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Texans Training Camp Quotes: August 15

Posted Aug 15, 2013

Quotes from select players and coaches following Thursday's practice.

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
WR DeAndre Hopkins
S Shiloh Keo
T David Quessenberry
DE Antonio Smith
DE J.J. Watt

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the rookies singing him happy birthday and who initiated it) “I didn’t ask them to. That actually was the most creative song that they’ve had in a while, so they did a good job. I don’t know, it had a beat to it, wasn’t your traditional birthday song.”

(on veterans not letting him get away with the fact that it’s his birthday) “Yeah, that’s true. I’ve been celebrating my birthday in training camp as a player and a coach for a long, long time, but it was good. We had a good practice and looking forward to coming into our place and playing some football this weekend.”

(on if there are any plans about reps that he can share) “No, just that (QB) Case (Keenum) will go second in the game, like I told y’all before. Our starters will play probably close to a quarter of football and then we’ll go from there. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of guys to look at. We’ve got some players coming back that did not play last week. It’s exciting to get back in our stadium.”

(on how he would grade this birthday song) “That was the tops. That was a good one. That and the day (T) Ephraim Salaam threw a cake at me. They go hand-in-hand, but (OLB) Willie (Jefferson) seems to have a little beat. He keeps our rookies up; they’re a little different this year. I’ll tell you that.”

(on the Super Bowl being the goal for the team) “Well, never showed up for any camp not wanting to do that, so this year’s no different. I’m a guy that’s got to keep everybody focused on the work. A lot of people talk about those things this time of year. Everybody wants to play in that game and get to that game, but unless you work your tail off and understand that there are a lot of highs and lows throughout the course of a season, I’ve got to keep everybody grounded and get ready to play opening day against San Diego.”

(on breaking two-a-days) “You know what, it used to be a big deal. Since we’re home all the time, it’s not that big of a deal. In the old days, you were somewhere else and you got in your car and drove as fast as you could and go home. Nowadays, nothing really changes. But we’ve had a good camp. Today’s the last day, which they say it is, it’s been very good. We’ll get into our routine next week.”

(on what he wants to see out of QB Case Keenum) “I just think we continue. Obviously, he’s got another game plan that came at him this week. He’s got more to digest. Can he go handle that with the group like he did last week? He’s probably going to play against a little bit different level of competition from the standpoint of when he goes into the football game this week against Miami. You’re just looking for him to progress like any other player.”

(on how excited he is to have defensive players like DE J. Watt and ILB Brian Cushing back for the game) “Well, this week’s been good because they’ve all practiced together. Cush has been excellent. J.J.’s had a great camp. This will be kind of the first time we’ve had everybody available. We need to get to that same spot here offensively and get (RB) Arian (Foster) back, so we can work together.”

(on if there’s anything new on RB Arian Foster) “No, just he’s doing good. Hopefully, we have a clean weekend and we wake up Monday and we get back to work. So we’ll see where we’re at.”

(on DE J.J. Watt’s goal of 20 sacks, 20 pass deflections and 20 tackles for a loss) “Exactly right. That’s why he’s a great player. He has tremendous expectations, but he’s a tremendous worker too. I was asked before if I thought he could have a better year this year than he did last year, I think he can. You never know where the numbers are going to come from, but, as a player, I think he’s growing because he understands (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips’) scheme to the T now. He studies the players he plays against every week, even more so now. He’s been dominant in training camp.”

(on how much ILB Brian Cushing returning helps DE J.J. Watt) “Well, it get us back active inside. As I’ve told y’all before, when Cush is in there and we’re doing a lot of our inside stunts, it frees people up. We lost some of that last year when we lost Cush. It’s been back to business as usual.”

(on what kind of training camp FS Shiloh Keo had) “Oh, he’s having a really good camp. It’s still a long way to go, but he’s a much better player than he has been the past couple of years and I’m going to give him a chance to do some returning this week too.”

(on how far TE Garrett Graham has come these last two seasons) “He’s come a long way. He’s turned into a really fine player. I’m very confident if there’s something going on with OD (TE Owen Daniels). Really, the way we play, they both play as starters in a lot of ways. They both play a lot of plays when the day is said and done. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.”

(on FS Shiloh Keo getting more returns this game) “I’m going to let him return punts this week. He’ll be the first guy to return punts. He’s done it before and he’s showed some good signs of doing it. We’ll give him a chance to help out a little bit more.”

(on the growth of SS Eddie Pleasant) “Yeah, just more confident. I’d say the same thing I say about (QB) Case (Keenum). He’s more confident. He knows what we’re doing, so his instincts are taking over. He still had some mistakes the other day, but Eddie has a chance to make big plays. He gives you a lot of speed on special teams.”

(on what position he wants G/T David Quessenberry to focus on) “No, actually Quess and (G/C Ben) Jones are splitting reps. It’s a competitive situation with (G) Wade (Smith) out. We’ll see what happens, but Ben’s been having a very good camp. Quess has probably come as far as a young offensive linemen as we’ve had in a while, so it’s going to be a competitive situation over the next few weeks.”

(on G/T David Quessenberry saying he was a walk-on in college and that fueling him to make it this far) “He’s very mature. You can tell a very hungry young man. There were some questions of his size and stuff and, as a former tight end, but, boy, it has not been an issue at all and he’s really picked up what we do. I don’t know, these offensive linemen all kind of seem to fit the same mold when it’s all said and done and, boy, he’s fit right in with them.”

