The Texans hosted the Jaguars in Week 17 at Reliant Stadium. The coaches and players spoke to the media after, and the following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Houston TexansHead Coach Gary KubiakT Duane BrownDT Shaun CodyLB Brian CushingTE Owen DanielsRB Arian FosterCB KareemJacksonWR Andre JohnsonWR Jacoby JonesFB Vonta LeachS Troy NolanLB DeMeco RyansQB Matt SchaubWR Kevin WalterRB Derrick WardT Eric Winston
Jacksonville JaguarsHead Coach Jack Del RioRB Rashad JenningsTE Marcedes LewisG Vince ManuwaiCB Rashean Mathis
Houston Texans Coach Gary Kubiak(on his thoughts on the season ) "It was a tough season. I'm not sure about the train wreck part. We lost a lot of tough games. Without going through each and every one of them, we've lost a bunch of tough football games. I've told you guys numerous times the difference between winning seven or eight, or six in this case, and winning 10 or 11 in this league, is finding a way to win close games. We didn't do that this year so it's disappointing. Our guys played hard and worked hard through everything. I'm proud of the way they played today. Disappointing season but I'm proud of the way they played today."
(on problems with going young on the cornerbacks) "I think it's been a combination of things. Obviously that is a factor, we've talked about that all year long. That is a decision we made. Obviously there are some issues there and that's what happened. There's been many problems. I don't want to sit here and talk about all of those and there were a couple more problems today but they found a way at half time to correct the ship and go out and pitch a shutout the second half. That was impressive. That's part of this league. You've got to battle through things and still find a way to win. We weren't able to do that."
(on this year going badly) "I think what this team just went through is part of the National Football League, but the timing was awfully bad. We had been on a nice climb over a six-week period this year. We had made a gradual climb and had been very good. Then, we hit a stretch over a nine-week period that was a step backwards. I think in this league that happens to good teams. You've got to battle back through them. I think if this team comes right back like it's capable of doing, like I know it can, time will tell. But it doesn't take away from the disappointment of the season.
(on what he told players after game) "I told them I was proud of their efforts today. We had some issues on defense. (SS) Bernard (Pollard) not playing, (WLB) Zac (Diles) gets a concussion. We were down to the bare minimum but still found a way. I told them that they needed to show what they're made of today. We always kept playing hard and I think we're all better people. Coaches, players, everyone after what we just went through over the course of these few months. I sure as hell don't want to go through it again but we'll all be better because of it. It sure hurt because it wasn't good enough."
(on what players said to him) "We've had enough talk. We're talked out. We had a good talk last night. Long meeting last night. I think everybody is talked out but nobody ever quit working or busting their butt."
(on what changes he made at half) "I don't know that we made changes, we just went down another player losing (WLB) Zac (Diles). We were able to correct things a little bit. They did move the ball in the third quarter but we were able to stop them and make a couple big plays. Then we continued to stop them. It sure helps when you're going 97 (yards) on offense and 80 back-to-back too. We moved the ball really good. I think with what we were working with on the defensive side of the ball, to be able to get back out there the second half and shut them out, I was proud of that."
(on what he feels needs to improve after this season) "It's pretty obvious we've got some problems on defense. We've got some serious problems. That filtered through our special teams also. Usually how good you play on defense has a lot to do with how athletic you are and that filters through to your special teams. We struggled with that all year. It was very difficult week-to-week with some of the issues we had. There's always going to be something but these are going to be the glaring things as we wake up tomorrow morning."
(on RB Arian Foster's season) "I think it's tremendous. What it tells me is this game is fair. You can get drafted in the first round, you cannot be drafted. You've got a kid standing in there in that locker room and what he's accomplished is incredible. He was not drafted, he had a lot of knocks on him, but the game is fair. If you do it and do it the right way the game will let you play. I've seen it numerous times. I had a sixth round pick a few years back that was pretty damn special. I'm just so proud of him, how far he's come as a person, as a player. Our guys up front, some of the numbers he put up and walks away this year gives a lot of credit to a lot of people. Just proud of the group."
