Head Coach Bill O'Brien
T Duane Brown
RB Tim Cornett
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz
G/T Xavier Su'a-Filo
SS D.J. Swearinger
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on if he will handle Ryan Fitzpatrick different in the preseason because they are new to each other) "You know, we're going to sit down as a staff. We've talked a lot about the first game, the second game, third and fourth game. But we'll sit down as a staff on Wednesday. That is the players' day off this week. We'll talk about how much each guy is going to play, how much each unit is going to play, but quite obviously, we'll get Ryan in there. He'll start the game. Depending on how the game is going, you know, like if it is a game where there is some three and outs, I think it is more important about how many plays he gets than anything else. We'll determine that a little bit on Wednesday and then obviously, see how the game is going."
(on the veterans and how they will play in preseason) "Yeah, I think again, the guys that are healthy to play, we'll play. Now how many quarters will a guy like Duane Brown or Chris Myers play? Well again, that is determined by how the game is going. We look at that as how many snaps each guy should get. You know, whether it is 20 or 30 snaps, whatever it might be, we'll determine that on Wednesday."
(on his thoughts so far in training camp) "Well, I think every day these guys have come out and worked. I really, I told them last night in the team meeting, as a team, I appreciate their effort. I appreciate them coming out every day and trying to get better. I want the guys that are, that have the bumps and bruises to get as healthy as they can so that they can get back here as soon as they can and play with us. Get out there on the practice field. But I think overall, this has been a really good group to work with. We have got a lot of good guys in that locker room that come to work every day. They're fun to teach. We covered a lot of things today. I think they're learning our way of doing things. So far, they've really done a good job of working hard every day to get better."
(on A.J. Bouye and if he has considered giving him reps with the first team at times) "Bouye, based on what package we are in has been in there a lot. Whether it's a base, some type of base package, or nickel package or dime package, he's a young corner who obviously, was injured last year. He's got good size, he's competitive, he's smart and he's been out there every day; he's a guy that if he continues to get better and better, he'll play a lot of football for us."
(on how much of preseason is doing what he wants to do or game planning against the other team) "I think, again, it's a game by game basis. This first game against Arizona we'll go out there and again,
like I said yesterday, we want to play a good sound fundament game. I don't think it's a situation where we're going in there and putting in a game plan against Arizona. I believe it is more about, 'Hey look guys, we've taught you how to handle different things throughout the first 10, 11, 12 practices. Let's go apply it in the game.' I think when you get in the second game. Atlanta will be here for two days. We'll practice against them. How much game planning needs to go into that game? Well, you're out there on the practice field against them every day and vice versa for Atlanta too. It will be similar to the Arizona game. Then I think that third game, even though we're going up there to practice against Denver, we need to—like most third preseason games—treat that like a game. Again, that depends on the injury situation at that point and where we are as a team, but that is how I view it right now."
(on what concerns him about the team) "It's day-to-day. I don't really have major concerns. Every day I wake up and I'm thinking about how I can do a better job coaching this team. I think about different players and how we're using different players. Again, I think when you're a football coach nothing is ever good enough. When you come off the practice field like today, we had a two-minute situation where I felt like at the end there I called a timeout too quickly. I should have let the clock run down a little bit more. So I've got to get better at things. I believe our players are working hard to get better. As far as concerns and things like that, every day we wake up and we're just trying to get better."
(on Xavier Su'a-Filo learning different positions and if he can be overworked or can he handle it) "He is a smart guy. He's a bright guy. He's an instinctive player. There is a lot being thrown at him right now, especially with our system and all the different run schemes, protections and cadences. We're playing him in different spots, so a lot is being thrown at him right now. I think he has handled it pretty well. He's been inconsistent like all of the rookies have. Our defense has thrown a lot at him. You know, four down front, odd front, diamond front, a lot of things have been thrown at this guy along with all of the rookies. I think he is coming along fine. He's working hard at it and he's just trying to play as consistent as he can."
