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Houston Texans

Practice quotes: Wednesday


The Texans spoke to the media on Wednesday as wide receiver Andre Johnson was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month and punt returner Jacoby Jones, for the second time in three weeks, was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on if there is anything different than usual today) "No. (RB) Ahman (Green) didn't practice today, and (WR) Kevin Walter. We held Kevin Walter also. They were both a little nicked coming out of the game, and I'm hoping that they'll be there for us. We'll see, but they were held today."

(on WR Kevin Walter's situation) "His knee, he took a shot there late in the fourth quarter on the backside of a run and it just bothered him a little bit today. Of course, Kevin wants to practice. We're the ones who sat him down. So I would hope he practices tomorrow and he should be fine."

(on if RB Ahman Green's groin is the same one that kept him out earlier in the season) "Well, I don't think it's really one thing. His groin tightened up on him. He got his knee banged on the same play to soreness in his leg. So it's just a combination of things, but he made a lot of progress from yesterday to today."

(on if RB Ryan Moats would be the number-two back) "Yes. Moats, and (FB) Cecil (Sapp) can play halfback, too. So we're working both of those guys right now."

(on if the Texans need to sign anyone to help at running back) "No. I wouldn't see us doing that."

(on if QB Matt Schaub plays differently on the road because he only has one win on the road) "Well, you can't blame all of the road on him (QB Matt Schaub). We haven't been very good on the road. We're all going to have to play better to improve Matt's record on the road. It's tough in this league. That's as tough as it gets. You've got to go out and function in a hostile environment and none more hostile than this. I don't know how many of you all have been there, but I've been to this place many times, a very tough place to play, very loud and they're dang good, too. So we've got our work cut out for us. We'll work with noise all week."

(on if this week is different for QB Matt Schaub because of the way he has been playing) "He's obviously got a lot of confidence right now in how he's been playing, but it doesn't change what we have to go do and what it's going to take to get it done. He's been playing very, very well and practicing well. We need him to continue to play at that level for us to be successful."

(on what it means to the defense and the team for CB Dunta Robinson to continue to play more) "It's means a great deal. He brings a lot of fire to the football team. The thing that was exciting last week was we were a little concerned going into the game, but his play picked up from Week 1 to Week 2. He was even better, and one of our defensive players of the game. So these guys count on him a great deal and hopefully we're getting close to where he's back to full speed."

(on how this defensive front stacks up against the ones he's played and coached against) "This one's got to be right up there. When you're that big inside and that active inside, it makes it very difficult on your guards and your center and snap count, and that stadium makes it even harder. I think one of the keys is adding (DE) Jared Allen outside has made it even harder because he's so good at rushing the passer off of the edge."

(on how much tougher is it to play on the road in a dome compared to open air) "Loud is loud. Those domes tend to get a little bit louder. That one is pretty darn loud. But the bottom line is, they're a dang good football team. They're a heck of a defense. I think they're ranked seventh or eighth in defense in this league and 11th or 12th on offense. That's about as balanced as you can get as a football team. A lot of people picked that football team to be there at the end this year. So, a very good group."

(on if he is worried about the Texans getting a little spoiled being at home four weeks straight) "Yeah, that was unusual, but after what they went through that first month, it helped them get back into a routine. I like their work habits right now, their routine. They're real upbeat. Today, we're out here bouncing around pretty good. We've still got a lot of things to work on against this group because they present a lot of problems for you, but we're going to have to get on the road and play well."

(on if he is worried about rookie T Duane Brown going against DE Jared Allen in a loud stadium) "Yeah, very much so. The good news is Duane's been in a couple of tough places already this year with Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville. So, it's not like he hasn't been there. He just hasn't been there in a month and he'll find out real quick in this game how difficult it's going to be just from a noise standpoint and how good a player that is. So, (T) Ephraim (Salaam) will get him ready to play and Ephraim will still spot him. We'll still do the same thing."

