Houston Texans Transcripts**
Training Camp Practice #7
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on DeAndre Hopkins standing out at practice and taking the next step in his career) "He's one of the guys out there that I think is much improved from April 7 when we started to where we are now. He just has to keep it going. He's a very hard worker. It's very important to him. He's a guy that really gets, in our opinion, better and better every day, just got to keep it going."
(on some of the situational work today at practice) "We did a lot today. We were in the red area. We had a lot of third down situations and then obviously, two-minute at the end. So now that's the time of camp, now is the time of camp were you are really going to work on those types of things every single day. We had a no huddle period to try and force communication against a high tempo offense and things like that. You know, we'll continue to do those things every day."
(on an update to Jadeveon Clowney's status) "No, I think again, we're just trying to manage him. He's coming off surgery and we're just trying to manage him. He's out there and wants to go every rep. I'm sure just like all of the guys, after seven practices I'm sure he's a little sore and we'll just continue to manage him."
(on if he specifically tweaked something today) "No."
(on if Johnathan Joseph leaving practice early was planned) "Yeah, you know, same thing. We're just trying to manage those guys through, you know, long training camp, long season."
(on wearing the 'Texans for DQ' t-shirt) "It means a lot. David Quessenberry is a guy that I got to know when I first came here. You know, really promising young offensive lineman, 23 years old. To have the news that was delivered to him a few months ago was tough. He's fighting it. This whole team is behind him. He's a very bright guy, he's a fighter; He's back in San Diego right now watching tape. He called our video guy the other day to make sure that he could fix what was going on with his Surface tablet or whatever to make sure he got film of practice to watch film. He's just a special guy. He means a lot to this team and to especially the offensive linemen. We just wanted to represent him out there at practice."
(on what it says about veterans Chris Myers and Duane Brown to put the 'Texans for DQ' shirts together) "Again, those guys are really good guys, they're good teammates, they're really good veteran players, they care about their teammates, they care about winning, they work extremely hard, they're very much involved in the community here in Houston, and so I thought it was a very nice thing that they did, a nice gesture to try and raise money and raise awareness for cancer research, specifically lymphoma research. It's just a testament again to those guys. Those are two really good veteran players, Duane Brown and Chris Myers."
(on the red line that separates the end zone into two halves) "We have a red line up the sideline that is five yards inside the sideline that is something we talk about all the time in the passing game. That on certain routes that we run, if we're too far outside of the red line then it is very difficult for the quarterback to put the ball in there. It's like trying to drive it into a small window, so we try to tell the DBs and the receivers, 'Hey look, the receivers are trying to win the red line.' So that is why it is painted there. The red line in the end zone, I'm not sure, I don't know. That might be a design or something. I'll take a walk back out there and see what it is."
See pictures of fans that came to support the Texans on Saturday.
(on what it means to wear the 'Texans for DQ' t-shirt) "Again, David Quessenberry is a very special young man to us here. He was a guy that I got to know right away. He was here when I first got here. The previous staff and Rick Smith had spoken very highly of this guy. That he was a guy that was a very promising offensive lineman. He was a guy that could play all five spots: tackle, guard and center. Twenty-three years old, and then he was hit with that news. I'll tell you one other thing about him. He knew at some point during minicamp that there was something wrong, but he kept going out there to practice. It was amazing because he did have a big mass inside of him and he was practicing with that. That is an amazing, amazing thing I think, I believe. We're all behind him. He's fighting. We stay in touch with text message. I know Chris Myers spoke with him last night. It was just something we wanted to show support him and try to raise money for cancer."
(on an update to Jadeveon Clowney) "Again, I think we're just, we're trying to monitor him. I go with Geoff Kaplan on that. We try to measure how many, you know, count how many reps he has at practice and kind of keep him on a pitch count there. He wants to be in every drill. We'll just continue to do that."
(on installing new things on offense and defense and if he is starting to see more of players just playing and not thinking) "I believe we're seeing more comfort with our schemes on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Yeah, I definitely see guys out there playing faster, not doing much thinking. We've got to eliminate the mistakes. All of you are out there at practice today and we can't fumble quarterback-center exchanges. We can't fumble the ball. We've got to eliminate those types of mistakes. As far as these guys really paying attention to the scheme and what their assignments are, I believe we are becoming more comfortable with our systems."
