”

(on playing as an OLB instead of WR which was his position at first in college and if that’s strange to him) “Yeah, when I was growing up, I always wanted to be a receiver. I wanted to be like Randy Moss. I say things happen for a reason. Now, I’m on the other side of the ball chasing down quarterbacks and trying to knock down passes and everything. It will all work out the same way.”

(on if it’s more fun catching passes or sacking quarterbacks) “Catching touchdowns is fun, but sacking quarterbacks and getting tackles for a loss is a lot of fun too.”

(on if he’s still eating five meals every day) “Somewhat close, like four right now just to keep the little weight I’ve got on right now.”

(on how much he weighs) “Like 248 right now. I’m just trying to stay in that range, not trying to be too heavy for the game.”

(on if his dad was the first person he called when he found out he made the team) “Yeah, he was. I had like a little list ready for people to call to tell them I made it. It went like my dad, my mom, my grandma and a couple of my friends back at home. You know once you call somebody, they’re going to call people so it’s going to be what it is.”

(on who got the call first between him and RB Cierre Wood) “The thing was you don’t get a call. If you didn’t get the call, you knew you were on the team. Our phones didn’t ring.”

(on when he realized he made the team since he didn’t get a call) “Like 12:00 (p.m.), 12:15 (p.m.) because we had to be up here lifting weights. We came up here and lifted weights and went back to the locker room, saw I didn’t have any missed calls and went to the team meeting.”

(on if anyone said congratulations he made the team form the organization) “No, me personally, I tried to stay away from here. I tried to stay away from the coaches and everything until the team meeting.”

(on if he had any good luck charms that he kept with him while waiting) “Not really, my bible that I keep with me. I’m my own good luck charm.”

(on what he calls his haircut) “This is a Southside fade.”

(on how long he’s had his hairstyle) “I’ve had this since like the ninth grade.”

(on if he thought he had something special or if he was surprised how quickly he made things happen) “Well, not really. I just wanted to come into OTAs and make my presence known. Me not being drafted and them drafting two people above me, I just wanted to come in and show I have the ability the play just as hard, just as fast as those two. It just ended up that I made the 53 with those two.”

(on his goals in run defense) “My goals for this year in the run defense, I know I need to get better. Me personally, I get into the weight room a lot more, do a lot more drills after practice, a couple of drills before practice. I’ve talked to a couple of the offensive linemen. I’ve talked to veteran defensive linemen like (DE) Antonio Smith, (NT) Earl Mitchell. I’ve talked to some of the offensive linemen like (T) Duane Brown, (C) Chris Myers and stuff like that, trying to learn some moves that will better me help me out knowing that I’m not as strong.”

(on if he’s comfortable playing special teams) “Yeah, just getting out there and giving effort on special teams. That’s pretty much all you need to do to be a good special teams player.”

(on teams he was talking to when he went undrafted) “I picked the Texans over probably the Dolphins or something like that. I wasn’t really focused on who to pick and what not. I was a Texans fan before I came here. I knew a lot about the defense. While I was training for my combine and after my pro day, they told me the Texans were interested in me. After that, I was just locked in doing the 3-4 defense, so I was just watching film on them. When I came in, I found out that I was going to be with the Texans for training camp and all of that, I was just locked in.”

(on if his agent told him about other teams that wanted to sign him after he went undrafted) “Yeah, I’m saying he did, but like I was ready to come here.”

OLB Whitney Mercilus
(on if he’s ready to go) “Oh, for sure. I’m back off of like the third practice from injury, doing all of the workouts and stuff like that and I’m ready to go out right now. Just concentrating on us these first few days. We’ll get started on San Diego on Thursday and see where it goes from there.”

(on how difficult it is being a first-year starter and missing that much practice) “It’s critical, especially for me being a second-year player. During that time, there are valuable reps, things to look for, things that a lot of offenses throughout the league run and stuff like that. Our offense, they run a lot of looks and things like that, so it helps my recognition. But what’s happened, happened. There’s no way to change that and it’s just a matter of coming back form that conditioning-wise and to mentally lock in this week.”