(on how practice has changed now that it is game week) "No. I think now we're working a lot of situations today. We worked a ton of situations, last play situations, red area, third down in the red area, kickoff coverage situations, two-minute situations, backed up, backed up meaning inside of our own five yard line, we've got to get the ball out of there, punt from a backed up situation, so we worked a lot of different situations today. That is basically what the last two days have been about. Tomorrow we'll go out there and grind one out. Have a somewhat of a quote-on-quote normal practice. Then Wednesday will be their day off. Thursday we'll do a little Arizona work and then Friday walk through. We'll be leaving for Arizona Friday."
(on his thoughts on Tim Cornett) "You know, he's a guy that came in here last week and he's worked hard at trying to learn our system. I thought today just in the walk through when I was with him thought he did a decent job with some of the protections and some of his assignments. Big guy, you know, got a decent amount of talent. So we'll see where it leads."
(on the nutrition changes to the team) "I believe it has improved. We hired Stephen Smith, he's our team nutritionist. He's done an excellent job of coming in here and meeting with Aramark, the people that cook our food who are awesome. They do a great job. He sat down with them along with our strength coach Craig Fitzgerald and Geoff Kaplan our trainer, and they've looked at the setup of the cafeteria, the food that we're serving, the different choicest that we give the players, and I believe that it is getting better and better. But I still think there is always improvement. Whether it is maybe a new design for the cafeteria or continuing consult with the players on their food choices and things like that. I think it is something that has improved, but Stephen Smith is always looking to keep improving it."
(on his expectations for Tom Savage in his first preseason game) "I expect him to go out there and go 29 for 30, throw for 500 yards, not make a mistake. No, I'm kidding. I think that he's improved every day. It will be a whirlwind every day when he gets out there. The speed of the game will, and it will be for all the rookies, all the rookies it will be a whole different ball game. Very fast game, different looks will be thrown at them, as all rookies when he gets out there right away, he'll be nervous. He's got to calm the butterflies and do what he has been taught to do to this point and go out there and play football. Get us into the right play, make good decisions, throw the ball accurately, get us in and out of the run scheme like the way we've been doing. Meaning should I run it here or should I run it there and things like that. I think if he does that he'll come out of it feeling pretty good and just try to keep getting better every week."
(on how worried he is about Brandon Brooks at this point) "Again, he came back, had an issue, injury issue, you know, I'm just following the lead of our medical people. Geoff Kaplan, he says, Geoff says that Brandon is improving. When Brandon is ready to practice, he'll come out and practice. The issue there is that when you've missed all of that time you're not in football shape. That is a concern. That we've got to, when he comes back, get him in shape, get him back in the swing of things and get him back in the competition because at that position it is a heck of a competition."
(on Ben Jones playing at both offensive guard positions) "Ben's versatility as far as playing both sides at guard and being a backup center, Ben is a very versatile player. He's been out there every day, he's a tough guy, great teammate, and so his versatility really has helped us."
(on D.J. Swearinger saying that he likes to line up on the line of scrimmage) "D.J. Swearinger likes lining up on the line of scrimmage? Well he's going to have to line up on the deep part of the field."
(on D.J. Swearinger's skill set when lining up close to the line of scrimmage) "Again, he's an aggressive player. He's a good tackler. Another guy that I believe is a great teammate, practices hard every day. He loves football. I love watching that guy practice. He's into it. He does things in the box that are good. He understands how to fit runs. He does a good job of coming off the edge when we bring him on blitzes and things like that. He's getting better and better every day."
T Duane Brown
(on how Xavier Su'a-Filo has looked during practice) "He's doing some stuff well. He's competing, man, and he's going against some very, very good players and you know, and that's against our
defense. So it's only going to make him better."
(on how important situational drills are) "It's very important just to get down to the mental aspect of the game and just critical situations that come up in a football game, you know, being with our back to the goal line, two minute drills, special teams situations, and it's good for us just to be able to react quickly and to process everything quickly on the practice field so we can make that transition on gameday."
(on if the situational drills were game-like in quickness) "It was very fast paced. Obviously we weren't in pads today so it wasn't full tilt but it was very up tempo, very competitive, and like I said it will force you to react quickly and process everything quickly and staying on your feet. I think it was good for all of us."
