Coaches and players of the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs addressed the media after Saturday's 16-10 by Houston at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. A transcript of their respective interviews follows:
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Chiefs head coach Todd Haley Texans DE Connor Barwin Texans RB Chris Brown Texans K Kris Brown Texans TE James Casey Texans LB Zac Diles Texans WR Andre Johnson Texans QB Dan Orlovsky Texans LB DeMeco Ryans Texans QB Matt Schaub
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) "It was a game where (we had the) combination that this football team needs to learn to play with. We had very good defense, and we didn't turn the ball over. That's why we won this game. It was a very sloppy night weather-wise, and whoever plays the best defense and whoever does better on the ground finds a way to win in this league, so I was glad that we did that. we paid a price. We got some guys really banged up, which usually happens when you get out there in a mess like that, so hopefully we'll get back and some of these guys we can get back on the field as quick as possible."
(on who was injured during the game) "Eric Winston (has) a little ankle issue, we'll check him more tomorrow. DelJuan Robinson got a stinger, he should be OK. Joel Dreessen has a hyperextended knee. I'll know more about him tomorrow. Troy Nolan broke a hand. It's going to be a while; we'll evaluate him in the next couple of days. (Xavier) Adibi has got a finger (injury). Frank Okam got a shin cut, Tim Bulman a quad. (Boomer) Grigsby looks pretty serious with an ankle, and then Rex Grossman looks like he got a pretty good hamstring, so it's a very long list for a first time out. We're going to have to get back and evaluate where we're at."
(on why Grossman left after one series due to injury) "Yeah. First play he went in when he booted, he said he felt his hamstring pull or pop or whatever, so we've got to get back and see."
(on the young guys playing well down the stretch) "Well I think it's very important. It was such a tough night weather-wise, and I think defensively guys really stepped up. We rushed the passer pretty darn good. Offensively, when we lost (FB) Boomer (Grigsby) there in the third quarter, we didn't have a two-back scheme to go to, and I wasn't going to put…I wasn't going to do that to James (Casey), but I sure as heck wasn't going to put Vonta (Leach) back in the game, so we had to really just adjust and go to a one back scheme, and it made it a little more difficult. Just finding a way to win, that's important. Find a way to dig down deep there at the end and make a play to win the game.
(on the play of RB Chris Brown) "That was very exciting, and that's what he is. He's a big back in the redzone, and gets the ball going downhill. That's what we need him to do, and he looked like his old self tonight so felt very good about his time."
(on the play of DE Connor Barwin) "Yeah, he's very athletic. He missed a special team which cost us a timeout, we had a little issue with some of that stuff there in the second half, but very athletic. Of course he had one big sack and he almost picked a pass off one time, so he's got a chance to help this football team.
(on the play of QB Dan Orlovsky) "Well, we wanted him to play a bunch, and he would have not have played the whole fourth quarter, it's just that Rex went out. He had to go back, and other than that we'd have had to go back to Matt, so I thought he did some good things. The ball was very difficult to handle, you could tell trying to make some of those throws near the end. But like I told him, he needs to step up and make some of those plays at the end of the game to keep the offense on the field and to get that clock run out. But it's a first time out for him with us, and I'm sure he'll be much better next week."
Chiefs head coach Todd Haley
(on the game) "We didn't get the result we wanted tonight. I think we made too many mistakes to think we could have a chance to win a game. I think we got to look at a lot of guys which is a positive. You can't expect to win games converting 23% of your third downs, which was a major problem for us, and you can't expect to win a game with the penalties we had in the situations that we had. Never until that fourth quarter could we get anything going enough to feel like we had any momentum. We're back to work on Monday. We're in training camp mode and we're back in pads."
(on memories of first game at Arrowhead) "If you can tell me the first real one is a win I'll make this one a loss any day of the week. It's a special feeling when it's your team and a lot of responsibility comes with that and tonight I didn't live up to that end of it."
(on how long he left his starters in, if it was longer than he had originially planned) "No, we had pretty much said we were going to go about a quarter and a half. It was just the way that it fell and we wanted to make sure they got enough snaps and we were keeping track of that. It was the same decision we wanted to make at the end with the second defense, if they got enough snaps or not."
(on whether he anticipated more early success) "I would have liked to have definitely done more with that first group. But again, we got a holding penalty that put us in a hole. We got a false start by the tackle which got us out of a manageable situation and into a not so manageable situation. That's really the thing we have to take out of it. We need to be a smart football team to think we have a chance to win.
(on WR Dwayne Bowe) "I thought Dwayne came out tonight and, really, in the last two days at practice in training camp saw that he's definitely started to show up. In this game I thought he definitely showed up. That to me was a definite positive, without a doubt. But again, like I said, we're going to play the guys that we think are doing it the way we want it done. That was the way we went tonight, but again that can change. But Bowe, the last two days of training camp and then tonight, definitely showed something."
