The Texans reported for training camp on Thursday, and various players spoke with the media. The following is a transcript of their respective interviews.
RG Brandon Brooks
FB Tyler Clutts
CB Kareem Jackson
DE Tim Jamison
WR Andre Johnson
NT Chris Jones
ILB Mike Mohamed
C Chris Myers
WR DeVier Posey
QB Matt Schaub
DE Antonio Smith
DE J.J. Watt
OLB Trevardo Williams
G Brandon Brooks
(on being a starter) "It feels good. I kind of know what they expect from me and I know what I expect from myself."
(on preparing in the offseason) "I just keep working out, keeping my weight down, staying on my diet, and going from there."
(on his weight) "I'll be at 335 when I come in, my camp weight."
(on the importance of the right side of the lines consistency and that he will win the starting spot and to keep it and also for T Derek Newton) "I think consistency is the big thing is playing together and knowing how each other play through situations where we may not have time to communicate in the middle of a play. But since we play so much together, we will know and expect what's going to happen on the next play without even speaking."
(on establishing chemistry) "Establishing chemistry, but as well as getting better each and every day as part of a single camp goal for me."
(on RT Derek Newton's recovery) "He's doing pretty well on his rehab and everything. He seems like he's good to go."
(on the right side of the line being a challenge) "We look at it as a challenge but I think our goal is to just understand what (offensive line) Coach (John) Benton wants from us and do what he expects from us and to get better. We just look forward to getting better each and every day."
(on running to the left side or right side) "It's up to Kubs (Coach Kubiak). Kubs makes the final calls. I'm here to do whatever he wants me to do."
(on liking to block) "Of course, any type of block. I've been doing this my whole life."
(on how adding DeAndre Hopkins is helping the running game) "Pretty big. Seeing him through OTAs, he's progressing very well. Doing things I've never seen when I was in college or anything. It's going well."
(on T David Quessenberry getting snaps in OTAs) "I think he's coming along very fast, picking up steam very fast. Coach stays on him. He's doing well as well and doing the best he can do."
(on being taken under a wing) "Pretty much the center and the whole left side. When I came back after the offseason, I really got with those guys and asked them, 'Do you mind taking me into the film room, letting me see what you guys see? What do you do in this situation?' stuff like that and they were more than happy to take me under their wing and go from there. A lot of my progress not only comes from Coach Benton, but comes from them as well, their experience and time on the field."
(on helping with the chemistry) "I'm just here to be a sponge, just to soak up everything through the experience and their time. Just to try and do as perfect every play, every day. So yeah, definitely."
(on the pace of the sugar/muddle huddle) "Yeah, that was another reason why I got my weight down. Just not only the heat, so say we go into muddle huddle, so I'm not out there tired, I can just keep going every play."
(on how to keep his weight down) "Continuously eating right. If I'm going to snack, snack on some fruits and some berries, as far as any type of meat. I steer clear more from steak, but more towards bison or fish. Eating consistently. Whole foods got it"
(on if he participated in boxing training with LT Duane Brown) "I did not. I actually did not hear that he was doing boxing but sounds like something I could get into."
(on sparring with LT Duane Brown in boxing) "It'd be nice to see. It'd be nice to see."
FB Tyler Clutts
(on the competition with FB Greg Jones) "Greg is a great player that's proven himself in the league for many, many years and it's going to be a completion between me and Zach Borne. I'm looking forward to it. All I can really focus on is getting me better. He's a great guy to learn from. My focus is myself and what I can do to help with this team and help contribute."
(on playing special teams) "Special teams have always been really important to me. Contributing there is such an important phase of the game. Sometimes it's overlooked, and for me, it's a way to get on the field and make this roster."
(on being comfortable with the offense) "This season has been great. Really slowing things down and having the playbook and being able to go through it one step at a time rather than installing for game weeks, I feel very, very comfortable with it and I'm excited to go out and play full speed."
(on the offensive weapons) "This is a dangerous team and even the young guys are very dangerous. Nice thing is, we have a lot of guys coming back and the mesh that we have with each other is very impressive."
(on HGH testing) "I don't know. I don't really have much of a feeling on it. It's something that if people feel like we need to do it, we need to do it. I think the media may make it out to be a bigger problem than it really is. From my standpoint as a player, I know that you don't hear of it and hear guys doing but if it's something that makes everyone feel better, I'm all for it"
(on if he would be comfortable getting blood drawn and tested) "Personally, it doesn't really bother me. Here in Houston, we have IV's a lot because of the heat so it doesn't really bother me."
CB Kareem Jackson
(on being excited about another year in the pros) "I'm really excited for another opportunity, another year, and another opportunity. Me personally, and us as a team, two years in a row were losing in that second round. That's definitely tough and it definitely hurts. We're just looking forward to this year and getting back at it. And possibly make some strides and go a little further this year."
(on FS Ed Reed's influence on opposing offenses) "Definitely, a mental aspect. Change some guy's mental aspect. They're thinking mentally as a player as far as watching film and definitely a lot of experience. He's definitely one of the smarter guys in the league, so we are definitely looking forward to that. And athletically, the guy's unbelievable, so we are definitely looking forward to that. I think those will be some of the biggest things he will bring to the team this year."
(on being excited to play with FS Ed Reed as a young guy) "Oh definitely. Me as a kid, growing up watching him and playing in Miami and watching him get drafted, I definitely followed him. Throughout my 4 year career, As a kid growing up watching him, being able to be in the same meeting room as him now is, I don't want to say a dream come true, but it will be great to work with him and go out and go to war with him."
(on being a corner and having FS Ed Reed behind him) "I'm sure it would. Just depending on game situations and stuff like that but I'm definitely sure it will change some of my train of thought in certain situations. Any time you have a guy like that behind you, in some situations he going to be there to help you. He possibly could go and steal some of your plays so it will definitely help me a lot."
(on having success last year and the way he views himself) "I don't want to say I change the way I view myself. For me, my thing is to get better in every aspect, every year so I definitely progressed in that train of thought. So like I said, I want to get better in every aspect and be a piece of this puzzle. I want to help this team, take some strides towards the right path and go further this year."
