Quotes: Thursday practice

Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(opening statement) "I'm going to start off today by saying on behalf of the Houston Texans organization, just express our condolences to the family of Chris Duncan, AP sports writer that was only here for a brief time with myself, but I was able to meet him—our very heartfelt condolences to Chris Duncan's family from the Houston Texans organization. Today, practice-wise, we went out there and I thought that we were better than we were yesterday, which is what we're trying to do. We're trying to get better every day. No real update on an injuries or anything like that right now. We look like we're pretty healthy. That's about it, so I'll open it up."

(on if G/T Xavier Su'a-Filo as an extra tackle last week was a product of not having enough tight ends vs. Washington or if it was part of the gameplan) "It wasn't really a product of having only two tight ends in the game. It was more just something that we felt was good for the Redskins, something that we felt where we would have a matchup there. It didn't really work out that way because they defended it very well, but going into the game we felt like that was something that we could matchup against them. So it was more of a gameplan."

(on how good it was to have TE Garrett Graham back out there) "Good. Yeah, he's a good player, good leader, solid player, smart guy, good teammate, catches the ball well, getting better at blocking so it's good to have him out there."

(on if he is hopeful of having TE C.J. Fiedorowicz back for the game against Oakland) "That's a day-to-day. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

(on if TE Garrett Graham will play on Sunday against Oakland) "Yeah, Garrett will be in the game on Sunday. Yep."

(on TE Ryan Griffin and the confidence that he has in him) "I have a lot of confidence in him. I've put Griff in that category of an improving player, a player that since we arrived here has improved in all areas. He's improved his blocking. He's improved his route-running, his catching ability, his knowledge of our offense. He just needs to keep getting better. He's a young player, just being a rookie last year. He played a little bit at the end of last year. He's still a young player and he works hard. He's a New England guy so I figure he'll continue to work hard. I'm just kidding. But no, I have a lot of confidence in him."

(on RB Arian Foster saying he thinks he gets better once he gets more carries and gets into a rhythm) "Yeah, I would say that most top flight backs are like that. You have to get them into the rhythm of the game. In in the National Football League, it's very difficult to run the ball. When you look across the league at rushing statistics, it's just a very difficult league to run the ball. I think that really applies especially to early in games. We try to get our running backs going, especially him, early in the game. Hopefully by the third or fourth quarter, he's into a rhythm, but I think most top backs need those types of carries to be able to get into that type of rhythm. I agree with him."

(on if there was any concern with the number of carries for RB Arian Foster in his first game back) "We felt like he had practiced hard the previous two or three weeks I think leading into that. He practiced against Denver. He practiced the San Francisco week. He practiced leading up to the game and he felt good. We feel like our practices are not obviously like games, but we felt like our practices were competitive and he was in beginning of the season game shape. We communicate with our players all the time on how they feel and things like that. He felt good going in to the game."

(on if he watches the amount of carries Arian Foster gets) "I think at the end of the day, we've got to do what's best for our team to win. So if it's best for this team to win, if one of the things that's important for this team winning in a game is for him to carry the ball 25 to 30 times, 35 times, then that is what we have to do. If it's 10 times and maybe he catches more passes in a game, maybe that is what we have to do. We have to change up how we're using him every week. He's got a new game plan every week. He's a guy that has to touch the ball for us. Andre Johnson, another guy like that. DeAndre Hopkins, definitely a guy like that. Those guys have to be part of the gameplan every single week."

(on if he has talked to Jadeveon Clowney recently to see how he is recovering) "Yeah, I talk to him every day. He's doing well. He's disappointed. He wishes, obviously, he wishes he could be out there with his teammates. He's a great teammate. He loves being a part of the team, loves to compete, and so he's disappointed, but I think he's over it. I believe he's headed in the right direction and he's doing a great job with our trainers and doctors. When he comes back, he'll be ready to go."

(on what concerns him the most about the Oakland front-seven on defense) "Very athletic. Veteran defense with the exception of Khalil Mack, who's a very explosive, athletic player. Veteran players along the front. (Justin) Tuck, I'm pretty familiar with Tuck. (LaMarr) Woodley, I'm pretty familiar with Woodley.  Antonio Smith, our players are very familiar with him. Very, very good players. Linebackers are athletic. They can run. Charles Woodson is one of the best DBs to ever play this game. He's been a corner. At one point, I believe he was one of the best nickels in the game and he's playing safety for them. He's got great ball skills. Heck of a player. It's a very, very big challenge for our offense going against this defense."

(on how does he know about an opponent in Week 2) "It's very similar to Week 1 where you really don't know exactly what you're going to see because you have one regular season game and some preseason games, but like I said leading up the Washington game, people don't really show a lot in the preseason. You're still having to go into the game with looking at last year, what they did last year, looking at their personnel this year and how they used them against the Jets and then being ready to be flexible early in the game to figure out how to adjust that something maybe you're not used to seeing on film. They have got a really good coaching staff with Dennis Allen, a defensive coach, a great guy, really, really good strong defensive coach. Greg Olson on offense, Tony Sparano there, I mean they've got a really strong staff. Jason Tarver, their defensive coordinator, so it's going to be a big challenge for our coaching staff."

