Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on getting Brandon Brooks back) "You know, it's always good to get everybody who's been on the shelf a little bit back healthy. Brandon is no exception. He's played a lot of football here in Houston. He came back with a little injury and he's working his way through it and it was good to see him out here today."
(on how Johnathan Joseph is doing now that he was back out at practice) "He's doing well. He's another guy who's had a very good career in this league and anytime you have a corner of his ability--he's working through some things. He's able to come back out here today. It was a good thing for our team."
(on what he thought about working with Denver) "It was good. You know, anytime you go against another team that obviously is a heck of a football team and they throw different looks at you, now you can go back to the meeting room and show our team some things that we need to work on and correct and things like that, and then some things that were good., I think it's always good to go against another team and not just go against yourselves all the time."
(on what this week means to the team) "I think it's great. You know, you have a chance to be together as a team in the hotel. We have a great setup over there at Inverness. You know, training room, dining room, staff room, everybody's got a position meeting room, it's a good deal; meal room, obviously. We're excited about this and we came out here today and got some good work. And we'll get good work the next two days."
(on Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and Brian Cushing ramping up their workload today) "Sure. Yeah. They did. They practiced more than they had and that's a good sign for our football team."
(on the advantage of doing a joint practice this late into training camp) "Yeah, as far as it being the third week of the preseason? Yeah, a little bit later than you would normally do it, but again, for our football team being the first year together with our staff and these players, I think it's good for us to be able to go, come up here to Denver and measure ourselves against a team that was in the Super Bowl last year. No matter when you do, whether it is the third week or the fourth week or the second week or the first week, to me, it doesn't matter. It's about getting good work against a good team."
(on Chris Myers getting a day off) "Yeah, just a day off."
(on how he views the third preseason game) "I think every game is a step in the process. Preseason games, a step in the process headed towards the regular season. You know, you're really trying to be at your best on Sept. 7. The third game versus the fourth game, the second game, all those things, I think each team has their own individual needs and problems that they need to fix. Each team has to determine how they're going to play those games. We're going to determine that later in the week because we're going to get good work against Denver on the practice field for three days. We'll determine how much we do in the third game with our starters and things like that later in the week."
(on his plan with pads in practice) "We'll be in full pads tomorrow and then we'll be in shells again on Thursday. This was something we agreed on today because they just came off the San Francisco game a day later than us."
(on weighing snaps for guys returning from injury) "You know, again, each guy is spoken to every day by me, and I ask them how they're feeling, especially the veterans, the guys that have been through a lot of battles in this league. 'Hey, where are you at? How much do you think you can do?' We just kind of listen to them. Listen to our trainers, obviously. It was good to see a lot of those guys back on the field today."
(on what he feels when talks to the guys coming back from injury) "I feel good. These guys are honest about where they're at. They want to be out here. They know how important practice is, but they also know how important the health of the team is. And so I feel good about their, my conversations with them about their help."
(on what a defense can learn from going against Peyton Manning in practice) "Well, I think anytime you have a chance defensively to go against a hall of fame quarterback, a guy that runs the operation at the line of scrimmage, a guy that recognizes things easily, he's done it that way for 16, 17 years, that's always going to help your defense. Whether it is disguising better or understanding their fits or their keys and things they're looking for. Anytime you go against a guy the caliber of Peyton Manning, that's going to help your defense."
(on if he can see how smooth the Denver Broncos are) "Well again, this is a team like I said earlier, that is coming off of a Super Bowl year. To me, they look like the same type of team. This is a really good football team. Lot of depth, you know, some really proven veterans on both sides of the ball, and some good young players. To me, they look like a really good football team."
(on what you can gain off the field spending a week together in a hotel on the road) "Well, I think it's good for our team to be able to come together. They're eating meals together, they're meeting together, they're staying on the same floors, things like that. There is a lot that can be gained from guys basically living in a dormitory together for a week, and it's been that way in Houston. I think it adds to the chemistry and it adds to the guys getting to know each other, which helps the team in the long run."