(on defensive backs coach Vance Joseph) "Vance Joseph has been a great help to me. When he first came in he definitely helped me a lot with my technique as far as press and even off help me to have the right eyes and look at the right things on the field and breaking down film, so he definitely helped elevate my game to the next level."
(on DE J.J. Watt in OTAs) "J.J. is one of those guys in my opinion that he can turn it on and off whenever he wants to. He is that talented. He looked good in OTAs and to me, every time I see him on the field, he impressed me and he looked good. If he thinks he's that much better physically, I definitely believe him so I'd say he is. Every time he's on the field he is always putting forth that effort and going that extra mile. He's done what he's always done from day one. Him being 100% healthy going into the year is definitely a plus for us."
(on improving focus coming into this year) "I try to be specific with everything. Every day we can all get better at something so I just had to take that mentality to my training in the offseason and just work on everything. But if I had to be specific about something, it'd probably have to be my press technique. That's because we press a lot, we play a lot of man coverage so I definitely place a lot of emphasis on that."
(on talking to FS Ed Reed recently) "No, I haven't talked to him since OTAs. I'm not really sure what the time table with him and when he will return on the field. First things first, we want Ed to be as healthy as possible when he comes back so we don't want the hip to nag him any so whenever he's ready. He's been in this game for a long time so I'm sure he knows when he's healthy and when he's not"
(on FS DJ Swearinger carrying himself) "Yeah, he does. A guy with that type of athletic ability, I probably would too if I had it like that my rookie year, but at the same time he's definitely going to be a piece of this puzzle this year. We're looking forward to playing with him. He definitely was a big pick up for us in the draft so it's going to be exciting to watch him grow as a player on and off the field and I'm looking forward to playing with him."
(on how FS DJ Swearinger plays) "Sometimes as a safety, you have to play that way. Hit guys in the mouth, fly around. He has the attitude. I don't know if he's just playing it in South Carolina or the SEC, playing that kind of smash mouth football is going to be exciting to watch."
(on whether or not defensive backs and wide receivers will wear pads during practice) "It's true, if I had to take my pick, I definitely don't want to wear my pads, but it's all a part of the game. Some days you've got to go with them and some days you don't. It's all a part of camp and getting ready for the season."
DE Tim Jamison
(on how he feels) "I feel pretty good. I got cleared by the doctors last Friday and I'm excited to be out there day one."
(on getting cleared by the doctors) "It felt great. It took me by shock, but once I heard the news I was ready to go. It's been a long time coming."
(on why he was surprised) "I don't know, just to hear those words 'you're clear.' It's just exciting. Like, 'wow all of this hard work is about to pay off.'"
(on being injured last season) "It was real tough. I was just standing on the sidelines and watching my guys out there while I was wishing I could be out there contributing. It hurt, but I'm excited to be back out there with them tomorrow."
(on taking it slow) "The trainers said they wanted to ease these first three or four days in to get back acclimated and stuff. In rehab, we have been going full speed and full go, so whenever they give me the green light, I'm ready."
(on his conditioning) "That's the main thing we have been focusing on these last two or three weeks, the conditioning level. We conditioned hard on Monday and Tuesday, and they gave me yesterday off. They are feeling pretty good about it, so I am confident about it."
WR Andre Johnson
(on if he's excited to get into training camp and seeing what the team is going to be like) "Yeah, I'm excited. I'm tired of sitting at home. There's nothing to watch on TV, so it's time to get back to work. Just be focused and just go out there and just, as a team, just work on the things we need to work on and make sure we're as prepared as possible when we open up the season against San Diego."
(on what his expectations are for the team for this season) "Every team has the same goal to win it all, but you have steps you have to take to get there. You just have to take it one game at a time, and you have to leave everything out on the field every time you're out there in order to get where you want to go."
(on the opportunity to being able to work with first-round pick WR DeAndre Hopkins) "He has a lot of talent and I had a chance to work with him a little bit during OTAs, but now it's the real thing. I'll be around him every day. I'm going to help him out as much as I can. Not just him, but all of the other young receivers that we have. I'm the old head in the group now, so I'm not really used to being the old guy, but I'm willing to help them with anything they need to me to help them with."
(on what caught his attention this spring about WR DeAndre Hopkins) "He has great hands. I've never seen a guy that just one-hands the ball like he does. During OTAs, you could just tell he was thinking a little bit while he was playing, but I think he's grasped the playbook. I've talked to him during the offseason. I talked to him the other day and he's ready to go. He's pumped about being a Texan. He was excited about signing his contract and stuff like that, so he's ready to go."
(on the young wide receivers) "I think there's a lot of talent. I think they're all special in certain ways, but I think we have to come together collectively as a group. If we go out and make the plays we're supposed to make, we'll be very successful."
(on receiving more targets in the end zone this season) "I've never really gotten the ball down in the red zone that much, but that's not my goal. I don't really, I don't call the plays, I just run what's called and, when the ball is thrown to me, I just try to make the best of it."
(on if having WR DeAndre Hopkins on the opposite side will help result in more red zone attempts for him) "You never know. I think that we'll all benefit from it, not just me. I think (TE) Owen (Daniels) will benefit from it. I think (TE) Garrett (Graham) will benefit from it. We'll benefit from it because you just can't worry about one guy. I think the more weapons you have, everyone benefits from it."
(on if this is the most weapons he's played with) "Since I've been in the NFL, yeah. We have a lot of guys that can go out and make plays for us. Yeah, I would say, yeah, it's probably the most we've had."
(on the challenges facing the young wide receivers in this offense) "In the West Coast offense, a lot of guys sometimes they struggle because, a lot of the things we do, we try to make them all look the same when you're dealing with the run game, the play-pass and stuff like that. I think that's the biggest part and then picking up the concepts and the terminology of it. The young guys have picked it up pretty well during OTAs. They were still making some mistakes, but that's expected. For the most part, I think they did pretty well with picking it up."
(on his thoughts on Human Growth Hormone testing) "I'm all for it. I'm not really worried about it. If that's something they want to do, I'm for it. I'm not taking anything, so I really don't care."
(on if he's comfortable having his blood drawn for HGH testing) "To me, it really doesn't matter. Whatever they need to do to stay on top of guys and make sure the game is played the right way, I'm all for it. It doesn't affect me."
