The Texans beat the Dolphins, 27-20, in a road triumph at Miami. After, the head coaches and various players from both teams answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans kicker Kris Brown Texans linebacker Brian Cushing Texans running back Arian Foster Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson Texans running back Ryan Moats Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans Texans punter Matt Turk
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(On feeling relieved) – "It was a great win; it‟s a tough place to play. We were explosive in the first half, and the game kind of, to me, what happened right there before the half, our defense was on the field for a long drive then they went right back on the field for the third quarter, and it was pretty warm out there and they kind of wore us down. But we hung on, the defense did some great things in the second half, couldn‟t quite find a play offensively to finish off the game, but what a big win for the football team."
(On a shot at the playoffs) – "That‟s why I came here; to get this football team and this organization to get in a position like that, to experience stuff like that; this is as deep as we‟ve been as a team. We‟ve got an outside chance of making the playoffs next week and we have a realistic chance to become winners for the first time in this organization. There‟s a lot to look forward to next week as a football team, and I‟m very proud of our guys today."
(On Andre Johnson) – "It‟s my understanding he‟s the second or third player in history to have back-to-back 1,500 yard seasons, and it‟s his hometown, plus a lot of guys were covering him today but he still managed to make plays. I‟ve never seen a guy with so many coverages designed for a player, I‟ve been in this league a long time. They covered him all day long and he still made plays. The biggest credit you can give him and I‟ve said this over and over again, is that he‟s a very smart player, we‟re able to do a lot of things with him. That makes it harder on other people. Not only a great player, and a great kid, but very smart in games."
(On the second half) – "We went right down the field and they got a tipped ball for an interception and we can‟t do anything about it; we come right back and probably made a bad decision with the ball, I got away with that one. Jacoby (Jones) had an excellent chance to make a big catch with about six minutes left in the game that would have put them away but didn‟t make the play. But that‟s the NFL, everyone‟s battling. They‟re a good football team, we‟re a good football team, we made more plays in the first half, and they made more in the second half, but we found a way to get the job done."
(On such a great first half) – "Up in Seattle we were explosive, think we had a 300 yard half, and it was on the road in a hostile environment. I knew we were ready to play today; in our locker room, you could have heard a pin drop because the guys were focused. They had a great week."
(On Brian Cushing getting hurt) – "Funny story at halftime, he‟s in there getting an IV, and they‟re telling me everything that‟s wrong with the guys that are hurt, and they tell me about Cushing having another little element. And while he‟s telling me Cushing‟s looking at me from the back and winks out me like "I‟ll be out there‟ so nothing‟s going to keep this kid off the field – he‟s something special."
(On people stepping up) – "I saw Duane (Brown) come in the tunel and I‟m very proud of him. He‟s hurting, he‟s not going to be well till the football season‟s over, but he gave it up for his team today and didn‟t miss a play. That‟s what becoming a good football team and a team that has a chance to play in January is all about. There‟s not a guy who didn‟t step on the field today besides maybe Rex (Grossman). We used everybody we had."
(More on Andre Johnson) – "We moved him everywhere and they trailed him everywhere. It helped us make some big plays in some other areas of the game. He gets paid the ultimate respect every week, but we know that so we have to do everything we can to coach around that and still give him the ball the best we can."
(On passing the ball) – "We thought it would be very difficult to run the ball on them – their 3-4 scheme is very tough. We knew we‟d have to throw the ball and keep them honest and we did. We protected very well in the first half, Matt (Schaub) made some big plays, and really in the second half we were just as aggressive, but you get a tipped ball and a pick, you get a little nervous and don‟t want to hurt yourself, but we were just as aggressive but couldn‟t find that big play to get it goin back the other way."
(On the Defense) – "As I said, they had the big drive at the end of the half, must have been 12-14 plays, and then they go back on the field in the third quarter for a big drive, and it was hot for this time of year. I just think they were worn down. But they sucked it up and found a way to hold them to a field goal at the end which was huge."
(On Kris Brown) – "We stuck by him and we show a lot of confidence in him and he‟s responded, he‟s done his job."
(On scoreboard watching) – "No absolutely not. We‟re trying to learn how to do it here with this football team, and this franchise, so that‟ll all take care of itself. We just got an important game this week, we got a chance to become a winning franchise, and we‟ll see what happens on the other end."
K Kris Brown
(on winning eight games) "That's what we wanted. We wanted to be playing for something next week. We came out and played great early and the first half was about as good as you could have. Second half defensively we did a pretty good job of keeping them out of the end zone so we're excited for next week."
(on how big it was to make his first kick) "It was big. It was big for our team. It gave us momentum. I felt really good in pregame, especially going in that direction. I just went through my routine and when it left my foot it felt pretty good."
LB Brian Cushing(On his interception early in the game) – "Early on in the ball game there was a deflected pass and I was able to get my hands on it and get some yards after the catch too. Fortunately, right spot, right time."