(on what he thinks about RB Adrian Peterson and if he's comfortable about the way the Texans have been playing the run) "Well, I don't think you're going to totally stop him. I think the bottom line, we've got to contain him. You don't want any big bust-out runs. What he's capable of is the big play, so we've got to be sound and make sure that we don't have him come out on us on a big-time play. It's going to be very difficult. We're going to have to tackle really well. We did that last week. We'll have to tackle even better this week."

(on the special teams matchup) "Yeah, they've given up some touchdowns. A couple of them have been really crazy with dropping a snap and a punt hitting a kid in the back and some things like that. So special teams are huge, and I'm sure they'll be big in this game. I just know one thing: When our football team makes a big play on special teams, we usually play well. So hopefully we make another one this weekend."

(on how much DT Amobi Okoye has grown since he's been here) "Well, he's still in that process. We've been expecting more from him, in all honesty, and I think I've said that here over the course of the last month. We really liked what we saw here last weekend. That was the best effort he's played with as a player on a consistent basis. That's what we need. That's what this football team needs him to do, but that was a big step in the right direction last week."

(on if it was a tough adjustment for DT Amobi Okoye because he was so young) "Yeah, I think it's hard because you're not only young, but you're very successful in college and then all of the sudden, these guys you're going against, being successful is much harder. All you have to do is look at (DE) Mario (Williams) and how long it took him to grow into a process. So I think he's still on-schedule, but we need him to really step up for this team here in the second half of the season."

(on WR Jacoby Jones being named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week again) "Well, I just think you've got to give (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) a lot of credit. He (Jones) went through a tough time and put some balls on the ground, and Joe continued to stay with him and coach him. We worked really hard with him to protect the ball. He's basically gotten his confidence back and he's a big factor on the field. He can make big plays on the field. So, it's a good credit to what Joe's done with him. Also, I think you guys know (WR) Andre (Johnson) was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month, so a couple of players (are) doing some really good stuff."

(on what he thinks about WR Andre Johnson being named AFC Offensive Player of the Month) "I expected it. That was a heck of a month. I haven't seen many guys do what he's done over the course of the past four weeks. So, just keep him going. He's something else."

(on WR Andre Johnson having the chance to do a couple of firsts this weekend) "Those things are special, but I can tell you one thing, his number one thing he wants to do is win. He's an unselfish player and he makes everybody better around him. Hopefully, we keep him going. It won't be a lack of work by any means, because he had a great practice out here today. He's working extremely hard."

G Mike Brisiel

(on facing a team that has a better road record) "You really can tell a lot from where your team's at, you know, at a certain point when you go into a tough road stadium like this. It's going to be loud. They're a heck of a good defense up front. It'll tell us a lot where we are. We've been steadily improving, but we've had a little cushion here being at home for the past month. This will allow us to know where we're at and where we're going, so we're looking forward to it."

T Duane Brown

(on the key versus the Minnesota defense to keeping QB Matt Schaub on his feet) "You've got to be able to run the ball, first and foremost. They have a great run defense. If we can somehow make them respect the run, that'll setup our play-action and that'll slow down their rush a little bit. Once they find out you can't run against them, then they'll pin their ears back and just rush the passer. That's what they've done to a couple of teams, and I think just having a balanced attack would be able to help us out a lot in pass protection."

(on going on the road now after being at home for a month) "It's going to be pretty tough. Me personally, I kind of got used to playing at home and having the fans supporting you. But back on the road against a very raucous crowd, it's going to be tough for us. We have great veterans on the team that have been there and done that. Communication is going to be key for us and just (to) stick to what we've been doing these past few weeks and just try to keep the ball rolling."

(on what he has seen from DE Jared Allen) "He's a heck of a player. I watched him when he was in Kansas City. His length and speed and power combination really gives guys trouble. Like you said, I think just their overall talent on the defense is what makes them better. You can't send too many guys out to block them because they've got other guys across the defensive line that you've got to account for, so a lot of the times the tackle is left out on a island with him, and he's very talented and good with his hands, an experienced guy. You've just got to try to find a way to block him. I'm not sure what they have planned to try to stop him individually, but we'll find a way."