(on if he’s ever hurt his hamstring before) “This is actually my first one. In that moment, I thought it was just a cramp. It sucked, but I thought I was going to be able to go back in on the third day or the next day. But no, it was actually like a Grade 1 strain and I had to sit out for as long as it took to heal, and it took about three, three-and-a-half weeks.”

(on if it was hard to be patient with the hamstring injury) “Yeah, it was frustrating because, as a competitor, you want to get back out there and you see your teammates taking valuable reps and things like that. During that time, you build all of your chemistry between your teammates on the field and being injured takes away from that. I just had to wait patiently and now it’s my opportunity this week to actually get back in that rhythm.”

(on working out on the side during practice and if his conditioning is not an issue as a result) “For sure, definitely. Been on the side field with my helmet and pads. Just trying to get my stamina up and things like that. Doing running conditioning is very different from football conditioning. So like two-minute, still a little gassed from that and, during this time, that’s what I’m going to be focusing on.”

(on the opportunity to produce to double-digit sacks in his position and what he thinks he’s capable of) “Yeah, definitely. I’m starting now. I have a great opportunity in my hands. Definitely, I think I would be able to produce double-digit sacks and I’m pretty confident in myself. It’s just a matter of putting in the work to get there.”

(on getting sacks last year and then tailing off and if that was just about being a rookie) “After the six, of course, limiting playing time and things like that, (OLB) Brooks (Reed) came back. There were several factors factored in and things like that. Still being a rookie and still learning a lot of things, how to play in the playoffs and things like that. I’ve learned from that and this is my year to start. I know what’s expected. I’ve been through and I’m just ready to go.”

(on how being around DE J.J. Watt rubs off on him) “Just seeing J.J. and how he works and things like that are very inspiring. It just makes you want to work that much harder. On defense, I think we just share that mentality, all of us. We just want to be great players and all of us individually, we have our individual goals, but, as a unit, we have our own goals and things like that to all get to one spot. Just watching him work just rubs off on the D-Line (defensive line), the DBs (defensive backs). I think we’re going to be a pretty special group.”

(on if DE J.J. Watt’s individual goals also rub off on him) “The guy’s a great player. Of course, in the league, you’ve done that last year and what can you do for me now? It’s just pushing ahead, but he’s just a great player.”

(on how important an edge rush is this year) “It’s actually huge. They can’t just focus on one person if we have edge pressure. It’s going to free up (DE) J.J. (Watt). It’s going to free up Cush (ILB Brian Cushing). It’s going to free up me, (OLB) Brooks (Reed), (DE) Antonio (Smith) when he gets back, and it’s just you can’t just game plan for one guy. As soon as we get that pressure on the outside, guys on the inside are going to come free. Get the pressure on the inside, guys on the outside are going to come free.”

(on what makes him confident there will be more of an edge rush this year) “We’ve been putting in the work. You’ve seen (OLB) Willie (Jefferson), you’ve seen (OLB) Brooks (Reed), like (OLB Justin) Tuggle, (OLB) Sam (Montgomery), we’ve been putting in the work most definitely. I’ve been absent of course, handling my own deal. It’s time to rev it up, get back into it and I feel like this year that we’re going to get a lot of pressure on the outside.”

(on having ILB Brian Cushing back) “Yeah, for sure. Cush, he definitely brings a whole different dimension to the game, his energy, his passion for the game, his enthusiasm. He plays fast as you’ve seen against Miami. During the preseason, you can see why he’s a special player, why he fits into this defense, why he makes the play that he does. Having him out there on the field at the Mike linebacker, he’s definitely going to be able to free up (DE) J.J. (Watt). He’s going to be able to free up a lot of guys on the line.”

(on ILB Brian Cushing being a force in the huddle) “Oh, yeah. For sure. He’s a beast.”

(on if fiery is a good word to describe ILB Brian Cushing in the huddle) “Yeah, I would say so. He’s definitely somebody who makes sure you’ve got the energy to go.”

(on OLBs Justin Tuggle and Willie Jefferson making the team in part because he was unable to practice which gave them more reps as a result) “I think it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty awesome to see guys who go undrafted and show that they have the ability to make the teams. To have them as part of this team is very special. It shows that they have something special within them. During this time, throughout this year, they’ll develop hopefully to have a great career after that.”

