Head Coach Gary Kubiak**
ILB Brian Cushing
TE Owen Daniels
FS Ed Reed
RB Ben Tate
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on his reaction to having fans at practice today "It's good. It helps us because we're in the dog days of summer right now. Having everybody out here kind of gets the juices going a little bit, gets everybody moving around. I appreciate them coming out. It seems like it gets bigger every year. That's a good thing for our team, but we appreciate them."
(on if he was hoping to have LB Joe Mays at practice) "He should be in the building this afternoon. I don't know if you'll see him at practice. As a matter of fact, I don't think you will, but he will be back with us tonight as a teammate and will be on the field tomorrow."
(on what LB Joe Mays brings to the team) "He's a veteran player. He's got a lot of skill, can run. He was a great special teams player in his day. The bottom line is we've got a need for some experience right now with what's going on with our linebacker situation. Him getting let go in Denver, I think he was looking for the best opportunity and I think he looked at us and see an opportunity to help our football team. We're just pleased to get him. It gets competitive out there for players at this point when you're losing a guy here or there. Just pleased to get him."
(on what he's seen so far form OLB Willie Jefferson) "He's a flash player right now. He's long. He can run. He's got pass rush ability, which you're always looking for in this league. He's very raw, so we'll see. We'll see once we get to the preseason games, but he's been pressed into some pretty tough duty, but that's the way you find out about guys. He should be a good special teams player."
(on NT Daniel Muir flashing in practice so far) "Yeah, he really has. He's done a good job. He's a load. We play a lot of shade and we're a zone football team, and he's tough to reach. He's doing some good stuff out here. I think (DE David) Hunter has done some really good stuff. It's nice to have, to pick up a guy that late in the process and see him playing like this."
(on players in the NFL getting into trouble in the offseason and how nice it is to coach a team with these type of guys) "Well, we've got our problems too. Our world is no different. Always talking about responsibility all of the time, not just now. I think I'm proud of our guys. They've done a good job, but you also know that you're going to have issues form time-to-time and you've got to deal with them. You don't take a lot of credit for that. You just hope we keep doing the right thing."
(on QB T.J. Yates and how he's played) "I think T.J. can throw the ball a little better than he's throwing it. His arm is a little tired right now. They're all tired. He missed a few this morning, but he made some plays. He's in a very competitive situation right now with (QB) Case (Keenum) and that will work itself out throughout the course of the preseason, but he's hard on himself. He's always wanting to do better."
(on QB Case Keenum throwing a good deep ball so far in camp) "Yeah, he's having a really good camp. I'd be interested to see, he's going to play a lot in the preseason. I've got to play him and (QB) T.J. (Yates) a great deal. I think, to make sure we're doing the things Case does well, but he's adapted and becoming a fine player. So it will be interesting to see how far he's come."
(on TE Ryan Griffin and what he's liked about him) "We thought we were drafting kind of a big physical guy and, to our surprise, he runs really well. We've been very pleased with the pass-game ability. The run game ability, we want that to improve because that's something we're going to ask him to do. What a good player to get in that round, so we've been very pleased with his progress. Tough kid."
(on what TE Owen Daniels has done so far for TE Ryan Griffin) "I tell you what, as I just told the team, with everybody being as tired as they possibly could be, he will make a play. That's the way he is at practice. He was today. When you go into a room with him, Owen, he raised (TE) Garrett (Graham), he raised (TE) Joel (Dreessen), the guys. (Tight Ends) Coach (Brian) Pariani's done a hell of a job too, but the guys that have been with Owen are doing pretty good in this league. He does it the right way, so, if you're watching him, you're going to do it the right way."
(on RB Deji Karim and what he brings) "He's looked really good on special teams. He's physical; picking up blitzes yesterday was excellent. We need to continue. He needs to work in our run schemes and what we do. But he's proven to be an effective player in this league and I think special teams will be a big part of it."
(on the battle at right tackle between T's Derek Newton and Brennan Williams) "I think Newton's really stepped his game up. He's doing well. He's a full participant player right now. Brennan is not. He's about half the time in practice. He's battling some things physically, but I think Newton's really taken a step forward."
