After the Texans' Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium, both teams spoke to the media. Here are their quotes.
TEXANS CHAIRMAN/CEO BOB MCNAIRHEAD COACH GARY KUBIAKDEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPSFB JAMES CASEYDT SHAUN CODYILB BRIAN CUSHINGTE OWEN DANIELSCB KAREEM JACKSONWR ANDRE JOHNSONWR JACOBY JONESCB JOHNATHAN JOSEPHSS GLOVER QUINILB DEMECO RYANSQB MATT SCHAUBDE ANTONIO SMITH RB BEN TATEWR KEVIN WALTERDE J.J. WATTOLB MARIO WILLIAMST ERIC WINSTON
TEXANS CHAIRMAN/CEO BOB MCNAIR(on the performance of his team) "I'm just delighted with it. Of course, we worked hard on our defense and to see them respond the way they did was just terrific."
(on whether this is the best game his team has played) "It's as good as it comes. To dominate a team like this is outstanding and they are a good ballclub. They'll win a lot of games this year, but the key was we knew we had to improve our defense and I think it's clear our defense is much improved. Our offense is good and we knew that. There are some things we need to work on. The key was how good our defense is and have we stepped up enough and I think we (have). "
(on the depth of the defense being encouraging) "It is. You just have to have the people that can step in because you are going to lose some players."
HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK(on the injuries for the game) "We've got some concern right now with (RB Derrick) Ward and (WR) Kevin Walter. We lost them before the first half was over. They now have to be evaluated and I'll know more tomorrow. Kevin has a shoulder issue, Derrick has an ankle issue."
(on the dislocated shoulder for WR Kevin Walter ) "I don't know, I really don't. I just know they were out for the second half so we kind of were in a bind with some things. I'll know more tomorrow.
(on Texans experiencing defensive coordinator Wade Phillips'effect) "He's done a hell of a job. We played good defense in a very short period of time. We got going really good. No doubt in my mind if we don't turn the ball over in the fourth quarter it would have been even better. He's been exceptional and the players have adjusted very quickly to what he wants them to do. And the defensive staff has done a great job in a short period of time."
(on if this is the best performance since he's been here) "That's the best half of football we have probably played as a team. It was explosive in every area: offense, defense and special teams. We have to be that way. They're a heck of a football team and it's a big division rival. We talked about starting fast as a football team and we've had a good camp. I would like to see us finish better. I'm talking offensively. I don't like the way we turned the ball over in the fourth quarter. But it was a great group effort. We had explosion from every facet of the football team and that's what you're looking for."
(on WR Jacoby Jones' play) "We have talked and had a lot of conversations about him and what everybody is expecting. I told you guys that I expect him to be one of the top returners in football. That's one place he knows he's going to touch it every week. That's great to see. He has worked very, very hard in camp. He came in and played for Kevin and did a good job and made some plays. We're excited. I think Jacoby's got an even bigger part in this football team this year than he's had in the past."
(on coach Marciano and the play of the special teams ) "I just think we're better athletically because our team is built in the 3-4 and he has more athletes to work with. Joe's done a heck of a job. He's got young players, (LB Bryan) Braman, and got new players like (LB Tim) Dobbins so he's had to adjust those guys real quick. We went with the young punter which is a gutsy move and Joe believes in him. He kicked off extremely well. He's done a nice job and obviously rewarded for the work today."
(on difficulty of matching up with LB Mario Williams and him lining up on the outside) "It presents a problem. When you play a 3-4 team you have to make a decision, do you turn to him with your tackle or do you think a back can hold up out there sometimes. Everybody has got that decision and we have that offensively when we play 3-4 teams. Sooner or later there is a mismatch depending on what someone is doing. And as I've told you guys all along the thing about Mario is that Mario continues to improve in his new role. It has been a process that every time he's gone out, whether its practice or a preseason game, he seems to do something better every week. And he's off to a great start today. Very encouraged about where Mario can go with this."
(on the defensive line setting the tone) "I think so. I just think we did defensively as a group. I thought we really rallied to the ball. We get two balls on the ground that we get to, that's are very important, and turn those into touchdowns. We just played hard. Some of the plays we made, the play Jonathan Joseph made on the post route, that we got the personal foul call on, was an amazing play. We put those guys in a position to make those plays, and they got to go make them and they did today.
