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Postgame quotes: Texans vs. Browns

The Texans beat the Browns 30-12 on Sunday at Reliant Stadium. Afterward, coaches and players from both teams answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.


* *

(on the dominance the team showed today) "It's just terrific. Our defense is maturing and getting better and better. This is the third game that we have kept the opposition under 200 yards. We rushed for 250 yards today. It was an outstanding effort and I was really proud of them."

(on being 6-3 for the season) "We're 6-3 but that does not get you to the playoffs. You have got to take them one at a time. It looks like Tampa Bay is losing and they're going to be anxious to get a win. We are going to have to go over there and play really good football to beat them and that's what we are capable of doing."

(on the reaction from the media at the team's success) "At some point they are going to realize that we are a very good football team. We will let them take their time doing that. We know we have a fine club. We'll see how far they take us, but they are just playing great football right now."

(on the improvement in the defense this season) "They are even better than what I expected. I think I made the comment at the beginning of the season that if we could just get the defense up into the middle of the pack that it would be a great step forward. We have probably got the second or third best defense in the league. That is a credit to (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips), (Linebackers Coach) Reggie Herring, (Defensive Backs Coach) Vance (Joseph) and (Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Line) Bill Kollar. Those guys on the defensive side of the ball have really done a great job."

(on the dynamic of RB Arian Foster and RB Ben Tate) "Well I tell you I would hate to be on the other side of them. They will wear you out. That's the second game that we have had two runners with each over a hundred yards."

(on if a team can be soft if it runs the ball the way the Texans did last year) "I don't think so. I don't think we can run the football the way we did, protect the way we did, play the way we did and be considered that."

(on starting the game fast)  "We really did.  We started very fast, both sides of the ball.  Get the turnover, convert that to another touchdown.  The key to the game is we controlled the line of scrimmage, that was the key to the game.  Continue to play great defense.  What is that, three weeks in a row hold an opponent under 200?  And then offensively, rush for, what, 260?  When we're doing that we are a pretty good football team.  We did a good job executing our plan in all three phases."

(on what could have been done better in today's game)  "You don't want to turn the ball over.  That was a tough play, a tipped ball, so you definitely don't want to do that.  I'll tell you what, we had another touchdown to (RB) Arian (Foster) on the pass that got batted down in the second quarter.  So that cost us a few plays.  I just think we just keep plugging.  I liked the way we executed.   Special teams wise we kicked it to him (WR/KR Josh Cribbs) the first two times, and I said that's it after I saw that.  He is something.  So we had a plan for the rest of the game to keep it out of his hands and did a good job of that.  Defensively, we stopped the run.  So that's a key to winning.   We executed our plan pretty good.

(on LB Brooks Reed and other players)  "He just continues to get better, and that's what exciting right now.  He knows what's going on, he's a very smart player.  He's an effort guy so he makes a lot of hustle plays late, and football plays and that's what we need.  The key to probably the rest of our season is going to be guys like Brooks raising their level.  (DE) JJ Watt playing like a second year pro as we go forward and stuff like that.  That is good to see (RB) Ben Tate comes in today and he's giving us a big boost when (RB) Arian (Foster) is out of the game.  Those are the types of things you want to see start to happen as you move along in the season."

(on LB Brian Cushing and his attitude as a player) "He loves to play.  Cush loves to play.  He's just so excited about what is going on right now.  He's a leader.  He's a leader on the defensive side of the ball.   I don't think I told you all this, but we voted a few more captains at the mid-way point.  We did it off of respect to how you're playing, and for offense, defense and special teams and Cush was a unanimous pick on the defensive side of the ball.  That's what the guys think of him and he's bringing it every week.  It's been pretty impressive."

(on the teams play over the past three games)  "When you're holding people like that you've got a chance as a football team to look really good.  Offensively, the thing we're doing offensively well, is we're controlling the football and the clock, so we're doing a good job of keeping them off the field.  They're only going to get tougher as we move forward.  And I just told the guys a while ago our second half of the season is a little bit like the first half: we started with a big win at home, and we've got to go back to Florida.  So, we play a good football team in Tampa next weekend."

(on comparing this year's team to previous teams he has coached)  "That's hard.  That would be really hard.  We've got a long way to go.  We're still overcoming obstacles as a football team, five tough obstacles here in the past five, six weeks.  How we continue to overcome those things is probably going to be the difference before it's said and done.  The key is are you getting better as the season goes along.  You're trying to do everything you can to win a game, but are you getting better as a football team?  And today, to me, we started the second half of the season solid.  I like the way we played in all three phases.  But we'll get tested and the tests will continue to get bigger.  The team we're playing next weekend is right there in the playoff chase and we've got to go do it on the road.  So, we push to our break which is the following week and we've got some guys that need a break.  We just need to push through this next weekend."

(on the combo of running backs (RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate) and their play) "It's fun to watch right now.  It's almost like a competition because they just go back and forth.  Arian pounds them and Ben comes in and Ben gives you a lot of speed.  They're a little bit different from that standpoint.  Then (RB) Derrick (Ward) comes in at the end.  Thankfully we got the fumble back, but he just runs hard.  When you've got those guys competing like that it's just making everybody else better.  And it starts with the guys up front."

(on if the Browns were doing a good job covering the wide receivers)  "I don't know.  Going into the game they were very good against the pass, as a defense, and they had struggled against the run.  I came out throwing the ball; I think I threw it the first four plays of the game. I didn't sense that we couldn't throw the ball, if that what you're asking me, but I just felt like once we got going we controlled the line of scrimmage and they were going to struggle against our defense.   Time to do the right thing for us to go get another win."

(on having more in his arsenal that hasn't been used yet)  "We go in the game with a lot of bullets and hopefully you don't use them all.  You keep working on them in practice.  But, when you're in a game, it's like the fourth down early in the game, what was it, fourth and half a yard? But, that was the only way the momentum was going to flip in the game.  And it's tough on me as an offensive guy to make that decision, but I know that is the best decision for our team and the way we're playing.  It worked out."

(on the fourth down play and if someone had to talk him out of going for it)  "Believe it or not, no.  I had some guys hollering at me to go for it, but I said 'no, kick the ball.'"