(on how he guards against false starts in a loud stadium) "(I've) just got to try to find a key on (QB) Matt's (Schaub) cadence."

(on what happens if he can't hear QB Matt Schaub's cadence) "Just go off of the defensive movement. If he jumps, then I can jump and it won't be a false start on me. That's what I was told. But from what I've heard, Minnesota is probably, if not the toughest, one of the top-three toughest places to play in the league. So I'm sure we're going to get a lot of work this week with some crowd noise to try to simulate that and help out everybody."

LB Zac Diles

(on what problems the Vikings' offense poses) "Just watching tape just now and earlier yesterday, you see the kind of running back they have in Adrian Peterson. He's a very hard, physical runner. He hits the hole hard and he's running downhill, so we're going to have to bring our hardhats this week."

(on CB Dunta Robinson's return bringing more confidence to the team) "To have him out there, the more and more reps he's getting, he is getting more confident in himself. So he's out there playing faster and he's the (team) defensive player of the week this week, along with Eugene (Wilson), so he's making tremendous strides. He's getting better and better. You can see he's getting more comfortable out there. Just to have him out there for more plays, it's getting him more comfortable so he's being able to make more plays."

(on what it would mean to be able to win a road game) "It would be huge. We haven't had a road win this year, so just going out there would be a real big momentum for us - to go on the road and beat a really good team in Minnesota. You see, they are a real potent offense, a real potent defense. As long as we go out there and we play like we've been playing, we should be fine."

(on if the Vikings' offense rides on the shoulders of RB Adrian Peterson) "Yeah, pretty much. But all around the board, they are really good. They have a really good tight end and a really good receiver in Bernard Berrian. And like I said, (RB) Chester Taylor is really good, too. So they have a real potent offense and they have a variety of people that can hurt you."

(on what he sees from RB Adrian Peterson on the field) "Just a guy that is a physical runner. He runs downhill. I mean, I played against him in college, too, so I know what kind of athlete he is and what he brings to the table. Like I said, you have to bring your hardhat for this game."

(on if RB Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the league) "He's one of the best, if not the best. He's up there with the top running backs in this league. So like I said, being on the field with him before, I know what he can bring and I know what kind of athlete he is. I mean, you've seen what he's done in this league so far in just a short time. So like I said, we're going to have to be accountable for him."

(on what makes RB Adrian Peterson different than other running backs) "He keeps his feet moving. You hardly ever see one person tackling him. He likes to run the ball up inside. A lot of running backs try to get to the edge, but he's a guy that will cut it back inside quick and get a seam and hit it. So we have to be in our gaps and sound. Like I said, as long as we're assignment sound, we should be fine."

CB DeMarcus Faggins

(on CB Dunta Robinson being back) "It's good. You can tell the excitement out there when he's out there on the field. He brings a lot to the team. He makes plays. Not only has he gotten better, it's made the whole secondary better in the backfield."

(on what stands out to him with the Vikings' offense) "You've got to look at the running game, the running backs that they have. They have a nice receiver over there and the quarterback, he's been in the league for I think 15 years and he still has a strong arm. He can get the ball out. So you've got to kind of prepare this whole week not just for the running game but also the passing game."

(on what kind of challenge RB Adrian Peterson poses if the gets past the linebackers) "He's an excellent running back. He runs the ball well. If he gets to the secondary, it's a tough job to make an open-field tackle on him because the power that he has running and then he also has a lot of quickness to him and he can run fast."

(on if RB Adrian Peterson reminds him of anyone or if he's in a class by himself) "Right now, I think he's in a class by himself because just look at him, he's one of the best running backs in the league right now. Right now, I can't just put a hand on somebody that he reminds me of. He's in a class of his own right now."

(on how good it feels to finally get something going and win three games in a row) "It feels good. It feels good. I mean first time, three in a row. We've been working hard for a lot of years now, and then to be able to accomplish this this year, that's just amazing to me."

