The coaches and players from the Texans and Titans spoke after Sunday's ballgame. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakCB Jason AllenT Duane BrownLB Brian CushingLB Zac DilesRB Arian FosterCB Kareem JacksonWR Andre JohnsonSS Bernard PollardCB Glover QuinQB Matt SchaubDE Mario WilliamsT Eric Winston
Head Coach Jeff FisherDE Jason BabinWR Justin GageS Michael Griffin RB Chris JohnsonT Michael RoosG Jake ScottQB Rusty SmithLB Stephen Tulloch
Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on what they did different defensively today) "We played against a young quarterback, number one. I thought we tackled very well and when you get turnovers that's a difference in your football team. Offensively, we held the ball for almost forty minutes so we helped them from that standpoint. Our best effort was last week, I told you how good that was, but we couldn't benefit from it because we lost. We came right back and had the same efforts this week, so I'm just very proud of (Defensive Coordinator) Frank Bush and the job he continues to do with those guys. They deserve that type of outing."
(on if he's concerned about WR Andre Johnson getting suspended) "Gosh, I hope not. I really don't know what happened. I just know it's two competitors, they have been going at each other for awhile. I really don't know what exactly happened until I see the film."
(on going against a rookie quarterback) "A lot of this league is timing. You may play a season and defensively, you may catch some various quarterbacks along the season. We've played against some great, great quarterbacks along the course of our eleven weeks. Today we played against a young man that they haven't played very much, but you got to get it done one way or another. Like I said, I think the key today was as a team we helped each other out. We hustled on the ball, turnovers. As a football team, we were able to help our defense instead of sitting here today and them being on the field for thirty-five minutes again."
(on what was done differently this week) "We tackled. The whole emphasis this week was to tackle. We knew they were going to run the ball. That was where everything started. He has really hurt us in the past reversing his field and us tackling poorly. So we really concentrated on tackling better, and that's what we did. I think we tackled much better."
(on if this was LB Brian Cushing's best game) "I've got to look at the film, but obviously, it was the best game for the defense from a production standpoint. So I've got to go look at it, but he was obviously very active."
(on CB Glover Quin and his three interceptions) "We should have broke his hand at the start of the season. It must have just leveled things out or something. He is a great kid. He plays very hard. He came off a humbling experience in Jacsonville. He handled it like a man and good things happen to people that just keep battling and stay after it and that's what he's all about. I'm very proud of him today. It's great for him."
(on what the referee told him about the fight between WR Andre Johnson and CB Cortland Finnegan) "He really didn't talk to me about it. The thing I was upset about was he told me it was third down, and then he went and started the play and said it was fourth and one. I had sat there and called a very bad play for 4th and 1. I thought it was 3rd and 10. I had to use the timeout. I just didn't think it was fair. I said you know, I think you told them but you didn't tell me what was going on. He kind of agreed with me to be honest with you, but we got it handled. Everything was chaos out there."
(on if he has seen the replay of WR Andre Johnson's fight) "No I didn't, I was too busy trying to get guys off the field. I didn't see it."
(on WR Andre Johnson and CB Cortland Finnigan) "Him and Cortland Finnigan go at it all the time, and they'll go at it again before the season is out this year. They are just very competitive. I mean, two Pro Bowl players who expect a lot out of each other. Before the days over, they get kinda tired of each other. I just think it's a great battle that's what our business is about. You don't want things to get out of control like that, though. Two great players, they need to be on the field not off the field."
(on the Texans doing a good job finishing the run today) "I didn't thnk we ran well early in the game. I actually had a talk with (RB) Arian Foster. He's sitting there doing good things and he's looking at me probably like 'Are you crazy? I'm running as hard as I can run.' I thought he found another gear after we talked and throughout the second, third and fourth quarter. I like the way he took the ball downhill. I think (RB) Derrick (Ward) came in and helped us. The biggest job of the day was when we were backed up and we basically went 70 yards and put that fourth quarter away. We're at our best when we control the line of scrimmage and it took us a while to get that done today, but we were patient and got it done."
(on what he said to RB Arian Foster) "I just saw a couple of runs, and I said I thought you 'need to get the ball down a little better on the screen.' On the third down and six, I thought he should have gotten the first down. You know, it's just me talking to a player, challenging a player. I told him at halftime when I walked out with him, I said I expect more out of you than anybody. So that's the way he played. I mean this kid has a 200-plus day of offense. He's playing some damn good football. As he goes we kind of go, so we need him at his best."
(on RB Arian Foster being at his best in the fourth quarter) "He really has. He's a big body and just kinda gets going. It was its nice for us today because we got a lead today. We haven't been in that scenario in the last month. We were able to put the ball in his hands, so that was nice for him to have."
(on RB Arian Foster influencing the two touchdown passes) "He had some big turn-downs too. We've been using him more to catch the ball and he's responded, so that's somebody else people have to worry about. Like I said, Arian is a big part of what we're doing in all phases of the game, and those two touchdown pass, he was obviously huge so we'll keep doing it. He's got great hands, he handles a lot. He's a three-down player, so he's always going to be on the field."
