The Texans spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday. Following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Texans owner Bob McNair Texans head coach Gary Kubiak Texans QB Matt Schaub Texans RB Chris Brown
Texans T Duane Brown Texans LB Brian Cushing Texans TE Owen Daniels Texans WR Andre Johnson Texans RB Steve Slaton Texans DE Antonio Smith Texans owner Bob McNair
(on fans' disappointment with the Jets game) "Oh, I can understand that. I was just as disappointed as they were. You just have to be prepared and be ready to deal with those situations. At the same time, we reviewed it, we've looked at and determined what we did wrong and what we need to correct. At this point, you have to put that behind you and get ready for the game this week, and dwelling on the past, at this point, doesn't help at all. So you just have to be tough enough to bounce back, and I think our players are."
(on if he second guesses anything) "No. You learn from all experiences, and certainly you don't want to repeat mistakes, but second guessing will do nothing but put you in the happy house because you don't live life going backwards. You live going forward. You try to prepare and make sure that what happened that was not to your satisfaction, you have to make sure it doesn't happen again."
(on if he still has the confidence with this team to be successful) "Oh, yeah. We've seen the ability. We've seen the ability of these players. You just have to go out and perform. Get it done. The players have to do it. I think we'll have a gameplan that will be well-suited for the opponent and I think the players will play with more confidence and I think they'll be much more aggressive."
(on if he was disappointed with CB Dunta Robinson) "I was surprised, but I don't know what he was thinking. We're a team and we win as a team and lose as a team. I'm part of it, and I hurt just as much as the players when we lose, and we don't need any distractions. It doesn't matter who it is. We don't need them, and anybody that is being a distraction is not helping our team. And that's the message, and that's what the coaches have told him. That's what (general manager) Rick (Smith) has told him, and it's time to be a professional and go out and do your job."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak(on the status of WR Kevin Walter, S Eugene Wilson and CB Jacques Reeves) "They all practiced. I think we're still day-to-day and see how it goes throughout the week. Kevin probably took his normal reps when you added them all up. Jacques and Eugene, I would say that Eugene probably took more reps than Jacques. All three of them looked like they've got a good chance but we've got to wait and see how the week goes."
(on how has the team responded) "Oh we'll see. You don't respond on Wednesdays. You respond on Sundays. We practiced good. We picked up the tempo and got on the clock today. Like I've told you, I think we've been really slow in what we're doing. Picked up the tempo at practice and worked them with some adversity out here because we didn't play in the preseason anywhere loud. So that's something we really need to work on this week to get ready."
(on if there is much that he needs to say to the team or if it goes unsaid) "Well, it's like I said the other day, if you don't bounce back from that, then they'll be very disappointed. I think I've got the right guys so we're expecting that. There is a lot of work to do between now and bouncing back. So we have to stay focused on all of that.
(on how important it will be to get the starting secondary all back) "It's important. Eugene is a big part of this team. He's played very well for us. Going into week one without him made it tough with just those three safeties. I'd love to have him back. I'd love to have Jacques back. But we've got to make sure and get them back the right way. We can't just get them back and them not being 100% and then throwing them out there because we do have a long way to go. So we have to be smart with them.
(on if CB Dunta Robinson was himself out there) "He was a little rusty but he played very hard. Some techniques issues which is what you'd expect. He and (LB Brian) Cushing, about the same way, both played very hard in really their first time out. I obviously expect him to come out and be better this week. Very good effort, just obviously missed some time."
(on how important Sunday's game is) "They're all important. Every one you play. They're all of the same importance to me, I can tell you that. But is it important that we bounce back? Yeah, it's very important. The magnitude of the games doesn't change. They all count the same."
(on the Titans' run defense and RB Steve Slaton's success against them) "Yeah I think Pittsburgh had thirty-something yards (rushing). They're a good of a defense as you'll face, physical and stuff. So we understand that challenge. Steve has played well down there. He got a big run that was probably going to be a two yard loss if it wasn't just for great effort; him coming out and making a big play. But we have to be committed enough to give him a chance to make those plays. He's obviously very important to what we're doing."