(on if better players making him a better coach) "Yeah, believe me, they're the ones that do the job."

(on not going for the fourth down in the first quarter)  "I think it's a momentum thing.  I think the last time we had this conversation we were on the road in Tennessee and we were trying to close the game.  In this game I think it was still the first quarter, am I right? It was the first quarter, with three minutes left in the first quarter.  You're in a field position game, up 14-3, and I think we're going to play pretty good defense all day.  Doesn't make any sense right there to me."

(on how happy he is about where the team is right now)  "I'm excited.  We've been working really hard around this place to get ourselves in this type of position.  It's still very early, but it's exciting for the franchise, the coaches, the players.  They're only going to get bigger and that's why we do what we do, to get a chance to do this type of stuff.  I'm excited for the players, excited for the building, excited for all the people, but we've got to keep doing the work."

(on CB Kareem Jackson and his play today)  "He's been practicing well.  He has played well too, but, to me Kareem has really grown up a great deal.  I think (Secondary coach) Vance (Joseph) has done an excellent job with the whole secondary and Kareem as well.  He's gaining confidence as a player.  His personality is a lot better to me in practice and in the game.  He's just growing up.  And we're going to need them all.  I'm just glad to see those good things happen for him today.   He hasn't had the interceptions, but boy has he been in position to make his plays.  We're just excited about his growth right now in the second year."

(on CB Quintin Demps)  "I think I have said this to ya'll a couple times and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) made the comment, we may have found something here and we might have made a mistake the first time we let him go.  We went young as a secondary and there is a veteran player who has played a lot of football, who is on the streets, but he was here in Houston, living and working and taking care of his business.  We bring him back and he goes right back in and starts playing well.  We got a little lucky right there.   Lucky somebody didn't get him before we got him back.  We feel very good to have him."

(on the injuries in the game)  "(DE) Antonio's (Smith) got a little shoulder, he did not play much at all, if any, in the second half.  I think he played a few plays.  He will be day-to-day.  And (DT) Earl Mitchell got a little ankle.  We had a little scare with Antonio, but we think we're going to be ok, so we'll keep pushing forward."

(on the game) "Solid game for us again, I thought we played well. Offense running the ball so well keeps you (defense) off the field. We put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and we didn't allow them to run the football. I think our players responded well. It could have been a letdown this week but they fought hard."

(on combating playing down to the Browns) "Gary (Kubiak) is really honest with the players. Saying, 'hey this is what we have to do and it's what we have to continue doing to be a good football team,' and the guys responded well."

(on stopping them on third down) "You play hard for two downs but that third down is the key for you. They know it's a big play and they make the big plays."

(on Brooks Reed) "Brooks is a rookie but he's learning on the job. He plays awfully hard and that shows up. We stood up for him in the draft because we thought he was going to be a good player. I think he's showing he can play in this League."

(on Brice McCain playing better this season) "I liked him last year when I saw him on film. We thought he was a very good cover guy. We put him in the slot and that's the toughest position to cover because the receiver can go any direction and he can cover man so that's why we utilize him."

(on players stepping in for injured players) "That's the type of talent we have. When you see Troy Nolan out there when D. (Danieal) Manning went down, he stepped up to the plate and filled in and everything kept moving. That's the mentality, anytime someone gets hurt, next man up."

(on CB Kareem Jackson) "Kareem is very capable of going out each and every week and making big plays. He's working hard each and every day in practice. We work with each other. We push each other and we make each other better, so it's definitely working out for us."

(on RB's Arian Foster and Ben Tate) "You've got to tip your hat to the offense. I think they had over 250 yards of offense and anytime you have two backs go over 100 yards your chances of winning are pretty high, so those guys did a heck of a job for us today."

(on the game) "We had a great game plan going into the week and we executed it early. We knew we had them on their heels and didn't want to back off them."

(on having two guys go over 100 yards) "It's the greatest feeling in the world. It's like Christmas for us. We don't get the touchdowns and we don't get the carries so just seeing our backs rack up those yards means everything to us. I had fun out there today."

(on Ben Tate complementing Arian Foster) "Tate came in and had a lot of promise last year but he got hurt early in the season and he's worked his tail off to get back into the game. I'm not surprised at all, him and Arian complement each other very well. When one comes in we don't miss a beat. They challenge each other. One comes in and sees the other one get a 20- yard gain and the other wants to get 25 yards. It's great to have two backs like that."

(on being 6-3) "It feels good to be in this situation, but we know we have a lot of football left. We're not complacent or satisfied by any means. This is a great win for us but can't focus on it too much."

(on Lawrence Vickers) "Lawrence did a good job. Took him a while to come in and get acclimated to the system but once he got his feet wet you could tell he was ready to go. This game was more important to him than anyone going against his former team he was chomping at the bit. He's done a great job for us and we're excited to see what he can do the rest of the season."

(on his interception) "So I'm in my nose guard position and I look at their formation.  I know what I've got, exactly what's going to happen. They're going to roll out. I'm going to fall right back into my zone and go into Cody Island, in lock down mode. The ball comes to me and with one hand I tip it and bring it back in. I didn't get a good block on the play so I was going to go 99 (yards) but you know what happens."

(on him going 99 yards) "Yeah, yeah I was tired."

(on holding the opponent to less than 200 yards in three consecutive games) "Yeah, we pride ourselves on defense and not giving up third downs and I think that's really playing out well for us. Wade (Phillips) is calling a great game for us and we're getting it done. They had a drive there at the end that we'll look at but other than that everything was pretty good for us today."

(on the turnaround from last year) "It's Wade Phillips and what he does. He's putting us in the right position to make plays and having Brian Cushing flying around is really helpful to our defense. He makes a ton of plays for us. We all understand what's going on out there and I think we understand the game a little better and he's calling a great game for us. "

(on if the defense could have a big day today) "You've got to smell blood in the water with an offense that's struggling a little bit. They had some guys banged up so we had to take advantage of that and get our offense on the field. They ran the ball real well today for 250 (yards). Anytime you get to hand the ball off and stand on the sideline for that long, the defense is going to be fresh to make plays."

(on rewriting the franchise record book each week) "Yeah, that's what we're doing this year. Rewriting everything we're going to take it all the way. Super Bowl here we come."

