*Watch head coach Gary Kubiak's Monday press conference LIVE on Texans TV at 3:30 p.m. central time.
The Texans beat the Steelers by a 17-10 margin on Sunday at Reliant Stadium, and after, coaches and players from both sides answered questions from reporters. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
TEXANS OWNER BOB McNAIRHEAD COACH GARY KUBIAKDEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPSCB JASON ALLENT DUANE BROWNILB BRIAN CUSHINGRB ARIAN FOSTERFS DANIEAL MANNINGC CHRIS MYERSQB MATT SCHAUBDE ANTONIO SMITHDE J.J. WATTOLB MARIO WILLIAMST ERIC WINSTON
TEXANS OWNER BOB McNAIR(on the win) "It was wonderful. I don't know if we have had a bigger one."
(on the defensive performance in the second half) "Well, we were a little lethargic there in the third quarter. That drive that we made at the beginning of the fourth quarter really turned them on and they played lights out after that. That was a beautiful thing to see."
(on how important it is being 3-1) "3-1 is great but when you look at the teams we've played and the team that we played today, it's even more important. Last week after losing a tough one, to come back and win, was really important. It was important for us. It was important for the Steelers to win so it was a big game for both of us."
(on Texans Wide Receiver Andre Johnson's injury) "He is going to get an MRI and we'll see. He pulled a hamstring and hopefully it won't keep him out too long, but we'll just have to see on that one."
(on the improvement of the defense from last year) "(It's good) to see the pressure that we were putting on (Steelers quarterback Ben) Roethlisberger, not giving him enough time to throw. Our secondary coming back the way they did with two interceptions, one got called back but that was big. I think that we are much more aggressive at going for the ball."
(on seeing his team closeout the game) "I think that's important. That's part of the maturation process. We talked about mental toughness. Physically, we have been tough enough, but mentally sometimes we haven't. Hopefully this is an indication that that mental toughness is there."
TEXANS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK(on his initial reaction to the game) "It's a great team win. We showed some toughness as a group. In the third quarter when they took control of the game we came back with a big drive offensively to start the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter defensively we stood up three times and then when we needed our best special teams play we put them back on the one-yard line. We overcame a ton of penalties to beat a great football team. Really showed some toughness, played all day long and it's a great win, great team win."
(on WR Andre Johnson's injury and other team injuries) "All I can tell you is right now we think its hamstring related. It's in the lower leg. We will go and get an MRI and stuff this evening. (RB Ben) Tate has a groin strain. (LB Tim) Dobbins got nicked up a little bit. But other than that we should be ok. Obviously we have to find out what's going on with Andre.
(on how he felt when Johnson went down) "There is going down, and then there is going down. The way he went down was deflating because it was like he just got shot so that's scares the heck out of you. We were playing well as a football team and we had two and a half quarters of football left to play. It's very difficult. He's the leader of this team and has been a leader of this franchise for a long time. Now if we have to go without him for a period we're going to have to really ask some guys to step to the plate. I'm just proud of how our team came back. A lot of team s don't respond from stuff like that but we did today."
(on the adjustments after playing the Saint's last week) "They are two totally different football teams. We were playing a big, physical football team with one of the great defenses in the history of the game today. We knew it was going to be a knock-down, drag out and we were trying to stay committed to the run. We did a really good job from that standpoint. And make some third downs which we did a great job of in the first half. The game was kind of a tale of the first quarter and the third quarter to me. We owned the first quarter and they own the third quarter. But we stepped up at the end defensively. Two different teams and kind of hard to compare."
(on P Brett Hartmann and what he means to the team) "He just keeps getting better. He's a young player and he's got and expertise with that rugby punt inside the 50 when he's trying to pin people down in there when we are punting from our 50. He does a really good job with that. The thing I was impressed about is they came after him the last two times and he got the ball out of there quick. He continues to get better. His kickoffs I know could be better than they were today, but good young player."