(on how the Titans are different without Albert Haynesworth) "I think they're playing better to be honest with you. I'm looking at an eight-guy rotation that is playing as good as any group I've seen. I think (Titans defensive line coach Jim) Washburn does as good a job as there is in the National Football League with the defensive line. The team I watched against Pittsburgh, very good."
(on the Titans' offensive makeup) "Well that back has got big play ability. He can hit the homerun on you. They are very well coached up front. I think the quarterback is playing extremely well. I was really impressed with how he played against Pittsburgh and all the pressure and stuff that he got in the game. The way held up, the way he protected the ball, the way he kept them in the right situations, and then their receivers, I know they get one of them back this week. They're a very good football team across the board."
(on how much tougher it makes it that they can get good pressure with only four linemen) "It makes it somewhat tougher, because you're so sound in the secondary. Normally when people feel they have to bring something extra to get to the quarterback, then you may be giving up something back there. But this team does it with four people—play very sound coverage. They tackle as well in the secondary as any team that I've seen in my time in the National Football League. We've got our work cut out for ourselves everywhere."
(on getting WR Andre Johnson involved) "Well they (the Jets) held down pretty much everybody, so it wasn't like he was the only guy that didn't make any plays. Obviously, he's a big part of what we do and getting him the ball is important and we try to do that. So hopefully we can do it better."
(on any other injuries amongst the team) "(DE) Antonio Smith was sick today, didn't practice. (DT) Shaun Cody did not practice and (FB) Vonta Leach didn't practice."
(on DT Shaun Cody's injury) "He's got a bruised knee so he's day-to-day. Him and (FB) Vonta (Leach) both."
(on the Titans' frequent use of their tight ends) "Yeah Dinger (Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger) is a big tiger guy. He plays a lot of two tights. Those two guys that they play are very big people too so they do a good job in protection as well as catching the football. They match up pretty good with the two-back offense, a lot like Indianapolis from that standpoint."
(on competing within the AFC South) "Our division is very, very tough. Winning in our division is tough enough. Winning on the road is even tougher. Coming off of our situation last week, going to Tennessee, it's as big of a challenge as there is, so we'll have to play extremely well to win. But we know that."
(on the division becoming more physical) "I think it's always been very physical. I think it's been extremely physical from Tennessee's standpoint for awhile, since I've been here. Jacksonville definitely. You go back a few years ago and Jacksonville is leading this division. Indianapolis, if you play coverage all day, they can line up and run the ball at you too. It's a good division. It's a physical division. Winning in the division counts so much, it's like winning two games."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on what he sees when he looks at their defense) "Obviously, we've faced them a bunch. They're a very good defense across the board from the front four to the middle-level linebackers and their secondary. They're all tied together and they all play well and they all feed off of one another."
(on if he expects to see the same type of defense the Titans played against the Steelers) "They're the type of group, they're going to do what they do. We've faced them, we've seen some different things. So we just have to be prepared for whatever they might bring, whether they bring pressure or not. Even when they bring their four down, they're relentless trying to get to the quarterback. We just have to be ready to play four quarters."
(on if it was the Jets or them that made them not look like the same team from training camp) "It was a combination of both. We're moving on to our next game. We can't dwell on the past, good or bad. We need to move on and just go to the next game, and that's what we're going to do."
(on needing to get the running game going) "Obviously. We've got to run the ball. We need to execute a whole lot better to be a successful team."
(on how much different the Titans look without DT Albert Haynesworth) "It's just a different body in there. Obviously, he's a big factor in what they used to do there, but they've played eight guys for years now up front and they're going to do that. Their guys who have filled in for him are just as good, and so they are still playing at a very high level."
(on how big it will be to have WR Kevin Walter back) "Kevin is a big part of our offense, whether it's in the run game or pass game. So we're thankful to get him back, and hopefully he can help us out."
(on if they expect to move the pocket more this week) "Whatever it takes to win. We're going to do what we have to do to be successful as a football team, whether it's from the pocket in the play-action game, drop back, or if we're going to move around."