(on if he enjoys the opposing team not having the advantage of seeing a lot of the Texans) "I think what I enjoy the most, just personally, I was just out there talking to somebody about it, is just the game planning. Just being here day in and day out, just working with our staff and trying to put together a really good gameplan for our players. And then being able to go into the morning meetings and teach it and then watch it on the practice field and see the guys go out there and execute the plays. That's what I enjoy the most about getting ready for an opponent, the strategy of it and then being able to teach it to your players and seeing how it works on Sunday."

RB Arian Foster
(on if he had any doubts or concerns how he'd play Sunday) "I didn't really try to put a success rate on it. I was just trying to do the best, you know, try to be the best teammate I could be. I'm out there for my team."

(on if he succeeded in being the best teammate he could be last Sunday) "I mean, you could always play better as an athlete. That's what you practice for, that's what you play for; is to be the best that you can be. I felt like I played OK. There are things that I felt like I had to do better at as well."

(on if he felt his rhythm clicking in the second half) "I've always been that kind of runner, in my opinion, where I get stronger as the game goes. Coming off an injury where I missed like seven games, you know, I felt a little rust. I didn't get a lot of contact in training camp, so it felt good to get to get those hits. It didn't feel good on Monday and Tuesday. It's just getting back acclimated to that part of football."

(on if feeling Sunday's game on Monday and Tuesday was a familiar feeling) "Yeah. It's been my life for 15 years now."

(on having the entire starting line play every play in the game and the chemistry with the offense) "Yeah. Offense isn't like defense where defense is kind of like you can just go tackle. I mean it's obviously more intricate than that, but it's a little harder for an offense to gel if they haven't been in the same, haven't been in the fire, haven't been in the battles, to kind of develop that cohesiveness as a unit. I felt like as the season goes, barring injury, I feel like we're going to gel very well and you'll see start to see a more polished offense, and that is what we're working towards."

(on if he could see the offense starting to come together in the fourth quarter compared to the first) "I mean, yeah. Small victories. You take how you can get them."

(on if he believes DE Antonio Smith when he says he can't be as mean as he normally was going against his former team) "Not from him. Nah, I don't believe that. He's going to come out and play his best, and so are we. It's always fun playing against people you've played against or with previously because it's a battlefield we share throughout our careers. We were privileged to be teammates with each other. He was always a good teammate. We had some great times here while he was here and he helped us win a lot of games, so I have the upmost respect for him. He has my respect as a football player."

(on how does he elude DE Antonio Smith) "I'm not a quarterback. He ain't going to do that ninja stuff to me."

(on playing in Oakland and if he enjoys the passion of the Raiders fan base) "The Raiders were my favorite team growing up. I know all about the culture and I know about how intense the fans are. Win, lose or draw, they're going to be out there in their spiked shoulder pads and their painted faces. I loved that about them and that's part of what drew me to them as a child was just seeing the passion that they had for football up there in the Bay Area. It's different now. I don't have a favorite football team now. Like I play for one, so it's different, but I think my mother still roots for them when we're not playing them and so does a couple of my other family members. It's always fun going into the black hole because that's where I wanted to play as a kid."

(on his big game his last time in Oakland) "Some would say. That's right, you would say."

(on his thoughts on Ray Rice) "What exactly?"

(on what he thinks about the Ray Rice domestic violence situation and how it looks for the NFL) "It depends on your perspective. It's not really any of my business or any of y'all's business or anybody else's business. I think it's between the Rice family, and that's about it. I think everybody else is just being nosey."
(on how he thinks the league has handled the Ray Rice domestic violence situation) "It's none of my business either. I don't get paid to make those kinds of decisions."
(on if he thinks Roger Goodell should be held accountable to the same degree as the players) "That's out of my pay grade."

TE Garrett Graham
(on if he will travel to Oakland) "I'm not sure. You'll have to ask coach that."

(on how good it was to see the team get the win even though he wasn't on the field) "It's great. It's awesome to see. It was a long time coming and it was just good to watch those guys have fun and be able to make plays."

(on if his injury was from regular season practice or camp) "Probably something from camp. It was really hard to tell."

G Ben Jones
(on the differences between how Oakland will attack compared to Washington) "That's why we come to practice every day. We'll come out and fix our mistakes and get better. Hey, Oakland is this week and we're going to try to get the 'W'"

(on the biggest mistakes in the Washington game) "As an offensive line, we're just trying to get a hat on the hat and just do our job to the fullest every week. You can always get a little better every week as an offensive line."

(on it appearing RB Arian Foster was getting more yards before contact than the previous season) "Our job is to just get a hat on the hat and Arian's a great running, so it's a privilege to go out and block for him. We're just going to go out and do our job and leave it up to him in the backfield."