(on the decision during the off season for what to do with TE Owen Daniels) "It's easy for me. I told you guys the last few weeks, he's back. It's been a hard battle though. He probably came back too quick from his knee and then it caused him problems with his hamstring. Then, he was so mad at me, he probably couldn't look at me for about five weeks when we sat him. We had to do what was right for him and his career. Over the course of the past four weeks he's shown he's fine, he's back, and he'll be a Pro-Bowl player. We need him on this football team. He is a hell of a player, he's a great kid and we kind of go as he goes. I hope he's here for a long, long time."
(on talking with owner Bob McNair) "I had a couple talks with him this week. The bottom line is I asked him the last time we talked to let me enjoy the week. Let me coach this game. We'll sit down tomorrow and decide what's going on. He's been fair to me and we'll make that decision tomorrow."
(on reports being made that decision has been made for him to stay next year) "That's not true. I will talk to him tomorrow."
(on feeling a lot of pressure) "Pressure? Pressure's part of the business. It's just part of the game. Do you feel it? Yeah you feel pressure. There's a lot of things you've got to do, a lot of decisions you've got to make, but it's been a part of my life for about 20-something years in this league as a player and a coach and I enjoy it. Believe it or not, I enjoy it."
(on being worried about his job) "Like I said, I need some sleep. I'm going to go home and sleep. Hopefully I'll get eight hours, I haven't got that in a while. Then I'll wake up and talk to him tomorrow and we'll go from there."
(on if he's glad season is over) "Hell no. I want to keep playing. We have a good football team. Had we been able to win four or five of those close football games we'd still be out here playing, but we didn't. I just want to get better from it."
(on what changes need to be made for next season) "I don't think there's a player that changes the whole football team. I think it's about the whole football team going back to those spots to make the changes. The coaches going back to those spots and making the calls to make the difference. I don't think it's one player."
Houston Texans T Duane Brown(on it means to the offensive line to have RB Arian Foster win the rushing title) "It means a lot. We don't get much recognition individually, but collectively when you watch him do well, that's our goal right there that we hang our hats on how well we are throwing the ball. That's something that we came into the season that we wanted to go and establish, the run, and get that going and it's been great all year."
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak said to the team after the game) "He was proud of us and was talking about everything that we been through all year. How that can break some people, but it never broke us. We always fought in every game. We didn't win them all. We came out today and played hard and got a great win. So he was proud of us."
(on how did the team handle severe turmoil or changes this season) "Just being pros. Being professionals and coming here and loving our jobs and trying to ignore everything outside of the locker room. We come in here we play for each other and that's what it's all about. You can't listen to all of the negative stuff that's going on outside of here. We just know on Sundays we got each other's back and that's how we played. I'm not sure what's going to happen we just want to end the season on a right note and that's what we did today."
Houston Texans DT Shaun Cody(on how he felt after the victory) "We were going to go out there for ourselves, for pride. We played football as men and professional athletes for (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak. We know his job is on the line and we wanted to play our butts off for him."
(on he feels about coaching changes being made) "We don't worry about that kind of stuff. You just let the cards fall where they may. We played hard and tried to finish on a good note for the guys. You go from there. You can't control that kind of stuff. You just play hard."
(on whether playing with consistency will be a goal for next year) "Definitely consistency. It's a lot of things but hopefully we can get that stuff fixed.
Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing(on what went wrong with the defense this season) "We have to be better and that's the bottom line. We'll figure it out, what it is. It's just one of those things that if we played better defense we would probably be in a better situation right now."
(on whether he expects to be playing for a different defensive coordinator next year) "I have no idea and that's not up to me. That's not my decision whatsoever. That's something I can't even think of."
(on the idea of Head Coach Gary Kubiak coming back next season) "I think it's great. I think (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak is a great football coach. The players have to go out and play the game. It's nothing he is doing. He is a player's coach the way he takes care of us. The game plan and the way he treats his men, he's one of the best coaches I have ever had."
Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels(on this past season) "It has been one of the hardest seasons I have ever had as a football player in my whole life. As far as being healthy and being able to help out, it didn't really work out the way we wanted to. To get this win was important. I have always said that I wanted to be here and play with these guys. I think our offense is awesome. I would like to remain a part of it."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak not bringing him back prematurely from injuries) "It is great that he looked after me liked that. I think in a lot of situations they will try and get you out there and try to get you play no matter what percent you are. They wanted me to get back and really feel like my old self again. I had been struggling. I had kind of gotten back into the swing of things then the hamstring injury came along and slowed me down again. To get back and to be able play these last four games really felt good. Him being patient and allowing me to do that really was huge."
(on if he will be in Houston next year due to his contract situation) "I hope I will be. It is up in the air with the CBA and whenever that gets done. I will be unrestricted. I always said I wanted to come back here and remain with this team, this offense, and this organization. We can do a lot of good things. I would like to stick around."
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster(on if there is anything he would like to say to the people that passed on him in the draft) "Thank you. In this lifetime, sometimes things don't go your way and you can take two roads. You can fold and quit or you can follow your heart and do what you know how to do. That's what I did."
(on what all the rushing numbers mean to him) "Honestly man, they would've meant more if we could've gotten the W's to go along with it. It's always nice to know that the people around you and the people that have been doing this and playing this game and been in this business for 20-plus years, that they respect your game and respect what you're doing, it's a good feeling. Like I said, I wish we could've gotten some W's to go along with it."
(on if stats are important to him) "Yes and no. When you come from not being heralded at all, you kind of don't want anybody's respect. You want to prove they were wrong in the first place. I guess when you get it in the end, it makes it that much more sweeter."
(on being at the top of the list of undrafted backs) "It feels good. When you set a goal for yourself and you hit that goal, it's kind of a weird feeling because I feel like there is still more I could've done. That gives me a reason to work in the offseason. I feel like you're never perfect as a player or a person, but you're always working towards it. So I guess I need to set some new goals."
(on what more he thinks he can accomplish) "Just little things. You never grade out at 100 percent in the NFL because the guys on the other side of the ball, they get paid to play too and they're good. Little mistakes here, reading the holes here, every running back every year can recap their highlights and say they left some yards on the field."
(on the key to their success today) "I think our offensive line just dominated the line of scrimmage. If you look back at some of the holes we were running through, they were big. We just had to make one guy miss to score a touchdown. Myself and D-Ward (RB Derrick Ward) included and (FB) Vonta Leach, he's continued to be impressive all year and he's getting rewarded with it this year going to the Pro Bowl."
(on what is special about running the ball at home) "I didn't know that. This stadium, it's a beautiful stadium. The fans here, they just show me so much love. It's a fun atmosphere. Especially when we get things going in the right direction, it's just fun. The momentum and the energy, it's just fun."
(on how much better he can get) "A whole lot better. My trainer is my brother, Abdul Foster, with Elite Life Training. Going into next season, you're going to see me faster and stronger and a little quicker than I was this year."
(on what Coach Kubiak said to him as they left the field) "He said, 'You know I'm hard on you. That's because I don't want you to fail.' That meant a lot to me because player-coach relationships, they can be so rocky sometimes, especially with a guy like me because I have a chip on my shoulder. So I feel like people are out to get me. Coach Kubiak is always on me. He is. But him saying that—I always knew that in the back of my mind
because we've had talks before, but him saying that, it kind of just solidified what I thought of him as a man and as a coach. I would love to play for him for the remaining of my career."
(on what Coach Kubiak means to this team) "I've been playing this game since I was seven years old. Football is ups and downs. It's a roller coaster ride. An organization that starts out, especially at this level, I think it started out in 2002, what he's built since he's been here, it speaks volumes because you look at his offensive production. Like he always says in the media, he says he feels like we're right there. I think there were five games in which we lost in the last drive this year. You can do the math yourself. We just have to find a way to get over that hump and I feel like we're right there as a team. I really do. I would vouch for Kub with my last breath and I love playing for him. He's fair and will treat you like a man. He treats you like an NFL player. That's all I can say. I've got the utmost respect for him even though he's on me all the time."
