*Watch Texans TV on Tuesday, August 16 at 3:30 p.m. CT for head coach Gary Kubiak's live press conference.
The Texans beat the Jets on Monday Night Football, and after, coaches and players from both teams answered questions from the media. The following is a transcript of their repsective interviews.
Head Coach Gary KubiakDefensive Coordinator Wade PhillipsLB Xavier AdibiOLB Connor BarwinWR Lestar JeanQB Matt LeinartRB Chris OgbannayaQB Matt SchaubDE J.J. WattQB T.J. Yates
Head Coach Gary Kubiak(on the defense) "Well you know it was exciting to find a way to win the game there at the end because we played really, really exceptionally on the defensive side of the ball throughout the game. We had some struggles offensively, had some problems physically with some injuries that we're trying to work through in the football game. But we have to step up and make plays at the end. The young quarterback (T.J. Yates) did at the end, (Lestar) Jean has been doing a good job in camp and defensively we can set up and make those plays at. That's been a difference in our team. Some of those games we've been letting get away from us. We let the young guys out there; it was nice to see it happen. "
(on amount of sacks in tonight game) "I think we should have had about 12 (sacks) .We have to do a better job of wrapping up when we get there but we had some young guys really doing a good job. (OLB) Jesse (Nading) and (OLB) Bryan (Braman) got there a couple times. I just thought, in general, you could see the aggressive nature of the defense and we stayed away from giving up big plays and offensively we really got the ball out of the hole early in the game and defense kept us in there and we got the turnover and it got things going but then second half, struggling on offense and some personnel and defensively we held up got us a big possession."
(on OLB Bryan Braman in camp) "He's been exceptional. He's a very gifted athlete and played obviously at a small school and didn't get a lot of big time football. Bobby King, the young man on our staff from Dallas knew him very well and that's how we got him here. But he's got some ability so we'll see if we can channel it all in the right direction. "
(on RB Derrick Ward) "My list is so long I don't know where to start, we got a lot of guys beat up, we got a couple guys with concussions, ankles, it's too long for me to even try to remember. I would miss somebody so I apologize."
(on if Derrick Ward is out, are they possibly picking someone up) "Well we may have to do something, hopefully we get a couple guys back this week, that's the key. But hats off to Obi (Chris Ogbonnaya) he's had a great camp for two weeks. He was really all we had to play the whole game because (Javarris) Williams has only been with us a couple of days. It wouldn't have been fair to throw him in there not knowing what we do, so Chris helped out and he's been a real warrior for us."
(on QB Matt Leinart) "I thought he did a good job. He handled himself well. Let's remember he hasn't really played a lot of football in a long time. So he got the ball tipped to start the second half. You don't ever want to end with the pick, so to speak, but I thought he did a good job. I thought he had some poise. He got hit a little bit and that's what he needs to do to get back in the fire and he's very capable of doing it."
(on DE J.J. Watt and NT Earl Mitchell) "It just looked like we played very well defensively across the board. Our effort was excellent. I thought we were around the quarterback all night. I have to wait until I go back and watch the film but I thought in general, defensively, we played with great effort all night long and made the plays that we needed to make. "
(on the effort of the secondary) "I thought it was better. Obviously we had some chances to make some plays. We had the one pick called back by (Antwaun) Molden late in the game there. They ran by us a couple times but we got back there and got ourselves in position. Torri (Williams) made a great play there late in the game, but we played a lot of people so we'll go back and evaluate it tomorrow and see how they did. I think on the defensive side of the ball we're going to be very pleased with a lot of guys and what they did."
(on the new kickoff rules) "Well I'll tell you what's amazing to me is first off, the ball got brought out of the end zone almost every time. I think except for the one squib that went through the end zone and it got brought out of the end zone effectively for them and not for us. We have to go back and look at what we're doing. We held a couple of our kick returners tonight. We didn't let Danieal (Manning) or Jacoby (Jones) do it, but we need to look at those other guys. We've got to get better. We've got to get better at coverage, at returning kicks. We're going to play better defense this year. We're going to play good defense, in my opinion, and when you're flipping the field position it gives you the best chance to win. It's something that has to be addressed."
