The Texans and Cardinals spoke to the media after their Week 5 game at Arizona. Following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson Texans quarterback Matt Schaub Texans defensive end Antonio Smith
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the Texans' final offensive series) "We should have scored on three out of those four plays but the bottom line is we didn't. We thought Steve (Slaton) would score. We caught the perfect defense on our little shovel pass when we got down to the one. We should've scored on the second play, which was what we scored on earlier in the game. We should've scored on the pass. Obviously, we've gotta be good enough to make a yard in the National Football League when it counts. They made a play and we didn't. Give them credit."
(on the first half) "We were really poor. I know defensively we gave up a lot of yards but to be honest with you I thought they had us in the football game. Offensively we just were bad on third downs. I think we were 0-for-6 in the first half. We had second-and-one on two of those and didn't make it. We had a drop, I think. We had a missed third-and-one. We just didn't stay on the field offensively and we defensively we broke down toward the end of the half. We dug a huge, huge hole."
(on the struggles running the ball) "It's tough. We're not running the ball. I've said that every week and I'll start that off by saying it again. But we gotta do what we gotta do. If we gotta go out there and throw it, then we're going to throw it. We're going to move the football and we did in the second half. We moved it extremely well. The one big turnover is the difference in winning and losing, but we still had a chance there at the end to tie the football game."
(on not getting another touchdown) "You're on the half-yard line and we had scored on that play earlier in the game and I thought we should've scored on it two plays before that. That was our number one run going into the game. If we can't take our best run and find a way to make half a yard with the game on the line in this league, then something's wrong. We've got to be able to do that.
(on Matt Schaub's interception by Rodgers-Cromartie) "The kid made a good play. I can't tell if the ball was late or what. But the kid just made a great play and he's a good corner. If he gets his hands on it, he made a hell of a play right there."
(on the comeback) "We showed great character. We showed tremendous character. The defense led the charge. They were exceptional in the second half. I want to say they didn't give up maybe 50 yards. Just incredible. They led the charge. I thought Jacoby (Jones) got us going with a couple returns. But we showed a lot of resiliency throughout the game. To be in the position we were was excellent, but still, you gotta finish and we didn't finish."
(on the play call on fourth-and-one in the third quarter) "We thought we would probably get man (-on-man) coverage or some type of pressure there, so we were trying to double-move the corner. They played zone. If you don't have a very good play you've got to find a way to check it down or scramble or do something to stay on the field. I had a tough play to work with. You gotta try to bail us out there so it was a tough situation. Good call by them."
(on what defense the Cardinals called on that play) "They went to some sort of zone, then rolled toward the slot. We were trying to double-move the corner with Andre (Johnson). Basically, Andre got doubled with the safety and the corner. Obviously you've gotta say no to that or move on the number two or start moving around trying to make a play."
WR Andre Johnson
(on the loss at Arizona) "It's very difficult. You give everything you've got when you're out there on the field and to come up short the way we did, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. But at the same time, we didn't do anything in the first half of the game. We battled back, but maybe if we would've scored some points in the first half, it would be a different outcome."
(on where this loss ranks) "It's pretty difficult. There wasn't a doubt in my mind – I don't think there was a doubt in anybody's mind – when we came in at halftime that we wouldn't lose the game. We just came in and all the guys were like, 'Hey, we just have to take it to another level.' And we went out the second half and we were a different football team than we were in the first (half)."
(on his sensational 17-yard touchdown catch) "To be honest, when I fell down, I didn't even know I was in the end zone. I stood up and I just heard some of the guys celebrating, so I realized I was in there. I was just playing football."
(on the offense getting on track) "We knew that there were holes there and there were plays out there to be made. We just knew that we had to go out and make them."
(on what's the issue holding back the Texans) "We say the same thing over and over just about being consistent. That's just something we have to find, something we have to do – go out and play a full football game. That's just something we haven't done yet. We didn't do it today. Our defense gave us a chance to win the game, and we didn't do it."
(on the Texans' struggles) "We know that we can be a good football team. The pieces are there. It's just us going out and executing on the field. Like I said, it's just playing a full four quarters. We all wonder about that day when that will happen. It's something we want to happen, but it's something that we're just going to have to lock in and just dedicate ourselves to it. We just have to dedicate ourselves more to becoming that type of team."
