The following members of the Texans spoke to the media after the team's 24-7 loss to the New York Jets in the regular season home opener at Reliant Stadium.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans QB Matt Schaub Texans SS Dominique Barber Texans LB Kevin Bentley Texans T Duane Brown Texans FS John Busing Texans LB Brian Cushing Texans TE Owen Daniels Texans WR Andre Johnson Texans FB Vonta Leach Texans CB Dunta Robinson Texans LB DeMeco Ryans Texans RB Steve Slaton Texans DE Antonio Smith Texans DE Mario Williams Texans T Eric Winston
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak(on team's performance) "Obviously very poor. We were pretty much dominated as a football team across the board. We obviously weren't ready to play and that starts with me. You play that poorly, that starts with the coach. I didn't have them ready to go."
(on turning points early) "I thought our defense played good early in the game and offensively we needed to make a play to get going in the game. We kind of made it and turned the ball over on the 15 I think it was. They go right down and score to make it ten nothing. We were very poor offensively throughout the football game. We played a game totally out of whack as far as throwing it and running it. That's not us. This team can't win that way. We got behind and started throwing it every down. We're not going to win football games that way."
(on expectations making the loss harder to deal with) "I feel bad after each loss. Obviously this is the first one this year and it's as bad as you can feel. We got a long way to go. We've got fifteen weeks so that's the good thing."
(on the running game) "Well I've been concerned about it because we played this game a lot like we played New Orleans and Minnesota. We played the games the same way. When you walked off the field we were totally out of whack as far as what we want to be. Running the ball, throwing the ball. Our football team can't afford for the Houston Texans to go out there and three to one throw the football. That's what we were in those two preseason games. That's where my concern comes from and this one ends up no different. This team has got to find a way to run the football and be committed to running the football."
(on quarterback Matt Shaub's health) "He wasn't himself. He could function and do the things you need to do to win a game if we could have helped him. But to get behind and have him sit there and throw against that defense and the pressures and things they bring on a regular basis when you get behind and that was probably very unfair to him. He was healthy enough to win at quarterback but the way we played the game gave him no chance to do that."
(on if the New York Jet's defense took away the play action and bootleg plays or if it was due to Quarterback Matt Schaub's ankle injury suffered in the Minnesota Vikings game) "They do some things. Anytime you're an edge team like they are a 3-4 football team. They've got pretty good guys on the edges as far as taking those things away. The reason you didn't see those is strictly because how the game unfolded. You are not going to boot people when you are down by that much and not running the ball. I would say it had more to do with the game and giving them credit for kicking our tail than just not calling a bootleg."
(on not stretching the New York Jet's defense) "A combination—first off they played a lot of two man defense which makes you beat man under coverage. That's a difficult coverage to go deep on. When they did come after us we had our quarterback and team in tough positions and that's me as a protector of the quarterback. Just didn't have the opportunity to make those plays. Our play action game was poor. If you don't run the ball we're not going to be a good play action team so I don't know if I'm answering your question but obviously they did a hell of a job."
(on Jet's quarterback Mark Sanchez performance) "We made him move around. He's good—he's a good player. We were there making him move and he made a lot of plays off schedule. He did it preseason, he did it in college, and I told our guys he would come in here and do it here and he did. He's a hell of a player and they did a great job getting him ready to go. They've got a good football team built around him. He did a great job."
(on most exasperating part of the game) "Everything. I can't pinpoint one thing. If you want me to pinpoint one thing it's how disappointed I am offensively and how we played. That's obviously number one. The offensive football team gave us no chance. That starts with me. We've got to keep our football team in football games by how we play offensively running the ball, controlling the football, having manageable third downs, and we did not do that. We didn't give ourselves a chance to do that."
(on Jet's head coach Rex Ryan's play calling) "We saw the same things. We saw the same things that they did when he was at Baltimore. What happens when you prepare for a game and you are prepared to against his base and play the game the way you want to play the game and you get in the trouble that we were in and go against their nickel for over half of the football game. Now you are going playing against something that you practice a third of the time. Because of the position we had ourselves in we went against the nickel defense two and a half quarters. By no means did we think we would have ourselves in that position in the football game."
(on free safety John Busing's performance) "He keeps doing his job. He played a little bit today because we only had three safeties going into the game. Obviously he makes a big play that after it's all said in done gave us a chance to get back in the ballgame, but they turned around and answered. The kid does some good stuff."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on how his ankle felt) "It felt good today. The ankle felt good and I was ready to play."
(on whether it was disappointing that the offense did not develop a rhythm) "It was frustrating. We tried to move the ball and then had a turnover. It was hard to get ourselves going. We had some penalties and hurt ourselves. Credit goes to the Jets. They played better than us today."
(on the Texans not running a lot of play-action) "Their scheme, a 3-4, they had standup backers. I don't know if (head) Coach (Gary Kubiak) just decided that those were our best ways to go, so we were just going with the run."
(on what disrupted the team's rhythm on offense) "We hurt ourselves with penalties. We didn't execute to the level that we expect from ourselves and the level that we've played in the past. We just have to go back to the drawing board and get ready to go next week."
(on whether he is concerned about not being able to run the ball) "I'm not concerned. We're going to keep harping on it. We're going to keep running and we're going to keep going. Eventually it's going to happen. It's the type of running game that you just keep plugging away. You're going to have some no-gains, one-yarders and little gains. Then you're going to get the five yards and six yards. You just have to keep working at it and plugging away with it. Eventually you'll get the big ones."
(on Texans turnovers and penalties) "A lot of credit has to go to them (Jets) and how their defense played schematically — how they come after us. When you have a couple of little mistakes here and there, spread throughout the game it hurts you on first-and-10 and you get first and 15 or 2 and 8. Those things start to put you behind the eight ball and tough third-down situations, where it is hard to convert those situations."