(on if OLBs Justin Tuggle and Willie Jefferson have thanked him for getting hurt) “Probably on the inside they’re thinking that opportunity opened the door for them, which I think it did. Things like that happen. Guys go down and it’s just opens doors to opportunities. For example, last year, (OLB) Brooks (Reed) went down and it opened the door of opportunity for me to start four games.”

(on what he’s looking forward to most about being a starter) “What I’m looking forward to is just making a lot of plays. Showing why the Texans drafted me. Opening the eyes of the public and things like that as to why I belong in the NFL, why I belong to this team. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Also, helping this team go to a Super Bowl.”

(on playing on Monday Night Football for the season opener) “It’s pretty cool. It’s exciting. It’s going to be out in San Diego. 7:20 (p.m.) game. Pretty late game for the Central and East Coast. It’s going to be great weather out there, great atmosphere. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be really hyped out there.”

OLB Justin Tuggle
(on what his father said when he called him to tell him he made the team) “He was really excited. I told him, actually I sent him a text because we had to go out and go to practice after I found out. He was just so excited. He told me he was one the phone just trying to stay calm. He had talked to a lot of my family members and he said he just really couldn’t believe it. It was a big day for me and it was a big day for him too. He’s been there with me everything I’ve been through, throughout college, throughout high school, just really my whole life. So it was a big day for both of us.”

(on if he stayed away from his phone like OLB Willie Jefferson because if he didn’t receive a call that meant that he made the team) “I tried not to. I tried just to sit back and just relax really. I knew if I could just make it to the meeting, hopefully I would be on the team. So just tried to do my regular routine and everything turned out well.”

(on how feels about playing inside and outside) “I like that I can move around, anyway that I can help this team, inside or outside. I mostly was outside since I’ve been here. Now, I’m just getting to the inside. I just know I’ve got to keep on working. I sort of played inside last year in the 4-3. We played 4-3, so I played Sam linebacker. It’s not something that’s totally new to me. It’s different in a 3-4. Now, I’ve just got to put some extra work in and get it down.”

(on if his versatility helped him make the team) “I think that’s one of the things that helped me make the team, my versatility to move inside, outside and special teams play.”

(on if when he signed here he was thinking of the practice squad or the 53-man roster) “My goal was to make the roster. When I got the call, I talked to (LBs) Coach Reggie (Herring). He told me, ‘If you want to come and make a name for yourself, come down here and let’s do it.’ So I took that and ran with it. I’m the type of guy that, if I see an opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it. I feel like I’ve made the most of my opportunity so far since I’ve been here.”

(on switching from quarterback to linebacker and if it would have been more helpful had he started out at linebacker initially) “Right, exactly. You never know how things are going to turn out, but I’m glad that I made the switch when I did. I got some confidence and I got a little bit of experience under my belt before I got here, so it wasn’t totally new to me. I just try to learn each and every team. Every time I touch the field, I know it’s an opportunity for me to get better and I just want to make the most out of each opportunity.”

(on if there was a point when he realized he was a defensive guy) “Not really. I just knew I was a physical football player. If you look at my tapes when I played quarterback, when I ran the ball, I’m not running out of bounds. I’m trying to run through somebody and get extra yardage. I just try to translate that to the defensive side of the ball and I’ve got to stop the ball carrier, I’ve got to run through him to stop him. It’s not really that my mindset one day changed, it’s really just how I approached the game my whole life.”

(on if he ever misses playing quarterback) “I don’t really miss it too much to tell you the truth. I’m having fun playing defense. It’s a lot more reaction than other things going on. Quarterback’s a lot of responsibility. You’ve got to know the ins and outs of every single position. You’ve got to really just command everything. It’s the same with different positions, but defense is more reaction. I like to go out there and just react and make plays.”

(on if playing quarterback helps him understand more now on defense what the offense is doing) “I think it does to a certain extent. I think I can see backfield sets and have an understanding for what’s going on. I think it helps me when I’m studying film, just trying to learn the playbook and everything like that because they’re so detailed at quarterback and it takes so much to get an offense down. Usually the offense is the last thing that comes around. I always see the defense pick up first. I just take everything that I’ve learned before and just sort of reserve it a little bit to help me on defense.”

