The Texans' locker room was open to the media today at Reliant Stadium, and the players answered questions. Later, head coach Gary Kubiak held a press conference. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakLB Brian Cushing WR Andre Johnson S Troy Nolan SS Bernard PollardCB Glover Quin DE Antonio Smith
Head coach Gary Kubiak(on if it was still inexcusable for CB Glover Quin to not make the play on the Hail Mary after watching film) "No, I was not pointing toward Glover at all. I was just talking about us as a football team. Everybody has a job to do in that situation and Glover did his. He did exactly what he's supposed to do, knock the ball down. We did a poor job on the trailers that are coming down there looking for a tip. We have people that have to be in position to basically block them out. We were in position at about the 10-yard line. We then lost position on them and both of them are standing right there in front of us, where we should be in front of them. When I'm talking about my disappointment and saying that it's unacceptable, I'm saying as a football team, we have to get that situation handled. You can't lose a game in that situation, but we did."
(on if somebody was supposed to be blocking out the Jacksonville trailing receivers) "Well, you have people who are responsible for going up and getting the ball and people who are responsible for keeping people from getting down there. We didn't do a good job of blocking those two guys out that ended up getting down there looking for the tip."
(on if CB Glover Quin was supposed to knock the ball down) "Yeah, exactly. There're all kinds of Hail Marys and jump balls, depending on where they happen. You either catch it or knock it down. What you're taught is if you're in any tough environment, meaning if the throw is perfect and right in the middle of the pile, all you can do is knock it down. So he did exactly what he was supposed to. He went over two people. He knocked it down. The fact that it went straight to one of their guys, that's beyond his control. He's just doing what he was told to do."
(on if they can change their routine to prevent first-half deficits) "Well we weren't last week, right? Against San Diego, we moved the ball really well and had points on the board. I would much rather be up by 14 than down by 14. We have had some struggles throughout the season. As I've told you, when we've had a couple of three and outs early in some games—which we had two three and outs in that football game in the first half—all of the sudden we turn around and are down by seven or down by 10 or down by 14 and looking for snaps. We basically ended up, yesterday, running 49 football snaps. That's not a lot of time to get your job done. We've got to figure out a way to get more snaps. So we're down from the standpoint of time of possession as a football team and doing everything we can in the second half and came out and went up tempo. Last week, we started the game up tempo. I don't know if y'all noticed that. We went two plays from the line of scrimmage. We're searching. We're searching to get more snaps and stay on the football field because that's the only way you can be effective."
(on what he means by the offense going up tempo) "Obviously, you've got things you're trying to get done in the game formation wise and find out how people are going to play you defensively. If you get yourself in a bind, some of those motions and shifts and things you do as coaches to give defenses problems, you've got to say, 'I'd rather have tempo and I'd rather have the snaps and I'm not worried about creating you problems right now.' We've got to get some snaps. That's kind of where we were when we went in at halftime. I think we had 22 or 23 snaps at halftime. We got the ball and so we're trying to figure out how to come out of the second half with 50 snaps. About the best way to do there is to run them as fast as you can."
(on their third down performance in the first half) "We were 2-for-6 yesterday, I think. We made one on the first drive which we were effective on. I think we made one later, but we still had to punt. We had a big drop on third down. You miss four possessions and you have two three and outs. Time of possession, I think, was what? 35-to-25, or something like that total. At halftime, I want to say it was 19-to-11 or something like that, pretty out of whack."
(on the 90 seconds following K Josh Scobee's missed field goal in the fourth quarter) "The 35-yard line is your goal. If you get to the 35, there was really no wind there. So if we get (K) Neil (Rackers) there, I think we have a pretty good chance of him making a field goal. We had second and 10 at the 45 and had the play that was going to get us 8-10 yards. We had goal accomplished basically, but we jumped offside. Now we have second and 15 with 22 seconds left. We don't make a play there. We have third and 15 with 16 seconds left. We had a big, big problem because you don't have time to run an eight-, nine-yard play, get a field goal team on the field and kick a field goal and get it off with the time you normally work with. You can get it done between 19 and 20 seconds if you run the ball and are prepared, but to throw a pass eight, nine, 10 yards down the field and get it down, you're not going to get that done. We can't kill the clock because it's fourth down. We're pretty much looking at overtime there if we don't find a way to pick up the yardage. Once we miss that second and 10 and jump, we put ourselves in a very bad situation."