(on whether the Jets defense hit his ankle) "No. Not that I remember."
(on how the Jets defense limited WR Andre Johnson's performance) "They rolled coverage over the top of him. They rolled a safety to help out the corner. They were essentially in double coverage, trying to take him out of the ball game. That's where we need other guys to win."
(on running the ball more) "We're going to have to go in there and figure out a way we can do it to keep ourselves in a good situation where we get three and four yard gains on first and second downs. We just have to keep working on it."
(on starting the season with a loss) "It's frustrating because we expect more of ourselves. We know what we can do as a team if we play the way that we're capable of playing. That was not it. It's a disappointing way to start off, but it's something that we have to face. Come in tomorrow, take a look at it and put it behind us and come out next week ready to go. To practice hard and prepare for the Tennessee Titans."
(on whether losing because of their own mistakes is better to take) "When you lose, you lose. It's tough to swallow regardless of how it happens. Whether you get beat physically or you hurt yourselves. It's difficult no matter what."
Texans SS Dominique Barber(on how he felt about today's performance) "Well we didn't play very well, we just have to get in the game room tomorrow, fix our corrections and we'll be ready for Tennessee."
(on anything that stuck out initially before watching today's film) "No, not to me. It's one of those things that you have to see the mistakes that you made, and fix those mistakes and be ready for Tennessee next week."
(on the touchdown he scored) "JB (FS John Busing) made a nice pick and I was actually going to try and find somebody to block, saw the ball on the ground and just tried to make a play."
(on his feelings towards today's game) "I know we have a great team here, I know we're going to fight back, we're not going to stop fighting. It's week one and we have some more games to win, but it starts next week with Tennessee."
Texans LB Kevin Bentley
(on if he was surprised at how things developed) "Definitely. You never really know what happened until you watch the tape but it's a little disappointing as a team to come out and perform the way we did today."
(on if adjustments made during the game were successful) "That part, I'm not sure. Adjustments are hit or miss, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I thought we made some good adjustments and it showed up in the second half, but again we won't know until we watch the tape.
Texans T Duane Brown
(on QB Matt Schaub not having a lot of time to throw) "They didn't bring a lot of pressure from my side of the ball. I think most of the pressure came from the middle. I think they were trying to take me and (T) Eric (Winston) out of the protection for the most part and try to get some guys free up the middle. It was successful. I didn't get to see too many plays, I'll have to watch the film. Some of the plays, I think if you look back and see the couple of linebackers in his face and that's why he had to drift back and throw sometimes—or just throwing it earlier than he wanted to. That's why we had a lot of incomplete passes and it's hard to win like that."
(on how tough it was playing against Jets head coach Rex Ryan's defense) "We started to run the ball early and couldn't get more than one or two (yards). Then we got down and were forced to pass the ball a lot. When a team like that knows that you're passing then when they're already a blitzing, aggressive team, it really makes it tough on you."
(on if it was tougher since this team is used to moving the ball against anybody) "Oh yeah. It is very, very tough to do. You go from the number three offense in the league to not even getting a touchdown and not getting over 200 yards of offense—it's very disappointing. All we can do now is learn from it, come out next week against Tennessee and let it all out."
Texans FS John Busing
(on the play where he intercepted then fumbled the ball and teammate (FS) Dominique Barber took it in for a touchdown) "The coaches just put us in a good call and I was able to read the quarterback's eyes and stepped in front of it. Thankfully (FS) Dom (Dominique Barber) was running up behind me and was able to pick it up and put it in the endzone."
(on thoughts when he saw FS Dominique Barber pick it up and score) "Man, thank God. I've got to hold on to that ball, bottom line. It's important for us to get turnovers and I've got to keep it ours. I was very happy for him when he picked it up and ran it in."
(on the mood of team) "Disappointed. We put in a lot of work through OTA's, training camp and leading up to this game and this isn't the foot we want to put forward. We want to come out with something different. Pretty disappointed right now but we're going to turn it around."
(on CB Dunta Robinson saying that this left a bad taste in their mouths) "No doubt. When you end the season and you work all off-season, this is your first opportunity to go play for something real. When it turns out this way it does leave a bad taste in your mouth and we've got to go change that next week."
(on what the Jets showed that surprised him) "I don't think there was too much that surprised us. I just think it came down to execution and we've got to make some more plays out there."
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak said in the locker room after the game) "He was just saying that this does leave a bad taste in your mouth. Thankfully we've got an opportunity next week to go out and change that, and we're going to get it fixed."
(on if he was surprised at his playing time in the second half) "Coming into the game I didn't really know what to expect so I was just ready when my number was called. Anytime I go in there I'm going to give it everything I've got and try to make some plays."
Texans LB Brian Cushing(on if this was a game for him to remember or forget) "I feel a little bit of both. Just the experience of finally getting out there was good. I think the rest, you kind of want to look past it. You have to remember what happened this week and just go full speed into Tennessee now."
(on what went wrong for the team) "I'm not sure. There are definitely a couple of things that went wrong offensively and defensively. I know we definitely can play better as a unit. That's the biggest thing right now. So we just have to concentrate on that and move forward."
(on if the players were in disbelief) "A little bit here and there. You kind of look at the score and it's a 'What's going on out there kind of feeling. But you know—that's football. That's the kind of stuff that happens. Any given Sunday, things likes this can happen. Did we think this was going to happen? No. Luckily, we get another chance next week, to go out early in the season and go redeem ourselves.