(on ILB Xavier Adibi having a good game) "Yeah, I'll tell you what happens, when you have change, you get a new coordinator to come in and some guys get new life and they'll say, 'This defense fits me.' I think I've seen that with (Xavier Adibi) as a player, seen it with (Brice) McCain a little bit. I just think there's some new life within the group and I think you're going to see some of those young guys get better and better and he's obviously had a very good camp. He's staying healthy. He's been nicked in the past but he's been healthy."
(on if OLB Jesse Nading has new life) "Yeah, boy he made some plays. The thing about Jesse (Nading) is he can play everywhere, very sharp football player, so they can give him all he wants mentally and he can handle it. We can just keep going. I thought I saw (OLB) Brooks (Reed) get there a couple times. (NT) Earl Mitchell's effort was excellent. We're going to play a lot of guys on defense. We're going to rotate guys and if we get that type of effort, good things are going to happen."
(on his early impressions of Mario Williams at linebacker) "I was talking to him. What'd he play? I think 14 plays? Something like that. I was talking to him at halftime about how this world looks standing up there. The first thing he mentioned to me was cadence, getting off on cadence, some of those things. I think it's a growth period for him but I know he's enjoying what he's doing, I think he's very excited about what we do defensively. It's a change in his career but could be a huge, a huge step forward. His career has already been good and I think it could really take off with this change in what we're doing."
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips(on defense as a whole) "I thought we did a good job. I mean, we played hard. We made some mistakes, obviously, but we're looking for effort and assignment, making sure we didn't have any mental errors."
(on the close call near the end) "That's what you learn from. You learn from those kinds of situations how you have to win games. And our guys that were in there at the end did a good job."
(on the number of sacks this game (7)) "I didn't expect that many sacks, because most of the stuff we ran was base defense, and we didn't run any blitzes. And I thought our pass rush was good."
ILB Xavier Adibi(on playing the 3-4 defense) "It was different at first for us. We really like the fact that it helps us get after the quarterback. You just don't know where (the pressure) is coming from. It makes it tough on the offensive side of the ball. It's something that we are going to love."
(on his defensive performance) "Coach Wade (Phillips) just dialed up some blitzes and I was just coming free off the edge and made a play."
(on the overall performance of the defense) "We did OK. There is still some stuff that we need to correct out there. We can always get better."
(on whether the defense is designed to sack the quarterback) "Yes, I don't know how many we were planning on getting but six sounds good to us."
"The more snaps, the better. I feel like everybody on our defense is getting a feel for everything, and it's coming along for us... We've still got a lot to put in, a lot of techniques to put in and get the feel for the whole technique of our defense."
(on how it felt playing middle) "It's different, but I had a lot of fun out there. I've always been an outside guy, and I've played middle here and there but the overall fact that it's a 3-4 means you've got to do a lot more reading that just coming downhill."
OLB Connor Barwin(on the defense) "That's the thing with this defense, you know. We're going to blitz, and we're going to try to get after the quarterback as much as we can. And we're not going to do it from one angle - we'll do it from the middle, the left, the right, both inside and outside."
WR Lestar Jean(on how it feels to play in his first NFL game) "It's just a blessing to be in this situation. I worked real hard and the opportunity came and I just made the best of it."
(on how it felt to make the catches he made) "It felt great, T.J. (Yates) made a great throw and I was just in a good place to make the catch and I just got to thank God for the opportunity."
(on if he knew his position with his catches) "I was just looking up to make a play. The guy grabbed my shoulder pad a little bit and he kind of turned me with the ball and I just made a play. T.J. (Yates) threw a great ball he just put in a spot where only I could catch it and God gave me the strength to make the play.