(on one-on-one's between DE J.J. Watt and G Brandon Brooks and if he heard how those went today) "No, I didn't hear about it, but I told J.J., I said, what a great thing for Brandon for them two to go against each other. And J.J., like you said, he doesn't play big powerful people like that very much, so that's what makes you better as a team when you've got that type of competition every day."
(on the team having too many penalties and what the team has worked on in training camp to reduce them) "I agree with you and we had a lot of them late. You're right; we've been pretty disciplined, from a penalty standpoint, on both sides of the ball. It's something you've got to improve upon. All you can do is coach it in practice. We'll have officials come in here this week. I think they come in tomorrow. I don't like having them here all of the time. I don't like taking away the aggression in practice, but, at the same time, we'll get them involved here in the next four days. We'll make sure we take a look at everything."
(on if he views WR Alan Bonner as a slot receiver because of his ability to separate quickly) "I don't know. I think the biggest thing with Bonner right now (is) I can't do too much with him. Going from his program and what he came out of doing what we're doing, he is really swimming. When he's locked in (with) exactly what he's doing, you all can see his ability. I think the most important thing right now is we don't do too much."
(on if there were any injuries in practice today) "We got a little nicked up today. (ILB Evan) Frierson's got a shoulder. (T) Duane Brown got his ankle a little bit, but he did finish practice. (WR Jeff) Maehl's got a little hamstring. That's where we're at right now."
ILB Brian Cushing
(on making adjustments) "I don't know if I'll make any. I think the biggest thing is getting back healthy and playing the game the way I know how to, which is fast, physical, and relentless."
(on the savage Olympics with Eagles OLB Connor Barwin) "You know, we've just been back and it's with Connor Barwin. We've been back in New Jersey a lot so that's where we did most of the majority of our summer training. It was a good way to get ready for the season."
(on being back and being 100 percent) "Yeah, I mean I've put in enough days where the whole trusting it thing kind of went out the window a long time ago. I've had it a lot of different reps and experience on it. There's no worrisome feeling that I have about it."
TE Owen Daniels
(on if the red zone is the most valuable real estate for a tight end) "You know what, I guess it depends, you know? I still have my share of opportunities to make plays in the red zone. I've always been kind of like a guy on third down that's going to be able to convert. That's kind of been my role as the years have gone by. But I always hope that I'm a threat or someone that can make some plays down there."
(on if he thinks it's odd for him to fly so under the radar as a Pro Bowler) "Oh that's alright. You know, there are a lot of young guys on this team trying to make a name for themselves. A lot of other players that are much bigger names than mine. I'm just trying to do my work and get ready for the season and contribute the way I have the past seven years so that's alright with me. I'm just working and I like to work like that."
(on what he has seen out of the tight ends) "I think we have a really good group. We use tight ends a lot as you guys have seen. Last year Garrett (Graham) got his first opportunity to play a bunch and made a lot of plays for us. You're going to see a lot more out of him this year. He's improved a bunch this offseason. And then we've got three young kids. We use two, three tight ends at a time and we need three or four on the roster that can help and that we can count on to contribute. Ryan Griffin is looking really good. He's improving and our two younger guys Jake Byrne and Adam Schiltz are working hard for a spot here and its great competition. I'm trying to lead them, trying to teach them as much as I can from my experience and watching them during practice."
(on how much the young guys come to him and how much he tries to help them) "I'm willing to give them everything I know, or just about everything I know. I hope that they see it as an open door to come and ask me questions. I think sometimes, as a young guy, it might be intimidating by a vet. You don't want to bother them or this and that but I've been really open and trying to help those guys out in the locker room going through scripts before practice if they have questions on what to do and at practices so it's always been our goal to be a really good group and the most productive group in the league. I think we were just about that last year as a tight end group so we want to keep that trend going."
(on what it means to hear that Gary Kubiak say he will make the play even when he's tired) "It means a lot. I try to work my butt off in the off season to be in shape during camp and to get ready for the season. Camp is rough. It's hot out here. It's tough and its miserable at times but if you're going to be out here and got to deal with that type of misery you might as well make the most out of it and try to get better so applying this to like a fourth quarter and games during the season I think you got to kind of put your mind in that set of mind and work ethic."