FS Nick Ferguson

(on what WR Jacoby Jones adds to the special teams) "Well, I tell you what, when you look at our first three games, we were not playing well on special teams as far as giving our offense or defense great field position. When you're able to have a guy like him who can break out at any point and score points and give you great field position, it gives us the element of having our three phases where we didn't have them early in the season. So it's great to have him back there. We just have to keep going."

(on if he feels the confidence of the secondary growing with CB Dunta Robinson playing more) "Of course, it's great to have him back out there on the field. The fans get really enthused having him out there. It gives us a sense on defense that there's nothing that we can't do in our package having an extra guy like that come out and actually play. But it's great to have him out there."

(on what it's like defensively when a punt is returned and the defense is right back on the field) "It's great because it give you a chance as a defensive player to go out there and make another play, but also, it gives us an opportunity for us, who are blocking for him, to say, 'Well, if we block our guy, there's a chance that he may get to the end zone.' So once again, early on in the season, I guess we didn't all have that confidence within ourselves as far as what we can do. Now that we've made some great plays, everyone is going out and saying, 'This may be the play and I don't want to be the guy that is the cause of him not getting in the end zone and jumping in the stands to his mom.'"

WR Andre Johnson

(on the possibility of having 10 or more catches in five consecutive games) "I'm just trying to do everything I can to help the team win games. That's pretty much it. I'm not really worried about records or anything like that. I just want to win. We've been able to win three games in a row, so hopefully we can go to Minnesota and do that this weekend."

(on being able to do something that nobody has ever done before) "I think if it was to happen, after the season was over, it would be a great accomplishment for a person to do something like that. But that's something that you can't worry about. You just have to go out and play. You can't worry about records and things like that, because when you worry about those things, it kind of takes away from the game."

(on if he is aware of what coach Gary Kubiak said about him the other day) "No, I'm not."

(on Kubiak saying he was playing better than any receiver he's ever been around) "It's a great compliment. Like I said, all I do is worry about winning. I'm going to do whatever I have to do and just make the best of my opportunities. I've been fortunate to have a lot of opportunities this season. The ball has been thrown my way a lot, and I just try to make the best of it."

(on what it's going to take to win on the road) "This game here is going to be real tough. I think it's going to be a real big challenge for us. They have a great defense, starting with that defensive line. They have (DT) Pat (Williams) and (DT) Kevin Williams up there and then signed (DE) Jared Allen this offseason. They have a great front seven, and then they have (S) Darren Sharper and (CB) Antoine Winfield, who's probably playing some of the best football he's played. So it's going to be a big test for us. It's going to be a very physical game. I can remember the last time that I played them, I was pretty sore after the game. The last time we played against those guys, they were a very physical football team, and we're going to have to go out and play a very physical game with them and hopefully we can come out on top."

(on Kubiak saying that the Bengals tried to hit him as much as possible and if that is what defenses are going to try to do to him) "I took a few shots during the Cincinnati game. I think that's just something that defenses do to try to intimidate you. I can remember after catching one pass one of the guys on their team just saying, 'Hey, just keep hitting him.' Normally when that happens, guys tend to shy away from catching the ball or get the alligator arms or things like that. But I just try to take the hits and roll with it."

(on if he said anything back to the guy that said they were going to keep hitting him) "Yeah, I did. That's not of my character, but I was just like, 'Hey, that's not going to stop anything. I'm going to be here all day and I'm going to keep playing.'"

(on why he went outside his character to say that) "I guess I felt like they were trying to intimidate me, but I was just letting them know that, 'Hey I'm going to be here for 60 minutes, just like you're going to be here. I'm going to keep playing, and hopefully you'll keep playing. See how many hits you can get me and see how many I can take.'"

(on if that is the way he lets them know he is fine) "Yep, that's my way of letting them know I'm alright. I got my helmet knocked off one time. I took a hit under the chin but I kept rolling. That's all that matters."