(on if he grew more confident) "Yeah, as I learned the plays I grew more and more confident. Just trying to get better every day working with the receivers like Jacoby (Jones), Dre (Andre Johnson), (Kevin) Walter, (Jeff) Maehl and (Terrence) Toliver. All of us are trying to get better every day and I feel like they just keep helping me."
QB Matt Leinart(on how he felt during the game) "I felt loose and comfortable out there and I just really want to build on this game and keep progressing and keep progressing in practice. We have a short turnaround this week and game in five days. I felt good though, I was happy and that's what it's all about, it was fun."
(on what he likes most about offense) "I just like the concepts. I like the way he (Coach Gary Kubiak) calls plays. Obviously we have great personnel. We have great guys on the outside that can run and catch. We have a great offensive line and I just feel like it fits my style of play. It's similar to what we ran at USC. I just really like it I think the coaching is phenomenal and that just makes it easier."
(on if game plan changed with RB deficiency) "Well it's been tough you know. A lot of backs have been hurt all camp. Chris Obi (Ogbonnaya) had a great game tonight. He took the load out there and really showed us what he's really made of. It's tough when I got to go more one back stuff and we're just trying to mix in some of the new guys. It kind of makes it harder to call plays in certain personnel groups but we got through it and TJ (Yates) had a great drive at the end to help us win that game. Everyone stepped up despite some of the injuries."
(on if he got the most of his reps) "Yeah I think so. There were a couple of plays that I just got to keep getting better. Overall, I just got to keep moving the offense and getting more comfortable. That's what I was hoping to do, just go in there and move the ball put some points on the board. The interception was a tough break on the tipped ball but you just bounce back and keep going so I just look at the film and keep doing what I was doing and get better."
RB Chris Ogbannaya(on if he knew he would play as much as he did tonight) "I felt like I needed to be ready to go because Derrick (Ward) is a veteran. He's been playing for a while now. With the injuries we have at our position and lack of depth, I knew I had to step up and go for a little bit, but that's the name of the game. Training camp is a grind. This time of the year is a grind and you just have to be ready for the opportunity when it comes."
(on if he feels like he's a good fit for this offense) "Yeah, I think Coach Kubiak last year told me when the offseason comes around, get in my book, get with the guys, especially during the lockout is what I did. I just prepared myself to be better and take my time during training camp to learn the nuances of the offense. There were some plays I wish I could have back this evening just running the ball. I wish I could have had more productivity there, but I'm just happy with the win. It's a team game, a team victory and we put it up."
(on the competition at the running back position) "Yeah, like you said, a lot of guys are injured, but hopefully we get some of the guys back. It's a tight group. We're very close and it's very competitive. Really good players and I'm just hoping I can make a name for myself in this offense."
QB Matt Schaub(on the first half) "We came out and we wanted to try to run the football, establish ourselves running the football and mix in some of our play action game. We didn't convert on a couple third downs, missed on a couple throws, but there was some tight coverage in there. It's just some things we need to work out, but I felt guys were really tuned in and locked in. We didn't have any mental mistakes. We didn't have any procedure penalties. Guys were really on top of their assignments. For the first time out after being together for two weeks here, it went well, but across the board there's always stuff we can get better at and things we need to clean up."
(on QB Matt Leinart's performance) "He came in and played really well, distributed the ball, got rid of it. Some guys did some work for him. The offensive line did a great job protecting him and working for him. Across the board, he did a great job, knew where he had to go with the football."
(on RB Chris Ogbannaya) "He was a warrior. There weren't many other guys to go in and play his position, so he really just strapped it on and played hard all night. He made some big plays for us in the pass game as well as the run game. He picked up a few blitzes. After a few big runs for him in a row, to pick one of those up with a guy coming off the edge screaming, he did a great job stepping up for his quarterback. He played really big tonight."
DE J.J. Watt(on his first performance as a Houston Texan) "It was good to get out there. I won't be able to rate (my performance) until I see the film."