(on having RB Arian Foster back) "You guys see it, it kept everything on schedule. Against this team you're doing everything you can to fight for third and three's and third and four's because if you're third and ten you're in trouble. I don't think our quarterback went down today, I'm not positive, but the only way that's going to happen against this team is if you're able to run the ball. So Arian was the big key there and you have to give the guys up front a lot of credit."
(on RB Chris Ogbonnaya and the RB situation) "It just goes to show that you think you have too many and now you don't have enough, right now just looking on paper. Obviously Arian comes out of the game in good shape, Chris is fine. We'll have to see where (RB) Ben (Tate) is at and (RB) Derrick (Ward) is still trying to come off an ankle. The NFL is about week of adjustments so we'll see what we got and go find a way to move the ball. Just have to have those guys step up."
(on how effective RB Arian Foster was this game) "It surprised me that he could handle 30 carries. He's a player that plays better the more he plays. I didn't think we would have used him that much today had (RB) Ben (Tate) been there the whole day. But the fact that he did hold up like that was the key in the game. We were able to run the ball pretty darn well. If we run it better right there at the end we stay on the field, but he stepped up for his team today."
(on the key for the defensive front 7) "I think it was effort. I think the whole game today was about effort of our team. We got great effort from everybody. I know (LB) Mario (Williams) was exceptional in the game. (DE) JJ (Watt) must have had two or three that he could have had that he's got to learn from and be able to get him down. But, we just played with great effort as a football team. When you're playing hard good things happen to you. I think that was the biggest key."
(on RB Arian Foster diving for extra yards) "He's always a falling forward guy. That's what I meant when I talked to you guys this week. One thing about him, when you don't have a good play, that big body falls forward and it's still a two or three-yard play. That's the way he plays the game. It's just so positive with what we're doing. That opening drive of the game he just kept pounding and pounding. We made some third downs and made up a couple tough, two holding calls I think, in the first drive. He gives us a lot of confidence to play that type of football."
(on the penalties and still winning the game) "That just tells you we weren't going to let anything get in our way today. We knew there were going to be some tough breaks in the game. A lot of times when those things happen to teams they can't overcome them. But that wasn't the case today. We had a touchdown called back before the half and that was a huge momentum play. And we had a touchdown that finishes the game and it gets called back. First off we have to go look at those penalties and if we're committing those penalties then we have to fix it. But to overcome them was an exceptional effort by the football team."
(on CB Jason Allen) "I'm proud of him. He's battled Kareem all through camp, pushed (CB) Kareem (Jackson). He's been playing some off and on with (CB) Kareem (Jackson). He gets a start this week. It's really interesting; in practice this week he probably had three or four opportunities for interceptions and didn't make them. And it wasn't for a lack of effort. But I'll be damned he comes up with the biggest play in the game. When players work good things tend to happen to them. So he deserved that today and I'm really proud of him."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPS(on whether he was happy with the amount of pressure the defense applied) "Yeah, the guy (Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) is just so hard to bring down. You just think you have him so many times and he makes a play. That is the way he is. We did get him some. We did pressure enough. We made him throw it 'hot' some which he hadn't done before."
(on whether he has seen a defensive player get two touchdowns called back in the same game) "No, I've never seen a player get two touchdowns called back in the same game. (It was) a strange set of events."
(on the play of Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph) "He's the guy we put on the other team's best receiver every week. (Steelers wide receiver Mike) Wallace is a heck of a receiver. We knew that so we put Joseph on him and he played really well again.
(on the performance of the defense in the third quarter) "The Steelers are going to run the football and they were still in the game. They ran a counter play back to the backside, a play we were obviously having problems with. They ran it at the end of the game and we stuffed it. We are a group that hasn't played together for a while. We've come along."
(on the difference of the defense from last week) "We really hadn't been in a two minute situation until last week. We played one bad quarter, that's really all we've had this season."
(on beating the Steelers) "I think the last time the Oilers played them we beat them, 6-0. It's nice to beat a good football team. I think it gives us credibility, certainly."
CORNERBACK JASON ALLEN(on the performance of the team) "We just wanted to go out and make a statement."
