Quotes: Offseason conditioning

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Running back Steve Slaton carried the ball while running sprints.

On Tuesday, the Texans gathered on their practice fields and began the conditioning portion of their offseason workout program. Several members of the team talked to the media about the state of the Texans this offseason.

WR Andre Johnson
(on CB Dunta Robinson and LB DeMeco Ryans being absent from workouts) "Those are some of the things that happen and those situations go on. I think those guys, they'll be fine. Those are some of the things that happen this time of the season. I'm pretty sure they'll be here with us during the regular season."

(on being worried about them being ready) "I'm pretty sure wherever they're at; they're working out, getting ready for the season. I'm pretty sure they'll be fine."

(on being a leader by example) "Nothing will change. I'm the same Andre. I don't think that will ever change. You heard in the past season that when things need to be said, I will say it. We are just going to go out and work hard and if guys aren't working hard, then something needs to be said to them."

(on working out under new strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright) "I'm real excited about Ray being our strength and conditioning coach now. Ray has worked really hard to get to this position. When I walked into the weight room yesterday with him, he was working me out and it just seemed kind of different. The weight room looked different. We had some new exercises and things like that. It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm excited about it. I'm just going to have fun while I'm out here and enjoy it."

{QUOTE}(on his thoughts on the new strength and conditioning program) "I like it. It's a little different from what we've had been doing in the past. He's added some things. Some of the things that we are doing now are the things that I do when I go back home and train."

G Chester Pitts(on his offseason) "My offseason was solid. I took probably about five or six trips. I got to go to the Grammys with Ellen (DeGeneres) again. That's always cool. I went to L.A. three times; went to Hawaii for a week; I was out in Dubai for a week – that's an amazing place. You've got to go. That's my second time going; I have a great time out there. With the world's economy in a recession and contracting, there are still a lot of cranes swinging out there. I just had fun. It had a great time this offseason."

(on the new strength and conditioning program) "I'll be honest with you, Ray (Wright) learned from Dan (Riley), and Dan had been doing what he had been doing for 40 years. Ray basically took the best stuff that program had and added a little flavor to it. But conditioning for a 315-pound man is never fun. I don't care who is running the show. Ray has done a great job. I'm excited for him. He is having a lot of fun out there. We are just getting ready, getting ready and preparing for the next one."

(on the first day of conditioning) "For me, I'm never really all that excited to have to run. I don't mind lifting weights. Lifting weights is OK; that is fun, but I am never excited to go condition. I know that I have to do it to get where I have to get. I want to be the best. I want us to be the best. I want to be a champion, and that's what it's all about. So, I know that I have to do it to allow me to get there. But boy, there's a lot of other things I'd rather be doing than freaking running."

(on OT Duane Brown slimming down) "I think he is lighter than I am now. I think he is about 310, something like that. I think he played last season closer to 320. I think he's taking it a little more seriously and he has learned the way of becoming a professional. I think he'll take huge strides and steps this year and really hold that left side down."

(on the offensive line starting all 16 games together last season) "It was fun because (assistant head coach) Alex (Gibbs) doesn't do compliments - ever. But before the last game, he stopped the meeting and said, 'I've been in the game 30 years and I've never had an offensive line start all 16 games.' He commended us for that. Because we obviously didn't have any big injuries, but we had some dings throughout the season and there were guys that it was understood if they didn't go, they just had to find a way to get out there and compete. I really think that helped the team and helped us finish 8-4 last year in the last 12 games."

(on Brown making a big step after his rookie season) "I tell him all the time that last season was heavy lifting carrying his big behind all season, if you know what I mean. I'm strong, but he's not a little fellow. I give him a hard time, but he's ready and I believe in him."

(on adding yoga to the offseason program) "We are going to be trying yoga to see what we think and see how it feels. It's not very tough guy-esque. So maybe there will be fines levied against everyone who participates in yoga, but I've heard really good things about it. At the end of the day, if it makes me a better player, I'll suck it up and pay the fine."