(on if he called those passes instead of runs or if that was QB Matt Schaub's doing) "Matt did. Matt called it. I called run, he said, 'No way, I'm throwing the ball.'"
(on if WR Dorin Dickerson is ready to help if needed) "Yeah he suited up today. (WR) David Anderson wasn't ready to play, he nicked his hamstring on Thursday. He plays for (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) on special teams. He's come a long way. He's a young player, so we will see where we're at and be ready to go."
(on why CB Brice McCain was inactive) "We went in a different direction. We went with (SS) Torri Williams to play special teams. He's actually our only injury today. He's got a hamstring issue so that's why we went that way."
(on if they planned to control the time of possession the way they did) "I wish I could say that. I make that effort every week. But it happens when we're 9-of-18 on third downs. I talk to y'all all the time, that's the key to staying on the field in football, making third downs and getting snaps. You're buying that time of possession if you're able to do that, but if you can't make third downs, you're going to be in trouble. I'd love to do it every week. We got it done this week, but we have new challenges every state."
(on the if the defense had a 'come to Jesus' meeting this week) "We have a lot of those meetings. When you go on a four game stretch, we have a lot of meetings and things aren't good enough. One thing that has been consistent has been our effort, so we kept our effort just the same and got a little better today, and cut a few breaks. That's the NFL."
(on how he feels after the win) "I'm fine. I worry about the players, I worry about the coaches. There have been too many good things going on, and I know I've said that, for them not to reap the rewards of winning. Nothing makes you feel better than finding a way to get it done. We've got a short week. We've got to go back in there early in the morning and turn around and play Thursday. Our chin's up this week. So it's nice to go fix problems or fix issues when you win. I'm just happy for them, that we can move forward this week feeling a little bit better."
(on if there was anything he didn't like about the game today) "No I thought we played pretty dang hard and pretty good. We had control of the football game, and I like the way we finished the game physically as a team."
(on the possibility of only being one game out after tonight's games) "You obviously know more than I do right now. Like I said, we're playing ball. Were playing a great team on Thursday, if we can find a way to win our games down the stretch we'll be there. We've just got to stay focused on Thursday right now."
Houston Texans CB Jason Allen
(on how the Texans shut down (RB) Chris Johnson) "Playing good defense. Don't let up. Game tackling and going to the ball. The guys up front, the line backers, and everybody all around played a heck of a game, whether it was stopping the run or playing the pass. (CB Glover Quin) GQ came away with three picks today and it was real big. We talked about getting four turnovers, and we came away with three. It was all around a good effort. I liked the way (CB Glover Quin) GQ played today. He played a heck of a ball game today."
(on needing the success today) "I think we need the success week in and week out. Confidence boosters—and I'm pretty sure this type of game will help as an individual stand point for (CB Glover Quin) GQ and other guys in the secondary and guys up front and as a team. It was definitely a confidence booster cause we lost a few games in a row and had a nasty taste in our mouth. It felt good to finally get that taste out. We'll celebrate the win tonight and get ready for Philadeplia on Thursday."
(on being a mentor to CB Glover Quin) "I have spoken to him. Not just him, but all of the guys. Whatever wisdom that was passed to me from guys when I was young. I tried to inform those guys and tell them as much as possible. I remember telling (CB Glover Quin) "GQ that he is a talented ball player. You take the coaching and you can't just be a robot on the field. You have to go out and make plays. The coach may say you need to be here and help, but your natural instincts and the ball player in you is going to tell you to do that but you have to scoot in a little bit. He is a great player."
Houston Texans T Duane Brown
(on his reaction to the victory) "In this game, we felt like we were in control in all phases of the game. The defense did a great job shutting them out. We did a great job moving the ball. We left some points out there but it was a great team win for us."
(on whether it's a relief to win) "Definitely a sigh of relief. A four-game losing streak. That's huge to get a win like this against a division rival at home. They've always been known to come in and be more physical. We definitely won that battle today."
(on the physicality of the game) "We knew what kind a game it was going to be against these guys. We knew they were very physical and would try to intimidate you with little things that they do. We weren't going to have that. We let that be known from the first play on. It kept going on throughout the game and finally it was a bit of an explosion right there at the end."
Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing
(on his reaction to the victory) "It was good. The opportunity for our defense to come out and play the way we know we are capable of doing.
(on the play of CB Glover Quin) "It was awesome. Coming into the game and getting three interceptions, that's huge. Those are the kind of games we need out of each other to play the way we need to."
(on his performance) "It's kind of getting back in the groove. I just wanted to go out and play relentless. If you play hard good things will come.
(on the fight in the fourth quarter) "It was pretty wild. That's a big-time fight. You get a rivalry game. You get guys going that hard and playing that hard, things are going to happen."
Houston Texans LB Zac Diles
(on the victory) "To come out and have a performance like this as a group, it means a lot."
(on defensive coordinator Frank Bush getting the game ball) "We've had our struggles this year and I know he takes a lot of the heat for that. To see him come out here and to be able to get a game ball, that boosts everybody's spirits. It's good to see. We just have to keep rolling."
