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Camp quotes: Day 17


Defensive end Mario Williams dominated during pass rush drills.

The Texans enjoyed a change in scenery as they went through two competitive practices against the Saints at their training facility outside of New Orleans.

Texans owner Bob McNair

(on what kind of influence LB DeMeco Ryans has had on the organization) "He's everything that you would want. He was an academic All-American at Alabama for two years. He has a smile on his face all the time; he's a great teammate. He works hard; he has great ability. He never criticizes one of his other teammates. He will give them a pat on the back, and he's just a terrific leader. For people to see a young fellow come in and in the last two years perform the way he did – he has gained the respect of the veterans too."

{QUOTE}(on if he is happy with having the joint practices with the Saints) "I think it's great for both clubs. I'm certainly supportive, and we were talking about that. New Orleans and Houston have so much in common, and so many people in Houston go to New Orleans to do business and people in New Orleans come to Houston on a regular basis. We have a lot of friends in New Orleans and a lot of people in New Orleans have friends in Houston. So, it is an opportunity to develop a rivalry that I think can be meaningful over time. I hope that we'll play in preseason every year. Of course, the regular season is determined by the scheduling process that we have set up. On preseason, yes, I'd love to be playing every year."

(on if he would like to practice with them every year) "Yeah, I think that is up to the coaches, but I think the coaches have similar philosophies in terms of how they practice. As long as they feel that it's productive, then I'm certainly supportive of it. I think that they would like to continue because we have talked about that."

(on coming close to taking RB Reggie Bush and whether he remembers that moment) "I remember it well. What it came down to was as a team if you improve your offense by having Bush, are you a stronger team if you just put him out on the team. Do you have a better chance of winning with him on the Houston Texans or by improving your defense by taking Mario Williams? Our coaches felt that we had a better chance to win by improving our defense and that even if we had a Bush, our offense would not be better than say Indianapolis. So, the way for us to win in our division was to strengthen our defense and that was the decision that was made. Mario is turning out to be a great defensive player for us."

(on whether or not he had doubts during Williams' rookie season) "No, I never did because all you have to do - if you are around Mario enough, I mean, how often do you see a physical specimen like him? He's 6-6, 6-7, 290 pounds. He can run and jump like a running back. He's phenomenal. He came from a small town. He didn't play that much big-time football and he was playing a position now where he had to learn technique and things like that, and it took him a little time. He's still learning. He's still not at the top of his game. He's still getting better. We took a lot of flack, a lot of criticism. Offense always gets the headlines, as you know, and everybody was familiar with Reggie Bush. He is a phenomenal player and he's a great player for the Saints. There was that familiarity with Bush, and people said, 'Who is Mario Williams? How could you pick somebody I don't know versus somebody I know?' We heard a lot of that."

(on if DeMeco Ryans was more of a surprise with the second round pick) "Yes, for him to be as outstanding as he was right off of the bat - we knew he was a good player. But was it a pleasant surprise that he was that good? Yes. That was a pleasant surprise because rookies typically don't play that well, and he just stepped right in right off the bat and so it took some heat off of us because he was part of that same draft, so people couldn't say, 'Oh look at that draft.' Now they look back and say, 'Boy, that is one of the best drafts anyone has ever had.'"

(on if he senses a turning of the tides for Texans) "Yeah, and we don't have to remind people. The fact that we never hear any of the questions that we used to hear is evidence itself. The main thing is long term you have to just do what is best for your team, and that's what it's all about. Each team, they have different needs and it depends on who's available. If you've got the number one pick, you can pick anyone you want. But other than that, you don't know whose going to be available when it comes time for you to pick."

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on practicing with the Saints) "It's really good to practice against somebody else. You see different defenses; they see different offenses. Just different things going on. I think you get almost a better look at your young players because it's not against the same old guys everyday. So, we are really enjoying it. Of course, I'm more on this field than I was on the other so I have to go back and really look at the film. But there was some good work today."

(on practicing in the rain today) "I think it's great to stay on the grass. Anytime you can stay on grass and off that turf I think players feel better, especially older players. These fields are unbelievable."