QB Matt Schaub(on what happened during the final series) "We were trying to score, obviously. We had three shots. On the last one we were trying to jam it in their in the middle and we got stopped."
(on if he thinks RB Chris Brown got in the end zone) "Obviously I'm biased and I thought he got in. But they called it the other way and on a replay the call on the field was confirmed."
(on his emotions after the loss) "It's one of those things where we've got to put together four quarters as a team. We dug ourselves a hole but guys stepped up and we were able to battle back. We've been in that situation before so we were able to battle back and take it one play at a time and got ourselves back in the ballgame. Then it got away from us at the end."
(on his impression of Andre Johnson's second touchdown catch) "I threw the ball and I got hit so I really didn't see how he got hit. I just know we ended up in the end zone, so I know I'll see it tomorrow. But it was a heck of a play by him for however he did get in the end zone, knowing the coverage they were playing."
(on what happened when he threw the interception) "At the time when I threw it, I thought I had made a pretty good throw to Kevin (Walter) and he was going to be able make a play. Then the guy recovered and he made the play."
(on missing in the third quarter on fourth-and-one) "We had a max-protect to pick up any blitzes that they might bring. We had a two man route. I've got to give Andre a better chance. They had two guys over in that area. I just got to find a way to make a play on fourth down there."
(on the difference in the way the Texans played each half) "In the first half, we just didn't execute. Things weren't going, things weren't clicking and we weren't making plays. In the second half we were cutting it loose and making the plays."
DE Antonio Smith(on the emotions of coming back to Arizona) "There are so many different emotions. You're excited to see people you haven't seen in awhile. Your loved ones. Your friends. People that you've built relationships with over the years. Then on the other hand, you were excited to put a whoopin' on them and have some fun out there competing."
(on the second half comeback) "When we came out in the second half, I thought for sure we were going to do it. We came out with the right frame of mind. We came out with intensity. We believed in what we were doing and we were just flying around and making plays. The offense came in and played a magnificent second half. It just felt like we were going to pull it out.To have it not happen was just a big downer."
(on the second touchdown catch by WR Andre Johnson) "I said, 'This is it: we got this game.' When you make a play like that, where you see a player fight to get in the end zone like that and take hits like he took and still fight to cross that plane, we were thinking like 'We got it. We got this game won. It's over.'"
(on why the team didn't execute in the first half like it did in the second) "I don't know a specific reason. That second half, we had a lot more intensity. A lot more confidence in what we were doing. We were just flying around."
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt(opening statement) "Obviously, I'm happy we won the game. I'm a little disappointed with how we played in the second half, especially offensively. I think that we learned a lot about our team today as far as being able to respond to a challenge, and it was obviously a positive thing. It's very hard to win games in this league, and I have to compliment our fans on the support they gave us today. They made it a great environment to play, especially at the end with the noise. We're obviously very happy to get a win."
(on the Cardinals' goal line stand at the end of the game) "It's a good play. I was excited to get it."
(on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's interception) "I know there's a legend with the Cardinals where Larry Wilson intercepted some passes with a broken hand. The question this week was what could Dominique do with a fractured finger. It was very impressive to see him play the whole game and then make that huge play for us there at the end."
(on if he was unhappy with the offense, especially at the end of the game) "We went into the second half knowing that they were going to try and take away the run. So we had a number of run-pass checks. When that happens, we had a number of runs called that were checked passes. We had one-on-one situations where we make plays usually, and today we didn't make those plays. That to me is disappointing. I thought in the first half we did a very good job protection-wise with our line, and then in the second half we slipped up a little bit. Those are things we are going to continue to correct but the one thing I'm going to say is that I'm not going to lose sight of the way we operated in the first half. We had a good mix of running, passing, and play-action. We were operating and actually could have had 28 points if we didn't have the turnover down there. I'm optimistic about that, I'm just disappointed that we didn't get a first down or move the ball or take some time off the clock in the second half."