(on the offensive line) "They are playing really well. It's a group that's been together for a while. And I told the team last night, I said 'hey, we're gonna be missing a good player probably tomorrow too.' Last year we did not handle missing players very good. We weren't able to. We lost (LB) DeMeco (Ryans) and we didn't handle it very good. We get our chance to start on day one showing whether or not we can rally as a football team. We are missing somebody and we still rushed for, what, 170 yards. That's a credit that goes to the offensive line."
on RB Ben Tate and his play) "He's got a chance to be a fine player. Step on the field and have a 100-yard, 116-yard day, whatever it was. He has explosion, he's got big play capability. He needs to learn how, from a pro standpoint, to play week to week. Go recover this week and be ready to go in Miami on Sunday. But he's got a lot of ability."
(on the Texans gelling and how he feels about the team) "I feel good today. We play 16 times. I felt great here last year. A year ago today I was telling you the same thing; we've got a lot of football to play. There are a lot positives to pull from. We have to go fix these couple turnovers we had in the fourth quarter and move forward."
(on the message to the team last night) "Kind of what I just said. I talked about that, I told them it was a new group, this group's opportunity. A lot of faces back, but yet we added a lot of faces not only playing wise, but coaching wise. Every year you get your group together and it's your chance to go do something special. So it was this group's first opportunity together today and they made it happen today. So we'll see. We've got a lot of new leaders emerging on this team. It's a fun group to work with."
(on Colts WR coach Frank Reich as a coach and possibly blowing a lead in the second half) "I guess until the game is over. Turn the ball over you give them a chance. I'd like to have that opportunity to do that every week."
(on how he felt to be up 34-0 at halftime) "Coach speak, you have to keep them going."
(on how you keep the team going with a 34-0 lead at halftime) "It was as explosive a half as I've ever been around as a coach. You just have to keep them focused. You know you still have a lot of football you still have to play and you have to keep them focused. We had a couple problems on offense we knew we were going to have to go work through, missing (WR) Kevin (Walter) and missing (RB) Derrick (Ward) in the second half. You just want to stay sharp with what you're doing. We've got to evaluate it all and it's a great plan and hopefully we can fix the things that we didn't do very well."
(on DE Antonio Smith and DE JJ Watt's play) "They're effort players. That's all they make in this league, that's who they are, just extra effort type people. (Defensive line coach) Bill (Kollar) has got those guys flying around. We only suited five defensive linemen; I've never been around that before. He played a lot of plays and he played very hard, played very well. Looked like (DE Tim) Jameson came in and did some good things. I know (DT) Sean (Cody) and (DT) Earl (Mitchell). It's a small group, but it's a dang good group. Bill's done a good job with them."
(on the fans support) "They must have heard my speech at the luncheon, huh? Is that what it was? No, listen, that means a lot to the players, not me. It means a great deal to the players. They come out for warm-ups and they see the fans in the stands. They were electric today. That place was amazing. Hopefully we can play halves like that, play some more of those halves. But the fans were amazing today."
(on the rotation between CB Jason Allen and CB Kareem Jackson) "It kind of was every third series Jason would go. I don't know how it ended up, I'll have to go back and look at it. Jason has earned the right to be in the rotation, and Kareem has earned the right to be the starter. We've got that going on right there. Kind of a little bit like we do with our running backs today."
(on the negatives from the game [injuries and turnovers]) "That's the two negatives coming out of it. You're always going to get a little nicked up, so hopefully we'll see how bad these two guys are. But we go to work on fixing those things. I told the guys a while ago I know it hurts them bad, when it hurts, that you turn the ball over then you have a chance to fix it. We turned it over three times, I think, then twice. We have to fix that offensively. Great team effort, great start. Like I said, place was great. Let's move on to Miami."
(on RB Arian Foster playing next week) "I think until he steps on the field there are some question, and I've said that all
along. Until he steps back out there we have to be concerned. He has worked very hard for the last few days and he's
worked again today a little bit. I'm glad that we were able to get it done without him, that was important. The next test will be Wednesday."
(on third downs) "I think we were close to 50 percent at the end, without getting the knee at the end. I think we had them somewhere under 20 percent. Third down is a possession in the game, you make them you stay on the field, you don't make them you give them the ball back. We were excellent in many phases defensively, but getting those turnovers were huge. Turning them into touchdowns that set the tone for the game."
(on the Colts without QB Peyton Manning or if the Texans are playing that well) "First off they are a heck of a football team. I think anytime you have to change your quarterback that quickly that is difficult in this league, I mean that is very difficult. But he has played a lot of good football. Let's be fair to him, he's only been with them a couple of weeks. He's a hell of a player and I 've got a lot of respect for Kerry Collins. He's a good football player. He'll play well."