(on if the real referees have an effect on the practices) "I think any time you have officials out at practice, it's important because it puts an emphasis on the rules. They came and spoke to us last night and showed us a video of some things that are going to be points of emphasis on that—you know, I think all the rules are points of emphasis. They're the rules, right?—but some things that they spoke about in the offseason that they're going to be looking for. And then they come out on the field and the guys know that they're there and they throw the flag when there is a foul and then I can show it at night at the night meeting and explain to them what the foul was and try to get our guys to understand better of what the officials are looking for so it's really good to have them there. You know, at times you kind of want them there every practice but it's hard to do that with their schedules and things but we'll continue to try to have them. When Atlanta comes in they'll be here, so we'll continue to do that."
(on what he has thought of Joe Adams so far) "It's tough, you know. I think—it's been two practices I think—but he's a guy I can tell has come out there and working hard. But I think that's probably a question more for maybe a week or two from now."
(on if he's getting a better look at all his running backs since Arian Foster is out) "I think any time a player is out at your position that definitely increases the reps for the other guys at that position. So whether it's Alfred Blue or Andre Brown or Dennis Johnson or Tim Cornett or Toben Opurum or whoever it is. You know, obviously Jonathan Grimes being back so those guys are all getting more reps because Arian is out."
(on if Louis Nix is close to practicing) "We felt like we wanted to make sure that we could have a healthy Louis Nix and not have to manage him throughout the season. As an organization we decided to do that surgery or arthroscopic surgery before training camp and so I believe from what I hear from our medical people that he's working well and he's becoming closer and closer to being able to be back out there at some point."
(on if it was knee surgery that Nix underwent) "Yeah, it was—yeah."
The Texans hit the field Saturday for practice.
(on if he feels good about Matt Feiler) "I think—you know I feel good about our young developmental linemen and where they're at. I think they come out every day, they practice hard. You know, I wouldn't say that one guy is improving at a faster rate than another guy but I see improvement. I think any time you're working with a young player it's all about consistency. You're trying to get them to be a more consistent player with his landmarks and the way he pass sets and his knowledge of assignments and things like that so I think all those guys are trying to do that."
RB Alfred Blue
(on thoughts on the day) "Yeah man, it was a great day today."
(on taking advantage of the extra reps) "Yeah, every day I try to come out and whatever the coaches give me, whatever reps they try to give me, I try to make the best of it and learn from my mistakes from the previous practice and try to get better."
(on progressively learning the system) "It makes you feel good, knowing that you're progressing and you're getting better every day and you're showing the coaches that you can come out and pick up everything.
(on Bill O'Brien calling him a three-down back) "That's a great compliment to be a three-down back, knowing that you're an every-down back, and you don't have to get out in certain situations."
(on getting accustomed to the offense) "I feel great; I feel like everything is coming fairly easy to me, I'm picking it up pretty well, but there is still a lot I have to learn, I'm still learning each day when I come to practice."
(on potentially being Arian Foster's backup) "I don't know, it's not my decision, but I'm out here competing every day to try and get there."
(on what part of the game you are most optimistic about) "Just everything, picking up the blitzes, catching the ball, getting that one-on-one mismatch, knowing that you're going to win that one-on-one , and get that open space and go the distance."
(on if he will change his mindset once Arian Foster is back practicing) "Not really, I come to practice trying to get better, whether Arian is here or he's not. I just come out and do whatever the coaches ask me to do to my best ability."
T Duane Brown
(on his reaction to seeing everyone in the Texans for DQ shirts) "I think it's amazing. It means a lot to myself; it means a lot to my teammates and I can only imagine how DQ (David Quessenberry) feels. We are just trying to show our support as much as possible to let him know that he's always in our hearts and in our minds. Just to try to get citywide, nationwide support for him as much as possible, to raise awareness, to raise funds by selling them. And like I said, just continue to show our support. He's in our fight and he's a very close friend and close teammate of ours."
(on what it means to have a profound impact on David's life) "It means a lot. We are all out here battling day to day throughout this training camp, but that is nothing. It's minute compared to the battle he's facing. To know how strong he is about it, the approach he's taking on it, it means a lot. To be able to support him as much as we can from afar I'm sure it's helping him just keeping his spirits up and that's all we want to do."