(on what head coach Gary Kubiak said) "We've just got to improve. This was not our best game. We're in this locker room, we kind of figured that, you know? We really didn't need to hear a speech after the game. We know what we need to do. We need to be in here tomorrow and get the corrections done and move on from here."
Texans TE Owen Daniels(on if he thought the Jets executed better than the Texans) "I think so. We turned the ball over, our defense did a good job out there in the first half keeping us in the game, but we just couldn't help them out at all. I don't think we had too many yards on offense and that defiantly hurts."
(on his thoughts about the fumble turnover) "It could have made a momentum swing for us, instead it went the other way. It defiantly could have changed the game, but we had opportunities out there to make plays and put drives together, but we just couldn't do it."
Texans WR Andre Johnson(on if they struggled against Jets head coach Rex Ryan's defense) "Yeah. They pretty much did some of the same things they did to us last year when he was with the Ravens. I was seeing a lot of double coverage today and that was it."
(on if he was surprised they didn't get him involved earlier in the game) "I caught a ball on the second play of the game. You really don't know how the day is going to be when you go out there and play. It turned out the way it turned out and there is nothing we can do about it now but just move on to next week."
(on if this offense expects to be able to always move the ball) "Yeah we do. You know, we did move the ball. We had a big turnover down there when it looked like we were going to score. Then we had the turnover. We can't have those things happen. When those things happen, you get beat."
(on if QB Matt Schaub was able to push off on his ankle the way he usually does) "Matt worked hard and has done everything to come back and play today. We all know that he is not a hundred percent, but he went out and played and gave what he had."
(on what is the most disappointing thing about the way the team played today) "Just when you talk about starting off a season a certain way and the way we started today—unacceptable."
(on how you bounce back from this loss) "Just go win a game. Plain and simple. There's no reason to talk about it. You just have to go win a game."
Texans FB Vonta Leach(on the offense going scoreless) "Yes, very surprised. Our defense kept us in the game, made a play and we just couldn't get anything going on offense."
(on the Jets defensive pressure) "A couple times we picked it up and a couple of times they got in the back. I'm not going to say that our guys didn't show up to play, but the Jets just out played us.
(on his thoughts about today's performance) "Well if you would have told me this yesterday I would have been very shocked, but look on the bright side, it is only one game and we have 15 more to go. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, everyone's ready to come in here tomorrow, look at the tapes, see what went wrong and get to Tennessee."
Texans CB Dunta Robinson
(on if he was embarrassed by the performance) "I'm not embarrassed. I'm pretty sure my teammates aren't embarrassed either because we didn't play well. If you come in and you give it all you've got and you still get beat by 17 points or whatever the final score was then that's an embarrassment. Looking past this game we know the things that we need to correct. We've got 15 games left and we've got to move on. One thing I don't want to hear guys say is, 'It's OK, we started 0-4 last year,' because this is a totally different year and a week to week thing so we've got to move past that."
(on the performance of Jets QB Mark Sanchez) "I thought he did a great job. I thought they did a great job of protecting him. I thought he showed a lot of poise, I mean he looked like he did in the preseason, and like I said, these days, things have changed with rookie quarterbacks. He has a good run game and the line did a great job of protecting him, so I thought he looked pretty good."
(on what needs to be corrected) "We've got to tackle better and we've got to get off the field on third down as a defense. I'm pretty sure the offense has things that they've got to work on. I know myself, I didn't do a good job of tackling today, and that's something that I have to improve myself and I think as a defensive unit getting off the field on 3rd down is the biggest thing."
(on if they underestimated any part of the Jets offense) "No, we didn't underestimate them at all. We knew coming into this game what kind of guys we were facing. (RB) Leon Washington and (WR) Jerricho Cotchery, we knew those guys could make big plays. I really cant speak for the rest of the defense right now as far as tackling goes, but for myself that's the only glitch that I had today. I missed tackles that I usually make. That's small though, I'd rather have that problem than not being able to cover a guy. We'll be fine. We'll go back to the drawing board and we'll be ready for Tennessee next Sunday."
(on if he is angry) "Definitely. Any time you lose a football game you're pretty mad. It's just one of those situations where we have to hunker down and we have to be much better. That's the bottom line. One game and we didn't come away with the win but one thing we can do is look at our mistakes and move on."
(on how shocked he felt after the game) "It wasn't what I expected, but that's the way it rolls sometimes. You never know what to expect. But I know one thing, we didn't expect that. Anyway you look at it, it's a loss. We've got to correct the things that we did wrong and we've got to make sure we do better Sunday."
(on him saying that one thing they wanted to do was make defensive coordinator Frank Bush look good) "It's one game. As a unit we didn't look good. When a unit plays good the coaches look good. It starts with us. They put us in the calls and we've got to go out and execute. Third down was our biggest problem. We played well 1st and 2nd down but we didn't get off the field on third down. We know what we've got to fix and we've got to get it done."
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
(on the most surprising thing on the day) "Probably that we had trouble on 3rd down. If we get off the field on third down the game could have been better and we could have hung in there a little longer. We didn't get enough turnovers and we didn't get off the field on third down and when they are keeping the chains moving on third down it's going to be a long day."
(on Jets QB Mark Sanchez's rookie debut) "He did well. Nothing surprised me, he's a good player."
(on if he was surprised at Jets QB Mark Sanchez's capability to make plays on the run) "No, it didn't surprise me. We knew he was going to move well. He's a young guy that's athletic and we knew he could move well in the pocket and make plays with his feet so nothing surprised me about it."
(on if the Jets showed anything that the defense was not expecting) "No. We were prepared for everything they gave us. (Defensive coordinator) Frank (Bush) had us well prepared. We just have to do a better job of making plays and get more turnovers as a defense."