(on what it's like having the fans out at practice) the fans are great. It's good to have the 5th day of camp and it's kind of getting to the dog days and to have some more energy from them is great. The support has been amazing as the years have gone by and it just continues to get stronger. Game days are awesome here and you just get a little warm up from the fans. It's pretty nice"
(on if he gets pumped up from the fans being there) "You know, we try to work hard every day but that energy definitely helps, we've got some more fans, some more spectators obviously. You get more oh's and ah's when you make plays but then also if you don't make a play people see that too, definitely a little more pressure."
(on what it means to him when Gary Kubiak calls him out on something good) "Yeah, it definitely means a lot. He's paying attention to what we do as individuals, as players and what we've done to get ready for camp and how we work so I just try to go out there and do my job. Try to apply each period as if it's a game situation especially when it late in practice like it's the fourth quarter of a game. I'm out here doing my work and I try to be the same guy all of the time. That's what he kind of looks for in guys so you just try to work, man."
(on what it means for them to be the better team in Texas) "Yeah, it means a lot. We understand it's been America's team for a while but we've got a good thing going on down here in Houston. Obviously our fan base is growing a lot. I think were an easy team to root for. It's a great stadium; we've got great fans here. And we've got players that are going to give it up every Sunday. It helps when we've been getting better going to the playoffs, winning some playoff games. Going to other cities and seeing fans and having fans from Houston travel is amazing. It's a great feeling seeing those guys there."
FS Ed Reed
(on how he feels physically) "Physically for one, man I feel good. It's been some tough days sledding, really sledding, pulling the sled, but it's been awesome the work I'm putting in right now. For what I went through for where I'm at right now, I'm feeling really good."
(on telling WR Andre Johnson he would be ready week 1) "Hey, if Andre said it I guess I got to do it. This is his team, so like I said, if he said it then it's true, right? No, but I'm working out to get back as soon as possible cause being on PUP you can't be out there with your teammates moving around, communicating. It's a little tougher, just talking in the meeting rooms and learning it just from a book standpoint and not physically doing it. It's always tougher, but I'm doing as much as I can to learn it mentally and watch the guys move around and communicate in meeting rooms. It's coming along well and, like I said, if Dre said it then it shall be."
(on where he thinks he is physically) "Oh man, it's tough. It's really tough because I have to go through the rehab part of it and also try to condition at the same time while not pushing myself too much to where I hurt it again or something like that. It's hard to put a percentage on it. I can tell you I'm feeling really good. If I had to play today, I probably wouldn't. I couldn't play today, but if it was the Super Bowl I probably would. You got to kind of, what's important so to say. Right now, it's to rehab and get as strong as possible and get myself in condition."
(on role with young teammates) "I'm kind of torn because it's like a player-coach. Not being out here, like I tell the guys, it's hard for me to make comments to them and get them to listen and not be out here because guys tend to shy away from you when you're not doing the work and going through the blood, sweat, and tears. But, I gave the speech to them, 'Look, I wouldn't be any different if I was anywhere else. I'm just trying to help you to better your techniques to help us. To help us get to where we want to go and to help you better yourself as a player.' Like I told them, I would hope that they would do the same thing when they see me on tape busting something or something that would help me mentally to correct myself. That's how we are going to better each other and that's how we are going to be a great secondary and a great defense."
(on how he will know he is ready) "Well first of all, I've got to get this scar tissue down and get this tightness and soreness, that I feel consistently, out of there. Once I get that out, I can kind of push it more. I'm not to the point where I can run 100 percent and certain things I would do, volume of work I would do at the end of it, I feel my hip. I can do the running, I'm doing the running, I'm doing the sled pulls, I'm back pedaling, I'm breaking, I'm opening the hip up to stuff like that, but at some point it kind of grabs, so I just got to get that scar tissue out and that edema out and everything. Once that kind of subsides, I can have a better timeline for you. I know I'm close, I can tell you that, and that it is close. I can't say that it is the first game because I don't know, but Dre is speaking it.