(on SLB Brooks Reed's play today) "He's playing hard. I think that is one of his best attributes as a young guy and he just plays so hard for us. He made some huge plays and some huge hits. We just have to keep him going in the right direction."

(on the positive chemistry on defense) "We have had the same group for a while now. We know how each other plays in the system. (Defensive Coordinator) Wade Phillips has put us in a great position."

(on if he has been surprised with the level of play by the defense) "I thought it was going to be great. I really did. I thought we had a chance to be really good and real special last year. I think we're headed in the right direction."

(on all pieces of the defense playing well) "It's definitely good when guys are fresh out there and can make plays the whole game. I can only speak of me and (NT) Earl (Mitchell). Earl always does a great job coming in and making plays for us. He keeps me fresh and I keep him fresh. It goes back and forth."

(on Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips' system) "Each week we understand a little more. He is putting us in the right position. Guys like (ILB Brian) Cushing are making plays and having a great game."

* *

(on how he start bleeding) "A helmet came off. There was a little contact and I was bleeding a little bit. Had to get some stitches, but I was able to come back and play."

(on if he was head butted when he was walking away after the interception) "You know, it was so quick and real intense kind of play. I can't even really remember. We talked about it after, myself and him, and we both couldn't even agree who did it first, so I mean, it was kind of one of those things that we were just playing ball and it just went a little far."

(on if everything ended after he and Browns G Shawn Lauvao talked) "Yeah, it's football and it's a physical game. You get two teams, who I think are pretty physical teams. I think Cleveland's a pretty physical team and we look at ourselves the same way and it was a tough game. It was a hard-fought game and just we were able to come out on top."

(on the defense playing so well) "It feels good. There's a lot of hard work that's been going into this year, especially with where we came from last year. This defense is very motivated and just to have the opportunity to play under Coach Phillips and the way he's really turned us around is just extraordinary. We know that we're in the right direction, but at the same time, we feel we have a lot of room for improvement, which is a good feeling."

(on if it fires him up when he starts bleeding) "It's just one of those things, I know I'm going to be asked to come out. This is the second time this year it's happened. It was kind of uncontrollable today, just pouring out. I don't know. If it's got to send a message to our team about playing physical and getting them going, I'll do it every game. It's whatever to me. It's just the way I play. I'm not going to take any plays off. I'm not going to be less physical. I'm going to just do me."

(on if it sends a message to opponents when he starts bleeding) "Well, they were looking at me kind of crazy. I can tell you that. I think Cleveland was a little taken back by that, but yeah, I don't think people are really saying that anymore. The talk was that we're soft and all of a sudden now we're dirty. I don't know. I think we're just playing good ball."

* *

(on if he is crazy on the field) "I just love football. That's the bottom line. I'm going to play full speed, 100 percent every time. I know how blessed and lucky I am to play this sport. I think it's the kind of attitude our defense and whole team's taken on. We don't take this for granted. We got a special opportunity. We're just trying to seize it."

(on how much better the defense can be) "It's just really up to us. I know we can. I know there's still a lot of room for improvement. We just have to execute. You heard the numbers about what we let up and I think we had one drive where pretty much all those yards were from it. You cut that drive out and those are the certain things we're going to have do is eliminate the drives that they score on us or go down the whole field and get a touchdown. Until we play a full game, I know we can improve."

(on OLB Brooks Reed) "He's playing great. Brooks is all effort all the time. That's all you can ask from a guy. With Brooks, it's just a guy that tells you how much he loves to play the game by just how he goes out there every time. It's special. You know what you're going to get every single time. There's no lack of effort. Intense guy and he definitely helps us."

(on being 6-3 for the first time) "6-3, we know we can be better and I think we're just getting going. That's the attitude we have. We know our potential. We talk about it all the time, but potential is just something that means nothing if you don't get it. We feel that it's time. It's our time and we just got to get it going."

(on if the defense has to play better against the next few teams) "I think we just have to play our kind of ball. Never are we going to go into a game not thinking we can win or the objective isn't to win. We go in with the attitude that we're going to shut teams down, get the ball back for our offense and give them the opportunity to score. We're confident on defense now and it's a hell of a feeling to go out there every time and to be having fun and getting after teams."

* *

(on the defense hitting Browns QB Colt McCoy several times today) "I think we've done a pretty good job all year. I can remember certain games. The Pittsburgh game, I thought we were hitting (Ben) Roethlisberger a lot, Miami, the first game against Kerry Collins. I think this team has just been aggressive and we've had fun doing it. It's been a while here since I think guys really go out on defense and it's just a great, fun time that you go in to play football and you're enjoying it and knowing every single play, you can make a big play."

(on if he sensed Browns QB Colt McCoy getting frustrated) "I think so and I think Colt does a good job of improvising, making plays and getting out of the pocket. Sometimes it hurt him a little bit today, but I think that's the best part about this game. I think he's elusive. I think he's got a good arm and he's accurate. There's a lot of times he broke out of the pocket, threw down the field and was able to find guys."

(on if NT Shaun Cody could've returned his interception for a touchdown if he got a couple blocks) "I find that hard to believe. It was a good play. For Shaun to catch that ball, not only did it take points off the board, but it looked pretty too."

(on what his teammates said to him when he was bleeding) "Most of them are just laughing at me, just looking at me. I think they like it. I think they kind of get fired up by it. It's one of those moments that I think a guy just shows he'll pretty much do anything for the team. His main objective is to win and I know my other teammates would do the same thing for me. I think that's what this attitude has really transformed to around here."

(on what it meant for him to be named a captain last week) "It meant a lot. It really did. It means a whole lot to me. I'm a guy that wants to come in, just be a consistent guy all the time and I want to lead. Just for them to look at me and elect me as a captain means a lot and it's something I'll never let them down about."

(on when he was named a captain) "I think Wednesday."

(on if it's unusual for other captains to be named during the season) "I can't really remember as far as if we've done it before, but like I said, it was just an honor. It really meant a lot for my team to pick me as a guy to represent them."

(on if he was surprised when Head Coach Gary Kubiak named him as a captain) "I was. I'm kind of a guy that I'm open-minded, I don't really predetermine things and I let them just play out. But when he told me that and told me I was elected as a captain, like I said, I was just overwhelmed and very honored."

