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Practice quotes: Wednesday


Wide receiver Kevin Walter said the team is in looking-forward mode now.

The Texans spoke to the media on Wednesday about their upcoming game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Texans owner Bob McNair

(on the plan for a hurricane) "When we know where it's going to come ashore and when, we'll tell you what the plan is. But we don't know that. The most likely thing is it will go somewhere else rather than come right here. The probability is it will go somewhere else. We have no way of knowing. They have options, our people work on it in the league. And as soon as we get a better fix on where it might come ashore and when, they we can speak more intelligently as to what we might do. Right now, we are playing here Sunday afternoon."

(on if there is a deadline for that decision) "I'm sure there is but I can't tell you exactly when that might be. It's just one of those things that right now, no one has an answer because no one knows what the facts will be."

(on how critical it is to make the right decision) "We want to do something that makes sense for our team and for our fans. The thing that makes the most sense is to play here. So, we will play here unless we are forced to do something else."

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on what if they signed any new running backs) "No, we are waiting today on - what time is it? As we speak, (Stanley) McClover is having his surgery. So, we're trying to make a decision on how long his recovery process is. So, that's why we're kind of in a hold mode right now. But obviously, the first option is to activate Darius (Walker). As of right now, Ahman (Green) did nothing today. (Steve) Slaton and (Chris) Taylor and Darius did all the work."

(on what RB Ahman Green's situation is) "I think it's day-to-day. He's got a sprained ankle. It's pretty swollen. So, I think it's going to be day-to-day. We'll see."

(on when he wants to decide about his running backs) "It might be Saturday. Are you talking about how we are going to play them? Well, that's a last minute deal. As of right now, those young kids are going. So, we'll see where Ahman (Green) is. I don't think we'll see him work tomorrow. We'll see where he's at on Friday."

(on signing another running back) "Other than Darius (Walker), right now, no. I don't see anything happening. Maybe a scout team player because we need another set of legs out here to practice. But other than that, no."

(on if he feels RB Steve Slaton or RB Chris Taylor is more of a starter) "Well, they are both very young players. I think Chris (Taylor) has one start in this league and if Ahman (Green) doesn't play, (Steve) Slaton is fixing to tie him. They are both young players; they are both going to play. It's not like one of them is going to take all of the load, so I'm counting on both of them."

(on if he could play RB Ahman Green without a lot of practice this week) "Yeah, Ahman (Green) is capable of playing without a lot of practice, as far as knowing what to do and all those type of things. But he's got a good sprained ankle, so we'll have to wait and see."

(on any other injury updates) "Travis (Johnson) did not work today. He's coming off a sprain of his knee and his ankle, actually. But we're hopeful that he's ready to go this week, but he did not work today."

(on anything new on the weather situation) "No, the bottom line is we are still monitoring the situation along with the league and expecting to play here and for everything to be OK. Now, I'm sure that could change any time but that answer is between (general manager) Rick (Smith) and the league. We're preparing as if it's going to be here and everything is going to be OK."

(on if there is a plan B in place) "I know they are talking about a plan B. To sit and here say what that is, I'm not really sure. But I know it's something they have to talk about in case they get to the point where they think we have to do something. But right now, the plan is to be here."

{QUOTE}(on how important it is for QB Matt Schaub to regain his confidence this week) "Well, you'd like to say, 'Yeah, let's go out there and start five-for-five and about three touchdowns.' But this is football. Bottom line is he has to go out and play a good game this week. You play yourself back into confidence. Confidence isn't something that you just snap your fingers and it comes back. He's fine, he practiced well today and I'm expecting him to play well this week. Just need him to play a good, solid football game, play his position well."

(on T Duane Brown having a short memory with last week's game) "You're exactly right. He found out there's a different level of play in the regular season in the National Football League than the preseason, and he went against a pretty dang good player in a tough place to play. So, he's going to see that a lot. They are going to start lining up and coming after him this week against 55 (Ravens LB Terrell Suggs). He's one of the better players in football. Next week, if I'm not mistaken, is (Titans DE Kyle) Vanden Bosch. So, he'll get to see them all."