(on whether he was nervous) "I can't have butterflies; I've got to go out there and play football."
"It felt good to get out there and face another team, a good football team."
(on what it was like playing in Reliant Stadium) "This place is loud. It's surprising how loud Reliant got, and I can't wait to see it 100 percent packed and the place going crazy."
(on what he noticed first about his team and teammates) "We communicate really well out there, and that's one thing that I noticed right away is that we have good communication on the field, and that's going to keep growing as we install more packages and put our full game plan into effect. I think it will be a lot of fun to play with this defense."
(on expectations he has for himself) "I'm trying to treat it like I'm not a rookie, because I need to come out here and play like I'm not a rookie. I'm trying to come out with the mentality of a humble guy who's going to work hard, and that's what I'm trying to do."
(on what it was like playing as a professional athlete) "It was fun, a lot of fun. I haven't played, since January 1, in a real football game, so it felt good. It kind of takes you back, and you realize why you love the game so much; because of that adrenaline rush you get and all the fun you get to have."
(on Wade Phillips) "He said, 'We've been studying our playbooks hard, we've been practicing hard, so just go out there and play football.'"
QB T.J. Yates(on his performance) "It felt good. I started off pretty good. I had some struggles there in the fourth quarter, but we got the win. (WR) Lestar (Jean) came up with a big catch there at the end of the game and (RB) Chris (Ogbonnaya) put it in."
(on the difference between the NFL and Collegiate game) "It's obviously a little different. You kind of got to wait around for your turn to get in there late in the game. The jitters and the nerves kind of went away in the first half. By the time I got my chance to get in I was ready. I was nice and calm and ready to go."
(on whether the speed of the game is the biggest difference between the Collegiate and Professional game) "A little bit. It's takes a little getting adjusted to, but you do that in practice a lot. The first couple days of practice I was ready to get adjusted to the speed. Once we got into the game it was a little bit faster but you're on adrenaline so you're playing faster as well."
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM NEW YORK JETS
Head Coach Rex RyanQB Mark BrunellDT Kenrick EllisRB Shonn GreeneWR Santonio HolmesQB Mark Sanchez
Head Coach Rex Ryan(opening statement) "Obviously I hate losing; our team hates losing. I don't care if it's preseason or not. We know in the big picture you forget about what your record is, but still, at the time, I hate losing. The Texans, good for them. We did some good things. QB Mark Sanchez was six for seven. I like QB Greg McElroy. It looked like to me that we were trying to find out how tough that kid was and I think we found out. That's a tough guy; he got sacked five times and hit every time he threw it seemed like. So clearly we've got a long way to go with our protections. We didn't have C Nick Mangold, G Brandon Moore and then OL Robert Turner went out. We had OL Matt Kroul who just had one week of practice, but there are no excuses. When we're in there we've got to figure this thing out. It's ridiculous, a simple nickel pressure and the guy isn't touched. One time we turned a defensive lineman loose; to say I'm disappointed with those things is, I think, an understatement. I'm happy with the way the defense performed; they played well with the exception of the long pass and what we call the 'woody boots.' It's kind of odd that we would not cover that since we are supposed to have two guys on it. We fixed it and then our guys gave a standing ovation when it was done. That was disappointing for the defense and the twelve guys on the field was also disappointing. We've got to make sure the back-up groups understand we have two goal line teams and not three. Too many guys out there and we had to burn a time out. Some injuries in this game, Rob Turner will have an MRI tomorrow for his ankle injury, and then we will know the severity. OL Chris Stewart had a shoulder injury and another had a head injury. We don't know the severity of those yet."
(on the play of DL Muhammad Wilkerson and DT Kendrick Ellis) "They did do an outstanding job. Ellis had the tipped ball for the interception. They made some nice plays, chasing the ball down and some screens. I was happy with those two guys.