(on the dominance the team showed today) "We did a great job being physical and controlling the line of scrimmage. We ran for 250 yards. That is pretty impressive to have a couple backs run for a hundred yards. It was a fun game."

(on wearing the Browns down defensively) "I think it started from that first drive. I think we definitely wore them down. That is what happens when you run the ball like we did today and get the kind of push we were getting. The running backs were three, four, five yards up the field before anyone touched them. It was a great job up by everyone up front."

(on 6-3 record reflecting how special this team can be) "We are happy to be where we are at 6-3 and we keep getting wins. We have gotten to a place that this franchise has never been. Let's keep the ball rolling and moving in the right direction."

(on executing early in the game) "It's always important. I think we needed it. Our defense was going to be able to take care of their offense for the day. It was going to be our job to get a jump on them early. To be able to go out and score on that first drive like we have the last couple of weeks is important. To continue that throughout the game is important, too."

(on having a 6-3 record for the first time in franchise history) "It is good to be where we have never been. We just have to keep going in that same direction. It doesn't mean anything right now. It is good to be 6-3, and we have to go get the next one."

(on making his interception) "Coach Phillips puts us in a good position to make plays and I just capitalized on my position."

(on why he didn't go to San Antonio after he was cut) "My son is in school down here, my family is down here and I live down here so that's why."

(on what it's like waiting for the call to be signed after being cut) "It definitely humbles you and keeps you grateful, so I'm just happy to be back in."

(on what his blitzes does for his confidence) "Coach Wade (Phillips) does a good job of getting us in position to make plays and it's our job to make them."

(on the teams reaction upon bringing him back and if he had any hard feelings) "No, it's the NFL. You're a grown man. There's no hard feelings. You can't be soft in this league. They knew I was a veteran and that's what it is."

(on seeing rookies DE J.J. Watt and OLB Brooks Reed make plays) "It's amazing to see those guys, real young, make plays like that and building confidence for their future. It's amazing."

(on what he would tell high school  kids in San Antonio) "Keep working hard and keep your faith."

(on the key to the Texans success) "Just our line control and the line of scrimmage. They've been doing a good job of that all year."

(on the running backs' contribution to the win) "Yeah, we did well also."

(on teammate Ben Tate)  "I don't know. I think we are both good runners. We both see holes well and like I said before, our line, when they control the line of scrimmage it makes our jobs that much easier."

(on the Texans recent success and their goals) "It feels good, but winning in this league, it's just short lived. You just have to keep pushing, you have to keep on with the goal at the end of the year and that's to make the playoffs. That is our initial goal. And right now we're sitting where we want to be, first in the division, 6-3. But as everyone knows, things can go downhill fast in this league so we have to remain focused and that's where our focus is. Our coaches, and really our players, do a good job of self-governing us in order to make that happen. "

(on comparing notes on the sidelines with his teammates) "Yeah, you know we like to be each other's eyes as well as Derrick Ward out there, every time I come off the field I talk to him just to kind of see what he sees and what he feels, because we are both kind of going through the same thing so it's good to kind of get little bits of information. I try and share everything I know with him and vice versa, so it's a good thing we have going. "

(on Derrick Ward doing 'most of the talking' while comparing notes) "Yeah, he can have that. That's not my style, man."

(on feeling like himself again today after coming off his injury) "Yeah, I do. I think that also that's attributed to me missing the first couple of games with my injury. Today, I felt like I was myself for the first time this year actually. You know, without being winded and without letting the game get to me. You know, it's tough out there sometimes. Especially, like I said before, when you don't go through training camp it changes the season for you and I just felt like myself today."

(on his attitude towards the game on and off the field) "Yeah I did. Well, I mean that's kind of been my forte pretty much my whole life, or my football life anyways. I can carry the load. I'm a workhorse. You know, I feel like I get better as the game goes on. That's always been kind of my style."

(on if he thinks he needs a specific number of carries to get into the flow of the game) "In instances, I think that in different situations and different games you need to get into the flow of the game. But you know Rick (Dennison) does a good job. He recognizes that and he lets me go accordingly."

(on the running game being more prominent lately than passing game) "Yeah, but we get 80 (Andre Johnson) back soon though. That's scary."

(on if he was surprised about the defensive calls made on Cleveland's end) "No not really, because you know, 80 (Andre Johnson) is gone and everybody knows that, but 12 (Jacoby Jones) makes plays out there. Jacoby Jones makes plays. Kevin Walter makes plays. We have the capability of going deep. Jacoby Jones is one of the faster guys on our team and they understand that and they have to respect that. But sometimes, a little bit today, I thought they were going to bring a little bit more down in the box than they did."

(on the offensive line compared to last year) "I think they've been consistent throughout my tender here and it continues to show."

(on his technique during the game) "I think I had some pretty good technique this week. I was just seeing things a lot clearer out there. I'm just looking to improve each week."

(on if he's matured into the defense) "I think so. Playing that position you've got to have confidence. If you don't, there's no need to go out there.  I've always been confident, even last year. Even when you get beat, you've got to let that play go and move on to the next play. Those guys up front are doing a lot to help us on the back end. They're getting a lot of pressure on the guys, so we're not having to cover as long. They are a big part of why we're so successful in that back end."

(on the near touchdown return after the interception by S Quintin Demps) "We have been giving him a hard time since he is supposed to be a return guy and he was taken out by the quarterback on the sideline. All he had to do was make one cut back and he would have had eight guys in front of him. We gave him a hard time."

(on making turnovers for big plays) "That is what we do. All week in practice we focus on getting turnovers—scooping and scoring, intercepting and scoring. That is our mentality. We are trying to do everything we can to make it better for our offense. If we can make it a short field our offense is going to put points on the board every time. Anytime we get the ball we are looking to make plays with it."

(on having a 6-3 record) "It feels great. It will feel better if we can be 7-3. That is our focus now. It feels good to be 6-3 at this point in the season, but we have got to come back and get ready for Tampa."

(on getting sacks today) "Today was kind of a weird experience. They were setting me free a lot off the edge and I don't know if it was just their protection scheme or the crowd noise but that was fun. I did miss a couple of opportunities because I couldn't believe that they weren't blocking me. It feels good to contribute."