(on Ravens' QB Joe Flacco) "Very strong arm. I've worked him out and watched him work out in Indianapolis (at the NFL Scouting Combine). Very smart kid. Has a big, big arm. I thought they handled him very well in the game. I think they only threw the ball 16, 17 times; it wasn't many. They ran the ball extremely well, but very capable kid. (Ravens offensive coordinator) Cam (Cameron) does a good job with quarterbacks. I thought he did a great job with him last week."

(on his players caring more about this team than in years past) "Well, that better be the situation. Believe me, there are a lot of people working awfully hard and that was a lot of disappointment last weekend. But I've always said the hardest thing in this league is when you win, you have to go back and do it again in seven days and the great thing is when it doesn't go well you get a chance to go back and do it in seven days. Part of the National Football League, if you're in it long enough you'll probably get both ends of the stick. I just didn't like our end last week."

T Duane Brown

(on what it's like going against guys like Ravens LB Ray Lewis) "It's an honor to go against guys like that, to be in this league and to go against that type of competition. Growing up, I've been watching these guys and now I have to go out and face them and hit them in the mouth."

(on if it is intimidating to face those guys) "You can't be intimidated or else you're going to have a poor performance. I just have to go out there with the mindset that I belong here and just do my job."

(on if his teammates have helped him have a short memory) "Definitely. As soon as last week's game was over everybody said, 'That one is in the books, you have to move on.' You can't dwell on it or else you're going to have a hard time in this league, especially at this position. You just have to have a short-term memory and keep moving forward."

(on how he feels about this week's game versus last week's) "I feel a little better than I did last week. I got that first regular-season game out of the way on the road. This week, I'm at home. It's still a great defense with great athletes, but I feel a little more comfortable about what might happen out there."

(on what concerns him about the Ravens defense) "They mix it up a lot. They go from a 4-3 to a 3-4 a lot. You just have to account for everybody and the speed that they play with. They have a relentless defense that gets after the ball and forces a lot of turnovers. You just have to be ready for anything with them."

(on if it will be easier having a full game under his belt) "Definitely. It will be a little bit easier for me. I'll just know what to expect and playing a whole game against a fast defense on the road, you just have that whole environment. It will be a little easier being at home, a field I'm comfortable with. Just little things like that."

(on what he took away from the game last week) "Try not to think too much. I think I was doing a little bit of that last week and it got me in trouble at times. Also, prepare as much as I can for this week. Watch more film, pick up my tempo more in practice, hydrate more so I don't have the cramping problems I had last week. I learned a lot."

(on how bad his cramps were last week) "It was pretty bad, probably the worst I've felt in my life. They were constant, they weren't going away. It affected me a lot, especially in pass protection trying to kick-set. My legs started to lock up and it was hard for me to move."

CB DeMarcus Faggins

(on what concerns him about the Ravens offense and about the rookie quarterback) "They are a good offensive team. You said the rookie quarterback, but if you look at the game last week, he looked good. They've put him in positions to make plays and not have him thinking so much and that running game is so tough."

(on what the defense has to do to fix the tackling problems) "We tackled poorly, so this week we need to wrap up tackles. I'm not saying that we're not in position. We just need to make the plays when we're there."

(on what the defense can do to fluster a young quarterback) "We can bring pressure. But at the same time, they have a nice running game. So, we've got to worry about the running game. Then he could pop up and throw the pass. He's got a strong arm, but just because he's a young quarterback doesn't mean he doesn't have the talent to make plays."

(on if he was impressed with the way QB Joe Flacco played last week) "Oh yeah. I'm sure everybody saw the game, but like I said you can't say, 'Oh, he's a young guy. He's going to make mistakes.' Every quarterback is going to make mistakes, but you just have to limit him to what he can do productively."