(on if he was surprised that the defense wasn't able to cope with what the Jets offense was doing) "It's a surprise that we didn't make enough plays. That's the only thing. I think we should have definitely made more plays than we made as a defense, and we've got to step up and play better."
Texans RB Steve Slaton(on if he felt he was playing the same defense as Baltimore last year) "The schemes were the same, there was a lot of movement, but they just out-wit us on the offensive side of the ball."
(on how he felt about the fumble) "I hurt my team. I promised to hold on to the ball. To let it go on the 15 when we were so close to scoring is just a big blow to the team."
(on what the atmosphere was like during the game) "It was just really frustrating, I mean it was a good group of defensive guys we were up against. They were out there playing their butts off."
Texans DE Antonio Smith
(on the defense's struggles on third and long) "That could be a deciding factor in the game. One missed play here, on misstep here, and it can get out of hand. We had a lot of plays made out there and we could have got a lot of turnovers and that changes the game. When we get plays like that we've got to capitalize on them and grind harder to make those plays."
(on the feeling of disappointment in the locker room after the game) " Yes. It's disappointing. We didn't see it coming and like I said we've got to capitalize on those plays. We've got to get off the field on third downs and we will give a lot of offenses havoc if we could just get off the field on third down."
Texans DE Mario Williams(on his reaction to how things went out there today) "Man, I didn't see that coming at all. We were out there, we messed up a lot of stuff. We played hard, but we messed up a lot of stuff, though."
(on QB Mark Sanchez being a rookie but making plays) "Yeah they have a great offensive line. We already knew that coming into the game. If he sits back, then he'll pick you apart. He's still a good quarterback, regardless of if he's a rookie or not."
(on how shocking this game was) "I didn't see it coming."
Texans T Eric Winston(on if he felt there was a lack of being able to run the ball) "No. We had a couple of games like this last year where we just fell behind and if you want to win the game, you got to throw it, you have to go get it. So, I know it's there but we have to put ourselves in position to run it."
(on his emotions about today's game) "I'm just really disappointed, mad, just everything. It's tough putting in everything you have for this and we just didn't play well. It has to get better, it has to get better in and hurry and we can't wait till the 4th or 5th game of the year to turn it around."
(on his thoughts about today's performance) "It's just frustrating. I think when you're a group of guys that are use to moving the ball pretty much all the time against pretty much anyone, first couple of plays it felt like it was there, but I guess we just put ourselves in bad situations. Looking back, who knows how many 3rd and 10-plus yards we had. You're not going to convert that many of those."
Jets head coach Rex Ryan Jets QB Mark Sanchez Jets DE Mike Devito Jets G Alan Faneca Jets LB David Harris Jets DL Kris Jenkins Jets RB Thomas Jones Jets TE Dustin Keller Jets G Brandon Moore Jets CB Darrelle Revis Jets LB Bart Scott Jets LB Bryan Thomas
Jets head coach Rex Ryan
(on the game) "Alright, well. That's the first one right there. You know I said before that I thought we have a pretty good football team and it was great to get a road win against an AFC opponent. This is a heck of an opponent too. But our guys played like I thought we were capable of playing. It was a great team effort. The key was first downs. This team is outstanding on first downs. Houston is the best in the league on offense. I think our defense did a great job of controlling first down and that put them in a situation where they never wanted to be in- and that was third and long. We're pretty good on third down when we get you backed up. But that's a good football team we just got through beating. I think you saw our offensive line I think played outstanding. I don't think we gave up a sack all day. I thought the kid (QB Mark Sanchez) did a great job of avoiding pressure in the pocket and made some big throws for us. You know unfortunately we gave that touchdown up. That would have been something. But you know it's hard to get a shutout in this league. But our defense did a great job against an explosive offense. I would also like to single out (DB Darrelle) Revis. You know, I think he was locked on the best receiver in the game, or one of them if he's not the best—(Houston Texans WR) Andre Johnson. So he did an outstanding job. I don't know how many balls Andre caught, but he deserved them. I mean he had to catch it in a crowd and I thought he did a great job."
(on QB Mark Sanchez and third downs) "Oh I know, it was interesting. It was like we were better at third and long than we were at third and short. That doesn't happen too often. But it just tells you also about the protection we have. He was able to focus, get his drops, get his reach downfield, and threw accurately. So, not bad for a couple of rookies today, him and myself."
(on feelings about the win) "It feels great. You know, shoot, I'm glad we're 1-0. That's where we expected to be. We knew it would be a tough win against a good football team, but our guys were up to the task. And I think I told you our defense played good. Despite what everybody thought pre-season."
(on hitting Texans QB Matt Schaub) "Well we knew we weren't going to be able to sack him. He was one of the hardest quarterbacks to sack last year. I think we only got him twice. But we had a lot of hits on the quarterback—knock him around a little bit. And no quarterback likes to get hit. He's a good quarterback and he took some shots a lot of guys would have tapped out but he's a tough guy."
(on the tone LB Bart Scott set for the defense) "Well no, I just thought our defense—it was the pride in the unit. I think everybody played well. You know, we did our job. We'll see the tapes—it's never as good as you think it is, it's never as bad as you think it is. But I think our defense played like I though we would. This was an outstanding opponent we were up against, they were ranked third in the league last year. And they are one of the top offenses in the league at home. You know, we had some things stacked against us. We played without two guys, and like we expect, our next guy has got to step up and I think our guys did and I think we played pretty well."
(on the receiving core of Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey and David Clowney) "Yeah. Imagine that. No, I mean it's, again, we're about the whole unit, you know, and the pride in the unit. It's not one individual. We're a team and we're going to have receivers by committee. Because you know each guys can do different things and so we're strength by committee. But again, those guys are, we've got NFL receivers. And they did a good job. And again, I think it's just a combination of our offensive line protecting, (QB Mark) Sanchez made those throws, and I think our guys did an outstanding job of catching those footballs and running after the catch as well."