(on how comfortable he is with the defense) "Staying in the same position I'm learning new things every week and that's the thing with me. Coming in and learning new defense the faster that I can learn this defense, the more comfortable I will be with it and be more productive."

(on contributing to the defense) "If you would have told me this a year ago I wouldn't have believed it. To come in as a rookie and contribute so fast its really amazing."

(on the linebacker core) "Our linebackers just set the intensity and the benchmark for tempo and that helps a lot."

(on having to play with the brace) "I have been wearing the brace for awhile and I've gotten used to it. It hasn't been a problem for me."

(on setting a tone early in the game) "It was great to start off with a big play and knock the ball out."

(on the game plan for disrupting Browns QB Colt McCoy) "Whenever you have a young guy at quarterback you want to cause confusion, send pressure at him, and force quick decisions."

(on the improvement of the defense) "It's great. We are finally coming around and gelling together as a unit. Guys are expected to go out and dominate. It is all about the mind set and attitude. We are where we want to be."

(on the performance by rookie SLB Brooks Reed) "I'm not surprised with his play. He is a great athlete. He is a guy capable of making those plays. He hasn't surprised me at all."

(on having a 6-3 record) "It feels good to have a winning record, to be doing things that are positive, and playing consistently. It is a great feeling and we look forward to continue to do well."

(on the impact of the strong run game for the Texans) "Those guys are unstoppable. It means a lot to us defensively when we can go out there—our offensive line, first of all, do a great job controlling the line of scrimmage. Having (RB) (Ben) Tate and (RB) (Arian) Foster run the ball the way they are running the ball. It is awesome to watch."

(on reaction to those who still question how good this team is) "We really don't care what people think about us. It's only about the 53 guys in here. We believe in each other. That is all that matters."

(on RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate) "It was one of those games where our offensive line just controlled the line of scrimmage. Our tight ends, Lawrence (Vickers) leading the way through and our backs did a great job just reading the holes and making the cuts and just churning out yards for us. It was an impressive game running the football. We knew we had a chance to run the football well against this team and we were able to do it. It took a lot of pressure off the pass game. We didn't really need to do too much down the field and that's a good defensive football team that we faced."

(on if he sees RB Ben Tate emerging like RB Arian Foster did last year) "Yeah a little bit. Neither one of them was much of a surprise for us. It was just a matter of them being healthy and them being out on the field. Ben's got a good sense of the holes in the zone running scheme that we use and they're a good complement off one another. Arian brings a little bit more to the pass game with his ability to catch the ball and make people miss in the open field, but running the football, they're both doing an exceptional job."

(on having two running backs playing so well) "Yeah, it's so rare in the NFL these days to just depend on one guy through the course of 16 weeks. You need to have multiple backs that can run the football and we have that. It's just a marathon of a season, getting beat up and everything. So, to have two guys that can do that and then Derrick (Ward) getting healthy now from his ankle, he can come in and help us out as well."

(on being three games over .500 for the first time in franchise history) "You know, coming off two divisional games that we won, with these guys coming in, a good solid football team, we needed to go out and establish ourselves early, take the ball down, get some points, create some energy in the stadium and we were able to do that. Defense got a turnover on the first play of the game and we jump up 14-0. Got ourselves a lead and it's good for our defense to play with. They're playing very well and the way we were running the football, that just helped us out to have that lead and to use the clock. It's big for us to be 6-3, but like we said last week at 5-3, you don't win anything at the halfway point. We just got to keep going, keep stringing back-to-back wins and when we get to the end in December, we'll like where we'll be, but we just got to put our head down and go find another win."

(on how the team has been able to start games better this year) "Like we said all last year, it was one thing each week. Either you don't execute on third down or you have a penalty or something that you do that puts yourself behind the eight ball in the down-and-distance category. This year, everyone's into what they're doing. We have a great gameplan going in. The coaches are doing a real good job. Then guys are executing. We're running the football. We're put ourselves in third down and manageable situations. Then we're converting. We have a lot of weapons on our team and it's a different guy each week stepping up, whether it's a tight end, a back or one of our receivers. As long we can keep that going, we'll be in good shape."

(on not having to throw 50 times a game) "You know, we'll take a win however we can get it. The numbers don't matter. As long as we get that win, that's the only number that counts."

(on the criticism the team has received from the media) "Talk is talk. That's all that is. Regardless of what anybody says, you still have to line up to play. That's what we focus on. We don't worry about talking about anybody else. We have respect for everybody we play. We are going to play hard and finish plays. That is what we do here. If people have a problem with that then they have a problem with that. That is not going to affect what we do on Sundays."

(on the effectiveness of the running backs) "We have a trio of running backs that can get it done. It is a luxury as an offensive line that if you get on your guy and give them a crease, they will find it. That is what we try to do. We realize that we have to control the line of scrimmage to be successful as an offense. That is what we try to do when we go out there every week."

(on the running game wearing the defense down) "That is the point of it. You keep pounding a team, and after a while those four, or five, yard runs turn into 15 and 20 yards before you know it. You keep the defense of the field. Our defense is playing great. We know we tend to win the time of possession battles by controlling the clock."

(on if he likes the current rotation) "Yeah, I think it's great right now the way the coaches have the rotation.  The offensive line is doing a great job.  I'm just trying to get out there and make the most of my runs and add a spark to the team whenever I do get my chances."

(on if there is a competition amongst him and RB Arian Foster) "Of course we are both competitors.  He doesn't really say much, but I'll let him know that I'm coming after him."

(on how much he's enjoying this opportunity) "It's good.  I still have high goals and high expectations for myself, so to me, I haven't reached my goals yet.  I'm still working and I'm still striving, but I'm blessed to be here and have this opportunity to play again.  Some guys don't come back and feel 100 percent as I have from injuries.  I'm just blessed and thank God for that."

(on if he is surprised at the rate he has come back) "Sometimes you surprise yourself, but if you're a guy with high expectations and high goals, it's kind of hard to do that.  You're always grinding and trying to reach that goal that you've set so high."