(on LB DeMeco Ryans' first week back) "What I saw, until I watch the film, but what I've seen he looked pretty good. I don't know how much the brace hinders him a little bit from a tackling standpoint. I have to go back and watch. DeMeco just needs to get reps under his belt, so hopefully he got a lot of them today. We will go back and look. I know that we did give him a break at one time with (LB Darryl) Sharpton going in. He's important, very important to this team."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPS(on the results of his first game with the Texans) "It was obviously a good start for us. We're going to go back and look at the mistakes we made but the effort was great. I thought our execution was pretty good. You had to be pleased with 34-0 at the half. We felt like we had to come out strong against that team. They had adversity with their quarterback. We had to play strong early and I thought we did that."
(on the impact that DE Antonio Smith had on the game) "He's (Antonio Smith) really a player; they voted him captain and you can see why. He's an all-out player that can give you problems. We pressured them and they got away from some of them, but I thought we had good pressure all day."
(on OLB Mario Williams progress at his positional change) "Looks like he (Mario Williams) can play outside linebacker to me. That first series he sacked the quarterback. He had a good game."
(on what an outcome like this does for a team) "Well confidence first. We had been practicing well. Our third preseason game we played well. We were pulling towards this ballgame and we finished by playing well again."
(on if he feels the defense is learning his new system well) "So far so good. They put a lot into it. They've worked hard and studied hard. That's what we really pushed with them because we were behind and they needed to study more than they ever have. I thought the players did a good job with that."
(on if mismatches were the key to the 3-4 defensive scheme's effectiveness) "That's the problem with the 3-4, you get mismatches. You get backer on the back, or a backer on tight-end. That's what we try to utilize."
FB JAMES CASEY(on how his experience at different positions affects his play at FB) "I played receiver in college so I'm comfortable out wide while playing fullback along with the traditional blocking. There's a lot of stuff they can do, and each game plan we've got different stuff."
(on what problems he faces in his new position at FB) "It's a little different for me being tall. I'm 6'3" so I have to get down low and concentrate on making sure I'm low. I feel like one of my advantages is that I'm quick to the hole and I can run pretty well. I try to concentrate on the assets I bring. I try to play really fast and get to hole as fast as I can. That gives more separation for the running back to make their moves. I focus on being fast and trying to get low. They're going to try to get underneath me because I am so tall but I can get low as well."
(on if he feels his lead blocking is key to the 216 yards rushing the Texan's had today) "No, I will never take too much credit for what the running backs do. They're the ones carrying the ball. I'm just trying to get on my guy and do my job so that hopefully we get a lot of yards rushing. They get a lot of yards out of our two tight end sets as well. That's something I don't say because I'm just trying to do the job our offensive linemen do, our tight ends do, and our receivers do—to give them holes. They've got to make the cuts; that's what they're paid to do. It feels good that Ben Tate, in his very first game, in the NFL rushes for over 100 yards. He's probably thinking that this isn't too hard of a deal."
DT SHAUN CODY(on pressuring the quarterback early in the game) "It means everything in (Defensive Coordinator) Wade's (Philips) defense. To put pressure on the quarterback with four or five guys if you can do that you are going to be successful."
(on the turnovers in the game) "We knew we had to win the turnover battle so (Defensive End) Antonio (Smith) went out there and caused a fumble. When you get turnovers the defense is going to play a lot better."
(on nearly pitching a shutout on defense) "That's what we are shooting for every week, keeping the other team from scoring points. I think as a defensive performance you have to be happy."
ILB BRIAN CUSHING(on the game) "It was a good game overall. I think just the most important thing is we went out, executed on defense, played well on offense and special teams and we're 1-0."
(on how the tone of the game was changed by the defense's pressure early in the game) "It always does. There's no question about it. You can disrupt an entire offense when you have a pass rush like that, get that many guys in a quarterback's face. That's something we emphasized in the offseason, in camp and we were real effective with it today."
(on if the Texans rattled the Colts offense early in the game) "Yeah, I think so. Any time you're sacking the quarterback like that or hitting them and just getting them off their game plan, it totally changes everything."
(on OLB Mario Williams performance) "I think he's a pretty good outside linebacker. I think that went to rest pretty quick and I think he's a great athlete. I think he did a great job. He's a hell of a football player. There's no question about that."
(on how weird it was not seeing QB Peyton Manning playing) "It didn't. Injuries are a part of the game and whoever was going to lineup at quarterback for them, we were going to play them. We can't worry about who they put out there, but just what we can control."