(on the turnover leading to the Texans touchdown) "We did, when we were trying to kneel down he lost like eight yards on that one kneel-down. That was the only thing I'm like, 'What are you doing?' But, you know other than that, it made the one throw unfortunately a touchdown going the other direction. You know he wishes he had that one throw back and maybe one or two, but again, I thought he showed great poise in the pocket. And he's able to move and bide a little extra time and again, this is why we took the guy. This is why we traded up to get him."
(on being more run-oriented on the interception) "Yeah, I think that's safe to say. You know, hind-sight is 20-20. But, in that situation when you are up three scores and I think our defense is playing well enough you know we forgot to do a little ground and pound. I think we snuck one in there and unfortunately it never worked. And really what the situation was: we were killing ourselves. We had a couple of penalties that backed it up and made it second and longer than we wanted it to be. We had a couple of, you know a false start and things that I think contributed to that interception."
(on scoring another touchdown after the interception) "Huge. Huge. When (RB) Thomas (Jones) popped that big run you know the offensive line did a great job. But you know that's huge. You know we had the game, we were in control of the game and to their credit they made a great play on defense and put it in the end zone and made it a whole new game. And so when our offense was able to come back and get that score back that took the wind out of their sails a little bit I think."
(on QB Mark Sanchez's poise after interception to come back for another touchdown) "Oh yeah, that was big time. Yeah absolutely. You know what we've been saying about this young man, you know we think he's special. You know, that was his first start against an outstanding opponent at home. They got a couple elite players on defense. I thought he did well."
(on what message he wants to send about the Jets) "Same one I've been sending. The day I got here. You know I believe in this football team, I believe in the coaches we have, I believe in the players we have, and I believe in the support staff. And I've been saying it all along, just nobody wanted to listen."
Jets QB Mark Sanchez(on what this first game meant to him) "This is pretty special. It is a great way to start but we have a lot of work to do. Me putting our defense in a hole like that by throwing a pick six to the house was a big time rookie mistake. I'm just happy we were able to make plays that made up for it. Our defense locked them down after that."
(on his performance) "I think with the amount of talent we have on this team I know I don't have to do everything and after that costly mistake, I think it was late third quarter, the interception was inexcusable. You can't do that and it was a big time rookie mistake but the most encouraging thing was (head coach) Rex (Ryan) and (assistant coach Brian) Schottenheimer, the entire offensive line, guys on defense told me, 'Hey man, it's over; we're going to go after these guys and we're winning this game, even think for a second we're going to slow things down or take plays out, we're playing. We play this game to win, not to lose.' For them to have confidence in me like that, it gave me confidence. It was a huge way to respond. Not just for me but for the entire offense. Gave me a little bit of extra time on the ball over the middle to Cotch (WR Jerricho Cotcherey), converting on a big time third down the very next time to (TE) Dustin (Keller), the way we responded, you don't do that without big time veterans and players stepping up up front and guys having faith. So that was a very special turn around."
(on looking comfortable in the pocket) "I felt in control and I felt like I need to play smart all game and I felt like I did that minus one play. The offensive line did a great job. I really wasn't getting touched too bad and we didn't give up a single sack. There's just a couple of things we want to eliminate, just some penalties on first down, some cadence issues, we almost had a delay of game and I called time out right at the end. Those kind of things are expected on the road and we just need to eliminate them. I did feel comfortable from the start. This is a great group; a defense that's unbelievable. It should have been a shutout so I owe them one."
(on blocking for his players and getting a penalty) "I just found out the flag was on me I had no idea. Even (Houston Texans LB) DeMeco Ryans said, "Come on man, you're just going to dive?" I said, "Dude, what do you expect me to do? I ain't going head up. I'm a rookie but I'm not an idiot." They scored anyway so I don't know what the big beef was. I didn't know the flag was on me so the next kick off the guy just boomed it, almost in the stands, and I was like, "What the heck?" Then I looked where he kicked it from and I was like, "Oh we must have got a penalty." I had no idea. But just a costly mistake and really unfortunate because I wanted to get (head coach) Rex (Ryan) a shutout in his opener but we got the win and it's something I can learn from and bounce back."
(on touchdown pass to TE Dustin Keller) "He was on a running post and I knew where he was going to be. He took an outside release on a post route which is difficult to throw but have faith in him, I just tried to body him up with the throw and he made a good extension for it. That was huge for us and for Dustin to know the ball was going to be there right out of the break, it was a timing route, something we worked on all week. He made a heck of a play. That was a big time third down conversion."
(on touchdown pass to WR Chansi Stuckey) "They all-out blitzed us and Stuck ran right by them. It was as plain as day. I was looking in the middle for the safety and there wasn't anybody there. When they all out blitz like that, I know when we go back and look at the film I know there's going to be guys who were taking their guy and taking their hand out for another guy just to give me that much more and to have veterans like that up front give you that time, that split second, that's where you get a touchdown like that. That was a big time play and a huge, huge play for Stuck just for him to get a big time ball like that and put us ahead."
(on the difference between pre-season and regular season) "The only thing I felt out there was our team just got stronger. As the game wore on, I think we were getting out wind even faster if that makes sense. It was crazy to see it. Nobody was huffing and puffing, nobody was bending over in the huddle, everybody was upright listening for the play, leaning in for the call, then when we get up to the line, those guys were firing off the ball and controlling the line of scrimmage. To have that kind of endurance, that's the speed I saw. I didn't notice anything else."