(on if Coach Kubiak has made him better) "Absolutely. Absolutely. He's been around great players. He coached (QB) John Elway. He coached (RB) Terrell Davis. I used to watch that Denver offense all the time and I hated them because I was a Raider fan. But I used to watch it all the time and he's been around this league for so long. Any time he gives me any kind of wisdom or jewels of the game, I always listen."
(on the relationship between him and QB Matt Schaub) "Me and Matt are good friends. On the field, he finally trusts his checkdowns, dumping it off to the back when there's nothing down field. I always tell him I think one of the strengths of my game is I can make the first defender miss and get some YAC (yards after catch). I think he trusted that this year. He's a great quarterback. I'm not sure the record but I think he had 9,000 yards in the past two years. You don't do that by accident at this level. I'm happy for him and he's going to be a good quarterback in this league for years to come."
(on who his favorite running back of all-time is) "You get asked that a lot as a running back, but it's not fair because I think every great running back added something different to this game. It's really not fair. I used to love watching Barry Sanders and Walter Payton. I used to love watching highlights of him and Terrell Davis, Jim Brown, all those guys. They added so much to the game. All you can hope for at the end of your career is maybe you'll be mentioned with them and maybe people will look at your game and say you added something to this game."
Houston Texans CB Kareem Jackson(on any part of the season he thought that he could have done differently) "Obviously, it was some things that we could've done differently. It was definitely good to get this win tonight. We can't sit here and say we wish that we could've done that or do other things differently. It's just how the season turned out for us. We just have to come back next season and work harder."
(on if it was a confidence issue as things began to unfold in the second half of lost games) "No, I didn't think it was a confidence issue. It was just some miscues here and there throughout the season. Unfortunately, this is how it turned out for us. We are all grown men. We came here every day and we worked hard. I wouldn't say it was confidence."
Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson(on how he felt about the season) "Well, we had expectations and we didn't live up to them. We are packing our bags again tomorrow. It was good that we got the win today to get the bad taste out of our mouths, but at the same time we would still like to be playing."
(on what the team will look like on the future) "All you can do is sit back and wait. A decision will be made. We don't control that decision. I guess I'll be looking at ESPN to watch the scroll across the TV like everybody else. You hate to see anyone get fired but at the same time it's part of the business. I don't control those decisions and I'll just have to wait to see what happens."
(on whether he supports Head Coach Gary Kubiak) " Yeah, I hope he's back next year. I've said that before and I'll continue to say it. Like I said before, I can't control that."
Houston Texans WR Jacoby Jones(on what he proved by how he finished the last two weeks) "I just proved what coach wanted me to do that I could be a starter in this league. I proved that I could help out whenever they called my number and make a play."
(on how much did WR Andre Johnson mentor him) "Andre has been there since the day I walked through these doors. He has always been that mentor and big brother. He has shown me how to do things the right way off the field and on the field. He has always been there no matter what."
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak has meant to him) "He gave me tough love. I think he was showing me how to grow up and be an adult and be a man. That has helped me out a lot."
(on if he has proved he can be a legit number two receiver in this league) "I think I have proved that a lot. All I do is whenever they call my name, I try to step up and make a play."
Houston Texans FB Vonta Leach(on what it feels like for RB Arian Foster finish the season as the rushing champion) "It means a lot to our offensive line. Running back coach Chick Harris has been here since day one and never had anything like that. We took into the offseason that our running game was going to be our weak point. It was going to be our nemesis. It shows that we put in the work in the off season and it paid off."
(on how difficult it was not to make the playoffs) "Obviously we are very disappointed. We have a lot of guys on this team that can make plays. We just didn't get the job done. We just didn't get it done as a whole. I guess we will evaluate it in the off season. We will see where we go from here."
(on what will happen with head coach Gary Kubiak and himself next year) "You can only control what you can control. Coach Kubiak is a great coach. I want him to be back here. The players need him back here. I want to be back here too. We will see. I am a free agent. I want to play for the Texans and I want to end my career here. We will see."
Houston Texans FS Troy Nolan(on how it felt to finish the season with a win) "It feels so good to get a win. We haven't felt that in a while. Finishing on a good note is huge. Going into the offseason you have five months. If you lose that last game, you have a sour taste in your mouth for that long. Finishing on a good note and winning that last game. It is a good feeling."
