The Texans practiced Wednesday for the first time since their Monday Night Football loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Coach Gary Kubiak and players spoke to the media about facing the San Diego Chargers and more. **
Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak
LB Kevin Bentley
LB Brian Cushing
RB Arian Foster
WR Andre Johnson
FB Vonta Leach
QB Matt Schaub
San Diego Head Coach Norv Turner conference call
San Diego QB Philip Rivers conference call **
Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the status of WR Andre Johnson) "He didn't practice. Like I said, He's not any worse coming into this week. We'll stay with our plan. Hopefully he does a little bit more tomorrow. It's probably going to be that way for a while unless he can get through two or three weeks clean. He did the expected today, which was nothing."
(on practicing outside in the cold and wet weather) "We are less than 48 hours playing and we need to stay off that turf and get our bodies back. So we did everything that we could to stay on the grass today."
(on any injury updates) "(TE) Owen (Daniels) and (LB) Xavier (Adibi) were not at practice today. We are treating them. Both of them are nursing hamstrings. So they'll be day-to-day."
(on how difficult it is to make the step to get from eight wins to 11 wins) "Every step you take in this league is tough. Every week is a big-time battle and big-time game. We can worry about nine or 10 wins. We got to worry about win number five. We're 4-3 and battling in this league like other teams. We didn't play good enough to win the other night and we got to regroup to play against a great football team this week in my opinion. We just have to take it one at a time. We got to figure out a way to win our fifth right now."
(on the performance of San Diego QB Philip Rivers this season) "Right now he's playing about as good as I've seen anybody play. (San Diego head coach) Norv (Turner) has put a lot on him. They've had some injury issues so he has put the game in his hands in a lot of ways and he's responded. I love the way this kid competes. He's really a fireball on the football field. The tight end they've got is something else and these young backs they have. They are a very explosive offensive football team."
(on San Diego TE Antonio Gates) "He's a huge mismatch for linebackers and safeties. He's just a heck of a player. (San Diego head coach) Norv (Turner) plays him all over the place. He's a very smart young man. So that makes it even more difficult. He'll be the best we've faced this year."
(on how can the defense generate more turnovers) "We've got to talk about them and work on them. It has been a point of emphasis all day through practice with stripping the ball. We need to find a way to make some more impact plays as a football team. Defensively, stripping the ball, big plays offense and big plays defense; We are missing those right now. We are way behind from that standpoint. We'll keep working on it and hopefully we'll catch up."
(on if he thinks that the Chargers are prone to turnovers) "They've had some turnovers this year, but they make up for it with a lot of yards and a lot of big plays. I think they are number one on both sides of the ball right now and that's hard to do in this league. They are playing very well."
(on what are some things that he could do to help the team offensively to get off on good starts) "Well you go back and look at what you're doing. I've said this before, we've moved the ball in the first series of the game. We have moved the ball, but we have stalled after some ball movement. Like the other night we come out and make a nice play on the first play of the game and then we don't handle the next two situations like we should handle them. You evaluate yourself. You're right, we need to start better as a football team. That usually is a big help, but we need to get better in all areas. Not just the first five plays of the game. We need to play them all better."
(on if he is the most disappointed with the offensive play in last week's game against the Colts) "Yes. In the first half we played very poorly. We just didn't handle things that we would normally handle. When you are making some of the mistakes we made, I look at from my perspective is if I've asked them to do too much in the game, game-plan wise. You're sitting there watching some players that you had for awhile make some mistakes that are uncalled for. First thing you got to do is look at yourself and make sure that your players are getting a fair chance to do what they do best. So that's what I'm looking at right now."
(on how much will it help playing home this week) "In this league, once the game starts, it doesn't matter where you are playing. It's how you play. We played a bad half of football that got us 14 points in the hole and we get beat by 13, so we weren't able to make it up."