(on if a big loss makes the team goes into the next game angry) "Of course, we lost the game. It's not just a loss by one point like we did a good job out there. We didn't play well. So coming into this game - it's the first home game and not only that, we lost bad last week. We have to come in and make plays and we have to make it understood that we need this win."

LB Morlon Greenwood

(on what he liked about the 3-4 defense) "The gaps aren't that defined as in a 4-3. Everybody has their certain gap in the 4-3. In the 3-4, the linebacker has to do a lot of two gapping. So, it is kind of like you're guessing, 'Is the ball going here or is the ball going there?'"

C Chris Myers

(on facing a rookie quarterback) "It's going to be a test. You know how he was in college. He had a pretty good week last week. You've just got to go in there and anticipate what he's going to do based upon what the offense entails. I'm sure our defense has a big game plan going against him. It's going to be fun to see how he looks, but it's a big test."

(on people questioning the new offensive scheme) "That's just the way it is. Any offense that is just being run isn't going to be successful right off the bat. Everything takes time. We've had success with it here in camp and had success with it during preseason games. All we have to do is keep punching. It's a proven system that is going to work in the NFL. We've just got to keep working at it and being faithful to it."

(on what they learned from watching the film) "In football, you call it a turn offense. It's one guy here, one guy there and everyone has to mesh together. It has to be eleven guys on offense. On defense, one guy can make a play and ten guys can screw up. On offense, everyone has to work together to make that play successful."

(on talking about going up against NT's Casey Hampton and Kelly Gregg) "Kelly Gregg and Casey Hampton, all of those guys with the 3-4 defenses, all of those guys are the two-gap guys that are big, stout guys right in the middle that hold the whole defense up. It's always a test and you just have to go out there and battle. That's what we're practicing for and that's what our scout team prepares us with."

(on the potential hurricane threat) "Those are all just distractions. I was born and raised in Miami, so I'm used to all of those hurricane distractions. We've just got to go in there and practice day to day, and if something comes through, we'll work with it. We've got the bubble to go inside, and if we can't do anything, we can't do anything. It's got to be mental preparation. But as of now, we're not even worried about that."

(on how do you make sure everyone is focused on this next opponent) "You put last week behind you. You don't even worry about the hurricane. As of now, it's not even threatening us right now so we're not even thinking about it. Once you get on the practice field, you're not thinking about hurricanes. You're not thinking about anything. You're just going out there and practicing and doing what you know. As of now, we're just going out there and focusing on Baltimore."

(on if a big loss makes the team goes into the next game angry) "Yeah, it adds fuel to the fire. It adds to all of the anticipation of the game and especially that we didn't get to prove exactly what we know we are as an offense and especially as a defense as well, what we are as Houston Texans. We didn't get to prove last week. We're going to go out there and do that this week."

DT Amobi Okoye

(on what happened last week in Pittsburgh) "Man, I don't know what to say to you. We didn't play right, but that's behind us now and we are looking forward to the Baltimore Ravens."

(on the players wanting prove that last week wasn't a sign of things to come) "Yeah, because we know we are better than that. We know we can play a whole lot better than that and we know what we got. So, we are looking forward to Sunday. Sunday couldn't come any quicker."

(on the Ravens run-based offense) "Yeah, this is a very physical team. You can tell by the way they won last week. So, we have to stop the run. That's our main point of emphasis."

(on the Ravens having smaller name guys producing big numbers) "It's really not about the names, it's all about execution. If you go out there and execute the way you are supposed to and tackle, then things are going to happen right. And those are things that we didn't do last week."

(on what he has seen from Ravens' QB Joe Flacco) "I can see a quarterback who's been showing a lot of non-rookie syndromes. I see a lot of good things in him but without a doubt, we have to go after him. We want to win, too."

(on if the Ravens' having a rookie QB will mean they will mix things up a lot on defense) "We just try to concentrate on us. We can't worry too much about other people. We have to worry about ourselves and handle what we do."
(on if playing at home will help) "Of course. We love playing for our fans and we are looking forward to opening the first home game here."