(on if anyone stood out to him during practice) "I think there are a few guys who did some good things. I have to go back and look, there is so much ball going on with two different fields. I can't see that far."

(on fights in other teams joint practices and these two teams not having any) "There is a lot of respect; coaches that know each other, a lot of the players know each other. I think our work habits are the same; how we practice with shoulder pads on or without the pads. I think that's all under control. We got a lot of respect and we just work good and we are trying to get better."

(on how much these practices effect how the team plays Saturday) "No. It probably makes it harder for both of us, but in the long haul it's going to be good for both teams. I just think you are going to sit here work against each other three times, take a day break and then go play each other. So we are going to see an awful lot of each other from the standpoint of competition. But that's OK; it's preseason. We need to get a lot of reps. We need all the work we can get and are getting very good quality work here."

(on the red zone offense during practice) "I don't know what happened on the defensive field. Like I said, I can't see over there. I know on the offensive side, the first group went down and scored. The second group went right down and threw a pick in the end zone. So we've got to find a way to make that play. Red zone, I've been disappointed in how we performed last week in the red zone and I was disappointed in how we practiced in the red zone today. We got another period tomorrow, that's something we are going to have to do a better job with."

(on RB Chris Brown practicing) "Yeah, he was fine. He worked. All four of those guys were probably getting equal work, but he's looked good."

(on how much playing time Chris Brown will get in the game Saturday) "We'll talk about that tonight and tomorrow, but he'll definitely start the game. He hasn't had any problems since he's come off his back, and looks good."

(on what he hopes to see out of RB Chris Brown) "I think I have a pretty good feel for him. He's a real pro, very smart, he's handled protections well. He understands what we are doing. He's really been in a zone system for a while. We just need to get him some reps, get him tackled, all those things that are involved in getting ready to play."

(on the situation with RB Jameel Cook and RB Chris Taylor at fullback) "Well, we haven't (been looking at RB Chris Taylor at fullback) lately because just having four halfbacks in camp. I think Chris can do it. I have a good feel of what he can do if we put him back there. Jameel (Cook) has had a good camp. He's pushing Vonta (Leach). I think he had a good practice today. This morning, he did when I looked; I'll have to go back and look this afternoon. He's doing a good job."

(on if he was able to get things done today that he wouldn't have been able to do in Houston) "Well, I just think you see different stuff. On offense, we've see different some coverages today that we haven't been working against because our guys don't run some coverages that they run. And the same thing defensively. We are seeing an offense that's a little different than ours. There was some confusion on both of our parts this morning. We adjusted a little better this afternoon, but that's the good thing."
TE Owen Daniels
(on how practice went) "I thought it would be more like a game, but it was good practicing and go up against someone else other than our teammates."

(on no fights breaking out between the Texans and Saints) "It was. I'm glad it was, though. Hopefully, we'll save our intensity for the game. We don't need to get any fights out here. It's not productive at all."

(on if it was strange practicing in a different facility) "We know we're here, but it's a little different not having our locker room and practicing and lifting in other people's weight room. But it was a nice change of pace."

DE N.D. Kalu

(on practicing against the Saints meaning more) "Oh, yeah, especially being on the second or third team out here you get a chance to show what you've got to other teams just in case this doesn't work. I don't get to put a lot of stuff on tape in our games. But right now, I'm trying out for the Texans. But if things don't work, the Saints are going to see me up closer than all the other teams we have seen in the preseason."

DT Amobi Okoye
(on hoping to break out in his second year) "Hey, I hope that's what is coming. I can't really tell, but I'm hoping that's what the future has for me. That's what I'm working for, and hopefully that's what I get."

(on what he learned as a rookie that will help him in year two) "Consistency. It's all about consistency and just treating your body like a corporation."

G Chester Pitts

(on no fights breaking out between the Texans and Saints) "It starts at the top. The discipline is instilled and we are professionals. I can't figure that one out or understand that; I think that's kind of ridiculous honestly. But we are all professionals and we are just out here trying to get better. It's about a common respect for the men across from you. We're at war and it's football, but at the end of the day we are playing a game."

(on fighting between teams during training camp this year)"Absolutely, but again, there's always still the respect factor. That's just silly to me the whole fighting on the football field. We are out here to play football. You are out here to go hard and do what you are supposed to do."