(on if he was ever concerned that he'd be forgotten when  RB Arian Foster returned) "I don't think like that.  I'm not a negative person.  The way my thinking is that when he comes back, I've got to make them remember I'm still here.  That's why I go out every day with a chip on my shoulder."

(on if he still has any pain) "I still have problems with it from time to time.  It's not all the way gone.  It doesn't keep me from practice.  It doesn't keep me from the game or anything like that.  That's just a part of having a significant surgery." 

(on talking about the game with teammates on the sideline during a game) "I wouldn't say that we share information with each other on the sideline. We talk. We'll talk about say, 'Why did you miss this cut?' Or, 'Why did you make that cut?' We're very informative to each other about the game and I think it helps us later on."

(on whether or not the lockout time helped him recover from his injury and study his position better) "I think it helped a little but I didn't get as much time in the film room as people would think because my number one goal was to get over my injury, rehabbing and all of that. It did help though with all the time we had during the lockout to watch film and see those experienced running backs perform."

(on his thoughts on if the Browns defense thought they were overmatched) "The offensive line did a great job. You see how far those guys are pushing their defense back, that makes it a lot easier on the running backs. At some point you could just tell that our offensive line was just mauling those guys and they didn't really want anymore."

(on his thoughts on the flying eagle as part of the pregame ceremony) "I thought it was awesome. Coming from Auburn University we have an eagle that flies around but I never had a chance to see it since I was always in the locker room, so I was really glad when I got that chance to see it."

(on how comfortable he is with the offense) "The more and more that I'm in the game the better I get. I just want to be right for whichever back is in the game. I want to make sure we're on the same page because chemistry plays a big deal in our fullback and tailback run. I just want to do everything the right way."

(on Foster and Tate's performance) "Excellent. I'm getting comfortable with them and they're getting comfortable with me. We're saying the same thing, we haven't even hit our stride yet. We continue to focus on the little things. I continue to work on my steps, my blocking and head placement. Them believing in me and trusting I'm going to do my job."

(on playing against his former team) "I knew they were going to play hard and they knew I was going to play hard. We had a good time and everyone was excited and happy for me. I haven't seen them in forever. You spend five years with guys and then you don't see a guy for a long time you continue to have a bond with guys through the telephone but like I said they played hard and we played hard. It was good competition."

(on getting this win against the Browns) "It's a good win because it was the sixth one. Regardless if it was Cleveland or not I still feel the same way, but I do feel a little bit better it was the Browns."

(on having continued success offensively) "It feels great. We went out there and executed our game plan as a team and being 6-3 is big. That's what we talked about and we did a good job today. It's great coming in here with a win and celebrating. That's what it is about."

(on having two effective running backs) "It's great. That is the second time this year that both of those guys ran for over 100 yards. It is hard to lose when that happens. It is something we talked about and we ran the ball well today."

(on WR Jacoby Jones having a large impact on the run blocking) "Every receiver takes pride in blocking out there. You never know how a game is going to pan out—if you're going to have to go out there and catch a ball or if you have to block. I thought we did a great job blocking today as a whole. The offense did a great job, the defense did a great job, and the special teams did a great job."

(on the balance the team has offensively) "We are balanced. We talked about that last night. We are pretty balanced out there; we run the ball and we throw the ball. It's hard for defenses to develop a game plan against us. Whatever game plan they want to use on us we just do the opposite and execute."

(on the effectiveness of the running backs) "It is crazy. That's the second time this year. Those guys are making plays and doing a great job. I am proud to be out there blocking for them."

(on RB Ben Tate's performance) "Ben is doing a heck of a job. He is running down hill, making plays, and making people miss. He is a tough running back. (RB) Arian (Foster) is doing the same thing. I'm glad we have those guys on our team. It is fun blocking for those guys."

DEFENSIVE END J.J. WATT(on the attitude of the team today) "That's what we're doing. We're just coming to work every day and Sunday is just another workday for us. The offense did well obviously, two great running attacks from Arian (Foster) and Ben (Tate) and the defense played well as well, so it was a fun day for us."

(on the defense getting off the field quickly) "We want to give our offense the ball back ASAP. They are running with it so well and our offense is clicking on all cylinders. We like to sit on the bench and watch them work while we take a little bit of a rest. Anytime we can give them the ball we want to."

(on players stepping up for injured players) "I think we know that it's time to step up. We're trying to have a special season and obviously we would like to have those guys who got hurt out there but we can't, so the guys that are stepping into their place, like Brooks (Reed), are playing unbelievable. That's all we have to do this is keep grinding if we want to have the special year that we're looking for we have to come to work every single week."

(on starting a winning legacy with the Texans) "It's good when you go around town you can tell the fans are excited. Everyone in the locker room is excited. No one wants to play for a losing team so we're having a blast and we just want to keep it rolling, keep it going as many games as possible and have a special year."

* *


* *

(on Cleveland Brown injuries) " (DB) T.J. Ward had a hand and a foot injury; he left in the fourth quarter. (OL) Tony Pashos had a hurt right knee that we're evaluating but he left in the second quarter so he wasn't in there. (LB) Kaluka (Maiava) had a knee injury so he also wasn't in there, we'll have to evaluate it more though. (WR) Mohamed (Massaquoi) left late in the game. He didn't get hit or anything, he just wasn't feeling well.

(on the game versus the Houston Texans) "I've got to hand it to the Texans, they took it to us. I told the team we played hard. We played first snap to last; we just didn't play well enough. We tangled with a good team today that did very well and we got beat. We started out behind by a lot this week and we just didn't get it done."

(on the Houston Texans running game and the Browns inability to stop it) "I think they are very good at running the football; it's what they do. We had a hard time today trying to stop it. It wasn't like we didn't practice it. We saw every single run and typically they are an off tackle zone team and they do it very well. We did not do a very good job of stopping it and we'll try to get that fixed."

(on the early score gap being too big to get out of) "No, I never feel like the hole is too big. You're out there fighting and doing what you can to get your team moving and you can't spot anybody points. You just can't do it. When you allow a fumble on the first play and for the other team to go put points on the board it makes it difficult."

(on QB Colt McCoy bouncing back after hard hits) "Colt played tough. Quarterbacks get hit. We hit (QB) Matt (Schaub) today. Colt is a battler and competitor, there has never been a doubt."

