Following the Texans' win over the Vikings in the preseason finale Thursday night, coaches and players from both teams answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAKQB JOHN BECKDE JARED CRICKRB JUSTIN FORSETTT ANDREW GARDNERWR TRINDON HOLLIDDAYQB CASE KEENUMOLB WHITNEY MERCILUSWR DeVIER POSEYDE ANTONIO SMITH
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK (Transcribed by Kara Cook)
(on what happened with T Rashad Butler) "Well, he tore his other tricep. He's finished; he's out for the year. Unfortunate, tough, tough deal."
(on if T Andrew Gardner is good enough to take his place) "Well, he's played; he's done some good stuff. Had a good camp for us. He's played some football in this league and obviously he moves up the ladder right there. It's a blow because (T Rashad) Butler had been in that battle with (T Derek) Newton and that guy just seems like it's one thing after another. Just got to find a way to work through it."
(on if it was T Rashad Butler's other tricep from last year) "That's what they told me. They said he tore the other tricep; that's the way it was described to me."
(on any other injuries) "We've got some nicks, but other than that we're okay. We got a few guys banged up, but I think we're okay."
(on what he thought of QB John Beck's first half) "I was very impressed. I've been impressed with how he's played in the preseason. He played well against Carolina. He went out there tonight and played well. Could have had two touchdown passes, the other play with (WR) Lestar (Jean); we've got to make that play. And the play he made on the touchdown to (WR DeVier) Posey, just a great play by him off of a blitz. I've been impressed. He's a guy who went in to tonight battling for a job and he knew that. He stepped to the plate and did a hell of a job."
(on WR Trindon Holliday's performance) "Keeps doing it. That's a loaded question."
(on QB Case Keenum's performance) "You know, I thought we didn't protect him maybe as well as we protected (QB) John (Beck). He got sacked a couple times. His first play out to start the half, I thought he made a great play, just missed a throw. But he continues to show us some good stuff. He's just a young player making a conversion from the gun to under center, but he makes good decisions, he's got a good arm, and I think he's got a future in this league. But we got to look at our big picture and see where we're at. And I've been pleased; I think he's come a long way. He's making it very hard on me, and that's a good thing."
(on if WR Trindon Holliday has made the team) "You're asking me to say that now? Nobody has it made, we're not finished yet. He's made a heck of a case for himself."
(on if he's ever been around a returner like Trindon Holliday that's made three touchdowns in four games) "No, I don't think I have. I'll tell you this, the thing about him is for a little guy, he's violent downhill. When he runs the ball, he's fearless. It's been so impressive. I told him in front of the team last night it was a big night for him. He had to continue to do it; he had to protect the ball. Then he steps up there and does it again. There were some guys that were challenged last night in the meeting if they wanted to be on this team and some guys rose to the occasion."
(on WR DeVier Posey's first catch) "Yeah, first off, that was a great play by the quarterback. We got a blitz that we can't account for and (QB) John (Beck) got him the ball to him really quick. He's a big-body guy and he knocked off the safety and the corner at the same time, and it showed his speed. Had a chance to make a nice play there at the end. He's got to put the ball away so we got a couple young receivers that got to protect the ball, but we're going to be built different there. We got a chance to be excellent; we're not there yet by any means at wide receiver. We're going to be young, and we got to trust those guys to move forward step up and be big for us."
(on if anything didn't happen in the game that he wanted to see happen) "Well, I'll tell you what, first off, (RB Justin) Forsett, I don't know if I'm answering the question right, I was very impressed with him and how he played. He's had a great camp for us. Defensively, (DE Jared) Crick showed up to me a few times, just watching the defensive front. I thought (ILB Tim) Dobbins continued to have a good camp. There were a lot of plays for a fourth preseason game. Boy, there are a lot of snaps, we were out there for a while. There's plenty to evaluate from that standpoint."