(on the performance of LB Brian Cushing) "It was great. It was fun watching him play. He looked like he just let it loose today and when he does that, good things happen. Today, the guy probably had four tackles for a loss. He could've had an interception but he didn't want it. I'm going to get on him about that. He played great. We just have to keep it rolling."
(on the performance of CB Glover Quin) "That's huge to come out and have three interceptions in the game. It's a big confidence booster. Glover is a pro. It's only his second year but he's a heck of a pro. I was excited to see him get three interceptions."
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster
(on being part of the offense's game plan from the very beginning) "I don't really get too involved with the game plan and how much I'm involved. I'm just a chess piece, but when my number is called, I try to produce. I think I did that today."
(on Coach Kubiak saying he found another gear in the second half) "I always do. That's kind of my style as a runner--keep feeing me, keep feeing me and eventually I'll wear you down. I've been like that since I was young. It kind of goes into what I've been doing in the offseason and that's long-distance training and things like that. So that's kind of what I pride myself on, not wearing down."
(on what Kubiak said to him) "He just told me that he expects more out of me. He expects me to make plays when there aren't plays to be made. He's right. In the first quarter and early second quarter, it was a slow game, kind of an easy-going game and sometimes I play like that. All of us did. We just kind of kicked it in and found another gear and we really got rolling."
(on how big it was to get a win today) "It was big. We had a stretch of losses, a lot of heads have been hanging, a lot of criticism. That's football. You've got to take the highs with the lows. It's a quick turnaround in this league so we've got a game on Thursday to worry about against probably one of the best teams in football in the Eagles. We can't celebrate this too long. We're going to do okay tonight and then tomorrow we're right back to work."
(on how he rests his body in preparation for the game on a short turnaround) "A lot of ice. A lot of ice and vitamins."
(on the Texans playing a mistake-free game) "There's never a mistake-free game. Trust me. We get graded on every single play on every single little detail. We're not shooting ourselves in the foot. I think that's the biggest thing. We're not making big mistakes, the things that really hurt ourselves."
(on if Kubiak said anything to the team at the half after a flat first half of offense) "No, he never really raises his voice too much. It was really just--we felt it. He came up to me as I came out of the tunnel to start the second half and told me, 'I expect a lot of you, man.' Like he said, I found another gear. I felt like we couldn't let this team come back and it starts on the ground. That really just eats at the heart of a team and we got it done today."
(on what the message was after the game) "(Kubiak) was just really proud of us because in this league, you take so much criticism from all angles. His message was that's what happens when you keep working--good things happen. He believes in us and it's good when your leader believes in you. He also let us know that we play one of the best teams in football on Thursday, so we'll go right back to work on Monday."
(on if it was encouraging to show what they were capable of today) "We're not blind. We know what we're capable of. It's just about execution. It's just about being consistent day-in and day-out and doing the same things over and over again on a consistent basis. If we keep at it, then things are going to happen for us."
(on the play of the offensive line) "They continue to play big-time. It's been fun running behind them. They're physical. This is a physical defense we were playing. I can't say enough about (FB) Vonta Leach. I think people are really starting to recognize what he's able to do out there on the field. He's finally getting the credit that he deserves. Hopefully, he gets the credit that he deserves at the end of the season."
Houston Texans CB Kareem Jackson
(on WR Andre Johnson and CB Cortland Finnegan ) "It was a hostile game. You knew those guys were going to come in a be physical. It is just a part of the game and sometimes it happens like that. You just don't want to be on the losing end of that. It's football."
(on the shutout ) "Anytime you get a shutout it is a good thing. We are just going to come in and work hard. Regardless of what anybody says, we still have a job to do an we are going to come and do that.
(on if knocking the ball from WR Justin Gage, sparked the defense) "I think the whole we were into it. I don't want to say that one play sparked it. It definitely helped. All the plays the guys made today helped. Any little bit that we can do help us out a whole lot throughout the game."
Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson
(on Titans CB Cortland Finnegan) "I really don't have anything to say about (CB) Cortland (Finnegan). I would like to apologize to the organization, our owner, and my teammates. What happened out there today was not me. I just lost my cool and I wish that I could take back what happened, but I can't. It's over and done with now. I'm pretty sure that I'll be disciplined for it. When that time comes, I'll find out what it is and have to deal with it from there."
(on if he's concerned about getting suspended) "It's something that I thought about. Of course I hope that doesn't happen, because I'll be hurting my team."
(on what caused his altercation with Titans CB Cortland Finnegan) "It was just a build up over plays and I just lost my cool."
(on if Titans CB Cortland Finnegan was trying to bait him into a fight) "I think that he was frustrated with what was going on during the game. He kept doing little things, and I told him, 'Just because you're frustrated, you need to stop what you're doing.' And I guess he thought it was funny."
(on what happened on the particular play before the fight) "He was mad because we exchanged some words. He tried to quick jam me because he thought I wasn't looking. He snatched my helmet off and I snatched his off and it went from there."