(on concern of offensive line depth) "Our O-line has been the strength for a long time and I think we'll feel better when Mangold and Moore get back out and as you know Rob Turner is our number one back-up inside so him going out is a concern for us. Hopefully it's not too bad of an injury. OL Vladimir Ducasse had to play three positions today for us. He had to play right tackle, right guard and left guard. That's tough. He made some mistakes; there is no question he got beat a couple of times. He was late off the snap one time and they got a big sack fumble, but the kid is getting better. It's unfortunate we wanted him to play just tackle but he has had to play guard for us. I commend Kroul for getting in there after such limited practice and all of that type of stuff, he was battling. We had a face mask penalty and a couple things on him but at least he is battling. I know we're tough enough and we'll see. We've got to do a great job practicing and picking up our blitzes."
(on QB Mark Sanchez and WR Derrick Mason making connections) "The guy is a great receiver; I think we all know that. His whole thing right now is that there are some similarities in the package that he, Derrick, has to get our formations and alignments down because they are all called differently. We all know Derrick Mason is a great receiver."
(on if Mason can catch 90 or 100 passes) "Absolutely. A slot receiver in this league can catch about 60 balls, but he is exceptional. I've seen him play and I think with those two guys we have on the outside with WR Plaxico Burress and CB Antonio Cromartie he should be a special slot receiver."
(on the first drop that didn't get to the end zone) "It's disappointing. We did stall and were able to move the football, but certainly we'd like to be able to punch it in to the end zone. That happens though. No excuses."
(on looking at the good things the offensive line did without being the full Jets offensive) "I don't look at it in a positive way like I probably should. You've got two Pro Bowl guys that weren't in there that are special but the next guy has to step up and go in and maintain the level that the starter has or even improve it. We think of it that way and when that doesn't occur we've still got a ways to go."
(on if offense performed smoothly after struggling through Friday's practice) "Yeah I think so. I think our number one defense is good and when you look at it, probably end up being the best in the league. But when you're going against these ones all the time, you're not always going to look so good. This defense isn't up to our caliber. I'm sure it's going to get better with Wade (Phillips) so I wasn't surprised that we went out and performed and moved the ball but I would have liked to finish."
(on if QB Mark Brunell's injury is a concern) "No, it's not a concern. It's just 19 years of playing football and we thought he must have hit a helmet but he was taking a snap and I'm not sure if it was a dislocated finger or what, but it's not broken or anything major like that."
(on if he's discussed the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys with his brother, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan) "No not really. I saw him play a little bit of that game and I appreciated and it was great that they were in a flex defense and for that first snap – I thought that was pretty funny. They played good red zone so I was happy to see that."
(on if QB Mark Sanchez guided the offense enough to give an indication of how he will perform this season) "Well maybe that's a little too much credit for playing in a preseason game but he's a six for seven and a 92 QB rating, so that's good. I'm impressed with his enthusiasm, encouragement and leadership on the sidelines. I'm not surprised by that, I think he's going to take a big step forward this year."
(on Shonn Greene's performance despite offensive line mistakes) "He had five carries for 32 yards so yeah, that's Shonn and we expect it from him. He's a talented guy as we all know."
(on QB Mark Sanchez's recent quote to GQ magazine on being upset with Ryan for wanting to bench him last season) "Well I heard he wanted to fight me but that's a long line; I think he's still behind Channing Crowder. But that's what you want –
- more -
you want that guy that is competitive. We are both competitive guys and all we want is what is best for our team. At that
time, I wanted to send a message that we can bench anyone on this team with the exception of (Darrelle) Revis obviously. It was one of those things when I'm like come on kid, I know you got more to give and of course I know how competitive he is and that's how he's going to respond. He knows that what's best for this team is for him to be out there and sometimes you butt heads with each other."
QB Mark Brunell(on learning from preseason despite being a veteran) "You can always learn, you always have to work on your craft, regardless of regular season or preseason. Football is a very simple yet many times complex game, so there's always things you can learn."
