POSTGAME QUOTES FROM HOUSTON TEXANS
HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR BOB LIGASHESKY
RB ALFRED BLUE
OLB JADEVEON CLOWNEY
TE ANTHONY DENHAM
TE C.J. FIEDOROWICZ
QB RYAN FITZPATRICK
RB JONATHAN GRIMES
WR KESHAWN MARTIN
OLB WHITNEY MERCILUS
S D.J. SWEARINGER
HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN (Transcribed by Ellie Pardee)
(on Ryan Fitzpatrick's play tonight) "He had a good week at practice. He's getting more and more comfortable with the system and I thought he went out there and played a good football game for the team. He got us into the right plays, he checked the ball down, he had a good two-minute drive, so it was a good step in the right direction."
(on what went into the decision to put Ryan Fitzpatrick back into the game) "It was planned that way and hopefully, it would work out that way. In my own mind, to put (Tom) Savage in there and see how he would react to that situation, to be in there fairly early in the game, and if we had a two minute drive at the end to put Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) in another two-minute drive. He's had several of those in practice, one last week in the game and it worked out well that we were able to get him back on at the end of that half."
(on the importance of Mike Thomas, Keyshawn Martin, Travis Labhart and the slot receivers in this offense) "It's usually a guy that's a quick guy, a guy that's an instinctive player, a guy that helps us on special teams, got good hands, a tough guy, and all three of those guys fit that mold in a way. Mike (Thomas) did it last week like you said, didn't play tonight but will be back against Denver more than likely, and then Keyshawn (Martin) and Lab (Travis Labhart) did a nice job tonight in there and they both did some things on special teams, which was good. They both had a couple of returns, which were nice, so it was good for those guys to do that."
(on Jadeveon Clowney's tackle and sack on back-to-back plays) "I think anytime a player makes two
big plays like that, no matter who the player is, whether it's (Jadeveon) Clowney or (J.J.) Watt or (Brooks) Reed or J-Mo (Tim Jamison), (D.J.) Swearinger or K-Lew (Kendrick Lewis), whoever it is defensively that helps the sideline. I can remember in other places I've been, when a guy makes a defensive play that's a big hit, it really lights up your sideline. So it's great for the defense, it's great for our team and I thought it helped our whole sideline."
(on the performance of special teams and the difficulty in deciding who makes the 53-man roster) "It's going to make it really hard because I thought some of the guys did a nice job on special teams in both games. In special teams in the Arizona game, with the exception of the kickoff return, the special teams was pretty good there and it was decent again tonight. So we work a lot on it and we spend a lot of meeting time on it. We talk to these guys quite often about complimentary football. We had a great example of that when we kept Atlanta pinned back down there deep then we were able to block the punt then run it in for a touchdown. That's a great example of complimentary football. We talk about that all the time and the guys were able to see that come to fruition on a game field."
(on the draft picks playing well the last two games) "We've been, to this point which has only been a month in to training camp, we've been pleased with the draft class overall. Again, (NT) Louis Nix III hasn't been in there with the knee issue, but he'll be back. But overall I think you've seen a draft class that has been improving and a hard working draft class that needs to keep getting better."
(on what it means for Duane Brown and Chris Myers to show compassion for Falcons T Sam Baker before he went into the locker room) "One thing about this team, the 90 guys that are here, 89 I think it is now, we have a good bunch of guys in this room, so it's a lot of fun to come in here and coach these guys, good teammates, hard workers, guys that really care about the team. They care about their fellow colleagues out there, the other guys on the other team when something like that happens. We've got a bunch of guys with a lot of character so that was good to see."
The Texans face the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium in Preseason Game 2.
(on the performance of the Texans coaches tonight) "I thought the coaches, we did better, but it's a long way from where it needs to be. You know our communication starts with me and our communication amongst each other, and then from the sidelines to the field has to be better, but I know this that it was improved over last week. Just like the players, we are just like the players. We are trying to get better every week."