T Duane Brown
It was a good time, man. We got a lot of good work here going against a team that played in the Super Bowl last year. There was a lot of competition, new fronts, unfamiliar faces, so it was a lot of good work."
(on last week's practice with the Falcons building confidence and if he thinks this will continue to help build it) "I think so. I think every week we come out as a team we're building, we're getting better mentally and physically. Going against a team that has as much talent as this team has and being able to compete against them, I definitely think it will boost our confidence."
(on whom he matched up with most today) "DeMarcus Ware, the majority of the day."
(on the skill level of DeMarcus Ware) "Pretty good player. He's a hall of fame caliber player. He didn't make it easy on me today. We battled though, so it was great, great competition."
(on his thoughts on the Denver weather) "It's lovely. The altitude isn't getting to me, so it's been good."
(on if he knew he was going to have Saturday's game against the Falcons off) "No, I didn't know, but it was a pleasant surprise."
(on if he was frustrated that he suited up but didn't play) "They had their idea of what they wanted to get accomplished and I'm not going to argue."
G Brandon Brooks
(on his first day back on the field after passing his physical) "The biggest thing is to get out there with my brothers. My personal background, I'm an only child so I don't know what it's like to have brothers, but I would assume this is the closest thing to it. It's just really good to one, get back healthy, and two, getting back out there with your brothers."
(on what he found out about himself in his first day back) "The big thing is that I passed the conditioning test first, so I'm in condition. It's just getting back out here and knocking some of the rust off."
(on how he injured himself) "Just training hard. Now that it's behind me I'm just looking forward."
(on how much he has left to go to get to where he wants to be physically) "I'm just going to take it one rep, every day, at a time. I'm starting from square one and have got to play catch up, but at the same time after practice I got some extra reps today in different pass pro. Any chance I get to get an extra rep in any practice I can, I need to do it."
(on how much mental reps have helped him throughout camp) "They've helped me tremendously, whether getting the call from the coaches and running it through my head or even just taking the steps in back."
(on if he has ever had to overcome injury or time off and get back into football shape) "In college, I got hurt in the spring twice. At the same time, I think football is just as mental as it is physical. Just because you're not physically out there, you can still take mental reps as if you were."
(on how frustrated he was that he couldn't come in and immediately build off of what he did last year due to the injury) "Yeah, it is frustrating, but like I said, I've been back here taking mental reps. At the end of the day, I do have some time before we need to get ready and I'm going to take it every play and every rep at a time and get as much extra (work) as I can."
(on when he feels he can participate in a game) "I don't know right now. Right now, I'm doing individual and I'll leave that to the training staff to let me know when I can go full-go."
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
(on getting Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Brandon Brooks back at practice) "It's great to have everyone out there on the field. Just the different communication things that happens, whether in the huddle or on the field at the line, you know, between plays. It's nice to have guys out there working in practice and it's one of those things were I've got to be able to communicate with them. With Andre, a lot of it has been after series or whatever it is talking to him on the sideline. It's nice to have him in the huddle."
(on Andre Johnson or Arian Foster running routes with him being better than mental reps) "It's nice to get everybody on the same page. A lot of that is getting out on the field and doing it."
(on going against the Bronco's secondary and trash talking) "Yeah, you know, I don't really listen to the chatter all that much. But this is a good setting for competitive practices, and that's what gets you better in the NFL is competing in practice."
(on the veterans in the Denver secondary and if it is like an extra preseason game) "I think, you know, they're got good personnel and we're seeing a different scheme as well and seeing different looks. That really helps our guys in terms of the different routes that we're running and why we're running them, and being able to react on the fly."
(on if he amps it up more against another team in practice) "Yeah, I think the competitive juices just naturally flow a little bit more. You want to come out here and do good things against a different opponent. For us, again, the Atlanta week was a positive I think because of some of those things and breaking up kind of monotony of camp, and this hopefully does the same thing."