(on if he wonders how long he can go on with this 10-plus-catch streak) "Yeah, it's definitely something you don't want to stop. Any wide receiver, if you have games like I've had in the past few weeks, you don't want to stop, especially when you're winning. You feel like you're doing things to help your team win. Hopefully, it can keep going the way it's going. Hopefully, we can get the win Sunday."

(on if there is a danger that there is a sense of accomplishment after winning three games even though they are still a game under .500) "Yeah, we are, but I think that the attitude around here is a lot better than it was at the beginning of the season. I think guys were real frustrated. Guys wanted to win. We know the situation that we're in. We know how important this game is, going on the road. We know it's going to be a big test for us. We just have to keep playing the way we've been playing the past few weeks."

WR Jacoby Jones

(on refocusing after the tough time he had in preseason) "Like I said, this is a game of adversity. You're going to have your ups and downs. You've got to keep fighting through it, and hopefully everything will turn around and keep the man above on your side and you're going to be alright."

(on if he was thinking too much during the preseason) "I was trying to hard to make a play instead of just relaxing and just playing the game of football."

(on if he had ever gone through those problems before) "No, not really, not at all, never been through anything like that. It's a growing thing. You come through that fact that the first year, you're going to have your struggles. Once you get into your next year and you move on and you learn how to become a pro, it's a whole better thing."

(on how helpful his mother was during the time he struggled and if he talked to her a lot about it) "Oh, yeah. She always told me to stay prayed up and everything is going to be alright. Prayed up, that's what she said, and everything is going to fan out and be alright."

(on how much of the returns are attributed to him and his blockers getting on the same page) "We've got our chemistry. Everybody is doing their job. Everybody wants to block and everybody wants to make a play. Everybody wants to succeed. So everybody is doing their job."

(on if he is aware of Minnesota struggling on kick coverage this year) "I saw where (RB) Reggie Bush could have had three on them, but he took two back on them. There's some tweaks in there. Maybe they fixed them, maybe not, but we're going to try."

(on the Vikings being aware of his punt return skills) "I think they are. I think they're ready."

(on what his reaction was to being named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week again) "Of course I'm happy, but like I said, it's a unit and we work hard every day in practice. Like I said, it's over with, enjoy it, move on and try to move on to next week and make another play."

DT Amobi Okoye

(on if he likes the way the defensive line is growing and coming together) "Most definitely. It's something we've been working on ever since the coaching staff got here. It's been getting better and better."

(on what part of his game he is working on) "Getting a sack. That's definitely the major thing for me, and every week, it's what I plan on doing."

(on if he feels his youth has helped him) "You know, I really can't assess that. I really don't know. I asked the trainers and strength conditioning coaches a lot as far as how they feel about my body and what they think with comparisons from last year to this year. They're happy with the improvement, they're happy with the play style, the motor I play with and all of that."

(on going to Minnesota and playing on the road) "I'm looking forward to it. I always heard about playing up there and how noisy and how the fans get into it. I thrive for stuff like that and I enjoy it. That's why I play the game. So I'm looking forward to going down there and having a good time."

(on the biggest challenge to stopping the Vikings' offense) "Definitely 28 (RB Adrian Peterson). Without a doubt, 28 and 29 (RB Chester Taylor). Both of those running backs are great running backs that can hurt you in plenty of ways, a countless number of ways. So everybody has to be really disciplined with their job. You know, you want to make a play and you want to do more than what's expected of you, but discipline comes first in this game."

LS Bryan Pittman

(on how he got over the snapping problems from the beginning of the season) "Yeah, I had issues the first quarter of the season. I've just refocused all of my attention and my abilities on being positive and kind of working my way out of the funk that I was in."

(on if head coach Gary Kubiak bringing in long snappers motivated him) "Yeah, that fired me up a little bit. It made me pull out all the stops and find a way to fix it. And that's what I did."

(on what the problem was) "Just thinking about it too much. That's the worst thing you can do when you go in, thinking about your mechanics and your rhythm and everything instead of just letting it happen. That's when you mess up."