(on if he considered a couple of shots toward the end zone) "Well, I think third and 15, we can still make a play. I don't think we have to throw the ball to the end zone, but we weren't able to. The other thing that concerns me too, is they have a kicker who just kicked a 59-yarder about three weeks ago, so you don't want to sit there and give them the football where you're at. Then they're a first down or a 15-yard play away from beating you. We had our chances to get it done; we just didn't get it done."
(on what he said to the team after such a tough loss) "Well, first thing you've got to do is go back and look at the game. I think the first thing I told them was that if you think we lost the game because (TE) Joel (Dreessen) jumped offsides or because we didn't get the Hail Mary play orchestrated, you're wrong because there are a lot of other reasons and opportunities where we lost the game. I told them that our standard of a football team is not being met right now and that's all of us. We've got to find a way to meet our standard in all three phases of the game. We're going to have to do a better job across the board. You're not going to beat anybody in this league if you're not playing well. The team that we're playing, you've got no chance beating them if you're not playing well—none bigger than this week. We're just searching right now for some answers on defense. We're going to have to do some things to give ourselves a chance to get better because it hasn't gotten better in the last few weeks, so we've got to do some things. Offensively, we've got to find a way to play four great quarters instead of two and a half great quarters. Special teams-wise, we probably did our jobs yesterday. Something has got to change. It's not good enough right now."
(on if anyone will lose their job due to the continued poor performance of the defense) "I think we have to do everything we can to give ourselves the chance to improve upon what we're doing. I think every player that we've got available; we may have to go about how we do some things coaching a little different throughout the week. We have to give ourselves some type of chance to improve and we have been searching. We have played a few different guys, done a few different things, change a little bit of what we're doing. The results have been the same so we have to keep searching. We can't sit still."
(on if he played CB Brice McCain more yesterday in place of CB Kareem Jackson) "Yeah, we had a system going on where they were going to both play, so he ended up playing more."
(on if QB Matt Schaub made the right decision throwing to TE Joel Dreessen on the third and 15) "Well that's the only place he could've gone because we're running a route that gives us a chance to make a big play if they play one coverage. If they play another coverage, then the ball has got to go underneath. They played two-man, so we went to Joel. You've got a chance there. We've made 15 yards many times on that route if we get away from that linebacker, but we ended up getting 10 or 11, but he did what he was supposed to with that ball."
(on if he anticipates making a change at punter after Sunday's game against Jacksonville) "No. I think (P) Matt (Turk) has been pretty consistent, but I would agree. Yesterday was not good enough, not good enough for us to win."
(on if CB Kareem Jackson coming out of the game was planned and not because of injury) "That was planned. Yes."
(on what else the team did differently on defense against Jacksonville) "We rotated some guys. We played our safety a little bit more. We played (LB Darryl) Sharpton. We put Sharpton in the game. Obviously we had a plan with (CB) Kareem (Jackson) and (CB) Brice (McCain) and what we were doing, just trying to get some more guys involved. Now we've got a new that we'll get involved this week, (CB) Jason Allen will become involved right away. We've got to give him a chance to help us out. (SLB Brian) Cushing went back to his spot, that was a positive. He did play well and do some good things and become much more active in the game. But then we had some other problems, so we got to keep searching."
(on if he would have liked to challenge the receptions made by Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis inside of two minutes remaining in the game Sunday) "I thought the guy was out of bounds. I thought his foot was out of bounds when he caught the ball. All I was doing was asking to slow the play down so they would buzz (the official) from up top. I've been told over and over again, if they don't buzz him, they're going to let the game go, so that's what happened."
(on if he's had a chance to go back and look at video of the play) "I still thought his foot was out of bounds. I don't hear back from the league until Wednesday."
(on QB Matt Schaub's decision to throw the ball to TE Joel Dreessen over the middle on third and 15 on the Texans' last drive against Jacksonville) "I said he put the ball the only place he could put it. We had options to go down the field with the ball if it was a certain coverage. We can make a play there and go spike the ball. I don't have any doubt about that. But I don't think we can make an eight-, nine- and 10-yard play and get a field goal team on and kick it. I don't think we can do that. We were in a bind. If we don't make the third down, the game is going into overtime."
(on saying the team needed to spike the ball if TE Joel Dreessen doesn't get the first down on the third and 15 play at the end of the Jacksonville game) "I never said we needed to spike it. If you spike it, the game is over. You go run another play or else you go into overtime. We were in a bad situation."
(on how surprised he is at the performance of the defense considering its' success over the last 13 games of 2009) "Yes, I'm struggling big-time. I'm aware of some of the issues we've had, but it's not an excuse. There's no reason for it not to be improving somewhat. We've been through some issues at various spots, but there should be some progress. Going to Indianapolis, I thought there was a little bit of progress and we come back against San Diego and the big plays and the yardage all come back. Yesterday, for us, you give 491 yards in a football game? I mean, that's inexcusable. So it's trending the wrong way. We've got to figure out a way to stop the bleeding and get it going back the other way."