(on if this game is a little more important than most) "It's important because it is another opportunity to go out and prove what we can do as a team. It's obviously a divisional opponent, so it adds a little bit more. But each one of them is worth one and they're all very important and so we're excited to get out there and get the first one."
(on how RBs Steve Slaton and Chris Brown complement each other) "Well, you've got different body sizes and different running styles. Steve has that explosive and breakaway speed and Chris is downhill; he's going to run between the tackles and get you the tough yards. He runs hard. The first guy, it's hard to bring him down. Steve runs downhill and inside, too, but he has that ability to make one guy miss and then go for 20-25, or even more."
(on if the offensive line has the physical mentality for this game) "I think there is a desire amongst our whole team to go out and play well. After what we went through last week and the fact that it's a divisional game against a good team, we're excited to go out and play football."
Texans RB Chris Brown(on having a short memory of past games) "Definitely. You can't be thinking back in the past all the time. You just move forward and just build upon that."
(on how encouraging this team's rushing success is against the Titans last year) "We know we can run the ball. Everybody knows we can run the ball. We just all have to be on the same page. The offensive line, the receivers, running backs, everybody has to be on the same page. It makes things a lot easier that way."
(on if he feels the Titans gave up too soon on him or if there's any ill will) "No, not at all. It's a business and I had to move on sooner or later in my life. Hopefully, I can open up a new chapter."
(on Titans coach Jeff Fisher) "Great guy. He knows how to win. He puts great teams together and he's a great coach."
Texans T Duane Brown
(on wanting to keep his quarterback clean) "Definitely. I definitely want to keep him clean. As far as pass rush, me and Eric (Winston) will have our hands full with him (DE Kyle Vanden Bosch) and (Titans DE) Jevon Kearse. We have definitely put pass protection as a point of emphasis this week and try and keep a good pocket for him."
(on how he feels coming out of physical games) "You're done. You leave it all out there. The Houston and Tennessee rivalry is deep and it's going to be our first time of two playing them this year, and we definitely want to set the tempo and let them know we're all business this week and this year. So we're going over there to their house, just got to come ready."
(on what they did to run the ball successfully against the Titans last year) "Just being physical. We made that a point of emphasis last year, and that last game that we had them out here. Those guys are aggressive and a physical bunch. We came out and set the tempo and created a new line of scrimmage, and that was the deciding factor in the game."
Texans LB Brian Cushing
(on how he feels going into Week 2) "I feel good. I'm looking forward to it; looking forward to the opportunity to go on the road and play a very good team."
(on how quick do you have to put things behind you) "You have to. Our focus the next day was already on Tennessee. If you're thinking about New York too much, you'll go into Tennessee and it'll be the same result. So we have to move forward. They have had a lot of days to think about that loss to Pittsburgh and they're getting ready for us."
(on if this game is a "statement game") "Every game excites you, especially when you play against a team that prides itself on how physical they play. I know personally, as a linebacker and being on defense, you want to establish that tone every single game from start to finish. You want to prove what kind of player, what kind of defense you're a part of."
(on the Titans' two different backs and how you adjust for each) "You don't adjust. You just have to know how to play against them. You've got a speedster and a power back. You've played teams like that before and you have to just know how to play."
(on going up against RB LenDale White) "It's been awhile. He's a power back. He's a downhill kind of guy. He's going to bring it every single play."
(on the nature of the Titans) "It's a physical team. We know that. You watch game film to see how they are, see their kind of style of play, and just get ready for a tough game—all four quarters."
Texans TE Owen Daniels
(on the offense against the Jets) "It's not what we expected. It's not what we expected out of ourselves. I know it's not what a lot of people expect out of us, but we weren't flying around. I think we were thinking too much. We're going to get back to doing what we do best and flying around out there, keep things a little more simple."
(on if a physical game is what they need right now) "I think so. I think, after last week, you want to come back with a team that you have to prove yourself against. They're one of the most physical teams in the AFC, definitely in our division. I think we proved last year that we can go toe-to-toe with them. So we get our chance this week and we're excited about it."