(on if he is okay with the decision made to do the run checks) "Oh, yeah. They were playing an extra guy in the box on every one. That's what the check is. If you are watching the game, you saw them bring the safety down, playing the extra man in the box. We tried to run it a couple of times where we had called runs and we got a couple of yards. But obviously, we feel like if they are going to try and do that to take away the run, our strength is throwing the football and we can operate doing that. There were a number of plays that would have gotten us going. The one that we got called a penalty on it, put us out over the 50. The one down the middle where Jerheme Urban just missed what would have been a huge play. We had two on the sideline, both with Larry [Fitzgerald] and Anquan [Boldin] where [the Texans] made a good play and knocked the ball out. Those are the kind of things that get it going. Once you start making some of those plays, they have to back off with the guys at the line of scrimmage. Obviously, with our receivers, we are comfortable with that because more often than not we'll make those plays."
(on if the Texans made an adjustment to get more pressure on Kurt Warner) "No, I think they started trying to do some more twists and stunts. Once again, I think we had some opportunities for plays that were two batted balls where we had the receiver wide open down the field and they knocked it down. You have to give them credit. That puts us in a first down or a second and short as opposed to them being able to pin their ears back and come after us. Once again, we had opportunities if you look at the course of the game. We had plays to make down the field and we just barely missed on them. I think that we did make those plays in the first half and we did operate."
(on DE Calais Campbell's blocked field goal) "It was a big part of the game. That's something we've been pretty consistent with this year, getting pressure on field goals. It made a big difference in the Jacksonville game and it made a big difference for us today."
(on Campbell saving a touchdown for the Texans on a punt return by tackling WR Jacoby Jones) "That was tough. We knew their guys are very good at doing that, so it was disappointing that we let two of those returns out. That was big. Calais made a big play on that."
(on if he the goal line stand was reminiscent of the Monday Night 49ers game last season) "I'll tell you what, you talk about karma. You may think I'm crazy, but the Monday Night game last year on that fourth down, we had the same officiating crew this year. One of the officials came up to me and said 'We had your game last year against San Francisco,' so I wish he would have told me that before they ran the fourth down play, [laughing] then I would have known they were going to stop them."
(on if it was a missed assignment on the third down when the tight end was wide open) "No, we had the guy underneath. In order for him to make that throw, he has to throw it over the top of him, which put him out of the back of the endzone."
(on if in the second half the Texans were able to mentally shut down the Cardinals) "I don't think they shut it down, I just think that we didn't make the plays we had to make. I think that we have to look at ourselves as a football team that we went into this game with the idea of being a little bit looser and having somebody make plays for us. That's the way we played the first half. We got the lead then we kind of tightened up. We had opportunities to make those plays to get the drives going and keep it going and we didn't make those plays. I think we have to look at ourselves as far as continuing the same mindset as we had in the first half. That's something that we talked about at halftime."
(on if he was trying to run the ball more and 'pull the reins in' in the second half to run the clock out) "We weren't trying to do that. That's why so many of our runs were in a three wide receiver set because that gives us the option to throw the ball. We did try some in our regular package and they had the extra guys in the box. But like I said, a good alternative if they are going to play the extra guy and to stop the run is throwing the quick pass, throwing the pass on the boundary. Once again, I know when we look at the tape tomorrow we're going to see a tremendous amount of those plays where we had the opportunities to really get us going, put the game away and we didn't make those plays. I think we are going to work the same way we did in practice this week because I think it paid off for us at the start of this game. I'd take that situation every game now at halftime. Hopefully we'll get that again and play better."
(on what he means by a 'looser mindset') "I think sometimes we get too uptight, we're trying to be too perfect. If we don't make the play, we don't make the catch, or we don't make the block we get down on ourselves because we have a perception of what we can do. When we don't do that it puts us in a little bit of a negative mindset. So we're working to get out of that because I don't think we have handled those situations as well as we should have."
(on WR Steve Breaston being healthy again) "Well, he made some big plays for us early, a couple of big catches on the sideline. That obviously is kind of what I'm talking about. When we make a play like that it seems like we get rolling and that's what it's all about. That's what this league is, making those plays. Having Steve back and healthy and that explosiveness he has is certainly a bonus for us."
(on finally getting a win at home and how big this win is) "Even though we're glad to get the win and it seems a little bit of a downer because we didn't play better offensively and our defense did the job, we're very excited to get a win at home. We feel like we owe it to our fans. Once again, our fans were fantastic, especially late in the game with the noise. That for us is big. Now I do believe we have some momentum because we have shown that we can do some things offensively that makes us pretty dangerous. Defensively I'm proud, we didn't get a sack on their quarterback today, but we still made enough plays to win the game. That's something that we can build on certainly."
