Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
OLB Jadeveon Clowney
RB Arian Foster
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on an update on OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "He was out there today and did some things that I would say again, like I said yesterday, he will be a game time decision."
(on what he saw from OLB Jadeveon Clowney today at practice) "Well, he seemed to be moving around decently. He didn't take a ton of reps today, but the ones that he did he seemed to be moving around well. It's obvious that he's been in the meetings and studying because in the reps that he did take he knew what to do, which is a good sign. We'll look at it again tomorrow. Like I said, we'll decide something before the game Monday night."
(on an update on OLB Brooks Reed) "Brooks Reed should be good to go. I think he looked, he was out there today. He did some things today. Similar to (Jadeveon) Clowney, we'll look at him again tomorrow and then we'll make a decision on Monday."
(on how he would size up the practice week with the extra days off) "I believe we've had good practices, good energy. We had really good energy out there today. The guys seemed to be really in tuned to the game plan. The communication has been good. They realize that there are things that need to be corrected on their on and on the coaching end. We've worked hard to do that. We'll have another practice tomorrow, fly up to Pittsburgh on Sunday, walk thru up in Pittsburgh, in the hotel meet and then go play the game Monday night. It's been a good week, but the proof is in the pudding on Monday night."
(on what the Traveling Texans mean to the team) "It's hard to put words to what the fans mean to us here in Houston. I just think this is the best fan base in the NFL. I just think our home crowds incredible, and then the way that they travel, it just means a lot to our players. I know our players—which is the most important thing as it relates to our fans—our players are very appreciative of that. They love our fans. They talk about it all the time. The more Houstonians that we can have in Pittsburgh, the better."
(on the long term health of OLB Jadeveon Clowney the most important thing) "At the end of the day that is the most important thing is the last thing you said: what is the best thing for the player? There is a lot of communication between JD (Clowney) and myself and then Geoff Kaplan. He'll tell us what he can do. He really will. I think he's worked hard to get back to this point. It's good to see him out there today. I'm sure he'll go out there and work tomorrow, do some things tomorrow, and then Monday he'll tell us what he can do."
(on if he is surprised with the type of year RB Arian Foster is having) "We're very happy that for the most part he's stayed healthy. We've done a good job I believe of trying to manage him knowing that he's going to play a lot in these games. These games are very physical on him. He's done a really good job to be where he's at. He's missed a game and he's still third in the league in rushing. I think he has five touchdowns. He's caught some passes out of the backfield. None of that surprises me. From the day we saw him in OTAs to where we're at now, we knew this guy was an excellent football player and somebody that could fit well in our offense, and hopefully it will get better and better as we move on down the road here."
(on if OLB Jadeveon Clowney potentially not playing a significant amount of snaps against Pittsburgh is a physical or mental issue) "I think that it's more physical. I think that's definitely on the physical side of things. When you bring a guy back from whatever injury it was that you basically manage his way back to where he can play a full game. I think when he's been off for four or five weeks, you bring him back, maybe you play him a certain amount of plays. Let's say 20. Let's just throw the number 20 out there the first game back. Maybe the next game back you play him 30 to 40 depending on how that first game went. And then you build it from there. That's all in the name of the health of the player, what's best for the player. That's how I see that."
(on if QB Ryan Mallett is where he wants him to be) "He is. He's really worked hard. He's had a good week of practice this week. He has good command out there both in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. He's working to be more consistent on a day-to-day basis with throwing the ball, accuracy. He's got a fantastic arm. He's worked very hard to get better and better at all the different throws that we ask him to make. He's definitely where we want him to be and we just need him to keep working to get better. He's worked very hard. He's been here early, stayed late. Been a big help on game day on the side line, so he's where we thought he'd be."
(on if the transition has been smooth for QB Ryan Mallett because he is coming from a similar system) "Yeah. I think there is two things that I saw with Ryan was the first thing you just said that the transition was smoother because he knew the offense, at least the basis of it, and he had worked with myself and George Godsey before. He knew our coaching style. He knew kind of how we did things. I think the other thing you see is that he obviously took some great things from backing up Tom Brady for three years. His command in the huddle, his command at the line of scrimmage, his knowledge of little things within the offense, you can see that. It's been good to see that."
(on if QB Ryan Mallett plays a significant role on game day) "He does. He does a good job. He's got the ear piece where he can hear the play call. He knows what we're looking for on the different plays. I can tell you in some games he's had some decent things that he's seen out there. We ask those guys to see that. Hey, what did you see between series and things like that? He's had some really good view points."
