Postgame Quotes: Texans at Steelers

HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIENQUARTERBACK RYAN FITZPATRICKWIDE RECEIVER DEANDRE HOPKINSNOSE TACKLE RYAN PICKETT

Re: Errors determining the outcome of the game:

We had a terrible second quarter. We couldn't come back from it. Just too many turnovers. We just had a hard time overcoming all of those things. But at the end of the day, we were one onside kick away from tying it. So we are trying to take some positive out of it but we have to coach it better. We have to play a lot better.

Was that the quickest turnaround you've seen?

I don't know. I really don't know. I have been coaching a long time.

Re: Once the turnaround started, you couldn't stop it

It was 30-23. It wasn't 50-nothing. My point is we can't do that. We can't turn the ball over, we can't bobble a kick, we can't give up shot plays and we can't have 12 men on the field on third down to give them a first down. We just can't do those things. With all that being said, we were an onside kick away. These questions are like we lost 50-nothing. We lost by a touchdown with all that stuff that we did. We have to improve it. We have to coach it better and we have to play better.

Re: Two games now losing over turnovers:

It's very frustrating. When you turn the ball over on your own two-yard line twice. The whole thing is frustrating. Players are frustrated, coaches are frustrated, but again we were an onside kick away. We almost recovered it, which usually only counts in horseshoes but we were an onside kick away to tie the game. With all that said with what we did wrong against a good football team. I give Pittsburgh a lot of credit. They played well. They played better than us. They coached better than us.

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Re: Pulling any positives from a loss:

I think it's a negative. We lost. It's negative. It's terrible to lose. It's not good to lose, but my point is to these players in the locker room, is that with all those things that we did wrong, if we can fix those things that we're doing wrong, especially turning the ball over twice inside the five-yard line. If we could fix those things, maybe we would have a shot, a better shot to win. So no, it's awful to lose. It's not good to come close. There are no moral victories. But we have to fix these things. We have to coach it better, and we have to play better.

 

Re: End of half play to Andre Johnson:

He was open. We have to make the right read.

What was working early on?

We got in manageable third downs. We got into a rhythm. We were able to get a first down. We were able to get in a rhythm, but then we get in the red area, and we stall. We can't run it and can't throw it. So we have to kick field goals. So we're down there three or four times and we come away with only a 13-point lead. Against a team with Ben Roethlisberger, that's not going to be good enough. Plus the fact that we turned it over and then have a horrendous second quarter, it's just not good enough to win in this league. It's never going to be good enough to play like that and win in this league.

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Re: Overcoming the pre-half errors:

You regroup at halftime. I thought we did that. I don't think we came out and played great in the second half. It felt like we played a little bit better. Although we had another turnover on a two-minute drive at the end there that was a good catch and run, and we fumbled it. But I thought we played better, and we cut the lead and kept hanging in there. This team fights. They never quit, which that should be a given in the National Football League, but they don't quit. They fight. Again, with as bad as it was and it was bad, it's not acceptable. But if we can fix these things we can win. But we're not going to win unless we fix these things.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

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The Texans faced the Steelers on Monday Night Football in Pittsburgh.

Can you take me through the end of the first half?**

It was miserable and just a terrible, terrible display of offensive football by us. It was about as bad as it gets and as bad as I've ever seen. Two turnovers there and practically gave them the ball inside the five-yard line and giving them 14 points. It was just unacceptable.

Offensively you got off to a good start, was it difficult to maintain that?

Scoring points early, we were happy about that and had two other opportunities where we came away with field goals which a big thing for us was making sure we were scoring touchdowns. We were a little disappointed even though we had some things going that we had to settle for two field goals. Obviously the end of the first half and everything that happened there was just a real game-changer. That being said, we got the ball first coming out of halftime and we've been in that situation before in terms of being down and we just didn't do enough offensively in the second half to make it close.

What did you see happen at the end of the second half?

It was just terrible, terrible football. We can't do that and when you give a team the ball, twice, inside the five-yard line, it's like giving away 14 points.

What happened on the interception?

I think (Brett) Keisel tipped it on the line and then it hit the linebacker and Kiesel ended up intercepting it. We had the turnover on the possession before and went out there really just trying to get three points out of that drive. We had a decent play with Arian (Foster) matched up and it's not a good feeling to see the ball get tipped like that.

How do you avoid getting in situations where you have to fight back every week?

