Texans head coach Bill O'Brien
Q: Would you give us your initial thoughts about the game, please?
A: Anytime that you turn the ball over three times, commit penalties, have trouble stopping the run, you know it's not a formula for success in this league. Get a punt blocked, it's not a formula for success, so we've got to go back to work tomorrow. Like I always say, you know, the sun will come up tomorrow. We've got to fix what we can fix, meaning things that carry over, things that we have to get fixed right now. And then we've got to get back to work on Wednesday for practice because we've got a very, very difficult game against Buffalo coming up. And the one thing I want to tell you, too, is I give a lot of credit to the New York Giants. They played a whale of a football game.
Q: At the same time, you got back to 17-10, you think you were getting some heat?
A: Yeah, yeah, you know, just again, we didn't really play complementary football. You know, when
we got back to 17-10, granted the defense had really been, I thought to that point, playing decently. They gave up some running yards and things, but had been hanging in there and then we scored and then, obviously they came back with a drive there. So, you know, we've got to play better, when it gets dark, our mode, what we need to be successful is to make sure that we play complementary football and we just did not do that at all today.
Q: [Ryan] Fitzpatrick had two really efficient games for you guys and then today the three interceptions, just seemed to kind of be inconsistent throughout, and struggle at times.
A: Yeah, but it's a team game. It wasn't all … usually the quarterback gets the most blame when you lose like this and that's to be expected. We've got to coach better, we've got to play better around him, he's got to make better decisions. He knows that. But it was a team loss. Everybody in that locker room, starting with me, lost a football game and we've got to fix it moving forward.
Q: […] the difficult[ies] in stopping the run, were tackling? Or what were the primary issues there?
A: I have to look at the film. Certainly any time you give up that many yards rushing, I'm sure there were some tackling issues, some setting the edge issues, some gap control issues. It was a team effort and we just didn't do a good enough job of playing it and coaching it and we've got to fix it, we've got to fix it starting Wednesday.
Q: At the end of the first half, you went for a third and nineteen pass deep in your territory. What were you thinking then and when you went for fourth and one at the start of the second half?
A: Yeah, the third and nineteen, oh I could have probably made a better play call there, you're right. That was not a good call for that time. So, just like I said in the beginning there, we've got to coach better, we've got to call plays better. And then, the fourth and one there at the beginning, I felt like it was less that one and I felt like we could get less than one and we didn't. So, we've got to look at that one on tape and see what happened, but we put our defense in a tough spot there. They held and gave up a field goal there ,which was pretty good for them, but at that point, I figured we should be able to gain less than a yard when we didn't.
Q: The issues on third down on the offensive side of the ball, how much of that was first and second down and not getting yourself in manageable third downs?
A: Yeah, exactly. You know anytime you're in third and long that many times and I think in the first half, we missed the first downs by less than a yard. You know, we were close, but close is not good enough obviously. But then, obviously not doing a good job on first and second down leads to some bad third down situations. So that's another thing, obviously, we've got to fix. But it's a long season. That's the one thing I want to make clear. It's a very long season, there's a lot of games left. I talk to these guys all the time about playing 16 one-game seasons. We lost game three. Obviously the Giants did a much better job coaching and playing and we've got to fix our mistakes from the game and move on to Buffalo very quickly.
Q: Not having Arian [Foster], how much did that affect what you were doing?
Check out these snapshots of the Weeek 3 matchup between the Texans and Giants.
A: Injuries happen in this league. Guys get injured all the time. We had guys out there that got banged up today. The next guy steps in and I thought Alfred Blue did an admirable job today. He ran hard, he got some tough yards. It wasn't easy out there. It was a very, very good, athletic, tough defense the Giants have and for a rookie running back to come in and do what he did, I though he did okay, so he'll only get better and hopefully we'll get Arian [Foster] back as soon as we can.
Q: Do you feel like you guys weren't as opportunistic as you could be. Look at the penalties on big plays, the one on DeAndre [Hopkins], the botched snap on the field goal. Do you think you weren't as opportunistic as you could have been?
A: Sure, sure. You know we had been an opportunistic football team and we hit a big pass to Hop[kins] and we weren't lined up correctly there and we can't afford those line of scrimmage penalties. You know we didn't take advantage offensively when they botched the field goal snap. You know, we've been doing that. We've been taking advantage of those situations and we've got to get back to doing that. But again, like I've said, it's a very long season, that's game three, it wasn't good execution by us. The effort's always there, it just wasn't very good execution by our coaching staff and by our players, but we've got a long season left and we're looking forward to getting back to work.
Q: What'd you think about your offensive line because it had been so good in the first two games?