(on does it say about the team bouncing back with a win following a loss in the previous week) "We are working hard. We are very positive in what we are doing. We had a great week last week. It was probably the best practice we had since I've been a coach here. We didn't get it transferred on the field as a team, but bouncing back in this league, there are 16 teams bouncing back every week and 16 think they got it figured out. That's part of the National Football League. We are in the short end this week so hopefully we can come back and play good football."
(on former Texan K Kris Brown returning this week as a Charger) "(K) Kris (Brown) is a great young man and a heck of a kicker. I know it didn't work out this year, but I'm glad to see him get an opportunity and he's getting an opportunity with a heck of a football team. I wish him all the best, him and his family. He deserved that opportunity and I'm glad to see him get it."
(on the play of QB Matt Schaub and DE Mario Williams) "I'm going to start with (QB) Matt (Schaub). I think he's played pretty well. He struggled in the first half last week like the rest of the team, but we kind of go as Matt goes. I expect our quarterback to play well every week so I put a lot of pressure on him and he wouldn't have it any other way. I think (DE) Mario (Williams) has been very consistent. He hasn't had the sacks in the past few weeks, but I think he's playing hard and he's close. He just needs to keep working. Those things tend to come in bunches, but we need him to play just as big as our quarterback to play."
(on if he would thinking the Colts were going to adjust against the Texans passing game after anticipating opening against their running game) "I guess no to all that. First off, the first play was a run. I know you saw a pass to (WR) Andre (Johnson), but it was a run call with a pass tag. We were going to be balanced. I want to be balance as a football team. That's what I'm trying to do. I think we would've have no problem being balanced as a football team had we not been 0-6 on third downs. We ran the ball well that game. We need to run the ball, but we need to throw it well, too."
(on the play of DE Mark Anderson) "Well that was encouraging because he played on special teams too. He's got some speed and for him to get out there and do some good things and get a chance to play for (special teams coordinator) Joe (Marciano) that's a positive for us moving forward because they are still waiting for (DE) Jesse (Nading) to come back."
(on how important is time of possession against a team like the Chargers) "It's important every week. Usually if we are up in time of possession it means that we are making third downs and moving the ball, last week I think it was 27:33. It was totally out of whack. It wouldn't be any bigger any other week. That's what it always is. It's big all the time."
(on how DT Earl Mitchell progressing) "He did practice today. I'll have to go back and look at the film, but he did practice today."
(on any concerns about the play of RB Arian Foster) "No, he's playing well. He had a mistake in pass protection the other night, but we all make mistakes. We all contributed in the fact that we didn't play well in the first half, but (RB) Arian (Foster) has been playing good football for us."
LB Kevin Bentley
(on what the defense can do to make a conscious effort to create turnovers) "I think that comes from the first three things. If you're running fast, if you're running hard, you're hitting people harder, sometimes the ball pops up, sometimes you put your helmet on the ball. When you gang tackle, guys wear down and maybe one of those guys pops the ball out when he's diving in there to hit the guy. That's pretty much how they come. And then effort—somebody tips the ball, here comes a guy flying, he just happens to jump underneath and catch the interception."
(on San Diego QB Philip Rivers) "I think he's a really good quarterback. He has a good control of that offense and he knows where he's going. He knows how to get those guys where they need to be and he can make all the throws. He has a funny motion, so you have to be a little mindful of that because sometimes it looks like he's throwing a check-down and the ball's going 60 yards downfield. But it's getting there and it's getting there in a hurry, so we're going to have to do a good job. I think we're going to have to be physical with their group in general and try to get them at the line of scrimmage, disrupt some of their routes, because they've got big guys and when you just let them run, they're running like gazelles out there. It's wide-open."
(on San Diego RBs Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews) "They have really good—really, really good backs. And I can't remember the other kid's name—I think his number is 35, he was a fullback. (Mike) Tolbert. He's running the ball really well. They're running the ball really well as a group. They have a great complement with the Mathews and Tolbert kid, and Sproles comes in and he's the change-of-pace guy, and they're getting it done."