(on the importance of today's game) "One, to get a win under your belt, it meant the world to me play well for these guys up front and to play well for (head coach) Rex (Ryan) and get him a win in his opener but you know what, this is week one of 16 so got to keep it in perspective. I'll probably celebrate on the plane ride, ice down and get ready for the (New England) Patriots. This is a great way to start our season but we got a heck of a long way to go."
(on celebrating after the game with teammates) "I was trying to hurry in, I did the interview for CBS real quick, jumped up in the stands and gave my mom the game ball and then sprinted up the tunnel, the whole team was standing there just kind of looking to see who was next. They had an idea it was me so it was great just to see all their faces. All those guys just smiling and gleaming; it was a special day."
(on special greeting the team gave him going into the locker room) "What we say if you're late or something's not right, we say "Make it right." They don't make an example out of anybody but if you walk into a meeting late they say "Make it right," and everybody in unison said, "Make it right, rookie." It was a joke and it was good but it would have been a lot different if we didn't win it."
(on talking to former New York Jets QB Joe Naimath before the game) "I asked him about his first start and he said, "You know what? I don't even know. I remember the big games though. I remember the Super Bowl and it ain't about me either. It's about you today. It's about you playing for these guys." I mean, what a pep talk, Joe Naimath you know, just taking all the credit from himself and throwing it to me and just saying good luck. So to hear from a legend like that it just kind of gives you the chills. It was something special to be part of. An emotional start right there, an emotional pep talk but I had to just get it out of my head before we started so it was great to talk to him.
(on former New York Jets QB Joe Naimath inspiring him) "Absolutely but it's the emotional side. I had to snap back in and get focused. It was really cool to talk to him."
(on what he'll remember from his first game) " I don't know. Maybe some of those hits from guys like (Houston Texans DE) Mario (Williams) and things like that. I might forget something."
(on his receivers stepping up for him) "Just, one, running the routes they were supposed to, making the big time adjustments, making huge catches, big time conversions on third down too and a couple of them on third and long. That's difficult and we're not able to do that without the o-line holding tight up front. A couple of plays I tried to buy an extra second or so, a half a second, guys were stopping on their routes and getting quarterback friendly. That's hard to teach and the receivers, man, that is special for them to be able to help me out like that and know I'm going to be able to get the ball pushed; just say alive on their routes. It's difficult to teach that and coach that but those guys are all naturals and they had a heck of a day."
(on RB Thomas Jones' fourth quarter touchdown) (Head coach) Rex (Ryan) told us we're going to wear this team down, we're going to body punch them, we're going to pound the ball and one of these runs is going to break big time and that's going to be the knockout blow. When I saw TJ break off a couple of those runs, it was overdue and we caught them in the right position. (G Alan Faneca) pulled on a huge play and just blew up that hole and Thomas Jones just ran right through it. He went down-hill full speed and just took off. He deserved it because he was rushing for tough yards all game and for him to get a big run like that it was well deserved.
(on playing against former USC teammate, Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing) "He almost had me on one play early, on a fake sweep. I don't think he was supposed to blitz but he just fired his guns and came right after me because he saw me sitting there like a duck. I just gave him a little move and he ran right by me so I kind of lucked out on that one. He was all over the field making big plays on third and short. He's a tough player, and I'm sure the O-line can attest to that."
Jets DE Mike Devito
(on stepping in for Jets DE Shaun Ellis and his fumble recovery) "Everybody did a great job today. They (Shaun Ellis and Calvin Pace) were two great players that we missed and we knew we had a great challenge on our hands. Everybody stepped up and we played team defense. It was just a great way for us to start the season."
(on the Jets deferring to go on defense on the opening coin toss to set the tempo for the game) "That was the point. We wanted to go out there and send the message to them that we were going to punch them in the mouth from the beginning. We wanted to come out there and play tough smash mouth defense. That's why we decided to go out there and defer on defense."
(on how having training camp in Portland, Maine brought the team closer to the win today) "It's great. It's like we are all brothers in here. There is no drama. We are just brothers and we are tight and we showed that out in the field today. That's going to happen all season."
Jets G Alan Faneca
(on QB Mark Sanchez being able to move outside of the pocket when there was pressure coming from the outside) "It was good. It makes our job a lot easier and it makes the defenses account for that. It makes them attack you differently when you got a guy that can move around in the pocket."
(on QB Mark Sanchez's presence in the huddle) "He did great. He was a little different from preseason to now, but his presence is felt in our huddle."
Jets LB David Harris
(on the New York Jets' defensive performance) "We knew coming in to the game they had a great offense and great skill players. Any time one of those guys gets the ball in their hands we have to have 11 flying hats to the ball and we went out there and did that. We played physical, threw around and the outcome showed it. "
(on head coach Rex Ryan imposing his mentality on the team) "When Rex came here he pretty much brought that old school, nasty mentality with him. I think it just trickled down through all of the players today. We went out there and out toughed them and I think it showed. In the fourth quarter they wore down on both sides of the ball and we were able to dominate."
(on his teammates stepping up for injured players) "We knew that other guys had to step up in place of two players, (New York Jets DE) Shaun Ellis and (New York Jets LB) Calvin Pace. Luckily we get Shaun back next week but Calvin is still going to be missing for three weeks. When you lose two guys like that people need to step up and when your number is called, I think we had that today. The depth of our defense showed."
(on his impression of New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez) "Sanchez played his balls off as far as coming in a loud stadium like this, his first game of the season and his first start of his career. He's going to be a great player for us and he kept his composure and he led the offense and we did what we came to do."