(on if he was in a blur during the fight) "Like I said, that's not me. I'm not happy about what happened. It's out of character for me. I hope that I'm not suspended for the next game."
(on Texans owner Bob McNair's comments on the fight) "Everybody's going to make a joke about it because it wasn't them. I just hate that it happened. The biggest thing now is just thinking about the disciplinary action. That's the main thing that's on my mind right now."
Houston Texans S Bernard Pollard
(on the victory) "I said a couple weeks ago 'Good things happen to people who keep working hard'. We continue to grind. We continue to move forward and I'm so happy for this defense. I'm so happy for this team. To point a guy out like GQ (Glover Quin), I'm so happy for him. Just everything that we've gone through individually and what we have gone through as a team, I'm so proud by the way we responded. We're going to play the best team in the NFL Thursday night. We're going to be ready to go."
(on shutting down the Titans running game) "Well, I think the biggest thing with playing a guy like that is you have to take away what he is good at. You take away the outside. You close the gaps. You have to do your job. We did that. We have to continue to do that. I think we have to use this as momentum to carry us through. It's do-or-die for us and I think we understand that. This is the NFL. We've slacked off. We've lost some nail biters but I think we're ready to go."
Houston Texans CB Glover Quin
(on his feeling after today's win and his three interceptions) "It was a great feeling. These last two weeks have been super tough. The things we wouldn't do as a team, the things I wouldn't do as an individual have been super tough. To be able to come out and put together a game like this and get the results that we got and not only get the win but get the shutout. I got my first career pick. So, it was just a great day."
(on his performance over the last two weeks) "I beat myself up a lot just because I want to win and regardless of the situation, regardless of what happened, I want to try to be successful. So I beat myself up a lot but I try to do everything I can to stay confident in my abilities to play. I had great support from my teammates and my coaches and they just kept believing in me and I kept believing in myself and believing in God. I knew it was going to come through eventually, and today it came through and I couldn't be happier."
(on his concerns if he was going to play today) "Monday, I found out it was broken and it was really, really sore. Even going through the week of practice I had a cast on but I never did really use it because it was just sore. They were asking me if I was going to play and I kept saying 'Yeah, I'm going to play.' I feel like I always can play unless my legs are broken. I just kept doing treatment, kept rehabbing and then last night at the hotel it just kind of stopped hurting. I had it in a cast but I was kind of just hitting it on a wall, just tapping a little bit because earlier in the week, I would tap it with my hand, and I would think, 'Man, I don't know.' Last night I was kind of tapping it and I didn't feel anything. I was moving my finger a little bit and it didn't really hurt so I thought, 'It feels pretty good.' Then I came in this morning, it felt pretty good and I got some pain killers. They put a cast on it and I went to work."
(on whether he felt pain when getting his interceptions) "No, not one time did I feel any pain. Not one time. I thought about it some time because it got caught in there a few times but it was nothing really that, I couldn't take. With the adrenaline and the way we were playing, I didn't feel that much pain, that would cause me not to play anymore."
(on Kubiak's remark about his broken hand) "Hey, based on the way it was today, playing with a broken hand and then the results that we got maybe I should've broken it earlier. I just have to keep working and keep being patient and good things come to people who wait and people who work. This team, we've been working all season, and we haven't been getting the results that we wanted but we knew coming in that if we played for sixty minutes, we would get some good results and, we got it today."
(on how much this win meant for the team) "I thought this was a huge win for this team, and just like I said, all of the stuff we have been going through, coming off of a four game losing streak off of the bye week, it was just getting mentally draining and you don't want to try to press as a team but everybody was kind of pressing and were thinking , 'we have to get a win' so with a quick turnaround going into Philly, it was good to get a win, a good home win so now we're at home, we can probably get some treatment, start getting ready for this quick turnaround on Thursday."
(on whether he felt relief because of the defense's performance) "No, I don't feel a sense of relief. I just feel like we played the way we could play all year, we just, earlier in the year, we had chances to make plays and we didn't make them. Today we had a chance to make plays and we made them, but I don't every feel like we've arrived yet. We still have five games left. What's to say we go out next week and we don't play really good. We just have to keep working and keep doing what we're doing. Keep studying and preparing ourselves every day in practice and just keep playing the games. You never know what can happen. We have five games left. We just have to finish up strong and if we play good pass defense, we have a good chance because our run defense is pretty good."
(on whether the defense adjusted because of Tennessee's rookie quarterback) "No, we never did really talk about that because we kind of expected a different game plan coming in. We thought we were going to come in and kind of take it out of his hands and put it in 28's hands, (RB) Chris Johnson. I think the first play of the game, they tried to throw the ball. I don't know if they felt we would stack up and stop the run and the fact that we were last in the NFL in passing. I don't really know, but we stopped the run and we happened to stop the pass today too. It was just overall, a good performance for our defense. "
(On RB Chris Johnson's performance) "At one point, I think they had zero yards rushing. A Pro Bowl running back had 2,000 yards last year, probably the fastest running back in the league. To pretty much take him out of the game, that was just good for our defense. Made them one-dimensional and we were able to play some good pass defense and it was just a good team."