(on his interception at the end of the game) "It was like a Hail Mary play almost. They were kind of desperate looking for a play and I was going to stay on top of the wide receiver. I'm pretty sure we had good pressure up front from the defensive line. I just went up and made a play on the ball."
(on having points taken off the scoreboard because of penalties) "It was tough. We want to try and play penalty-free ball, but we kept it realistic. It's a game of errors. We are going to make errors here and there. We just want to limit the errors we make and those penalties."
TACKLE DUANE BROWN(on RB Arian Foster) "It's awesome to have him back. He's a special player. He sees and does a lot of things that a lot of backs can't do. He broke those big runs for us and the last touchdown he had, I think took the wind out of their sails and gave us the edge."
(on Gary Kubiak speaking to the team in third quarter) "He told us it wasn't good enough. We came out in the first half with a lot of intensity and at halftime we told ourselves we had to keep it up, but then we came out and it was three and out. He said it didn't look the same. The drive wasn't there and we had to get it back."
(on rallying after Andre Johnson left the game) "When a player like that goes down the team has to come together. Guys have to step up and we have a lot of great competitors on the team who can step up and take that role."
(on the defense stepping up in the fourth quarter) "That's what great teams are made of. When the offense is down, the defense steps up and gives us the ball back. I can't say enough about those guys, they fly around making plays by hitting the quarterback."
LINEBACKER BRIAN CUSHING(on the third quarter) "They were getting some runs on us. They came out and they established the run. They were coming downhill pretty well and we had to make an adjustment and try and stop it as best we could."
(on Houston's front four) "They're good. They can rush the passer and there's no question about it from the outside linebackers to the inside guys. I think Coach [Wade] Phillips knows what to call at what time."
(on the Texans being labeled soft) "I think that will change after today. I think we played one of the most, if not the most physical team in the NFL today. I think it says a lot about our team and most importantly we have to carry it into next week because we have another good opponent coming in."
(on closing out) "It proves we can do it. For future games, we know that the defense can come out there and win it. It's something to build on and get better."
TIGHT END OWEN DANIELS(on if he's at an advantage when matched up against a linebacker) "We like to think so. Guys up front do a great job of protecting, Matt (Schaub) did an awesome job getting the ball out when he needed to and avoiding that pressure. Whenever the ball's thrown my way, it's been my goal to make that play this year, whether it's once, twice, 10 times, whatever it is, I want to be there making the play."
(on playing smash mouth football against the Steelers) "It's a good feeling. It's a good feeling right now just to bounce back from last week. It was a hard fought game for us, a tough place to play on the road and we just want to get back to work this week and prepare. Everyone did a heck of a job. Offense did a great job when we needed to. Defense stepped up, played big and had some great plays on special teams, as well, pinning them back there. A good team win. That's what we're looking for."
(on RB Arian Foster) "He's going to find the holes. He's going to find the yards. I think that's what we realize these days with him back there. He can do a lot of good things for us. If we're on the right people, if we're on our assignments, he's going to make some big things happen."
(on what the opening 95-yard drive did for the team to set the tempo) "Somebody said it was 19 plays. That's making a statement early. Being pinned back on our 5-yard line is a tough situation to be in, but being able to convert a bunch of times, being able to finish in the red zone was a huge point in the game. Even though it was early, it was huge for us."
RUNNING BACK ARIAN FOSTER(on this game being a workout with all the carries he had) "Yeah, it was tough out there against a great defense and just glad to get the win."
(on if he was expecting as many carries as he got today) "You can't really go into a game expecting anything. You just got to be ready for whatever happens. My coaches and my team believe in me and vice versa, I believe in this organization. It's a good feeling around here, but we got to get ready for next week."
(on if he was wearing down at the end of the game and how he feels physically) "No, I have three lungs. I got three lungs, so I got one on reserve whenever one gets a little empty. I just tap into the next one. I guess I'm just a genetic freak. I'm just playing. I'm just joking. Cedric Smith, our trainer, I give him all the credit and my brother."
