Quotes: Texans defeat Titans

HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN

(on slow start)

We practiced well during the week. We had some tough practices, especially Thursday, guys really did a good job of coming back to work this week. Yeah, in certain phases we started slowly, you're probably right about that offensively, but I thought defensively we played a good football game all the way through until that last drive. That last drive wasn't very good, but other than that, played a heck of a football game on defense. I think offensively we were opportunistic with the field position that we were given. We need more touchdowns in the red zone. We can't come away with field goals all of the time there. I thought for the most part we got great kicking from Randy (Bullock) and Shane (Lechler) and that helped the field position, too.  I think it was a great team win, give Tennessee credit, they played tough. It was a real good team win for us.

(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney's play)

Yeah, I thought (Jadeveon) Clowney went in there and had a number of plays. I think there's probably some plays he wishes he had back, but overall, I thought he gave good effort. I saw him

chasing some things down there at the end of the game, it looks like he was moving well. We'll have to watch the tape to see exactly how he did, but I was pleased to see him out there. 

(on RB Arian Foster)

He's a heck of a running back. He makes a lot of yards because of his vision, he sets up blocks well, he has great instincts, he's good in the passing game, it's all of the things I've said from day one with him. He's tough, he's a big back. He's hard to tackle, so he had a whale of a football game. 

(on RB Arian Foster's field vision)

Yeah, that touchdown run he had there, going towards our locker room, he made a great cut on that and then he was able to make one extra cut and really get the ball north and south. He has a really good ability to get the ball north and south after his first cut. I always tell Charles London that's great coaching.

(on how much credit goes to the offensive line)

I give a lot of credit to those guys. They practiced well this week. They knew that they needed to play well to establish a new line of scrimmage today, protect well. I thought for the most part, they protected pretty decently. We gave up some pressures there, couple of sacks there that we had worked on, and we have to do a better job there. Overall, I thought the offensive line played a good football game.

(on sacks given up against QB Ryan Fitzpatrick)

It's too much. Yeah, maybe, I mean probably there's a couple there that he needs to throw the ball away. Certainly at the end of the half there where he took it when we kicked the field goal, you know, he needs to throw that one away. It's a combination of quarterback, line, running back, tight end, you know tight end gave up a couple of pressures today, so we really have to work hard at that because looking ahead now to Philly, they have a great defensive front that puts a lot of pressure on our quarterback. So we've got to do a better job there.

(on satisfaction of Jadeveon Clowney's performance)

Yeah, I did. I saw him do a good job out there doing his assignments.

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's 98-yard drive)

Yeah, I thought he played pretty consistent today and that was good to see. I thought that drive was a great drive for our offense. We were pinned back there on the punt there that rolled and we drove it 98 yards, had some key third down conversions, where he made some good throws, had some good chunk plays in that drive, some stop and go routes to DeAndre Hopkins, just did an overall really good job of running the ball there. He directed the offense well, we got in a good tempo there, that's how we need to play. That was a good example of how we need to play the game.

(on Arian Foster's injury and four-game run with 100-plus yards)

He's an important part of the offense. I think he has a pretty good idea of what he can and can't do during a week. We talk a lot, he and I, about how much he can practice. Usually with guys like him and Andre (Johnson), those guys, we give them maybe Wednesday, a little bit lighter load on Wednesday's and then Thursday they ramp it up and then Friday kind of taper down, especially during this time of the year, and he's done that. I think that's helped him. That kind of work week has really helped him. Hopefully, we'll continue to be able to do that with him.

(on DE J.J. Watt's performance)

Yeah, J.J., he affects the game on every play. It's hard to…you have to go back and watch the film, so maybe in the offseason we can all get together and sit down and watch some tape and I'll show you. No, I think J.J. does a great job of affecting the game on every play. It's not always sacks, it's not always…it's just his presence and the way that he plays the game and the running game and the passing game, he affects it on every play.

(on Akeem Dent and Mike Mohamed on special teams)

Yeah, I thought those guys…you know, that's the type of league it is, you have injuries happen and so the next guy has to be able to step up and play. I think Mike Mohamed, Akeem Dent, those are good examples of guys that came in there and did a good job for us today. 

(on who determines when Jadeveon Clowney plays)

Which coach determines that? We talk about that before, all week, and then we finalize it the night before the game, how we're going to use him. It's by package. So, we keep a play count on him and basically I'm in charge of that.

(on Jadeveon Clowney's conditioning)

I think that it's hard to say he would be in tip-top football condition coming back off of, you know, having missed all of that time. So, I think he needs work in that area to be able to get back in condition. I think, you know, just judging by the nature of the game and what he had to do, he looks like he was able to cut and do those things, but I think football conditioning is something he probably has to really work on, only because he's missed so much time.

(on whether Jadeveon Clowney was limited to rest)

I would say it had a little bit to do with that, but I would say probably, overall, it was more by package. You know, we have about four to five packages in the game and J.D. was a part of two of them and a lot of those involved situations during the game that maybe had to do with pass rush or two minute or third down or something like that. So, it had more to do with what type of package we were using and that's when J.D. would go in the game. 

