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Practice quotes: Wednesday


With 2.5 sacks at Tennessee on Sunday, Williams increased his total to 8.5 and moved into first place on the Texans' all-time single season sacks list.

Many of the Texans spoke to the media on Wednesday as they prepared for the 8-4 NFC South-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on the right guard position for this week) "Like I said, we're going to work all three of those guys this week, work (G Mike) Brisiel and (G Kasey) Studdard and (G Brandon) Frye. We'll probably settle on two of them and probably play two of them throughout the game. That's probably the way we'll handle it. We'll see."

(on how the three of them looked in practice) "They're all fine. They're all a little nervous because they understand what's at stake and the opportunity for all of them to step in there and be a player. We'll go back and look at it, evaluate them. They understand what's going on and we'll see who takes the most advantage of it."

(on how hard it is to make that decision based on a few days of practice) "You're not making it just this week. You're tying in everything that's been going on since they've been here. When you look at all of them, you have two kids with very little experience and (G Mike) Brisiel, even though he has not played, has a lot of experience because he's been with us for two years. We'll just see how they handle what we're doing game plan wise, the calls, and whose working the best with (C) Mike (Flanagan). A lot of things will go into that, it won't just be what we see today or tomorrow. A lot of things will go into that."

(on the opportunity these kids have) "One thing about the NFL, when you're a backup player and you're not playing, the mindset that you have going out here and stuff, you can say what you want, but you kind of know at the end of the week that you're not the guy. And then, all of a sudden, when you wake up one morning and you might just be the guy, it's a little bit different. You can tell the difference with (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) and those guys, but its opportunity. In this league, if you ever step on the field on Sunday and you do it, nobody can ever take that away from you. You'll play a long time so it's a great opportunity for them.

(on the running back situation) "I didn't practice (RB) Ronnie (Dayne) today. He has a sore ankle, but I expect him to be fine. (RB) Ahman Green did practice today, took limited reps with the offensive team, looked good. That's a positive move and other then that, we practiced the two young kids."

(on if RB Ahman Green might be able to go on Sunday) "Yes, I sure hope it's a sign. Let's see. Let's see how he wakes up tomorrow morning."

(on where he is with QB Matt Schaub) "He's out of the sling, which that's a good thing. He's still hurting pretty good. Do I think there's a chance this week? I would say I don't think so at this point. We'll keep going and since it's not his throwing shoulder, it's a matter of when he gets comfortable and we know he can protect himself, he can back on the field, but I don't' see that right now."

(on QB Sage Rosenfels being the guy on Sunday) "I know he's not going to do that, he's a tough kid, but we'll prepare if (QB) Sage (Rosenfels) is our guy and (QB) Shane (Boyd) will back him up and if a miracle happens between now and then with (QB) Matt (Schaub) we'll go from there."

(on how good the Buccaneers' defense is) "It's excellent. It's been good. It's been the best defense in football if you look at the last, I think if you take the last 10 years into effect, what's been the most consistent defensive football team and the best overall, its Monte Kiffin's group in Tampa Bay. They went through a ton of injuries last year. They're back at full strength. They picked up a great young player in the kid from Clemson. They're playing extremely well. They haven't given up points. They've given up 180-something in 12 games, that's not a lot. They're playing extremely well."

(on what makes LB Derrick Brooks special) "He's just a pro. He's been doing it a long, long time. He must take tremendous care of his body, to play that position for that long in the National Football League and still play it at a high level tells you that he must be a guys that really takes care of himself, because you don't that last long doing that if you don't."

(on coming back and playing a game at home) "It's nice to be home, period. We've been on the road for a while, of course, the last one was New Orleans. We have three out of four here at home in the next month. We have a little stand going on here in the course of the next 10 days that this team's never experienced. We need to experience what that's like, but we're excited to get back home."

(on what we can accomplish in the last four games) "We can accomplish a great deal. We can accomplish a great deal as a football team. We just have to keep plugging. Like I said, we want to play a lot cleaner then we've playing, but there's a great deal to accomplish. We've gotten better on the offensive side of the ball, the defensive side of the ball, and special teams. We need to prove to ourselves that we're ready to play these big time teams and there's none bigger then the one walking in here Sunday. We've been close. We sit here a talk about all the games we've been in and haven't made the play. We're not going to make it unless we just keep going back there until we do make it and prove to ourselves that we can get that done. This month is about doing that."