(on the team needing him more with all the injuries to the running backs) "That's the NFL. I was out earlier and guys picked up the slack and now guys are out and we got to pick up the slack. It's what winning football teams do and ready to do what we have to do to get these wins."
(on if there was ever any doubt they would win the game) "No, no doubt. That's a great defense on the other side of the ball. They get paid to make plays too and they did. It's all about how you react to them. We didn't finish how we wanted to as an offense. That's why there's 16 games. There's always chances to improve."
(on if he fed off the crowd noise) "Oh, most definitely, most definitely. Both sides too. They had a good showing, but our fans were a little louder. It was fun and we just love the support that we get from the city and we're really excited about this year, so we're going to try to win for them."
(on what made today special) "It was my first game back, really fully and I felt a 100 percent, so it was a nice welcome back and those guys were real welcoming. I'm just glad I can do anything to help my team contribute to a win. It's a big win for us but it's just one win so we have to move on."
(on if he expected to carry the ball 30 times) "Yeah, I go into every contest thinking that I'm the go-to guy, I feel like I am and I think every back in the League has to feel like that or else they're not going to be that. I think you can't really go into a contest with a certain amount of carries that you think you're going to get. When the flow of the game starts going we need certain things at certain times and you got to be there for your team."
(on how his hamstring feels) "No, those hamstring woes are behind me. Like I said, I could have played last week but they wanted to reassure that I wouldn't have a reoccurring problem."
(on if he has made peace about not playing last week) "Yeah, I was fine with it then. I understand, I've played two years in this League and I know it's a long season. A lot of times people get caught up in the hype and you can't do that. This is a long season, it's a grind and what's most important is how we finish the season and not how we start."
(on the determination to run ball coming into game) "I think it means that we had faith in our run game. I've been screaming it for a year now that somebody needs to start recognizing this offensive line. I do what I do but they provide the way. I've been saying it and someone is going to start noticing it in a little bit."
(on thoughts when RB Ben Tate went out) "I really didn't think about it, honestly. When you're in the middle of a game you can't think about compensating. I expected my normal workload of the day as far as last year is concerned. I come out when I'm tired and I get my rest and I come back in when I'm ready and that's pretty much what I did today. I probably stayed in there a little longer on some instances trying to be there for my team but I think we did really well."
(on the toughness of the team) "You get hit with all different kind of labels from week-to-week. One week you're tough, one week you're soft and you just can't get caught up in any of that. This is a week-to-week league and you can't get caught up from one week to the next. It's all about making plays when the opportunity presents itself. As long as we keep making plays when we have to, we'll be fine."
(on what his play against the Steelers means) "This is one of the most physical teams in the NFL and they're known for their defense and they pride themselves on their defense but they played well today. I tip my hat to them; they're a tough group of guys but we believe that we're a good team. We really believe that. We don't need anybody else on our side. All we need is the 53 guys and coaches in our locker room believing in ourselves."
(on the touchdown run) "It was an outside zone run and it wasn't much thinking during the run. I saw that they were overflowing on one side so I took advantage of that cut back and it was there."
(on the tone set) "We emphasized coming out fast and coming out strong. It was big for us. We have been known to start slow on offense but we're trying to set that precedent that this isn't the same team, that this isn't the same organization. Like I said, we believe that and we're trying to make others believe that."
(on new mentality of team) "In this game and this life, things are going to happen and it's 90 percent on how you react to it. Things are going to happen, good and bad, so it's all about how you react to it and respond as a team. That's the biggest thing is how we respond. We had a big loss. Dre (Andre Johnson) is down for us and we don't know how long he's out for, but we have to respond as a team. We responded when I was out and we just have to respond as a team. I think that's big for organization it shows a lot of character."
(on the character of team) That's what I've been talking about, responding. It's all about how you come back. It's all about how you react. You can hang your head but that's not going to do anything but have your head hanging. We responded, but like I said, we've got a game on Sunday next week."