Jets DL Kris Jenkins
(on head coach Rex Ryan's pre-game speech) "Honestly it is hard to kind of put it into words but we have come to the conclusion that we need to call the NFLPA and put him on the banned substances list because whatever he did, he said was performing enhancing, definitely. You could just tell by the excitement that a lot of the guys believe in the system. We really think this is going to be a structured year for us. We are just trying to make sure that we do our best to keep this coach around."
(on how the team lived up to the expectations of Head Coach Rex Ryan's speech) "To tell you the truth, most of my career, since most of my life I have always been a part of the underdog team. When he came in here everybody was pretty much starting to write us off like, 'Oh new coach this season, new quarterback this season.' And it was one of those things that we took as a slap in the face. You have a lot of guys that have been looking passed us, looking over us and not giving us the credit that we are a solid offense. For us it is not about proving it to other people. We understand what we have in this locker room and we are trying to go out and push each other and do the best that we can as a unit."
(on how the team proved something to the doubters) "I really don't care what the doubters and naysayers think. When we're on the football field, the special thing about football is everybody can run their mouth and talk about whatever they want to. When we're on the field it is in our hands. Anybody can say what they want to and I challenge them to stand on the sideline and look at the stands and see how we play and see if they still believe that same stuff they're talking."
Jets RB Thomas Jones
(on how the offense attack was balanced) "I thought today we did a great job of playing as a team. The defense played a great game; they kept them out of the end zone and kept giving us the ball. On offense, (QB) Mark (Sanchez) did a great job, receivers did a great job of making plays and we were able to run the ball. Me and (RB) Leon (Washington), it was tough in the first half but we stuck with it. We had some tough runs; the offensive line did a great job in the second half. We're pretty happy with way the game turned out."
(on how QB Mark Sanchez stepped up after the Texans stopped the run early) "You have to be able to compliment each other with the run and pass and Mark did a great job of making some great throws and making some really good reads for a young guy. Coaches did a really good job preparing him for what he is going to see and making sure he was ready to play. We're obviously balanced and anytime you can be balanced and getting that many yards in a game offensively you have a good chance of winning."
(on the New York Jets run game) "In the first half they came ready to play; they had nine, sometimes 10 guys out there in the box and any time you have that many guys it's impossible to block everyone so there's going to be a couple of guys free. We did a good job in the second half sticking with the run; the offensive line did a great job of coming off the ball and wearing them down. We were able to get some big plays."
(on his 39-yard rushing touchdown in fourth quarter) "It was just a textbook power play. (G Alan Faneca) did a great job of pulling. The whole right side of the line, the whole line in general did a great job on that play of sustaining the blocks. The right side, when we ran it to the right they pushed all their guys down. Alan Faneca did a great job of pulling and getting his guy. Tony Richardson, the fullback, like I said to me he's the best fullback in the NFL, a hall of fame fullback. He made a great block, was able to spring me and that was a good thing for us because the coaches stuck with it even though we had some tough sledding in the first half. We continued to run the ball in the second half and things ended up opening up for us."
(on QB Mark Sanchez's performance) "I thought he played great. I thought he came out there and he knew the offense, he knew what he was going to see, he knew they were going to pressure us, try to confuse him and that's what they did but he did a great job of making the right reads. He hit the guys when they were open and when he had pressure in his face he stood in there and a lot of times he made plays on the run. I think he has great instincts to be a young guy like that and to be in a hostile environment like this and to be able to make plays. I thought he played really well."
(on QB Mark Sanchez's reaction to throwing an interception) "It's part of the game. You're going to make mistakes but you just got to bounce back from them. He's a resilient guy, he's used to winning and he comes from a winning program. He made a mistake, came back and made plays after that."
(on QB Mark Sanchez being prepared before the game) "He was ready to go. You know Mark has a lot of veteran guys in the huddle with him. Pretty much the whole offense is veteran guys except for him. We try to make sure we don't treat him like a rookie. We treat him like he's been there that way he expects to go out there and make plays he expects to do what he has to do for us to win. He's the starting quarterback and he knows he has everyone behind him and everyone's rooting for him."
(on the offense's performance) "Guys made plays down field, (WR) Chansi Stuckey, he's one of the most underrated receivers, him and (WR) Jerricho Cotchery. They're constantly making plays, when the quarterback scrambles they're getting open or whether they're beating a guy one-on-one on a route. They're under the radar a lot but most of the best players are under the radar. I thought the first half obviously running the ball was tough for us. They got a lot of guys around the ball and they were throwing a lot of different looks at us and blitzing. The passing game was on point the first half and (QB) Mark (Sanchez) made some big plays; the touchdown to Chansi, couple of plays to Jerricho so that kept us where we needed to be and in the 2nd half we were able to get a little bit more balance."
(on his touchdown run) "I think it was big for us for our momentum. Any time you have a play like that where there's an interception or a fumble or something like that or the defense scores, it's definitely a momentum changer. I think it's important for us to drive the ball down the field and at least get some points on the board and try to get some momentum back."
(on FB Tony Richardson's blocking) "He was very important. He, (New York Jets RB Leon Washington) and I have a great relationship. We strive to be the best backs in the league and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform every game. We practice extremely hard during the week, we prepare, we watch a lot of film, we're professionals, we take pride in what we mean to the team. We're extremely excited. We all three were in tears before the game because we were so excited to play a real game. We kind of look at each other like brothers even off the field. It's always great when you have a relationship with guys you play with like that. It feels like family and I know Tony Richardson is going to do his best to open holes and me and Leon are going to do the best to make him look good as running backs running behind him."