(on much attention he pays to pre-draft talk) "It all depends. I'm a left guard. How man left guards are they looking at? As long as they aren't looking at left guards, it doesn't really matter to me. If you are looking at a bunch of left guards, I may pay attention. I don't get into the hoopla; my job is to play. I play ball. I'm not allowed in the meetings. I don't get to say, 'That kid right there. He ran a 4.3. You might want to draft him.' That's not what I do. I try not to get caught up in all that."

DE Antonio Smith
(on his first official workout with the Texans) "I think I am going to enjoy it. They work hard out there. One thing that I did see is that they are a team. Everybody is together; everybody is coaching each other on. It looked really good out there."

(on getting to know the players on the team) "One thing I was nervous about was how we were going to kick it and how we were going to meet each other and things like that. But as soon as I got here, they just started interacting with me as though I had been here the whole time. They just welcomed me in without all the jokes – usually when you come in, they joke about the money. But it's been fun."

(on defensive coordinator Frank Bush's focus on attacking the quarterback) "That's my game. That's how I play. I like to get in the mix; I don't like to read at all. I like to get after the quarterback, running back, whoever is there in front of me. No disrespect, but the reading game is not the type of game that suits me. I don't think it suits many defensive linemen."

(on playing opposite DE Mario Williams) "I am looking forward to it. I watched him over the past two years, and he has developed into a heck of a player. I just can't wait to get out there and mix it up with him and see how he is on the other side and what I can bring to the game on my side. It's going to be good to have two dynamic players out there having fun."

(on how he and Williams will open things up for each other) "I think we are both going to complement each other. He is commanding respect from the offensive linemen who are facing him, and I'll do the same thing. I think it's going to be pretty hard to single-team either one of us."

DE Mario Williams
(on coaches saying he could be NFL Defensive Player of the Year) "It's just all about getting out here and working hard. I hope all goes well. To have that come from my coach, it means a lot. It means that he believes in me and he has a lot of faith in me."

(on if he views that as a possibility) "Yeah, definitely. If I'm not mistaken, a couple of years ago I was up for it, so it's definitely there. It's a possibility."

(on if he sets individual goals) "No, I really don't set too many individual goals. I just try to go out and help my team win. That's pretty much it."

(on what will be different with defensive coordinator Frank Bush and defensive line coach Bill Kollar as coaches) "Well, you know, it's just going to be a different mentality. I know they're very hungry. I know they're ready to come out here to try to help the team win and put us in the best situations possible."

(on what noticeable differences people are going to be able to see when they watch them play) "It's just having the experience and being more mature and just playing among my teammates and being a part of the team. Pretty much just fitting in and trying to make plays."

(on being able to "go and read" instead of "read and go" on a play and if that's how he expects to play more often now) "You know, right now, I really don't know. Hopefully. But it all depends on what Frank wants me to do, and I'll go out and do it."

(on how he feels about staying on right side) "It doesn't matter to me at all."

(on his thoughts on CB Dunta Robinson and LB DeMeco Ryans being absent from workouts) "You know, I just hope it all works out. It's a business, and whatever happens, happens. I just wish them the very best. I look forward for them coming back, though, definitely."

(on if it's hard not having two key players with the team) "Yeah, it's very hard, especially because they're captains of the team. But I still look at them as that. It's nothing different. You've just got to take care of some things, and it'll be alright."

(on how he feels like the team is shaping up in the offseason) "So far, everything is working out well. We should come through with a strong draft and probably get some more players."

(on defensive coordinator Frank Bush's scheme focusing on getting upfi eld) "Yeah, as far as I know, that's what I've been told. We haven't gone out and done anything."

(on his first day of conditioning) "It felt real good to come back out and run around with the guys, just to see their faces back in action. We are out there trying to get in shape and hopefully start off the season right."

(on the new strength and conditioning program) "It's good. It's definitely a change, but I think change is good and it's going to definitely help us to some different things as far as getting fit and being ready for the season. I think it will work out."

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