A: I have to go and watch the tape, but you know I thought that they gave Fitzy [Fitzgerald] some time and protection. I thought we blocked decently in the run game, sometimes we didn't block well. I'm sure there's plays that those guys would like to have back, just like there's play calls that I would like to have back. But I'm not disappointed at all with the offensive line. Like I've said all along, I really enjoy coaching those guys, they're tough, they're smart, there's a good veteran nucleus on that line and they'll come back ready to go for Buffalo.
Q: When you say it's not one man, it's not a one-man team obviously, but Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't play like he played the first two games—different rhythm, throws were off. How does that affect your play calling when he's not doing what he'd done to this point?
A: I would say that what we have to do a better job with our play calling is on first and second down. We've got to get the ball to our playmakers better on first and second down. We have to be in
Texans fans showed up to cheer for their team at MetLife Stadium.
manageable third downs. And I don't care who's playing quarterback. You know, when you're in third and ten or third and twelve or third and nineteen, your rate of success goes way down. So, we've got to do a much better job on first and second down. I know that without looking at the film. Knowing that there was second and ten and second and twelve—those are tough, those are tough situations for any player, any quarterback to be in, so that's where it starts. It starts with the design of the plays on first and second down and see if we can get better there.
Q: When you spoke about complementary football it seemed the defense was put in some bad spots. Is that kind of part of what you were alluding to?
A: Yeah, sure. They were on the field a lot. We had a lot of three and outs. We didn't take advantage of some big stops by them. But at the same time, they've got to stop the run better, they've got to get off the field. And again, like I've said to almost all these questions, we've got to coach better. We're a hard working coaching staff, we didn't have our best day today, and we've got to go back to work and figure out how we can get back on the winning side of these things, and like I've said, we've got a tough Buffalo game team coming in here to Houston and we've got to get back to work on those guys.
Q: Any concerns about [Shane] Lechler? As he came off the punt block? Any concerns about Shane?
A: We'll have to see. I haven't even spoken to the doctors yet. You know, Shane is a great punter, a great pro and he means a lot to this football team, so hopefully he's okay.
Texans RB Alfred Blue
Q: Kind of the rhythm of the offense in general seemed to take a while to get going.
A: My mindset back there was just trying to get forward progress and move the ball and just try to get positive yards every time I touched the ball.
Q: Just talk about their front seven. What did you see from them?
A: They came ready to play. They were fundamentally sound; they held the run down pretty decently. Sometimes I gassed them a little bit, but ultimately they came out to play.
Q: Did you get any advice from Arian Foster before you went out and made that start and took the field?
A: Arian [Foster] just told me, 'You've been playing football all of your life. Just be calm, go out there and run the ball and do what you do best.'
Q: Did you feel like you did that?
A: I feel like I flashed at times.
Q: How did you feel it went today though? You have to be ready when called on. Is that kind of the attitude?
A: Yes sir. I learned that back at LSU [Louisiana State University]. You've just got to seize the opportunity when it is given to you. I feel like it went pretty well for the first time.
Q: Did you have any butterflies?
A: Yeah, after that first carry I just kind of calmed down and relaxed and just started playing football.
Q: Obviously, disappointing the team couldn't get a win.
A: We've just got to correct our mistakes this week and get ready for Buffalo [Bills].
Texans LB Brian Cushing
Q: You are going to watch it tonight?
A: Tonight or tomorrow. Like I said obviously it wasn't our best game we got to correct a lot of things.
Q: When your team makes it 17-10, but then the defense can't get off the field; are you saying, "This is big?"**
A: It is just frustrating. Kind of fighting the common theme all day, kind of kept creeping in. Like I said, they just kept kind of doing a little more and kept that separation the whole time. It is extremely frustrating.
Q: Does the run defense…all or does the pass defense?
A: I don't know. I'm not sure. We are very capable of both and we can play a whole lot better in both areas, but at the same time, it is a whole unit. You can say a run defense, pass defense, so we will get corrected.
Q: Can you point to a couple of things of what may have allowed them to do as well as they did in the run game?
A: They ran the ball well. They got a good push up front. Rashad Jennings ran hard, a bunch of missed tackles. It is a bad formula for us. It is not good football we played and we have to understand that and get it corrected.
Q: Were surprised by anything they did?
A: No, it wasn't anything to out of the ordinary. I knew they were very capable. They came out and they played very hungry from the get-go and they were kind of on fire.
Q: You mentioned the tackling. That wasn't your guys' issue in the first two games. What was different in this one?
The Texans got ready for their game at MetLife Stadium vs. the Giants in Week 3.