(on what was most alarming about the struggles in the third quarter) "It's just alarming of what has taken place. You could sit here and talk about the fact that a touchdown hasn't been scored in quite a few weeks in that quarter. I tend to look at the last two weeks that have almost carbon copies of each other from the standpoint of in Cleveland and Tennessee, the same thing happened. As I told you yesterday, we came out of the locker room, our defense was up, they went three-and-out. That's all you can do. Offensively, we went three-and-out. That's the least you can do. We've been dominated in that quarter. There have been some good things going on in the other quarters, but you have to find out what you're doing wrong and try to fix those things. That's a quarter we have to deal with. We have to deal with turnovers. Those are things we have to fix to become a good football team."

(on where DT Amobi Okoye is at and if he believes in the rookie wall) "Do I believe in it? I don't know how to answer that. I know the rookie season is a difficult one for guys that start from the very beginning, which we've had many of those players. I do know when you go through that, then all of sudden, it jumps you from year one to four. Just look at (DE) Mario (Williams), what type of player he is now because of what he went through last year. I see (DT) Amobi (Okoye) on the same path. He can play better. I'm expecting him to up his level of play the next month, but I think he's on his way to being a heck of a football player."

(on LB DeMeco Ryans not stalling last year) "He stalled, he couldn't walk for a while last year, about the last month. He never stalled as a player on the field; he kept making plays and that's what he's all about. Physically, he was really wore out and the end of the season last year. He's the same way; he's become a great player."

(on LB Danny Clark) "(LB) Danny (Clark) practiced a little bit today, so he's not quite full speed, but he did practice a little bit."

CB Fred Bennett

(on WR Joey Galloway and WR Ike Hilliard and what they bring) "(WR Joey) Galloway, he's old, but he has a lot of speed. He still runs like he's 19 years old. (WR Ike) Hilliard is a good route runner. It's a good group of receivers we're going to face this week."

(on the Buccaneers receivers going deep) "It's just a challenge for our corners. We have to be on top of our game this week."

(on Tampa Bay not giving up many sacks effects his mind set) "It doesn't effect it at all. I have all the confidence in the world in our front seven. I think they're going to go and prepare well this week and be ready to play Sunday."

(on sticking with coverage longer because they don't give up many sacks) "Of course, we know what's at stake here. Week in and week out we have to be good on coverage. We can't just rely on front seven, we have to go out and do our job also."

(on his learning curve week in and week out) "I just try to be as consistent as I can. Week in and week out we play top receivers in this league, receivers that can make plays. I try to go out there and be consistent."

QB Shane Boyd

(on how long he's been with the team) "I've been here probably like a couple months now."

(on how he's come along with the Texans' offense) "It's came along. All offenses in the NFL, they're basically all the same, it's just the terminology. Sometimes it's just harder to call a play than to really know how to execute a play, so it's something I've been continuing to work on, and they feel they're more comfortable with me now to I guess be in that backup role if they do call my number."

(on the difference in his mindset now) "Well, it lets you know that you're probably going to have to make a contribution, especially if something goes down. I mean, if I am the backup and Sage (Rosenfels) goes down, the team's looking for me to continue to keep the flow going, keep the offense moving, regardless if I haven't been getting reps or what number I am on the depth chart. So you've just got to continue to get yourself mentally ready every week knowing that your number could be called at any time. I'll go from practice squad or whatever last week to potentially I might have a chance to play, so you've just always got to be ready."

(on if his younger brother has decided where he will play football in college) "No, he hasn't decided. He's starting to get his visits and get all his coaching visits and stuff together, so that'll be a fun time for him."

(on what he brings to the position that the Texans' other quarterbacks might not) "Well, as every quarterback does, leadership, and I'm per se more athletic in a sense so I can move the ball, move the pocket a little better, and my arm strength. Those are just the attributes that the Texans saw in me to sign me, and they saw that back in preseason when I was with the Cardinals and I played against them in preseason."

(on what head coach Gary Kubiak told him this week) "Basically, he wasn't a man of many words. He said get ready to play and your number could be called this week, so we need you to zone in and focus in and you'll potentially be our backup guy, so continue to pay more attention, get more meetings in because I might have a chance to play."