(on his interception) "The interception was huge to seal the game. They were driving trying to score. I saw the ball in the air. I was going to try and hit the receiver and Kareem (CB Jackson) at the same time. I saw the ball and chose the interception to seal the game."
(on the challenge of playing strong safety instead of free safety) "It is a huge challenge. It is very different. You have to do a lot of checking. You have to get guys lined up. You have to communicate a lot. It was real different playing that position, but I handled it."
(on the surprise of how the season turned out) "I am very surprised. We started out so hot. We figured it was our time and it was our year. From our chants we have in pre-game, we talk about this being our year and going out and making the best of it. Unfortunately during the season things went bad."
Houston Texans LB DeMeco Ryans(on how he felt after the win) "We played well. It was a good way to go out."
(on whether he was frustrated with the play of the defense) "Of course it's frustrating when you're not getting the job done. Especially, with me sitting at home not being able to help out. Players have to play and guys need to step up and make plays. This is a results business and you have to get the job done. You are either getting it done or not getting it done. We have to figure out a way to fix things.
(on whether he would like Defensive Coordinator Frank Bush back next season) "It's not my decision."
(on what his hopes are for the defense going forward) "Just that we find a way to get better on defense. Find a way to play consistently throughout each week. If we can play on a consistent level, I think we will be a pretty good defense."
Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub(On what the team can do better next season) "There's an evaluation process we'll do. Both as players, coaches, team, everything here in the next month or so to get ready for the offseason. We're going to enjoy this one here for a little bit and then look to next year, what we need to do individually and as a team, because there's definitely things out there that we can do better."
(On if he feels good about offensive improvement this year) "We do. We were much more balanced this year than we have been in the past. To have (RB) Arian Foster come in and do what he's been able to do, running the ball. The offensive line has been huge this year, all year. Obviously, with the receivers we have and the tight ends, we can make plays in the passing game. To have that balance that we've had for sixteen weeks, very consistent, has definitely been a step in the right direction."
(On how to improve) "Taking advantage of some of the opportunities we had. There were plenty of games where we're leading and we can't put them away in the fourth quarter. Being a better finishing team late in the game, we could have definitely helped the cause that way. Just taking care of our business and scoring a little bit more as far as sevens go instead of threes."
(On if he think they should bring back Coach Kubiak next season) I would say without hesitation bring him back. He's the guy to lead this team and be the coach. He fights for us every day as players and we do the same for him. He's got our back and we got his."
(On if he thinks their strong finish today will help the decision to keep Gary Kubiak) "I hope so. I think it definitely didn't hurt. I think it helps, if anything. The way we played today, being able to score points, our defense shut them out in the second half. It was a total team effort."
(On today's win) "We just came out and we executed. We converted some third downs. We had some big plays. We had some guys step up in crucial situations; B-man coverage, we had some runs pop through for big gains. Once we got down into the red zone, we were able to convert them into touchdowns. It's just guys executing across the board. There were no lapses as far as penalties, especially offensively, or missed opportunities on third down."
(On TE Owen Daniels) "The past month, Owen definitely looked like himself, like we know he can play. He moved around one hundred percent and he's just added so much more to our offense, both in the run game and in the pass game. He's tough a match for defenses."
(On what he would like to see in the draft?) "That's not my area. I'm here to play quarterback and be the quarterback for this team. We're going to have to evaluate everything across the board and my responsibility is on offense and how we can improve this offseason. It's too early to think about. I'm just enjoying this win. I'm excited to look to the future."
(On the importance of RB Arian Foster) "I think he's a huge force. He's very important. He's such a dynamic player and adds so much to our offense. We've got a great receiving core and with him added in there and (TE) Joel Dreessen and (TE) James Casey in tight end positions, we have a lot of weapons we can use."
(On how he keeps from getting down on the defense) "Through the veteran leadership. They're the guys that have been around this game for a number of years, been on teams that were in the same situation, may have cracked a little bit and vice versa. But you know as a group, we're not going to let that happen because of the camaraderie we have in the locker room and the bond that we share. We're not going to let it split for anything. We just kept coming to work every day to find the win."