CORNERBACK JOHNATHAN JOSEPH(on closing out the game) "I think it's big. Last week we had our chances and we didn't capitalize on them and we wanted to make sure that the same thing didn't happen again. At the end of the game, we have to close games out and I think overall we did it on offense, defense and special teams."
(on having two touchdowns called back) "For me, it's all about having our team win. At the end of the day we close it out and everybody makes good plays and that's what counts for us."
(on what was said in the last defensive huddle) "We already knew before we took the field that we wanted to close this thing out.
(on CB Jason Allen) "Him [Allen] and Kareem Jackson have been rotating throughout the year and today he played the full game. I think he played outstanding for us and it's good for Jason and the defense."
(on being aggressive on the outside) "You always want to challenge guys and it's always a challenge for us when they have guys on the other side that will challenge us and want to step up to every challenge that we have and win them."
FREE SAFETY DANIEAL MANNING(on containing QB Ben Roethlisberger) "They do things the same way. It was like last week. It was a team with a crafty veteran quarterback who is going to make plays and stay alive to keep his team in (the game). That's what happened today."
(on why the defense was so effective at pressuring the quarterback) "Our front seven were eating today. It goes hand-in-hand; the backs were covering which caused (QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) to hold the ball and allowed the defensive linemen to get there. Then again, their (defensive line) pressure allowed us to make plays. (CB) Johnathan Joseph had a pick today. They called it back."
(on being able to close defensively) "It's a statement every week when you've got to bounce back from a loss like (last week). We went from a great team to another great team—different attitudes, but both great teams in their own right. It feels good. It was also a big AFC game. That's a big plus for us."
(on playing through adversity today) "We've been having adversity since this thing (2011 season) started: No OTAs, new defensive coordinator, new players having to pick up the defense, guys going down, practicing in the heat all the time. We've been having adversity the whole time. This stuff is just making us better. It's only going to get better. We're definitely going to have problems in the near future with other teams. Things are going to happen and you just have to prepare for them."
CENTER CHRIS MYERS(on facing the Steelers defense) "They have been a top-two team since 2004 and to be able and come out here and run the ball speaks volume. For us to come out and establish the run was big for us."
(on Steelers tying the game) "The attitude is different around here. We were confident in what we could do. We knew we were going to go out there and get it done and score a touchdown."
(on how good the Texans can be) "It's to be determined, I mean the sky is the limit as long as we take care of our basics."
(on the difference in being 3-1 this year and last year) "We have to bounce back against Oakland next week. You can't get too high or too low after losses or wins. We have to come back next week and start from scratch."
(on team's reaction to Andre Johnson injury) "I think it's an understood thing that we were going to have step up. That's how you get quality wins."
QUARTERBACK MATT SCHAUB(on having RB Arian Foster back) "It felt great to have him back in the huddle. To have all your weapons at your disposal is key. What he brings to the run and the pass game is huge for us. His ability to see the field and make the cut backs, press the hole, let the offensive line work and his ability to make people miss, it is huge to have him back."
(on the WR Andre Johnson's injury) "Injuries are part of this game and they are going to happen. We rallied around each other and hung together as a team. Jacoby Jones filled in, as well as Bryant Johnson. Kevin Walter had a great game. Our tight ends chipped in a huge way, but we did it as a group. Defense played exceptional today, a great team finish".
(on setting the tone with the opening drive) "It was a 10 minute drive. We overcame a couple penalties. The guys kept working. They converted some third downs and we were able to run the ball effectively. With a defense and team like this one, we were able to set a tone for the game. Having an 11 minute drive with 20 plays and finish off with a touchdown at the goal line, it just really set the tone."
(on the Texans offensive line) "The way they are operating in the run game and pass game, they were able to get the ball out and were able to get to where the blitzes were coming from and just protect. They did a great job."
(on how they beat the Steelers) "No win comes easy in this league. It all comes down to the fourth quarter. Who is going to make the play at the end of the game? They took the third quarter and had the momentum, scoring 10 points. But after they got to 10-10, we responded with an 85-yard drive. Owen Daniels made two big plays and Arian (Foster) had a huge run. When you are a good team, that is how you respond against a challenging opponent."