(on if he is excited) "Yes, I'm real excited. This is our dream, this is what we do, so it's a great time. And then the fact that I got an opportunity that I might be able to get on the field, that's something great."

(on if he's been in this situation before) "Yes, probably back in college, really not as far as in the NFL. I was a backup role at UK and then I was thrown into from being a backup to a starter from one week to the next, so I've been in that role before. But it all boils down to continuing to be ready at all times, and your number could be called any time – you know how football is. You're always one play away."

G Mike Brisiel

(on what he has to do to show the coaches he's ready to play this week) "You know what, you've just got to do your job every time. You can't stick around on an NFL team unless you're working hard and improving each week, so things shouldn't really change."

(on how much more a part of the team he is now) "Well, we do basically the same thing as the other guys do – they just unfortunately they get to dress out on Sundays and get to have fun. But it's fun, it's a good thing. I was real happy when they called me in there and said they were going to bump me up, so I've just got to show them I belong out here now."

(on not wanting to see teammates injured) "Yes, I mean, the first thing I thought was just I hope nothing happened bad to Fred (Weary) and Chris (White) and basically, I was praying for them, so hopefully they'll make full recoveries and everything. And I've just got to pick up their slack where they left off, so I've got some big shoes to fill."

(on having an easy assignment in the Tampa Bay defense) "(Laughs) Yeah, right. They're an outstanding defense. We're going to have our hands full; we'll get it done, though."

(on if practice is more fun this week knowing he might play) "You know, practice will be the same. We've got to just keep working hard and basically preparing to play their defense, and if things turn out and I get a chance to play on Sunday, it'll just be a lot more fun for me on the weekend."

(on the position he plays) "You know, shoot, I've been having to prepare – if you're a backup in this league, you've got to be able to do more than one thing, so I've been playing center and both guards, just trying to increase my chances of getting bumped up."

LB Danny Clark

(on not being able to play against Tennessee) "I'm trying to get out there and help our team win. It was tough not to be out there – it was my first game I've missed in seven years, so that was a rough deal."

(on this week) "I'm looking forward to playing. I'm doing everything in my power to get it done and look like I'll be out there."

(on how the team can get it together mentally now) "I think it's the core. The core of our players is very strong, and I think everybody rallies around that. That character speaks volumes as far as the depth we have and guys that can step in and make some plays for our team, so at the end of the day we have to go out there and make plays. This is our livelihood, and we tell everyone that's our backup that we're one play away from being a starter. It's happened on several occasions this year, and guys have to step up and make plays."

(on how to bounce back against a good Tampa Bay team this week) "Well yes, they're a darn good team. We saw them on tape, they're making plays and I think they've own eight games so far, and it's definitely a group of guys that we have to attack early. And something that we've been suffering from is finishing football games, so we come out early, well great, but at the end of the day we've got to play 60 minutes of great football."

(on QB Luke McCown) "Man, he's one of the most athletic guys I've seen. We know his brother's out there in Oakland, and Jameel Cook actually played with him in Tampa and he was like, 'This guy can jump out the gym in basketball and he's like a tremendous athlete,' so we've got to understand that we're dealing with not just a guy that can throw the ball but that can scramble around and make some plays with his feet."

(on QB Jeff Garcia having experience) "Yes, the experience, and he's a double-edged sword. Again, he can get the ball around to his receivers but he also is a shifty guy in the pocket, so we have to understand the quarterback that we're dealing with each day."

(on how a speedy player like WR Joey Galloway affects linebackers) "Well, it requires the linebackers to get a little extra depth in our drops. This guy's probably 35-plus years old and still running like he's 16, so at the end of the day we've got to get back in coverage and make sure that we've got somebody on him at all times."

RB Ron Dayne

(on the struggles in the third quarter) "I don't know. We just need to go out there and get some of the third downs. We have to keep the defense off the field, stay on the field, and do what we have to do to do that. We have been having fun, but it's not fun losing."

(on if he's feeling more confident) "I'm kind of the same. I don't really change too much. I just kind of try to do that same thing, keep playing."

(on the difference in the run game now to earlier in the season) "I don't know, we're just running the ball. The line is doing a great job and we're out there running, they know I'm going to run hard. I guess they feel if they have somebody that's running hard behind them, they're going to block hard. They're doing a great job."

