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Quotes: Thursday practice

Head Coach Bill O'Brien
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
RB Alfred Blue
ILB Max Bullough
OLB Jadeveon Clowney
ILB Brian Cushing
NT Ryan Pickett

Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on an update to the health of OLB Jadeveon Clowney and ILB Brian Cushing) "Again, they practiced today, so we'll see how they feel in the morning. They're moving around good today. It was a good spirited practice today. There were some things that we need to clean up, but I felt good coming off of the practice field. Just keep grinding away and see how it goes tomorrow."

(on signing ILB Max Bullough to the active roster) "Max came in here, an undrafted guy out of Michigan State who we were very impressed with as far as his career at Michigan State as far as where he was available to us post draft. (He) just came in here and you could tell right away he was a smart, tough, hardworking guy, well coached obviously, well coached at Michigan State. He comes from a great football family and he's earned his way to this point. He needs to keep earning his way. He needs to continue to work hard and work on the things that he's deficient in and continue to get better at the things he's decent at. I know he'll do that."

(on ILB Max Bullough's ties to the coaching staff) "I don't know. I was in the Big 10. He was in the Big 10. Penn State never played Michigan State when I was there. Maybe that's the degrees of separation right there."

(on if there is anything new on RB Arian Foster) "No. I think we'll see. That's definitely going to be a game time decision. That will be a guy that we have to work out before the game."

(on if playing in cold weather factors into the decision to play RB Arian Foster or not) "No."

(on if playing with an injury like a groin injury is tougher to come back from in cold weather) "I certainly don't have the market cornered on cold games, but I've been involved in a few with a bunch of guys that were banged up. AFC Championship games where it was six below zero up in Foxboro with guys that had played a lot of football up to that point. I guess if it's warmer maybe you can get loosened up a little faster. I don't know."

(on if he is amazed in the ability of the organization to get contributions from undrafted rookie free agents) "Those guys have a done a good job. Max (Bullough) obviously just got called up. Hasn't had a shot in a regular season game yet, but we called him up hopefully thinking that maybe he can contribute at some point. A.J. Bouye is a guy that I think gets better and better. He works extremely hard. Again, I think it goes back to my background in this league is that the draft is obviously very important. The draft is how you build your team. But at the end of the day, it's what you do when you get here, so regardless of whether you were drafted number one or you were undrafted, it really just comes down to how you perform when you arrive on scene at the professional team that takes you. Here in Houston, we give these guys an opportunity, and if they take advantage of it, maybe they have a chance to get promoted. That's what happened with some of these guys along the way."

(on the mental approach of returning from injury) "That's a great question. I think it's different for each guy. I think as it relates to Brian (Cushing), he's just a guy that I've seen since the day I arrived here work extremely hard to get back to the point he is now and working hard with the trainers and communication with them as far as how he feels, what he thinks is up with his injuries at that point in time. They've done a good job with him. I think this is a guy that really, he just can't wait to play. He loves to play. He's a leader of our football team. Like I said, I think he's moved well the past couple of days out there and we'll see how it goes on Sunday."

Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
(on what the team saw from ILB Max Bullough) "Max is a football junkie is what he is. He's a

very smart kid as it relates to football, very hard worker. He's worked very hard ever since he's been here, and so builds an opportunity to move him up. We rewarded his effort by moving him up."

(on how ILB Max Bullough has improved) "He's gotten better at quite a few things. In particular, understanding our scheme to the point where he could play multiple positions in the scheme. We feel good about him being active, on being on the 53."

(on if the team was waiting for ILB Max Bullough to show he was ready or if there was a position need for him) "He has shown quite a bit all throughout camp, but sometimes timing is everything and it just worked out that this time was his time."

(on if ILB Max Bullough would play on defense or special teams) "I think he could fill in wherever you need him."

(on his impressions on ILB Brian Cushing and OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "They're moving better, definitely. So we'll have to see where they are after tomorrow and the next day, and then we'll make a decision."

(on the biggest concerns from the Browns offense and QB Brian Hoyer) "They've been successful. They've been winning games. He's operating that offense very nicely for them. The thing with them is that they play well as a team. They know what they want to do and they're going to do what they do and they've seen it and done it verses several different schemes and everything, and they've been successful with it. I don't see why they would change anything. He can deliver the ball down the field. He reads coverages. He knows where his outlets are. He's been pretty efficient."

(on his thoughts on OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "If he's able to get on the field, then I think we'll have a better idea about where he is and what kind of contribution that he'll make. Still, he's a rookie, hasn't had any playing time, virtually. It's all kind of new when you get out there. We'll just have to see. Hopefully he can get out there and make an impact, but you really don't know."