(on if he wants to get a fast start like he did last year) "What's on my mind is to just go out there and play and be comfortable and be able to talk and just have fun without worrying about messing up. That's all I'm worried about. So, that's pretty much what's on my mind compared to last year."

(on if the technique stuff is coming quicker this year) "It's a whole lot quicker than before, but I still have a ways to go. I'm working on it."

(on not being able to sneak up on anyone because everyone knows who he is now) "I think it's left up to me to decide how I want to determine my name out there."

(on if DE Mario Williams' game last week will make them focus on him) "I can't determine what they have in mind, what they are thinking about. You want to think that, but it's the National Football League - there's so many things that can happen. So many teams can neglect the fact that he had two sacks last week and some teams might acknowledge that fact. It just depends on how they feel and what they are thinking about doing. I think they are just going to come out here and play ball."

(on how DE Mario Williams looked like last week) "He looked great. You can tell the guy is just flat out playing. He did lots of tackling. The man has a lot of God-given talents and he's finally figured out how to use them."

LB DeMeco Ryans

(on what he thinks about LB Ray Lewis as the standard for middle linebackers) "When you talk about middle linebackers, he's the guy. He's the guy that everybody looks up to. Everybody wants to be the Ray Lewis of their team. The type of leader that he is, the way he has all his guys rallied around him, that's the template for every other middle linebacker on his team."

(on what LB Ray Lewis does that he would like to do as well) "What does he do? He's just always intense when he's on the field. I would like to emulate the way that he has his teammates behind him, the way he leads his teammates. I don't think that there's any other linebacker that leads the way that he does. So, if I could do that like Ray, then that would be what I want to do."

(on the first time he started paying attention to LB Ray Lewis) "I watched him at Baltimore that year when they won the Super Bowl (2001). Just to watch him running around freezes – you always watch him, and it's just him and the running back every time. He's so fast, and it was just him and the running back every time. He wasn't shedding blocks or anything, he was just running and hitting running backs. That's it."

(on what it would take for him to become a player of LB Ray Lewis' caliber) "I think for every great player, it's going to take getting to the big game. What Ray has done, he's done it on a big-time level in the Super Bowl. He's led his team in the playoffs. When you think about the Ravens, you think about their defense and you think about Ray Lewis being in the middle of their defense."

(on if he talked to LB Ray Lewis at the 2008 Pro Bowl) "Yeah, I spoke with him. We talked at the Pro Bowl."

(on if he asked LB Ray Lewis for any advice) "Not really. We were just hanging out, just having a good time. I really wasn't asking too much advice on playing the position or anything."

(on if LB Ray Lewis has an aura about himself) "Oh, yeah, he does. You see him and like I said, he's that guy. That's Ray Lewis, that's the man, that's the guy every other middle linebacker looks up to. So being out there and playing with him, it was great for me. It was a great inspiration to be out there playing with a guy you watched go out and dominate guys."

(on if he's fired up to be playing against LB Ray Lewis on Sunday) "I'm pretty much always fired up just because it's the next game. But yeah, I'm going to be out there checking him out, seeing what he's doing, of course, paying a little extra attention to their defense."

(on if the defense has to try to get in the head of rookie QB Joe Flacco) "Yeah, we have to. We have to show him some different looks and make it difficult on him, show him some things and move around a little bit just to make it confusing on him."

(on the Ravens' offense keeping it simple for QB Joe Flacco) "Oh, yeah. The way they ran the ball their first game, that makes it easy on any quarterback. It's a lot easier to manage a game when you're running the ball that well. You don't have to make any big plays with your arm. You just manage the offense."

(on focusing as a defense on stopping the run) "Stopping the run is definitely a big thing for us, especially after what happened with us last week. That's our main focus this week is the run game."

(on knowing that the Ravens are going to come at them running the ball) "Yeah, we know. If any team watches the film (from the Pittsburgh game), we know they're going to come in and they're going to run the ball at us. So that's where we've got to step up, bow our necks and stop the run."