(on the offensive line's performance tonight) "Those guys looked like they played a decent game. I haven't watched the tape yet, but it looked like those guys, some of them were called to action a little earlier because we didn't play Duane Brown and Chris Myers. That was good for those guys to get a rest and get these other guys some time. What we thought there was we had practiced two hard days against Atlanta and those guys had taken a lot of reps, basically played the equivalent of two games or at least a game and a half at practices, so we felt like it was a good chance to get our young guys a lot of work so they were able to get out there and do some good things."
(on if Jadeveon Clowney is where O'Brien wants him to be at this point in the preseason) "I don't think anyone is where I want them to be. I think we're all working to get better. I believe that JD (Jadeveon Clowney) has come in here and worked hard. He had the surgery there and he's come back from that and fought through that. I think there are a lot of guys that I could say that about. No one at this time in training camp is 100 percent and we're all looking to get better. I don't think any one of us is where we want to be or where we need to be, but we got better tonight."
(on Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue playing well tonight and the depth at the running back position) "I'll look at the tape, but overall I think you're right. Those guys ran the ball hard and did some
decent things in protection in the passing game. We'll look at the tape, but overall I think it's a good position for us. They need to keep improving just like everyone position. Hopefully, that position stays healthy."
(on situational preferences for Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue) "I think on those drives where you saw that happen I noticed (Jonathan) Grimes had carried the ball and lot and caught a pass and was a little bit winded. I think he's in good shape, but he had a few plays in a row and subbed in. It had nothing to do with 35 to 35 or 20 in or anything like that. It was just, hey, he needs a break. Put (Alfred) Blue in there."
(on QB Case Keenum's performance tonight) "I thought he did some decent things. He led some good drives, he has good command of the offense, he's getting better, he's a guy that works extremely hard, he's a really good teammate, he comes in early, he stays late, so he just needs to keep improving."
SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR BOB LIGASHESKY (Transcribed by Omar Majzoub)
(on how he views the kicking situation right now) "I still think it's a competition. That's what we have been waiting for. We wanted to see them during a game, but that was just one game. We will evaluate it, work on it this week, and we will get another opportunity against Denver."
(on what he tells K Chris Boswell after missing an extra point) "Same thing you tell anybody. It's on to the next play. You can't delve into what happened. It's not what happens to you. It's how you react to it. It defines who you are. It's time to just get ready for the next play."
(on how much the special teams unit has improved) "Winning validates what we are trying to do. We have some things that we can build on, but obviously we have a long way to go."
(on if there was anything different in practice this week) "I think practicing against Atlanta provided us with great competition. We got a little better feel for where were at. I think the practices against an opponent instead of going against each other really helps us develop."
(on individual players making the team through their performance on special teams) "It's a unit that is working together that provides an opportunity for an individual to make a play. We will just continue to grow as a unit in every phase."
(on the coaches working together to monitor all phases of the team) "We all work together. I meet with all the guys and they come to all the meetings. They know exactly what we are trying to accomplish, so they give really good feedback after the meeting on how it was presented and how we can improve. It helps us interact with more guys."
RUNNING BACK ALFRED BLUE(Transcribed by Omar Majzoub)
(on the difference this week) "I think the practice against Atlanta all week and the intensity out there made us better as a team. It helped us and we learned from the Arizona game. We just came out and played at a high level."
(on the entire draft class progressing) "As a whole, I think all of us are getting better. Coach (Bill) O'Brien tells us we just need to come out and find our role. Our draft class is trying to show Coach O'Brien that they belong."
(on scoring the first touchdown of the preseason) "It felt good. I was excited just to go in their end zone and go up by 7. Words can't explain. Let's just say I was very excited."
(on rating his performance this preseason) "I can't really rate myself. I just go out there every game and every practice trying to impress the coaches and show them that I can be a valuable asset to this team."