(on if he can still learn things from someone like Peyton Manning) "Yeah, of course. I think everybody can learn stuff from him. I'm constantly learning things from everybody whether it's coaches or other players, whoever it is. Some of it is sitting there watching and some of it is talking to guys. Yeah, it's a constant learning process."
(on what he thinks about going against Denver) "It was good going up against a defense that you're going to see coming up at the end of the week. You kind of get familiar with the things you do and hopefully you execute when the game comes."
(on if there was trash talking going on between the teams) "No, not much. You know, it's football so there's always going to be talking."
(on going against Aqib Talib at the end of practice) "You know, it is just fun and games. I think they like to pick on guys that they know can beat them. So not going to sit there and talk to nobody that's wasting their time."
(on going against a guy like Aqib Talib who has a reputation of a trash talker) "I'm a grown man. I don't back down from any challenge. It's great when a guy like him comes out here and challenges me to get better."
(on facing a guy like Aqib Talib on the field) "You know, he's a great DB. He's earned that reputation that he has. You know, so going against him is going to do nothing but make me better. Coming out here and going against a Pro Bowl caliber defender is good."
(on if it feels more like the first team unit with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson out there) "Yeah, you know, it's kind of a chemistry type thing when you've got all of your starters out there most of the game. Just to get that chemistry and to get that feel of each other, so yeah, it's good."
WR Andre Johnson
(on the change of weather and the altitude) "Well, I think this is not that bad for me. I've been out here, played a few times, so I think when you kind of know what to expect, you don't really worry about it too much. You know, it is a little different but at the same time you just go out there and play."
(on being more active today) "I did some team stuff, some 11-on-11 stuff, got a rep in one-on-ones and stuff like that. I'm feeling pretty good. Like I said before, I've been getting better day by day. The whole thing is just not to have any setbacks. So I'll continue to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm pretty sure as time goes along I'll do more and more."
(on balancing the reality of the regular season versus the preseason) "I mean, you know, you'd like to be out there. But at the same time, we're just taking it day by day. As the week goes along we'll just see what happens."
(on a lot of guys coming back from injury today) "Well, I mean, it's good to have everybody out on the field. I mean, that's what you want. You don't want everybody on the sidelines or anything like that. You know, I think right now is the right time to get healthy. So I mean, I think that's a good thing for us as a team."
(on if he is starting to get a picture of what the offense can be when everyone is healthy) "Yeah, I think when you go out and we execute like we're supposed to, we can be a very good football team. I think when you go out there and make the mistakes that we made in the Arizona game, you can see what can happen. You just put that stuff behind you and you just try to get better from what you did that day. So, we'll try to get better from what we did today. We'll watch it on film and come out here tomorrow and go back at it again."
(on what he thought about the Denver defensive backs) "I think it's just great going against another team and competing. So, you know, I think it's great competition for us and for them. Sometimes you kind of tired going against your teammates, especially in training camp, so I think it makes practice fun and it's a lot of competition."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on how it felt to be back out there) "It felt great just to be back out there with my teammates. You know, getting in and getting some good work. Just a blessing to be back out there."
(on what part of practice he participated in) "Just individual drills for the most part. Couple of walk through drills. Didn't do any team drills."
(on how far he is from where he wants to be) "I don't really have a percentage or a time table. I'm just working every day just trying to get myself where I'm in good enough shape to go all game."
(on if he has an idea when he'll play for the first time) "Not my call to make, you know. Just doing my job of being ready when my number is called. Like today I came out, worked on the small things, technique details."
(on how he is progressing) "I'm progressing fine. I think I'm right where I need to be this point in time in training camp, just being smart about it."
(on when he thinks he'll start showing explosiveness) "I think I'm right around where I want to be, like I said earlier on. It's about just being able to do it for a full game and being able to go out there and not worry about it at all."
(on going against an offense of the caliber of Denver) "It's great. Any time you have chance to go one week against Matt Ryan and the next week against Peyton Manning in a full practice setting, it's just great because you can never get that type of work, even throughout the preseason. You don't have that many plays where you play a full game, so we have a chance to come out here and practice and get a game type situation."