(on how much has it helped to establish the run early) "It's good. It's good for me, being able to get some yards and help the team, and score. I scored this week. Just being able to do what I can do to help the team is great for me."
C Drew Hodgdon

(on what he's been doing to stay in shape) "I think as you get in the first couple weeks, it's easy. But you get into Week 6 and Week 8 and half a season goes by, it gets tough. It's just routine. I think every player's used to regimen, and that's what I tried to do. Every day I would get up and lift at 7:30 and then in the afternoon and try to get some variety in there, run around Memorial Park or do something to switch it up, but it's not easy. But when you're not doing much else, it's not that hard."

(on being familiar with this team) "Yes, I think so. Obviously, I'm familiar with the front office and I think that benefits them, too; they know what to expect. And it helps me to not have to learn a new offense. It'd be difficult right now to go to a different team at this point in the season and expect to play. At center, it takes a couple of weeks just to be able to really get a grip on the playbook. So that's a definite advantage for me, and it's good to be back."

WR Andre Johnson

(on Tampa Bay's defense) "They're good, very good. I think they're the second ranked defense in the league behind Pittsburgh. We have no room for error. We have to go out and play our best football."

(on if it's good to get back to work after last week) "Yes it is. If we go out and win a game against Tampa, all those bad feelings will be out of our mind. We just have to go out and work today, come in and work tomorrow, work Friday and just take it one day at a time."

(on getting the mindset as a unit that everyone's going to make a play) "I look at it as you just have to make the best of your opportunities. You're not going to go out and get the ball every down. The ball is going to be spread around amongst all the players. Everybody just has to take it upon themselves when they get an opportunity just to go out and make the best play they can with it because you never know who the big play is going to be made by."

(on if there is any difference between QB Matt Schaub and QB Sage Rosenfels) "I really don't think it's any different because we feel comfortable with either one of those guys in there. We have a lot of confidence in both (QB) Matt (Schaub) and (QB) Sage (Rosenfels). Injuries happen and you hate to see Matt go down. Sage is in for Matt now and we're going to rally behind him and go out and do the same things we would do if Matt was out there."
WR Jacoby Jones

(on what he can to do to change the outcome of games) "Take one to the house, same thing coach told me. Take one to the house, that's all. Told me to do that."

(on if he feels pressure to do so) "None, sir, none whatsoever. I'm just going to let it happen, basically. I don't try to rush it."

(on if he has lost any confidence) "None whatsoever."

(on if he feels 100 percent) "Yes. I'm good."

QB Sage Rosenfels

(on Tampa Bay's defense) "I think they're defense is ranked one or two in the league. They're a great defense, tons of speed. It's not a super-complicated scheme, but they have great players that are very well taught."

(on if he's discussed his role for this weekend) "We haven't really talked about it, but I'm going to prepare, just like always, as if I'm going to play. Whether (QB) Matt (Schaub) is 100 percent healthy or whatever the situation he's in, I'm prepared to play. We'll see what happens as we practice this week."

(on how much it's helped him that he has had a lot of game experience this year) "That's helped and I think I've done a lot of good things out there. I've made mistakes also. The more you play, the more comfortable you feel. Usually, you end up playing better when you feel comfortable and confident."

(on what stands out about the Buccaneers' defense) "Great speed, they all rally to the ball, tackle, and they cause turnovers. There's usually not just one guy making the tackle. Usually one guy hits you first and about four or five guys are piling on. That usually creates turnovers and they're huge on the plus-turnover ratio as far as winning games."

(on the difference between coming in late in games and starting) "I don't think there's a huge difference. (QB) Matt (Schaub) and I have similar styles so, as far as the game plan, Coach Kubiak and Coach Sherman don't have to change a lot. Last game, I basically played the whole game. I felt fairly comfortable going out there at the end of the first quarter and I felt comfortable in the Oakland game starting. You just really have to treat each situation as in you're trying to score points to help the team win."

(on CB Ronde Barber) "He's a great player and he's been around a little bit. You think that, ability wise, he may not have it as much, but he definitely does. He has great instincts, great ability. He's a great tackler for a small guy and he understands coverages. He's been in that defense for his entire career. He understands it so well that he knows how to cheat every little coverage and every little pattern and that's where he creates turnovers."

