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Houston Texans

Notes and Quotes: Rookie QB showdown, moving on to New England 

“I think he would be really proud of how the organization has all come together and been a part of this and today it’s the Hope Lodge but it’s a lot of other things that the whole organization does. Players get involved and I just think he would be smiling down.” Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair on celebrating Founder's Day in memory of his father, the late Bob McNair

The Houston Texans host the New England Patriots on Sunday, marking the seventh-consecutive year that the two teams have met. Heading into Week 5, both teams are 1-3 with rookie quarterbacks in Davis Mills and Mac Jones under center.

Here are some of the top stories and quotes from the week:

On Wednesday, Texans staff and players celebrated their annual Oct. 6 tradition of "Founder's Day" in memory of the late Bob McNair who passed away three years ago.

The Texans have a number of new players, coaches and personnel like General Manager Nick Caserio with ties to New England.

"I've got a lot of respect for that organization and the way they do things, and I still got guys over there that I keep in touch with," WR Brandin Cooks said. "Great team, but when you start to think of it last year, you start to get out of your game. It's another game, and another opportunity for us to come home and play in front of our fans. We look forward to the challenge."

Even though they got to know each other better during the NFL Combine process, Mills and the Patriots QB met in high school.

"Yeah, Mac (Jones) is a great dude," Mills said. "I actually did my Combine training together with him down in Mobile with David Morris. I got to know him a little bit in high school through the camp circuit. He's a good dude. He's been successful so far. Obviously, both teams have the same record, but I think he's handled their offense really well and he's progressing."

Mills looks to bounce back from last week's 40-0 loss at Buffalo. After throwing just one interception in his first three halves of NFL football, Mill threw four against the Bills defense.

"Some of the stuff that happened on Sunday, they made some good plays," Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly said. "On the one tipped pass, (A.J.) Klein made a great play and they were able to make a play on the ball. When we are starting to force balls and try to do things in tight windows that we really don't want to do, we just have to eliminate the careless mistakes there."

The defense is also looking to turn the page this week.

"Well they have an old saying, 'Yesterday's news doesn't mean anything in today's paper,'" DB Terrance Mitchell said. "You know, it was a game, things happen. We just have to get back to work. We're real confident in what we do, we stand together, our coaches are great, we are all good and we'll be back."

Head Coach David Culley has been having one-on-one conversations with Mills, giving him confidence and advice to bounce back.

WR Danny Amendola returned to practice this week for the first time since suffering a thigh injury in Week 2 at Cleveland. Amendola caught a touchdown pass in the season opener against Jacksonville.

The Texans also released WR Anthony Miller and signed WR Davion Davis, a first-year receiver out of Sam Houston State University.

WR Chris Conley became a father to a baby girl this week.

"She's perfect," Conley said.

Linebackers got a boost this week as Zach Cunningham returned to practice after being activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Also, Kevin Pierre-Louis was designated for return off Injured Reserve.

"Getting a good football player like KPL (Kevin Pierre-Louis) back helps," Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith said. "He has had some injuries, so we're anxious to get him into the mix, just not as linebacker but on the special teams, too. We were also missing Zach Cunningham last week, getting him back in the mix. Kamu Grugier-Hill has played well. So, we have some guys and we'll try to find ways to get them all into the mix and get reps and see what they can do."

The pregame flag holders will be 44 Texans Season Ticket Members who have survived cancer or been affected by it. Read some of their stories here.

The Texans will host the New England Patriots in Week 5. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio610. Click here for tickets.

Check out the top photos from the Houston Texans practice on Wednesday.

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