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Houston Texans

Quotes: Open locker room


RG Brandon Brooks

LT Duane Brown

DE Jared Crick

RB Justin Forsett

TE Garrett Graham

K Shayne Graham

CB Johnathan Joseph

SS Danieal Manning

C Chris Myers

FS Glover Quin

DE J.J. Watt

* *

G Brandon Brooks

(on ending the season this way) "No one likes to lose. I especially hate losing, but just go back to the drawing board and try at least get back to where we were next year."

(on the youth and optimism regarding the offensive line) "Although I guess you say we're young on the right side, we lean a lot on the left side just to help us out on our game. They're all veterans and everything. Although we're young, I think we're going to be really good in years to come. I think we'll be alright."

(on what he'll do the next week or two) "Just kind of clean up my house. I think I'm going to go back home a little bit so clean my house up and pay some bills and everything like that, get everything taken care of before I leave."

* *

LT Duane Brown

(on the biggest thing he takes away from this season) "It was a great season. That we grew as a team from last year. Even though we ended in the same position, I think we definitely grew as a team. It's going to be a memorable one for me. And I'm just looking forward to next year."

(on if he sees things that the team can build on from this season) "Absolutely. I think we had some problems that were consistent throughout the year offensively, so it's definitely something that we're going to have to put an emphasis on when we start back up in April or May, whenever we start back up."

(on if he has any message to the fans) "Definitely. Our fans have been with us throughout the whole year. We really appreciate the support. We would have liked for it to keep going past this week. Unfortunately we fell short. But I just want to say thank you to you all. It definitely made playing at home an awesome experience every week. And it was great to see fans as well on the road travelling. We will definitely make an effort to improve individually and as a group this offseason to bring one home to Houston."

(on what he thought when he saw the fans at 2:30 am last night) "It was awesome. It was awesome because I know how long that flight was for us, so I can only imagine staying out there. It was pretty cold. That's why I felt obligated to go greet them. They didn't have to do that. I know there's a lot of people who are disappointed. But those fans just show how much they love us, how much they support us. The support makes it through defeat. So it felt good to go out there and meet them and greet them."

* *

DE Jared Crick

(on the sting of yesterday's loss) "It was tough given the fact that we had a chance in that game and an opportunity to move on in the playoffs. It is what it is and just got to get better and get ready for next year."

(on improving next year and what it takes to beat a team like the Patriots) "I think we saw what we need to do after yesterday. We know what it takes now. I think we've got the talent on this team. We've got the drive and definitely have the motivation. I think going into next year we've just got to get it done. We wanted to do it this year, but obviously it didn't happen, so more incentive for next year."

(on what he'll work on to improve this offseason) "Just my all-around game, I can improve on everything so that's what I plan on doing, planning on talking to coaches and just working my tail off to get to the player where I want to be."

* *

RB Justin Forsett

(on how close the team is at this point) "I think we're right there at the cusp. I really think we're a couple of plays away from moving onto the next game and being where we want to be. I don't think we're that far away."

(on coming onto the team when he did and having this kind of season) "It was amazing. It was truly a blessing. Just to end up in a spot to where I can play with a great team and get the opportunity to play and show what I can do. It was awesome and something I can hope I can continue to do."

(on if he formed a close bond with the other running backs) "Definitely close friends with (RB) Arian (Foster) and (RB) Ben (Tate) and some of the guys that came and left. Very close group. Definitely be in my life for the rest of my life."

(on where the team stands on QB Matt Schaub) "I love our quarterback. You can't just blame it on one person. There's a lot of things that we could have done to help ourselves out to get where we wanted to go. It's a team effort. It's not an individual sport. We win together, we lose together. We love (QB) Matt (Schaub)."

* *

TE Garrett Graham

(on his increased catches this season and his progress personally) "I feel good about it, grateful for the opportunity I got this year and looking forward to making the best of it next year."