(on if WR Andre Johnson has encouraged him to be out here) "No, no I was already encouraged to be out here. I was encouraged when the phone call came from (General Manager) Rick (Smith). I'm already motivated; I don't need any extra motivation at all. I know what Dre wants and I know what this team wants. For me to have to do my part, I know what that takes. My mind was already set when I had the surgery and knew what I had to go through. That work over there, I'm not going to say it's easy, but from a mental standpoint it's easy because I know what I have to do."
(on his life changing since joining the Texans) "It's been a change; it's definitely been a change and been some adapting. My teammates have made it easy: J-Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph), (CB) Kareem (Jackson), and (SS) D. Manning (Danieal Manning), just the whole DB's and just the whole team. Everybody has been so welcoming and helping me just being who they are. Letting me be who I am and help them and offer them the things that I can help them with. Everybody's just been really welcoming and really open. You can see it and you can feel it, everybody wants to win. Everybody works hard and everybody wants to be a part of this team. Everybody wants to be a part of a championship team, so when you're around that it's infectious. It makes you want to push and go even more when you are working out and when you're on the field."
(on reason why he came to Houston) "I have to show y'all the text message one day when (WR) Andre (Johnson) texted me after the Super Bowl. The day after the Super Bowl Andre texted me, but it was just going through that process that every player kind of dreads, the free agent. It was kind of set in stone what was going to happen for my career elsewhere. Like I said, it was open arms. (General Manager) Rick (Smith) called me and I knew I could play and I knew I still wanted to play. Just a matter of where I was going to be and where did I fit."
(on what it means that everyone says he's a future Hall of Famer) "No man, I'm a player now. I'm not a Hall of Famer now. It's not something I think about. It's truly not something I think about. When that road is crossed, I'll be grateful to have those thoughts and look back at the memories and stuff that really brought me to that point."
(on his career) "It helps to get your point across to your teammates when you're talking football. Coaches tend to respect you a little bit and understand where you're coming from a mental standpoint. I guess it helps, but you still got to go out there and prove it. That hall of fame stuff means nothing when the ball is snapped, obviously, because the critics, not saying you guys are, tend to tear you down a little bit. You miss three tackles out of 16 games and you're the worst safety ever. It's just all the stuff that comes with the territory. It's good to talk about the hall of fame stuff and I watch it just about every year, but I'm grateful just because I know those guys paved the way. I watched old school football; I play old school football, so just being in that category is a blessing."
(on what WR Andre Johnson said in the text message) "Andre just said, 'congratulations.' It was more my comment to him about 'get me to Houston' because I kind of knew things."
(on his rehab) "The rehab is going well. My expectations were right where we are. Yes, we are a little bit above and beyond where I'm expected to be at this point. This hip wasn't as severe as the left one though it's still tight at this moment. It's going really well."
(on conversations with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) "It's just a matter of getting it down and being Wade on the field. I'm used to sitting down with my coordinators on Tuesdays, getting the game plan, knowing what he's thinking about in certain calls and certain situations. Being able to say that to the team and defense on the field, whether or not we are trying to get off the field, we need to get off the field, we need to get the ball make to the offense or whatever it may be. I just like to know why he is calling certain calls, whether it's a run call or a pass call or you just want to get some pressure on him to get the ball out of his hands. I just like to know exactly his mentality."
(as being teammates' idol) "Should I take off the hat? Show you the gray hairs for how long I have been playing? I've been known as an uncle since college. I was always the older guy and being on a younger team now, guys see me as that older guy, but some of these guys look like me. (TE Owen Daniels) has that gray hair and starting to look like me. I guess just my whole demeanor. How I am, how I was raised. I was raised around my dad and my uncles, I always been around older people like yourselves. I always had respect for my elders so that comes with something and I'm from the South."
(on teammates being in awe of him) "It's definitely humbling because you got to stay on your p's and q's to make sure you are doing what you need to do to show those guys the way and how to be professionals. You're still human at the end of the day and you still make mistakes. That's something you want to make sure that they know too, that you're not perfect. You're just like any person and you're going to make mistakes as you grow, but just keep living."