(on what he said to CB Glover Quin before he talked to the media following Sunday's game at Jacksonville) "I always worry about guys like that, you know? I mean, you go out there and fight for three and a half hours and it comes down to one last play and you got a 23-year old kid who thinks that the whole world just fell down on him and he's doing his job. I just wanted to let him know that I thought he did his job, he did fine, that I'm with him and we'll go back and do it again."
(on reviewing the fourth-quarter screen pass where RB Arian Foster fell down against Jacksonville) "It's sick. It's like I said, we can talk about a play here or there; people want to talk about the fumble, they want to talk about the Hail Mary. We had the screen called, we got the perfect setup, we trip and fall. What do you do when you trip and fall? You trip and fall. We had many opportunities in the game to get it done and we just didn't get it done."
(on explaining why his teams play better in December than in November) "I would if I could. It's still football. You got to play good to win."
(on if his job is harder this week coming off a last-second loss) "Coming out of a loss, it's the same way. Everybody's down, everybody's disappointed. Yesterday was devastating, the way it happened at the end, but it's still a loss. You got to regroup. But the thing we got to do, we've got to do some things to try and change some of the things that are going on. We have to do something. We've to get some opportunities to somebody to try to change a trend that's going on on the defensive side of the ball right now. It's not like we're just fixing our problems. We're trying to decide where we go next."
(on how frustrated he is at this point of the season) "That's football. I've been a part of it a long time. That's why you don't order playoff tickets when you're 4-2. You just keep playing and you know that if you all the sudden start playing really, really solid football and get a few breaks, the thing could change real quick. But it doesn't change unless you just keep working. Nothing surprises me in this league. Highs and lows; you just have to keep playing."
(on the play of LB Brian Cushing after moving him back to SLB from MLB) "Well, he plays in and out. Because of the nickel, he plays inside. He was much more of an impact as far as (the) stat sheet and that type of thing because of where he was at. That is what's best for our team. Hopefully (MLB) Kevin (Bentley) can stay healthy and (LB Darryl) Sharpton will keep coming and we don't have to move around anymore."
(on if he's thought about changing the play-calling on defense) "No. (defensive coordinator) Frank (Bush) will call the defense. (senior defensive assistant) Ray's (Rhodes) been sitting about six inches from him for the last two years. Ray is a part of what we're doing. They're all in it together. Do we need to some? Yeah, we better change some. We got to figure out a way to do better. But we won't change who's calling (the plays)."
(on if he's considered going for it more on fourth down on offense, considering the defense's struggles) "We did that two weeks ago. It backfired on us. Yeah, we better do something. We better score some more points."
(on if there are any new injuries coming out of the game) "No. We came out okay."
*LB Brian Cushing *(on the need to have something positive to get the team going) "We just have to get that confidence and get that fun feeling back in the game again and start playing the way we know we can."
(on the team's confidence right now) "As far as how we feel, come Wednesday we'll be ready to get back out on the field. We want to win a football game. No one takes it harder than the players. Especially with the dramatic way we've lost in these past couple of weeks. That's the great thing about playing this sport. In six days we will be able to do it again."
(on going back home and playing in his home state of New Jersey) "I haven't really thought about that. I'm sure that's something that's going to creep up on me as the week goes along. I'm definitely going to have a little bit more energy this week and a little bit more excitement going up there and playing in front of some hometown fans. It's definitely going to be exciting."
*WR Andre Johnson *(on if yesterday's loss was the strangest or most difficult loss to take in his career) "Well, just looking at the play at the end of the game. GQ (CB Glover Quin) did what he was supposed to do. You're taught that from little league, high school and all the way up to the professional level. He did what he was supposed to do. He knocked the ball down. They made a play and we didn't. That's pretty much it in a nut shell. They made more plays than we did to win the football game."
(on what does he realistically hope for with seven games left) "You just go out and try to win every game that's left on the schedule. Is it possible? Yes, I think it's very possible for us to do it. At the same time, we have to have everybody locked in to what they are doing. We can't have those crazy mistakes. We have to make plays when plays need to be made and everyone just has to be accountable for their job."
(on how realistic this team can go on a winning streak) "You see things happen to teams every year in the NFL. Sometimes, it just takes one win for teams to get a jump start. We have a big test coming up this Sunday playing against a great football team and a very good defense, probably the best defense in the league. It will be a big test for us and we're on the road. To go out and get a victory on this team, I think it'll definitely give us some type of confidence and momentum."