(on how this win feels because of the last two weeks) "I just feels good to know that through it all, just keep believing, keep trusting in God and good things will happen. I knew through the whole situation that it was a test. I didn't know what the lesson was, I still don't really know but I just believe that through it all, just keep your head up, keep fighting, keep believing and grinding and good things will happen. I don't really know much more about the rest of the season, how it's going to go but today, after the last two weeks, it feels really good right now. I'll soak it up today, get back to work today and get ready for Philly."
Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on what today's win means in terms of the playoff hunt) "It means we have a chance. It feels good to know that we're still in the hunt. We have a lot of work to do. We beat a good football team today. Our defense played outstanding, top to bottom from start to finish. Offensively, we were pretty balanced. We would have liked to come away with more points on some of those drives but it's a good group we faced and we're pleased with the win."
(on if he knows what happened in the fight between Titans CB Cortland Finnegan and Texans WR Andre Johnson) "No, I don't really know what exactly happened. I was talking to a few of the guys talking to Andre so I heard second handed, but I didn't really see any of it. It's two aggressive players, physical players, and it got a little out of hand."
(on the importance of the win) "It's huge. After losing four in a row, especially the last few in the manner we had lost them, it was great to come back home against a good football team in our division and come away with the win. It's big for us."
(on if he was satisfied with the offense's performance) "Yeah I liked our plan, I liked the way we executed it. Like I said, we wish we could have come away with more points. We were able to move the football. We got in their territory, especially in the first couple drives. But couldn't get another first down in order to get into field goal range or get into the red zone. But our guys battled all day and it's a great win for us."
(on the impact if WR Andre Johnson is suspended for the next game) "It would be a big blow. He's obviously one of our best players and our go-to guy in the past. It remains to be seen what the outcomes are going to be. If that's the case we have to have guys step up and make plays and find a way to beat Philadelphia on Thursday night. But hopefully he'll be with us and be able to move forward."
(on if he was surprised by the fight because of Johnson's quiet nature) "Yeah, that is definitely out of Andre's personality. That is not the type of guy he is and we all know that. But it's been a heated battle and a heated rivalry for a few years now. It was just good to come away with a win."
(on if he feels like the team will take off on a winning streak after today's win) "Yeah, I think so. It only takes one to start a streak and this is a good one to start with, after the last few weeks of playing pretty good football. Ultimately, at the end of the game when the clock read zero, we didn't get it done. But to come back home and to have this complete game with the offense doing their part and moving the ball, finished running the football with the 80-yard drive was huge for us. And the defense played outstanding. They really held a good offensive football team in check and came away with a few turnovers which was great. It was a complete win."
(on if he agrees that the Texans can play with the other teams in the playoff picture) "Yeah, absolutely. The way we played against a lot of those teams, there are a few teams in the mix that we have played. We're right there. We know we can go out and play against anybody and win. It's just about going out and executing and playing smart football."
(on what he learned from backing up Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick for 3 years) "I learned a lot watching Mike and playing behind him for three years. He was one of the most, at the time, visible and talented sports figures, along with the likes of Tiger Woods, in the world. Just learning and watching him go through a game plan each week, what he had to deal with being the starting quarterback, there were just a ton of things I learned and took away from that."
(on if he will talk to Michael Vick before Thursday's game) "Yeah I'll talk to him once we get up there and we play. I'm looking forward to playing against him and playing up there in Philadelphia. That's where I grew up, so it will be fun to go back home and play up there."
(on the offense's fast start) "We were moving the football. We would have liked to convert those opportunities into points. But we were able to pin them down there inside their own 10 and let our defense play well. We were able to move the football. We had positive plays, positive gains, and it paid off for us as the game went on."
(on the team's confidence in the running game) "It's huge for us. Coming in to this year, after the past few years, to get a running game going, to remain balanced and have that efficiency in the run game was a big emphasis. And to have (RB Arian Foster) come out and have the season he's having is huge. The defense gets to rest a little bit more. We get to use the clock and control the tempo. That's a huge weapon for us."
(on the offense's performance in the second half) "We were able to control the tempo. Our defense got some turnovers and we were able to run the football and control the game."
Houston Texans DE Mario Williams
(on the win) "It was great. We came out and played assignment football. We got some huge turnovers and it was very filling. We needed a win no matter what. For us to come out and get a W, it was great for us."
(on the defensive tackling) "We missed a few still. We have to do better, but we definitely improved on our tackling and our responsibilities."
(on the lack of validity playing against QB Rusty Smith) "If you are talking about me personally or the D-line, we are going against the offensive line. We have to get to that guy, and once we get there then we will deal with that. As far as I can say, you can only play against the guys that are out there."
(on concerns about possibly not having CB Andre Johnson Thursday) We deal with that when we get to it. You can't do anything about it. I don't concern myself with things I can't control."
(on DE Mark Anderson) He is helping us out as far as getting back to the quarterback. He is a great pass rusher and he plays the run well. He is another addition to our D-line."