(on leaving Baltimore and leave his personal life and memories behind) "There's one thing I know, Baltimore is always going to be there. It's not going to float off the map. I can always go back. Do I miss it a little bit? Yeah, I miss certain things about it, but that's part of life. When I went from Miami to Baltimore, there were some things that I missed in Miami, but I knew change was there. I had to make the change and had to make the adjustments. I was grateful to be there the time I was. I'm ecstatic to be here now."
(on if he is a creature of habit in terms of things he did or places he went in Baltimore and having to change those now) "Not really. Certain breakfast spots and I'm searching for one here, but no. It was good. It was good while it lasted. Now I'm in a great place here."
(on talking to the young players such as CB Elbert Mack on the sideline) "I was just telling him to make his plays. He's doing everything physically. He's got all the attributes. He's gotten better on his techniques every day. I told him, 'Man, you're right there to make the play. Go make the play and take advantage of your opportunity.' That's what coach talks about and that's what we need to do as a team. You have to take advantage of your opportunities. There's only going to be so many in the game, especially from a defensive back perspective. In order for us to get to where we want to go, we have to take advantage of our opportunities."
(on if he thinks the Texans have the pieces to be a Super Bowl team) "Yeah, the pieces are here, but we still have a long time to go. The Super Bowl is a long way from now and we still have a lot of work in training camp. This is only the first week. We're not even through a whole full week yet. We still have a long way to go, still have a lot to learn. That's our focus, but that's everybody's focus right now. This is the time to put the work in to get yourself ready for the grind of the season to get to the playoffs. You have to get to the playoffs. You can't win a championship if you're not in the playoffs."
(on if he any individual player has surprised him with their level of play) "It's been a bunch of them. The d-linemen, watching those guys run around and just the athletic ability of the whole team, we have a lot of athletes that can play this game. When you have a lot of backups at every position and you have that depth, it's exciting. It's exciting that so many guys can get in this game and step up if need be."
(on head coach Gary Kubiak) "Cool Kub, I call him. Coach is so cool. He's a player's coach. He's truly a player's coach. I tell these guys, I tell that all the time with where they're at and how Coach treats them. I was like, 'Man, you just have to work hard.' He makes you want to work harder. It rejuvenates the older guys and myself. Coach takes care of you so well. He gives you that time to take care of yourself. The organization as a whole is everything for the players to make sure that we're in the best possible shape and that we have everything we need physically, medically, to play this game and have ourselves prepared. You can't ask for anything more than that."
(on if the move to Houston has caused him to make any wardrobe adjustments) "No, this is actually a blue shirt. Somebody said that it was purple. I'm still a royalty type of guy so I'll wear purple but I'm looking for somebody to help me out with that. It's all football right now. In training camp, all I need is shorts and t-shirt. I need my helmet, but they won't give it to me."
RB Ben Tate
(on his style of play vs. RB Arian Foster's) "When we are both healthy and both going, we are a pretty good team. We are similar runners. He's a little more patient runner than me. I sometimes like to use my speed a little more. Little things like that."
(on being considered a power back) "I wouldn't consider myself a power back. When there is nowhere else to go, what are you doing to do? Fall down or run over them? So how I look at it is when I have nowhere else to go then I'm going to make you pay for trying to tackle me, but when I'm in the open field I'm not trying to run anyone over, I'm trying to get touchdowns."
(on this being a Super Bowl caliber team) "I think it is. It's time for us to take the next step."
(on what happened down the stretch last year) "I really don't know. This is a new year. There is a lot of talk about what happened last year. It is a new year now. A different camp. A different team. It's time to move on."
(on if he'll play differently because it is a contract year)" It is a contract year. It just means that I'm going to come out and do what I always do. Keep working hard and always try to get better. I'm thinking if I get a little more yardage I'm going to help this team. And if I help this team and we get to the Super Bowl then I'll cash in."
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on if there are any injury updates) "From the morning, (ILB Evan) Frierson's got a shoulder that's probably going to miss a few days. (T) Brennan Williams is going to get an MRI. His knee swelled up on him a little bit again, so we're taking a look at that. That's where he's at this afternoon. Other than that, we'll find out where we're at in the morning."