(on what he appreciates about Texans WR Andre Johnson and his performance) "He's a scary player. Certainly, he's a big guy that's very fast and has good hands, but what we saw today was his ability to extend the play after the catch. He's a strong player, whether you throw it to him on the little screen outside where he took it in or the play where he made the catch over the middle and we got a couple hits on him but he still made it in the end zone. He's a very good football player. That's a good football team over there. They played well, I give them a lot of credit for coming back the way they did in the second half."
(on what was the difference in the Texans in the second half) "They moved the ball down the field and took some time to do that. I think had we been able to do anything offensively to take more time off the clock then they would have had to go into a different mode, which would have given us chances to make plays. I mean they made some plays. They have some good players over there and their playmakers made some plays for them in the second half and their quarterback played well."
DT Alan Branch
(on if the team showed what they were made of at the end of the game) "We definitely showed a lot of manhood on that stand. To be able to hold the whole offensive line back like that and keep them out of the end-zone, it is a big deal."
(on who made the big play on the last stand) "No one knows. You will have to go back and watch the film on that."
(on being lined up in different spots along the defensive line) "Yeah, I'm starting to get used to playing everywhere. Wherever I can help out at, they will be put me there. Honestly, I am willing to play anywhere just to get on the field."
(on if the defense can build on this win like they did last year in the playoffs) "Definitely. This is something that the team could start building upon. Winning like that at the end of the game, you could use momentum from that and carry it on another couple of games. Hopefully, we do just that, just carry it on and keep doing really well."
(on the fact that people still look at the defense as a weakness compared to the offense) "That is what people thought about us coming into the year. The defense's main objective was to give Kurt (Warner) and the offensive guys some help and have the game depend on their shoulders. They can score a million points in a game and we could stop good offensive teams from scoring so they don't have to score a bunch of points. We have the talent to go out there and score ourselves. When Antrel (Rolle) touches the ball, it's liable to go yard. If DRC (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) touches the ball, he is fast enough that he will be in the end zone in 2.3 seconds."
DE Calais Campbell
(on his take on the final goal line stand by the defense) "That last play was pretty big because earlier in the game they did the same play to get into the end zone. They kind of kicked out on me. I'm supposed to spill on the guys. The first touchdown was kind of my fault, but I tried to hit it as thick as I could. On the last play, I read it because they tried to do the same thing. (The offensive lineman) stopped a little early and I read the play, so I tried to blow up the tight end. The guys in the middle, B-Rob (Bryan Robinson), Gabe (Watson), and (Darnell) Dockett blew it up inside so there was nowhere for the running back to go. It was just huge. It was great team d-line. Linebackers came through filling it up. It was a great team effort."
(on the fact that the same play worked earlier and if he knew right away that Houston was trying it again) "Oh, yeah. If they didn't do it the first time, it probably would have worked again. That first time I saw him when he stopped early that he was going to try to kick me out so when I saw his feet back there stop a little early (the second time), I knew I had to long arm it and just go."
(on what it's like being in the scrum fighting to stop the running back from gaining that extra inch to get into the end zone) "Drive your feet. Pump your feet. With me, the big thing is I'm not going to quit. I'm not going to quit. Just keep driving your feet. I actually kind of got knocked out of the hole a little bit, so I came back around and tried to get to the back of him and make sure he didn't get in or fall in. It was kind of crazy out there."
(on if the team feels a sense of relief after pulling out the win) "Man, it was amazing. It felt so good. I thought that was a big momentum swinger for us. We have a big game next week. I thought that was huge for us going into practice this week. I think we are going to have a good week."
(on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's game-winning interception return for a touchdown) "He is a big time player. Everybody has been picking on him. Talking all kinds of trash about how he hasn't been playing as well as he could have. He said to me, 'I'm confident. I know I'm going to make big plays. If they keep picking on me, they're going to regret it.' He made them regret it."
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
(on how he would describe the large cast on his right hand) "I would say it's a big cast with a lot of padding inside and outside making it kind of hard to catch, but my focus was up today. I really focused in and zoned in to what I had to do. It came together for me."