(on finally seeing all of the shirts out at practice) "It's great to see all the coaches support, just everyone around the organization and hopefully we can get some people to buy them and wear them in the stands, to see as many people as possible with them. It does a lot for me, it does a lot for our team, it does a lot for our organization and it would mean the world to him."
(on if Quessenberry knew about the shirts) "I'm not sure when he found. I don't think it was that long ago. He was ecstatic when he found out about it. He's just a great guy. His spirits are already high, he's being very optimistic and he's already got his mind made up that he's going to fight this thing, but that just gives him even more motivation and even more inspiration."
(on if he has kept in touch with Quessenberry) "I have. I talked to him a few days ago. He's out in California right now, but he's trying to make it back here soon. He said to keep praying for him and he's working hard."
(on who designed the t-shirts) "Running Game Clothing is the name of the company."
(on what kind of teammate Chris Myers is) "He's the ultimate teammate. He's very, very high-class guy. One of the best guys I know, one of the best teammates I've ever had in my life. From the day that we got this news, Chris Myers has been running on things that we could do to show our support. He's kind of been the ring leader of getting this thing in motion and bringing it forth. Chris, I can't say enough about him. He's a great guy."
(on all the things that Chris Myers does off the field to help others) "Absolutely, the salt of the earth. That's what you can call those kinds of people, the salt of the earth. He's just a great all-around guy. If there's anything he can do to help you, he's the first one to do it. Anything that I go through, on the field or off the field, I know he's going to be in contact with me to help me through it and that's just the kind of guy he is. He means the world to myself and the rest of this team."
CB Kareem Jackson
(on if the intensity of practices adds any elements to his game) "I'm not sure about adding any elements, but like I said it's supposed to be that way every day. For us to be able to have that every day now it's definitely going to make us better come game time."
(on if he'll watch Alabama native Walter Jones be enshrined in the Hall of Fame) "Most definitely. I support my Bama guys if I've played with them, if I haven't played with them, they were before me, or after me. I definitely support those guys one hundred percent. For being able to go into the Hall of Fame, that's definitely good."
(on if he's ever met Derrick Brooks) "No. Never had a chance to meet him, but I definitely watched him growing up. He's definitely a great player and a great guy so hopefully one day I'll get the chance to meet him."
(on if he likes playing nickel and if he thinks refs throw fewer flags in nickel) "Definitely in some situations I get the chance to be a little more physical. As for the flags, the refs are going to call regardless of where you're at on the field. My thing is I'm going to be physical regardless because that's the type of player I am so I've just got to continue to play."
(on refs getting backlash from defensive backs on the defensive holding rules) "Like I said, they're going to make whatever calls they're going to make regardless, so the only thing we can do is go out and continue to play. We definitely can't let that change our mindset as far as being physical. How I see it we have to put our hands on the receivers to slow them down and do whatever we've got to do to get ahead. We're going to get some flags but hopefully we can crack down on the flags."
C Chris Myers
(on the David Quessenberry campaign started with Duane Brown) "To be able to come out here and see it all come to fruition, with the shirts, it just means the world to DQ (David Quessenberry). I was talking to him last night a little bit, and he is obviously ecstatic that he's got tremendous support from the organization, from the coaches, the players, upstairs, everything, the fans. For us to be able to sell these in the Texans Shop here at the stadium and online, it's just hopefully being able to raise as much money as possible; we're shooting for a goal of $100,000 for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. If we can be able to reach that with the help of our fans, which are the best in the country, it'll be awesome."
(on what it means to have such a profound impact on David Quessenberry) "I think it just speaks volumes of what he means to us, the impression he made on us before everything happened with the diagnosis. He's a great guy, great character guy, works his butt off out here throughout all last year, coming back from his injury and trying to get into the line-up this year, and then obviously he got that news, so right when it happened, he's had the upmost support from everybody."