Houston Texans T Eric Winston
(on the fight between WR Andre Johnson and Titans CB Cortland Finnegan) "I don't even know what happened. Honestly, I was down field blocking and the whistle started blowing. The only the thing I tried to do was to limit the damage and try to get guys off of each other. That was mayhem right there."
(on if it was mayhem after the fight in the scrum) "That's always kind of nuts with guys going after each other and the little skirmishes outside of that, but it is what it is. I'm not going to characterize it. It happened and we just have to move on."
(on how concerned he is about the possible suspension of WR Andre Johnson) "I'm very concerned. It's (WR) Andre Johnson. I'm being serious, you know? It's him. I hope not. Maybe, they'll just give him a big fine and let him play."
Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher
(on QB Rusty Smith's first game ) "Anytime you start a rookie, in his first start, first game, you talk all week about the importance of everyone picking their game up. We have to get the little things right. We have to help him. We have to get the little catches and those kinds of things. We had our hands on some balls early but we couldn't keep the drive alive. Then, we hurt ourselves with penalties. Some penalties and false start penalties are related to a first start quarterback. He's trying to check on players and get in and out of things. He made some good throws. Obviously we didn't play well enough to win the game. We had a couple balls we'd like to have back. Everybody has to help. Our defense can walk away saying they played really hard until the end. They played a really talented, potent offense. Kept them to 20 points. In a game like that you need a turnover, you need a defensive score, you've got to really play well and things didn't go well for us today."
(on having struggles with RB Arian Foster) "He is a real good player. He's done that all year against everybody. I thought we missed some tackles. He is hard to tackle. We told them that all week, he's a hard guy to get down one on one. He made some plays on third downs, created some matchups and (QB) Matt
(Schaub) made some good throws on third downs, he's a good football player."
(on the team getting past last week's turmoil) "No, the team responded. They came back and worked hard. They worked hard through the holiday, we had a good practice Friday, and we were ready to play. We just didn't make enough plays to win the game."
(on the fight between WR Andre Johnson and CB Cortland Finnegan) "(CB) Cortland (Finnegan) said he never took a swing, he just knocked his helmet off. I'm a little confused as to why they said they both threw punches. I have to look at it, I don't know. When the referee is telling me they both threw punches, but both of the other officials are saying he didn't throw a punch, he threw the helmet off, I'm confused. I think based on what I saw and what I'm being told, Cortland had to be kicked out of the game. I'm sure the league will handle it."
(on if he would have rather not seen a fight happen) "It's not good for the game, no. You don't want to see that stuff. You don't want to see a player slug another player like that."
(on rumors about QB Vince Young) "(QB) Vince (Young) is on injured reserve. He will have surgery at some point on his finger and he is on injured reserve."
(on if he's worried about the remainder of the season because of the four-game losing streak) "No, we played hard today. We are going to prepare and play hard. We just have to find a way to win the game. I'm not concerned about what's happened in the past. We're going to stay focused. We've got to get the defensive line back and we're playing too many plays on defense."
(on the running game struggling) "It was just us struggling as a whole. Getting beat here and there. Hitting the wrong hole. This and that. Then, getting behind, trying to change field position and take some shots."
(on being upset about the horse collar call) "I'm confused. They told me that they changed the rule and you don't have to take them to the ground. They said a memo went out regarding that. I'm a little confused. It may have come out, I didn't see it. To me, that's an example of the horse collar rule working. He did take him to the ground. As a result, he didn't make the tackle. I'm a little confused. I'm going to have to have a discussion with the league office regarding that because that one went right by me."
(on expectations for the rest of the season) "Expectations for this week is to bounce back on the practice field and put a good game play together. We'll see if we can play better against Jacksonville."
Tennessee Titans DE Jason Babin
(on what needs to change to get the team back on track) "We have to win games. We have to score touchdowns and stop them from scoring. There's no magic potion or magic solution. We just have to do better all around."
(on if he feels he proved a point to the Houston Texans for letting him go) "I think it's not just this week, I think it's every game. Everybody always watches what everyone is doing around the league."
(on him playing on both sides of the defensive line today) "It's not easy. I felt like I was out of my homeland. It's what the team needs me to do, so that's what I gotta do.
(on what he thought about the fight between WR Andre Johnson and CB Cortland Finnegan) "It was weird because, you know, Andre Johnson is 220 pounds and you would think that a 220-pounder three times in the head would knock them out, but I guess Cortland (Finnegan) is a really tough guy."
(on who he thought was in the wrong for the fight happening) "Well, from what I saw, it looked like Cortland (Finnegan) jammed him and then Andre (Johnson) pulled his helmet off and retaliated and socked him three times. Both guys are not supposed to be doing that but I'm surprised that Andre (Johnson) took it that far hitting Cortland (Finnegan) without a helmet on."
(on if he thinks there is time for the team to turn around after such a good start) "Oh, there's time. The bottom line is that we need to score touchdowns and stop other people from scoring any. You know, it's just basic football and basic fundamentals."
(on if he thought the fight symbolized a boiling point or frustration) "They have a history, from what I understand. We are rivals, but it's football. Emotions get hot at times."