(On his pass completions) "No. That's a passing offense thing, that's a group thing for me to do that. I've got a tremendous amount of weapons to use at my disposal. Throwing the ball and my offensive line, tight ends, backs, and protection allowed me that opportunity. That's a team thing."
(On his leadership) "It's definitely important to be out there for 16 games with your guys. Be able to look at them in the eye in the huddle and know they know you'll be out there. That's huge for you to be able to do that."
(On if he reads the sport section or listens to sports radio) "Not very often, except for the 30 minutes that I'm on the radio on Monday mornings."
(On if he feels this team can come back and do something special next year?) "No question about it. I feel like next year we'll come back even stronger. We'll come out with high expectations, we'll have a high standard and we'll play 10 times better than we did this year."
(On his leadership role) "You know it's something that you're in over time. You don't just come in right away, day one, and assume that role. Obviously, being in the position you have a little bit, but it's something that you learn, and that respect factor, that leadership role that you grow into. More or less, my thing is doing it by example, in the offseason, in training camp, in the regular season. How I work, how I go about things, I just try to set an example and guys see that. Help guys out when I can, that's really how I go about it."
(On what was the hardest loss) "There were a few, some of them tough losses that we suffered. I think Denver was a tough one, mostly because it was the most recent loss. The Baltimore one, Monday night here. Right now, we're on a high."
(On if he was sad for the teams last meeting) "It always is when you're talking about the last meeting as a team, the last time the group will be in the meeting room together the night before a game because you know that group of guys. There's going to be new faces, inevitably, each year. Just all the hard work, and all the things we went through during the year, good or bad. It's tough to face that. To come out here today and play a team-game and win was the best way."
(On if he is happy the season is over) "No. I wish we could go out tomorrow and play another game."
Houston Texans WR Kevin Walter(on if this win was for head coach Gary Kubiak's job security) "No. It was a win for ourselves, a win for the coaches, a win for the players, a win for the organization, and a win for the fans. That is what it is about. It is not about one particular person. We went out there and executed and did our job as team. It feels good to get a win."
(on how shocked he would be if owner Bob McNair fired head coach Gary Kubiak) "I sure hope not. We believe in Coach Kubiak. He believes in us. That is all that counts. We have a few plays here and there that were real close and we could be sitting in the driver seat. That obviously didn't happen this year, but everything happens for a reason. We have to come back strong next year."
(on how do you get fans back in the stadium) "You have to win games. That is what it is all about. They come to see us win. We did not get that done as much as we wanted to this year. To win those fans back; we have to win games."
Houston Texans RB Derrick Ward(on how proud he is of what RB Arian Foster was able to accomplish this season) "I'm very proud. It takes a lot of motivation and determination to do what he did this year and to be an undrafted free agent running back and to be able to put up the yards this year. First round picks don't even put up those yards. I'm very proud of him and he just has to come back next year and do it over and better again."
(on his 35-yard touchdown) "It was a simple inside zone play and I had terrific blocking from my offensive line and (WR) Dorin Dickerson threw a great block on the corner for me and I was able to get to the end zone."
(on what did head coach Gary Kubiak say to the team after the game) "He was proud of the way that we finished the season and things didn't go our way this year, like I planned on them to go, but throughout the whole season, we kept on fighting and we kept ourselves on the games. It just wasn't the season for us to have. He was proud of us for the way that we ended. The way that we practiced all year; the way that we came into each game prepared and ready. He was just proud of us."
Houston Texans T Eric Winston(on what he noticed about RB Arian Foster's attitude adjustment during the season) "I think there is always an adjustment when you come from being the big fish in college and coming into a small pond. You feel like you got snubbed a little bit in the draft. It is a little thing against you. I think it is a humbling experience. It was a humbling experience for me. There are some guys that don't learn from it. I think he learned from it. I learned what it meant to be a pro really fast. I think that has helped him so much from the middle of last year going into this year."