(on if he's happy the team's 3-1 in the preseason) "Well, I feel good about it. The biggest reason, I just told the guys what you saw at the end of the game, that was a lot like our training camp. That was our young guys out there playing but it was important to them. Our camp was very competitive, very challenging, probably as good as I've been around. I told those young guys I've got some tough work to do in the morning. But this team's ready to start the season because of their efforts throughout the course of the last six weeks, so I was very proud of them."
(on what he looks for in a swing tackle) "Well, first off they got to be pretty sharp. When you got to take a game plan and build a play right or left on any notice, that's very difficult. You are looking for guys with experience, you're not going to get a whole lot of practice time from that standpoint but you got to be able to go in there and perform if you're called upon. It's tough duty, and those guys aren't out there just walking around on the curb; they're tough to find."
(on how bad he feels for T Rashad Butler) "It's tough. He comes back from the other injury, he battles, does a heck of a job. We obviously had a ton of confidence in him, giving him a chance to be our starter. That was very, very close, we go with (T Derek) Newton, he handled himself like a big-time pro with me and the team all week. He looked like to me was playing well, and then that happens. You're hurt for guys in this business that work their tail off, they get years taken away from them like that because they're hard to come by."
(on if any of the competing corners made a name for themselves) "Well, we'll get to see because they threw it a bunch. I don't have it in front of me, but boy, it seemed like they threw it every down there for a while. I saw (CB Brandon) Harris make some plays, I thought I saw (CB) Roc (Carmichael) make a few plays, (SS) Eddie Pleasant made a great play on the backend with the interception. So, we knew we had some very difficult cuts at corner and safety coming, regardless of what would have happened tonight. That's going to be a very difficult task for me in the morning."
(on what SS Eddie Pleasant's done to impress him) "Special teams, he's explosive, he's a physical player. He's a guy who can play in the middle field and play down in the box. It's hard to find those types of guys. He's done a lot of good things; he's made a big push to be on this team."
(on what will be the toughest cuts) "Hell, they're all going to be tough. I think the two places I just talked about are very, very difficult going forward, how we settle down right there. We got some other issues going on with the team. Obviously, with the tackle position right now that we did not have going into the game. You always think you got a pretty good grasp of what's fixing to happen, then it changes pretty quickly, so we'll have to start again tomorrow morning in a few areas."
QUARTERBACK JOHN BECK (Transcribed by Jesus Acevedo)
(on how he approached the game) "I didn't even think about that stuff and it's hard not to because obviously you want to know what's going on but there's no way to know. I just tried to focus on the football side of it and just go out there and play the best game I can and whatever happens, happens."
(on the game) "I was happy we were able to score points. Before the game I told my quarterback coach (Karl Dorrell), 'Hey I just want to go down and score some points tonight.' That's the main thing in football, score, and it was good to start the first drive of the game scoring points. We went down there another time and got stuffed on fourth down but then went again with (WR) DeVier (Posey) one big play that was awesome for us. It felt good to get some drives going and put points on the board."
DEFENSIVE END JARED CRICK (Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on his night as a whole) "I thought I did some good things. I have a lot of things I have to work on. The goal for tonight was to go out there and have fun and play as hard as you can. There are a lot of us who aren't going to be here come tomorrow afternoon. We just went out there tonight with the attitude that it might be our last go-around and we have to make the most of it, and I think we did that."
(on what he showed the coaches tonight) "You'd have to ask (Head Coach Gary) Kubiak and Coach (Bill) Kollar. I just went out there and I just tried to play as hard as I could just to show I can bring effort and try and make plays for this team."
RUNNING BACK JUSTIN FORSETT(Transcribed by Bracken Flynn)
(on what his mind set was coming into the game) "It's been a while since I've played the whole game in the fourth preseason game, since my rookie year. It's a different situation. I just want to come out and show that I can still play and contribute to the offense and special teams."
(on how he has bounced back from his situation in Seattle) "I've just been showing my versatility. I'm 26 years old so I'm still in my prime, and I can still go. I still have a lot of energy and passion for the game. I just want to be used."