(on why he wore number 15 in John Madden during his rookie season and if that was his number for a while) "Yeah, when I first got here because our long snapper had No. 80, so I had to wear it a few days before they cut him."
(on the significance of getting WR DeVier Posey healthy) "DeVier is a great player. He has a ton of talent. It was just unfortunate with the injury that he had last year, but from what I hear, I saw him walking out of the building, but from what I've heard about his rehab and stuff, he's out running and stuff now. Everyone is very surprised at how he's looking right now. That's a good thing. I haven't gotten to see him. Now, I'll get to see him since we're all back and stuff. From what I'm hearing, he's doing very well. The sooner we can get him back, the better."
(on his expectations for winning the Super Bowl) "I think we have a great shot at doing it, but the main thing is we have to go out and do what we have to do to accomplish that. Last year, I think we could have put ourselves in a better situation and we didn't take advantage of it. Hopefully, we can get in that same situation and take advantage of it."
(on how important continuity is on the offensive line to make this offense consistent) "If the line doesn't go, the team doesn't go. But those guys know that and they take pride in what they do. Those guys will be ready to go out there. They know that people are looking at them, on the right side. Like I said, they'll be ready to go."
(on the team's attitude heading into this season compared to last season) "I think everyone was so excited because we had just made the playoffs. It was new for us. It was something we had never done before. We knew we had a good football team. Everybody was so excited and couldn't wait for the next season to come around. As you can see, we came out of the gate smoking, but, at the end, we just didn't finish it the right way. At times, maybe we could have been feeling ourselves or something. I think, I've told people this before, I think the game in New England, our last playoff game, it just showed you what kind of team you have to be in order to accomplish that ultimate goal. That was definitely a humbling experience and we'll be looking forward to the challenge again."
(on what the team would do differently this season compared to being in the same situation in the playoffs as last year) "I can't speak for everybody else, but I approach every game the same. I don't think I approached that game any different than I approach any other game. I just know that there was more at stake because it was a playoff game, but I approach every game the same no matter who it is or where I'm playing or whatever. I wouldn't change anything."
(on if he's talked to FS Ed Reed recently and how he is doing) "He's fine. He's out running around and stuff. (He) said he feels like he's ahead of schedule, but you never know until you really get out there and get banged up a little bit. Other than that, he said he's feeling fine and he'll be ready to go for opening day."
NT Chris Jones
(on cracking the playing rotation and making the team) "I think the first part is definitely getting to know the playbook. Second, is just getting it on and applying it out on the field during practice. I think that's the two biggest things: learning the playbook and putting it out on the field."
(on improvement since arriving here) "I think I have come a pretty far way. Coming from college to here is a completely different system and new way of playing. I've got the playbook down and as far as learning the nose, I have done a pretty good job with that."
(on adjusting to the NFL) "I think just learning the technique and the playbook, especially with (Defensive Line) Coach (Bill) Kollar. He really harps on it a lot and in the meetings he really helps us learn the playbook pretty quickly. I think just applying that on the field and playing the different technique took me a little bit to get used to. The technique took me a little getting used to, but I think now I really got the swing of things and can start playing more. Now that I know the playbook, the technique should be a lot easier for me."
(on playing nose tackle) "It's a little different. Just the way certain little nuances are compared to the way I played in college. It's just a little bit different but at the end of the day, it's still defensive line and it's still football."
ILB Mike Mohamed
(on depth at inside linebacker) "I think I have a great opportunity. It's just about getting in there and making the most with your reps. Always as a backup player, special teams will be huge so whenever special teams are up, just doing the best I can."
(on his opportunity) "Yeah, definitely. Anytime you are a backup and not a starter, special teams is where you get on the field and make your first impression. I anticipate special teams being a big part of my game."
C Chris Myers
(on getting the season started again) "It's always a bittersweet thing. It's always the end of summer and end of vacation, but you get back with the guys and get back down to work. It's what we have been working on all offseason, so time for vacation is over and it's time to grind again."
(on having a bull's-eye on the team) "It's always fun being chased. When you put that bull's-eye on your back, you know that everyone is going to be gunning for you. Over the past in the history here, we have been trying to get to that point and now we are here. Now it's going to be even tougher to stay there, so that's the work we have in front of us."
(on bringing the line together with competition on the right side) "It all works out for itself. The competition is great for the level of play. Especially on the right side of the line with the many guys we have that are going to be thrown in there. It's just going to bring the best competition out of every single guy, so just let training camp play out and who knows if it's going to happen early or late once we get to preseason games. Just let that all play out and that's probably the last I'm going to comment on that for a while because those are my guys on the line and it's up for the coaches to decide. It's not my opinion."
(on G Brandon Brooks) "Brandon has made leaps and bounds from last year. For him to be able to come in here in the shape that he is in and be able to make those strides throughout OTAs, after he ended the season starting for us, speaks a lot for him. He is a hard worker and having him right next to me, with me being one of the lighter guys in the NFL on the offensive line and him being one of the bigger and stronger guys, it helps me out tremendously. For him to get the mental part down, it just makes it so much easier for him."
(on developing chemistry across the offensive line) "That's exactly the point. With offensive line play, once you kind of get the plays down and get the mental aspect down, all it takes is playing and everything becomes second nature. When you build those relationships with the guys that are playing right next to you, sometimes you don't have to say anything. That's what myself, (G) Wade (Smith), and (LT) Duane (Brown) have been able to do over the years. That's what's up for the right side of the line; they are going to be able to build amongst themselves whichever two guys are in there."
(on if there has been a change in mindset from last season) "I think you don't creep up on anyone at all. There are no surprises. Everyone knows what we are going to get with offense and what we're going to get with defense. We have to be able to go in there and earn our stripes. I think we have done that in the past, so for us it's taking that next step and getting to the Super Bowl. The whole city is gunning and hoping we are able to do it. That's the work we are putting in."