(on how complex the playbook is) "It's just a lot. It's a lot. We have a lot of offense, a lot of stuff we have to learn up front. It makes us better players. It makes us better students of the game. You're able to know so much more about football with this offense that we have. In turn, it's a lot that you have to study away from here so you can't just come in here and expect to know everything. You have to view it on your own time. So to be able to perfect it and succeed at it is what comes with being a professional."
(on new trash talking rules) "It is what it is man. I don't do much trash talking, so it won't affect me at all."
(on Bill O'Brien emphasizing on not making mental mistakes) "Absolutely because those are things you can control; knowing what you're doing, knowing your assignments, knowing certain situations and what to expect at certain points in the game. That is something he is really hard on us about, and it's good because that is the thing that can lose the ballgame for you. Everyone is talented around this league, everyone has playmakers, but being able to focus for four quarters, is what can give you an edge, so that's what he teaches us."
RB Tim Cornett
(on missing the first couple of days of training camp) "I've been catching up; everybody has been teaching me and bringing me along, showing me the ropes and stuff like that, so it's really been fun for the most part, more than just studying the playbook and stuff like that."
(on what it means to come back to hometown) "It meant a lot; I put more towards this workout than I did in other workouts before because I really wanted them to get me, but it meant a lot to me."
(on what caught the Texans' eyes during tryout process) "My catching ability. I feel like my catching ability, they really like and my speed; they really want to see that more of that. Every time they talk to me, they say things like 'use your speed more, hit the outside', and stuff like that, so I feel like that's what they really want to see."
(on growing up in Houston) "It's really crazy, coming to think about it, now that you bring it up."
(on the tradition of guys in the NFL coming from Northshore) "I just feel like what they teach us at Northshore, it's been the same things taught to me throughout college and the same things taught to me throughout the NFL. It's the same stuff, so it's just really getting prepared earlier than you usually would."
(on calling family, telling them about coming home) "They were excited. I called my mom, she was really excited about that. She was like, 'Now, you don't have to leave' because at first, I was at UNLV and then, I was gone all of the time and then, Arizona and then I was gone all of the time, but now, I'm back home and she is really excited about that."
(on ending up on UNLV) "Coach Cormier was my recruiting coach, he played at Northshore. Northshore was his recruiting area and he just sold it to me really. He was like, 'man you come here, and you'll have a chance to play, you'll have a chance to start, if you do what you got to do'. That's all I needed to hear from any colleges because I've had offers from UH, I think my second offer was UTEP, Oregon St. signing day. I had other offers, but I felt like UNLV just really sold itself to me."
(on playing with some of the guys that were on TV growing up like, WR Andre Johnson) "It's kind of weird saying those are my teammates, instead of being the guy that I used to look up to in college. I used to watch Arian Foster highlights the day before games in college. It's crazy that now he's my teammate, he's showing me 'look, this is how you go to do on this play' and stuff like that."
(on impressing the coaches in the short amount of time given) "I feel like I have; I feel like they like to see my ability to run, they like me to show that I have speed, and stuff like that, so I feel like if I keep doing what I have to do and stay in the playbook, I can move up the depth-chart quick."
(on what the opportunity to play for the Texans means) "It's a big opportunity, just to stay home really for me. I feel like I have been away from home. Family is a big thing for me and I feel like I've been away from my family too long, so this go-around, I'm going to put forth more effort, I know what to look for, and stuff like that."
(on getting the call from the Texans being memorable compared to past experiences) "Top five I know for sure, behind a lot of stuff that happened at UNLV, like with records and stuff like that. It's really up there, knowing they're just giving me an opportunity, so that's really up there in my charts."
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz
(on impression of camp so far) "It's pretty good. Obviously it's a grind; it's camp. The competition level is stepped up from college. I'm just trying to work hard and learn the playbook, trying to help out the team really."
(on preparation for pre-season game in NFL compared to first game of a college season at Iowa ) "At Iowa, I was a starter for three years, so I had someone on my heals the whole time, but now I'm on someone else's heals. I'm trying to get on that field, get the trust of the coaches, come in here every day and be the same guy, and work hard."
(on how Bill O'Brien utilizes the tight ends) "He uses two or three tight ends. You watch from the past, with the guys he had, and you can't help but respect it, so when it comes to game-time, the tight-ends are going to be a big role in this offense."