(on his role as the team's third running back) "It's the versatility. We have great backs here and I'm excited to see what we can do. Hopefully we can put something together where we can all get in and shock the league. My thing is to find my role. That may be special teams or helping out on offense from time to time. That's what I'm here for."
(on if he was able to solidify his roster spot) "I hope so. This league is very tricky. I've seen a lot of things in my five years. Anything can happen."
TACKLE ANDREW GARDNER(Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on Rashad Butler going down and possibly being the swing man on the offensive line) "I mean, I think that's how everybody has to prepare; you have to be ready. You have to be ready to play whenever they need you. That's the way I prepared myself last year even though I wasn't the swing guy and that's the way I prepared all preseason. If that's what they need me to do, then I'm ready to go."
(on the difficulty of playing on both sides of the line) "You know I guess you don't just get to focus on your technique on one side of the line. It's all basically the same, but some plays are only run to the right or only run to the left – so you have to know both. Come game time, you have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. You just have to be ready to go."
(on which side of the line he is more comfortable at) "It really doesn't matter. At this point in my career I've played everything but center, and if they need that I'll try to do that too."
WIDE RECEIVER TRINDON HOLLIDAY (Transcribed by Greg Dillard)
(on his plan this preseason) "The plan was just to come out and just make plays and show the team that I can be a special guy."
(on if he feels like he cemented the returner position tonight) "I wouldn't say I cemented it. I'm just going to wait it out and see what happens."
(on if he could have done more this preseason) "I mean I could probably have played a little more receiver, but I just tried to come out on special teams and try to make big plays."
(on what has been the big secret for him this preseason) "It hasn't been a secret you know. It's just being smart about everything and just coming out and working hard."
(on if he can translate his preseason performances to the regular season) "I think I can consistently do it. The guys did a good job of blocking for me and I just found a seam and just hit it."
(on what it meant to him to be rested in the fourth quarter) "It meant something that I showed the coaches that I can do a little something so they gave me a little break. I still wanted to go out there, but (Special Teams Coordinator) Joe (Marciano) told me that was good enough."
QUARTERBACK CASE KEENUM (Transcribed by Jesus Acevedo)
(on the game) "I think we got a good rhythm, moved the ball a little bit and scored some points. Obviously we didn't convert on a lot of third downs but overall it was okay."
(on getting sacked) "I take full responsibility and looking at the pictures I should have probably gone to the other side…they rolled coverage and did a good job disguising it, but I take responsibility for that sack."
(on how he feels physically) "I took a couple of shots tonight. I know I'll be really sore tomorrow so we'll see how I feel but I still got a lot of adrenaline going right now so we'll see."
(on training camp) "It's hard to look back at that stuff. I don't think my job is done. I have a long way to go and get better in this league. I know I can go and be very successful in this league and my goal is to just make a team and contribute and win ball games. That's what I want to do."
LINEBACKER WHITNEY MERCILUS (Transcribed by T.D. Durham)
(on getting into the flow of the game, getting his first start and hitting the left tackle to the ground on one play) "As soon as you get a chance to get that start, it's like getting the jitters out on the first series and after that you get the flow and the tendencies and get used to what the offense is running. I came up there, got a sack and as you said, got under the tackle and kept on coming after them. It was like two minutes left and I just took off and tried to get a sack but the quarterback released it unfortunately."
(on the things he needs to work on before Week 1 against the Dolphins) "I have to improve on pass rush and the technique my coach wants me to use. Other things to improve on are especially in the run game. On toss cracks, flip one, the motions of the receivers, I have to see that guy on the outside."
(on his training camp as a whole) "It wasn't too bad actually. I showed the coached I can play, playing with the ones. With the pass rush, one-on-one situations and things like that. There are a whole bunch of things I need to improve on, coming into the league as a rookie. All these guys have experience and this is me building up my experience, just being repetitive in what I do."
WIDE RECEIVER DEVIER POSEY (Transcribed by Bracken Flynn)
(on his play tonight) "You only have so many opportunities, and when time is running out you have got to make the most of them."