(on the keys to him getting better this season) "You know (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach) Cedric (Smith) in the weight room in the offseason. He really helped me out a ton, getting me bigger and stronger and having those preseason games before the season started, just getting my confidence up playing with those guys, getting their confidence and the coaches' confidence. I think that really helped me out."

(on his personal goals moving forward) "It sounds cliché, but bigger, faster, stronger, working with (Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Cedric Smith) Ced. I'll be up here working with him and a couple other guys. There are a lot of things you could do in the weight room that'll help you out, in the film room watching what you did last year and learning from things like that."

(on if improvement is a matter of personnel or performance next year) "I think performance. I think we've got the guys. We believe in the guys in this locker room. We won a lot of football games this year and I think we can do that next year and win even more. We look forward to the opportunity."

* *

K Shayne Graham

(on this season) "I think you look back you see that we had a lot of positive things. We were in really good position, but obviously we never want the season to end shorter than we expected. We build from it and who knows what developments the team goes through this offseason, but I think you walk away with a good ride that we had this year. Guys go through things together. When you go through things it makes you better. I think that we showed a lot of resiliency to some tough situations, but I think we also played really well and did some really good things that I think it was a good thing to see when you're a part of a team. Obviously, we're disappointed. We would've liked to have gone farther, but nothing we can do about that now."

(on the team's optimism) "Well you look at what our, especially our defense really stands out as a lot of big plays. Our offense was high-octane at moments. Who knows what other developments are added to that or young guys or free agency, things like that, or who's not here. You always build on those positives and try to make them better. I think that that's something that's going to go on here because I think we've got a good organization that knows how to do that."

(on this season was like for him personally) "To be on a team that one, had such a good family feeling, everybody seemed really tight and to come in here, I've kind of bounced around and filled in for injuries here and there. It was kind of nice to be a part of that and have the camaraderie. To be able to come in and be part of something, it's something I really hadn't had in a while because I kind of skipped around and filled in for injuries and stuff. To be a part of that here was a great feeling and I hope to stick around. Who knows what happens, but it's a great feeling, especially to have the success that we had and the potential to have the position we were in to go farther."

(on his 55-yard career-long field goal in the Divisional game against New England) "It meant a lot. I think that I know I've got the leg to make those kicks. I know I've missed a few of those this year. My focus was just remaining smooth and just swinging through the ball and not over kicking, trying to kick it too hard. I felt like I hit it well. It was a good feeling to have going into the locker room. There was a lot of excitement going into the locker room. Who knows what could've happened differently, but it was good to be able to help out in that situation."

(on his optimism about returning next year) "That decision is out of my hands. Obviously, I'd like to be back, but players play, coaches coach, management manages. I don't have any real control over that. I'd like to be here, but who knows what happens."

G Ben Jones

(on the Divisional game against New England) "It was definitely a tough one. You want to go out there and get a 'W." It's a big game for us. We went out there. We played hard. It's just a couple plays if we'd have made it could have been a difference. That's all about winning these games in the NFL. It's just two or three plays a game you've got to make. Whatever team makes those, that's the one who ends up winning, usually."

(on his rookie season) "It's been definitely a learning experience. Coming in as a rookie, just trying to get the grasp of the offense, then learning how to be a pro, that's been the biggest change because in college, high school you had school. You had to come home, get all your schoolwork. This is your job. This is what I'm focusing on so you got to come in here, watch your film. It's a lot that you got to do on your own time where in college you had your coaches right there hassling you and stuff. It's some positives and negatives to it, but you just got to grow up and be a man quicker than you really have to be in college."

(on how he improved this year) "Definitely, I've grown a lot. I give all that credit to (C) Chris Myers, (LT) Duane (Brown), and (G) Wade (Smith), they really took me under their wing and showed me how to be a pro. I definitely sat here and watched a lot and didn't say much a lot of days. I just watched what they did and how they prepared for games because you really don't know how to do it until you get here because in college you're coming here you're hitting every day in pads every day. These guys come out to practice, no matter if they have broken ribs. They come out there every day showing you how to practice when you're hurt and everything like that. I really respects those guys for that."