(on criticism of QB Matt Schaub) "It's unjustified. That comes with the position though. It comes with the quarterback position. It's a quarterback driven league and so on. It's a big media type driven position, so when the team doesn't do well they are going to probably fall back on the quarterback. I think his numbers and his success speaks for itself over the past however many years he has been here. Two Pro Bowls, an MVP in the Pro Bowl, and the numbers that he puts up every season is up there with the best quarterbacks. For us as a team, we have to be able to capitalize in the time of the season that we need to. We can't lose three out of our last four games of the season heading into the playoffs. We need to capitalize on home field because it helps with everything."
(on growth of LT Duane Brown) "I always crack jokes with him, but for him to come out in 2008 as a rookie first-round pick and see where he is at now is a tremendous, drastic change. You guys can probably vouch for it. He has just made leaps, bounds and jumps. The way he carries himself and handles himself day-in and day-out here as a worker has the younger guys looking at him for advice. I'm really proud of him and obviously happy he is on our line."
(on adding WR DeAndre Hopkins to the offense) "He is a tremendously talented guy. I'm anxious to see how everything works out once he gets pads on and once we start having competition with the preseason games. He has proved himself throughout OTAs that he can handle a load and he is able to run the routes the right way. He has gained the respect of the coaches, but training camp is a different deal. Once we get out here, I'm obviously hoping that everything works out. DeAndre is a talented guy and when you look at him he is a physical specimen, so we will let training camp play out."
(on Super Bowl expectations) "I think once an organization gets to a certain point with their success, that becomes a necessity. You look at the best franchises in the League, I think every year they are gunning for a Super Bowl. I think if you are at the point as an organization and gunning for anything else, you are selling yourself short so I think it's Super Bowl or bust for every team that wants to make it."
(on QB Matt Schaub's ability to audible at the line) "I'm not going to explain how we handle audibling at the line, but nice try there. That's the way it works in the NFL. Some teams and some quarterbacks are given that opportunity because there teams offenses are based upon them going to the line and having six different plays possible then they just give the line and the rest of offense what they are going to do. In our scheme, Matt doesn't necessarily have to do that all the time. You guys may not notice, but we audible a lot. You guys may not notice and talk about it all the time because you guys don't notice it. It's one of the things that come with the territory. It's a smooth transition for us with the zone blocking scheme and with the rollouts that we have that Matt's been able to run. We don't have to audible as much because we have the potential for other things to happen. Our audibles aren't the same as other teams, but we get it done just as much as they do. Everyone talking about how they need to put more pressure on Matt and how he needs to take on more of the offense. It's there, you guys just don't notice."
(on playing a big role in the success of RB Arian Foster) "It's a fair trade because I think that guy is the most talented running back in the League. There are numbers otherwise, but for us to be able to have a guy like him behind us makes us look good. Obviously, the cohesiveness of the line and us gelling together is going to be a big determination of his success, but being able to have a guy like him and (RB Ben) Tate behind you is just leaps and bounds. Being able to have a guy like (FB) Greg Jones now behind there leading the way is going to be big for Arian."
(on HGH testing in NFL) "To be perfectly honest with you, I could care less. I don't take it. I don't know who does take it. I have never met a guy that has admitted to taking it if they do. So for me, that's above my head and I could care less about the HGH testing because it's just B.S. All the stuff in all the major sports, especially with baseball now, it's just beyond me that it's gotten to be this big. Back in the day, it was probably swept under the rug and a lot of stuff was done while no one was testing for it, but nowadays it's beyond my head. I just go out and play ball."
WR DeVier Posey
(on how he's feeling) "I feel great. It's been a long six months and just a lot of rehab, lot of months of stuff. I just try to come in every day and attack it and (I'm) happy where I am at this point going into the season."
(on if he'll start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list) "I have no idea. That's an upstairs call. Every day, I come in, they haven't told me yet. Where I am in my rehab, I'm running full speed, cutting, running routes, getting up to as fast as I can. (I'm on) just the last leg of my rehab, which is one-leg explosion, jumping and coming down, and feeling comfortable with that. I'm going to take my time doing that and try to go about it the smartest way. (I'm) really going to prepare for a career and not just a game, so just trying to be smart at this point."
(on if he's where he thought he would be at this point in his rehab or if he's ahead) "I don't know. I'm right where I thought I would be. Just discussing with Dr. (Robert) Anderson the timeline back then, it's a six-to-nine month rehab and we just passed six months. To my understanding, guys in my situation who came back from Achilles (injuries) played at six months last season. Just for me, just trying to take this last little training camp time, this last four-to-six weeks to fine-tune some things, get that one-leg explosion like I said and just continue to make sure my cuts are better than ever."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak saying in the past that Posey is trying to make it hard on him to not start on the PUP) "I don't know if that's my intention really. I just love football and I just miss it. I want to play as soon as I can. That's really how I feel."
(on only thinking about getting back to playing) "I mean it's my profession. It's what I wanted to do for a very long time. I've got one year under my belt and things were going well towards the end of the season and I saw what potential I have at this level, and just being able to tap back into that and make sure I still make that second-year jump. A lot of people always talk about receivers make the jump from second-to-first year and I don't want to be excluded from that. I still want to make that mentally and physically. I think was part of, as soon as I was able to do football things, I started doing football things. As soon as they cleared me to run, I was jogging through my routes and stepping through cuts that (are) hard-angle breaking points. Just being able to push the envelope a little bit, but still being smart about everything. I felt like that has benefited me to where I am now."
(on if it's hard not to compare himself to guys who came back from the same injury in six months) "Yeah, definitely it is hard, but, for the most part, the training room staff that we have here with the Texans is second to none. Guys like (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer) Geoff Kaplan and (Assistant Athletic Trainer) A.J. (Van Valkenburgh) and (Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer) Roland (Ramirez), they make sure that they're on top of everything from making sure if something else is bothering you to figure out what you're compensating for and just trying to fix all problems, so you feel like or, they say, I feel like 'D. Po' when I get back. I'm just trying to make sure I listen and I heed their advice. I'm just trying to take my time."
(on still wanting to help out the receivers and keeping himself involved) "Yeah, definitely. That's just part of approaching the game maturely. Approaching it and not getting too far away from it. Most guys when they get hurt or some guys, they just drown in their sorrows and they feel like this leg (injury) is the worst thing that happened to them. For me, it's probably the best thing as allowing me to re-focus, allowing me to re-hash my goals that I have going into the NFL and not just being a guy floating around working out, but really attacking things that have bothered me my whole career like my lower back or my hamstrings, whatever things that like nag on you, but just being able to attack those while I had time to rest. That's just a big part about being a pro and just taking care of your body and always mentally preparing and studying and helping the young guys too."