(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney's development on the practice field) "He's coming on, but that's still another area that he hasn't been on the practice field as much as he needs to be. That's why the question mark still hangs over his head."

(on how he feels the defensive front seven stacks up against Cleveland's offensive line) "I hope so. It's one of those things that everybody has to be clicking. Everybody has to be in the right spot. gap control, making sure that you don't let the ball outside and then if you do all of that, you still have to tackle. We have to be good tacklers. Everybody has to play a part. The secondary, they have to support when the run comes their way. They have to stay deep when the pass occurs. That discipline of playing the game, everybody has to do it and we have to be at our best."

(on the role NT Ryan Pickett has played in the run defense) "It helps that Ryan has fit into the system. I think he understands the system better and how to operate within the system, and he's gotten more effective on the inside of being able to beat the one-on-one blocks and make a tackle. If he continues to progress, then the defense should get better as far as the running game goes."

(on what he's seen from QB Ryan Mallett in practice) "He's got a strong arm. I think he knows what to do with the football. We'll find out."

RB Alfred Blue
(on if the cold weather today prepares him for Sunday) "Going out there, it's real cold out there right now. Nothing I'm used to. I'll say it's preparing us for the game."

(on the number of cold number games he played in) "Not many. I played at LSU, so down in the south, not many, not too many games that were real cold."

(on if he is concerned about the weather) "Not at all. You're a professional athlete. You have to be prepared to play any condition whether it's rain, snow or mud. You just have to be ready to go."

(on if he's ready to play if RB Arian Foster can't play) "I'm preparing as I would prepare for any other game. I'm preparing to play significantly in the game. If Arian is not going to play, I'll be ready to go."

(on if he's expecting a heavier load this week) "I expect a heavier load every week. You just never know what might happen in the game. I prepare each week to be ready no matter what the situation is."

ILB Max Bullough
(on being signed to the active roster) "It's great. It's something that you work for. Started on the practice field in the beginning of the year. I think I learned a lot. I'm just looking forward to keep going and keep doing what I've been doing."

(on how he found out he was signed to the active roster) "My agent called me and told me."

(on the reactions from his teammates after being added to the active roster) "They were just happy. They're happy for you. They're the ones that are here every day and know how much work it is to be in really any part of this program. They were just excited for me and happy."

(on playing in the cold on Sunday) "I think it's fun. I'd rather be cold than hot to be honest with you because that's kind of what I grew up playing in. But I think any team that plays anywhere whether it's hot, cold, rain or windy, you just have to adapt and play in any situation."

(on what he's seen from Cleveland's offense) "I think they're a team that has obvious success. They're 6-3 and I think they do a lot of things well. That's something that we need to do like we do every week and that's stop the run. I think they've done a decent job at it."

(on how special it is to be added to the active roster) "It's great. It's something that you work for ever since you were a little kid and play in high school and college. Now in the NFL, it's

something you work hard for and it's a great feeling."

(on how he'll envision how he'll feel on Sunday) "I'll be excited. I think I'm excited this week. Probably the night before I'll be excited. But once you get out there and you're ready to play, it's time to go to work. It's time for business and you have to take care of your job and do the things that you do best. It's time to get a win for the Texans."

(on if he has to change his style from college because of the improved talent in the NFL) "I think you have to play to your strengths and then try to improve your weaknesses in whatever you do. I think there is a lot of things that I do well and a lot of things that I need to work on. Adapting in the NFL is just adapting to a new defense, new coaches, new way of doings and I've done that pretty well. Obviously I'm still young and have a long way to go."

(on where he thinks he's grown the most since he arrived) "I think I've learned a lot from the older guys to be honest with you about how to carry yourself, what to do and how to work. And then for me it's been about learning a new defense and learning how the NFL works- What kind of coverages work, what don't; What fronts work, what don't- because it's completely different from college, especially the defense I played in was very college oriented. For me, that's been the steepest learning curve."

OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on what he was doing during the week off) "Trying to get better. Coming in, working every day to get back on the field."

(on if he has a feeling if he'll be able to play on Sunday) "I hope so. That's the goal. I'm working towards that. I'm coming in every day rehabbing. Trying to help the knee stay going and be consistent."

(on how much his knee has improved) "A lot right now. I'm not going to say it's 100 percent, but it's getting better."