(on spending a week together on the road with the team) "It's good. You never want to leave home in training camp, but it's good to build team comradery and team chemistry and things like that. To be in a different setting, you know, right there where you started a foundation and you build your team up."
DE J.J. Watt
(on if he thinks his contract needs to get done before the season starts) "I think when you look around the league and a see a couple other guys from the 2011 draft class get contracts, I think it's just nice to see the appreciation being shown. With the new CBA, I think one of the goals was to make guys earn their pay. No more big paydays upfront. Make guys go out there and play and show that they've earned it. So I think when a team gives a contract after the third year, I think they're saying, 'Listen, we think you've earned this.' I don't know if they feel that way or not but I sure hope I've put in all the work and I've put in everything I can do to hopefully earn it. I get paid to go after quarterbacks. There are people who get paid to decide how much I get paid to go after quarterbacks. I'll let them all decide that. I can't worry about it out here. All I can do is practice football."
(on how important it is to have something done with his contract before the season starts) "Obviously, I think that would be great. But like I said, it does me no good to sit here and worry about it every single day. There are people who get paid to worry about that. I come out here and I play football to the best of my ability. I try and play with my teammates as well as I possibly can, help out the young guys and do everything that I can to be the best Houston Texan possible and then I let all of that take care of itself. No matter what, I will always try to put on the best face I can for this organization and I'll always try and be the best ambassador I can be for the Houston Texans."
(on if he has a personal philosophy on how he's going to approach getting a new contract) "I think no matter what job you do, I don't care what job it is, you want to outperform your contract. I feel like that's how everybody should attack their job, at least. You should want people to think you're underpaid because of how hard you work, because of how well you do your job, because of how you go about your business. That's just personal pride and that's the way that I was raised and that's the way my parents taught me was if they give you $2 worth of wage, give them $3 worth of work."
(on why he hasn't exerted any leverage in getting a new contract) "Because that would cause me to miss time with my teammates and right now I want to practice. I want to be out here with these young guys. I want to teach them the things that I know. I want to better myself. It hasn't really come to that. I want to be a Houston Texan. I want to play football. I want to be the best I can be and I can't do that by sitting on my couch. So I want to come out here and practice and help the team."
(on how he would characterize the talks between his people and the Texans) "I have no idea. I'm out here playing football. That's all I can say. I let those people worry about those things."
(on if he was surprised when Texans owner Bob McNair used the term 'franchise tag' in the media) "Like I said, the business side of things is the business side. Right now I'm in football mode so I worry about that. If the time comes where I really need to get involved in the business side, I will. But for the time being, I'm just trying to be the best teammate I can be right now and help my teammates out and be the best football player I can be because I sure as heck love this game."
(on if he would like to be with the Texans as long as possible) "I sure would like to be. I love the fans that we have. I love the relationship that we have. The city is so great and the way that they treated myself and my family, I couldn't ask for a better place to play. So I sure as heck hope that we can make something happen. Like I said, I hope that I've given the effort and everything they could want to hopefully show that appreciation."
(on his post-practice tutorial with Jadeveon Clowney) "Every day we work a little something. As you've seen in the games, he's a very talented player. I just try and teach him a couple of the things I've learned in my time in this league and ways that we can help each other because I really think it can be a lot of fun."
(on how he is able to separate the business side of football from how he goes about preparing and playing) "I think that I realized that if I worry about the business side while I'm out here, I'm not going to get the best practice. I know that if I waste a day, that's a day I can't get back. That's a rep I can't get back. And if I waste that rep, somebody else didn't waste that rep. I can't afford to have that happen. I need every single rep. I need every single practice to get as good as I can possibly get. That's why I don't like practicing in no pads. I want to be in full pads because that's football. I want to be out here practicing and ready to go full-board. Tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun because that's when you get better as a player. But the business side, that'll take care of itself. Like I said, if I need to get involved in that at some point, I will. But I really hope they can figure all that out."