(on going against DE Antonio Smith) "Antonio is a good player. He goes hard. He's been to the Pro Bowl. It's another game. No matter who it is, I prepare the same way. Antonio was one of our teammates in the past. Antonio is a good guy. I'm just looking forward to going out there and play."

(on trash talk he's had with DE Antonio Smith in practice) "No trash talk. Antonio is a good guy. We know it's in the work place. He was one of my teammates and you don't really talk to trash to your teammates. He's a good guy. He's definitely a role model on our team last year. He worked hard. Now we're just going to go out there and try to get a 'W' in Oakland."

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on if you can play a rookie quarterback differently or bait him) "I guess you could bait him. I wouldn't say take more chances because you still want to make him earn it. You don't want to bail him out at times. But you can show him different looks and show him different disguises to kind of trap him to a certain degree, make him force the ball to certain areas. I think you want to stay way for taking chances from kind of taking chances and giving up big plays."

(on playing Derek Carr throwing for the least yards per attempt last week compared to a deep ball quarterback like Robert Griffin III) "You've just got to play the game. Each week is different. Every team game plans verse another team differently, so you can't really go off what they've done the previous week before. You've just got to go off certain things that they do. Once you go out and play the game, just feel the game out for yourself."

(on what he's seen from Derek Carr) "He's got a quick release. Very mobile. Can move around, extend plays. I think he makes quick decisions and understand where to get the ball to."

(on the Oakland receiving core compared to the Washington receiving core) "They have some bigger guys. They still have the speed on the edge. They have a pretty good guy in James Jones. He's the oldest guy over there. Great hand, strong hands to make tough catches in traffic. Denarius Moore is a guy that has been there for a couple years and they've been high on, plenty of speed and big play ability. So they have some guys, (Marcel) Reece at the fullback position tight end slash. They have some guys with speed that can still get up and down the field. It's our job to kind of contain those guys and keep the ball in front of us."

C Chris Myers
on his remembrances of September 11th) "I think a few of the guys were talking early this morning about where they were at and what their experiences were. Every single person had different ones. I'm in year 10 in the league, and there were some rookies in the league that were talking about it and they were a lot younger. It's just kind of something that everyone has their own individual story, but they're all kind of the same. How everyone was feeling, how everyone felt afterward, just the reaction of the country and the togetherness that everyone felt in the United States. I think all you guys can attest to the same thing. This time of the year, obviously, brings that reminder back. That's not something we should only feel on 9/11. I think that should be year round."

(on if he's ever been on a team where the punter was considered a leader) "I think whenever you have a guy like Shane (Lechler), who I deem a future Hall of Famer, I think he's going to earn that respect no matter what. Me personally, I've played against Oakland a bunch in my career, and being able to see him on a game basis just pound our offenses back into the two-yard line consistently, that's what he's known for. He's done it year in and year out consistently, being an All-Pro and Pro Bowler. To be able to have him on our team, I consider us to be very lucky. It's great for the younger guys, the younger specialists, to learn from him."

(on if P Shane Lechler's play on the field play or his off the field play make him a team leader) "I think both. I think obviously the specialist group between the kicker, long snapper and punter, they're obviously doing their own thing at practice every now and then. Shane is one of those guys that can get along with every single position. I think that speaks volumes for him as a person and that's a character that I think he's built up over his whole career."

(on if P Shane Lechler's ability to get along and relate to every position stems from his old quarterback days) "I'm sure he can look back to some of his old glory days. I don't think he has the same arm as he used to, but he'll take it."

G/T Xavier Su'a-Filo
(on working to try and earn more playing time) "I just compete every day and try to do my job and do whatever the coaches ask me. There are certain roles that everybody plays on the team and our coaches try their best to put people in positions where we can help them win. Whoever that is, you just have to trust that they're the coaches and they know what they're doing and I have to do my job. My job is to compete in practices and practice hard, do my job and do whatever is asked of me."

(on if it's a confidence boost when the coaches put him in for special packages) "The more you can do the more valuable you are to your coaches. I think that them putting me in those packages, where I'm able to come in and we have to have some short yard situations, it shows confidence that they have in me to be able to make the block. So like I told him, I have to make sure that I'm continually showing them every week and every day that I can keep that up and that I'm staying attentive to the details."

(on if he saw G/T David Quessenberry at the game on Sunday) "I did. It's always good to see DQ. He comes out to eat with us as well. I get to chat with him here and there. Obviously with what he's going through, it's nothing that I could say that I've experienced, but he's been very good to me, kept in touch and encouraging."

(on if it is inspirational having G/T David Quessenberry around) "No doubt. I know he wants to be out here just as bad as anyone of us. I know he would if he could."

(on going to Oakland and playing at the 'Black Hole') "I know it's loud. My mom's aunt has season tickets in the Black Hole, her husband—they live in Oakland and go to all of the games. Other than that, I've just heard that it's loud and they are passionate fans."

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