TE OWEN DANIELS(on the offense) "Real solid first half. Only thing that really stopped us was those turnovers. We were shooting ourselves in the foot. Not happy about the fourth quarter the way we ended things, but those things can be fixed. Overall, we're happy with the win."
(on watching the defense) "It was awesome. It's exciting. We've been on the other side of that too many times in the past, so it was nice to be able to go out there and have a team win and have everyone contribute."
(on how the defense set the tone for the game) "It was huge, so huge. We were able to capitalize on most of that. It got the Colts rattled. They were flying around doing some great things."
CB KAREEM JACKSON(on his improvement from last season) "Every play that I have played, every mistake that I have made, I just took it as a learning experience and everyday I get better."
(on the performance of the defense ) "It felt good. For us to go out and get the first 'W' with the new things that we have going on defense, it felt good as a team. We just take that win, come back next week and work."
(on whether the defense is hungry) "Definitely. Last year we were not satisfied at all, so this year it's more about us coming out and proving we are one of those top contender defenses and we have to do that every week. We are hungry and eager to do that."
WR ANDRE JOHNSON(on if the defense carrying their weight will make the job easier for the offense) "Yes, but at the same time this is a sixteen game season. It's a marathon not a hundred-yard sprint. We can enjoy what happened today but once tomorrow comes, it's over. We've got to go out and fix the mistakes that we made and try to do the same thing next week."
(on the depth of the running backs) "We have a lot of guys that can run the football. What (RB) Ben Tate did today didn't surprise anyone around here. We saw glimpses of that from him during preseason."
(on how strange it was seeing the Colts without QB Peyton Manning) "It was definitely different. I think I've played against him sixteen or seventeen times and he hasn't missed a game. So, it was different."
(on the Colts look defensively) "The same guys that were there last year were out there. We went against their number one defense and were able to go out and execute our offense. We just need to be more consistent in the second half."
(on if he feels Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips has done a lot to help the team) "I think that he has the guys believing and once you have the trust from the players, they'll go out and give everything they've got for you."
WR JACOBY JONES(on the special teams' role in today's win) "It's a thing one of my old coaches used to say, 'Offense rolls, defense holds, and special teams just stay special.'"
(on his punt return touchdown play) "He (punter) actually hung it. Those types of balls are usually a fair catch, but my guys did such a good job of holding them up from getting down there I just took it and do what I do best, which is run as fast as possible."
(on how it feels to get the first win of the season) "Relief. We've got to move on though. We're 1-0 and the next game is Miami. We've got to be ready."
(on how it felt to score a touchdown on a return) "I have been getting so close. I've been watching film. When I finally got my shot, I be darned if I get caught this time. It felt pretty good."
(on if he feels the special teams has improved this year) "We are pretty good. Joe Marciano stays on us every day during practice to be detail oriented. Kick off, kick-butt, and that's what we try to do."
CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH(on getting the win after his first game as a Texan) "It's a great feeling. Today to come in, in front of the home crowd, 9/11 and everything that is going on worldwide and to come in and get a big win for us is tremendous."
(on the emotional impact of 9/11) "It was good to be a part of it. I remember sitting in a classroom 10 years ago when they announced it at school about the events of 9/11. To be here playing a professional sport today and representing our country is a great feeling."
(on Mario Williams' performance today) "I'm happy for Mario (Williams) because of the position change and people saying he was uncomfortable. To go out and display the game that he did today, shows that he is capable of doing it anyday you ask him."
(on if this is what he expected of the Texans' defense when he signed) "Absolutely. I told those guys when I came in day one that we have the talent and it's just about us going out and getting the job done. For us this is step one. We did a good job."
SS GLOVER QUIN(on the performance of the team) "Fortunately, in the first half we were able to make some plays and we went into halftime up 34-0 and we were thinking 'let's finish this thing out.'"
(on whether they expected to play so well) "Yeah, this is what we expected to happen. Going into the game this is what we expected."
(on how it feels putting last year behind him) "It feels good. Every year is a new year. This year it feels great to come out and show off a new defense and have a performance like this for the first game. We are not satisfied right now so we are ready to
continue to get better."
ILB DEMECO RYANS(on the performance of Defensive End Mario Williams) "It was good. That's what we expect from Mario. We know he has the capability of doing it. It was nothing new, nothing surprising. That's what he is supposed to do."
(on his role in the new defense) "It's still the same thing, getting the guys lined up and making the calls. It takes everyone. Defensively, it's not just on me to make plays. It's everybody taking the responsibility to do that."