(on Tampa Bay being better then their record would indicate) "Well, they are 8-4 and that's a pretty good record. I'd take it right now. They're as hot as any team in the NFC and they're definitely going to have a chance to make a run here. Hopefully, we slow them down a little bit this week."

(on finishing the season strong) "We have to finish this thing strong, but we can only worry about this game this week. I hope the fans really support us. It's been a tough season, we have a lot of guys injured, but we're going to keep fighting. We have a bunch of fighters on this team. I think everyone can recognize how much better we are as a football team this year. We got blown out in a lot of games last year and that really hasn't happened to us this year. We play everyone pretty tight and the last two ball games could have gone either way. We could be 7-5 and talking playoffs, but a few plays here and a few plays there and we're 5-7."

(on if the home field will help the team make that turn) "Absolutely, we all love playing at home. The fans can help us a ton if they're positive and supportive and what we're expecting on Sunday is to have an advantage by playing at home and our crowd being loud when our defense is on the field and causing havoc for their offense."

(on if it's easier to get in a rhythm when you've played in a couple games in a row) "Maybe a little, but I have played a lot over the past six or seven weeks. I feel pretty comfortable out there and we'll see what happens as the week goes on."

(on what it's like when you're waiting to get your chance, like QB Shane Boyd) "I think the key for him is what he's been doing since he got here four or five weeks ago and that's being in that playbook. At least he wasn't signed yesterday. He was signed a little while ago and he should have a general feel for the majority of our offense."

(on making plays when you need them, like the Patriots) "The Patriots have total belief that they're going to win the game, no matter what the score is, where they're at as far as the game, as far as the time. They have complete confidence that they're going to win that game some how some way. The last two weeks, they probably shouldn't have won those games, but maybe just through their straight confidence that they won those games. That's something you can't just talk about, it's something you have go do and have to work through. We're trying to get to get over that hump and get that confidence to where we feel when we're in a close ball game, as we have been the last few weeks, that we're going to win the game, not the other team."

(on if he'll have to pay more attention to the new starter at right guard) "No, those guys are going to do their job. That's (C) Mike Flanagan's job to get everyone in order. I'm worried about the Tampa Bay defense more then anything. I think whoever is playing at that right guard position will do a good job for us and play winning football. I have to go out there and just do my job and hope those guys do their job."

(on if he'll change things differently) "You just have to be smart with the football and not force things. They're so fundamentally sound in their drops and their coverages that if you start forcing things down the field and try to make too many things happen, they'll read your eyes and they'll intercept you pass or make a play on the ball."

(on adjustments that key coming out in the third quarter) "I don't know. I never realized we're struggling in the third quarter as we had until this past week when I read it somewhere. Obviously, that's something that we have to be aware of and we started out with three and outs and I made a mistake to end the game and our defense is on the field a lot of the third quarter. You want to score. I felt good about what we talked about at halftime, but we only ran seven or eight plays in that third quarter so we really didn't have much of a chance."

(on if most teams do the same thing at halftime) "Yes, for the most part they're basically the same and I feel great about what we do at halftime. I don't think, that's not a reason why we've struggled in the third quarter."
LB DeMeco Ryans

(on what keeps the team going through adversity) "It's all about why you come to work. You come to work to win, so it's all about winning. That's what keeps us going and that's why we're here. If you're not a competitor, then you don't need to be here."

(on if it matters who plays quarterback) "It does, I mean, Matt's (Schaub) our guy. But we have all the faith in the world in Sage (Rosenfels). We go against him every day, we line up against him; we know what he can do. He picks us apart every day, so we know he can get out there and play well for us."

(on not knowing who Tampa Bay's quarterback will be) "You prepare for their offensive system. (Luke) McCown, he's just a more athletic guy than (Jeff) Garcia is, but other than that the offense is pretty much the same no matter who is their quarterback. They still have their same base offense with a lot of shifting and motioning, trying to confuse us, get us out of our gaps and run the ball, but their offense is still going to be the same no matter who's the quarterback."

(on WR Joey Galloway affecting how linebackers play) "I mean, there's not much a linebacker can do about that."

(on if WR Joey Galloway will cause him to drop deeper) "Well, I can't get that deep (laughs), but a guy with the caliber of his speed and deep ball threat that he poses, that's for our safeties and corners to handle that. But as linebackers, we just have to focus on stopping the run so the safeties and corners can worry about just playing the pass."