(on Brodie Croyle's first time on the field in about a year) "It was great for Brodie. He got a lot of playing time under his belt in very difficult situations and he made a couple of really nice throws in poor weather conditions, to say the least. That is nothing but positive for Brodie coming off the injury. This was a great win for him getting his feet wet."
(on performance of QB Matt Cassel's performance) "The fumbled snap was probably the biggest thing we've got to figure out. Obviously the ball is wet, but we've got to handle the football and we can't have failed center-quarterback exchanges of all things. There are enough other things that can go wrong on plays. I think the called play was a potential shot to push the ball down the field a little bit. Other than that, I thought Matt was okay. We played pretty close to the vest with him in there and we ran the ball a bunch. I know we weren't winging it around a lot."
(on Tyler Thigpen's performance) "Tyler was put into a very difficult situation just from the standpoint of the score and the weather. I thought he did a nice job of moving the team down the field. We were turning guys free, it appeared to me, and he was running for his life there at the end and made some plays where he probably shouldn't have. Tyler gave us a chance to win the game."
(on the defense) "I thought there were some positives. A couple of runs looked like we didn't fit quite right, the way we had to. Overall, I thought we were doing a decent job of stopping the run against a pretty good running team."
Texans DE Connor Barwin
(on his first NFL game) "It was good. I was a little slow playing at first, a little hesitant, but I started to make some plays at the end, and had one sack, which was good for me."
(on his sack) "It was great. That's what I'm supposed to do, get in here in the first game and actually produce that. It felt good, my rushes before that were kind of hesitant. So I finally said I'm going to do this move and go, and it worked."
(on difference between practice speed and game speed) "Nah, I don't think the game speed was any different. I think it was me just thinking a little bit too much. Practice you're a little bit more relaxed, and it was my first game so a little bit too much thinking. You know, it's preseason, so I'm learning still. It was good."
(on the conditions) "Oh, no. That was counterproductive. You never want those kinds of conditions, but you play through it, even though your cleats weighed about five pounds by halftime."
(on how it felt to play against someone other than his teammates) "It felt good. It was fun, like you said, to be going against somebody else. You know, there's definitely a lot to learn from it, but I'm happy I got the first one under my belt."
(on if he played more than he anticipated that he would) "No, no. I knew in the first defense, I would go in on the nickel package, and then I played in base in the second quarter and the third quarter."
(on his sack) "The first couple of pressures I got, I was a little hesitant. Then finally, I said, 'You know, I'm going to do this move,' and I did it and it worked. I just gave the guy a fake spin and he bit on it, and I was right there."
(on what he hopes to bring to the team) "It's just exactly that. Bring pressure to the quarterback. Be a guy that plays fast. That's what I hope to bring."
(on if it is encouraging that he's included in so many packages so early on in his rookie season) "Yeah, I mean. you get drafted by a team, you want them to believe in you and hope you can do what you think you can do. So to have them put me in nickel with the first team and have me in the base defense with the second team is good so far."
(on if his speed will allow him to blow by quite a few offensive linemen this year) "Well, it's going to need to be more than that. My speed is definitely something I need to use, but at this level, it's not going to be (enough); I'm going to have to have counter moves and all kinds of other things. So I know it's something I'm going to have to use, but I need to improve on all of the other things.'
(on how comfortable he feels on the field) "Well, since this was the first game, I think that I was a little hesitant. I think next game will be better. I think it's just going to get better and better."
Texans RB Chris Brown(on finally playing at full strength coming off a season-long injury last year) "It was a lot of hard work, so it's a long time coming. From the beginning of January, I've been working hard, and I think it's finally starting to pay off."
(on finally running the offense against another team) "Yeah, definitely. Going out there, playing well, trying to hit someone, seeing how it really stands when you're going against someone who doesn't know what you are doing every play."
Texans K Kris Brown
(on if there was rain and wind or just straight rain) "Believe it or not, when the rain came, the wind died down a little bit, so it wasn't blowing as near as hard as it was in pregame before it even started raining. And then once it started raining, it died down quite a bit."
(on if he gets a kick out of making field goals even though it's just the preseason) "Oh, absolutely. For me, this is what the preseason's all about, is getting in the game, getting into situations, getting used to running out on the field, going through my routine. And it's nice to do it even in conditions like this, so in case down the road, we get into the regular season and we face games (like this), we've gone through it before."
Texans TE James Casey
(on his first play of the game) "My very first play was on kickoff, and I ran down there and got a tackle. That's something that I'll remember for the rest of my life, regardless of what happens the rest of the way, so I feel great. I'm healthy. I feel like I did a lot of great things out there. I've got a lot of things to work on as the preseason goes on, (I'll) just keep fighting trying to make this team."