(on keeping the ball away from SS Troy Polamalu) "He still was around the ball and made some plays. But you always have to be aware of where he is when you play the Steelers. He is a ball hawk and makes a ton of plays. You have to understand where he is and what types of problems he can cause."
(on preparing to play QB Ben Roethlisberger) "I didn't prepare mentally to play him, I was preparing mentally to play the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense and go against Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and all those guys. It was about going against their team and and keeping my team on schedule to play the game."
DEFENSIVE END ANTONIO SMITH
(on the Texans defense and keeping pressure on Ben Roethlisberger) "I think that was a focal point of practice this week. Especially after the fourth quarter we had last week. I am so proud of my team that we came through and finished."
(on the touchdown being called back) "It is super frustrating. But I have been through it. I took that as an opportunity as a leader to make sure we kept our energy. The main focal point was that no matter what they call, we have to keep our energy."
(on the Texans this year versus last year) "Now we believe when we play a game, we aren't the underdog. We have to go in with the belief that we can beat every team we play; that we can beat the Patriots or the Steelers. This team has a confidence in itself, it has a belief. It is about the work ethic. I believe we have the ability to be a championship team and all we need is to keep the belief in ourselves."
(on the Texans offensive line) "Our offensive line dominated because they ran the ball. Arian (Foster) had a good day back and he dominated. (Ben) Tate ran the ball. I love playing against the Steelers offensive line. They are dirty. I love people to come in and knock me but you can be sure I will give it right back to them."
(on his comfort with the 3-4) "It is a little bit different than how I played in Arizona, but as far as defensive line, it is the same thing. I like to get tossed around, and with the three-technique, everything is quick. The best part of my game is pass rushing. It is fun to me and Wade (Phillips) lets me do it. I have responsibilities, but with three-technique, the point is to disrupt."
(on how the defense has changed) "We are building it. You have to be able to take the ups and the downs. But overall, the attitude and the belief has changed. We believe we can get the job done. The atmosphere is different. Football doesn't change but when attitudes change, it makes a big difference."
DEFENSIVE END J.J. WATT(on the intensity of the game and playing all the way until the end) "Yeah, I think that's a good old fashioned football game right there. It goes all the way right to the end. It was two very good football teams going at it and I'm happy to be out on top."
(on the pressure on the quarterback) "We're trying to get as much pressure on him as we can. We knew their offensive line was a little banged up, so we were just trying to bring as many guys as we could and get after them and I think we did that today."
(on being able to tackle QB Ben Roethlisberger with only one player) "Yeah, you want to take him down with one guy and obviously I missed my chance at that, but a lot of other guys did very good at it. For one guy to take him down, it's a tough task, but a lot of our guys did it today and that's big."
(on what it means to be 3-1) "It's huge, especially to beat a team like the Steelers who obviously have a lot of tradition in the AFC. But now, we got to move on to the next week. We got another tough game coming up, so we're excited about that challenge."
(on if this was a signature win for the Texans) "Yeah, the Steelers are a good football team and you want to beat good football teams. If people want to call it a measuring stick, they can call it what they want it, but at the end of the day, it's a win. It's a good win for our program and now we have to come back next week, regroup and go at it again."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER MARIO WILLIAMS(on defense playing hard and not soft) "From the beginning of the game, our mentality was to come out and be the best defense on the field. We wanted to come out and prove that going against anybody we could go out there and hold our own. We have to gain respect and it takes a bit a time. It takes games like this. We just wanted to prove a point."
(on being able to sustain positive energy despite setbacks) "It's very special. We had a couple of situations that happened during the game with (WR) Andre (Johnson) going down. We knew we had to pick it up—play for everybody. We tried to hold them and get the offense the ball back as many times as we could."
(on defensive pressure) "It was huge. This was probably one of the best games we've had as far as pressure goes. We were coming every play. We just held them and kept going."