(on how much P Matt Turk helped him) "He was tremendous. He always was positive and said, 'Look, you're going to work through it. Just keep doing it, keep snapping it, keep working on it. You'll get through it.' And he was there. He made some tremendous holds for us, and I'm just glad he is as good as he is because he saved my job."

LB DeMeco Ryans

(on how to stop RB Adrian Peterson) "How to stop Adrian Peterson? I think it comes with everybody playing physical. He's a physical runner and runs hard - one of the best running backs we have in the league right now. It's going to be a task. It's going to be an all day thing because they are going to run it and continue to run it because they have such a workhorse back there. He's a good back. It's going to be difficult to stop him, but I think we just have to play physical and everybody will have to be in the right place. When we get a chance to tackle him, we really have to gang tackle."

(on what makes RB Adrian Peterson special) "He's a big back but he's fast and he has the ability to make those cuts that a lot of big backs can't do. He has the speed to take it to the house. So if you're wrong, he will take advantage of you."

(on where RB Adrian Peterson ranks on the running backs he has faced in the league) "In my short time, he's probably, I guess, top-three backs that I'm going to see."

(on if beating Minnesota on the road will validate the win streak) "I think we have to be able to go take our show on the road, so to speak, and get it done against a good team like Minnesota, a good, physical team. They play well on defense. They run the ball well. So this is a great challenge for our team and for us. It's a challenge that we love, going on the road, our backs against the wall, everybody against us. Let's see if we can bring a win back to Houston."

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

(on if he got spoiled playing four consecutive games at home) "Yeah, we did. You kind of get spoiled being in front of your home crowd and having the fans and everybody on your side. Everybody is with you. It's going to be a little different, a little change up going away on the road. We haven't been on the road in it seems like forever now. But I think it's time for us to get on the road and see what we can do against a good team on the road."

(on Zac Diles) "Zac is playing well. Overall, Zac is playing tremendous for us. He's a big-play guy, making a lot of plays for us. If you watch him, he just continues to grow and get better each week. He's doing a great job, and I admire him for playing the way he's playing."

(on having CB Dunta Robinson back on the field) "Having him back out there, it's extra motivating for all of our guys. It sparks up the whole defense. I think everybody plays better having Dunta out there, a big-time playmaker. He's going to come up and hit in the run or whenever he's in position to make a play. He's a physical guy. You just try to play to his level."

QB Matt Schaub

(on the Vikings' defense) "They're one of the top defenses in the league and especially against the run. They are very stout up front in the middle, so it's going to be a great challenge for us. They're very good on the back end as well because their front seven allows the DBs to play with vision, and they really understand things. They are very smart, veteran players, so we'll just have to be on the top of our game to be successful."

(on how important it is to not break the rhythm they have) "We can't break our rhythm. We have to take what we've been doing in the past three weeks and go on the road and continue to do those things that we've been doing to win the game. If we can continue that, then we'll be in good shape."

(on if a long drive would quite the Vikings' crowd) "Yeah, that'd be great. Depending on how we can go about that, whether it's three plays and get a big play or we just, 15, 20-play drive, whatever you can do. But I've never been there, so I don't really know how loud it is. I've been in places that have been loud. But it's going to be exciting, a good challenge for us on the road, so we're excited about it. Whenever you can put a drive together and quite a crowd that can get loud, that's good for a road team."

(on how tough it is to call audibles on the road) "It's tough. That's why you have hand signals. You have a lot of non-verbal communication. That's what you have to do on the road, whether offensively or defensively. You just have to have hand signals and be able to still do the things that you do as an offense to be successful whether you're at home or on the road."

(on being able to quiet the crowd when you're at home) "When you're at home, you can still use your words and stuff, but you still have to signal to the receivers. So we'll still do our normal package, but it's just that much more important to use our hand signals."

(on if he calls less audibles on the road) "You might not have as many in, but you still have to have some to take advantage of what the defense is giving you in certain looks. But you can't abandon completely what you do."

