Coaches and players from the Texans and Philadelphia Eagles spoke to the media after Thursday's game. Following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
Eagles head coach Andy Reid
Eagles QB Michael Vick
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team's comeback from a deficit, but inability to come away with the win) "We struggled, obviously, defensively early in the game and got behind as a football team. But at halftime, we felt fortunate to actually be down by 10. But we were very confident at halftime, getting the ball coming out. We really, really played very well in the third quarter and had total control of the football game, so you're sitting there, 24-20, in control of the football game with a quarter left to play, and then that's where we started to make our mistakes. We had a poor kick, which totally flipped the field position. We didn't stop them. We had a couple penalties on offense on our third drive, which stopped us. And when you need to be playing your best ball, at 24-20 with a quarter to play, was when we started to make our mistakes as a team. So, I like the way we rallied back, but when you play great football teams, you got to get it done at crunch time. And they did and we didn't."
(on if there was ever a question whether or not QB Matt Schaub would return) "No, he was fine. He just hit the ground hard right there before the half and went in. The doctors checked him out and were very confident that he was fine. He's doing fine. You know, he played pretty darn well. I know we'd like to have the turnover back, but he played pretty well."
(on what he told his team after the game) "Just what I just told y'all. Like I said, we had ourselves with a quarter left to play on the road in a tough place to play in great position. And from there, we didn't get it done. It was all three phases from there. It started with the kicking game and, like I said, a couple penalties on offense. They didn't stop us in the second half, we stopped ourselves a couple times. And then defensively when we needed to rise to the occasion with the lead, we didn't do that neither. So it could go on all three phases in the fourth quarter didn't get it done."
(on his plan to handle QB Michael Vick) "Well, it's easy to have a plan against him, it's hard to execute. The bottom line, I mean, we'd like to keep him in the pocket, make him throw the football. But even when you've got him there, he still finds a way to get out and make plays. This young man is playing as good as anybody I've seen play in the National Football League, and I've been doing it for a while. He's special. We just tried to contain him, but obviously he still had a big night and he's been doing it against a lot of people. We had a couple chances for turnovers, you know, he gave us a lot opportunities that we just didn't take advantage of."
(on his team's issue with tackling) "Yeah, I would say we didn't tackle very good, especially in the fourth quarter."
(on if there should have been a flag for the play on WR
(on how to win next week against Baltimore and make a push for the playoffs) "Well, I mean, you're right, we turn around and play another great team here in 10 days, a Monday Night game. You know, I don't know what's going to happen in our division. We're all playing each other here down the stretch. I'm concerned about our sixth win, that's what I'm concerned about right now. We had ourselves in a very good position to get it done tonight and we didn't, so we got to get this fixed and out of the way before we start thinking about the next one."
(on any other health issues) "Oh (WR) Andre (Johnson). And there was one more, but I'll be honest with you, I kinda of forgot between here and there, so I'm sorry."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on the calls the officials made) "I mean, you can't really sit here and talk about what should have been with the penalties and the officials and everything. It is really not my call. I just know that I can play the game and there were certain things going on that weren't being called that as a player, when you watch games in and around the league, are always called. Its very frustrating when you know you have plays to be made and there are penalties that are going on during and throughout the game that could change the game."
(on Houston's comeback and late blown lead) "They are a good team and this is a tough place to play. We got ourselves down early and they moved the ball and kept us off the field in the beginning of the game. We had a good plan and we just kept fighting through it and finally we made some plays against a very good defense and a very good team, but it just wasn't enough during crunch time in the fourth quarter."
(on his thrown interception) "Well, it was a screen play call and the defensive lineman made the play and I just tried to get it up and over him and he just made the play."
(on how the missed penalties effect the game) "Well, it's just the way the league is. Games within games within a season you are going to face adversity during the flow of the game and you just have to go out on the next play. You can't think about the plays that happened or that could have been. You just have to move on to the next one."
(on the play of the team in the second half) "We didn't make the plays in the fourth quarter. We came out of the locker room like gang-busters, moving up and down the field. We had some long drives and finished with touchdowns, took the lead, but it just wasn't enough. We didn't make the plays in the fourth quarter to give us the lead again once they had scored and eventually it wasn't enough."
(on where the Texans are at this point in the season) "It wasn't the way we planned things to go when we were looking at the season in the beginning of the year, but this time we have to move forward. We have four games to play and we have a little time before we play Baltimore and we just have to regroup and be ready to go out and win all four of them, but it just starts with our sixth win coming up against Baltimore."