(on his thoughts about his touchdown play) "It was a Z-drift – just get in the hole. (QB John) Beck put it right on the money. I knew a guy was right on my inside trying to get me. I tried to bounce off and open up the stride and see how far I get."
(on his first catch being a touchdown) "It felt good man. It was good to get a little confidence going and show the vets that I can make plays. That was the biggest thing for me. Being drafted in the third round, it was good to show that I can help this team. I want to be a part of this team and contribute. I work hard every day and I just want to be a Texan."
(on if he now has more confidence going into the regular season) "It takes some of the weight off my shoulders. You always have confidence in your game. Everybody who comes in and throws his bag in his locker has confidence in his game. That's why we work hard at it. I want to show that I can help. I want to help these vets out. I just want to be a part of this. This is a great group of guys. I love coming into work every day. I have a locker next to (WR) Andre Johnson – just working hard so I can help those guys out."
(on transitioning practice play to in-game play) "I think I am starting to get more professional at this game. To see (WR) Andre (Johnson) every day and (WR) Kevin Walter, the biggest thing is consistency. Being able to do it on the practice field every single rep and bring it to the game. That is what the coaches are looking for. I think that is key to being a great player in the NFL. I'm a rookie, but I think I'm starting to understand that it is consistency and translating that to the game."
(on fumbling) "I mean you don't want to be 50/50. You don't want to make a good play and then a bad play. (Head Coach Gary) Kubiak got on me, and he gave me a handshake when I made a big play. He scolded me on the last play (fumble). I just want to make sure that I have that consistency. I need to work on that."
DEFENSIVE END ANTONIO SMITH (Transcribed by Jesus Acevedo)
(on players being cut) "It's never easy. You build relationships, friendships with people, and you hope the best for them and you hope they're with you. Once you get comfortable with them, you hope they stay, but the nature of the game is you can't keep but 53, so it's always a sad time of the year."
(on looking forward to week one) "I'm ready. Finally got a couple of days rest, because you know ninjas need rest every now and then. We're going to be ready to go come next game against Miami."
(on season opener) "It's always fun to play your first home game. It's electrifying and your fans are into it. It's a good way to kick off the season off and it's just a plus that we have a rookie quarterback. He's going to be looking to come in here and show himself for his first time out in the NFL, and we're going to be looking to attack him. It's the nature of the game."
VIKINGS HEAD COACH LESLIE FRAZIERVIKINGS WR STEPHEN BURTONVIKINGS QB SAGE ROSENFELSVIKINGS RB JORDAN TODMAN
HEAD COACH LESLIE FRAZIER(Transcribed by Candace Ashford and Amanda Worthy)
(opening statement) "It was an exciting game for our fans who were able to watch it. A lot of good things happened with our football team. We did have a couple of guys get a little bit banged up. (WR) Jarius Wright sprained his ankle along with (LB) Marvin Mitchell. (T) DeMarcus Love did something with his shoulder. We'll have to check it out and find out the exact extent of his injury. We are fortunate in a lot of ways that there wasn't anything more serious. It was an up and down game by both teams, but there were a lot of things that happened in this game by our players that will definitely make it a challenge for us as we try to determine who are going to be our final fifty-three. We had a lot of guys competing tonight who really stepped up in a number of different positions. We've got a lot of things to discuss when myself, the coaching staff, (General Manager) Rick (Spielman) and the scouts get together tomorrow and determine who are going to be the guys who help us in 2012."
(on if RB Jordan Todman's performance helped him secure a spot) "Some of his teammates were talking about just that after that long run. They go, 'man Coach, that running back position just got a lot more competitive.' And they're right. I mean, to see Jordan step up the way he did, that was one of the things we were hoping to see. He'll definitely be a part of the discussion when we talk tomorrow."