(on RB Chris Ogbonnaya's first professional start) "Aside from the first play, that he was obviously bothered by, he battled. My experience with Chris is that he is normally very good with ball security. I have a lot of respect for Chris. When you have a chance to come to a team and make an impact that's good, he is taking advantage of his opportunity. I'm sure tomorrow when he watches the tape there will be some things he wants to clean up but I do appreciate his efforts."

(on the Browns physical beating, is it emotional as well) "I wouldn't say that. We were right there with them. Like I said, we battled. It was physical yes, but all games are tough when you're against a team that runs as well as they do. And they're good on defense—nothing we didn't expect. So, as we move forward, the guys that are nicked up a little bit but ready to play next week have to get ready and the guys that can't make it to game time, their back-ups have to get ready to do their job."

(on if WR Mohamed Massaquoi suffered another concussion) "No.  He didn't get hit.  Late in the game he was feeling a little woozy so we were being cautious and trying to make sure nothing happened to him."

(on if all the Texans long runs were due to missed tackles) "There were some missed tackles.  I don't know how many.  I wouldn't say it's a chronic problem.  We did a good job of blocking the run.  The runners did a good job of running.  That's just a part of it.  Typically there will be not one guy making a mistake; it will be a team thing.  We've just got to get better in general."

(on if RB Peyton Hillis' injury affected the team) "As a team what happens is when a guy is not there, for whatever reason, and in Peyton's case he's injured, you move on.  I think our guys have been through this process before and as a coach I've been through it.  My coaches have been through it.  In this case I don't think it had anything to do with not winning the game."

(on if he will put RB Peyton Hillis on the reserve/injured) "We have not discussed any of that.  I don't know.  He reinjured himself on Friday and was evaluating, then we quickly got on a plane and came here.  We'll go back tomorrow and he'll get treatment with the rest of the team and we'll have to see where he's at.  At this point what we are trying to do is get him healthy so he can play."

(on the Texans Defense today) "I thought the Texans played extremely well.   I think (Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) is doing a nice job.   The first thing about it is that they are playing hard and then they are very talented.  That combination makes for an excellent defense."

(on what RB Peyton Hillis' MRI revealed) "I don't know the specifics of it.  He has a hamstring sprain.  That's the deal."

(on if QB Colt McCoy is showing the progression that he would like) "Yeah, he did some good things today but his performance, like the rest of our guys, needs to be better."

(on why the team struggles offensively) "I can only control what I control. When my number is called I come to life and do what I can do from my perspective on special teams and when I'm out on offense. I don't have any answers."

(on Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy having pressure from the opposing defense) "They beat us up. They beat us up, up front, all across the board, special teams but they're a pretty good football team and they came out here to play. Not saying we didn't but you have to hand it to them. They have a great football team and they played like it."

(on Houston Texans defense and why it's so tough) "Individually they were pretty good. They have some good, talented guys out there. Tough to play from behind when the offense is producing like it should anyway. Give them credit, they were whooping us up front. They whipped us all over."

(on how tough of a loss it was for the team today) "They're all a little bit different, but they took it to us today.  Any time that happens, it makes it tough.  You have to give them credit though.  That's why they're a good team.  Just the nature of the way they got after us today, makes it more difficult."

(on where he thinks the team can find progress from this loss ) "We are trying to win a football game.  I think progress is good and all that, but I think everybody in here is trying to win a football game."

(on if it's even more difficult to realize he is the only player on the team who is producing points) "It's a team game.  Every week there is somebody putting up numbers on their own.  It really doesn't matter if the team isn't doing well.  I'm kicking the ball well right now, but there are no guarantees that I will do it again next week.  I have to get back to practice on Wednesday and make sure I am prepared when we get back home next Sunday."

(on where the team goes from here after this loss ) "One game at a time. You can't get caught up in trends, statistics, and all that.  We have a job to do starting going in tomorrow and watching this ugly game film, seeing where we end up, and get back to work on Wednesday and try to put forth a good effort."

(on his thoughts of the game) "That's a good team over there.  They beat our butt."

(on if he is frustrated after this kind of loss) "It's extremely frustrating.  They did what they wanted to do with us.  I've had my butt kicked before, but that is one of those that is going to take a few days to get over."

(on how tough it was to defend the run) "That's a big part of it.  This is a really tough offensive run game to defend.  I've played against systems like this.  I've had some days like this where the backs were running for 200 yards in the game.  It's a challenge.  You just have to credit them.  They came out and had their way with us."

(on the Texans running game compared to the others they've seen this year) "We've played a lot of good running teams.  They have a zone stretch running game where they try to chop everyone down.  When you've got a back like that who could stick his foot in the ground and cut back against the grain, it's a challenge.  Credit them."

(on if he thinks the Texans played dirty today) "No.  Some people don't like to be cut down.  It's within the rules of the game.  Would I call it dirty, no. Frustrating, yes."

(on the defenses performance) "You never expect a team to go for over 200 yards.  It was one of those games were they did.  You have to give them credit.  They executed well.  They were able to control the clock and the line of scrimmage.  From the D-line to the entire defense, we have got to play better.  It's that simple."

(on the Texans game plan)  "We knew what to expect.  Guys weren't getting off blocks or making plays.  They were able to get up 14 points early.  We spoke about it early in the week.  We had to start fast.  It's becoming so redundant that I'm not even going to bring it up anymore.  We know what to do at this point.  It was a tough day for this entire team."    

(on the defense letting two running backs go over 100 yards) "We knew what to expect.  They compliment that scheme well.  We knew what they were going to try and do.  We were able to get one interception.  Overall, they took it to us today.  You don't expect two running backs to go over 100 yards and give up that many points.  We've got too much pride for that.  It's one of those games where we are going to look at it, correct what we can and move on.  I'm glad this game is over with.  You have got to give them credit.  They outplayed us you know and it's going to show us who we are as a team when we come back out and work next Wednesday."

* *

(on coming back to Texas) "I was excited to come back to Texas. Last time I played here was in 2007. I have some good memories in here. I won a Big 12 Championship and beat Rice in here, so I was ready to come back. We had a great week of practice and unfortunately we came up short today."