(on learning new techniques, which ones feel most comfortable) "I'm just reading coverages really. As far as run-blocking, guys are a little bit bigger. You have to get a little lower leverage, hands inside, all the little things in blocking that are really going in handy in a game, when you have a 290-pound defensive end coming full speed at you."
(on his favorite tight ends) "Early on it was Tony Gonzalez, but recently, I would say Gronk (Rob Gronkowski), I've got his number. I just like the way he plays. He's a guy who can dominate in the running game, but also in the pass-game. I just like that he's a well-rounded, old-school tight-end. He's not afraid to get dirty, but when it's crunch-time, he'll make the big play in the end-zone."
(on playing with no abandon like Rob Gronkowski) "Yeah you can say that, yeah. Obviously, I haven't been on a field in the NFL yet, so I can't really say too much about that, but that's kind of what I want to be."
(on wanting to be used in an offense like Rob Gronkowski) "Yeah, hopefully. I've been doing a lot of run blocking, I've been doing a lot of pass catching, so hopefully I can contribute in both areas."
(on showing catching capabilities more) "Yeah, I think I've mentioned that a couple of times before drafted. At Iowa, I did a lot of run-blocking just because that's what Big Ten and Iowa football is all about, but like you guys said, Coach O'Brien likes to use the tight-ends in the pass-game and hopefully, my number gets called."
(on possessing good catching capabilities) "I think it's something I have; I feel like I have natural hands, the ability to go up and get the ball. I think it's just something that you have to build trust in your coaches, your quarterback that you're going to go catch the ball because they don't care about what you did in college. Every day, I try to catch more and more balls, get a little extra after practice."
(on Bill O' Brien sayings or things he says that stick) "Leadership—you have to be a team guy, a guy who will sacrifice your body and everything you have for the team, just enjoy the people around you. The closer you guys are outside of football, the closer you're going to be when you get in here. You're trying to have fun what you do best."
(on toughest part of being a tight-end in the system) "I would say reading coverages. Overall, you have to know protections, you have to know the run game, you have to know what the offensive line is doing, what the receivers are doing; you just have to know the ins and outs of the offense really. I don't think people really realize that, but that's my job as a tight end. I knew that I had that responsibility and I take full responsibility for it."
G Xavier Su'a-Filo
(on his first impressions of how practice has been going the past week) "It's going good. I enjoy coming out a competing every day. You've got to learn on the fly. That's what I'm doing and I'm trying to make the team."
(on if he enjoys playing multiple positions) "Yeah, the more I've got to do, man. Whatever I've got to do to make the team I'm more than willing."
(on if learning multiple positions and also having to learn the entire offense puts him at a disadvantage) "I don't think so. I think that if you're diligent in your studies and you're really trying to watch the film, staying in the playbook, then you feel more confident every day you come out."
(on if he feels he has caught up from his time away from mini-camp) "I'm trying my best. Yeah, I feel like I'm right there where I need to be, but as far as the playbook goes I've definitely got a long way to go, as far as making the team goes."
(on the biggest things he has picked up from Chris Myers and Duane Brown) "I think just little details, honestly. Duane and Chris, they're good at the little details. They know their stuff. But as far as technique goes, little things to help recognize defensive fronts, those are things that as a rookie I'm trying to pick up and learn."
(on if he feels himself getting better after practicing for a week) "No doubt. I'm just trying to be diligent and competing out here and work on something different every single day, and make sure that I'm up to par on everything that they do here, especially with the veterans."
(on what it's like to block J.J. Watt) "It's fun, and J.J.'s a good player. You know what I mean, I enjoy competing against everybody and he's a great defensive player. It's very fortunate for me to get to go against him."
(on if he learns a lot going against J.J. Watt) "No doubt. He's got a repertoire of moves and he's strong, so I think that, like I said, it's fortunate on my part."
(on how much he's looking forward to the first game) "I'm really excited, man. It'll be a good opportunity to go against somebody else and we can see how we can work as a unit."
S D.J. Swearinger
(on trash talking during a game without getting a flag) "It's emotional. The NFL is emotional, man. It's hard to take emotion out of your game and when you make a big hit or a big play—an interception—you want, you know, to let the other team know. You've just got to find out a better way of doing it."