(on how he felt giving up the shutout) "We were hurt by the touchdown. We were looking for a shutout. We expected to shut them out so we were hurt when they scored. We like the way we played. We know we can still clean things up, be better, and keep that goose egg on the board."
QB MATT SCHAUB(On if the first half could've been better) "That first drive I had a ball get away from me on the second play to Andre (Johnson). We had a good plan coming in and it takes us down to the red zone, so we had some points there that we left out there but other than that, I think we really came out and played great. Guys executed and our defense played extremely well getting a few turnovers and giving us a short field. The big thing there was that we converted those into touchdowns which gave us a lead and let us go from there."
(On if the turnovers bothered the team and him) "Yeah, it bothered me personally, turning the ball over. We pride ourselves on making good decisions and taking care of the football and the one got away from me and then I made a bad decision in the red zone. I've got to be better, all game long I could've played better for this team and Ben (Tate) knows that he needs to hold on to that football but it was good to see how our defense responded. That was a positive. Our defense went out there and they had my back and held them and got the ball back to us. We just have to move on and learn from it."
(On the feeling at halftime) "It was a good feeling to have the lead, but it's a good football team; they have a lot of talent over there and their defense is very fast and physical so they're capable of making plays. We had to come out with the same mindset and keep going."
(On the play of the offensive line and the depth at running back) "Yeah, our offensive line played outstanding today; they really did well. Our tight ends really did a nice job on the edge and opened up holes. We're a good solid group of backs. Derrick (Ward) really played well and when Ben (Tate) was in there, he's a great guy who can read the one cut, make his move, get downhill, get yards and make someone miss. We saw that today and it's good to see him play that way but it all starts upfront with those guys being that they've been together for a few years now, the cohesiveness that they have really showed today."
(on FB James Casey) "James played really well. He had a lot on his plate this summer with our reads and everything that he was doing but he did a really nice job with everything we had in the run game as well as in the pass with the balls in the flat and getting yards for us. He gives us a lot of flexibility with what we can do in our base personnel group with his athleticism and his ability to catch the ball and run routes as well as his ability to block in the running game. It just presents another weapon and something else the defense needs to prepare for."
(on if he feels less pressure due to defenses play) "No we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We demand a lot out of ourselves as an offense, as a quarterback, as a football team so that doesn't take away from it. We just know that we have a solid group on that side that's going to go out and play well and give us a chance to make some plays on offense with a short field but at the same time we have to go out and execute."
(on if it was strange not to see Colts QB Peyton Manning) "It was a little different because you've seen him for so many years. It's different to see someone else running their group but Kerry (Collins) has played a lot of football in this league, a very veterean guy who is smart and knows how to play this game so it doesn't take anything away from what he's able to do."
(on if he sympathizes for Colts QB Kerry Collins) "Yeah, it's tough to go in and learn a system, especially a game plan that can be pretty complex but like I said he's veteran in this league and been around some teams so I had no doubt that he was able to pick things up obviously not to the scale that Peyton (Manning) could run it but he can still throw the football and he has pretty good weapons over there."
(on the play of the offensive line and the credit they deserve) "I just think it was getting back into a routine with missing the offseason and the work they would have together but they've been together for multiple years now so it's just getting back in the groove and rhythm of their calls and working together on their combinations. They fell right back in to how they played last year and it was just great to see how they responded to the time off. I think they deserve the credit and I'm going to do the best that I can to make sure they get it. They need it, they deserve it."
(on confidence in defense and what it does for the offense) "We saw it coming all of training camp and all of preseason. We see it every day in practice, the intensity and the enthusiasm they're been playing with. Guys are around the football making plays, breaking up passes they've been doing that all of camp. To go out and see them actually do it in the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts was great for us. We weren't shocked or blindsided, we saw it coming. To see them go out there and make some plays and get some turnovers in the redzone for us was great to have."
(on defense producing turnovers) "It was huge, it was the first or second down to start their series inside the 20 yard line and we get the ball down there and then three or five plays later we get back-to-back possessions and turn those into touchdowns. That's huge for us and it could be devastating for the team on the other side of the ball."
(on the special teams play of WR Jacoby Jones and S Danieal Manning) "Those are huge plays for us. We've always had that potential with Jacoby in the punt return game. He's always provided us a spark and seeing those guys work to get those blocks for him and spring him was very encouraging and to see Manning bring that ball out, he's been a great returner in this league for years now and he got the blocking and he has the speed to hit the hole so it really gives us huge advantages in field position."