(on how concerned he is about T Brennan Williams) "He's taken a lot of steps forward. Hopefully, today's not a step backwards. I don't know. He did finish practice, just had some swelling. The way we work here, in the middle of the day, if we've got to send somebody over to get a look or something, they're going to miss our afternoon stuff. Don't read anything into it. Let's see where we're at in the morning."
(on signing LB Joe Mays and the corresponding roster move that will be made) "No, we're in the process. We're going up to talk about that right now. Obviously, we've got to find a roster spot for Joe. We'll get that done here in the next meeting."
(on if that team has been able to keep up their energy after five days of training camp) "Yeah, this is a real tough time. We've been in pads for three days now. We've got a big push until I give them some time off all day Friday and Saturday. Just trying to push them right now through the rest of this week. I think we worked good this morning. We were outside for two hours this morning. That's the first time, so that's a shock to them and I think it's going pretty good. We're down some bodies, just have got to push. This is the toughest week of camp. Once we get going next week, we're playing games, so something to look forward to every week."
(on WR DeAndre Hopkins and how he's doing) "He's doing really good. It just seems like he's making more and more plays. The thing I'm most excited about is he's not making a lot of mistakes. He knows what's going on. He's studying well. Physically, he can run all day. That's what you look for in players and he's holding up. So far, so good."
(on how QB Case Keenum is doing) "He's doing real good. He's making a big push. I think he's made the other two (QB T.J. Yates and QB Stephen McGee) much better because of how far he's come, but preseason will be huge for him. I will play him a great deal and it'll be fun to see how far he's come once the lights come on."
(on the biggest difference in QB Case Keenum form when he first got here until today) "Confidence. Knowing what he's doing. Now, he's mastered another system and he wants to go compete. He does it every day. Does a hell of a job. Every day, Case makes four or five instinctive plays you can't coach. He's making a lot of progress."
(on the status of TE Garrett Graham) "You all saw him this morning. He did work out this morning. He's just down in his weight. I'm hoping that he does more with (Head Athletic Trainer) Kap (Geoff Kaplan) tomorrow. What's today? Tuesday. So maybe before we finish up this weekend and I give them a break, we get something out of him with the rest of the guys, but he's doing fine. It's just getting his strength back."
(on if there's anything new with ILB Darryl Sharpton and OLB Sam Montgomery) "No, nothing new. Nothing new. Day-to-day, we'll see where we're at."
(on the status of OLB Whitney Mercilus and if he's day-to-day) "Yeah. Whitney's got a mild hamstring. We'll be smart as we finish up the week."
(on how the running backs have played) "We've got a good group of young guys. The young kid from Arkansas (RB Dennis Johnson) has really stood out. He's done some good stuff, special teams wise too. Then, (RB Cierre) Wood's got some talent. He's got the ability to catch the ball as well as run it. What are the other ones? The kid we got from Indianapolis (RB Deji Karim) has done some real good stuff. He's a real physical player, picks up blitzes well. And then (RB Ray) Graham. The biggest thing is they're all getting opportunities. They're four young players getting a ton of opportunities. (RB) Ben Tate, being the only guy who's stepped on an NFL field. We'll take a hard look at all of them. They'll have an excellent chance to make our football team. Probably what they do for (ST Coach) Joe Marciano will have a lot to do with it."
(on what has impressed him about RB Dennis Johnson) "When you're small like that and you're hard to find back there, that's one thing, but he's an excellent runner. He's got great quickness. He catches the ball well. The thing I've been impressed with probably more than anything is that he'll step up and block a blitz. It's hard to find guys who we say stay on the field for three downs and, if you'll block the blitz and know what's going on, you can become a three-down player. So that's been encouraging."
(on what he thought about LB Joe Mays when he scouted playing the Denver Broncos last season) "Like I said, he runs real well, excellent man-coverage guy. Was a great special teams player until he started starting. He played all the time, but before he was a hell of a special teams player. I know he's physical, very physical. I just think he fits what we do and there's a big opportunity for a guy like that right now. So excited to get him in tonight and put him on the field tomorrow."