(on what he learned from WR Jarius Wright's performance) "Well, when we drafted him we thought he was a guy who could make big plays. He exemplified that tonight. He made some big plays, had a lot of touches, and it was a lot of what we saw when Rick and the scouts presented him to us as a staff. He's a guy who has a lot of toughness, plays bigger than his size, and is pretty good with the ball after the catch. It was encouraging to see him do some of the things he did."
(on his thoughts of the receivers' performance) "To see (WR) Devin Aromashodu make that play before the half, that's what we've been asking for. That was great to see, him step up and make some of the plays that he made. And (WR) Jarius Wright, of course. (WR) Stephen Burton made some plays as well. We saw good things all across the board. Even some of our young tight ends made some plays. There were a lot of guys who made some plays when they got opportunities."
(on what WR Devin Aromashodu offers) "Well his length makes a difference. He's a guy who can really run. He's a long strider, so sometimes it's a little tougher getting in and out of breaks; but he's shown that he can make plays down the field. That's what we wanted to see tonight and throughout this preseason. It was good that it showed up tonight."
(on his level of concern on his backups) "Well we went into it with some concerns because of (G) Geoff Schwartz's situation along with (T) DeMarcus Love. So, our depth is a little bit iffy. That's one of the areas we are going to discuss tomorrow."
(on the degree of WR Jarius Wright and LB Marvin Mitchell's ankle sprains) "The word high-ankle never came from any of the medical staff, so that's good news. Of course, they've got to do their other examinations tomorrow."
(on what he thought of (S) Robert Blanton's performance) "He was a little rusty early on. There were a few things he wasn't quite on with. Overall, for the fact that he played the entire game, I thought he held up well. As the game went on he got better."
(on his discussion with referees about the personal foul) "Yeah, we talked about it for a long time. There were a few things we talked about for a long time. It was a good football game. Our guys, the Houston guys, there are a lot of guys fighting for jobs. That's the best thing about that fourth preseason game. To see our players step up the way they did, that's a good thing."
(on if he got an explanation on the personal foul penalty) "We talked about it for a long time. We did a few things we talked about for a long time. It was a good football game, and our guys, the Houston guys, a lot of guys fighting for jobs and that's the best thing about that preseason game. You have so many guys fighting for jobs and to see our players step up the way they did that's a good thing."
(on if it he is concerned about the replacement officials extended discussions) "No. Myself, the players, we ain't going nowhere. We are going to be there, no matter how long the game takes, we're going to be there."
(on if he has any idea of what he wants to do with the final roster) "We've got to sit down as a group tomorrow and just go through every player and just see how they fit into what we're trying to get done in 2012. So, no decisions will be made tonight. We want to go back and look at the tape, and have some discussions across the board and make some decisions."
(on what he does with his backup linebackers if LB Marvin Mitchell cannot play week one) "Well, we have to take a look at how we use Audie Cole - he did a good job of stepping in. Larry (Dean) is another potential candidate. So is Tyrone MacKenzie. So, we'll see what the extent of Marvin's injury is and if it means he may end up missing the first game, we'll end up making a decision from there."
(on when he will decide if RB Adrian Peterson will play) "I don't think we'll – I think he'll probably be a game time decision. We've got a lot of things we want to get done with him this week, and I doubt that we would know without getting him through an entire week if we thought he was ready to play in a football game. We need to take him through some more things this week."
(if there were any standouts in the linebacker competition) "I thought (LB) Audie (Cole) did a good job. A lot of times when you have breakdowns in the run game it's not always the second level, it's sometimes what's happening up front. We did have situations where up front we didn't always handle things the way we needed to. I thought Audie did a good job. I thought (LB) Larry (Dean) made some good plays at times as well, and even (LB) Corey Paredes came in and made some plays. I couldn't really tell how much (LB) Tyrone (MacKenzie) was involved. He was very active, but a lot of the problems we had in the run game tonight wasn't so much what was happening at the second level, but what was happening at a certain position up front."