A: I am not sure. I am really not sure. I don't know. Anything you do in life, you have to persistent at it, we weren't. Sometimes we tackled well and sometimes we didn't, but if we feel we are one of the better defenses, we have to do it the entire time.
Q: Does team defense boil down to individuals taking care of their responsibilities and being where they need to be?
A: Yeah, I think so. I think it was a collective effort that obviously we didn't do a good enough job in and it's something we've got to do better.
Q: These guys did everything they could to kind of keep you in it early.
A: Yeah, it kind of felt like that. We got the ball back again as we have in the first two games and it kind of felt like we were playing like ourselves again. The fumbled snap on the field goal and a lot of opportunities we just didn't capitalize.
Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
I want to start off by just saying that we woke up this morning to the tragic news of Rob Bironas passing away. He was a teammate and a friend of mine. I just wanted to express my sorrow and condolences to the Bironas family and his wife Rachel on their loss. Hopefully they can get through this.
Q: Ryan, can you just talk about your play, in general.
A: We're not going to win any games when I play like that, especially in the first half with the turnovers. Sometimes interceptions happen, but that was just poor play by me. It's something that
I've got to get better at. It's something that I've got to eliminate. You saw in the first two games the formula of not turning the ball over and forcing turnovers on defense and what that led to, which was two wins. Today with three turnovers, as a quarterback you really just hate losing, but you especially hate losing when it's kind of on you. I think it's tough to swallow right now, but we've got to look at the film. I've got to try to get better. We can't let this hold us back.
Q: Coach O'Brien said after the first two games that you had 100% made the right decision every time. How different was today and what went into it?
A: I made some poor decisions today. I don't know if there was one thing that led to it. It's a tough feeling. But when I get in tomorrow morning, I'm going to be there early trying to get better, trying to learn from it and move on to the next game. I want to be the guy that those guys look to, in terms of a guy that's going to lead us into the next game and hopefully win.
Q: For the 3rd & 19 play, coach put it on him and said he could have made a better call. What did you see and how did that play work out?
A: The play call didn't matter right there. There's plenty of shorter options there where I could just get us out of dodge, chuck it down, not try to be a hero at the end of the half. A third and extra long. That one really hurt because I know I'm a better and smarter player than that. That was 100% on me.
Q: Not having Arian Foster there, did that disrupt the flow in the first half?
A: Arian's obviously a great player, but I thought Blue did a good job. It's just one of those things where the turnovers put us in a hole early. That really didn't have anything to do with Arian playing or not playing.
Q: When you got to 17-10, what was your mindset?**
A: I've been in plenty of those games where you come out and lay an egg in the first half and you come back and get some momentum on your sideline. Guys are high-fiving, back into the game, and it's kind of a good feeling bringing the team together. It just never really materialized from there. The positive thing to take out of the game, we went in at halftime with poorest half offensively that you can play and the optimism was still there. Everybody was still into it and ready, not giving up. I think that's an important piece to have as a team.
Q: How much is that due to your head coach?
A: I think the way that he handles himself and the way that he talks with us has a lot to do with it. I also think there are a lot of guys in that locker room that have played a lot of football and have been through a lot of different experiences. So we knew that by no means was that game over. It went very poorly and maybe the score should've been a bigger spread than what it was. But if we went out there and played well in the second half, we might've had a better chance to come back.
Q: Did you feel like there were some throws where you felt like you were maybe pressing and trying to make too much happen?
A: I missed some throws there. I think the decision at the end of the half was a very poor decision. But I don't know if that was part of it or not. There were some throws I definitely wanted back.
Q: With this loss on the road and you guys having Buffalo next week at home, how important is it for you guys to not go too far in the other direction and kind of move back into the center?
A: It's the NFL. There's adversity every single game, even when you're winning. With injuries or whatever it is, you're going to face some adversity. In a sick way, the adversity is one of the best parts of this game; guys coming together and not getting on each other and having that confidence and working that much harder. That's what I see with our group here. Today was certainly a setback. I definitely cost the team some of those throws. But we've got to come back and come together as a group and continue the winning ways that we had the first two weeks.
Q: You spoke in the beginning about Rob's death. How close of friends were you and did that affect today?
A: He was a teammate just for a year last year. But he was a great guy. Everybody in the locker room loved him. It was obviously shocking news for everyone this morning. When things like that happen, it really puts into perspective the game of football and how there are things that are a lot more important than this. It certainly put things into perspective.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins
Q: Do you feel like it was one of the better performances that you've had thus far?
A: Yeah, I mean it was a great individual performance, but you know it really doesn't mean nothing if my team doesn't get the win, so you know all that's out the door.