(on his thoughts on WR DeAndre Hopkins) "He's a great player. I've never seen a guy with his ability to run and jump. Those big hands that he has, I think he wears like 3-XL gloves. I know what he's done in college and how him and (WR) Sammy Watkins played together, and all of those guys that they have coming out of Clemson. For me to have an opportunity to play with him and work with him and trying to get these wins under our belt, along with (WR) Andre (Johnson), (WR) Keshawn (Martin) and (WR) Lestar (Jean), I just think it's a great opportunity. I don't know if we've had a receiving corps around here like that that's this young and this talented and I just want to be a part of it. I think the future is really bright here in Houston."
(on the next big milestone he wants to accomplish in his rehab) "The only milestone is putting on my helmet and catching my first pass from (QB) Matt (Schaub) with everybody around me. Once I get out there and am able to do that, I feel like I'll feel comfortable. When I get tackled is probably the only milestone I have left."
(on how far away he is from those moments) "The season is in September, so for me, I'm just trying to push for the first game and push as hard as I can to make sure I'm available."
(on if he'll be able to practice during training camp) "I don't know about the beginning part of training camp and all of those things are to be discussed. We'll just try to make sure I'm out with the guys and I'm rehabbing. When that time comes and I feel like old 'D. Po', I don't know mean to speak in third-person, but I'll be out there."
QB Matt Schaub
(on being an established team that won't catch anyone by surprise) "After the past couple of years, we're not going to creep up on anyone. We're going to have a target on our backs so to speak. We're fine with that. It's a new year, a new team. We have to go out here in training camp and put our team together and set ourselves up week one to get rolling."
(on C Chris Myers saying the criticism of Schaub was unjustified and how he deals with the criticism) "It comes with the territory. I signed up for this, good, bad or indifferent. You've got to deal with the praise; you've got to deal with the criticism that's going to come. We weren't the last team standing last year, so ultimately we all failed. We all didn't accomplish our goals. Me in particular, I didn't. I've got to find a way to get a better this offseason and carry that into training camp and stay consistent for 16 weeks and beyond this year."
(on where he would like to improve from last season) "Just the consistency. We got to the end of the year and faced some tough teams, tough challenges, and we didn't handle it that well. We've got to be a little better in those moments and we'll be fine."
(on the weapons he has on the offensive side of the ball) "With each year, we keep adding new pieces. We've got an influx of young talent, young receivers and young guys on our offense. We like what they can bring. We just have to bring them along, as far as how we operate and the little subtle nuances in our offense and getting that timing down in full pads, getting them into the full speed of the game because in OTAs it's more of a teaching tempo, teaching pace. So now we really have to turn it on to get those guys caught up."
(on his excitement with all the rookie talent and young weapons) "Yeah, absolutely. What some of those guys bring, get the football in their hands, with what (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins) can do with it, what (WR) Alan (Bonner) can do with it, coupled with (TE) Owen (Daniels), (RB) Arian (Foster) and Dre (WR Andre Johnson) and what they've proven in their careers, it's a wealth of talent. We just have to make sure they go out there and produce on Sundays."
(on the pressure of bringing young talent along) "It's stuff that we've been doing all offseason since they arrived in the building and through OTAs in the summertime and here in camp. There are going to be plenty of reps, plenty of throws to be made. We're going to get that done. It's on all of us, me in particular, because we're the ones out there doing it, but those guys are eager to learn and eager to get better and we like what they bring."
(on the wide receivers) "There is a ton of talent. There is a lot of young talent to go along with Dre (WR Andre Johnson), (TE) Owen (Daniels), (RB) Arian (Foster) and those guys. Each one of them brings a different set of skills and we can maximize their ability by putting them in a position to be successful and make plays. That's what we're going to do."
(on how important it is to develop chemistry with the younger players) "It's paramount. That's what the offseason is for; that's what the summer is for. That's why we're out there two times a day for the next three weeks, so we can continue to develop that. We'll be just fine come September."
(on spending time during the offseason with WR Andre Johnson in years past and if they did it again this year) "We did. We had a bunch of guys. We had a whole schedule lined up and we had a great turnout. A lot of the young guys were out there and the older guys took some time, which rightfully so; we need that time. We had a good group of guys to continue to work."
(on if the enthusiasm of young players picks him up and pushes him) "A little bit. They are so eager to get started and get going, so yeah a little bit. It's fun because it challenges me to have that much more control, that much more knowledge, which I do. Dre (WR Andre Johnson) has really taken a lot of those guys under his wing and I have. You realize that those guys can really help us from the get go. You want to make sure they get to a point where they can go out and just react and just play football and not have to think about where do I line up? What are my route adjustments? They can just go out and cut it loose."
(on ILB Brian Cushing's high praise of DE J.J. Watt and how he sees Watt and where he's headed) "You just look at what he's done in his first two years and it's incredible. In such crucial moments, he was always the one to seem to make a play, whether it be a tackle for a loss or quarterback hurry, or batting a ball down. It was just incredible to see the amount of plays (made) given the attention he was getting, especially the second half of the season. His work this offseason, just seeing him continue to do that, I would like to say he could better and achieve more, but those numbers were pretty impressive that he had. The sky is the limit for him. He could legitimately be one of the best defenders to ever play this game."
(on if he was healthy at the end of last season) "Yeah, it's a long season. It's a marathon. You're going to deal with some things, but yeah I was fine."
(on his thoughts regarding WR DeAndre Hopkins' hands) "He makes some of those one-handed catches look pretty routine. The size of his hands, I know that's been said a bunch throughout the offseason since we've drafted him, but it's true. You just see the ball seem to just stick to his hand. A lot of times you're just playing around, just playing catch, and he says he's going to catch the next 10 with one hand and he just does it effortlessly. His hands just swallow the football and it's very impressive."