(on how much he's learned in the past two years about how difficult it is to win on the road) "Well, it is tough. There's a thing about playing on the road and just handling the game situations and taking care of the ball and especially early, handling the noise and the crowd because everybody is amped up and ready to go - just getting into a rhythm and letting the game come to you as a player and as a team."

(on how important it is to get off to a good start) "Oh, it's huge. If you can jump out early and get a lead, then you'll kind of quiet the crowd a little bit and get the momentum. The home team always comes out with a lot of energy on their home field, so if you can get the lead early, you can kind of get the momentum and let the game come to you. Then you can do a lot more things to be a little bit more aggressive."

(on WR Andre Johnson taking a bunch of big hits and how that inspires the team) "Oh, definitely. When he bounces up from things like that, he's going to go in there and he's going to catch the football. And those safeties, they look to hit receivers. Whether they're in Cover 2 or they're in their single safety, they're looking to hit guys and trying to get that ball out. It's tough for a receiver to catch in traffic and secure that football, but Andre does a great job of it. I know as a quarterback that if I give him chance, he's going to go get the football and he's going to protect it. Those hits probably look a lot worse when you see them. If you ask Andre, I bet he'd probably say they didn't feel as bad as they looked. So he's willing to take those for the good of the team."

(on if the team's spirits are lifted when WR Andre Johnson comes back into the huddle after a hard hit) "We just get back into the huddle and say, 'Let's go find another one.' We just pat him on the butt and say, 'Hey, nice catch and let's go get another one.' It's a physical game that we play."

(on how much he and WR Andre Johnson are feeding off of each other) "We're feeding off of each other a lot. It's not only me and him but the other guys on offense. The offensive line gets pumped up when they see us connect because they know that wouldn't be possible if they weren't doing their jobs. And the other receivers running their routes and blocking downfield. It's a collective group effort, but we're hitting our strides and we just need to continue to do those things."

(on WR Andre Johnson catching 10 passes this game being an NFL record) "That would be very special, especially if we can cap it off with a win and get that done. That's a pretty special accomplishment. No one has ever done that, and to be a part of that would be amazing. But first and foremost, we have to win, and if that means him catching two or three balls and the other guys catching a lot, then we'll take it. But if it means that we can get that 10 for him, then that's awesome."

(on if winning on the road against a good team would validate the win streak) "Without a doubt. Your percentages to win at home are a lot higher than on the road, just by looking at it. So if we take care of business at home and then can go on the road and get a few, especially against a good team in a tough environment like the Vikings', that will just put a stamp on what we've been able to do this past month after our slow start with our first four games - just cap off a good second quarter of the season."

(on how they are able to keep going WR Andre Johnson with defenses keying on him) "Well, there's only so much attention a defense can give to a guy. You try to put two guys over there in certain coverage. If you put three, then you're really taking away from the rest of the field. But we're just doing a good job of moving him around and putting him in different situations and different routes. When we good the good look, we just take it. But we're not going to force the issue to him when it's not there. We're going to give ourselves options."

(on if they got spoiled having four consecutive games at home) "Well, we were on the road for a whole month, so I think it had to counter-balance at some point. But it's nice to come home after all that we went through in September and then be at home in front of our fans. Now we have to take what we've been doing on the road."

(on if he feels like it's been forever since there has been a road game) "Well, it did. But at the end of September, I said, 'It's been awhile since we had a home game,' too, so it goes hand in hand."

RB Steve Slaton

(on running against the Vikings defense) "You just have to take what they give you. Hopefully, they slip up and give you a little bit more. You have to be smart on your decisions because they are already good enough and aren't going to give too much away."

(on FB Vonta Leach's block on his touchdown run and how important Leach is to him) "It's very important because with Vonta in front of me, I rarely have to worry about the first guy coming. I know he's going to take care of him and leave me one-on-one with somebody else."

(on if this game is the next step for this team) "Yeah, I think so. Since we had these last four home games, now it's time to take the show on the road."