(on if he feels good about TE John Carlson and G Geoff Schwartz for the opener) "Well, we've had limited exposure with Schwartz. He just made it back at the end of this past week, so we need to see more of him. Feel a little bit better about John (Carlson). He got in some good work with the offense these last few days so he's a little bit farther ahead of where Geoff is, so we feel a little bit more comfortable with him. Between the both of them, probably John is a little farther ahead."
(on where S Mistral Raymond is in his recovery) "From everything I've been told, he should be good to go when we come back and get started next week."
(on if he has confidence in his second and third teams playing well offensively) "Well, you look at some of those guys from an individual basis. When you look at our first team offense you have to look at their body work as a group, and there are some guys that we looked at tonight from a depth standpoint that have created what we think will give us some quality depth and some good competition at positions. But, you're looking at the body of work of a unit. We're not going to be starting a lot of these guys next week in Jacksonville."
(on if T DeMarcus Love's injury is related to his prior pectoral injury, and if it makes the injury a bigger concern) "It is. We'll learn more tomorrow that will determine the extent of the concern."
(on what his impressions were of T DeMarcus Love aside from the injury) "I thought he did a good job when he was in there. You know, I wish he had been able to finish, but he did a lot of positive things. He was on it when it comes to the mental part of the game, which we were concerned about with all the time he's missed. Physically, we knew he'd do a good job of handling people that were lined up over him, but he was engaged and he was on top of it. He had been prepared, even though he missed a lot of time, so that was encouraging."
WIDE RECEIVER STEPHEN BURTON (Transcribed by Matt May)
(on Head Coach Leslie Frazier's challenging players to make plays) "I think we all stepped up, everybody that had the opportunity to do that, so I think we looked good and showed the team that we can help out."
(on eagerness to make plays after missed opportunities this preseason) "I was eager but I didn't want to force anything. I knew that eventually things would work out and they did today."
QUARTERBACK SAGE ROSENFELS (Transcribed by Lance Jaramillo)
(on playing against Houston Texans) "This is my third game back here. I was here a couple of preseasons ago and I think (Brett) Favre had come back the first time and then I was here with the Giants two years ago. "I was 2-0 going in to the game and I was hoping to keep that going. It's a little bit weird going back but there's only about eight or nine guys on the team just from four years ago."
(on chang of Houston Texans roster since he's been there) "Their defense is completely different. (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) has done an absolutely fabulous job and whoever brings in the players because they have very good players. Their scheme is difficult for a quarterback and coordinator to call plays against. They cloud you one side and just make it real difficult to play out there. Obviously their d-line was motivated tonight because they hit the quarterbacks pretty good."
(on Texans' physicality) "We had our work cut out for us tonight. We have our own issues we have to work on but yeah that defense was sort of a weakness when I was here and it's become one of the strengths for that football team and I'm sure they'll be right in the hunt this year with going deep in the playoffs being on their mind."
(on Texans quarterbacks John Beck and Case Keenum) "It looks like they were managing Coach (Gary) Kubiak's offense and that's the thing about (Kubiak's) offense, you don't have to go out there and do anything spectacular. You don't have to go out there and change all types of protections. He gets that all figured out for you and you just have to go out there and execute. Those guys did a pretty good job tonight and they put up a lot of points on us. All you have to do is execute. If you do that, you'll be just fine."
(on if a team can be soft if it runs the ball the way the Texans did last year) "I don't think so. I don't think we can run the football the way we did, protect the way we did, play the way we did and be considered that."
RUNNING BACK JORDAN TODMAN(Transcribed by Matt May)
(on backups getting playing time and boosting confidence) "It's definitely good for the confidence and the team. Granted there are 11 guys on the field at once but the backups have to be just as good as the starters and be able to compete if anybody happens to go down. I felt like the backups went out and played to the best of our ability."
(on being back to full speed and rehabbing ankle through training camp) "I didn't feel the ankle at all, it felt smooth and I was just out there running. It was frustrating; I was focused on rehab and pushing through it. The medical staff did a great job with treatment and getting me healthy as soon as they could. My ankle kept getting better and better through the preseason and today I didn't even feel it.