(on what the first thing he did when he found out he made the team) “Really, I was up here, so we had to practice when I found out. I really didn’t know until the last minute, until we got to the team meeting that I made the team. Went out to practice and I told my dad. Really that was it right there. I was just really excited. It’s been a long journey, tough camp. I think all of camp is tough for everybody, but especially guys who came in who were undrafted. We’re just trying to make the team. You never know what someone’s looking for. You never know what it’s going to take. I’m just proud that I accomplished that, but it’s just the beginning.”

(on if he thanked OLB Whitney Mercilus for getting hurt and giving him the opportunity to get more reps in practice) “Definitely. I definitely think that played into it. I got a lot of experience with Whitney being down. It sucks for anyone to be hurt, especially somebody on your team, but, when opportunity calls, it’s part of the game. I was just glad I was ready when the time came for me to step up.”

(on if when OLB Whitney Mercilus got hurt it crossed is mind that a window was open) “Yeah, definitely. Right, the window is open. See (OLB) Brooks (Reed) start to get more reps at Will (linebacker) and me and me and (OLB Bryan) Braman started splitting reps. I saw those opportunities for me to make a mark, just to get more film out there and let them see me more with the different sets, with the first team, with the second team. When I came in, I was rotating with the third team. It took a lot for me to get to where I was at and a lot of things happened, but that’s just the way it goes.”

(on the film he was putting out during training camp because other teams could see him play as well) “I feel like your film is your resume. You’re only as good as what you put on the film. There’s no time for you to ever to relax or take a play off or have a bad game really. I feel like that for me, but that goes for anybody. I knew just my situation; I didn’t have time to really mess up. I was given an opportunity and I had to make the most out of it because, if I didn’t, who knows what would have happened.”

(on what team he picked the Texans over when he went undrafted) “Who was it? To tell you the truth, I can’t really remember who I picked the Texans over. I remember I know the Texans were the first team that called me. Right after their last pick, they called me and said that, if I make it through the Draft that there’s a good spot for me. I talked to (LBs) Coach Reggie (Herring) and he said that if I wanted to make a team, if I’m ready to work and come make a team, make a name for myself and get out the shadow of my father, then come down here to Houston. And I decided that’s what I wanted to hear, so I didn’t really didn’t pay attention to too much else. Once I got that call and heard that, I wasn’t really focused on anyone else. I told my agent, if I make it through, that’s where I want to be.”

(on growing up and following in the footsteps of his father, former NFL player Jessie Tuggle) “I grew up watching my dad since a young age. I used to be out at training camp. I used to be running around watching him at the facility. When he was at practice, I would be playing with other kids, but always had my eyes on what was going on. I knew this is what I wanted to do from a very young age. Just watching him coming home each and every night watching film, prepare for the opponent. Even day of the game, he’s getting up early at the house watching film downstairs and he always would tell me that you’ve got to be ready for whatever comes. I feel like that definitely played into it and I just watched how hard he worked and just the dedication he put into it. That’s something that just lasted with me and I just try to carry that on and just take that into stride every time that something comes up in my life that I have to do no matter what the situation is, football or off the field. Just keep on pushing through.”

RB Cierre Wood
(on how it feels to make the team) “At this point, I feel great, I feel blessed. It’s a dream come true for me. I’ve been working for this ever since I can remember. When I didn’t get the call as far as to get cut what and not, at that point, I was just in a daze really. I still can’t really believe it. I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, just to know that God is good and he really did put me in this position. Like I said, I’m shocked every day I wake up.”

(on what it was like during the time when he was waiting for the phone hopefully not to ring which meant that he would make the team) “To be honest with you, I really didn’t feel all too nervous given the fact that I played well the night before and stuff like that. That took a little bit of burden off my shoulders, but it still was nerve-racking just sitting there and not knowing because anything could have happened. They could have went with another back. If that’s what the team felt like they wanted to do, like I said, I was just fortunate enough. I made that meeting. We had a team meeting. If you were in that meeting, you know that you basically made the team. I was happy enough about that.”

(on going into the fourth preseason game and how important it was to play well) “It was very important. Coaches harped about it throughout the whole week saying that everybody’s fighting for a job not just for this team, but for the other teams as well. Basically what I did to get myself prepared for that game was I just took all of the nervousness out of it. I just told myself, ‘It’s another game, another walk in the park. This is what you do. This is what you’ve been doing. You’re a playmaker.’ It was basically just a lot of talking to myself and just having the confidence within myself to just go out there and do what I do best.”