CB Johnathan Joseph

(on what needs to change next year for the team to improve) "To be honest, I don't really know because obviously we had the right guys in here to win 13 ball games to get us up to that point. Whatever reason we didn't advance, I still can't put that over because I think we were a better team, we just didn't make the plays that needed to be made at the right time."

(on if the team lost its edge in the last month of the regular season) "I don't think so. Like I just said, it comes down to making plays. Any time you're in a big game, each ball game comes down to four or five ball plays at the end of the game. At the end, if the other team makes more than you, that's what the end result usually is, a loss."

(on the biggest thing he will take away from this season) "Just get better. Obviously, we took a step from last year, I think, with our young guys stepping up. I just think we have to build on that and just continue to go forward."

(on if he sees the core talent on the roster continue to get better) "Absolutely. It's just important for the younger guys to understand that if they're on the team, how important you are. Each man that's holding a position on the team has had some value. I think for the most part all the young guys understood that and took care of their business. But it's all about getting everybody on board and on ship. I think just another offseason will us with the young guys that weren't caught up to speed."

(on what he'll be doing between now and the Pro Bowl) "Watching TV, playing video games, playing with my son. Nothing else."

(on what he's most proud of about the season) "To see guys like (CB) Kareem Jackson, (SS) Glover Quin, all those guys, take the next step in their careers. It's big. Just to watch those guys mature and things like that. To see (DE) J.J. Watt have the season he had. For (WR) Andre (Johnson) to have the big year he had, which is big. All those guys. Just to see team have another big year and win the division. I think that's another step in the right direction. If you want to be dominant, you have to do it year-in and year-out."

(on the biggest thing he and the secondary need to do in the offseason) "Just continue to get better. Just build off (this year). It's a tough league. There are going to be some ups and downs. We fall through it all year and just learn from it. Each year you want to do better than you did the year before. We're a close-knit group and we'll be working hard together."

SS Danieal Manning

(on if this season was a success) "Definitely, I know most guys say it's not because the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl, but I feel like we're in the process of doing something tremendous. A lot of guys, we just can't see the full progress of it. I think we're building on something."

(on closing the gap on teams like the Patriots) "I wouldn't say we're just closing gaps on other teams. I think what we're doing and we're just trying to develop a winning tradition around here. With younger guys, you've definitely got to build on with those guys and we have collective veteran players that have been around that can also help put into that. That's why we've been so successful now."

(on what has to improve) "Right now it's hard to even think about how to get better at this point. Right now, our season is over. I think guys just want to try to get away from football at this point. I know that's what I'm trying to do. Usually around this time after those games or your last game, you don't really think about how to get better. You just try to reflect on the season."

(on if he feels like the team was really close and if it just needs a few tweaks here and there) "I do, tweaks here and there, some players we lost here and there, and some plays. That's pretty much how everybody's season will end at some point. That's what happened to us. We got our shot early."

(on how important it is to bring back FS Glover Quin) "I think that would be tremendous. I'd love to get him back. I'm not the GM or anything like that, but I think they're going to do a good job of keeping him here."

(on the letterman jackets) "I just feel it's unity and family and this commitment that this team made. It wasn't no joke or pun to letterman jackets are high school kids or anything like that. I just feel like some guys came up with a great idea. It's something to give back and guys will never forget this."

(on how tough it is to clean out the lockers and depart today) "That's the hard thing. Guys you may not get to see. You're not having meetings. Guys shoot off real quick. You probably won't get to say your goodbyes or anything like that, may not see those guys again. That's one thing. This team will never be the same. Some faces will never be here so that's just the natural of this game. If you're going to play long enough, you've got to accept that."