(on needing to make plays in the last four games) "Like you said, we've been close, but it's just a matter of guys stepping it up and turning it on when the game's on the line, trying to be that guy who's going to go out there and make the play for the team to win. Everybody has to have that mindset. It's something that you have to dig deep within yourself to figure out, 'Hey, can I go out here and be the difference maker for our team in these next four games.'"

(on if head coach Gary Kubiak addressed that) "Oh, yeah, he's definitely addressed that; he's definitely told us that somebody needs to step up and make that play when the game is on the line. He's definitely told us that."

(on being back at home) "It always helps when you're at home. The homefield advantage is definitely a key, and you have your home crowd behind you and you're a lot more comfortable playing at home. It's a lot easier to be here."

(on if he takes pride in ranking second in the league in tackles) "I don't take much pride in it. Stats are what they are, but winning is a lot more important. I'd rather be last in tackles and winning a lot more games than we've been winning, so it doesn't matter to me because if you're losing, it really doesn't matter."

QB Matt Schaub

(on his shoulder) "It's feeling a little better. It's day-to-day, just trying to get range of motion and strength back in my shoulder. It's on the right track."

(on the result from the tests on his shoulder) "The doctors took a look at those and it's just a matter of seeing if we can get the range of motion and strength back. It was pretty limited there after the game and on Monday. It's going along smoothly and I just want to see how far we can take it."

(on if he can play on Sunday) "We'll see. It's a long way off. We're four days, five days away. I just need to do what I can each day to get myself prepared and get my shoulder back in shape to play."

(on what he will do today physically) "I'll be with the trainers and trying to just do my exercises and range of motion workouts to just keep it moving and keep it loose."

(on if he'll be on the field for practice) "Probably not today."

(on if anything has been ruled out for this weekend) "Nothing's been ruled out. I just need to stay in the training room and keep on top of the game plan, what we're doing, and just keep myself as healthy as I can."

(on dealing with injury issues this year) "It's been hard. Obviously, it's been a few years since I've been playing everyday and every week and getting hit, so it's been definitely frustrating. It's part of the game. It's part of the ebb and flow of the football season. It's just a matter of staying positive and keeping it on an even keel and keep moving forward."

(on if he's ever had this injury before) "No, I haven't. I separated my throwing shoulder in college, but the dislocation is a little different then a separation. No, I have never had one."

(on if they think he'll have to have surgery) "At this point, no. We'll just see how things go and how everything pans out."

(on if it's range of motion or being able to tolerate being hit there) "From what I know, I'm not an expert on these things, I just do what the experts tell me, but it's about range of motion and getting the strength back to withstand something so it doesn't come out again. Obviously, there's some tenderness around the area from it dislocating. I just need to get that strength and range of motion back in it."

(on how much you use your left shoulder) "Obviously it is better that it's my left and not my right. If you're a right-handed thrower, your left side of your body is still is used a lot in the motion. There's a lot of shoulder rotation and a lot of use out of it. It's unlike other positions where you lose one good shoulder then you can use the other, but this one, you use both sides of your body equally in the throwing motion."

(on how frustrating this injury has been) "It is frustrating because, sitting here a few months ago, we had other ideas of how things would go and how it would turn out. Again, we're sitting here 5-7 with four games to play and three of them are at home and we've got a tough schedule ahead us. We just need to remain positive and keep moving forward because we still can control how our season ends, us in this locker room. We just need to focus on that and go out each day and prepare to win."

(on how key it is to get a team going right after half time) "It's hard for me to classify what the problems are in the third quarter. I don't want to say it's just that, but we preach starting fast and that's the start of the game, start of the third quarter, coming out of the gates and establishing ourselves. We did that in the first half. We took the first possession and went right down the field and scored a touchdown. We'd love to do those things in the second half. The defense went out and went three and out and then we struggled moving the ball in the third quarter. It's hard to pinpoint one thing. It's just staying on top of what we're doing and executing."

G Kasey Studdard

(on getting in to the game last week) "It felt great. It's a fast game out there."

(on how it felt to be out there) "It felt great to be out there, just getting my feet wet again. I had a great time."