(on what he got better at during the offseason) “I got better at a lot of things. My pass protection is really getting better. It’s gotten better ever since I stepped foot in this facility and what not. Me catching the ball out of the backfield is another thing that I wanted to get more work on and I think that that’s elevated as well. I don’t think I really dropped a pass the whole preseason. I’m just going to continue to work and build on my craft.”

(on his relationship with RB Arian Foster) “I talk to him a lot. He’s a seasoned player. He’s one of the elite backs. I do a lot more watching than I do talking. When I really just don’t know something, then I’ll come up to him and ask him, but, for the most part, I’m trying to do everything on my own. I depend on nobody. I have a great relationship with all of the backs actually.”

(on how much he’s had to alter his running style since he got here) “In college, college is different. You can make a lot of cuts and still make something happen. This is not college by any means. This is the top of the line. That’s something that I really have to get adjusted to as well. Even though it’s cloudy and there may not be anything there, you’ve still got to put your foot in the ground and go north. I got yelled at a couple of times because I’m thinking I’ll break the line, then I’ll make a cut sideways and then go north and they’re telling me, as soon as you go to the line, head north. That’s another thing that I have to get adjusted to. I think I’m handling it pretty well.”

(on if the defensive players have asked him about Chargers LB Manti Te’o) “Everybody asks me about Te’o. It’s something that I expected was going to happen. I got asked on the street a couple of times. I expected it from the locker room and what not.”

(on what he can tell the offensive guys about Chargers LB Manti Te’o for this week) “They really don’t ask me about how he plays. His tape speaks for itself. I really don’t get questions on his athletic abilities. More of the questions are on the things that surrounded him the most, the main reason he was in the limelight as far as the whole girlfriend situation, that’s what I get asked. As far as his talent, he was a second-round pick. That speaks for itself.”

(on how well he knew Chargers LB Manti Te’o) “That was my roommate. I knew him inside and out really.”

(on if he ever heard Chargers LB Manti Te’o’s phone conversations with his girlfriend) “Yeah, I did. It was more along the line of, if I came in here with a goldfish and said, ‘This is my goldfish, Larry.’ You guys are going to go like, ‘Okay.’ It was more along the lines of that. I would come over to ask for a controller and he’d be like, ‘Come talk to my girl.’ It was on the computer screen and it was blank. I really don’t care. I heard someone talking, so I introduced myself, ‘Hi, I’m Cierre. How are you doing? Nice to meet you,’ and just went on about my business.”

(on his peripheral vision being an asset to him) “That is 100 percent correct. I think I have tremendous vision. I can be looking at you and I can see everything in this room. That’s how I feel like when I am on the field. Sometimes, it bites me because I make cuts before I need to and stuff like that, but, for the most part, I view it as a gift more than a curse. Like I said, I really do see everything on the field. I see a lot of things. I see defenders making moves before they know they’re going to make them. That really helps me out to make a better move on top to counter their move in order for me to gain more yardage.”

(on if he models his running style off of anyone) “I try not to patent it after anybody. I don’t try to be anybody, but me. Obviously, as a kid, you grow up and you say you want to be like this person, this person, but you really take bits and pieces from everybody and you just form your own identity. I’m like Cierre Wood.”

(on if he felt like he had to come in here with more of a sense of desperation) “That’s exactly what it was. It was desperation. Not getting drafted that was really, really saddening to me. At the same time, I’m not one to feel sad about myself or feel said about anyone’s situation. At that point, I’ll figure out the next move. The game plan, which was to get picked up by a team, the Texans gave me my shot. From that point on, it was I’ve got to work as hard as I can to put myself in the limelight to show everybody what I’ve got, not just the Texans, but every other team. Like I said, like I told you, if I were hurt, you wouldn’t know it. If I were tired, you wouldn’t know it. Like I said, I really had no choice. If I don’t feed me and my family, nobody else is. At that point, it’s all up to me. If I pass out on the field, so be it. Somebody won’t take me off.”