* *

C Chris Myers

(on the season not being everything he wanted it to be) "Yeah, lots of ups, lots of downs, more ups than downs, but for the most part, just inconsistency towards the end of the season. We got ourselves in the position to win the division and have that home playoff game, which is what we were shooting for, then kind of gave up that first round bye which made us go up to New England. We were in that position last year, had to go up to Baltimore. We knew what to expect. We had some experience on the team, but when you go up to a place like that against a team like the Patriots when they're tested for the past decade doing that kind of stuff at home, you have to be on all your Ps and Qs, and you have to be on – playing at the top of your game – and we weren't yesterday."

(on if this season was a success in his mind) "It's a success to certain standards, but not to the standards that we held to ourselves. We understood where we were last year as a team and where we wanted to get. And when you make it to the second round last year, and obviously we're a young team in the playoffs, but we wanted to be able to get to the Super Bowl, and that was no secret. In that sense, yeah it was a disappointment, but from here on out you have to kind of just analyze yourselves now and move on. It's a big disappointment, but we have to be able to take this and run with it now. We had a lot of young guys playing this year and we have to understand that this is going to be that next step as well. It's very frustrating and it's so soon. It's 9:45 in the morning the next morning after we played, but you go from there."

(on what are some missing elements that would push the team further) "You try and digest that second half of the season, last quarter of the season, even in the playoff games, where you weren't consistent, what areas you needed to work on – all sides of the ball. It wasn't just one side or the other. We have to be able to play better in general. Yesterday our offense, yeah we had yards, yeah we were two-for-three in the red zone, but when you don't score enough points to win the game it doesn't matter. So you have to be able to play up to the standards of every team that you play and not expect to only have to play to how you want to play week-in and week-out. You have to all play up to the winning par."

(on if he thought about losing the home field advantage yesterday during the game) "That's all ifs, ands or buts. You never know. Obviously you want to be able to handle your own business at home; and you see how great it is and what an advantage it is to play at home. And you want to have that first-round bye. Obviously it's going to help, but you have to play with the cards you're dealt, and we had to go with it."

(on if that thought ever crossed his mind yesterday, losing the first-round bye) "You think about it beforehand, but once you get up to New England, there's no point in thinking about it. You have to handle your business. You have to be a professional."

(on if it's frustrating to not be able to get the first-round bye) "Yeah it's frustrating. The last quarter of the season, to lose those three games and lose to New England twice up there, it's a frustrating thing. And I think it's going to be one of the things that makes this team even better down the line. And it's really hard to say that right now, not even 24 hours out. But to be able to go up to those places and play teams with that nature and understand that that's the place we want to get to. That's the place we want to get this franchise up to. Those standards. It's a big huge test for us and it's a big learning tool."

(on QB Matt Schaub, his performance and the criticism he's taking right now) "I mean, 345 [passing] yards. He had that one pick, but Matt is the guy. Everyone is going to [criticize]; that's the way the League works. They're going to pick on the quarterback. They're going to pick on the head coach when things don't go well. If the ball would've bounced our way and he had the same stats, no one is caring about the pick. No one is caring about certain things that he did. That's the way it works. Matt is our guy. He's our team captain; he's always going to be. And whatever happens, happens. But as players, as a team, he's our leader."

(on if this team is still moving forward with young talent) "Even with all the success we had, tremendous upside with all the young guys we had. Just offensive line-speaking with (RG) Ben Jones and (RG) Brandon Brooks and (RT) Derek Newton, first-time starters there on the right side, coming into the year, you didn't know how it was going to be. There was a little uncertainty not knowing how they were going to take to the whole scheme, but they played well for first-year guys coming in there. You kind of expected it to be a little bit harder for the communication and the camaraderie between the line, but they came in, they played well and, like I said before, tremendous upside for the future."

(on what he's going to work on personally in the offseason) "I have to go back and digest. Like I said, 24 hours out, I don't even know yet. You know, just one of those things you have to be able to see where your flaws are, whether it be run blocking, pass blocking in general, finishing blocks. It's just one of those things. It's kind of an all-around type thing. You kind of pick apart your game just for an overall perspective and see where you need to go. There's not one area. You just need to work on your overall game."