*S Troy Nolan *(on his thoughts on the fourth quarter) "It was up and down during the fourth quarter, but we were in the game and battling and playing hard. Everybody was out there battling and playing hard. The last play of the game was unfortunate. I've never really been involved in a play like that where the ball was actually caught. (CB Glover) Quin was doing his job and was doing exactly what he's taught to do. He was trying to knock it down and unfortunately it bounced the wrong way and went into the guy's hand and it was a touchdown."
(on if he is trained to knock the ball down in situations like the last play of yesterday's game) "We've been taught that since college. The coach will tell us to knock it down when we get a chance to knock it down. At some point, if you got an opportunity to catch it, catch it. When you're around a crowd of people like that you would rather knock it down, but you got to make that decision at the time."
(on where the team is mentally) "We are a little bothered right now, but we're a family. We're going to stick together and support each other at all times. We are all in it together and that's what we got to do. Stick together."
SS Bernard Pollard(on what kind of emotions he has after a last-second loss at Jacksonville) "It's just one of those things. I think we put ourselves in situations and we kill ourselves. When you look at the effort, it's there. I think some of the decisions that we make, we cannot make those decisions as NFL players and as a team that want to go to the playoffs. We are a good team, but we just continue to make mistakes."
(on where the team goes from here and how does he see the season playing out) "We have seven games left. Nobody's going to quit. Nobody doubts us. I just think we have to make better decisions as far as making plays on the ball. Looking at yesterday, we had chances to get some interceptions and I dropped two. You got to make those kinds of plays. I really believe that we just got to come in here and continue to grind. We are a good team. We grind everyday all day. It's just not happening for us right now, but at some point we got to turn that corner."
(on why poor decisions continue to be made and how does he change that) "It's so hard. I think the biggest thing is that we have to understand the play that's called and doing the right thing. I just really believe we play so good at times, but then we play so bad at the wrong time. That is what has been killing us every game. It's hasn't been for the last three or four games, but with every single game. I think, speaking from a defensive standpoint, we have to have the mindset to hold teams under 10 or 17 points. Our offense can score. We've seen that yesterday. They can score and they can score big. If it continues to be a shootout, we can't continue to put ourselves in that position because as you can see when it's left to us we'll find some way to screw it up."
*CB Glover Quin *(on his feelings 24 hours after the game) "The same feeling, a horrible feeling. I hate that it happened. I feel the same way."
(on after seeing the play on film would he done anything different) "I probably would've caught it. Or catch it and throw it down, but I can't go back and change it. I just have to do better if it happens again. After looking at the film, I probably would've caught or catch it and throw it straight down, instead of batting it back."
(on where does the team go from here and how does he see the season playing out) "We go back to the drawing board and finish these last seven games strong. We go out and win these last seven, who knows what could happen. We are only 4-5 right now and one game past the midpoint. We've got to get our ship in the right direction fast and finish up the season strong. We've got seven games left to play."
DE Antonio Smith(on how he's dealing with the loss to Jacksonville) "Dealing with it? I think it's hard. I think right now everybody's at a loss for words and probably a loss of ideas in trying to figure out what needs to be done and get it on the right track. Thus far, everybody has had their ideas from top to bottom from it could be and what need to be done and who's not doing this or that. I think right now, I don't care what happens or what it is. We got to win. That's just the bottom line. Any means necessary, we got to win. Whether it's ugly or pretty, whatever it may be. If we are going to turn this season around we got to win."
(on how the fluke occurrences against the Texans affect the players) "I think at times, people that don't live in the same skin as others tend to believe how they deal with things are just water off their backs. It's really not. I think everybody in this locker room is hurting. I think some people are hurting more than others. I think people are hurting more than coaches or anybody may think they hurt. I think that everybody in here is trying to figure out what they need to do to get things right. I don't know what needs to happen. I've said things in the past and sometimes it works out and sometimes it don't, but right now I'm just at a point where we need to have whatever it takes to win."
(on if another player's-only meeting is needed) "No, it's really just time to win. We are not going to get a problem fixed in this one week. We are not going to fix every problem that we have in this one week, but whatever it takes when the opportunity is in front of us we need to seize it to win the game. That game was not acceptable by any means, but we had chances to win. I've seen teams win those games and turned out to be a playoff team. I've also seen teams that are the best in every stat book that can't make those plays to win and miss the playoffs too. We got to find a way to make those plays on the field when it's there for us to win it."