(on if the percentage of new information implemented into the game plan changes each week) "It definitely does. I think here what we've tried to do; it's based on the opponent and it's based on our team, our players. What does that mean? What I'm saying is every week we look at it and we try to, especially with our team where we are now, improve the rhythm of our offense. We're trying every week to improve the rhythm. So what do we do? Well, what we try to do is basically instead of having 120 plays, let's have 80 plays in a game. Let's not have 120 plays. Let's go with 75, 80, 85. See if we can get these guys playing faster honed in on what we want to do and that's what we've tried to do the last two week. Of course in the Indy game it was good some, it wasn't good at other points. It's too up and down and that's one of the reasons we lost the game. Hopefully in this game we'll be a lot more consistent and be able to get into a better rhythm."
OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on how much he was able to practice today) "I was really out there just getting a feel of being back on the field and being out there with my teammates."
(on how anxious he is to get back out on the field) "Very anxious to be out there with my teammates playing in a NFL game because I haven't played since the first game. I'm looking forward to playing again and just taking it one day at a time and getting back out there."
(on what his teammates have told him to encourage him) "They just said to, 'Take it one day at a time and that it's a long season. We need you out there but we know you're hurt, so just keep doing treatment and get better.'"
(on if he will be surprised if he can't play Monday night) "No. Just like I said, I'm taking it one day at a time right now with treatment and rehab and just trying to get back."
(on if it was exciting to be back on the field today) "Oh yeah, it was a great day for me to be out there with my teammates. All those guys were excited to see me out there and I was laughing with them, but they know I'm still taking it one day at a time and trying to get back to where I want to be."
(on how more prepared he will feel after having had 5-6 weeks of time in the film room and in meetings) "I study each team depending on who we're playing. It's going to be week-by-week still the same studying for each team. We studied the Colts and now it's on to Pittsburgh, a new team. I still have the same mindset as the rest of the guys every week. I study our opponents and it's going to be pretty good."
(on if he is physically limited in any way) "Right now, it's up to me and what I can do. I'm out there testing the leg out to see what I can do and what I can't do. If I can do it, I'll do it, but if I can't, I just let the coaches know that it's bothering me and they'll take me out of that drill. It's really up to me what I can do and can't do."
(on if there were things that he was unable to do) "A few things. It's still day-by-day."
(on if the knee is painful or if he's not in shape to do certain things) "If it's just something I can't do. If I can't change directions, I just say, 'Coach, I can't change directions like I want to,' and he'll be like, "Well don't do that right now,' or 'Just back down a little bit.' It's just certain things and certain drills."
(on Bill O'Brien saying he is going to rely on Clowney to tell him how he feels and how tough it will be to be honest given how much he wants to play) "It's not very tough. Coach has got my best interest, I believe. He told me when I'm ready to come back and I'm feeling good to where I want to play to let him know and that's what I'm going to do. He told me to take my training seriously and take it one day at a time with my rehab so I can get back and help the team."
(on his favorite part of being back on the field today) "Being around my teammates, laughing and giggling with some of those guys. I haven't been out there in so long, so I was just happy to be around some of the guys out on the field."
(on how meaningful would it be to play Monday night) "It would be great. It would be great for me just to be back out there on the field, like I said, with my teammates, with the guys, and going against other guys. That would be a good thing—and making plays. I'm looking forward to making plays for my team and helping us win. I hope I can play. We'll see."
(on the mental aspect of trying to get back to the field) "When I first got hurt, I didn't know how long it was going to take to get back and I was upset about it. They sent me through the rehab and I bump heads with some of the trainers every day. It will make you upset, but they're helping me get to where I want to be. I see improvement on my leg and everything. I thank them, but I also get mad at them from time to time. It's coming along good."
RB Arian Foster
(on how interested he is in seeing OLB Jadeveon Clowney play) "I want to see him."
(on what stands out to him regarding a Dick LeBeau defense) "Just the multiple blitz schemes they can come from anywhere and they can attack any gap. They've always just been hard to gauge where it's coming from. They run it so well. I mean, you've got somebody like Troy Polamalu who is a future hall of famer. He's kind of like a wild card. He just does what he wants to do sometimes. Eighty percent of the time those gambles pay off because he knows what he's doing. It's a very calculated risk that he takes. I have the utmost respect for his game. I love his game. Any time you somebody like that back there, you have to account for him and know where he's at on every play."
(on how much pride he takes in his pass blocking) "A lot. It's part of the reason why I'm in the NFL. You've got to take pride in every aspect of your game. That's a main of them. You take pride in your blocking. It's the dirty work that you don't get any glory for, but you get a lot of respect in the locker room for."
(on if he likes where the team is at with a chance to move to 4-3 on Monday night) "It's the NFL, so every game is a playoff game. We're just out here trying to win one game at a time. Next step is Pittsburgh. We feel like we can play with anybody in the league. We stop shooting ourselves in the foot. The season is still young. We're not at the halfway point yet. We have a lot of work to do and we're excited about what this team can be."