DE ANTONIO SMITH(on the performance of Defensive End Mario Williams) "Whenever you have a big play it just ignites the whole team and everybody gets excited. That's one thing that I enjoyed seeing today. Instead of one or two people celebrating with each other the whole team went crazy."
(on early sacks setting the tone for the defense) "It sets the tone by getting everybody excited. When you are having fun at playing anything the tone is set. You feel like you are unstoppable. You feel like you can do anything. It sends out a positive vibe."
(on whether Colts quarterback Kerry Collins was rattled) "I don't know if a veteran quarterback like that really gets rattled, but I know he felt our pain. I know every time we hit him we tried to make him feel that."
RB BEN TATE(on the reason he played so well) "Offensive line, the key to every running back running the ball well is the offensive line. James Casey and those guys did a great job."
(on how comfortable he is with the offense) "I feel pretty comfortable but I'm still learning. I think in the middle of the season I'll be a lot more comfortable with it. The longer you play in a system, the more comfortable you become. It's not that I don't know what I'm doing, but maybe I'm not as comfortable as I want to be."
(on if he's ready to start against Miami) "I'm always ready to do whatever this team needs me to do. I'm at 100 percent and I'm ready to help this team put up Ws and that's why we're all here."
(on whether he was planning to run as much as he did) "As a running back you always want to run more, that's just how we are. But I didn't really expect to get the ball as much as I did, but I'm happy with it and I think I did a pretty good job with my opportunities."
(if he is excited about his and the team's performance) "Excellent game, besides fumbling the ball, but other than that I think I played a good game. I'm excited, but I'm a guy who likes to critique himself. I'm really hard on myself, so until I go back and watch film I really won't know how things went exactly. My coach in college always told me it's not always as good as it looks and it's not always as bad as it looks either."
(on finally playing after sitting out his rookie year) "It's been a long process for me. Coming back from an ankle injury, and then in camp having a hamstring injury and everybody bashing me, but it's whatever. As a player you have to stay strong and this injury has helped me stay mentally strong and deal with all the adversity."
(on having his first game under his belt) "The guys still bother me and call me a rookie until I get a couple more games under my belt, but other than that, it felt good to get out there and play in a regular season game."
WR KEVIN WALTER(on his injury) "Well, you know, it was a third down catch that I had and I just landed on the ball wrong the way I got tackled. We'll find out more tomorrow. We're going to get an MRI tomorrow, but hopefully it will come back good, treat it and come back as soon as possible."
(on if he's concerned about his injury) "I'm concerned. I wouldn't say I'm worried about it because I'm going to treat the heck out of it and be ready to roll as soon as possible. I've never had anything like this before, so it's always a concern."
(on if there's a diagnosis for his injury yet) "No, not yet. We'll find out more information tomorrow."
(on if he will play next week against Miami) "We'll find out more information tomorrow. We'll get an MRI and a lot will tell tomorrow."
(on how the game went today) "Today was awesome. Are you kidding me? Today, we couldn't have scripted it any better. This is what we wanted, wanted to come out and start 1-0 and we did that. I think played great offensively, defensively, special teams and this is what we've been talking about. This is what we know we can do. When we all play together like this, there's no reason why we can't put up those points and get a win like this every week."
DE J.J. WATT(on the game) "Obviously, there's a lot of things we need to correct, but any time you can do that against a good offensively team like the Colts, it's a fun day for our defense."
(on the defense looking hungry on every play) "We are. That's what we want to do. We want to come out here with that passion, that fire and we just want to play ball. That's kind of what we did today, just play our game and have fun with it."
(on how it felt to get his first fumble recovery) "It felt good. Obviously, that's a big momentum changer deep in their territory and you give our offense the ball, they're going to score. It was good to give them that opportunity."
OLB MARIO WILLIAMS(on his performance) "I feel like I'm a lot more comfortable. It was definitely a team effort though, couldn't have done it without the coverage, the guys beside me, the coaching staff. It was a good chance to get out there for the first real game and try to mix it up a little bit."
(on the pressure by the defense) "Our biggest thing is getting after the quarterback, stopping the run. I think that we still got a little work to do because we leaked some runs out we shouldn't have done, but that's the first game, so we'll be alright."
(on what it means to start with a win) "It means a lot. We were talking 1-0 all week and to come out here and get a victory against the Colts is huge for us and we just got to build off that."