(on the first fumble by Chris Ogbonnaya and if it was a clean exchange) "Yeah. They knocked it out. I think it probably would have been a 3-4 yard game. But I think the frustrating thing is the last two weeks you spend all week working on a game plan. You spend all week working on run game play action, things that you are going to do and then both times you have to completely abandon that and get into something else cause you are down by two touchdowns. We aren't good enough to overcome that. We have to figure out a way to not let that happen because then you are all of a sudden out of sync, out of rhythm and it's hard."

(on the pressure the Texans were putting on him) "The first snap to the last. It's frustrating but I have to keep hanging in there and keep fighting and we will overcome it. "

(on getting hit and if it was because there weren't enough players or players were missing assignments) "I think it is a combination of a lot things. I think they did a really good job of playing man to man. We didn't see anything else besides that today. That disrupts some things. We had to play Thomas Clayton a lot. I think he did a nice job of running the ball. But when you are one week into things and Chris (Ogbonnaya) is two weeks into things, you are seeing a lot of different stuff and they were able to create a lot of pressure up front. At times it's hard, it's hard to overcome"

(on he was ever able to feel comfortable in the pocket) " I think in this situation for me it is best to not get flustered early. Defense gets hits on quarterbacks early and takes them out of rhythm. For me, I was just focusing on hanging in there, sitting in the pocket and delivering the ball where it needs to be thrown or getting out of the pocket when I needed to. We will go back and watch, but I feel like I hung in there until the end."

(on the hit by Brooks Reed on the touchdown drive)  "I felt that one pretty good. He got me. I got the breath knocked out of me. He got me. "

(on how determined he was to get out of there with a touchdown) "I am determined every time we get on the field to go score. When we get that close, especially at the end of the game, it is all we can do. I thought (Joshua) Cribbs made a nice catch and we scored. Then we had the wrong formation on the two-point play, there were just a lot of things that were kind of not there. Again, when you work on something all week and you feel comfortable with it and are ready for it and you go into the game working all these situations and then you are down 14 at the beginning of the game, it is hard to get back up."

(on if he saw WR Greg Little make the catch on the play) "No, no I didn't."

(on he and RB Chris Ogbonnaya being back in Texas and playing with him) "Yea, I am really enjoying playing with Chris. We have to give him and Thomas (Clayton) some credit. Chris has been here for two weeks and Thomas got here on Wednesday. We are asking a lot of those guys in protection. We are asking a lot of them to carry the ball. It was Chris's first start. There was a lot of firsts for a lot of guys here today. We would like for it to be different. Chris would like for it to be different, but I think as Pat (Shurmur) said in the locker room, 'There are going to be days like today.' Nobody likes them. Certainly I don't, especially when I come back to Texas. But I think the character of our team is being rebuilt-as we move on, as we grow, as we mature, as we play more together. The good thing is we have some talent. We are working hard and finishing games as hard as we can. I think that is the only positive we have right now.

(on how he manages hard hits) "Other guys are on the field too. I know they are playing hard and I don't ever question anybody not giving it all they have. They were a better team than us today and you just have to keep getting up and keep fighting and keep playing."

(on if he is experienced in getting hit and popping back up) "I want to be out on the field as much as I can to help our team. I feel like when I'm out there, I help our team be a better team. I just have to keep getting up and keep playing and know that something is going to happen. Our defense is going to create a turnover or we're going to get something going but today it never happened."

(on what kind of advice he has given to younger brother, University of Texas QB Case McCoy) "Yeah I'm happy for him. I know he threw a touchdown yesterday. They're starting play better and starting to play well. I hope they can finish it off. They seem to be doing pretty good. It's always nice when they beat Tech."

(on if he reached a point today where he knew it was going to be one of those rough days) "I don't think as a quarterback you could ever set back into that kind of mode like, 'Oh man they are killing us.' You always have to have that attitude whether you're leading by a lot or you're down by a lot. You always have to be level-headed and stay cool. That's kind of a part of playing this game. I've learned a lot just this year by winning and losing. This game is very humbling at times and you just have to keep fighting."

(on how badly he wanted a win today and if it would have meant more than the Browns last win against the Texans in 2007) "I want every single one of them. That's why we work, that's why we take hits and prepare like we do. So when we come up short, it's frustrating. It would have been real sweet to come home to Texas."

(on if he saw anything different from the defense that he wasn't expecting) "They were playing man to man and blitzing. That's stuff we should be able to take care of."

(on if he feels he is where he wanted to be as a starting NFL quarterback) "I think every time you step on the field you have to evaluate yourself at whatever position you play. For me, yeah sometimes we're not on the same page as an offense and sometimes we don't execute like we want to. When you lose, everything is magnified and everything blows up. You really have to focus on some things and try to look at some positives and look where we're going. We did some good things but the bad things way outweigh the good today. I sit down with my coaches after every game and every week I've gotten better and better."

(on if the addition of RB Chris Ogbonnaya has been a good weapon as a receiver in the backfield) "Yeah, Chris does a nice job out of the backfield. He makes some nice catches and does some things. He creates one-on-one matches with linebackers but we didn't get that far today."

(on his general take on the Texans this year) "They're a really good football team. They're better than us and they showed it today. They play hard on defense and they've got an outstanding run game. When you go up against a team like that, they're tough to beat."

(on getting his first NFL start) "Felt fine. Treated it like any other game."

(on playing against Texans linebacker Brian Cushing) "It's Cush. He's a great player. I had a lot of experience against him. It's different in practice as opposed to playing him in an actual game. They run a very unique scheme and they did a good job today."

(on how frustrating it was to start down 14-3 early) "It hurts. I put us in a hoe. They score point and you can't turn the ball over. I can't make those mistakes. I have to be better. I can't put our offense in that type of bind. Good teams capitalize on those type of things."

(on his approach playing against former team in home town) "I was relaxed. You treat every game the same. You don't want to overhype the situation or make it bigger than it is."

(on Houston Texans rushing attack) "It's faster than what we see at practice but nothing we can't stop."

(on accusations the Jacksonville Jaguars made of the Texans being "dirty") "Not necessarily dirty but they hold a lot, but not too much of a dirty thing. They didn't cut [block] as much this week."

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