(on decision not to play ILB Brian Cushing)

I think he woke up this morning, and we talked a lot during the week, and he really wanted  to be able to go today, but I think this morning, when we met there at breakfast, you know, it was a decision that look, I need to rest this thing and not go today and he and I are very much on the same page on that. He'll be in there tomorrow getting treatment and he'll work very hard to be there for Philly.

(on progress at this point)

No, I wish we were better, but we are what our record says we are. We're 4-4, but I think we lost…give credit to the teams that beat us. They beat us, no question about it. The close games were ones where we felt like if we had not turned the ball over as much or done a little bit better on third down or been able to make a play in critical situations, maybe we'd won those games, but, you know, we didn't. So, we're 4-4 and there's a lot of football left and that was a division win which is important, very, very important and it's really good to win. It's really good to win.

LB JADEVEON CLOWNEY

(on if he is sore everywhere or just in the knee)

Just in the knee right now. I was a little nervous about going out there on my knee so I built confidence later in the game but it's still sore a little bit. It will just keep getting better week by week.

(on if he played the amount he was expecting)

Coach said that they were going to limit my snaps because they don't want me to get as many snaps this week to just try to get the feel of just being back out on the field so they limited my snaps. It's OK with me. They said to just take my time with it and just go out there and do what I can do.

(on how he did today)

I feel like I could have done a lot more. Sometimes I get in a situation where something might go wrong with my injury but it's going to get better week by week as I build more confidence in my knee week by week and get better.

(on if he took any hits today)

Yeah, I got hit on my knee one time but that's part of the game. It's alright.

(on getting hit and coming back from it)

It was good. That was one of my things about getting cut out, I was like, 'what's going to happen if I get cut or someone just takes a shot.' I was thinking about all of that before the game but the guys were just like just come out here and play. I have never had a major injury like this so I am just going to try to come out and build confidence in it and just have fun.

(on how he felt out there)

It felt great just to be out there with my teammates. I wasn't really worried about what I was going to do, I was just out there having fun with my teammates and trying to get a team win.

LB BRIAN CUSHING

(on trying to play against the Eagles)

The goal is to play every game and obviously, this is a big game but it's also the next game. It's very important to myself and everyone around us to get back on the field and to get playing where I need to be to help this football team.

(on if he is happy to see Mike Mohamed and Akeem Dent step up and play well)

Yeah they did a great job. They did a tremendous job. They were all over the field. I think they did a great job on all downs and in all situations of run, pass, blitzing and all of that. They were everywhere today.

TEXANS QB RYAN FITZPATRICK

(on his initial thoughts about winning)

We needed it for sure. Coming into the game, especially offensively, we knew we needed to come out of it with no turnovers and not beat ourselves. We felt like we were going to have a chore, but we would be able to control the line of scrimmage and hopefully get Arian [Foster] going a little bit and convert on third down and the guys up front did a great job. Arian just made some spectacular runs, making guys miss and doing what he does. It's nice to be back on the winning side of things.

(on RB Arian Foster's performance)

He missed a game, he had the game where he came back and didn't get a lot of carries. I don't want to get into comparisons, I've played with some great backs and he's unbelievable. It's a fun thing to watch as a quarterback, to hand it off and be back there, seeing what he's seeing and the cuts that he makes. He's a very powerful runner too, he's not just the finesse back, but he does a great job with the zone scheme stuff.

(on the change of direction of the game with the 34-yard touchdown)

It's pretty sweet. I was thinking about trying to catch him and there was no way I was going to be able to, and sometimes I don't know how he sees what he sees, he's got great instincts. He's a very special player.

(on what big plays do for the team)

It's huge for us. Offensively, just giving us a little bit of a boost seeing him go, and the guys up front, they love running the ball, they love watching him. There are some guys that have been blocking for him for a while now, and it's a huge boost for us to see that.

(on why he has been blitzed a lot in the last two weeks)

Speaking for today, there were a couple times where I held it, where I maybe got out of something and needed to throw away and didn't. Some of those were definitely on me. There's just stuff we need to continue to work at with the communication and getting everything on point. For them, today, especially on the third down stuff, basically we're just bringing something different on every play and I felt like by the end, after the first few series, we were able to do some good things.

(on the rhythm he got in by the 98-yard drive)

Big third down conversion there, been able to mix some of the run with the pass, and it was nice for us to have that drive because it's an adverse situation where you're backed up, it's loud down there, and to come away with a drive like that is a big boost to the team.

(on what triggered a better second half after a slow start to the game)

I think we started running the ball better, and I think that helped us out a lot. I think it was a feel at first to try figure out what they were going to do and how they were going to attack us. They had some different shifts and motions, and I think we had a good idea by second half of what was going on and got into a rhythm. 