(on how they plan to help WR DeAndre Hopkins handle how much they plan to use him) "A lot of film study, a lot of just talking, a lot of communication, that's number one. He's all ears and willing to listen and learn, just watching (WR) Andre (Johnson), because no one works at the position like Andre Johnson. He's got a great example right in front of him. We're going to make sure he gets to week one against San Diego ready to help us big time."
(on how the Texans handle the offense as it relates to line flexibility) "If I explain what we do too much, then other teams are understanding it too. We're glad that no one out there really knows what we're doing. We do have a built-in system but it's something that we do at the line of scrimmage that is not as dramatic as some teams do. We do it about 30 percent of the game. We have two or maybe three plays at the line of scrimmage and then we go from there. It's all based on what the defense is doing. Sometimes it's run to run, run to pass, it can be any one of those things, but it's all predicated on the defense."
DE Antonio Smith
(on what he is up to) "Going back to work I guess. Freedom is over. I'm looking forward to it though."
(on OLB Brian Cushing saying DE J.J. Watt has a chance to be one of the greatest ever) "It sounds like he is stealing the page from my book, man. I swear I said that earlier in the season. I think anybody that is around this team knows that he has the potential to be that and the potential to do that. I believe that the heart that he has in him and the determination he has in him makes that goal not too far from his reach."
(on adding new weapons to the team) "I'm excited, man. I'm excited. I'm ready to have fun. I like all the new added youngsters and oldsters. It's going to be a fun year; I think that this year can be a special year. I know I say that every year, but I believe that every year. Man, I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do with the weapons that we got."
(on training camp still be exciting for him) "I'm always excited. Every time football comes back around. Now the start of training camp? No, but football yes. Just getting back in the locker room with your boys and getting ready to start a season and start the battle again. I gotta love it, I love it."
(on having new voices on the team) "I think that last year it started with our rookie class last year and it was something that I had never seen before. They came in with a lot of swag and I think that this year it's even more. Rookies and first year players are getting to the point where they know that they have come in and they know they got to compete. These guys came in, I watched them in OTA's, and they looked like they had been in the league already. They handle their business right and they are excited about playing football. Those are the type of players that I like. They play with their heart and play with passion."
(on OLB Sam Montgomery being out of shape) "He was in the shape that he needed to be in at that point in time because you never know, I remember my first, you never know what to expect. Sometimes you think it's the same old thing like it was in college and he got taught a lesson. I think that needed to happen for him early on. You don't want that to happen for him later on when you start to take things for granted. I think that he got taught a lesson in that, coming out here in the heat. Even if we don't have pads on, Houston heat can get you sometimes. Now, he knows. I was on him during OTA's with what is expected of him because it's not expected of him to just come and make it through. He has to be a weapon on this team."
(on the defensive goals during Training Camp) "We need to build on what we left with last year. I think that we need to study ourselves as individual players because the coaching staff does that all the time because that's their life. We need to do it ourselves and figure out what we need to do to make this defense better because I think we went down from the year before. I think we stopped at number two the year before and we were number seven this year, but our goals and our dreams are set higher especially for the defense and as a team. We're still shooting to be number one so whatever it takes to get that. We want to be the number one defense and the number one team in the league."
(on the defense being in beast mode) "Our defense is always in beast mode. I think it's because we are all lively and like to have fun. I think with these new guys, I can ask for their input on it. They can be animals like me. No, I'm just playing, but this defense, I love it. I said it in years past and I think it's one of the most special things I have ever been a part of. I don't think many teams in the NFL have it, so we are probably the epitome of beast mode."
(on secret ninja training) "I'm always doing ninja training. You know, always. When you come from the Shi Lin Temple, you must always practice your art. Sometimes even in the dark."
(on darkness being his ally) "It is."
(on the circus) "I just found out the circus was here yesterday. I have been deep in the woods in Oklahoma and when I got here I went back stage and got to see some of the people back there, but I didn't see any Shi Lin people."
(on preparing for high-temp offenses) "Well, the league has been going more to that. I think every year one team gets a quarterback that they start adopting that to their system. It's a dangerous weapon. I think that (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Philips) is going to have us ready. I think that anything any team can throw at us, Wade has the antidote for it. If we just trust in our leader, then we will be alright. The young guys to the oldest guys. It's worse for the older guys cause we have gone years and years without ever even playing an option team. The guys in college have been playing it for about three years before they came here. If we just rely on what Wade gives us in the defense, I don't think an option, or west coast offense, or running offense, or anything can stop us."
(on progress with contract talks) "As of yet, no. It has not been there. I'm not worried about it. I think everything will happen on God's time. Right now, I'm just excited to be back with my teammates and I'm ready to have fun. I'm looking forward to getting a ring finally. Hopefully."
(on HGH testing in the NFL) "I don't know. I guess if it's needed, it's needed. I don't like needles, so they need to find a way to test us without having to stick me once or twice a year. I already get stuck for physicals; I don't need to get stuck more than that. I'm not scared of them, I just don't like them."
S D.J. Swearinger
(on signing his first contract) "It feels great man. It's a dream come true. I was happy to get everything out of the way and just ready to play football now."
(on his offseason preparation) "I think it has helped me a whole lot. I can't wait to show these people what I have been doing this summer and what I came here to do."
(on his attitude on the field) "I'm a leader, a strong leader and a strong intensity guy that's going to give 130 percent every single play. I'm going to be live on the field that's what I have been all my life. A guy that always talks, but backs it up at the same time. I think when I get out there tomorrow, all my emotions are just going to come out."
(on not caring what other people think) "Not at all. On the field, it's what I love to do. I'm passionate about this game and whatever people say about me on the field they can say it. At the end of the day, as long as I get the job done and help my team win championships that is all that matters."
(on balancing aggression with NFL rules) "You just got to target lower. I'm an aggressive guy and I like to hit, I like to hit hard. On this level, you've got to target lower. That's about the only way to sum it up. You've got to be a better athlete and target lower when you hit guys. I can do a great job with that."
(on confidence from OTAs) "I have gained a lot of confidence talking with the older guys and studying my playbook. Just being out there in the swing of things and getting reps. You know, confidence comes from repetition and I think I got in a lot of reps. I'm looking forward to getting more reps and looking forward to seeing what I can do."