(on if he second-guessed his decision to enter the Draft after he went undrafted and still had eligibility) “I didn’t second-guess it at all. It could have been any surrounding factor as to why I didn’t, but, at that point, my mind was set on making every single team that didn’t draft me feel bad that they didn’t. The Cowboys were really high on my radar. I was really talking to them. They were going to draft me or so I thought, but, hey, that’s what they get.”

(on his family and working for them) “I’m talking about my daughter in particular. She’s one, about to be two. My family’s really had to struggle basically all of my life. I just wanted to get them out of that situation. I can really care less about me. I really don’t do it for me. Yes, I love the game. Yes, I love the competitiveness. This is the highest stage of them all. Like I said, at the end of the day, I don’t do this for me at all. If I can make a lot of money and I can give it all to my daughter, that’s exactly what I plan to do. If my mom can live happy and I can do some things to help her, help my dad, help my brothers and sisters, that’s what I’m going to do. At the end of the day, I can really care less about me. As long as my daughter is fine and my family is okay, I’m okay at that point.”

(on who he called when he found out he made the team) “I called my daughter even though she can’t talk. I called my daughter’s mom and told her to put her on the phone. At that point, she was just wondering how. She was like, ‘Dad, work?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you know we made it. We did it,’ and stuff like that. She was pretty happy. My mom was on the phone as well. My mom, she just got emotional, started praying on the phone. That’s exactly what I did at that point. Got on my knees and I just broke down to myself, so I was just extremely fortunate, extremely happy.”

(on if there was a point when he realized he could do this and if he’s always had a lot of confidence) “I’ve always had this confidence. Playing this game, you really can’t second-guess yourself or wonder if this, if that. You’ve just got to go out there and do it. There’s a lot of cocky people in this game. A lot of people say being cocky is a bad thing, but I view it differently. I think it’s a good thing if you channel it the right way. So I’ve had this type of confidence since I started playing this game.”

(on how good he felt when he stiff armed a Cowboys linebacker in the fourth preseason game) “That’s a tool in my toolbox, could have pulled out anything, could have shook him out of his drawers if I really wanted to. At that point in time, the way he had me at the angle, I just had to give it to him. His hands weren’t up, so I knew he wasn’t going to get me. I tried that with Cush (ILB Brian Cushing) and he almost broke my arm. Good thing it was him versus Cush. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

(on what his 40-yard rush time was) “My 40 time was 4.4. I ran 4.3 a couple of times, but speed is speed.”

(on whom he picked the Texans over) “Well, second in line was, I’m pretty sure it was the Redskins, but I looked at their running back situation and I didn’t like it. It was really kind of like hit or miss for me. This was the perfect fit. This is where I wanted to be. I grew up watching the Texans for the past three years. They’ve really become an established team, especially these past two years, winning the division twice and what not. I felt like this was the perfect spot for me and I was going to do anything and everything I had to do for me to make my mark.”

(on if he researched teams he wanted to play for if he was going to be undrafted) “Yes, I did all of my homework. At that point, I was well-prepared, well-equipped coming in, so I knew what I had to do. At that point, it was just about being consistent and making plays day-in and day-out.”

(on how much he looks up to RB Arian Foster since he was undrafted as well) “I look up to him a lot. I’ve actually heard a story, I’m pretty sure they said that, when he was getting drafted or whatever, he had a party and didn’t get drafted. I can only just imagine you having a party, everybody’s thinking great things are about to come your way and then you don’t get that call. I can just imagine his frustration and the embarrassment that he felt at that point in time. Just knowing that he did it, I knew I could do it. I’m not saying that, even if he didn’t do it, I knew I could do it regardless just because I know he’s Arian and I’m me, but our situation was very different. We came to the same ending point. We took routes, but we still got to the same spot.”

(on knowing that RB Arian Foster was undrafted and made this team and if that helped him realize the opportunity that was in front of him) “Yeah, it did, but for the most part, it was Coach (Gary) Kubiak. He instilled that in us since day one, since I’ve stepped in foot in this facility. He said everybody’s really going to have a fair chance to make their mark. He’s not playing sides. He’s not playing favorites. He’s not doing any of that. The best man’s going to win. At that point, I put my hard hat on and my boots and I went to work.”

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