(on what to take from this loss) "We'll learn a lot watching the film about that last drive and we'll try and continue to develop and get better."
(on how different this training camp is without having OTAs) "OTAs are very valuable, particularly for the younger players and the team as a whole. It's great to just get that extra work, so with no OTAs this last offseason we've had to play catch up, particularly that first week. But at least it's the same for every team out there."
DT Kenrick Ellis
(on why his adjustment to the NFL) "The speed. This is a long way from Hampton. It just felt like guys were a lot faster and a lot stronger. It's just the speed of the game. Once I get the speed everything will be okay."
(on what he feels he needs to do to better his chances of playing) "Just keep working. I think for the most part I need to work on my leverage. Playing a little bit lower and just get my knowledge about the game. Technique wise I'm not as solid as I need to be. Keep on working."
(on if his first game went as expected) "It was more than I expected to be honest with you. At first I was just shocked at how quick those guys were. After that I just settled down and did my job. It's not easy. I just need to keep trying to improve myself."
(on what the play where the interception occurred looked like to him) "I was just fighting on a one-on-one block. I was just trying to get a little bit of a pass rush. I saw the quarterback's hand come off the ball and I jumped as high as I could and I tipped it."
(on how he felt the coaches thought he played) "I just have to keep working. Nothing is ever perfect. It's never as bad as you think and never as good. It was just a lot quicker than I thought. Again, I went to a small school so it was average to see guys that quick moving at 300 pounds."
RB Shonn Greene(on noticing differences of preseason game without OTAs and as much time to practice) "Guys still went out there and played football. As expected in any preseason game there's going to be mistakes. We've just got to clean that up."
(on liking head coach Rex Ryan's bravado) "Absolutely. With him being our coach we have to back him up. We want to win Super Bowls not only for him but for ourselves. He's a hard worker and so is this team so we have no problem with him saying what he says. "
WR Santonio Holmes(on his thoughts about the first half) "We did some pretty good things out there tonight. The biggest thing is that we have got to cut down on the penalties. That was shooting us in the foot. We minimize those penalties, we move the ball into the end-zone, and we'll have a comfortable lead to put our threes and fours in and let those guys go to work."
(on if it was disappointing to not score on the first trip to the end zone) "That was one of our goals. Our goal was to score over 60% in the red zone and I don't think we accomplished that goal. We'll just go back in and check out the film to see what we did wrong and how we can correct it and make sure it doesn't happen again next time."
(on how he assessed the offense while still missing key players) "You play with what you've got and work with what you have and you have got to keep on. You can't worry about what you don't have at the time. We lined up about 60 or 70 guys tonight so we were ready to go with all the guys we did have. We couldn't assess what we don't have."
(on how he felt the rookie QB Greg McElroy played) "It's going to take some time. I was making sure I kept his spirits up the whole time. Even the times he was going out on the field I told him to keep calm and just put the ball in the hands of the receivers to make plays and go and have fun. I thought he did have fun. He threw a couple balls down field and a couple got away from him. It was his first time in the bright lights. He has a lot to learn and he is continuing to grow."
(on if any young players stood out to him) "We have a lot of work to do."
QB Mark Sanchez(on his response to the public's perception of the GQ article) "There was a point in the season I wasn't playing well and Head Coach Rex Ryan considered benching me. Me being a competitor, you get too competitive. It's part of the reason they drafted me because I value this job. It's my life and if somebody wanted to take it away from me that's personal. Was I going to fight Rex (Ryan), obviously not. That's like De La Hoya fighting George Foreman. He's way out of my weight class. That's just the way it came out in the article and it looked worse than it is when read in the whole article. It's just something we did during the lockout, so I'm sure I'll get a good razzing about it but that's okay. "
(on the GQ article) "I did it during the lockout so I'm not worried about. It's okay. (Head Coach) Rex (Ryan) and I laughed about it before the game so it's all good."