(on if he gets excited when he lines up against a tight end) "I get excited all the time, but it's definitely one of those things that with the way that we run our defense, you're going to get mismatches like that. You just got to take advantage of it and hope that the coverage is doing what they do, which they cover phenomenally all game, and basically just get after it.
T ERIC WINSTON(on how it feels to win to open the season) "It's always a good feeling to get a win to open the season, but then you add the fact that it's division and Indianapolis has dominated the division for so many years. To get jump start on it, it feels real good."
(on starting the game in sync) "Oh, sure. The thing about division games, especially in the AFC South is there's really no secrets, so it's mano-e-mano going against each other. They tried to do a lot of movement. They tried to tie the offensive linemen up and get the backers over the top, but we were ready for it. We were able to get through on a lot of guys, open up some holes and you got to give a lot of credit to (Derrick) Ward and (Ben) Tate, (Steve) Slaton coming in. We broke some big runs and we stayed on schedule."
(on the performance of the defense building camaraderie among the team) "That feels great. Watching them play is getting us hyped. It really is and let's face it, there wasn't a ton of that last year. There was a lot of heavy lifting on one side of the ball, but I tell you what, you can tell how far they've come already and I'm excited to see where they're going to go because I really think they got a chance to be a dominant defense. With that front the way they have, they're rotating guys in, that's exciting to me."
(on the success running the ball without RB Arian Foster playing) "It's a new year obviously. We're real excited as an offensive line to see what kind of depth we built at running back and I think we showed a little bit of that today. Obviously, not having Arian, the best running back in the league in our opinion hurts, but at the same time, it's the next man up. Injuries happen in this league and we don't know how long Arian's going to be out, so we got to go with that mentality that whoever's back there, doesn't matter if we're doing quarterback sneaks the whole time, we got to open up some holes and we got to get some yards."
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELLRB JOSEPH ADDAIQB KERRY COLLINSDE DWIGHT FREENEYDE ROBERT MATHISDB JERRAUD POWERSLB CLINT SESSIONWR REGGIE WAYNE
HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL(on overcoming the first quarter) "We definitely put ourselves behind the eight-ball with giving them a short field to operate with. When you give a good football team that kind of position, of course you are going to pay for it; our defense hung in there but couldn't get them stopped. We just did too many little things wrong in that first half."
(on the Texans defense) "They played well obviously. They played hard and we couldn't get the ball going on the ground like we wanted to and a lot of the time the score dictates your actions. Overall they did a nice job. You've got to give a lot of credit to them, they moved the ball well on offense as well. Defense did well and the kicking game hurt us too."
(on the team regarding QB Peyton Manning's absence) "I think today was just a performance issue. They out-executed us plain and simple. I think our guys turned it around and got some momentum in the second half, but not nearly enough. We just never got on track."
(on where the Colts go from here) "It's a marathon and not a sprint and that's the good thing about it. We start the quarter, that's how we usually break it down and we are 0 and 1 right now. We've got to go back to the basics and focus in on the things that we did really poorly. They are all correctable. If we don't turn the ball over it is a completely different game. Often times turnovers cloud the game and mask everything you do. There is an old saying, 'You're never as bad as you think you are when you lose and you're never as good as you think you are when you win.' That certainly is true for us today."
(on QB Kerry Collins performance) "It was tough out there. Obviously he had some pressure and some situations where protection broke down on him. He didn't perform as well as he is capable to because of that, but he made some nice throws. One guy or two guys can't do it all. It's a team game."
(on what positives can be taken from the game) "It's tough with a game like this. You have to look at the fact that in the second half we did start to get a little more momentum. The defense made a couple of stops. We got some turnovers defensively, but not nearly enough to overcome the deficit. So, there were some good things. We had some guys that played well individually, but overall it's tough to find a whole lot of good in a game like this one."
(on how important it was for QB Kerry Collins to have an improved second half) "I thought it was good for him to have the opportunity to get in there and get a sense and flow of things in the ballgame. I think you'll see that he will improve as a result of it. He did a nice job there in the second half. He was in command a little better of the things going on around him. I think we protected him a little bit better, but then we ended up with another sack fumble. Overall I think we have a lot to build on and a lot to work on. I think our team can certainly get refocused and redirected for the next game coming up next weekend."
RB JOSEPH ADDAI(on playing in the game that got out of control fast) "Last year they came out and did the same thing. Hats off to those guys. They had a good game plan. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot early. I don't remember a game like that. The good thing about it is that we have all talked as a team and we are going to go in tomorrow and learn from our mistakes."
