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Houston Texans

DeMeco Drops: 'The next play mentality shows good leadership'


Head Coach DeMeco Ryans

On the status of C Scott Quessenberry after leaving practice with an injury

"We'll get more information on Scott [Quessenberry] with him going down. We'll get more information this afternoon."

On how rookie C Juice Scruggs is performing so far through camp

"What I've seen from Juice [Scruggs] is I've seen a guy who will step in, and [he's] doing a really good job of handling a lot of different positions, playing guard, playing center. I see a guy who is able to handle multiple things, operate efficiently inside. So, we're pleased with where Juice is."

On how much time on the off-day they spent evaluating how to avoid some of the injuries and come out of camp healthy

"Yeah, with training camp and the injuries, those things­ – they happen. No matter what camp you're at, that's going to happen. That's part of training camp. Just hope guys can acclimate and we can just keep moving forward [and have] the next guy step up. And as we evaluate things from a sports performance side, we're always trying to make sure our guys have the best things available to them when it comes to taking care of their bodies, when it comes to the recovery, the regen days. We offer those guys everything they could possibly need to make sure they're taking care of their bodies."

On what it said to him about his team when all the players went and showed support for C Scott Quessenberry as he was leaving the field today

"Everyone came up when Scott [Quessenberry] went down, [and] it just shows that our guys are connected. They truly care about one another, that's exactly what I'm trying to build here with our guys is genuinely caring for your teammate, and that's what you see there."

On QB C.J. Stroud helping fellow rookie WR Xavier Hutchinson on the sideline after a play and what it says about his leadership

"What I look for in leadership, I look for guys who are positive in what they do, encouraging their teammates, guys who are also doing things the proper way, where guys want to follow you, guys want to listen to you. That's what leadership is, and it's always about picking the next man up and understanding [that] whatever happened, good or bad on that play, it's all about that next play mentality, and that shows good leadership."

On what he sees as the biggest challenge faced by players who are returning from a long-term injury/illness

"The biggest thing is the mental hurdle of getting back. You're going through the process of getting your body back. You know [that], physically, 'I'm ready to go,' but mentally, it's a hurdle. And that's the one [thing] that people can't see, people don't understand. Like, when you go through these injuries, these guys are very resilient, and the things they have to go through, how tough it is on their bodies and the things they push through, a lot of guys are out there practicing and they're dealing with something. I'm pretty sure everybody is dealing with something, and I never take that for granted. That's what the game of football is. [There's] things you have to be tough [about]. You have to push through tough times, but mentally, it's that one hurdle that you always have to overcome whenever you're coming back from injuries."

On how difficult it is for a quarterback to manage a 'messy pocket,' and how important it is for the development of someone like QB C.J. Stroud

"Defensively, we want to make it as hard as possible on the quarterbacks. We want to disrupt the quarterback's process as much as possible, and that involves having a messy pocket. It involves the defensive line being aggressive in how they rush, rushing together. And when it comes to our offense, it's about them being under pressure, being under duress, and [asking], 'Can you make the proper decisions?' Whether it's to make a big play, or whether it's to [say], 'Hey, let's move on. They got us. Let's not turn a bad play into a horrible play. Let's just get out of the play and play the next down."

On the matchups between WR Nico Collins and CB Derek Stingley Jr. in practice, and if he considers Collins to be their top deep threat

"Right now, with the matchup of [Derek] Stingley [Jr.], with Nico [Collins], and with all our receivers, what you see is competition. Guys are challenging, and guys are pushing each other, and that's what you want to see. Nico has done a good job in camp. He's showing up down the field, showing up playing with really great hands no matter when the ball is coming to him, so he's done a really good job for us, and when it comes to a one, two, a three – to me, that doesn't matter, because who knows who is going to be out there. It's just, 'Can you make a play when it's your opportunity to make a play.'"

On how the players are picking up on everything that he's installed in this new scheme

"When it comes to the classroom, and the installs, and what we're asking of [them] – we put a lot on our guys. There's a lot of install over these first six, seven days of camp. There's been a heavy amount of install. Now, everyone knows what to do. Everyone knows how to do it, and now is the time to go and compete. Now, can you do it better than the man next to you? It's time to compete, go earn a job, go show that you want to be a part of the Houston Texans."

On what he's seen out of WR John Metchie III so far

"John Metchie's demeanor, it hasn't changed. He's the same. He's consistent, he's positive, he's a hard worker. Whenever he's out here at practice, he's giving everything he has. You'll see him after practice doing extra [reps], just trying to perfect his craft, so [I'm] excited with his mentality, and his work ethic is just cool to see."

On what he looks for during their 'compete' portions of practice

"Yeah, when we have our compete periods, I want everyone off to the side, and [to] make it as real as it can get, and [I] want to see the players make plays without the coaches standing behind telling them what to do. Can the guys go out and just operate efficiently without anyone else on the field? Because that's real football. So, for me, I want to simulate as much game-like exposure as possible, and that's what we do in those situations."

On what he's seen from the tight end group, and if anyone has flown under the radar and exceeded expectations during camp

"What I've seen from our tight end group, I've seen a lot of guys who are – first and foremost – just well coached. I think [tight ends coach] Jake Moreland has done a really great job of coaching those guys. Whoever has stepped in, guys know what to do, guys have performed well, guys are competing. Really, that group – we've seen a lot of different guys out there, but they're doing their jobs very well, and I'm pleased with where their group is."

On what adding CB Shaquill Griffin has done to their group

"Yeah, adding Shaq [Griffin] to our group was just a matter of we wanted to add some more depth to the cornerback position. It takes more than two, and adding a guy like Shaq who has experience, he's been a starter in this league for a while. We know he's battling an injury and he's coming back, and he's done a good job. Shaq, from OTA's and now he's just progressively gotten better and better, been very consistent. So, excited to add him. When you add a veteran guy and you're expecting that depth [and] that leadership, he's been everything we could have asked for."

On what he's expecting out of WR John Metchie III this season

"With [John] Metchie and what I've seen, again, is just a guy who shows determination, shows grit. And every single day, that's what he does. He's working every day. That's what you want to see, as I said earlier, he has a tremendous work ethic, and he's working to get back. And when it comes time to the season, whenever that is, [we] just want him to be his best, whatever that is, whatever role that is for us on our team. Hopefully, he can help us to win games."

On how he's approaching the league's change to move scheduled cuts during training camp

"With the one big cut at the end of training camp, I think the thought process from the NFL is just to have more guys available for that last preseason game because what you see happen is you make cuts and you end up in that last game, and a lot of guys are taxed because your starters are not playing that last preseason game, and you have a lot of guys who are playing offense, defense and all the special teams [snaps], so making it one big cut allows you to have enough guys, a big enough roster. So, if you want to take care of the starters, you can during that particular time, but you're also not wearing out the younger guys there."

On if he's noticed QB C.J. Stroud's progression and timing take a step up in camp so far

"Yeah, C.J. [Stroud], with the progression and timing, it's been there. He knows the progression, he knows where he's going with the football. He's just continuing to be consistent, continuing to get better, continuing to make proper decisions, and he's growing each and every day, and I'm happy with the growth I've seen in him."

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