(on head coach Rex Ryan affecting the offense) "Rex Ryan you know, he's an emotional coach, I've said that previously about him. I don't even look at him as a coach sometimes, I look at him as a player. That makes it that much better because I want to go out there and play for him like he's my teammate. His demeanor is straight forward and to the point. I think he has a veteran team with a lot of guys that respond well to that type of coaching and the younger players kind of follow our lead. I think he fits in perfect for what we're trying to do. I love going out there and playing for him and practicing for him every day because I know he's going to put his neck out there for me and I think the team feels the same way about him."
Jets TE Dustin Keller
(on how QB Mark Sanchez played today) "He played a heck of a game. He made big plays on third down. We expect those types of things from him the rest of the season."
(on QB Mark Sanchez being able to avoid pressure) "He's really good about that while being under pressure. His first couple of steps are real quick. He thinks he can beat me in a 55-yard shuttle, but there's no way that is happening. He played a heck of a game."
Jets G Brandon Moore
(on the win on the road) "It was huge. I don't know if I have been on an offense that has scored or got as many yards. It was a physical game. We knew it was not going to be easy. Coming in we had to pound, pound, pound. That is what (head coach) Rex (Ryan) has been talking about all year and week and kind of opened up in the fourth quarter."
(on the team's third down success) "We were in a lot of third and longs which is what you don't want. First and second down wasn't so good for us but he (QB Mark Sanchez) has a lot of pocket presence. He was able to slide his feet, make a couple this way, a couple that way. Us trying to finish off our blocks and he made some big plays down the field."
(on how the team came out in a rhythm in the second half) "(head coach) Rex (Ryan) told us in the locker room that he was going to defer it. Defense had their challenge and they (Jets defense) stepped up. They (Houston Texans) had that one first down and then they stopped them and we got the ball. It was huge, the defense stepped in. They were under a lot of pressure coming in; (DE) Shaun (Ellis) out, (LB) Calvin (Pace) out. I think those guys made a lot of plays out there."
Jets CB Darrelle Revis
(on how aggressive the defense was) "We were very aggressive that was our game plan the whole week. We wanted to be physical because we knew they were a finesse offense. We wanted to put them on their heels and that's what we did."
(on his play against Texans WR Andre Johnson) "That was the coach's game plan for me to be on him. I stuck around him everywhere and it worked out great."
Jets LB Bart Scott
(on his first quarter hit) "Whenever you have a zone stretch offense, what you try to do is be physical because they're not coming off trying to get double teams, they're trying to get angles and use (Houston Texans RB) Steve Slaton as a great guy who can find a hole. One cut type of deal. What you want to get is penetration. We got to be physical with these guys. They want to go out and make it seven-on-seven, air the ball out, nobody touch and give (Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson) free access down the field. What we want to do is get hands on them and be physical. That's how you beat a finesse team."
(on Jets' defensive scheme) "I think it was solid. We put a lot of pressure on (New York Jets DB Darrelle Revis) to be out there isolated one-on-one with the best receiver in the game. He's up for the challenge and I think the rest of the NFL will start realizing that he's one of the brightest young talents at that position in the game."
(on QB Mark Sanchez and the offenses performance) "It was great, man. I don't know, I think we were close to 500 (total yards). We got on him a little bit for taking five yards off the yardage at the end. Rookie mistake; you don't drop back five yards and take yardage off but I think he stayed poised in the pocket. He had that one mistake (interception); something to learn from. This is my third rookie quarterback; what you have to do is protect them with solid defense. If you make a mistake you go out and play great defense and I think they made it back up by marching down the field. I think that was demoralizing. It was a pivotal point in the game. Every game has a turning point; that was an opportunity for them to get back in the game and make it tight because they were desperate and had nothing to lose; they can air it out but they (Jets defense) came back after that and responded. I think after that they pretty much shut it down."
(on shutting down the Houston Texans run game) "Big ball. We compare them to Denver because we played Denver so much and it's the same type of running game. You have to just stay on the front side of blocks and not get cut out because they're hoping they can be athletic up front, run you sideways, cut a guy off on the back side, get that one cut and get up field and make it a speed race and (Houston Texans RB Steve Slaton) is one of the better running backs at that type of philosophy."
(on who he credits for their defensive performance) "I think it was a team effort. I'm sure when we get in here and watch the film we're going to see a lot of guys, you know whenever you hold an explosive offense like this to under 200 yards it's a team effort. It may not be the guy you see finalizing the play or the guy making the tackle. You have to give credit to that defensive line for keeping guys off the linebackers. I think they ran for underneath 100 yards I'm sure, definitely, maybe under 50. That's a credit to upfront."
(on being a physical defense) "We got to set the tone, we're a physical defense. We dare you to come up and butt heads with us and that's what you have to do. You got to come up, make guys know it's not going to be a comfortable pocket. We have a tremendous three-technique in (NT Kris Jenkins) and we have to take advantage of that. Nobody can single block that guy so that gives us an extra guy to be able to come in and they have to account for the linebackers."
Jets LB Bryan Thomas
(on setting an aggressive defensive tempo for the game) "Well, that was our plan throughout the whole week. (Head) Coach (Rex) Ryan and (defensive coordinator) Mike Pettine wanted us to come out and be aggressive. They wanted us to attack, attack and attack. That was the key for us to have an aggressive defense and that was our mindset coming into this game."
(on how Jets CB Darrelle Revis matched up against Texans WR A, ndre Johnson in the game) "Darrelle is a good cover guy and we , are going to put him on their best player. That's pretty much what it is. When know what he is going to do and all the other opportunities are up to the rest of the defense."
(on how the Jets defense took the pressure off of Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez's shoulders in his first start) "That was our mindset coming into this game. We tried to take as much pressure off him as possible. As you can see he did real well out there. He handled the pressure well. He ran and scrambled. He threw the ball and found all of our receivers. He's in the making of being a good quarterback."