Each individual game is it's own unique story and this one today was really the end of the first half. For us offensively, not being able to come out with the fire that we needed in the second-half to put points on the board and make it a game earlier than we did, we just have to keep being professionals

Check out these snapshots of Jadeveon Clowney's pregame workout and much more.

and keep attacking the game plan and being competitive in practice. That's the only thing I know how to do is to go out there and keep putting the work in and hopefully that results in some wins.

What can you say about the offense showing some inconsistency?

It was inconsistent again all day today. This time we started well and then had a big lull and couldn't get stuff going the way we wanted to in the second-half there.

Have you ever seen a stretch before like the one that took place at the end of the second quarter?

I'm sure I have but not to that extent though. That was three touchdowns in the last four minutes and really self-inflicted wounds by the offense that put the defense in bad spots. That was a tough momentum changer there.

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Was Pittsburgh doing anything early on to take Andre Johnson out of the game?

We have two real talented guys on the outside and sometimes they had a guy running underneath Andre so I would have to go to the other side or vice versa. It was more a matter of single-coverage on DeAndre (Hopkins) without the underneath presence that Andre was getting.

WR DeAndre Hopkins

What happened on the play where you fumbled?

I was just trying to get extra, trying to get more than I should. I wasn't aware of the defender that stripped it. Just bad awareness and ball control on my behalf.

Re: The feeling when the game is on the line and you simply can't stop it:

It was too late. Just bad timing. It is a bad feeling every time you lose. No matter how it is.

Re: Despite the game just an onside kick away from getting back into it:

We were an onside kick away. That's just how it is.

NT Ryan Pickett

Points given up at the end of the second quarter?

It was tough. We came out real good and to have letdowns like that is just unacceptable. As a defense when we get into situations like that we need to do a better job of coming out. We had to fight back we had a chance to fight back and win it.

Emotion when that kind of snowball happens?

It is a part of football. Coach said forget about what happened and come out and play the second half. And come out and win this game. We didn't make the plays when we had the opportunity. We had a chance to come back in this game and win it. We just didn't come up with the plays.

How do you turn the corner?

We need to make plays. We need to make plays to turn the corner. That's the answer. We need to make plays in critical situations. That's what we are missing right now.

STEELERS HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLINQUARTERBACK BEN ROETHLISBERGER

Head Coach Mike Tomlin:That was a great win for us as a football team. Guys made plays in all three phases. I guess the story of the game was the explosion in the second quarter. I think it really kind of got started on the third-down conversion by Le'Veon Bell. They were in man-to-man. He won versus a linebacker, and we not only converted the third down but we flipped the field. And I think that provided the type of emotion that the group needed. Then we kind of fed off of that. The guys really capitalized on it. It was a nice explosion for us and we rode that wave for the remainder of the performance. There were a lot of good efforts from all parties involved. We don't have a lot of time to really relish this one. Obviously it's Tuesday already. We are working on a short week. So we have to proceed. There are no real injuries other than Marcus Gilbert. He left the game with a concussion. We will go through our normal concussion protocol with him as we push through the week. We will let that be the guiding factor in determining whether or not he is available.

Have you ever seen three touchdowns come that fast?

Yes (laughs). You know how it is. You stand on the sidelines long enough you will see explosions such as that. It's good to be on the good side of it.

Re: Confidence in Martavis Bryant:

I am not going to try to make more out of it than what it is. He made a great play, a necessary play. It is a play that he is capable of making. It's a play that we watch him consistently make on the practice field. He is still working to round out his game like a lot of young guys are, but that was a significant contribution to our efforts tonight.

Re: Jason Worilds' play tonight, particularly on the forced fumble:

That was a great effort. But we had a lot of great efforts by a lot of people. There was just good energy and effort tonight. Obviously it wasn't perfect. We didn't get off the bus stop in the run in the manner in which we would have liked. They had a little theme of the week defensively on third down. They mixed some coverages up. There was less pressure than we anticipated. It took us a minute to adjust. Once we did I thought we did a good job. It wasn't perfect by any stretch but very rarely is it. But it was necessary though.

Re: Pleased at defending J.J. Watt:

Yeah I thought we did a nice job. They (offensive line) competed. But that group has kind of grown up together. They have been battle tested over the last several years. They don't flinch in the face of adversity whether it's injury within the ranks or whether it's faced with a real opponent like Watt. They stick together. They fight. And they did that tonight. It was touchy there for a while. Kelvin Beachum went down at the quarter change. And we were about to see Maurkice Pouncey at left tackle (laughs).