(on the main thing he’s looking for out of preseason game two) “Just we’ve got to continue to look at a lot of young guys. I want our older guys to get more snaps as they work toward opening day, but just continue to gain confidence in these young players that are going to be a part of our team.”

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on how much of a grind it has been to get to this point) “Oh it’s been a grind. You know, (WR) Andre (Johnson) has been helping me through it along with all of the wide receivers. It’s been great coming out here and working with guys like this.”

(on the biggest takeaway from this time of year) “The biggest takeaway was just take care of your body off the field because if you don’t do that, you’re not going to come out here and be at your full potential. It’s a grind off the field as well.”

(on following up on the last game performance) “If I graded myself, I’d give myself a D honestly. I’ve got a lot I can improve on and I can come back and do a lot better than I did.”

S Shiloh Keo
(on how he has done this training camp) “I think I’ve been doing well. You know, there’s always room for improvement. I’ve got to continue to get better and just get ready for the season opener.”

(on if he is excited about the opportunity to return punts) “Oh definitely, whenever I get the ball in my hands I’m looking to do something with it. I came up short last week with that pick and I was a little frustrated with that, so this is going to be another opportunity for me.”

(on the difference between his rookie year and now) “Oh definitely, I was telling her earlier that I’m just way more comfortable. There’s more camaraderie, at least for me, with the other guys on the field. Just having those couple years under my belt, I’m able to relax and be calm out there.”

T David Quessenberry
(on if he expected to be elevated this quickly.) “You know, I knew as soon as I got an opportunity to show my stuff, someone would be impressed. And luckily here, they gave me that opportunity and they drafted me. In OTAs and in camp they let me show my skills and there’s still a lot of football to play but I feel like I’ve been doing my job so far.”

(on who has helped him the most since he’s been here) “I think we have great coaches. It’s a great coaching staff down here who have helped me out a lot. I think the veterans have been helping me out too. (G) Wade Smith, (C) Chris Myers, (T) Duane Brown, just being able to watch them and learn from them has helped me out tremendously. And then the second year guys; the guys who were rookies last year and know what it’s like to be a rookie and transition into the NFL they’ve been great too like (G/C) Ben Jones and (G) Brandon Brooks.”

(on the difficulty of playing two different positions and the added workload that comes with it) “Yeah, I mean it’s adding to the workload, but at the same time I think it’s helping me. When you learn multiple positions, it helps you understand concepts of the playbook and I think that’s the biggest thing. The playbook is so much more complicated and the defenses in the NFL are just so much more complex and you see so many more different looks, that if you understand what we’re trying to accomplish with each play, that’s going to help you out.”

(on if he feels more comfortable playing guard or tackle) “No, I feel the most comfortable on the offensive line. Anywhere on that offensive line, that’s where I want to be put to help this team win.”

DE Antonio Smith
(on today being the last day of training camp) “Hey man, I love it. You can’t complain about that. You know what I’m saying? No more two-a-days, just regular work days. Don’t have to get up all early and do all that extra stuff. I think that’s what every player looks forward to about this time of year: getting that last week of true camp out. You still got some work to do because you got preseason games, but nobody likes two-a-days man, nobody.”

(on the rain today) “It’s about the coolest it’s been the whole time. That’s nothing but a blessing man. Thank you, Lord.”

(on singing happy birthday to head coach Gary Kubiak) “No, we made the rookies do it. (QB Matt) Schaub called the rookies out. They sounded magnificent. They got all into it. They didn’t even get into it that good on their rookie show. They wanted to impress the head coach. They were really singing to him.”

(on how excited he is to see OLB Sam Montgomery playing Saturday) “Yeah I definitely am, so I can see where we’re at and what else I need to work on him with. I think that he’s a raw talent. Somebody is going to have to take the time out and sit and work with him. Give him a little love and he’ll be alright.”

(on OLB Willie Jefferson) “Willie surprised everybody because there have been a lot of guys I have seen come into the league with the swag and the confidence, but he’s one of the one’s that you’ve seen it from day one. When the swag and confidence got out here on the field, it showed the same thing. Once you can believe what you can do out there, it makes you a great player.”

DE J.J. Watt
(on his expectations for this year) “I mean, that’s what I was trying for last year and I didn’t get it, so that’s the goal. Trying to do things that people don’t think you can do, that don’t think you should be able to do, do things that people would ever be done, so I’m always trying to set the bar a little bit higher and a little bit higher.”

(on embracing setting high expectations) “Yeah, why not? Why not create high expectations? Nobody sets the bar low and loves jumping over it. I mean, I’m trying to strive for high bar. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t embrace high expectations. What am I going to do, be scared of them? I have no interest in being scared. I have no interest in mediocrity, I have no interest in average, I have no interest in being an OK player. I want to be great. I want to be the best, so that’s why I set the bar extremely high.”

(on Texans owner Bob McNair’s expectations for the season) “Expectations are extremely high and that’s the way they should be. You should every single day, attack it like the highest of the highest expectation. You should expect to be great. If you’re coming out here just for a decent season, then you’re coming out here for the wrong reasons.”

(on two-a-days) “Awesome. It’s nice. It’s kind of nice to be done. It was a great time. We got a lot of work in. We got a lot better. It’s nice to be able, because being done with two-a day’s means we are that much closer to the regular season. And were ready and I’m excited. I can’t wait to get out there and play.”

(on making it to the Super Bowl) “You don’t want to go to the dance and sit on the sideline. You want to get out there and move a little bit. I mean, I’m looking towards San Diego. There are lots of big goals down the road but it all starts on 9/9 in San Diego.”

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