(on what he'll be doing before his trip to Hawaii and the Pro Bowl) "I'll be in and out of here kind of hanging out and working out and staying in shape and just kind of seeing the guys. Everyone is going to kind of do their own things now and take off, but I live here in the offseason, so I'll be kind of in and out. You'll see my face."

(on a lot of the guys living in Houston and spending time together during the offseason) "I think it's a big key to a lot of the team's success is the guys that do stick around. And it's easier for guys who have families living in their city. We'll go a month, not even, not doing anything; just working out on your own, then we'll all get together. Come mid-February, about two weeks after the Super Bowl, everyone is kind just wanting to get working out again and throwing. That's what (QB) Matt (Schaub) will do. He'll get the guys together and start throwing, wherever it may be, Rice or the University of Houston. And we'll all get together. We start working out in gyms around town and stuff. It's just one of those things that I think the camaraderie between us that whole offseason for those few months before we even hit OTAs (Organized Team Activities) is the biggest thing that leads to our success."

FS Glover Quin

(on yesterday's game) "I think that we kind of got a little momentum going into halftime. We come out of halftime and I think they had a drive right there in the first drive of the third quarter. I think if we would've got a stop on that drive that probably could've changed the game."

(on if improvement is a matter of personnel or performance next season) "Performance. At the end of the day we have to play. I don't control personnel. We prepare like none other. We practice hard. We study so I think it comes down to us just playing. We have the right guys so we've just got to go out and do our job."

(on if he reflects on what he could have done differently) "I think everybody in the offseason reflects on things during the season that they could've done different, reflects on things that happened during the game that you could have done differently. I'm pretty sure, win, lose, you always see things or feel things that you could've done differently. Obviously, when you lose you probably think of more things or just feel like we probably could've done more of this, some kind of way, made another play here somewhere, but it didn't get done. We have a whole offseason to think about it."

(on what he'll reflect on) "I know one big play they had on their first drive coming out at halftime (TE Aaron) Hernandez basically just ran me over, the same thing that they called a penalty on in the fourth quarter. They didn't call it on that drive. That was a big third down, but it was a big play in that drive and they end up getting a touchdown. Maybe I could've played it better, but at the end of the day I don't feel like a guy could just run you over and not be something, defense or offense pass, something, but whatever."

* *

DE J.J. Watt

(on if this season is a success to him) "No. I don't see it as a success. We don't' have a trophy, so it's not a success. And in my mind in this league if you don't have a trophy then you're not a success. So we work hard this offseason, put every single thing we have into it, and we're going to come back next season with that trophy on our mind." 

(on what was missing over the last month for the team) "Wins. We needed to play better. We played good football teams and they beat us. I can't sit here and tell you one thing or another the reason why. We got beat and we didn't do our job."

(on what the team has to get better at to go a few steps further next season) "It's too early for me to sit here and talk about specific things we need to look at and get better. I have to sit back and look at the whole thing. Look at the big picture and we'll figure it out and we'll get better at it."

(on what he takes away from this season) "I take away that I had a lot of fun. I love all the guys on this team. It was a blast. We came up short and I'm disappointed and I apologize to the fans for that. I took away that personally I can get a lot better and I'm really excited about where I can go and I took away that this team has what it takes to win a championship. We just need to put it all together. We have the group of guys we need to do it. And I'm really excited to move forward with this crew."

(on how he can get better personally) "I have so many things I can do to get better. I'm still young. I'm still learning the defensive end position. And my pass rush can get better. My run stopping can get better. There's a whole bunch of stuff I can do to get better. And you can trust that I'm going to put every single ounce of energy that I have into making all those things come true. This whole offseason, all my work, everything is going to be focused on making myself better so that I can help this team get to the next level."

(on how much not having ILB Brian Cushing impacted to defense) "Of course. You're missing a defensive captain. You're missing a guy who's one heck of a football player. You wish you had him out there. But injuries will never ever be an excuse."

(on if he will be in Houston during the offseason) "I'll be all over the place a little bit. I have a couple of things I need to do. I'll be training back home some. I'll be training down here. But wherever I'll be, I'll be training."