Eagles head coach Andy Reid
(on injuries sustained during the game) "(RT) Winston Justice has an MCL sprain and he'll have an MRI in the morning. (G) Max (Jean-Gilles) started at the right guard spot. (G) Nick (Cole) had been working in there (at right guard), and I thought we could give Nick a little rest on his knee and get him back fresh in a few days"
(on the victory) "My compliments go to the team. (Houston) is the best fourth quarter team in football, so it was important that we played all four quarters and I felt that our defense really stepped up in the fourth quarter. This was our fourth game in 17 days, so I'm proud of the guys for pushing through, especially in a short week. They did a good job. We had some highs, we had some lows, and there are plenty of things that we can learn from. We did a little bit better in the red zone, which is a plus. I thought (QB) Michael (Vick) played well and did some nice things. (K) David Akers ended up setting the record for most regular season games played by any player in the history of the organization. (TE Brent) Celek had a big play there at the end which was very important. In terms of offense, defense, and special teams, all in all it was a good game. My compliments also go to the Texans. They're battling through some injuries and things, but they're a heck of a team with very explosive players on both sides of the ball."
(on how he wanted the team to respond after falling behind late in the game) "I was looking to recapture the momentum. We weren't able to do that last week (at Chicago), but we were able to get it done here. We had great fan support which made it tough on (Houston) with the noise. The guys made plays. They buckled down and made plays. They tackled well today and caught the ball better today. I thought (RB LeSean) McCoy ran hard and had some nice runs for us. I thought both lines played well too."
(on how he knew to challenge the spot of the Brent Celek reception which resulted in a first down following a successful replay review) "Our guys showed it on our (stadium replay) board too, so I was able to get it upstairs (in the coaches' booth) and down below (on the stadium replay board). Just from looking at it, it didn't look like his knee had touched down when he spun. That is a tough call for the officials, but it ended up working out well."
(on him not having much success with past replay challenges involving officials' spots) "I appreciate you bringing that up."
(on what impressed him about the play of QB Michael Vick) "He got knocked around a little bit. (Houston) has a real good defensive front. They blitzed a little bit, and he kept getting back up and kept going. I loved his energy in the second half. He was firing up (players on) both sides of the ball. He brought a lot to the table."
(on QB Michael Vick attempting to avoid some hits) "I saw him go down. Even though it was a head-first (slide), he went down, and I'm going to take that as a positive."
(on whether he was trying to send a message with the long pass play to DeSean Jackson on the first play from scrimmage) "He did a great job of sitting in front of the free safety, who was playing very deep. In terms of a message, we're playing the other team, so that was the message."
(on whether the Eagles got his message from last week following the loss to Chicago) "This is all about our team. We win as a team, and lose as a team. I just thought collectively, everyone played well tonight. We played through some adversity, and I thought we did better in the red zone on both sides of the ball."
(on how close CB Asante Samuel was to playing in the game) "He was close. We wanted to go, but his lateral mobility wasn't good enough, so we held him out. It wasn't anything to do with his effort and want-to."
(on getting the momentum back after falling behind late in the game) "I think the guys just rallied. I say this about professional athletes and coaches - when they really put their minds to doing something, it normally gets done. I think they were a little embarrassed last week, and we all were in terms of players and coaches. I thought we could have played better. I think everyone put their minds to it tonight and there was a lot of positive energy down there during those tough times."
(on the red zone drop by TE Brent Celek early in the game) "That was a rough one. It was one of those traffic throws where he's coming out of a lot of bodies and the ball was low and in front of him. They were blitzing us on that play, and he was very upset and felt that he should have made that catch. He came back and later made one of the bigger plays in the game. I'm proud of him."
(on the recent play of LT Jason Peters) "He's done a nice job. I thought both tackles (Jason Peters and Winston Justice) did a nice job, and when King (Dunlap) came in, he did a nice job as well. With Jason, you're talking about one of the better tackles in the National Football League. I'm partial, but I think he's the best. He answers the bell every week and he's done a nice job and been very consistent."
(on RB LeSean McCoy's effectiveness in the passing game) "First off, we screened them quite a little bit. Some of that is just their pass rush and the depth of their linebackers. We're trying to get underneath with our intermediate throws, and that normally opens up the back and gives him some opportunities."
(on why QB Michael Vick was riding an exercise bike during different breaks in the game) "He was working his legs. He took some shots on his legs in the game, and he was just trying to keep them loose."
(on the team's positive energy after falling behind late in the game) "Everybody was pumping each other up. You saw the offense pumping the defense up, and the defense pumping the offense up. You saw (CB) Asante (Samuel) and (DE) JP (Juqua Parker) down there very involved and bringing a lot of energy even though they were not playing. Everyone was into the game. It was a positive atmosphere."
(on getting WR DeSean Jackson involved in the game) "We had five or six calls to him. (Houston) sometimes doubled him, and (QB) Michael (Vick) had pressure on one play and he had to run. His number was dialed up quite a little bit tonight. You get a little attention when you strike early like he did."
(on the defense's containment of Houston RB
(on the blocking of TE Brent Celek) "He's done a nice job. It's been solid, and he's getting better every week."
(on what QB Michael Vick said on the sideline when the team fell behind late in the game) "He was very vocal about everyone rallying and picking up their games, and he said that he was going to pick up his game. It was all positive. For someone that's normally quiet, when he speaks up like that, people listen. I thought he did a very nice job of bringing good energy."