(on the emotion of the team right now) "We've got to step it up. There's no excuse for losing this game or losing this many in a row. We need to get back to playing our defense and playing our offense and win games."
(on if he thinks the team has lost its focus) "No. I don't think we lost our focus. There has been a lot going on, but we're not the kind of team to have excuses or use excuses for that matter."
(on if he was surprised at Andre Johnson retaliating the way he did) "Yeah. He's a soft-spoken guy. He's out at practice every day and works hard and says the right things. Just seeing him throw those punches on somebody without a helmet on, that's surprising. But like I said, emotions get high and that's the way things go."
(on his family tailgating before the game with Houston Texans gear on and how he felt about that) "They might be disowned by tomorrow."
Tennessee Titans WR Justin Gage
(on the offense not making enough plays for Rusty Smith) "That's a part of it. As a receiver, we feel like any ball thrown, we should make a play on it. We should be able to block for the run game but we didn't get any points today and that's the key."
(on what the loss symbolizes to the team) "Everybody has to step up a little more. Whether it's studying or on the field practicing, we just have to come together and know our backs are to the wall."
(on if they can get back on track winning) "We definitely can. We did that last year and it's something we've done and I feel we can come together and do that."
(on if the Vince Young story was a distraction this week) "No, this was just another game. It's Sunday and two teams came out to play and they just made more plays than us."
(on Tennessee Titans CB Cortland Finnegan fighting Houston Texas WR Andre Johnson) "I didn't see it. When it took off I didn't go look at it. It's football, it gets hot out there, guys get physical and it is what it is."
Tennessee Titans S Michael Griffin
(on opportunities to win the game) "There were opportunities to score. We were right down there ready to score a field goal and we get a turnover. Those are turning points. [Houston Texans CB] Glover Quin today had three interceptions. Turnovers win ball games and he was getting interceptions at key points and preventing scores. We just have to work on third down and getting off the field and continue to work on scoring."
(on the physical play of the game and protecting teammates) "You have to stick up for your teammates. We all go to battle together. This is a tradition game, a rivalry game. The Tennessee Titans used to be the Houston Oilers, so a lot of that comes in to play. That's part of the pre-game speech, especially with [Tennessee Titans owner] Bud Adams living here. It's always a great, fun game to play in. Unfortunately, we lost this one."
(On Tennessee Titans CB Cortland Finnegan fighting Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson) "[Corland's] a corner, him and Andre are out there by themselves on an island so I don't know exactly what was happening. Seems like everything was going smoothly then there was a run play to the left and that's when I heard the crowd yelling and screaming and I looked over and you just see a bunch of people going back and forth. It's a one-on-one battle and you've got people coming off the bench, you see a teammate getting jumped by a couple of players and you've got to try to break it up and help your fellow teammate out. I don't think any harm was done. Both players were ejected and we continued to play the football game. A loss is a loss and they beat us fair and square."
(on the history between Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson) "There was no one particular play where you saw them talking or saying anything after plays so I did not see that coming whatsoever. I don't know what happened. I don't know if there were punches thrown or anything."
(on perception of Cortland Finnegan being an "instigator") "Cortland plays football. He's a great football player. Cortland has his own game plan and what he chooses to do is what he chooses to do. You can't take that away from the man as a football player."
(on Cortland's demeanor after the game) "He was in a good spirit. When the game is over, it's over. He was the same happy, cheery guy off the field. In the heat of battle it's game time. You turn your game face on, get physical and play football."
Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson
(on what he attributes to struggling running the ball today) "I'm not sure. We just have to watch film and see what happened. We weren't able to run the ball at all so I'm not sure."
(on the biggest factor of not being able to run the ball) "Just couldn't stay on the field."
(on Tennessee Titans CB Cortland Finnegan fighting Houston Texas WR Andre Johnson) "I really didn't see it. I was on the bench. I just know we're teams that don't really like each other."
(on Cortland Finnegan's reputation of being an "instigator") "I don't know."
(on if the Houston Texans stacking the line against him was a factor) "We really didn't run the ball so I don't think it was that. We could have ran the ball on them but we didn't run it, so it wasn't anything like that."
(on if the team had a lack of focus this week preparing for the game) "I wouldn't say that's the reason. A lot happened but I wouldn't say that's the reason. We just didn't make plays."
(on not being on the field on the series before halftime) "I guess they were giving me rest or whatever. Something like that. It wasn't anything like that, they just didn't want me in."
(on being surprised about the lack of run plays with a rookie QB) "I was surprised we didn't run the ball that much but when we go three and out, what can you do?"
(on if team was distracted by Vince Young story during the week) "I wouldn't blame it on that. That's just an excuse."
Tennessee Titans T Michael Roos
(on how he thinks the team performed today) "We played terrible on offense. The defense did a good job. They got off the field on third downs, gave us chances, and field position. I think it is just a matter of every guy looking at themselves in the mirror and finding out what it is that they are doing wrong. If it's not anything wrong, at least doing whatever it is better, and taking it upon yourself to come back and work."