(on what he learned from the impact of New England's offensive style) "I mean we knew what they were going to do. We know that they have that up-tempo when they decide to use it, and they use it well. All we can do is do our job, play defense and execute our assignments. I'm not going to sit here and make any excuses. We got beat by a very good football team. They deserve the win so they get the credit."

(on the team's core talent, if it allows the team to improve) "Yeah. I think we have a tremendous amount of core talent. I think we have all the pieces in place, we just didn't put it together yesterday. And obviously it hurts, and it's going to hurt for a little while. But I'm not going to sit here and sulk about it forever. I'm going to go back to work and I'm going to make sure that next season doesn't happen again."

(on when he is going to be able to appreciate how good of a season he turned in this year) "Not yet. It's too early for that yet. I'm sure in a few weeks or so I'll sit back and I'll look at it and I'll say 'That was pretty cool. It was crazy.' But right now this hurts. It's a big loss for us and it's a team game. It's never about one guy. But I do want to say thank you to all of my teammates and all my coaches and everyone for making me look good all year. They're the reason that I get the individual awards. They're the reason I get the individual accolades. I appreciate them and I can't thank them enough."

(on if there was something this team lost after going 11-1) "I don't think so."

(on what Gary Kubiak told the team after the game) "Obviously he's disappointed. He's disappointed and the rest is for us to know."

(on if he thinks he can have a better season than the one he had this year) "Just watch this way next year. I'm 23 years old. I'm two years into the league. I'm still learning what I'm doing out there. I'm just trying to have some fun. I have a lot of time left in this league I hope and I have a lot of improvement to make. My second year is not going to be my best year in the NFL, I promise you that."

(on what he's going to do between now and the Pro Bowl) "Rest a little bit. I'm going to let my body relax. Probably see my family. Just relax. I have to get some gifts for the defense because I have to show them how much I appreciate them. Just relax. Kind of get away. That's about it."

(on if he's looking forward to the Pro Bowl) "Yeah. Obviously I'm excited. I get to go to Hawaii, spend some time with my family out there, play with some of the best players in the world. But it's bittersweet."

(on if this loss is just another loss) "It was a game that we lost. They're a very good football team and they played a great football game. We made a few mistakes that when you're in a playoff game like that against a very good team like that you can't make those mistakes. That's the way it goes. We need to clean those up. And to take that next step we need to play great in situations like that."

(on if he's enjoyed his celebrity status this year) "Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. There's a lot of things that come with it though. There's highs and lows with it. Every move you make is under scrutiny. I can't thank the fans enough. The fans are unbelievable and I appreciate them so much. They made this year so much fun. And like I said before, I can't ask for much more at the age of 23. I have a great team. I have great fans and I have a great family. And I appreciate every single group."

(on seeing the group of fans at 2:30 a.m. when the team got back) "We appreciate it, but I feel like I let those people down. I feel like they deserve better. We gave it everything we had. We left it all on the field. But we came up short, and to me success in this league is a trophy. And we came back empty handed, so my entire goal is to bring that to this city and to show this city that we are a championship team and we're going to bring them a championship."

(on if he's expecting a lot from being 24 years old) "I'm excited to see what 24 holds. I have a couple of months of 23 left, but 24 is going to be better. You're always working to make the next one better, so I can't wait to see what 24 holds because 23 has been good. But I'm always working my tail off to make everything better."

(on Joe Namath saying 'I can't wait until tomorrow because I get better looking every day') "I don't' know if I'm getting any better looking. I'm already not exactly the prettiest thing to look at, I'm sure. But it's going to be fun. I can't wait."

(on what he says to people who question whether or not QB Matt Schaub has the ability to win a Super Bowl) "Have they ever been in his shoes? If you want to sit here and question our quarterback, that's fine. But every guy in this room believes in him. And we all trust in him and we all believe that he can take us there. We're not going to listen to what the outside world says."

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