(on the difference between college and the NFL) "I would say it's the speed of the game. Everybody knows what they are doing out there. It's smarter players. If you are on that field, it's because you know what you are doing."
(on his versatility in his offense) "I feel good. You can put me out there five wide. I'm like a receiver out there. My ability to the offense is a great asset. "
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER JADEVEON CLOWNEY(Transcribed by John Byczek)
(on his sack) "It means a lot, man. Trying to help the team out, you know, do my part and rush the quarterback and make plays for the team."
(on what coaches told him after those consecutive tackles for losses) "Keep doing what you're doing. Keep rushing the quarterback, making plays and helping the team win."
(on how his played helped his teammates) "Oh, yeah, all the time. Winning. When we're winning, we're having a lot of fun. We won tonight and we had a lot of fun out there tonight. We still have a lot of corrections we have to make to keep getting better."
(on what it was like for him to have those two big plays) "I don't know, man. I just tried to get back there. I just had my eyes on him at first and then once I flew off, kept my eyes on that quarterback, tried to get a strip sack."
(on getting in a three point stance) "Oh, no, I wasn't even supposed to. I was just falling over so I just put my hand down, so I tried to catch myself. I like both stances. I like standing up now, it's a lot better."
(on getting to practice with the Falcons) "I think taking the loss we took, we wanted to come out here strong against the Falcons. Guys already said we were just going to come out here and practice hard and get better, don't worry about the last game and show the Falcons what we can do, and that's what we did in practice."
(on the mindset going into this game) "We have the same mindset going into every game – try to win the game. This game was a lot better for us. We were a lot more focused, we knew what we were getting into because we scrimmaged against them two days in a row. So, we kind of knew their tendencies and everything so we were just preparing for them as much as we could."
(on what he learned from this game) "We learned a lot. Just mental mistakes like where to line up at. You learn how to get after certain guys. Speed. They play a little different from Arizona, so you just have to prepare for each team and just get better and better."
(on D.J. Swearinger getting unsportsmanlike conduct) "That's him. He emotional. He loves the game. He's just showing his emotions out there. I don't think he knew it was a penalty, it was just him being D.J. I don't think anybody said nothing to him. He was just like, 'Come on, man. What happened?' But that's D.J. being D.J."
(on what coach told them this week and after game) "Come to play, come practice hard, we're going to get better this week and everybody came in. We didn't let that last game get to us, we just came in here and worked this week and we felt like we were better guys off practice this week. We're just going to keep getting better and better. We have to go to Denver, get better against those guys, just work and keep working."
TIGHT END ANTHONY DENHAM(Transcribed by Zach Mayer)
(on if his quickness off the line is what intrigues coaches about him) "Yeah. I'm a deep threat as a tight end. I'm very versatile with running routes. Being a former receiver in college and high school running routes is very easy for me. It's a mismatch in a way going against linebackers or little DBs. It's very fun being in the slot running routes and the coaches enjoy putting me there but they know I can fill any other position in that situation."
(on what it means to block a punt on special teams) "It means a lot to me. It means that the coaches' faith that they put in me showed off and paid off and me making that play puts different perspective on the coaches and when they go and look at the players and decide who they release and whatnot, them seeing me making big plays on special teams would play a big part in me staying."
(on blocking a defender that lead to a touchdown after blocking a punt) "Yeah. I was actually trying to scoop it up but he beat me to it. (Jonathan) Grimes beat me to it so I tried to be a team player and I made a key block for him."
TIGHT END C.J. FIEDOROWICZ(Transcribed by Omar Majzoub)
(on bouncing back from last week's loss) "It was a good way to bounce back. Obviously, last week was not something that anybody wants to be a part of. I think our time of possession was like 10 minutes. We had that in the first two drives tonight. It just felt good to take control of the ball and be a well-balanced offense. When you can bounce back from a game like last week and show up like we did tonight it is really going to give us confidence going forward."