(on his reception) "Yeah, I got a catch early in the game, and then the conditions got a little sloppy so we couldn't throw the ball as much as I would have liked. I got that one catch in, I caught it when they threw it to me, it was that one time. So excited about that, just keep building on it and just keep trying to get better.
(on if the experience was what he thought it would be) "It's a whole other level out there. Guys obviously are faster, stronger. It's intense out there. It's everything I thought it would be. It's the NFL. I walked out on the field today, and I just felt so blessed to be out there and amongst those guys. It ended up great because we got the win. Everything is better when you win."
Texans LB Zac Diles(on the performance of the first-team defense) "We have probably a few little things here and there we can improve on, but for the most part, we've just gotta keep going out there and playing hard and fast."
(on DE Connor Barwin's play) "Oh, man. Connor with the sack, had a nice little dance. It was good to see him out there."
(on the rainy conditions) "It's football, so you've gotta play. Rain, sleet, snow, whatever, we're going to be out there playing, so it was good."
(what the preseason win means to him) "It's just good to go out there and get after it again, so it's a good feeling."
Texans WR Andre Johnson(on if it's nice to see the running game come along) "Yeah, it is. I think Chris (Brown) and Ryan (Moats), they ran the ball real well for us. Those guys always run the ball real well, they've just been injured. They're healthy now and they're going to help us out a whole lot."
(on if it was fun sitting on the sidelines during the rain) "Man, I haven't been in a game like that since high school. It's probably the most rain that I've just sat in. So I was definitely ready to come in, hurry up and get the game over with."
Texans QB Dan Orlovsky(on the game) "As a team, great job of protecting the football, and that's important. In that kind of game, it's probably going to be whoever turns it over the least is going to give themselves the best chance to win. So as a group, I thought we did a great job of that. We'll go back and watch some film. I know I left some throws out there that are going to bother me, but for the first time going out there, finally getting to play against a different color jersey, it went well. Like I said, the main thing is that we came away as a football team with a win."
(on if he was prepared to play when Rex Grossman got injured) "Yeah, I think I always have that mindset when you have three guys, just don't ever think you're out of it, just be ready to go back in. Unfortunately, something happened to Rex and I was able to go back in and get a couple more snaps. And my hat's off to the two centers that I was in there with for making sure the snaps (were clean), and the backs carrying the ball. And that's probably some of the moments where I want some of those throws back, because I want to make those throws to keep us as an offense on the field, and that's going to allow the clock to run out the most. So I'll go back and watch the film and wish I had those back, but as a group, I think with that adversity, we did a great job."
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans(on playing in adverse conditions) "I don't think it was a big deal. It was good for us to have those elements, have the weather play a part in that early and for guys to get used to the early, because you never know when that will take place. It was a good test for us early on."
(on the play of the young players) "The young guys, they stepped up and did well. I saw Connor Barwin out there doing good things, (TE James) Casey on offense. (WR Darnell) Jenkins. A lot of those young guys stepped up and did a great job, so it was definitely good to see them out there in live action for the first time, going out there and showing some good things."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on the play of the first-team offense) "We got the ball moving and were executing our plays. We had one third down in the first series, but we regrouped and got the ball on the five-yard line and drove it 95 yards for a touchdown, so it was a good way to go out there and play."
(on going 7-for-7 and utilizing several receivers) "We've got a lot of weapons. We've got guys we can distribute the ball to, and they can all make plays. So, it's my job to get it to the most open guy and let him go make a play with it. The offensive line did a great job giving me time, and you can see we were able to run the ball effectively, especially down in the red zone."
(on coming out strong and executing a couple hard weeks of camp) "It feels good to come out against a different team and not go at ourselves. (It feels good to) play live, be able to cut, to tackle and finish out the play. We just executed really well tonight."
(on the play of the team's younger players late in the game) "When guys go in, everyone is fighting to make the team. They went in there, and in those tough conditions for your first time out getting live bullets, with the rain and conditions, guys were able to protect the football and execute the offense effectively, and the defense stood up and played a great game."
(on his experience playing in adverse conditions) "There were times in college when some of my coaches, we actually would have a wet ball day, and we'd take a bucket out and just dump the ball in there before we'd play. You just practice it and you just learn how to handle those things, but you just go out and just try not to let it affect your play. If you keep your situations manageable, it shouldn't really matter."
(on QB Dan Orlovsky in his first game as a Texan, if Orlovsky asked for any advice) "There's not much you can say. You're just playing. You just want to give a guy the opportunity to go play. You talk to him a little bit between series, but you just let him go play and cut it loose."
(on how Orlovsky handles game situations) "He handles situations well. He's an even-keeled guy, and he was able to go out there and execute the offense, lead his huddle. I thought he did a great job given the conditions."