(on if it was frustrating trying to get QB Ben Roethlisberger down) "I had the opportunity to get him down. He is a big guy, and he is definitely more shifty than you would think. He's obviously strong. I was trying to find the ball, but he likes to throw the ball when he's going down so I tried to look for that arm."
(on the current record of 3-1) "This week is 1-0. We're not worried about what the record is right now. We've got the next team coming up. I'm not sure who it is, and we'll just take it (week-by-week)."
TACKLE ERIC WINSTON(on Texans running back Arian Foster's long touchdown run) "We had run left a ton today and it's a battle. I can't say enough about Arian. You see what kind of difference he makes for us. To me, he is the best (running) back in the league. I would take him over any (running) back. There's nobody as complete as he is. He catches the ball out of the backfield. His vision in our scheme in unbelievable. He didn't labor at all. He knew exactly where his blocks were. I'm glad he was healthy. He looked great."
(on whether this was a statement game for the offensive line) "I wish our statement was a little louder as far as the points scored. We felt like coming out there that we could run on them. I wouldn't call it a dominating performance but we were able to break some big runs. I think if you are going to have a lot yards you have to big runs."
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLINNT CASEY HAMPTON TE HEATH MILLERS TROY POLAMALU WR MIKE WALLACELB LAMARR WOODLEY
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN(opening statement) "In regards to the game, I thought we had our opportunities. We didn't make enough plays, and quite frankly, they did. It was the story of two halves. Either way you look at it, the reality is that we didn't make enough of our opportunities. We had some third down situations in the first half defensively and they converted quite a bit of them. They controlled the clock. They possessed the ball in the first half. When we were able to get off the field some in the second half, we weren't able to score enough to come back into the football game. They made a critical play with special teams at the end of the half to keep points off the board. We tip our cap to those guys. They made the necessary plays to win the game. We've got some work to do. It's not anything mystical. We will remain together. We will stay signally focused on our work. We understand that our issues are fundamental. We've got to do the basic football things a little better than we are now. We've got to tackle better. We've got to block better. We'll start that process tomorrow."
(on his thoughts of being down ten at the half) "Halftime is always the same for me. I take the emotions out of it and talk about necessary adjustments and what we need to do to improve in the second half. That's what we did. We didn't sense any panic in our football team."
(on thoughts of his offensive line going forward) "It depends on the health of the men. We'll rally and see who we have coming back. We'll look at the men who played in this game and make those decisions at the appropriate time which is moving into next week."
(on running the ball better after the first half) "The issue in the first half with us running the football was because we did not possess the ball. The Houston Texans had the ball twenty-one minutes or so in the first half of football. When they've got the ball that length of time you're not going to establish anything offensively be it running or passing."
(on teams having success running the ball) "We've got to tackle better. They did a nice job blocking us today. Of course,
(RB Arian) Foster and company did a nice job running, but we're capable and better of what we showed today."
(on the Texans Defensive Line) "They did a nice job, particularly at the end and of course, when we had to get one-dimensional trying to play catch up. We felt like we found a rhythm going into the third quarter. Again, our inability to do anything in the first half offensively is about the Texans ability to possess the ball and convert third downs. Like I said, we didn't convert any third downs in the first half offensively, but we didn't have any opportunities because they possessed the ball."
(on the Texans second half play) "We were trying to move the football and hit open people and I'm sure they did some good things coverage-wise but it's not anything (WR) Mike (Wallace) doesn't usually see on Sundays. I think everyone knows that Mike is capable of getting behind them. It's not like they reinvented the wheel from a structure standpoint. We were just spreading the ball around and I think we got a little rhythm there with (WR) Antonio Brown. We got him some critical plays but we're trying to make everyone a viable guy. That's the reason we were able to move the football."
(on if he underestimated the Houston Texans) "Ha. No. They're a two-and-one football team. All of the teams in the National Football League are professional football teams and capable of playing ball."
(on how good he thinks the Texans are) "They were good enough to beat us today."
(on a need for there to be more urgency in the locker room) "I don't think a sense of urgency or a lack of urgency is the issue. It's fundamental football—better blocking, better tackling."