(on David Quessenberry's reaction to the shirts and the process) "He was kind of, I don't want to say shocked, but that's kind of a cool thing when you think about it. In the beginning stages it was just picking out certain designs here and there that I wanted his input on specifically. To be able to have him see it all come up to a day like this and being able to have the whole staff out here with them on. Fast-forward to August 14th, we're trying to do a "DQStrong" Day and be able to get as many fans and everyone where their shirts out here, so it's a big awe and shock factor. To be able to get those funds, it's going to go to amazing research for a great cause and obviously raise awareness on what DQ has."
(on David Quessenberry's bond with teammates after only one year on the team) "Yeah, that's what I said before. I think it speaks volumes on his character. He's made a big impression on a lot of us. Myself, Duane (Brown), and older guys take him under our wing, like a little brother. I was roommates with him at Ben Jones' wedding earlier this off-season and I was able to kind of kick-it around with him that next Monday or Tuesday as he was getting diagnosed. I really cherished that week we had together for Ben's (Jones) wedding, but it was just something that makes you realize how important life is. We're out here practicing on this field, I'm staring at NRG Stadium, it's pretty cool that you get to play in the NFL and he's right now, battling cancer, so as much as we can do for him as possible, we're going to do."
(on his attitude remaining the same) "He's a grinder; he's a grinder. He's dealing with a lot right now; I think he's going through stage 4 of his treatments right now. He's trying to get back here as soon as possible; he's got to get his levels back up, but DQ is a grinder and a fighter that I tip my hat to because I could never attest to how it is, but I know a lot of people that do it, he's a stronger person than I am, that's for sure."
(on how much time it took to make the shirts) "Doesn't matter; whatever it took. I think, seeing everybody out here is well worth whatever time that I had to put in through."
(on the shirt sales extending passed August 14) "As long as everyone wants to buy the shirts, we're going to sell them. It's going to the cause of Lymphoma Research Foundation, which is a great foundation that is trying to find a cure for everything that is going on for David (Quessenberry) right now. If people want to buy them, we want to keep printing them; that's the way it goes."
(on where people can buy them) "I think it's http://shop.houstontexans.com. It's going to be on houstontexans.com, but if you can go over here to the Go Texans Store, right here at the stadium too, they are for sale. I think they are only $20 for men's and woman's sizes. Hopefully we're going to be able to get another style coming out here, if it gets to be real successful; we'll have another style come out during season-time."
(on first impressions of David Quessenberry) "When you first get to meet DQ, he's a regular ol' Cali boy, laid back, relaxed, cracks some jokes here and there, but he's a quiet guy when it comes down to it. You see a big huge guy like him and he's kind of quiet, but that's how a lot of rookies are when they come in. Then, when you get to know him outside, you go out, get some dinner with him and stuff, he's just a great guy from a great family and when something negative like this happens, you rally around him and you let him know that, when he gets down here and his family is back in California, he's got family down here to be able to give as much support."
(on noticing something off before his diagnosis) "I don't know all of the details behind it. I knew he was not feeling too great, under the weather a week or two before. That could be related, that could be unrelated, I don't know. I just know that when he did decide to finally get checked, obviously it came up pretty quick."
(on how it felt to hear the news of David Quessenberry's diagnosis) "Anytime it happens to any of your family or friends, I think we can all attest to that, that it hits you like a ton of bricks, that one of your close or family is getting diagnosed with something like that. When something does happen like that, you do whatever it is in your will-power to help him. I have another family member right now, going through something kind of similar to DQ and whatever it is, you do because you never know. Being able to have us all behind him is the biggest thing."
S DJ Swearinger
(on if his focus going into 2014 is forcing turnovers) "Oh yeah, most definitely, man. We've got to get more turnovers. More turnovers lead to wins. We had seven interceptions last year. That wasn't enough at all. We've got to get interceptions, forced fumbles. Any time we can change the game, turnovers are big and we've got to get them versus every team so we can get there."
(on his biggest takeaway from last year's coaches and moving onto this year's coaches) "It's a different style. You know, all coaches coach different but we've got to adjust. It's our job as defenders to adjust to coaching style it is and that's what we're doing."
(on if he is strictly a free safety in this defense) "Yes."
(on if he's comfortable with knowing free safety and strong safety as coaches asked of players) "Yeah, I'm comfortable with both. You know, it doesn't matter if you put me at linebacker, safety, corner. I'm going to know the defense, period. It's my job to know the entire defense and that's what I'm going to do."