(on how he knows he's gotten into a receiver's head) "You definitely know, man. You definitely know. There's certain guys that don't talk trash, and when you get the guys that don't talk trash to start talking back with you, that's when you know. You know you got them and you know you're in their heads. You've just got to try. And in my position you try to get in their heads and get them to talk back to me. If you talk back to me I think I've got you."
(on if he smiles when he gets in receivers' heads) "Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's all smiles and all my technique."
(on what a receiver does wrong when D.J. Swearinger is in his head) "You know, they started trying to make a play for their team. Then they're just trying to get back at me. And instead of them making a play for their team they could drop a ball. They could come across the middle. They could drop a ball seeing me coming, you know, miss a block trying to get at me. There's a lot of things that throw offenders off."
(on if the team has had their meeting with the referees yet) "Yeah, we have."
(on what he thought of the 5-yard contact rule being enforced this season) "We've got a lot of concern about it but it is what it is. We've got to play within the rules. Like they said, we're probably the best athletes on the field DB-wise. You know, we've got the hardest job. But it is what it is. You've got to abide by the rules."
(on if he thinks the rule changes are making it easy on the passing game) "Oh yeah. Most definitely. The league wants this to be a passing league, you know, wants this to be a quarterback's passing league, you know, and wants it to be a quarterback's offensive league. And as defenders we've got to work that much harder. Get in on the field that much more, and get out on the field that much more and study and just find a way that we can beat them."
(on if he's looking forward to playing against somebody other than his teammates) "Any time you can play another team instead of beating up your own teammates—you know we're a team and we want to be together and we don't want to beat each other up every day. So every time we get the chance to play somebody else it's always great."
(on his progression this year from last year) "Just experience, you know, me learning. That's all it is. You know, in the NFL you've got to learn and I think I've learned a lot from last season, the games I started, this offseason, studying. O'Brien helped us out a lot with study habits and situational stuff like that. Day-in-and-day-out just learning every day."
(on if his increased knowledge makes him more aggressive) "Oh yeah, most definitely. The more you know the more confidence you've got and the more confidence you've got the more gambles you can take. That's where that knowledge comes."
(on if he makes up his celebrations on the spot) "Most definitely. It's all natural, man. It's all natural."
(on how much he enjoys being a physical safety) "I love it, man. You know, from the start when I was little I always played linebacker. With me being down in the box on third down and getting close to the line, it's something I like. I'm a physical player and I'm aggressive all the time so I like that."
(on if he is getting to play inside the box more often) "Yeah, I am. You know, I'm down in the box, down in the back, down in the box; it's back and forth."
(on if he has a favorite Coach O'Brien saying) "Yeah we all have got a favorite saying. It's 'Everything we do is pointed toward winning,' and that's something he always says and something we're sticking to."
(on what J.J. Watt's leadership means to the team, specifically on defense) "It means a lot. You know, and J.J.'s got a lot of great things on the field and off the field. You know, he does things the right way, how they're supposed to be done. And that's something that as young players, you can look up to that. When you go to work, if you had an off day, you just look at J.J. and you see he's working 100 miles per hour every day. He doesn't take a day off and with his leadership he can spread it to a lot of players."
(on if J.J. Watt's leadership rubs off on all the players) "Oh yeah. Most definitely. It rubs off, especially, on the defense. We're trying to get our identity. He starts with them and he moves on to the secondary and the linebackers and we just keep it going."
(on if there's anything he's working on right now) "I'm just learning, man, every day. I'm just taking it a day at a time, a play at a time, and just learning offenses and figuring out a way to learn theirs."
(on what it means for him to get an interception) "It means a lot. I always see myself as a game changer and a playmaker. Any time I can force a fumble or an interception it's always huge for me."
(on the number of interceptions he will get this year) "I don't have a number. I'm looking to force a turnover at least every game, whatever it may be, whether it's a pick or a forced fumble, or a PD that leads to a turnover. But I just want to change the game every game."
(on if their goal as a defense is to force more turnovers than last year) "Oh yeah, definitely. We've got to. Turnover is the name of the defense and any time you can force a turnover it breaks the offense's back. It changes momentum and it flips sides of the ball. It's a very huge thing."