(on if it is rare for a guy RB Adrian Peterson's size to be as quick and shifty as he is) "No, that's not rare. Some people are born with that talent, and he was definitely born with it."

DE Anthony Weaver

(on the challenges of winning on the road) "You know, in this league, winning on the road isn't easy. It's important that you play together as a team. Offense, defense, special teams are all going to have to be clicking for us to go into that stadium, which is going to be loud as any one we've ever played in, and get a win."

(on what CB Dunta Robinson means to the defense) "Dunta is a tremendous player. He's kind of like Andre (Johnson) is to the offense. He's the same thing to our defense. He gives a spark, and we love having him out there. We love having his leadership out there. So it's done nothing but help us."

(on RB Adrian Peterson's combination of size and speed) "Yeah, that's the thing I've been most impressed with in watching him. It's not his shiftiness – we all knew he had that – but he is willing to put his head down and run people over. That's impressive for a guy with his size and speed not to try to make people miss but lower his head and run them over."

(on if you slow RB Adrian Peterson down, you slow the Vikings' offense down) "Yeah, I think so. I think he's the cog that keeps that offense moving. If we're able to stop him and force a veteran quarterback like (Vikings QB) Gus Frerotte to go out there and make plays and hopefully we can get after him."

T Eric Winston

(on if it is hard to hear when C Chris Myers changes blocking assignments) "Oh, yeah. It's not very easy. Even sometimes at home, you don't get the right calls or anything, so you've got to think that's where it comes from, the mental preparation. I think you need to prepare a little harder even if you're going on the road because you've got to anticipate the call coming out and if you don't hear it, you've just got to assume the call's been made."

(on plays getting busted on the road because sometimes you can't hear) "Sure. Sure, yeah that happens. We can't have negative plays. We can't get into second-and-12 or second-and-13. That's why we've been, I think, so effective so far on third downs, because on first and second we're doing a good job of keeping those downs manageable."

(on the challenge of winning four in a row and being on the road) "It's just a different environment. Instead of 70,000 people behind you, you have 70,000 people against you. We've got to keep that away from us. We've got to just do our job. We've got to carry the same kind of momentum, the same way we've been playing, from here up to Minnesota."

(on if he thinks about the winning streak at all) "No, just one at a time, one at a time. We dug ourselves a pretty good hole, and the only way we're going to get out of it is one step at a time. So we're excited about where we are. We wish we were at a little bit better spot, but we are where we are and we've just got to keep winning."

(on being back in the thick of things) "Yeah. It's definitely exciting. We're happy from where we're at, but we know we've got to put some more wins together and we don't have a lot of time to do it. We're excited about getting a chance to get up there. Minnesota's a great team. It'll be a lot of fun."

(on if he is concerned about losing the edge the team had after starting 0-4) "I don't think so. I think that taste in our mouth is still there. I don't see a lot of contentment in a lot of guys' faces here in the locker room. Everyone is excited about where we are at, but we've got a lot higher goals than just winning three in a row this year. I think there's a lot of urgency around here."

(on if they have something to prove to go out and get a victory against Minnesota compared to the teams they have a beaten) "I'll take any victory in the NFL. We're definitely excited about going and having a chance to win a tough road game. We want to prove that to everyone, not just ourselves. We're excited about our chances."

(on how much confidence the team has in QB Matt Schaub right now) "A ton. We've always had a lot of confidence in Schaub. That's not something that's changed at all this season. He's definitely in that kind of zone where he's completing a lot of passes. Obviously, he's seeing the field well. We've got to continue to protect the way we have. I think protection always equals completions, and as long as we can keep him off the ground, he's going to be able to make a lot of good throws."

(on how critical this win is for QB Matt Schaub on the road) "I just think it's critical for us as a team to go get a win. I don't care if it's 7-6 or 37-36. We've got to figure out a way to win. Whether that's getting into a defensive battle and running the ball or whether it's putting up another 35 points, we've got to figure out whatever way it is to do it."

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