(on the fact that teams and the media have been picking on him the past few weeks) "They were. Earlier in the season, I wasn't doing as well as I thought I should have been. That just comes in our preparation. I have really been studying, putting it in, trying to get right, and I just keep focusing. When I stay focused, good things come."
(on if he knew what was coming on his big game-winning interception return for a touchdown) "That is the route they have been really beating me on all day; that comeback. I was expecting it. I really played heavy towards it. They really hadn't been giving me anything deep, so I just sat there and just waited and the play presented itself. I just stepped in front and made it."
(on where the game-winning interception return for a touchdown ranks among his best plays over his short career) "That is in the top one or two. For us being tied up and all, the seconds running down, to take it back in there and try to stop them again, it ranks right up there."
(on what his confidence level was that he could make the catch with the cast on his hand) "The whole time during warm-ups I had been practicing just catching with the left hand. Coach was like, 'Don't even think it's there.' On that play, I really didn't see it. I really wasn't thinking about it. I just put my hands out and caught it and took it the distance."
(on if the cast made it harder to catch the ball and whether the ball bobbled around in his hands) "It stuck right in and I went from there."
(on what changed between the first and second half and how Houston was able to drive and score late in the game) "Their game plan changed a lot. We went more man and they started running underneath crossing routes and it was kind of getting us a little bit. They just came out and you could tell that they wanted it. They played faster. They got into their routes better. It seemed like they were really trying to come back and win."
(on how Houston was able to make a comeback) "(In the) second half the Texans came out and you saw those guys really coming out of their breaks. They were just really coming to the ball and were ready to play. They went into halftime and made some adjustments. They said to themselves, 'Let's fight back and get back in it.' You saw it in their play."
(on how much it means to him personally to make that play after all the negative talk about him) "It feels real good. For a guy coming in during the first three or four games, I just have not been playing as well as I could. I've been doing a lot of thinking out there. As long as I stay focused and stay consistent I'll be alright."
(on how it felt to make the interception even with the big cast on his hand) "It made it even sweeter. It just made it that much better."
(on if carrying the ball around all last week helped him make the interception) "Yeah, it was all that, carrying that ball. That focus. Coming out during warm-ups early and just catching with that cast on."
(on if he had any doubt in his mind that he would score once he caught the interception) "No, sir. Once I got it in my hands, the first thing I was thinking about was which celebration I should do, but it was a long run and I got a little tired and fatigued. As soon as I touched it, I was thinking about it."
(on what he saw on the play that led to his interception) "I read a comeback all the way. I was expecting something short or something out or a little curl in front of me. I was slow in my back peddle. I was just waiting for him to give me something shorter so I could come out of my break."
(on if it was disappointing having to win like they did after going up big early) "Being up 21 points at the half, coming back and giving up three touchdowns, you kind of think, 'oh snap.' You want to hit that panic button. But the guys got to each other on the sidelines. Our captains Darnell (Dockett) and Adrian (Wilson) came up and were like, 'don't panic just yet. It's still 0-0. We have a chance to go out there.' That stuck with me in my head. I was just ready to make a play."
(on if it was fatigue or a changed game plan that allowed Houston's offense to have late success) "It was something they were doing offensively. Something changed as far as them running routes and getting open. The quarterback had some time back there throwing. It seemed like he was just picking us apart a little bit. Obviously, they had a great adjustment during halftime."
LB Clark Haggans
(on how big this win was for the Cardinals) "It was good. We have momentum in our favor. We are just going to take it up to Seattle. We have an important conference game. Everybody is chasing the 49ers right now. We just have to get the ball rolling. We knew that Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt was talking about that 13-week stretch and just getting the timing down, getting in rhythm. We came out in the first half and did so. In the second half it was just like we were sitting on a stool with a rope around our necks about to hang ourselves. Basically, we came up big. A win is a win, we will take it any way we can get it. We won. Fortunately, we are 2-2 right now."
(on how big the crowd was down the stretch and during the goal line stand) "It was big. They are the 12th man, obviously. They give us fuel for the fire. We just go out there and play hard. We felt bad especially at the end of the second half when they were booing us. We didn't want to let them down."