(on the rookie draft class playing well) "Whether it's (Jadeveon) Clowney or Andre Hal getting a pick-six, I feel like all the rookies did a great job. Max Bullough, an undrafted guy, did a great job. We take pride in it. We come out here and grind all day in this heat. When it pays off, it feels good."
QUARTERBACK RYAN FITZPATRICK(Transcribed by Seth Medvin)
(on his scrambles in tonight's game) "The running skills, something I don't like to rely on, but they do just come out every now and again."
(on his ability to throw on the run, in specific the second quarter touchdown pass to DeVier Posey) "Yeah, I mean, it's good to get in those game like situations where you're out there. In practice it happens, there is a quick whistle a lot of the times, so the different, out of the pocket, broken play type stuff; it's good to get some blows in real game action. So it is good to have it today."
(on if he knew he was going to go in for the two-minute drill at the end of the first half) "I mean, he mentioned it to me on the sideline after I had come out. Yeah, but you know, it's just we've done so much here with situations and I thought it was great practice for me to go back in and get a two-minute drive. I was excited to go out there and compete with the guys."
(on having the same emotions after last week's loss to Arizona and it showing you can't overreact in the preseason) "Yeah, I mean I'm monotone sometimes too. Yeah, I mean, the preseason is just a process, you know. Last week we're disappointed obviously, with the way we played. But we came back, we had a great week of practice and I think it showed up not just with the first team or second team, but really with everybody that went out there today in all phases it showed up. We're looking to again move on from this one, learn some stuff and then another great week in Denver."
(on how important was it for him to have a nice bounce back game) "I was disappointed in myself last week. I think the team too, laying a goose egg and all that. We had a bad taste in our mouth, and so getting out there and getting a decent effort today, certainly a better feeling in the locker room."
(on if the offense was the same but the execution just better compared to last week) "Yeah, I mean, again, we're not really game planning a ton. We're not really opening it up a ton. But I think it was just better execution today."
(on what the team did differently in terms of their approach this week) "Well I think having Atlanta in for a few practices really sharpened our focus, had us, we had two really intense, competitive practices. And I think that was a really good thing for us, and hopefully will be a great thing."
(on if it was a good thing for him to against a different team sooner rather than later) "Yeah, I think when you have a poor performance out there, the best medicine for it or the best way to get over it is to get back on the field. And so it was, it's nice to have Atlanta come to town and get out there and practice against a different team in competitive situations."
(on the play of the running backs, especially Jonathan Grimes) "Jonathan did a good job tonight. He's been a guy that has been very consistent throughout the offseason. Had a little injury where he was out a little bit, but very consistently got his head in his playbook and knows what is going on out there, and so you love that as a quarterback. And he had some really nice runs today."
(on if he heard any of the criticism this week) "I think during the season I think you hear it more and maybe you pay attention to it more. The preseason, we're really just so busy in here with all of the stuff and you know, here from whatever it is, the hours that we are. It's hard to hear it during the preseason, but you know, the big thing for me is the opinion of the guys in this locker room and the confidence of the guys in the locker room. And so this was a step in the right direction for us."
(on linking of with DeAndre Hopkins tonight) "Yeah, and he will be a guy that we're going to try to get the ball to this year. He's a really good player. Like we said, it's the preseason. You're not really scheming all the different things right now. He's certainly a guy we'll want to get it to."
(on connecting on some pass with C.J. Fiedorowicz and his progression as a pass-catcher) "He's been getting better every day. I think he's a guy that has improved every day. You know, reliable target, but we really, you know, we've had a good time having a good time kind of watching him develop so far. He's doing a good job. But obviously, as a rookie, hasn't been in there in the real stuff, so he's got a long way to go. But he'll work at it, which we like."
(on how smooth the play calling coming in from the coaches is going) "Yeah. That is what, you know, the whole preseason is a great dress rehearsal for that to. Just the communication and maybe the things I want to hear or don't want to hear. So you work out all those different kinks. Even starting with the pregame routine and just working on all those different kinks. It's getting better as the games go."