(on getting more comfortable during OTAs) "Yeah, sort of towards the end. Like I said, repetition. As soon as I got a lot of reps, it started coming back to me. It's all football again and I felt like myself. The swagger and confidence kicked in at the end."
(on what he needs to improve) "Just studying the playbook more. Just having more confidence in the playbook and not having to think about things. Going second nature and slowing the game down. Once you slow the game down, it's just back to football."
(on having a bigger role if FS Ed Reed is injured) "I'm ready to fill whatever shoes I have to. Whether it's starting, second string, or special teams. Whatever it is the team wants me to do, I am all for it. I just want to help this team win championships."
(on playing with FS Ed Reed) "That's my idol, I would love to play right next to him and play with him, but whenever he gets ready I will be ready for whatever."
(on telling FS Ed Reed he is his idol) "Yeah, I told him that. I told him I watched him and a few other guys' film before games every week. He said 'cool, cool' and that he isn't going to hold back and teach me everything he can. He said that's what he is supposed to do, so I am looking forward to that."
(on talking to OLB Sam Montgomery about being on PUP list) "I talked to him a little bit. I actually got on him and told him he needs to step it up. It's disappointing to be on that list, so I told him he needed to step it up,"
(on OLB Sam Montgomery's response to Swearinger's talk) "Sam is older than me, but he looks up to me as a big brother. He said he was going to step it up."
(on bringing 'swag' to the team) "It's a little swagger and intensity. Like I said, I'm an intense guy. I like to do a lot of talking and a lot of slogans to get the positive energy on the team and wake everybody up. If we are having a bad day, I say certain things to get the positive energy going. I think I am going to do a good job of that and affecting guys around me."
DE J.J. Watt
(on his expectations for the team this season) "We have extremely high expectations. We've won a couple of division championships, won a couple of playoff games, but I think everybody around here knows what the deal is."
(on how his life has changed given everything he accomplished last year) "People seem to care a little bit more about what I do on a daily basis. It's been fun. I've had a lot of great opportunities, been able to do a lot of really cool things and it's all because of a game and it's pretty cool. But to me, it all comes down to football. I get to do all these great things because of what I do on the field and what our team does on the field, and so I'm fully aware of that I need to keep that going. I need to keep getting even better because all this can go away just as quickly as it came. That's why I've been so focused on my training. That's why even when I'm doing all these great things, the core of it all is my training and getting better for the season."
(on the expectations of teams chasing them more this season instead of being the chasers in the past) "Yeah, I'm always a hunter. I'm never looking at it like someone's coming after me. I'm always the one going after people. I don't care if you're in first place or last place. I'm coming at you and I think that's the mentality you have to have. You have to have that hunter mentality. That mentality that no matter who you're playing, no matter what their record is, no matter what kind of players they have, you need to prove why you're the best team on the field, and every single week that's what we plan to do."
(on if the team lost the hunter mentality toward the end of the season) "We definitely didn't play up to our potential at the end of last season. I would say that. I don't know if I would say it's a mentality change, but we just didn't finish the season strong, and that's what we need to do. We need to finish."
(on what it means to have ILB Brian Cushing back this season) "It's great. It's great to have a guy like Cush (Brian Cushing) back. He flies around the field. He makes plays. He's natural playmaker and you love having a guy like that for me, playing right behind me, and it's big for our defense."
(on if he's had a chance to talk to ILB Brian Cushing after he said great things about him) "Yeah, it's an honor coming from a guy like Cush and knowing Cush, Cush doesn't like to say that about too many people. That's what means the most to me. When you get a guy like (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) that say the things Wade said and you get a guy like Cush who said what he said. Those are the guys that see me on a daily basis. Those are the guys that see the work that's put in, that see every single day, and that's why it means so much. If some outside that watches my games every Sunday says something like that, Okay, it's a nice compliment, but a guy who watches the work that's put in and a guy who knows me, that means a lot."
(on what he can get better at) "Plenty. There's so much more to be better at. I watched the film from last year over and over and over again, and there are sacks I missed here and there. There are a couple plays in the run game I missed here and there. There are some balls that could have been batted that weren't batted. Little things you know. I'm always looking at the little things. You have to be your harshest critic and I'm by far my harshest critic and I have by far the highest expectations out of anyone in the entire world."
(on how he anticipates teams adjusting for him this season) "You know, they adjusted at the end of last year. There were double teams. There were triple teams. There are chip blocks. You can do whatever you want, man. You've got to block 11 of us, not just me and so, if you want to focus all of your attention on me, A, it's not guaranteed to work and B, you have to worry about the 10 other guys on the field with me. And I'm very fortunate to have 10 other great players on the field with me and I'm always not going to give up just because you throw three or four guys at me. I'm going to go get that sack."
(on what he feels about a rookie third-round pick showing up out of shape) "I talked to (OLB) Sam (Montgomery) and we've had the conversations and we're going to get him right. Don't worry, he'll come along. He's got the athletic talent. He's got the ability and that's my job as a veteran leader to instill that drive and that work ethic."
(on what FS Ed Reed will bring to the defense) "Ed's a playmaker. He's a guy who flies around. He always seems to find the ball and that's so much fun to play with because you know he's back there and you know he's a wild card. He can make plays that you really wouldn't expect him to make, so it's going to be a lot of fun to have him on this defense."
(on how different NT Earl Mitchell is from last year to this year) "Earl's a great player and I think a lot of people underrate Earl. Earl's a guy who puts in the work daily, watches the film, puts in the work on the field and he plays very good football. He's technically sound and he's going to give us some great reps up there in the middle."
(on OLB Brooks Reed saying that the defense is going to have to learn how to block with S Ed Reed on the field) "That's the truth. I hope we're going to the end zone many, many times. Ed and I talk about it all the time. I want to be tipping him interceptions all of the time. Ed will take care of the back-end and I'll take care of the front-end. You've got guys all over the place taking care of the middle and the outside. This defense is going to be a blast. We have playmakers literally every position on the field and it's going to be tough to stop us all."