Q: Take us through that catch; we were sitting with a lot of people up in the press box who have been doing this a long time and said it was probably the most amazing catch they had ever seen. Of course, it was called back, but can you kind of just walk us through it?**
A: Well it was one… and you know it's designed if it's one… to kind of throw it up to me and Fitz [Ryan Fitzpatrick] made a great throw and I just came down with the catch. I kind of jumped early so I knew I wasn't able to get two hands on it, so I just put up one hand and it was a great ball.
Q: How much confidence do you have in knowing your ability to be able to do that and even make the attempt?
A: You know God blessed me with a size three eggs hand so I'm just using it to the best of my ability.
Q: Difficult loss after starting the season 2-0, but how do you just put this behind you and start looking forward to next week?
A: You know we got a lot of great veterans on this team, a lot of great leaders, you know some young guys that are leaders. So this coaching staff, they aren't going to let us hang our heads on this loss, you know, we have to move on. It's the NFL.
Q: Was there any effect with Arian Foster not being in the lineup, kind of throwing things out of sync do you think?
A: No. We've got great running backs. Alfred Blue and the three running backs that we played, I think all those guys did a good job, you know, we just kind of hurt ourselves today.
Q: Did your confidence kind of grow after that catch?**
A: No, my confidence has always been where it is. I just had the opportunity to catch the ball. It was in my vicinity, so you know I guess they trust me a little more.
Q: Making plays is something the offense didn't do, do you feel you had to step up and make plays at certain points?
A: Yeah I felt like I did. We were down since the first quarter so everybody on the offensive side of the ball, you know, defense they were doing a great job. They held them to 14 points at half when it should've been more, so the offense felt like it was kind of on us a little bit to come out and create some plays.
Q: What's it going to take to bounce back next week against Buffalo [Bills]?
A: Yeah just great preparation, you know at practice I'm sure we're going to have a great game plan against these guys. We're going to have to go out and execute.
Texans WR Andre Johnson
Q: How important is it to get those 3rd downs manageable?
A: We always try to keep them manageable so that we're able to convert them. We just didn't do that today. It's one game, we fix it, and we've got 13 more to go. We'll come in tomorrow, look at what's going on, get it fixed, work on it in practice and get ready for Buffalo.
Q: Your quarterback says he's not okay with how he played today. What are your thoughts?**
It's not just him, it's everybody. One thing about football, you can't have one guy go out and hit three home runs or go out and score 80 points. All 11 guys have to be on the same page. When we're not all on the same page, we don't go out and play the way we know how to play. So he can't take all the blame. There are 11 guys on the offense that have to play at a certain level and we just didn't do that today.
Q: What were the Giants doing to keep you from getting to certain spots?
A: I just think we didn't keep our third downs manageable. We had a lot more third and longs today than we did the first two games. They're hard to convert.
Texans DE J.J. Watt
Q: How tough was this? You got the early sack and are you like, "hey, we are going to get this thing going."
A: Obviously this is the National Football League. You play bad defense, you are going to get beat.
That is what happened today, we played bad football and we got beat.
Q: Your defense. Thoughts about what happened today.
A: It was not very good. Obviously we will get in there and watch the film and see what happened. We need to be able to stop the run to win football games in this league and we didn't do that.
Q: Bill O'Brien talks a lot about complementary football. You guys got to within 17-10 and had some momentum there.
A: I don't think we did a good job of that all day. I think you have to be able to stop the run and turn the ball over. There are many different things today that we didn't do well and like I said, if you play bad football in this league, you are going to get beat.
Q: Rashad Jennings, is that the back that you guys saw on film through this whole week?
A: He is a good running back, yeah. I mean you have to go out there and stop him. If you don't stop him, they are going to run. Today we didn't do that.
Q: What is the biggest issue specifically from your standpoint as far as stopping the run?
A: Tackling the running back and making sure that he doesn't gain any extra yards.
Q: You started 2-0 last year and then obviously got the losses. 2-1 and it is really early but how different do you feel about the team this year and the mindset and the focus knowing that you will be able to bounce back against Buffalo [Bills] and the rest of the season.
A: I think what we have been doing so far this season is taking every single weak one week at a time and I think we have done a very good job at that through our first two wins and I think this week is going to be our first chance to come and do that after a loss. It will be a good chance for us to come and show what we are made of and come in on Monday, watch the film, learn from it and leave this game behind and move on to the Buffalo Bills. Attack that with a new excitement and a new attitude, just like we have every other week of this season. Every single week is a new week and we are going to go out there and practice as hard as we can and get ourselves ready for Buffalo.