(on how far away QB Case Keenum is until the point where he can see he's the backup quarterback) "Well, that's what he's trying to become. That's his next step in this league. Now, I can tell you Case will tell you, 'I want to be a starter. I want to start for a long time.' The next step for him is to move up a notch and that's what he's competing with (QB) T.J. (Yates) to do right now. I don't think we're going to know until we go out there. What did he play in the preseason last year? Maybe 15 plays at the most. Well, he's fixing to play a bunch. So we'll find out exactly where he's at, but, on the practice field, he sure looks good right now."
(on if he has a better feel for when RB Arian Foster will return to practice) "I've said I've kind of expected him to be back by now doing something, but (Head Athletic Trainer) Kap (Geoff Kaplan) may be protecting him from me. He doesn't want me to have him (joking). He's doing good. You all see him working. He's doing fine. When they turn him loose, I don't know. They may hold him until we come back next week. I don't know. Obviously he's doing everything that he can do."
(on how big of an opportunity it is for RB Ben Tate right now) "It's big and he's doing a good job. He had a good offseason. Ben's working every day. If Ben stays healthy, he's going to play well for us. He always has, but it's been good. I think he's done a good job with the other four young guys too. He's been a good example to them."
(on if he's ever seen a rookie carry himself the way S D.J. Swearinger does) "No, I can't really say that I have. So confident. Boy, just makes plays every day. That's a good thing for us. With our situation with (FS) Ed (Reed), for us to be able to get this young man, that was big for our team. He's another one—he and (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins) handle themselves extremely well. It'll be interesting to see when we get going here and start playing some games if it all looks the same."
(on the reason for FS Shiloh Keo starting right now) "Well, Shiloh lines up as the one. We'll work in our dime, but, believe me as much as we play dime, there's plenty to go around. Last year, we actually ran our dime more than we ran our base defense. You never know how you're going to get played, but Keo's having a great camp. He's a much better player now than he was last year. That's important to the team."
LT Duane Brown
(on building chemistry across the offensive line) "The closer you are as an offensive line, the better I think your offense will be. I can't say about the team in general, but the offense cause the offensive line is all about chemistry."
(on how the offensive line goes out to eat together) "Yeah, it's once a week. We can't afford to have too many more nights. It's a big tab."
(on T David Quessenberry) "I think DQ has a lot of upside. I like his mentality and approach he takes to the game as an offensive lineman. He is very athletic, very strong, and very eager to learn. I've been trying to help him out as much as possible to bring him along."
(on how T David Quessenberry has been asked to move to guard) "I just told him to try to be versatile. I know he played a lot of tackle in college and they have been asking him to move down to guard, but he's been adapting well. He is picking it up and I just told him 'the more you can do the more value you have to the team. You never know what's going to happen and what position you might have to end up playing, but just be prepared.' He's definitely taken the steps to do so."
(on if he sees some of himself in T David Quessenberry) "Yeah, I'll tell you, I like his demeanor. A lot of rookies come in and they don't have that intensity as an offensive lineman. They don't have that 'nasty' as an offensive lineman, but he definitely has it. I saw it early on in OTAs and that's something that I can relate to."
(on the right side of the line) "Everyone has been working hard individually and I like it. (RG) Brandon Brooks is someone I think stepped up a lot thus far and he's still getting better every day. The competition at right tackle is really picking up with Derek Newton and Ryan Harris. Both have been playing very well this training camp. I'm excited whoever is going to be the starting two over there, I know they will play at a high level."
K Randy Bullock
(on looking up to any kickers in the NFL) "Growing up, I actually used to watch (K) Neil Rackers a whole lot. Growing up from Houston, I watched (K) Kris Brown a whole lot and (Oakland Raiders K) Sebastian Janikowski. Those are kind of the three guys that I grew up kind of watching, trying to learn how to do everything. That's kind of what I modeled myself after."