(On the Texans defense getting sacks) – "It was big. We just needed to get after him. That was crunch time of the game. We had to stop the momentum of the game and their passing attack."
(On the Texans possibly making the playoffs) – "It‟s crazy. This whole business of winning and losing and the matchups. We just have to play and see what happens."
RB Arian Foster(On preparing for a chance to make the playoffs) – "We have a huge game next week. So we have to make sure we go out and do things right this week."
(On getting redemption for last week's performance) – "I don‟t get into all of that. I know I can play this game. I feel the coaching staff knows I can play this game. When I get on the field I produce."
(On coming through in this game) – "It‟s big. This organization is trying to move forward. I‟m just happy to be part of this organization. It‟s a great organization with great people here and I‟m just trying to help this team win."
WR Andre Johnson
(On the team's goal of making the playoffs) – "That has been my goal since day one. It‟s like a broken record. We say it at the beginning of every year, try and get things done to improve our chances of making the playoffs, and our goal is to be in the position that we‟re in right now. To win this game, in my home town, it‟s a real good feeling, to know that we still alive and still have a shot."
(On becoming the second receiver ever to have back to back 1,500 yard seasons) "It‟s big. I really don‟t keep track of stats too much, but for me to be the second person in history to have done that, that‟s very special. To be mentioned with a guy like Marvin Harrison, I watched him playing a lot growing up and even when I was in the NFL, and for me to be mentioned with that guy, really means a lot."
(On the success in the first half) "It kind of reminded me of the Seattle game, because everything was working for us. No matter what we did, everything was just working, and in the second half, sometimes the balls just don‟t bounce your way and it really didn‟t bounce our way the second half. We struggled a little bit, but we were still able to get the win."
(On how it felt to watch the lead slip away in the second half) "I put my towel over my head a few times, because when you play a first half like we did, and you come into halftime and you know the situation and we know the position we‟re in, and you don‟t want something like that to happen where a team comes back and beats you. They could have made a five yard catch and I would be on the sideline upset, saying what‟s going on. It‟s great that we came away with the win though."
(On the Dolphin's coverage against him) "Anytime I was outside by myself they were doubling me. The first catch I had at the beginning of the game, they didn‟t double me, and after that it was pretty much double coverage for the rest of the time. I think I had more success being in the slot then being outside."
RB Ryan Moats
(on the win) "It feels good, but we've got to keep our eye on the prize. Next week is more important. We've got to take it one step at a time, and today we took the first step and now we've got to complete the second one."
(on how the first half went) "We were just trying to make plays as a team. We rotated a lot. A lot of guys came in and out. That was a good thing. Everybody made plays."
CB Dunta Robinson
(On Chad Henne throwing the football) – "Henne is one of those quarterbacks that we knew coming into the game that if you let him get hot, he plays well. He has thrown for a couple three-hundred yard games and we knew that coming into this game. He is a very good player and he‟ll be a great quarterback in this league."
(On the second half) – "We watched film from last week so knew this was a team that will continue to fight. We knew they were going to come out in the second half and make some plays. We just couldn‟t quit, and we didn‟t quit. They didn‟t quit, and they battled back. But we were able to finish the football game."
(On where the Texans go from here) – "We have to watch the scoreboard and see what happens. Hopefully everything will unfold in our favor."
LB DeMeco Ryans(On the defensive performance today) – "It was a battle. We came out hot, started hot, and we kind of let the ball drop a little bit so we had to pick it up in the second half. It was a tough game. They are great competitors. We just had to make plays and get off the field."
(On Chad Henne throwing the football) – "They got down early so we knew they had to throw the ball a lot. It felt good, with that, but he made some plays on us, and made some good throws, but we were able to make more plays than they were."
(On the Dolphins run attack) – "It was solid, but they lost Ricky. I think that hurt their running game a lot once their top guy went down."
P Matt Turk(on how it felt to contribute to the win) "It felt good. I played here for five years, so I know a lot of people that are still here and it felt like I was coming home. Like it was a home game for me."
(on whether or not he thought he would punt at all during the first half) "I was really wondering if I was going to kick at all today. Once we got going in the second half and the momentum changed a little bit, I knew I would be able to contribute a little bit."
(on how the punt coverage unit has played this season) "Our coverage team has been excellent. They've been as good as anyone in the league. I think right now we're second in punt coverage yards given up and we have the fewest return yards in the league given up. Our guys are getting downfield an d protecting. They're covering well."
Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor Dolphins running back Ricky Williams
Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano
(On the team falling behind early) – "We come out here, two weeks in a row [and] have to come back from, what it is, 41 total points; hard to do, hard to do in any league, certainly hard to do it this way. No excuse. That team did a hell of a job on the other side. I think they scored on every possession in the first half if I am correct. That is hard, hard to overcome. [We] threw an interception one time down there. Both sides kind of had an end to that. Not the type of game that we wanted to play. In other words, game plan wise, I think you are hoping that against this team time of possession was going to be critical. We needed this to go the other way and we got into this shootout. Fifty-five or however many passes that we threw, is not the secret to winning against a team like this."
(On what he told the team at halftime) – "I told them that it was embarrassing [and] that we needed to go out there, we needed to make a stop, make a play on offense; one at a time and climb back into this thing. Just see whether or not we can do that. To their credit we did that, but not good enough."
(On if he heard the booing from the crowd in the first half) – "I heard it. It was 24-0 or whatever it was. I think the fans deserved better today."
(On the idea they continued to find themselves in mismatches on defense) – "We tried several different things in the first half. Not much of what we did was good enough and we didn‟t tackle when we had a chance to tackle. We didn‟t do that well enough. The yards after catch there, just can‟t do that. We settled down in the second half, made a couple of stops, [and] forced a couple of turnovers - had a chance to force a few other ones. Had the big play called back on a penalty. It‟s the kind of day it [was]."
(On trying to overcome a number of tough breaks throughout the ball game) – "It is tough when you put yourself into that kind of situation and we put ourselves into that situation. It is tough when every one of those kinds of plays is magnified like that but that is the situation we put ourselves in."
(On the positioning of kicking unit during the onside kick attempt) – "We just thought the numbers would be better that way, that we would gain numbers on [one-side]. It would be even and we would have a little bit more space."
(On the tripping penalty against Lousaka Polite) – "I will have to see the film. I will have to see the film, I really don‟t know."
(On his thinking when he decided to punt down two scores with 5:22 to go on 4th and 5) – "The thinking was that we had three timeouts left, thought we could off just like we did and have some time to play down in that end. If we didn‟t make it at that point, the game was over. Worked out OK, had a chance down there at that end, but too little too late."
(On what the message to the team is now) – "They knew all week that someone coming out of this game was going to be playing for pride at the end of this and going out and doing that. That is us. So that is what I told them, that we are that team now. We will go out there, play our tails off versus Pittsburgh and we will do better way. That is what we are going to do; it is the only way I know how to do it."
(On if at halftime of this game was the low point of the season) – "You have been watching us all season, you would say "yes‟ so that is probably the lowest it has gone all season, yea. Haven‟t had that feeling since we have been here, maybe Arizona a long, long time ago. But that is where we were, that is what we put ourselves in. Have to figure out how to dig ourselves out. Little by little we kind of got out of it, but just put ourselves into too big of a hole."
(On evaluating Chad Henne's performance) - "I will have to watch the film, I don‟t really know."
CB Vontae Davis
(On the touchdown to Jacoby Jones) – "Well, it was more that the quarterback scrambled and the receiver just broke contain from the coverage and made a catch. The only thing is that we need to make the tackle and bring them down. Instead of making it seven points, we need to make the tackle and line up and play the next play."
(On what was causing the defense to give up big plays) – "The biggest thing is that you have to come out and play early. They just gassed us a couple times. We just have to compete and not wait until the second half. We have to just come out and play. We know what kind of team we have and that‟s just not good on our part, waiting until the second half."
QB Chad Henne
(On Coach Sparano calling the performance in the first half an embarrassment) – "Yeah, we started off poorly. They jump up on us 27 points, and as an offense, we hurt ourselves again. We didn‟t start fast, we didn‟t execute, we hurt ourself with penalties. We got a tipped pass interception down there which led to a scoring drive, and we just keep hurting ourselves. Like I said, when you get down 27 points, it‟s tough in this league to come back. We fought back, we have to give ourselves some pride in that, but overall, we have to start much better than what we did."
(On if he heard the booing) – "Everywhere you go, it doesn‟t matter where it‟s at, at Michigan you hear booing, any stadium you hear booing. Everybody‟s on the bandwagon or off the bandwagon. It‟s tough, but we just have to keep fighting, we‟re out there pulling things together and trying to stay together, and just go out there and try to perform to the best of our ability."
(On how he explains the slow start) – "We stuck our defense out there, and they held them to a field goal, which was a stop for us. We got the ball, and we go, I don‟t know what it was, three and out, and we didn‟t start fast. It‟s tough, and once they get up 27 points on our offense, we have to throw the ball every time, which for me, make some plays out there when they present themselves. You have a cover-two defense out there where there‟s not a lot of windows open, so we‟re checking the ball down. Overall, it‟s tough to overcome 27 points."
(On the touchdown play to Ted Ginn being called back by penalty) – "I think that was a big momentum swing for us. Getting that play down there and scoring quickly and still having time left to come back. It felt like the whole day was like that. We get a big play, we hurt ourselves the next play. We just needed not to make mistakes in big situations and start fast."