RUNNING BACK JONATHAN GRIMES(Transcribed by John Byczek)
(on when he saw the punt get blocked) "Yeah, because my job on that is to actually see the ball kicked. I'm looking and then I heard it. I heard that noise and I turned around and their guys were looking up for the ball, couldn't find it, I saw it hit somebody's leg."
(on his job on punt return team) "Make sure the ball is kicked. Make sure it's not a fake."
(on a good night by the special teams) "Yeah, the special teams looked good. I think we improved a lot from last week. We harped on it. We made the changes. I'm sure it wasn't perfect, we still got stuff to learn, but we definitely got better."
(on evaluating his performance running the ball) "I did OK. I might have missed some holes in the beginning. I definitely want to see the film and see what happened. I always try to run as hard as I can but I think I could probably do better on some reads."
(on getting a niche with the special teams) "Oh, right, definitely. Any way I can help the team, I'll take it. I just want to contribute positively in all aspects of the game if I can."
(on improving through the week) "I think we definitely got better this week. We definitely wanted to make improvements from last week because it just wasn't quite there, we didn't get our rhythm. We got the ball rolling, we moved the chains and that was good to see."
WIDE RECEIVER KESHAWN MARTIN(Transcribed by John Byczek)
(on having a better mental attitude after a win) "Well, I wouldn't say we weren't concerned. We just wanted to bounce back from a loss like that. Like I said, every week we just try to get better, we just going to build off this and just try to get better next week."
(on benefitting from practicing against Falcons) "Yeah, definitely. That was my first time every doing that but it definitely helps the team out, the intensity, the practices we have were good. Everything we did, it was pretty good."
(on getting first win in a while) "Yeah, it definitely feels good. Anytime we get it win that feels good."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER WHITNEY MERCILUS(Transcribed by John Byczek)
(on how important it was for him to have the game he did) "Very important. It just shows improvement and all that, especially when the coaches go and watch it they'll see that I'm improving day to day. Hopefully I'll just keep improving and I'll finish on those plays."
(on seeing Jadeveon Clowney make two big hits) "It's exciting. We just get so happy for everybody to just make plays on defense. It all just gets us hype and more motivated to go out there and make more plays."
(on feeling good to put a game like this together) "Yeah. It just shows improvement all across the board – special teams, defense, and offense also. It just shows that what we have here can be very, very special."
(on breaking the losing streak) "Yeah, yeah, finally breaking the streak. We just got to continue on improving each and every week and that's what we're motivated to do. Came out here and we definitely did it today."
S D.J. SWEARINGER(Transcribed by Zach Mayer)
(on how the feelings about tonight's game compares to last week) "Aw man. Now—whenever—we haven't won in fifteen weeks so this is great. Rolling feels great. I was joking but I was like, 'Man, I haven't won since Madden.' But it feels great and we wanted—since Madden. Since I played Madden, man. But it's all good and we're going to build on this. We're going to keep it up."
(on how long it's been since the Texans' last win) "Oh, it's a long time. Since September of last year, so we're going to keep building and keep getting better for sure. "
(on what made the biggest difference this week) "Just practice the way came and approached practice Monday. But Monday, to Tuesday, to every day. We approached it as a game day. Every day we approached it that way and it just paid off. We've got to keep doing it."
(on what it means to make big plays on defense and special teams) "It gives your team a huge momentum. It gets our crowd into it. It just gives the whole team a momentum boost and makes everybody want to make plays so it's great for us."
(on how they will carry this win over to the practices with the Denver Broncos) "Really just keep going. You see how it is. This week of practice helped us. We want to go down and play a team that just was in a Super Bowl. It's going to be a big challenge for us and we'll be ready for it."
(on if he got a taunting penalty) "I did get a taunting penalty. I don't understand why. I was just celebrating with my teammate but the rules are the rules and you've got to find out what it is and kill it."