(on if the numbers the offense has put up made it more disheartening) "No doubt about it. If you really look at the numbers, and not just the total numbers. Look at our average starting field position. Look at our amount of possessions. We have done some pretty amazing things. I am so proud to be a part of it. I really am. To be part of something this special. I defy you to go find a guy that has been part of the leading passer one year and then next year be part of the leading rusher. What we have done here on offense is pretty special. It is pretty awesome to be part of it."
(on what he hears from his friends across the league) "A lot of guys say they wish they had our offense. They ask if we could lend them Arian (RB Foster). Could you lend me Matt (QB Schaub). It is a lot of that. It is fun. We text back and forth."
Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio(opening statement and thoughts on Colts victory) "I know that Tennessee had a shot at the end. We came right off the field and saw and they actually fumbled. Today we talked about coming in here wanting to win for us. Get our ninth win, winning the division. We ended up splitting in all of our division games and all of our division matchups, 3-3 in our division. We talked this year about winning our division, winning in the divisions. We didn't get it done today. They were the better team today. They started early when they were third and one,
(RB Arian) Foster popped through for a big gain and that really set the tone for the type of day it was. In the first half, it felt like neither team played very well on run defense. Otherwise, both teams played well offensively and we talked in halftime about finding a way to get a couple of stops and win the game. I knew at that time that the Titans were battling close with Indianapolis and that there would be a chance for us to potentially come out of here with a division title. I'm proud of the fact that we remained alive up to this point. I'm disappointed that we didn't seal the deal. Three weeks ago we did it and then over the last couple of weeks when we had opportunities to play much better as a football team, we didn't play very well. So, we have to give credit to Foster, he's had a great year and a great game today. Schaub was good, he's been good but we didn't do enough defensively to slow him down. I thought our running game was pretty solid earlier, kept us in it. (QB Matt) Schuab did a nice job. (RB) Deji (Karim) I thought challenged the line to open up some holes and give us a chance and we did. We gave ourselves a chance to because we were able to run it a little bit. We didn't make many plays to run the ball today with the exception of really (TE) Marcedes (Lewis), on that Trent to Marcedes touchdown, which I think gave Marcedes a share of a team record, I think, which was great to see from Marcedes. It was a special year for him individually, so I was glad to see him get that. It's just a shame that we couldn't play better defense today, when it was called for. That really bothers me."
(on the Texans' three long touchdowns) "It was alarming. We got handled a little bit where we like to think we're strong. They blocked it and popped it through he has speed to separate and punish you when you allow him to pop through like that. So that was disappointing."
(on not having QB David Garrard) " We tried to do some of the things that (QB) Trent (Edwards) was most comfortable with as we put the plan together. We had some opportunities but didn't quite execute those as well as we thought we might have had a chance to today. You do what you can to kind of build the plan around the guys you have available and certainly Trent was more comfortable with certain things as opposed to (QB) David (Garrard). We did build it accordingly and went out with the idea of executing and giving ourselves a chance to win the game."
(on why they have not been able to close out the past few seasons) "I think we're going to talk about this tomorrow back at home, I would assume. We have a season editor, I'm sure this topic will come up and we'll talk about it tomorrow. I'll spend some time analyzing it. I felt last year was quite a bit different than this year. I feel like we're a better team this year. I felt like last year we had 33 new guys out of 53 on the roster. You don't turn over like that and think you're a great team all of the sudden. We felt we were in a position to be a better football team this year and put ourselves in position to still be in it by executing well and kind of hanging together and squeezing out some post season games. In the end, we just weren't good enough. In terms of reflecting on exactly where do we break down or how did things go, we'll have time to talk about those things tomorrow."
(on RB Maurice Jones-Drew's surgery) " I think he is scheduled for Wednesday."
(on the defensive tackle off having an off day) "They held up pretty good today. They knocked us around a little more than we're accustomed to. That's kind of the heart and soul of what we are accustomed to and we got knocked around a little bit today."
(on DT Terrance Knighton's performance today) "I can only speak on today right now. Today we did not play very well. Our front got handed a little bit by their front. Without seeing the tape I don't want to get too in depth into it. There were times when you look at the picture and you say, 'How did you end up over here behind the center when you started out over here in the guard tackle gap?' When you get into a gap like that bad things are going to happen for us. We had some of that occur today. It was unusual. We like to think we are pretty stout up front, but we just weren't very stout today. They got after us pretty good. The back is pretty good. They had a good day; we had a bad day. It happened on the same day."