(on the mental state of the team at this point) "It's something that I think we are all wondering. It's not something that anyone knew what was going on. We'll have to look at it on film. I think it is just a matter of each person looking at themselves, not anybody else, and find out what it is that you did better or what you could have done better, and just do that. Don't worry about what anybody else is doing and just try to make sure you are doing your job to the best of your abilities."
(on how concerned he is with the direction the team is heading) "It's definitely not panic time, I think. Mathematically we aren't even needing help, we're still in it. If we win out, win everything else in our division, it's still a pretty good chance of us making the playoffs."
Tennessee Titans G Jake Scott
(on the offense not being able to run the ball right now) "It's kind of puzzling because we had a lot of success earlier in the year. We have to figure out how to run the ball again. We have to figure out how to get first downs. One step at a time; just get a first down, and we'll go on from there."
(on how the team struggled today) "We couldn't get first downs. Nothing we did was working. It was poor execution on our part. We just hung the defense out to dry. It's tough to win when you can't get a first down."
(on if he thought the team stepped up today with a rookie starting at quarterback) "Apparently not. We couldn't get a first down. Apparently we didn't step up."
(on where the team is mentally at this point in the season) "The team is the same place it is every week. We come in on Monday and study the film and try to get ready for the next week."
(on if there is a sense of urgency amongst the team) "There is a sense of urgency every week in this league. You have to have a sense of urgency every week. It's no more this week then it is last week and it's gonna be no more urgency next week than it was this week."
(on if the team took the loss a lot harder this week than any others this season) "A loss is a loss. You take them all hard. You have to move on. That's all you can do."
Tennessee Titans QB Rusty Smith
(on how he would grade his performance today) "I can't give you a grade right now. I can give you a better answer after I get back and watch some film. Honestly, I wish I could have some of those throws back, but you can't get them back. I thought I made some good decisions, some good throws, some bad decisions and some bad throws."
(on putting the frustrating plays behind him) "One of the main characteristics that a good quarterback has is amnesia, being able to forget about things that happened in the past, good and bad. You have to be able to get over things, bad and good."
(on the first interception thrown from inside his end zone) "Yeah, that was a bad throw."
(on the second interception, thrown inside the red zone) "One of the cardinal sins as a quarterback is flipping sides on a read and that is what I did."
(on the offense's frustration today) "We couldn't stay on the field on 3rd downs. We didn't build momentum and couldn't stay ahead of the chains. Our defense was on the field too long and that was our fault. We didn't stay on the field."
(on what the Texans' defense did to keep the Titans from throwing more deep balls) "If the defense is going to take away the deep throws, I'm not going to throw them and risk getting more interceptions. The farther the pass is, the lower the percentage is of it being completed."
(on what he learned from the experience today) "There is a lot to have been learned. We would be up here all day saying all of them. Just that I'm not as good as I thought I was (joking). Not really. This league is a great league with great players and great teams. The Texans did a great job of scheming us and taking away some things that we thought were going to be there."
(on if he was surprised by the play of the Texans' secondary considering they have struggled this season) "Statistically, you're right in saying that. But even from watching film through the week, they're good players. They start a corner who is a rookie and I can attest that starting in the NFL as a rookie is very difficult. They played very well. They made tackles in the running game. They had three interceptions. They played good, as I expected them to."
(on what the coaches told him after the game) "Just try and maintain the face that you have to keep your head up and push forward. Just forget about what happened in the past."
(on if his first start was harder than he thought it would be) "I wouldn't say it was harder. I was expecting it to be faster, which it was. I was expecting them to make plays and they did. So I wouldn't necessarily say it was harder. I expected it to be exactly like it was. But you can't create that in practice. Getting the experience is gold."
Tennessee Titans LB Stephen Tulloch
(on what needs to change for the team to turn things around) "We have to find a way to win. The defense has to find a way to get off the field. We have to create some turnovers. We have a little adversity on our side right now. We have to figure things out. I'm sure the offense will get together and we have to get together. There are five more regular season games left. We have Jacksonville (Jaguars) coming in and we have to find a way to win."
(on if the team is in shambles right now) "Not, not shambles. You know we have got to dig deep. We have to evaluate ourselves. Like I told the guys before, we are being evaluated. Whatever it is that is going on, we have to find a way to change it. We'll do our best to turn things around. These guys have a lot of pride and we don't want to go out there and lay an egg. We just have to get better in practice and get better on Sundays, and find a way to win."
(on their chances of making the playoffs) "We got to pull it together and find a way. We lost four straight games. We started the season 5-2, we dropped four, and now we need to pinpoint things and see where we are out. I know we can get better on defense and a lot of different areas of the team and we just have to find a way to get the job done."
(on RB Arian Foster having success against them running the ball) "He's had success all season. He's a good player. You have to respect his ability. They run a zone, the same offense Denver ran with Terrell Davis and Mike Anderson. You put anybody in that system, they can put up yards. The offensive line did a good job of zone blocking. He makes plays. That wasn't the big thing. I think the big thing was us not getting off the field on third downs. We didn't have a lot of third downs. We didn't get off the field. Like I have been saying all year, we have to find a way to win."