(on if he knows what part of the rule he broke) "I don't know at all. I know I was celebrating with a teammate so I thought it was legal. But we'll find it and correct it."
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM ATLANTA FALCONS
HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH
WR DEVIN HESTER
CB WILLIAM MOORE
RB JACQUIZZ RODGERS
QB MATT RYAN
DE OSI UMENYIORA
WR RODDY WHITE
QB T.J. YATES
HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH(Transcribed by Rachel Jacob, Hannah Pietsch and Laci Theriot)
(opening remarks) "It was very obvious that we didn't play well in any phase of the game tonight. We had breakdowns in all three phases. We had way too many penalties, weren't able to convert on third down, weren't able to get off the field on third-and-long, had a punt blocked, returned field goal blocked – not anywhere close to the level that we need to play and perform at. We've got to get much better."
(on WR Julio Jones' return and T Sam Baker's situation) "Julio got an opportunity to get out on the field today with the rest of the offense, and that's always a good sign. We wanted to get him a prescribed number of plays. We got him very close to the number that we wanted. In terms of Sam Baker, I don't have an update. We'll have more information in the next 24 hours, and as soon as we do, we'll let you guys know."
(on some of the breakdowns that led to giving up explosive plays) "We didn't tackle well. We had some mental errors where the rotation was not in the right direction, and you're going to give up big plays. We had some third-and-longs that we didn't convert on. We had that one explosive run where we lost leverage on the backside. Those are areas that we have to address. It was not the type of football that we know we are capable of playing or the type of football that we are going to play."
(on what he saw in the offense that was not working on third downs) "Again, we've got to be effective on third downs. We've got to try to get ourselves in the third and manageables. We didn't do that as well as we needed to, and we didn't convert. I thought early on that the pass protection was sufficient. I think later on it broke down. We had way too many penalties there, especially in the second half. We were called for offensive holding a number of times to call back positive plays, and those are areas that we've got to address."
(on having more pressure on defensive front and outside last week) "I think yes, there was more probably pass rush in this game than last week. The big thing for us, we've got to address things that we didn't do well and there are many, so we have a lot of work that we need to get accomplished. Everyone knows that the third preseason game is the game when you go through dry run in preparation for the regular season. My hat is off to the Houston Texans, they came out and played a good solid football game. We did not match it."
(on OL Sean Renfree's game performance) "I thought Sean did some nice things when he had his opportunity to get in there. Again, some of the plays later on in the game may look like one thing happened on the field and could be something completely different. I don't want to talk specifically about plays, but we all have to be seeing the defensive the same way and know what we are running when come out of the huddle."
(on positive with RB Devonta Freeman and DE Ra'Shede Hageman) "There will always be positive guys individually, there will be some guys that did some good things. We had a touchdown called back on what I thought was a very nice run, a good cut by Devonta. Again, standing on the sideline, I was just trying to observe as much as I could and take it all in. I thought, from what I saw, Ra'Shede did some good things. There are always going to be positives, it is never as bad as you thought, but never as good, but right now, it is not the type of football that we want to put out there. I think every man in that locker room would tell you that."
(on moving Jake Matthews to left tackle) "Again, I don't want to speculate in terms of what we would do. We would have a number of options. Again, our number one goal would be to put the five best offensive linemen out there. We obviously know that he is one of the five best because he is a starter. Is he our best left tackle, our best option? That is something that we will have to determine if we have to address that."
(on how T Jake Matthews played) "I think that Jake did some good things. He got matched up and had some tough battles, but I think that he did a nice job. He is going to be a good player in this league."
(on the trouble the Falcons had with special teams) "We usually don't have those types of issues. That is something that in the preseason, you're using a lot of different guys in different positions, basically trying to evaluate how those guys are going to be able to handle the different positions. When you get ready for the season it's completely different in terms of the way you game plan. Right now, we're giving lots of guys opportunities to participate on special teams and see what roles they can't handle. We had some issues tonight on special teams that we will definitely address, but again there is no game planning we are just trying to get an evaluation process on all these guys."