(on how difficult it was for him to have to sit out last year because of his injury) "It was very disappointing. It was a tough break for me but at the same time the biggest thing for me was to try to take that time to prepare and get ready for a big year the next year and I feel like that's what I've done. I've done well so far since I've been here and hopefully that'll carry over into the season."
(on how he spent the year) "I spent the year here. I did all of my rehab during the season. Went to all the meetings and tried to stay as involved in the team as I could and once I was released by the doctors I kind of started kicking a little bit around here. Once the season was over, I went back to school, finished up my degree, trained up there with some of my buddies back in College Station. Before I knew it, it was OTAs and I was back at it so it was a long year sitting around waiting but I'm very excited for this opportunity."
(on what his degree is) "I graduated in May with a degree in petroleum engineering. Yeah, it was a lot of work. There were times I was pretty frustrated trying to do football and petroleum engineering but I'm glad I have it now."
(on how he is a better kicker now) "You know, I think it's just confidence, you know, You just kind of sit back and kind of see how a guy who had done it for a very long time, (K) Shayne Graham, I got to see how he prepared and see how he performed his whole pregame ritual and all of that. Things like that, just being able to sit on the sideline and kind of soak up the atmosphere of an NFL game. It's a little bit different from a college game so I think all of that will kind of carry over and help me be successful this next year."
(on if he feels like a rookie) "You know, a little bit. I feel like I have a lot to prove out here for my teammates and my coaches. I got to prove that I deserve to be here. That's what I'm trying to do right now. From that standpoint, as far as being out here confidence-wise, I don't feel like a rookie at all. I feel very comfortable. I get into a groove and I go with it. It's been nice, it's been a transition. I've been waiting for this opportunity for a year now, since last August so I'll be ready to go."
(on transitioning from college to the NFL and progressing) "I've progressed a whole lot. It's funny kind of going back and looking at some highlight tapes, you kind of shake your head and be like 'what was I doing there?' but it's just kind of a maturity process just like any for any other position. You kind of get into a groove; get confident playing in front of large crowds, and at the same time kind of fine tuning your actual technique and all of that. Once you get that, nothing changes. You're confident, you have a routine and you go out and you do your job."
(and how he gets ready for a pressure kick mentally) "Just like I said, I have a routine. I go through it when I get out on the field to where whenever it comes time for me to get out on the field I don't have any thinking. It's just kind of like a golfer approaching the tee-box. Everybody's got their own routine. Stick to that, and have a positive attitude and hopefully everything works out."
(on if there is more pressure playing for his hometown team) "You know, I really don't think about all of that. Right now I'm just trying to prepare and get ready for this season. It's just a great opportunity for me to be here and I try to think of it in a positive way rather than a negative way."
DE J.J. Watt
(on the goal of a Super Bowl) "That's the goal. That's the number one goal. Obviously, every team in the league has the same goal this time of year, but around here there is one focus, there is one goal, and everybody is working towards that."
(on the battle for Texas between the Cowboys and Texans) "You know, we're the Texans and we're proud to be the Texans. This is the state of Texas so not everybody is a cowboy, but everybody is a Texan. Everybody is more than welcome to come on board the bandwagon, there is plenty of room and we would love to have you. We play extremely hard every single day and we're proud of the product we put on the field, so we love our fans and we appreciate all of them."
(on expectations for himself this season) "It's something that's been discussed a lot already and I'm just going out here every single day to work. I'm going to put the product on the field and every single day I'm grinding to be the best player I can be."
(on addition of LB Joe Mays) "We'll find out when he comes to play. Obviously, it's good to have players come in to help us out and I hope he can help us out. Once he puts the pads on and starts playing ball, you'll see."
(on OLB Willie Jefferson and OLB Justin Tuggle) "They're a couple good, young players. Obviously, it's very early on. I know Willie has some nice wiggle to his game. He's got some good pass rush moves, the guy can get in there and make some plays. It's always fun to watch him on one-on-ones. I like watching him play."
(on ILB Brian Cushing) "Cush is a guy who always works hard. He puts a lot of effort into everything he does and I know he's out there doing a little 7-on-7 today, so I'm excited whenever he gets back to team drills. I'm excited to play in front of him again. He's just a great player man, he's a great player."