(on his previous skirmishes with teammates) "Those were not fights; those were minor disagreements. Very minor."

(on if the practices will help him on Saturday) "That's a no. It can go either way. You can either say, 'I know the guys a little bit better or maybe I know what to expect. The antithesis of that is that he's done the same thing. So it just depends on much he has studied. It will help me because I study and watch lots of film and prepare as much as I can."

(on if he would like to make this a regular part of training camp "I like to be at home. I can't say that I would ever sign up for this. I do it because I have to. I wouldn't jump out of bed to get it done."

LB DeMeco Ryans

(on getting more done in joint practices than usual practices) "We get the same amount of work done or even more. We got the same amount of work done here that we would have in Houston."

(on how the Texans are going to compete in the AFC South) "We've got to find a way to beat those teams. Indianapolis has been in the top of our division for a while, and now we have to find a way to go into Indy and beat Indy. We've got to find a way to beat Tennessee, and we haven't beaten Tennessee since I started here. We'll find a way to beat those guys, like I said, by stopping the run and getting better pass rush and creating turnovers. We're going to be fine."

(on how they could make a bigger statement this year) "I think we can make a bigger statement by running the ball better on the offensive side. We were plagued with injuries last year. We stay healthy, run the ball well, and we play solid defense, create turnovers, and I think that's going to improve our record a lot."

(on how much easier it is for the back seven with DE Mario Williams and DT Amobi Okoye taking their game to another level this year) "It makes everyone's job easier. When your front four guys are creating pressure and making plays in the back field, it makes everybody else's job easier. I was telling those guy's the other day that I love it when you guys are in the backfield making plays, pushing the offensive line back, creating a new line of scrimmage. It makes it so much easier on us in the back."

(on if he thinks DE Mario Williams was motivated by all the people doubting the Texans taking him number one over RB Reggie Bush) "I think (DE) Mario (Williams) was hurt as far as his first year — a lot of people didn't know that. Mario has gotten healthy and better. He has worked on his technique a lot, working with his hands coming off the ball a lot faster. He knew that he had to build it in himself to go out and dominate and now that's what he is doing. His confidence is up; he's healthy and he's rolling."

(on if DE Mario Williams is the same guy as he was in year one) "He's the same person, but like I said, his technique and everything has gotten better playing that position."

(on how impressed he was with LB Zac Diles' game against the Denver Broncos) "(LB) Zac (Diles), he did a good job for us. I always say that Zac is one of the strongest linebackers that we have. He makes some strong tackles out there for us. He did a good job. He has a lot of room for improvement, so I was just eager to sit back and watch him and see how he develops and comes into his own."

(on if the key for LB Zac Diles' confidence was to have a game like that) "It is key. We've talked about it already. Once you get rolling, you go out there, you get a couple of tackles the first series or so, you get rolling and your confidence level rises and you feel like, 'Hey, this is all I've got to do,' and go out and play with the best of them."

(on CB Dunta Robinson begging coaches to get out on the field) "That's (CB) Dunta (Robinson). When we were playing in the game last Saturday, he looked kind of down on the sidelines because he was like, 'I can't just sit here and watch you guys go out there and play without me,' but that's just the competitive nature in Dunta. As a competitor, you want to be out there with your guys, you want to be out there battling with us, and I wouldn't expect him to say anything different."

(on if he thinks 80 percent of CB Dunta Robinson is better than 90 percent of the rest of the corners) "(laughs) It is, it is. I miss 23 (CB Dunta Robinson) out there, just having that physical force back there and just a big-time playmaker. When your top guy goes down, you know, he's a top guy for a reason. I don't encourage him to rush it or anything, take his time and get healthy, but when he gets back, we'll gladly accept him back."

QB Matt Schaub

(on reacting to the coverages the Saints were showing them during practice) "Well, I think we reacted pretty well. There's only so many coverages that there are out there in the world. It's just a matter of recognizing them and then reacting. I think guys have been playing with vision and seeing those things and being able to react to it."