(on penalties and defensive holding being a problem during this game versus last week) "It was called more times tonight. Obviously we were flagged more. I thought our guys did a good job in the first game. We're still going through a process of how this is going to be called. This is a point of emphasis that the league has mandated and we're going to be going through, all of us, coaches and players, in terms of how it is going to be officiated through the preseason, but we can't have holding penalties on third down and long. You just can't do it. It gives people a new set of downs."
WIDE RECEIVER DEVIN HESTER(Transcribed by Edgar Veliz)
(on what positives, if any, he took from the game) "There are really no positives; we just didn't come to play today. We just didn't play today. We didn't play Atlanta football today, It's tough. It is all on our part and we have to find a way to narrow the mistakes and the penalties. We have two more preseason games to try to get this stuff fixed."
(on his role with the team) "It is kind of similar to what we saw today. It's the return game and here or there in the offense."
(on his goals moving forward) "Just be a solid return man and get the offense great field position and some points on the board. When it comes to offense, give a spark here and there and help the offense where I can."
CORNERBACK WILLIAM MOORE(Transcribed by Edgar Veliz)
(on the amount of penalties) "Hopefully during the season you won't have over 200-something yards worth of penalties. We have to expect that in the preseason. The referees are trying to prove a point. There are some things that they see that hopefully during the season they let go."
(on regrouping and focusing on the next game) "That is number one through all of this. You have to remember that right here of course we didn't match the intensity and those guys came out fired up ready to play. I feel like we didn't come out from the first quarter. You have to keep in mind that we didn't game plan for these guys. Next week we will have the opportunity to game plan and that is very important in the NFL."
(on the competition at the safety position) "Both of those guys (Dwight Lowery and Kemal Ishmael), I really don't know the competition, I don't really know the depth chart. That is for the coach to decide. From my standpoint you have to include (Dezmen) Southward also. All of those guys stepped up and played. I really don't know Dwight's status as far as his injuries, concussions, etc. I don't know. But Kamal has been stepping in. He came into OTAs and I told him this is not down time. He came in and it's like a whole other Kamal. It looks like he's been in the NFL for four or five years. He is showing so much experience right now. The interception today was a prime example. That was a tough interception, to catch through a tight end's hand. Kamal showed tremendous stride to show where he is at."
(on his progress this preseason) "Of course there is room for improvement. I feel like I haven't lost a step as far as being physical. I feel like I still continue to grow as a player. There are a few things here and there that I have to critique if I want to be an elite player."
(on his personal goals) "I want to be one of those safeties who can be important in the run game and still come down with five or more interceptions. I've been knocking those goals out since I stepped foot in the NFL and I want to raise the bar."
(on what the team needs to do to improve) "As a team we have to finish and come out the first quarter. There's not much you can take from a preseason game because you are trying to find which guys will make the roster. At the same time we have to come out from the beginning to the end throughout the whole season. No one is going to take it light on us."
RUNNING BACK JACQUIZZ RODGERS(Transcribed by Edgar Veliz)
(on what the team has to work on to improve) "We have a lot of work to do. We have an off day and then come back ready to work on Monday and fix the things we need to fix. We have to be ready for our third preseason game, which is a tune-up before the regular season."
(on any positives from this game) "We had some positives in the run game. We have to go watch film to figure it out. It is not the way we want to play football, it is not the way we want to go out. So, we have things to fix."
(on his role in the offense) "Right now everyone is just trying to define their role and work throughout preseason. So when that time comes everyone has their role to find and go from there."
(on playing in his hometown) "It is always good for my family to see firsthand. Have them get a chance to experience watching me live. They probably haven't seen me play since high school (Lamar Consolidated)."