(on if he has had any sleepless nights since Sunday) "I haven't had any sleepless nights because once that game is over, it's over with. No matter how much you continue to think about that game, it's over with. You can't go back. We can't do anything about it, so the thing is to move on to the next one. That's the good thing about the league – you just pick up and move on to the next game."

QB Matt Schaub

(on the Ravens defense and what stands out to him) "It's a very fast defense. They're very physical, a lot of experience. They've been a group that's been held together for a few years now. They play well together. It's a very physical and fast defense."

(on how Ravens' defensive takes it to another level) "I think that goes along with them being a group and a unit for a few years now. They know how to play off one another and know their scheme inside and out. They understand what they're doing. So, it's going to be a good challenge for us."

(on if the Ravens defensive backs are the best set that you will see in the NFL) "It's obviously a good challenge for us. It's a good group. They have a lot of experience. Every Sunday in this league you're going to face a good group of guys, but this is one that they've been together. They're exceptional. They have been to a lot of Pro Bowls and had a lot of success."

(on what he wants to be different this week) "Make better decision outside the pocket and just live for another down, just stay on schedule and keep my team in a good situation, work the field position game when it needs to be worked and just stay on schedule and play more consistently."

(on being at home where you can hear adjustments and on the 3-4 defense) "It definitely helps to be at home and have our crowd behind us and playing on our home turf. The 3-4 defense, they just provided different multiple fronts and multiple ways of blitzing and getting after you. You just have to be on your p's and q's and in your assignments."

(on why more teams don't play the 3-4 defense if it's so confusing) "I think that it takes a certain group of guys to run it. You have to have a certain breed of defensive linemen and linebackers and you don't find them very often any more. That's why you see a lot of these schemes get held together. The front sevens on these teams stay intact for years and years."

(on if he thinks he was trying to do too much outside of the pocket) "Yeah, you get outside of the pocket and you force the ball trying to make a play. You've just got to bite the bullet and just throw it away and go back to the huddle and live for another day or punt the ball away and give the defense a chance to make the play on the other side of the field."

(on if that is easier said than done referring to the last question) "Yeah, but in the heat of the battle, you've got to make good decisions and think quickly on your feet."

(on how is the Ravens 3-4 different from Pittsburgh's 3-4) "Well, they are not a whole lot different. They're just a big, physical group much like the Steelers were. They present some different fronts and some different looks for you, so you've got to be aware of their adjustments and what your assignments are."

(on if the Ravens blitz as much as the Steelers) "They blitz just as much, but a lot of times in the 3-4 if you think about it, if they blitz a couple of linebackers, it's still a four to five man rush just like it was a four down front. They do like to blitz, but that just means we have to be on our assignments and what we're doing."

(on how important this week is for the team) "Well, this is a big game for us. It's our home opener and bouncing back from last weekend, that's part of this game. We've got to refocus here this week and be on top of our jobs and assignments and come out and play hard and consistent and play good football and we'll be in good shape. But, it's important for us to get back on the right track."

(on as a team if they are angry over what happened last week) "We're angry because we didn't play up to our standard but more anxious to get back out there and get things correct. In this business after a tough or good day at the office, you have to wait seven more days before you get back out there and correct or continue to do what you did well. So, we're excited to get back out there and right the wrongs."

(on what the coaches said on how to get past last week and be prepared for the next) "I think a lot of us in this locker room have been there before. You go through tough days in this business and you just have to watch the tape and evaluate it. Once you get back to the new game plan, put it out of your mind and have a short term memory and move on to the next one because the bus is leaving and it's not going to wait on anyone. So, we just need to pick things up and keep moving forward."

(on how he dealt with what happened on Sunday) "I barely slept Sunday and Monday night. You just try to put things out of your mind and just learn from those things and put it to the test this Sunday."