(on the 4-4 record at midway point of the season)

I think when you look at it right now, every season you take in chunks. Being 4-4, could we be better, yeah, but it's when we're sitting at 3-4 or 4-4 that we're pretty good. Now we've got eight games left and we're sitting right in the middle with our record, but we've got a real chance here to continue to get better, continue to play together, feed off the defense, defense feed off us, and I think we've got a chance to be pretty good in this home stretch these last eight games.

(on why he chose not to slide while scrambling during the game)

I've done it my whole career, and I try to be smart and pick and choose my spots. I'm not necessarily going to do that with a big linebacker there or something, but I pick and choose when I do that.

RB ARIAN FOSTER

(on his performance and getting so much praise from his teammates)

This is a team game. I can't do anything without the guys making the push that they did up front. But, anytime you get compliments from your teammates at this level it is always a good thing and always feels good. A lot of hard work goes into this – film study and working with the guys, the offensive line and gelling with them.

(on the running game)

We did a good job of sustaining blocks and staying up there. I think as the season progresses we are getting more and more consistent. We would like to start faster. Last week we started fast but we didn't finish well. This week we didn't start fast, but we finished well. We are a little inconsistent, but there are sparks of being a very good offense and that is what we are working toward.

(on cutting being so important to his game)

Any time the offensive line gets a good push up front it makes my job much easier. It really does. I'm not joking. It doesn't get going without the offensive line and your fullbacks and the wide receivers blocking at the third and the second level. Any time you do that consistently you are going to get opportunities to make plays, and once you get those opportunities that is why you get paid as a running back, to make those plays in the second level.

(on being 4-4)

You don't like to be 4-4, but it is where we are at. We have to assess where were are at and see what journey lies ahead. We feel like when we play well we can play with anybody in this league. We just have to strive to be more consistent as an offense. Our defense holds it down week in and week out, so as an offense we take that to heart. We are working hard and we are going to continue to go to work. We have a lot of work to do. We are excited about the challenges that lie ahead.

WR DeANDRE HOPKINS

(on his production)

I definitely think that I could have done a lot of things better. I'm not satisfied at all.

(on his team being 4-4)

We are 4-4 and play a good Philadelphia team this week coming. We are going to put this win behind us and celebrate tonight but tomorrow it's Philadelphia.

(on what it's like to see Arian Foster's big day)

It's great to see a guy like that. He doesn't worry about the bad things that people say about him out here in the world. He goes out and focuses and blocks everything out when he comes on the field and he is a great guy and a great role model on and off the field. Just to see him come out here and be successful coming out here and playing the game he loves, it motivates a lot of us.

C CHRIS MYERS

(on staying patient with the running game)

Anytime we keep plugging away with six yards here, five yards here and two yards here, sometime that big breakout run is going to happen. He has been doing that in his past and as long as we stay try to that we are going to be able to have success with that.

(on how it makes him feel when Arian Foster breaks a big run)

It makes you feel really good. We had a lot of no-huddle drives today. It was actually a little warmer than I thought it would be here. When you are huffing and puffing and stringing these runs together and then all of the sudden he breaks out a 40-yard run or whatever it may be, it makes you feel real good as an offensive line. He gives you that cut up the sideline too.

(on their 4-4 record)

Obviously, not where we wanted to be, but we will take a win right now. It was much needed after the three-game slide that we had. We have a huge opponent coming down to Houston. Philadelphia is a very talented and explosive team so we have a lot to work on.

DE J.J. WATT

(on his performance)

Personally, there are plenty of things to improve upon. I think the forced fumble is always a momentum changer, so that is really good for us to get the offense the ball back, especially in a scoring position like that. So I think that is a positive. I think there are plenty of things that I can learn from.

(on the 'selfie' after his second sack)

It was one of those things where their quarterback had posted a few 'selfies' this week, including one before the game. It is kind of a reminder that

this is the National Football League, not high school. Welcome to the show.

(on if he was offended by the 'selfies')

I take my job very seriously. If I was a rookie quarterback being named the starter for the first time in the league, I feel like I would be a little more focused than that. Maybe he will learn from it, maybe not. We won the game, so that is all that matters.

(on if he felt like he had a chance at an interception after he deflected a pass in the second half)

Yeah, a little bit disappointed in it. It came quicker than I thought it was going to, but as soon as I came around the edge and saw him cock back to throw, I knew I had the chance. A little bit disappointed in it, but I'll take the batted ball and get off the field.

(on Arian Foster)

I think he is doing a great job. I think when he is rolling and he is playing at the level that he has played at, he is a very good back and our team rolls with it. Three touchdowns is a heck of a game. It is a credit to the offensive line. It's a credit to him, he's doing a great job and obviously it's great for us as a defense because we get a breather as well.

(on the plan coming into the game to defend Zach Mettenberger)

With a rookie quarterback you always want to stop the run first and be able to get pressure on the quarterback. I think in the second half we did a much better job than in the first half. I think in the first half it took us a little bit to settle in. We did well, we just weren't getting to the quarterback, we weren't forcing turnovers. In the second half it felt a lot more like our defense. If we can continue down that street, we will be alright.

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