QUARTERBACK MATT RYAN (Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on getting in a rhythm with his offense) "We had a couple of opportunities on third down and didn't' convert as many as we needed to, obviously, to keep those drives going. I thought we ran the ball pretty effectively, but had a few plays here and here that got us off schedule and when you do that against a good defense, it's tough to overcome those mistakes. We had opportunities to make plays, but we didn't make them. Those are things moving towards preseason game three that we can correct."
(on Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones being back on the field) "I thought Julio (Jones) looked good. It's good to have him back. Obviously, he's a dynamic player for our offense and somebody we feel like is a game changer. I thought he did a nice job out there tonight. Certainly, I think there will be improvement for all of us from week two to week three, but I think it was a good start. It's amazing how a play here or there changes how a game feels, how a preseason game feels when you're only getting a couple of drives. We had an opportunity on the first third down situation. We took a chance down the field. I've got to give him a better chance to keep his feet inbounds, but that's one of those things that moving forward we need to make those plays and I think we will."
(on being disappointed about not having longer drives) "Obviously, every week you want to start fast and we did a good job of that last week and didn't do a good job of that this week. One of the areas we were effective last week was third down in that first unit and tonight we weren't very effective on third down."
(on what the failed drives had in common) "I think it was the third downs. We had chances, we had opportunities and we had some third and manageables that we feel are- those third and five, third and six- those are third downs that we feel we should execute at a high percentage, and we didn't do that tonight."
(on Houston Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "He's a very good player. We knew that in the practices we had this week. He lives up to it. He's a big, athletic guy; very quick and had two plays that threw us off. The sack and the tackle for a loss in the running game, so I'm very impressed."
DEFENSIVE END OSI UMENYIORA(Transcribed by ReShun Gilmore)
(on what went wrong on the defensive side of the ball) "We are going to go watch the tape and see what happened. Obviously, we don't like the results of today's game and we're going to see what exactly happened when we watch the film."
(on if the team gave effort) "I think we're trying, but judging off today's performance I think we're going to have to get better in every area."
WIDE RECEIVER RODDY WHITE (Transcribed by ReShun Gilmore)
(on DJ Swearinger hit) "He can talk all day, but you have to be able to play. All that rah-rah at the end of the day means nothing. You have to go out there and make plays. So my thing is he's still young. I hope he does well in this league but once he starts playing and making plays he will be a good player."
(on what to judge from preseason games) "Nothing. You get nothing out of exhibition games except for a lot of peoples conditioning, what shape they are in, and if they are able to go 60 plays or not. You learn how far your young guys have to go, grasping concepts and things you want them to do, but other than that the veterans go out and play. Everybody just tries to get through this thing and try to stay healthy as possible and make it to game one. Like today, our left tackle got hurt and we don't know if he is going to be ready for the season or not. It's stuff like that, that tells you a lot about these games. I know you can get hurt at practice but playing unmeaningful games and getting your left tackle hurt, I just don't know. I don't know what you judge from these preseason games. I'm not a fan about them, but we have to play them. So you have to go out and do what you have to do."
(on offensive cohesion) "We've been doing good at practice, making strides. You never want to be peaking at this point. You always want to be peaking at week one. We have a ways to go. We missed some things out there on the field, we made some bad reads from the wide receiver position and the quarterback position, so we have to fix those things. You never want to go out there and score 35 points and think you've made it, so you always want room for improvement. So tonight was a good thing for us. We didn't do too well. We had three and outs and things like that and it's good so we can learn from that."
QUARTERBACK T.J. YATES (Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on his performance overall) "It was bad. Not a lot of stuff went right. There was miscommunication out there on the field. Bad passes. Just about everything went wrong."
(on if playing against his former team affected him) "Not really, it was just poor execution on my part and the whole offense's part when I was in the game."
(on what he wishes he could have done better) "Put guys in better spots, run the ball more efficiently, not throwing it to the other team would help. Stuff like that."