(on how his competitive nature will be flowing on Sunday) "It will be flowing, but I think it's important to stay on even keel and remain poised and keep your composure because your team needs you to do that. We need to come out and play relaxed and just cut it loose."

(on if the fans will have the team on a short leash) "I can't really think about that. We just have to go out and play good football and play hard and do our assignments."

(on how critical it is for the running game to have its presence on Sunday) "It's going to be big for us. We have a lot of confidence in those guys back there and the guys up front to open up holes and keep us in manageable third down situations."

(on how much they have to help the young running backs) "We'll give them a lot of help, but we've really been on top of them with their jobs and their assignments. They are really focused into what they're doing. So, we have a lot of confidence in what they are able to do in both the pass and run game."

RB Chris Taylor

(on if the adjustment to fullback is easier now) "Yeah, it's been fine. I've been picking it up pretty easily now. Just more practice, and I'll get better."

(on how he is preparing with RB Ahman Green's injury issue) "I've always prepared. I've always been preparing. Last week, I was prepared to play whenever my number was called and I played a lot on special teams. So whenever my number's called this week, I'll be ready."

(on if it seems like a long time since he's been in a regular season game) "No, not really. I'm just excited. I'm just looking for the opportunity to play."

(on his health) "I'm fine. I'm perfectly fine."

(on if he enjoys special teams) "Yeah. I had a couple of blocks last week. I know that's my role. I have to be a good special teams player, so whenever they need me, I can do it."

(on how much he and RB Steve Slaton are prepared to do this week) "Well, we know we're going to have a lot on our shoulders and we just have to step up to the challenge. We're young backs, but we're up for the challenge and we're just ready to show our talent."

RB Darius Walker

(on if it would be good for him to get called up to play) "Well, of course that would be good for me, from my individual standpoint. I definitely have been working towards that and I feel like I'm ready to go. So, I'm just needed when I'm called on. When I'm called, I'll go out there and play."

(on if he is ready for the workload if he's the guy they call up) "Definitely. I definitely have worked towards that and I had a great off-season and mini-camp, training camp all that stuff. I'm definitely ready to go. Again it's just when I'm needed to go, I'm going to go."

(on what it's like not knowing what's going to happen with him) "It's kind of one of those things. This game is like that. The NFL and football has really been like that. Especially from my standpoint, it's been a roller coaster my entire time here. So, you just never know, you just always stay ready. When you get that opportunity, I know I just have to take full advantage of it."

(on if it makes him hungrier that he has struggle to make the team each year) "I mean, I would like to think so. I'm definitely very hungry for it and hungry to get out there and showcase what I can do. I definitely, again, have been working towards it. Like you say, it has been kind of crazy for me as far as this league goes and I'm just ready to get out there and prove myself."

WR Kevin Walter

(on if the Pittsburgh game was frustrating) "It's frustrating. You spend a lot of time preparing for Pittsburgh and you don't get the job done like you want to. But obviously, you have to put that past you and move on. We have a great game plan this week and we have a home game this week. We have to get that first 'W.'"

(on if they will come out with a little more intensity because of last week) "You have to move on. We're not going to dwell on that loss last week. We didn't anticipate losing. We wanted to go out there and play better than we did last week, but that's last week. We have a lot of football ahead of us and we are going to move on."

(on if it was tough looking at the film of last week's game) "It was very tough. Yes, definitely. But we corrected our mistakes, we talked about it. Obviously it was disappointing, but we are going to go out there and be professionals and be a great team and just move on."

(on if they know they are better than they played last week and if they feel they have to prove it) "Yeah, each week you have to prove it. You have to prove it each day in practice. You can't just go out there and play well in the preseason. We played pretty well in the preseason; we moved the ball well. Then in the first game, we didn't move the ball as well as we wanted to. But that's just football. That's not only just football, that's just life. You have to go out there and continue to do what you're told to do and do your job, and you'll be just fine."

(on the Ravens' defensive backs being one of the best in the league) "Yeah, it's a challenge for us receivers and our offense. We have to be on top of our game and we have a chance."

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