NOSE TACKLE CASEY HAMPTON(on how disappointing the loss was) "They're a good team, and we had a tough time stopping them. They just drove it. There's nothing else to say about it. You can't take nothing away from them. They did a great job of executing, and we didn't get the job done."
(on adjustments made after the Texans' first drive) "We didn't make any adjustments. We were just missing a whole bunch of tackles, and we've got to go back to the basics and figure out how to get people down. It's uncharacteristic of us, and we're missing tackles. Not taking away anything from them – (Arian) Foster's a great back – but we've got to make the plays when there's an opportunity to make the plays."
TIGHT END HEATH MILLER(on today's game) "You have to give their defense credit. I thought we had a few decent drives in the second half. Obviously, we have a lot of room for improvement as a team. All we can do is go back to work tomorrow and try to get better."
(on difference in running game from first half to the second) "I'm not sure other than the fact that we executed a little better. We ran to the weak side a little bit and we were able to put together running the football but obviously that wasn't enough. "
(on protecting Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger) "We'll check out the film tomorrow and see where we need to get better. I think it's fair to say that every man in this room can improve and we all need to improve."
(on going empty back field and if that's a part of the plan) "That's a part of the plan. We have the personnel to do that. Nothing out of the ordinary."
(on how he feels being 2-2) "You never feel good after losing. We're a 2-2 football team and that's what we are and we have to get better."
(on if he feels the Steelers have played a complete game yet) "Not even close. We're good in spurts but obviously when you play a good team like we did today, offensively we didn't do enough and it won't be good enough in the future.
SAFETY TROY POLAMALU(on the loss today) "It was a very disappointing loss."
(on the overall feel of the team) "Disappointed."
(on if he thinks the team will recover from this loss soon) "I would hope so. Only time will tell if we answer the bell or not."
(on how he feels about the defense after playing against a high powered offense that moved the ball at will) "They kept our offense off the field. They beat us with their own game plan. They controlled the clock and ran the ball. They did everything that we tried to stop. They executed their game plan and we didn't."
(on how the defense felt after the first drive of the game) "We felt bad. We are going to have to watch film."
WIDE RECEIVER MIKE WALLACE(on whether the team's following is usually this strong during away games) "Everywhere we go, we've got a lot of Steelers fans. And that's why it's disappointing when people travel for us, and we let them down."
(on how Roethlisberger acted in the huddle near the end of the game) "He was his usual self – still trying to make plays, still trying to get guys going. But we just didn't get it done."
(on whether this was a statement game) "It's not a statement game. No game is a statement game except for the Super Bowl. We expect to win. We expect to win every game. Underdogs or not, we don't have anything to prove, except to ourselves."
(on how it feels to have started the season 2-2) "We don't have any excuses. We've got to turn it around and we've got to do something fast. We didn't expect to start off 2-2, but we did, so we've got to fix it."
LINEBACKER LAMARR WOODLEY(on what went wrong) "We gave up too many rushing yards early on. They had success running the ball and they continued to run the ball. We just have to do a better job tackling."
(on why teams can run on Pittsburgh now) "They made some cutbacks and we missed tackles. It's just basic fundamental things we need to work on. Today we did a bad job of tackling. I know I did. Those are corrections you have to make. You shouldn't be missing tackles."
(on being thankful they were only down 10 at the half) "We had an opportunity but we let them but we let them off on third down situations and when you let a team like that off on third down situations, they put points on the board and that's what our defense allowed them to do today."
(on adjustments they tried to make to stop the run) "Just being in your gaps, a few times we had him but I missed (Texans RB Arian Foster) on his touchdown run. So we have to do a better overall job of just tackling."
(on feeling like teams are going to run more on them in the future) "There's definitely going to be some teams running on us more. It's all about tackling. I have to do a better job of getting down there. I have to close that gap out and watch the quarterback in case he boots out so I have to be able to play both responsibilities and not over play one of them"
(on Texans RB Arian Foster) "He's been hurt but he came back today and he had some good runs. He was a challenge for us and he won."