(on what's been the toughest part about starting all the time in college to waiting for your chance here) "It's hard because coming out as a starter for three years, you're always on the field. I knew that once I got to the Houston Texans and watching these older guys work and everything like that, there's a lot more to this game then there is in college. You're going against guys that are 10 times better. Everybody is good out here that you're playing against. You just have to be real sound in everything you do."

(on any concerns going into a game) "I really don't know if I have concerns going into games. Football is football. It's a game. You have to go out there and play your hardest every play. I really don't have any concerns."

(on what it means to contribute to the team) "I'm just so glad I have an opportunity to come out there and help this team win some ball games. That's the biggest thing."

DE Mario Williams

(on how to make sure the team finishes strong in the last four games) "Pretty much, we've got to look at the reason why we were losing the close games. It's just being more consistent in our play later on in the game, so pretty much we've just got to step it up ourselves and just be accountable."

(on if it's gratifying to be complimented by head coach Gary Kubiak and pile up statistics) "I mean, it's a nice thing to have but in the big picture, the whole scale of things, we have to win the games. So pretty much we've just got to take care of that business. And I've got to do something to make sure if it is me, or each one of us, each one of the players, we're going to have to take a look at that and say, 'Look, we've got to make a game-changing play,' so we've just got to do that and get it done."

(on if there is a difference in him this season) "I mean, I'm just playing. I'm just more comfortable. It's getting later on in the year and just settling down, finally, and pretty much just like I said being more comfortable with it."

(on if there is anything he's doing better this year than he did last year) "If you want to compare it to last year, it was pretty much just I was doing everything last year. I was in every position, going up and down the defensive line throughout the whole game, had a little injury – which I'm blessed to not have an injury this year, thank God. So it's just little things like that, and I've seen so much from last year that it makes it a lot easier now."

(on what it's meant not having to deal with the foot injury) "That was something that was just bizarre. It was just something that I just so happened to have, and I'm just glad it's over with now."

(on DE N.D. Kalu calling him one of the best defensive ends in the league) "(Laughs) I appreciate it, N.D. (Kalu). That's pretty much that's all I can say. I'm not even worried about comparing myself to other people, I'm pretty much just trying to do my own thing and get it done."

(on the biggest challenge for the defensive line in this game) "Their offensive line is probably by far the best that I think that we'll face at this point. They're very young but they work very well together and they're very physical, so our hands are going to be full and we're just going to go out and play ball. We're going to have to play better than we've ever played."

(on Tampa Bay not giving up many sacks) "Yes, and their quarterback, Jeff (Garcia), he's a great quarterback and he likes to step up. He's not shy in the pocket. He's not one of the guys that are going to take off because he feels a little pressure. He's going to be in that pocket and deliver the ball, so that's another reason to it. We're just going to try to have to get back there to him."

(on Tampa Bay's 11 sacks allowed not being too many) "No, it's really not. Like I said, it just shows how their offensive line works and then how he works with their offensive line. So pretty much, once again we're just going to have to get it together and get it done."

(on if he ever gets the urge to say I told you so to last year's detractors) "No, man. It's nothing like that."

(on if he would say I told you so just one time) "No, I'm fine. I've still got a lot of games left. We've all still got a lot of games left. We've got four games left, so there's still a lot of season left."

(on if he feels gratified now that he's proving himself) "You know, if the team's doing well, I'm doing well. So right now, we've got to pick things up, so that's how I feel right now."

(on DT Amobi Okoye hitting the rookie wall) "I mean, he's a young player. I was in his shoes last year and, you know, I was talking to him today, I was like, 'If you need to come over to the house and if we need to just sit down and talk about some stuff, we can,' because I'm sure he's having a lot of pressure just like I was. So pretty much, he's a younger player, but he'll be fine, he'll be alright."

(on if he understands how players hit a rookie wall) "I think it's pretty much just a mental thing, and then the season's so long that I think as a rookie you're shocked by the length of the season. And then comes everybody saying stuff – 'He might be fatigued, a rookie might be fatigued because the season's so long,' and then coming into it, everybody's saying this and that, what you're not doing, that you're not doing this. And then it's a mental thing, so that's why I opened my doors to him; he can come just talk to me about whatever he wants."

(on LB DeMeco Ryans not hitting a rookie wall last season) "Yeah, DeMeco's (Ryans) a different guy, man (laughs). He's different."

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