(on the message after the game) "It really came in the fourth quarter when Reggie (Wayne) pulled the whole offense together on the sideline. He told us all that we got beat pretty bad today but it doesn't end here. We all have our heads up going forward."
(on the team having opportunities in the game to get a rhythm going) There were some opportunities there, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. The good thing is that we were able to get some good runs in there and we could build off of that. As a unit, everybody has to work together and I think we are headed in the right direction."
(on if he felt it was strange to huddle up after every play) "We had to make a couple of adjustments. Going into the game, We knew that we were going to have to do that. It's a little different, but we have to adapt to what is going on now."
(on if he feels that this is a new adjustment for the entire team and that it is going to take some time) "Yes and we know that. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. We understand the situation and know that going forward."
QB KERRY COLLINS(on if he was disappointed with today's loss) "This wasn't the day that we had hoped but for but it's a long season. We played a good football team today and we didn't help ourselves certainly. It doesn't matter what the situation is, we can't play like we did and expect to stay in the ball game."
(on what it's like to be the new guy in the huddle with a veteran offense) "It's strange but I haven't really stopped to think about it. It's just part of the game. We all wish that Peyton (Manning) gets healthy but until that time, we have to keep going on."
(on success against Texans defense in the past versus today) "I thought they played great today and obviously rushed the passer very well. We did a couple of good things against them but their secondary played very well and there was some times when they really brought it. They're as good a front seven as we'll play this whole year. We have to do better at diagnosing it, picking it up and getting rid of the ball."
(on the two turnovers) "I know that the quarterback-to-center exchange was my fault, I need to ride in there a little bit better with Jeff (Saturday). They (Texans) are good up front with getting pressure on the quarterback and I have to take better care of the ball."
(on what to improve) "From an operations standpoint, I thought it was ok. I felt comfortable coming in and play calling. There weren't any glitches with that today, which is a positive thing but I know there are more things I can do to help us get in better situations."
DE DWIGHT FREENEY(on what he takes away from this game) "It's just one game. Last year at this time we were 0-1. Good thing about this is there's 15 other games and there's 15 other teams 0-1."
(on facing early deficit in the game) "Obviously when you turn the ball over it puts any defense in a difficult situation but you still have to make plays so it's not excuse. We have to go back and do what we've always done: correct the issues. It's just one loss."
(on how much they missed Indianapolis QB Peyton Manning) "He's a Hall of Fame quarterback and we're used to having him there."
(on how good it will feel to play in Indianapolis next week)"It'll be good to get to that next one. Obviously, you want to get that bad taste out of your mouth. Hopefully next week we get things corrected."
(on the team's demeanor before the game) "We're ready to go regardless of the situation and whatever we face. We're a team and we're going to pull together no matter what; win or lose."
(on if he's been a part of a first half like today) "It was pretty bad. Actually there was one time we played against Cleveland where it was like 20-0 and we actually ended up coming back and winning that game. I looked up and all of a sudden 30 points. They played well."
DE ROBERT MATHIS(on how the team feels after this loss) "It hurts, but we will be alright. I just mentioned to everyone to just follow the leaders and everything will be alright. It's a marathon, not a sprint. I think we will be alright. We are a veteran group. We just need to keep our heads up."
(on the rest of the season going forward ) "We were in this same position last year. We are a veteran team. We know what to expect and we know how to bounce back from this."
(on falling behind early) "We couldn't do anything right on all three phases. At halftime we made the proper corrections in the second half."
(on second half adjustments) "We couldn't do anything right in all three phases, so at halftime we made corrections and it was a more respectable game in the second half."
(on first half deficit) "Last year around this time we got behind the eight ball, too. We'll bounce back."
WR REGGIE WAYNE(on today's game) "There's been a lot of times when we've been on the other side of that score. We have to take the good with the bad. We just have to build off of this. It's a long season. There's no time to hang your head. Take this game, take this L, yeah we got took behind the woodshed but we've got to build off of this."
(on what he told the team after the game) "It's a long season. There's no reason to worry. We were in the same position last year. There's still time to accomplish our goal and that's take care of division."
(on Indianapolis QB Kerry Collins' performance) "He hung in there and took control of the huddle. He's not a rookie. He's been to this rodeo before. He did well."
(on being shut out in the first half) "Offensively we gave them 14 points on turnovers. You can't do that. We gave up a special teams touchdown before the half. All props go to them because they came out ready to play but at the same time, we helped them. I kind of like where we are. I think we were able to run the ball in running situations; defense did a great job in the second half so we just have to put it together early on and come out fighting and finish."