(on people questioning the team's toughness) "It's fair. I haven't really been reading anything or listening to anything. We knew we were going to get beat up a little bit. It's expected, that's fine. We didn't play as physically as we should have. New York played better than us, but we've got a chance to go out there and prove ourselves. So that's what we're going to do, find our identity out there this weekend."
Texans WR Andre Johnson
(on what they need to do to play better on in Week 2) "I think we just need to come out and get into a groove. When you look at the games that we play well, that's normally what happens. We come out the first drive of the game and get into a pretty good groove and it sticks with us throughout the game. I think that's the biggest thing, coming out and starting fast and getting into a good groove."
(on if it bothers him that if they start slow they can't get out of it) "I think in times in the past, when we started slow, we never got out of it. Of course, that happened on Sunday where we started slow and never got out of it. There have been times where started slow and got out of it, so that doesn't really worry me. I just think we do need to start fast when we go out and play this Sunday."
(on how badly this team needs to bounce back) "I think it just seems so bad because everyone had such high expectations. The fans had high expectations and things didn't turn out the way we wanted them to turn out. It just left a bad taste in your mouth. When you look at it as one game, we have 15 games left. Now we've got a game on Sunday where two teams are looking for a win, so we're going to have go in there and play our butts off. We know they're a physical team and they're going to have to come after us, so we have to get after them."
Texans RB Steve Slaton
(on adding weight in the offseason in an effort to be more durable) "Yeah, I think so, just to try it out. But I think I'm close to my playing weight last year, so I feel comfortable with it."
(on not allowing the extra weight to affect his speed) "That's the biggest thing. You want to keep to what helps you be you, and I think that's what I wanted to do – not put too much on and keep my speed and keep my quickness."
(on if he's lost his pre-draft stigma of being a third-down back) "I hope so."
(on being anxious to get back out on the field and play another game) "We're anxious; we're real anxious. It's what you've been working for your whole life, and now this week is coming up again as another week to go out there and prove yourself."
(on if Tennessee's defense is different this year without DT Albert Haynesworth) "They're a little different, but they're still a hard-nosed team. They still fly to the ball. They still make plays."
(on being encouraged by his success against Tennessee in 2008) "It's a lot of encouragement, but I don't think we want to build on last year's success. I mean, we do want to build on last year's success, but this is a different team now and we've got to go out there and perform in all phases."
(on why the Texans had success running the ball on Tennessee in 2008) "I guess luck of the cards, I guess you could say. But we worked hard that week and prepared well. We had a good scheme going against them and it worked out for us."
(on how to repeat that success against Tennessee this time) "I don't really think any team can really just focus on me. I mean, even with what happened last year, we have too many weapons on this team to just put the focus on one guy."
(on the importance of establishing the run against Tennessee) "Yeah, every game. Every game, it's going to be important for us, but this is the next one, this is the one that's coming up now, so this is going to be very important – the most important one."
Texans DE Antonio Smith
(on what they want to do Sunday on defense) "I think what we're going to have to do is get off the field on third down. That was the biggest point in the game when you go back and watch the film. We played solid. If you really watch the film, you will see that it was just mistake here, mistake there, and when you do that, good teams are going to capitalize on it. We've got to be that good team, to capitalize on the good stuff on our behalf."
(on Tennessee's two running backs) "It reminds me of Carolina, kinda, when you watch them. They've got the two-headed beast back there and it's always hard to defend it because you're preparing yourself for one style of runner, then they bring in another guy on a specific type of play, then you've got cater to that. I think if we just do what we do, just work on ourselves, we'll be alright."
(on getting pressure on the quarterback but just not quite getting there) "That's like the D-linesman's worst nightmare right there. It's the, 'Lord, give me one more step.' Like you're right there, but you never really get him. They don't count, so you're always disappointed when you come in the meeting room on Monday and they say we have no sacks in the game. It looks good on film, that you know that you were in his face and pressuring him, but you would like to get those sacks."