(On if he realized there was a flag on the play) – "I thought it was a touchdown, and then you look back, and of course, it‟s just sitting next to me. It‟s tough, and then you don‟t know who it‟s on, because we had a protection where we had to pick up a lot of guys. It‟s tough with tripping penalties."
(On the large percentage of short throws) – "They were giving us the underneath throws, and when they‟re ahead, that‟s when they started dropping eight, nine, guys into coverage. There‟s not a lot of windows to fit, but it worked out for us. We hit our "backs, we were hitting our guys underneath, we were getting 10, 12 yards, which was in our favor to keep the ball moving."
(On the halftime adjustments) – "We knew we were down, 27-3, or 27-0 at halftime, and we went in our two minute situation where we want to throw the ball, so we wanted a hurry up offense. They kind of went back in to coverage and just played vanilla for us, and were giving us some throws down there, checking the ball down, making some plays downfield. We just went into our two minute offense."
(On calling the third timeout) – "We got the play in late. You break the huddle, and there‟s six, seven seconds, plus we had a motion there, there‟s guys moving all over the place. At that time, in that game, when we still had a chance to come back and make a play, I didn‟t want to take any chances there. Make sure we‟re settled down, and get the play in right and execute that play."
(On what he plays for next week) – "I‟m playing to win. I don‟t know about the other guys in there, I hope they‟re right behind me. We‟re not playing for pride, we‟re playing to win this game. That‟s the statement I‟m going to make to our offense, and how I‟m going to play."
(On how tough this lost was) – "It is tough."
(On falling behind early again) – "Can‟t explain it. You keep fighting and try to make the best of it. It didn‟t work out last week or today. No explanation or excuse for it."
(On tough it is to take losses especially when they hurt the playoff chances) – "It hurts. I am not going to sit here and make a soap opera about it. You guys can formulate however you want to make it. It hurts, it costs [us] the season."
(On what the Texans were doing offensively in the first half) – "Scoring, they were scoring and we were not stopping them. We were not tackling. We played like we were… we played bad in the first half."
(On the poor play in the first half) - "I wish I could explain it, had a reason for it, a good excuse for it, [but] I don‟t. I am at a loss of words too; so much on the line and understanding the stakes. Let the pressure get the best of you, I don‟t know."
(On if he felt the team was flat at the start of the game) - "I don‟t know. We came and didn‟t make plays early enough. [We] kind of sat around waiting for someone to make a play. You can not be a front running group. I have been a part of front-running teams and they are no fun. It is tough always looking for someone else to make a play. We rallied late. It is no consolation; it is no feel good stories about it. People will say you didn‟t give up, you are not supposed to give up. That‟s your job and should be your passion and what you want to do. You got embarrassed for 30 minutes on national tv; I don‟t know how many people saw it. Step up or get out."
(On him being animated on the sidelines) – "I was trying to create a spark. It only takes a spark to get a fire going. Was trying to explain mistakes again, what they needed to do. It is not rocket science, it is really not. You just have to tackle and we just didn‟t do that in the first half, period. They are going to make plays. Andre [Johnson] is going to make plays, he is one of the best receivers in the game. I have a great amount of respect for him. If you‟re going to let him catch the ball, tackle him. Running backs… this team came in not running the ball very well. [Today] they ran the ball too well, we didn‟t tackle."
(On the tough breaks in the second half with calls not going favorably for the Dolphins) -"You still have a chance to win the game. Regardless of what we did in the first half, we still came back and fought and had a chance to win the game. If [Ted Ginn‟s] touchdown stands, it is a 3-point game at the end. We can get a kick at it. A fumble there puts the ball at midfield rather than the 10-yard line. You can‟t make an excuse about it. The referee called it incomplete whether it was right, wrong or indifferent it is what he called. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game regardless of those calls."
(On if this loss hurts more than any other losses throughout his career) - "No they all hurt. I am not going to quantify one over another. They all hurt. I hate losing. I hate losing more than I like winning. I think that has been evident the last 12 years I have been here, 13 in the league. I hate losing more than I love winning. It sucks regardless of when it is. Stakes are higher, I understood that, I think the locker room understood that and we blew it."
RB Ricky Williams
(On how tough it was to fall behind early) - "It is tough, especially when you do it back to back weeks. We put ourselves into such a hole to start the game. We fought back, but it wasn‟t enough time."
(On what will motivate the team next week playing against Pittsburgh) - "You are playing for pride; you are playing for your job out there. We owe it to our teammates, we owe it to our coaches, [and] we owe it to our fans to no matter what to come to play."
(On what the mood was like at halftime) - "I think at halftime a couple of people had their heads down. Our leaders and our coach jumped on it right away and they said "we did it last week and we can do it again‟. We came in here and really turned our attitude around, but again there wasn‟t enough time for us to come back in the second half."