(on widening their line) " I don't think they did anything out of the norm. I think they pretty much came in and ran their base stuff. I wasn't any design we were hit with or we were caught off guard or shocked that we saw it. We saw plays that we repped over and over preparing for the first game. There's a lot of carry over between the Redskins and this team and we got a lot of reps on their offense the last couple of weeks. I'm stunned that we would not play better. We understood completely what was coming at us. Like I said, they got after us and they won the battle at hitting today. Typically, the teams that win the battle of hitting win the game.
(on Foster's previous performance against Jacksonville) "He didn't hurt us on the first game, but he hurt us today."
(on (RB) Rashad Jennings's performance today) "They did do their part. I don't know that they are going to feel better than anyone else right now. We feel that pain that we should feel. We knew that was something we had to have to have a chance today. We had to have RB Rashad (Jennings) play well and it really was incumbent on the offense lien to provide them with room to run. I thought we did that. They kept us in it early. They gave us a chance early. Then when the game got to where we had to score points and we weren't running as effectively as the game wore. We had to lead more with the passing game and that wasn't our strength."
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings(on him having satisfaction about the way he played even know the team lost) "That's what we expect out of ourselves. You win, you win. You lose, you lose. It hurts to lose. You're happy when you win. I didn't do enough. I didn't do enough on the ground to get us a win. I gotta take that and put that on my shoulders."
(on how much better of a job they did rushing the ball this week compared to last week) "We were able to run the ball better than we did last week, but it's still on my shoulders. We didn't do enough to cap off a victory."
(on if he thought he had big holes to run through this week) "The offensive line did a great job opening up holes. We had a good plan against this team. They were able to execute well too, but the offensive line was able to open up creases."
(on his expectations for next year) "I have a lot of work to do. This offseason I have to do a lot of work. You feel that taste in your mouth and it hurts. It hurts a lot."
Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis(on how he thought the season went) "Obviously it didn't go the way we wanted it to go. Not all is lost. I felt like we took a huge step this year. Obviously we wanted to end it better than we did, but that is the way it goes sometimes. I think that game wraps up our season in a nutshell. We were up and down, things like that, and bounced back from adversity. It sucks that we had to go out this way, but that is how it goes sometimes."
(on how they couldn't get anything going in the passing game) "It is what it is. What you saw is what you got. I think, not making any excuses, we work hard in practice and come out to have a good showing, and we didn't hit our stride this game."
(on the future of their head coach Jack Del Rio) "He's a great coach. His job was to provide a vision for us and our job was to execute it. I felt like he did a great job of doing that. This is the NFL. Things will happen, so it's not all on him. We are in this together as a team and as an organization. That's just how it is."
Jacksonville Jaguars G Vince Manuwai(on containing the Houston Texans' defensive line) "They started running a lot of stunts which is difficult for an offensive line because they start crossing and a lot of times it's like a traffic jam. It's a crap shoot. Hopefully you get the right guy or a guy that's penetrating so that kind of made it difficult."
(on the Indianapolis Colts winning today) "It doesn't matter. We were coming in here just trying to get a win. We were trying to be 9-7, better than 8-8. It's a positive feeling to know you finished two games better than last year."
(on Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio) "He's been a great coach every year. I can't remember the year he went 5-11 but after that 9-7, 12-4, 11-5 and the year I got hurt, 5-11."
Jacksonville Jaguars CB Rashean Mathis(on losing to the Houston Texans and being eliminated from playoff contention) "We dropped the ball. There are no excuses for it. As a group, collectively, we dropped the ball. To drop three straight, it's very disappointing. We owe the fans more and more to ourselves to play better football down the stretch."
(on the defense looking slow in the first half) "Yeah, it was gap control and not figuring out what we're supposed to do and when you do that, it's going to make you look slower than what you really are. Kudos to Houston. They game planned us well. As a group, we were still in it and in the second half we didn't play too much better than we did the first half.