Re: Seeing the turnovers impact the game:

It's not anything mystical. I think when we are doing what it is that we are supposed to do and playing with energy, it happens. It was a good thing it happened tonight. We needed it.

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Re: Brett Keisel's play tonight and his interception:

Ol' 99. We will give him the week off and see if he can get his body ready to go on a short week (laughs) but I appreciate his efforts not only on that play but throughout the night. He provides veteran and savvy leadership and perspective during the course of preparation.

Did you intend to play Daniel McCullers that much?

We intended to play him. We had five defensive linemen suited. He was in the rotation. It had nothing to do with what was going on, on the field. He knew he was going to be called upon tonight like Martavis and a couple of other guys that got the opportunity. We will just continue to work to put the best group that we can put out there. It may include some young guys that will be given an opportunity to show that they belong.

Re: Getting Le'Veon Bell that many receptions:

Like I said, they switched things up. They were doing some two-man on us. In those situations he is a good matchup. They cover him with underneath coverage-like people. He is a guy for all situations. I think we've been pretty consistent about that. He can run it and catch it. He did it tonight.

QUARTERBACK BEN ROETHLISBERGER

Was there a moment tonight when the momentum shifted into the Steelers favor?

Late in the second quarter when our defense got turnovers and we started scoring.

How good was it to see all three phases of the team working together?

That's what it's all about. I said earlier we lose together and we win together. That was a good team win on offense, defense and special teams. That's what it's all about. I feel offensively we still left a little bit out there. We scored enough and our defense got us the ball and we won the game.

What did you think of the play by Brett Keisel?

It was awesome. We didn't know what happened to the ball, and all of the sudden Keisel starts running. I was excited for him, obviously him being one of my better friends. I wanted him to score but it was still exciting for him.

Re: On taking a lot of chances down the field:

We thought that we saw some stuff and we wanted to give our guys some shots. We feel that we have guys that can make plays down the field.

Are you starting to get more comfortable with the receivers?

I've always believed in them and had confidence in them.

It didn't start out so promising on offense and the defense was struggling. What pulled you guys out of it?

Making a play. Defense made plays. They got us the ball on turnovers and we found a way to score. We always believe and have faith no matter how things are going. We believe in ourselves and found a way to get it done.

Re: Scoring 24 points in the last three minutes of the first half:

It was about turnovers and us finding a way to get touchdowns when we needed to. Just a crazy three minutes of football.

Re: Buying a little extra time on the touchdown to Martavis Bryant:

I tried to step up and the line did a good job of pushing them (Texans) by for me to step up and take a shot up to him, and what a play by him.

Did you find your team tonight?

I thought we did a lot of good things. Offensively I think we need to do better and that starts with me. I'll evaluate trying to get better. I think each man on offense will evaluate what they need to do. I would tell you that everybody on offense would tell you that we all could do better.

Re: The psychological effect of the game:

We would rather win than lose. It's a big one, we have a short week and a great football team coming in here.

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Re: Le'Veon Bell's day:

I say all the time I think that he is one of the best all-around backs in the game, and I think tonight that he proved it.

With Keisel getting a pick and Troy Polamalu getting a fumble recovery did it feel like the old days?

It was fun to watch. I love when our defense is flying around making plays. Even better when we capitalize on them.

How satisfying was it to see Bryant get that first touchdown?

It was great. I was happy for him. I thought he made a great play, but we have to move on and keep making more plays.

Do you think you have some competition at quarterback with Antonio Brown throwing a touchdown?

It was a great play by him. He is a phenomenal athlete. I thought Lance Moore did a great job too coming back downhill to make the play as well.

Do you feed off the defense making plays?

We all feed off each other in all three phases.

Is there anything to the Monday night magic that you seem to have, never losing at Heinz Field on a Monday?

I don't know if there is any magic other than the fact that we want to play well for our fans. That's every Sunday though.

You preach patience all week. Did this game symbolize that?

Yeah. Not starting great but finding a way to do something at the end of the half. Even the second half we didn't do anything spectacular on offense but we moved the ball off of our one-yard line and flipped the field. We had a couple other good drives. I thought it was a good all-around game.

How do you feel about the win-loss-win-loss pattern this team has had this year?

Just get ready to go to work and try to win.

Re: Mike Adams confidence:

He played well. When I don't notice that he's out there I think that's a good thing. He came in on a moment's notice against a really good defensive line.

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