(on if he feels like he had to earn praise from OLB Brian Cushing) "Of course. Absolutely. He's a guy, like I said, that doesn't give out compliments like that. You have to prove your worth and you have to prove what you're about and it does mean a lot coming from him. But in this League, you have to prove your worth every single day. Just because you've done it once, just because you did it for one year, doesn't mean that it's just going to naturally happen again. You have to put in the work. You have to put in the effort to make it happen again, and I know a lot of people in this league and a lot of analysts and everybody are, when they talk about me, they start to say, 'He's not going to be able to do what he did last year, but he's going to have a good year.' Why not? Why not? Don't sit here and tell me what I can and can't do."
(on being a better player this year and not necessarily matching the statistics form last season) "Sure. I'm going to be better. Just watch."
(on facing teams this season that use the read-option and preparing for them) "It's definitely a challenge. Obviously, we have a few teams on our schedule this year with those types of offenses. The first thing you have to do is contain the quarterback and our scout team always gives us a great look. You've got a guy like (QB) Case Keenum back there. You've got (QB) T.J. (Yates) giving us looks. Those guys do a great job of giving us a look, but, as players, that's our job. We need to know what we need to do. Coaches will instill the plays and we just need to execute. We need to make sure we're very sound in our assignments and we'll take care of it."
(on his elbow injury and if he needed to have any medical procedure on it this offseason) "No. It was crazy. When it happened, obviously everything in there was all messed up and they told me that it'll just heal itself, and it did. It's crazy. I don't know how it works. It was wild to me, but it feels great. It feels really strong. I'm not going to be wearing the brace in practices. I haven't decided on games yet if I'm going to wear it or not just as a precautionary thing, but it feels great and we rehabbed the heck out of it for those three or four weeks before last season. I'm excited for a fully healthy season. It's going to be fun."
(on there being a Super Bowl fever in Houston at this time last season and if he senses the same thing this year) "I think the team is focused. I think the attitude around here is very, very focused. The guys in here are, we've been working our tails off this offseason and it's so much fun to talk to these guys and catch up and say, 'What have you been up to?' and they say, 'I was in Florida training or I was here training, I was there training.' Everybody's first couple of sentences starts with training and it's not always like that. Sometimes, you hear guys talk about their trips here or their trips there and then, 'Yeah, I've been doing my training too.' But our team has been very, very focused on one goal. Division championships, that's cool, but that's old news. First round playoff wins, that's cool, but that's old news. We have one singular goal."
(on what it was like getting off the plane back to Houston) "Man, our fans are nuts. It's fun. It's crazy. They're wild. You can't walk three steps without taking a picture signing an autograph. You can't go to breakfast. I tried to go to breakfast this morning and it's didn't work. It's stuff like that, but it's fun, it's crazy. It makes my life a little more difficult, but it's that much more exciting when you get to put smiles on people's faces. You see the tweets, you see the Facebook posts, you see all that. It makes it all worth it. If all it takes is for me to smiles for a picture or for me to write an autograph, then so be it. I'll do it as many times as I have to."
(on his connection to Houston) "Yeah, I love it here. I feel like we have a history, from the booing on draft night to the interception in the first round of the playoffs to last season to being able to go out in the community and meet with the fans and hang out with the kids. The way the city's embraced me, I feel like I need to give back as much as I possibly can because they show me so much support. I mean, just walking around and seeing 99 jerseys everywhere, it's phenomenal. To see it growing and growing, I mean the person who won my contest the other day, she was from Alabama and I didn't even realize it when she won, but there are people from all over the world. We had entries from all over the country. I see people texting me pictures of 99 jerseys from Japan, Germany, China, everywhere and it's so cool to see that. It makes me work that much harder because I want to make these people proud and I want to make this city proud. When they put that 99 jersey on, I want them to be proud of what they see when they turn on the TV on Sunday."
(on if it's kind of crazy how far he's come since he first got here) "Yeah, sometimes you just have to take a step back and remember it's only been two years and I'm only 24 years old. I hope they let me stay here for a long, long time and I hope I get to stick around because I have so much more left to do on and off the field. I'm really excited about the future and, like I said, I love it here and I love working hard for these fans. I love playing for this team and I'm going to give every ounce of energy I have to be the best possible football player for this city."
OLB Trevardo Williams
(on his first training camp) "I feel like I need to come in fast and do as much as I can in the process to better myself technique-wise and physically so mentally I'm prepared to do what I need to do."
(on this being a difficult defense to pick up) "The mental side is to look at my technique, better my technique, my enthusiasm, my cardiovascular strength, and just be a player."
(on how much the OTAs and rookie minicamp have helped prepare him for training camp) "Yes sir, it prepared me mentally because we came in and we didn't have the approach, most people don't know the approach. The OTAs actually helped us to understand the approach and how to practice full speed."
(on what are the more difficult things about the defense in terms of transitioning from college to pro) "The transition is the pace is a lot more faster. The playbook is a lot more different and just switching the state of mind is a lot faster."
(on if he's adjusted to playing with his hand not in the ground as fast as he thought he would) "It's taking some time. I'm still working on building the comfort level, but it's coming together."
(on if he's spoken to OLB Brooks Reed about that same adjustment) "I spoke to (OLB Whitney) Mercilus and (OLB Bryan) Braman and they've helped me a lot with my technique and my approach to where it's playing the game and building the comfort level."
(on if OLB Whitney Mercilus and OLB Bryan Braman said the transition was easy or hard) "They were honest with me. They told me it's going to be difficult and I just need to keep tough and keep trying."
(on what it's like getting used to all the weapons around him) "I don't know how to explain it, but it's just very competitive. That's the main thing."
(on advice he's received about beating the temperature outside) "Just hydrate before practice and after, and whatever you can do during your free time, just apply yourself and be responsible."
(on what side he's been playing on) "They've had me at Sam linebacker. I'm learning to drop into coverage as well as pass rush."
(on the complexities of learning to rush and drop into coverage) "It's not too difficult. The only thing is I need to learn to recognize offensive formations. I've never had very much practice on that aspect of it."
(on if he's ever dropped into coverage) "A couple times in college, my freshman and sophomore year. And I did pretty well, but now that it's a consistent thing, it's going to be a challenge."
(on the Texans drafting him and having faith in him to be able to make the adjustment) "Yeah, I feel good about it. I'm ready to go out there and play. I know I have the physical attributes and the talent to showcase the abilities."