(on the distribution of the ball in the passing game) "We were able to spread it around a little bit. That's tough on defenses. Everybody got involved. I'm not sure how many guys caught the ball, but our fullback (Owen Schmitt) got one and he normally doesn't get involved there. I think (TE) Clay (Harbor) might have been the only one that didn't (catch a pass), but he got a kickoff."
(on QB Michael Vick physically holding up after four games in 17 days) "He's worked so hard, and you guys (the media) have seen it. He goes out there and stays after practice. He did that last year when he was trying to get himself back into shape, and then this offseason he spent so much time getting himself right. He and (QB) Kevin (Kolb) worked their tails off this offseason and both of them came back in great shape. That's where this helps Michael, especially with the way he plays the game. He plays a physical type of game at quarterback, and you have to be in good shape to do that."
Eagles QB Michael Vick
(on how satisfying it was to score after the Texans had taken the lead) "It was very satisfying. First thing I just have to give glory to God for giving us the opportunity to come out here and play this game and win. Just putting the drives together after going down four points, we just did a great job in battling back. I told the guys 'Now's the time to put it all together and come out and make the plays I know we can make. Let's be efficient, let's be smart and win this football game' and they did."
(on whether he was, in fact, more vocal in the huddle) "Well, I just wanted the guys to believe in themselves. I have all the belief in the world in those guys. I think the world of them and I'll go to battle with them any day. So, I try to encourage them and say whatever I can to keep them upbeat, keep them confident and keep them with their will to win."
(on how he felt when the defense was on the field for a long stretch in the 3rd quarter) "It reminded me of last week when Chicago kept us off the field for a long time, extensive periods of time. When you do that, you limit your opportunities to score. We want to get every opportunity to score. We want to take advantage of every possession. Sometimes we put more pressure on the defense than we have to. I think we have to be able to compliment each other at any given point in the game."
(on how they were able to rebound from the extended period off the field this week) "Well, like I said, last week they kept us off the field. By the time we had the opportunity to come back and win the game, (we were down) 17/ 18 points with only nine minutes left. (Tonight) the defense did a great job of giving us the ball back. Guys made unbelievable plays. Everybody stepped it up in the 4th quarter. Brent (Celek) made a great catch in the red zone that put us in a position to win the game."
(on this being a tough physical game) "There are a lot of games like this. You get knocked around a couple times, you get put in the position that you almost have to come back and score. You find out a lot about yourself playing this game. Times that you think you can't do it, there's something always in the back of your mind saying 'Yes, you can.' That's what drives me, that's what motivates me. The opportunity at achieving greatness is what I strive for."
(on whether there has been another season where he has been hit this hard so many times) "Like I said before, I'm used to taking hits. It's not that bad. They may look harder than what they seem but it's not that bad. If I take one and I lay down, then I took a good one. I'm a pretty tough guy I feel like for the most part so I try to bounce back whenever I can."
(on whether there is a science to bouncing back after being hit) "It's no science to getting hit. There's no science to getting hit or protecting yourself."
(on the job of TE Brent Celek this season) "Brent is a total team player. There were a couple times I missed him earlier in the season and I can give him better chances at catching the football, better ball placement. When you're throwing the ball to a tight end, you have to put it around his body. Those big guys are not designed to make the greatest spectacular catches like (WR) Jeremy Maclin and (WR) DeSean Jackson are going to make, so you just put the ball on him. Brent's role is different. He understands it and he's going to continue to be a factor in our offensive."
(on what "missing" Celek means) "No, I never overlook him. It's just other guys were open."
(on whether he feels his teammates are lifted up when he gets off the turf after being hit) "Yeah, well I feel like when those guys see me getting up time after time, they feel like they're responsible for that. Not every play is going to be perfect and I also want them to understand that. I expect to get hit. Sometimes it gets me going. You get hit a couple of times early and then you realize and understand that you have to move a little bit in the pocket. I always want those guys to know that not every play is going to be perfect. Things are not going to go the way we want them to go all the time. We just have to battle and I hold them accountable, just as well as they hold me accountable. It's real true on both ends and we understand we all have jobs to get done at the end of the day."
(on how big this win is in the NFC and with the Giants and Dallas coming up) "Well this is a big win. We just have to keep going, not get too ahead of ourselves and understand what's most important and that's the next game."
(on getting WR DeSean Jackson involved early in the game) "We wanted to get DeSean the ball early. Get him involved. Get some plays out to him. Get him going and put him in a position where he can help us win. He's a major factor in our offense."
(on how he knows when it's the right time to be more vocal) "When you get down and you know you should be winning the game by more points than what you have, then instinctively you just step up as a leader. That's my job. My job is to rally, motivate, to push these guys as hard as I can just as much as I've pushed myself. So with that said, you just got to not put yourself in that position and not make this game harder than what this is."