(on getting the most out of these joint practices) "I think any day you come out here, whether it's practice, preseason game, regular season game, you want to go out there and get the most out of it. Maximize all your reps, whether you're in there or not. You need to get those mental reps in back there watching the other guys go so you're always in to what the team is doing. And then getting all those reps yourself."

(on if he wishes they did more joint practices in training camp) "We always like when it's a good change up from what we normally do, to go against somebody else, hit somebody else and see some other looks. It's a good thing. I think it would be a good thing to do every year. Obviously, that's not up to me, but it's always fun to come out here and play somebody different."

(on practicing in the rain) "Yeah, it's always a good practice. We saw it was raining. I guess there was a chance early on in the day to go inside. I wish we just would have come out here in the beginning and played in the downpour because you never know when it's an outdoor game, it might rain. You have to be ready for it. You have to be adjusted to either wind, rain conditions, everything."

DE Mario Williams

(on practicing against the Saints) "It's not your usual (practice) against the same guys. You get tired of hitting the same guys during training camp. To come out here and see different guys is good."

(on if going against another team prepares him for the regular season) "Yeah, it does. It's one of those things that you've got to build up not just your physical but your mental aspects of the game. You've got to be ready to play the whole game, and you just gradually grow into to it – that's what preseason is. You're (in the) first quarter, second quarter and then third quarter and then you're ready to play the whole game. Pretty much, you just take it one game at a time and then you take it from there."

(on if he though he would go to the Saints in the draft) "I didn't know where I was going, man. It was out of my hands – one of those things I can't control. So I don't worry about it."

(on how much he talked to the Saints before the draft) "Yeah, but I mean that's just like anything. You can have anyone talk to you, but then all of a sudden the tables turn. You really can't go off of that."

(on if he is happy with the way things turned out in the draft) "Oh, yeah. No doubt, I have no regrets."

(on Saints RB Reggie Bush) "He's a great player, obviously. He's just an incredible athlete, and I wish him the best."

(on if he thinks back to what it would have been like to be drafted by the Saints) "No."

(on much he was motivated in the offseason by his critics) "Being the type of person that I don't really care what other people have to say – the biggest thing for me is just my team and going out and trying to get better for my team and help us get where we want to be. That's the only thing that motivates me."

(on if he feel validated by last season) "No, I don't because when I look back on it - not just myself, I get other guys to critique me – there was a lot of things that were left on the field that could have been better and that could have helped me out and could have helped the team out. You know, there is always room for improvement."

(on how it felt to beat the Saints last season) "It feels good to win any game and just perform, whether it's against the Saints or anybody. It's just one of those things that no matter what, you know that you've got to go out and do your part and help the team win. It pretty much was another regular game"

(on being under a microscope) "Like I said, the way I am stuff like that doesn't affect me so much."

(on the hype he is generating) "Whether it's good or bad, I appreciate it. Pretty much, I just run with it. You can't buy into it, like you said."

(on how hard he worked this offseason) "I realized that what I did before wasn't good enough. I see it like that, and I want my teammates to see it the same way. We all push each other."

(on what he did differently this offseason) "I worked harder."

(on if he had a turning point last season) "Yeah, there was a part where I just felt a lot more comfortable. I think I came back from our Bye Week and I just felt reenergized."

(on increasing his sack numbers) "The sky's the limit. When I looked at last year after I critiqued myself and had my coaches critique myself, there was a lot of things where I was like, 'That could have been another one. That could have been another one.' And that's how you've got have to see it. You are only dissatisfied whenever you look at the film and you know that you didn't miss any of them, and that number could be tremendous. That's the thing about football, the guys throughout the season, they don't get them all. But if you can get them all or try to get as many as you can, the number can be outstanding. I just try to focus on things like that."

(on today's practice) "It was good. Like I said before, it was a change of scenery. It pretty much makes you feel a lot more comfortable and more energized to come out here and play with other guys. You get tired of seeing the same guys over and over,"

(on the speed of practice) "The goal is to be crisp and sharp, to just come out here and execute things and just run with it."

(on practicing against a team before playing them) "Yeah, it's kind of crazy to me to basically show your hand through the whole week and show what you are going to do and show your tendencies, and then all of a sudden you play them on Saturday. You basically just game them everything you had during the week."

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