(on how having a week of helped his recovery) "It helped me a lot. Coming in every day, I got a lot of treatment on that week off, and feeling a little bit better."

(on if this is the best he's felt since he was injured) "Like I said, yes."

(on if he's developed more confidence in his knee) "Yeah, I've developed a lot more confidence in my knee. I feel like I can do a lot more than I did then went back in during the Tennessee game. I'm just looking forward to getting on the field."

(on if his cutting issues have improved) "It got a lot better, yeah."

(on how eager he is to play after being limited his last time out) "Very. I'm looking forward to that. It's something I've been working on and trying to get better at right now. Getting back on the field and getting going and being back out with my teammates."

(on if he hears people criticize him on social media) "I haven't seen it. I'm not worried about it."

(on if he's playing with a brace) "No. don't want to use one."

(on why he's not wearing a brace) "I don't have to use one right now. I don't have to wear one. My knee's doing fine right now at this point. I just hope it stays like this."

(on if playing in the Tennessee game helped him) "Yeah. Just getting the feel of the game. I felt like I should have been a lot more healthier than I was before I went out there and played. At this point right now, I'm feeling good and I'm just happy to be on the field right now."

(on if he'll have to wait until Sunday to decide if he'll play or not) "Yeah."

(on how much he's grown mentally) "A lot. Just being around these older guys on my team, talking to them and learning from them. I'm learning a lot from them guys. Just been more mentally focused. Just looking forward to playing."

(on how anxious he is to play) "Very anxious just to be out there with my team. I already told them I'm happy to be back at practice, on the field practicing with them guys. Just looking forward to playing now."

ILB Brian Cushing
(on how he's doing health-wise) "I'm doing good. I feel good. My hearts still beating. I'll be alright I think."

(on if he thinks he can play on Sunday) "We'll just continue to take it on throughout the week, but my knee's felt great so far and I think all signs point to that."

(on how much the time off helped his body) "A lot. I've been able to really focus on rehabbing, getting the area around me knee strong and just getting back into playing shape and feeling good overall. It's definitely a benefit to me."

(on if he had swelling going on in his knee) "Yeah, there was a lot of swelling going on. There was a lot of swelling going on. Nothing that we felt that time couldn't help. That's kind of the route we went and just really rested it. Just felt that the two games plus the bye week was the best option."

(on if he has more movement in his knee) "Yeah and obviously when you can't really bend your leg the whole way and it's kind of just blowing up on you throughout the game, you're not going to be yourself. You're not going to be able to run like yourself, cut, plant and do all that. Hopefully we can minimize that and keep all that out of there."

(on what impresses him about Cleveland) "I think they're a good football team. Speaking about the offense, I think (Brian) Hoyer has done a really good job of controlling the game with the weapons that he has. Guys like Jordan Cameron and obviously (Ben) Tate and the other running backs. They have a good offense. They've got a good offense, they attack teams, they run the ball well, they pass the ball well and they've just done a good job overall, and you can tell they're every confident right now."

(on if he's feeling as good as he has felt all year) "Yeah, I think so. That was the plan and any time you get some time off to rest and recuperate, you can expect to feel a whole lot better."

(on how tough it was to sit out the games from a mental standpoint) "It's tough. It's tough, but I've also gotten to a point in my career where you have to be a little bit smarter about where you are and kind of just the progress of yourself and the season. Just getting back to as healthy as you possibly can be."

(on what ways his knee being healthier will translate on the field) "Everything. Everything because the better you feel the better you play. Anything in life I think. Specifically for me, really just everything. The better I can run, the better I can cover. The better I can run, the better I can tackle and do all those kind of things. The more I feel like myself the better I will play."

NT Ryan Pickett
(on what he sees from Cleveland's offense) "They don't make mistakes. They don't turn the ball over much. They stick to their game plan. They pretty much take care of the ball. They run the ball. They just don't make many mistakes."

(on if the cold weather today in Houston prepares him for the weather on Sunday) "I mean, it's pretty cold. I wasn't expecting this, not in Houston, not this time of year. I have no idea what the weather is going to be like there. It's good to get the guys, get our hands cold out there, play a little bit. It might prepare them a little bit, but it probably won't be near as cold here as it will be there."

(on if he can take advantage of the Browns offensive line without C Alex Mack) "I don't know if I'd call it a wink link. Alex Mack is a great player. He's a pro bowler, but the guys coming in have been doing a great job. They've been running the ball still. They still have the same game plan. I'm going to do my job, so I'm going to try to capitalize on any opportunities I have. The guy that's been playing, he's been pretty solid."

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