LB Brian Cushing
(on what he liked and didn't like about his play at MLB at Indianapolis) "I think for the most part, I wanted to be more technically sound than anything. I think as a middle linebacker, you have to be the most responsible guy on the defense. A, playing that position and B, against the team that we played, when you do something like that, you have to be fundamentally sound, and I think myself and the defense as a whole, we were pretty good at that."
(on whether the defense is building confidence in itself) "I think the week building up (to the Indianapolis game), we had a really good bunch of practices; I think our mind was in the right place, but like I said, it really doesn't mean anything unless you win. Are we going in the right direction? Yes. Was the outcome what we wanted? No. We understand that and we're going to keep pressing, we're going to keep grinding. We know that we're on the way up and whether it's that one play or that one game that breaks us through, the defense is going to keep going up."
(on the challenge that San Diego TE Antonio Gates presents) "He does, and he's got a great quarterback throwing him the ball as well. Those two guys are a very good combination and it's just one of those things that we've got to be very aware of on every single play and what they're trying to do and how they're trying to hit us."
(on how the short week after Monday night's game is affecting him) "I think coming off a loss, the short week is great because you get a chance to go play football again and forget about this week, get it out of your mind quickly and hopefully we'll get a win at home, which is huge."
(on why the Texans have been able to turn around slow starts in recent games) "It might be one of those things where a team comes out fast, a team makes they plays they need to and we finally realize where we are and it's halftime and we make some adjustments and whatnot and come out and we play a great second half of football. That's one of those things that we understand that and now it's time to put a full game together."
(on if the team gets desperate) "You know, I don't know if desperate is the right term or not, or down, or whatever it is, but it seems like a lot of times this year, we've come from behind, whether we've been playing from behind or came from behind or whatever. I think once we get over that and we limit the points on defense, get off the field on third down and certain situations like that, that's going to help us out a lot."
RB Arian Foster
(on the team's approach to this week's game against the San Diego Chargers) "To be a good team in this league, you've got to beat good teams consistently, so that's our game plan and that's what we plan on doing."
(on whether he was surprised that the team didn't run more often early at Indianapolis) "I don't really get into the whole play-calling or anything like that. I just go out and execute my job and do whatever they want me to, so I can't really get into all of that."
(on playing against the Chargers since he grew up in San Diego) "It's kind of special, man. You know, I've got a lot of people coming out to the game, a lot of family. San Diego is like my second home, so it's going to be fun."
(on what he feels he's been able to contribute to the offense this season) "I guess I just feel like I'm being as productive as they allow me to be. Every time I get the opportunity to get in there and make things happen, that's what I try to do. Anything I can do to help this team win, that's what I'm going to do."
(on the team's ability to bounce back from losses this season) "The season is still young, so you can't really hang your head on any stat or anything at all. It's still a young season, so all we can do is Coach Kub (head coach Gary Kubiak) does a good job of getting us past the last game and on to the next one, even if it's a win or a loss. That's our mentality. Even to the microcosm of a play: if it's bad, move on, and if it's good, move on, because it's a long game and it's a long season."
WR Andre Johnson
(on how he's feeling) "I'm feeling pretty good. Nothing damaging from the game. I could have went out and practiced today if I had to. They just wanted me to stay off of it and other than that, my ankle still feels the same. They told me, when I injured my ankle, at times, I'll feel some pain here and there depending on how it got caught up in the turf or in piles and things like that. It got caught up twice on Monday night, so that's pretty much what it was."
(on the challenge of facing the offense and defense of the Chargers) "It's a big challenge for us. We understand that. We know what type of team they are. They could easily be undefeated. They've just had a lot of turnovers and mishaps and things like that. They're a very good football team. You see that from them every year. We know it's going to be a challenge for us, so we're going to step up to the plate and try and go out and win this game on Sunday."
(on if they have to win this game to show they're a different team this year) "You look at our schedule—the rest of our schedule—we have a lot of tough games ahead of us. We just have to take them one game at a time, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't think we can get through it but I have confidence that we can go out and if we play football the way we know how to play, we can go out and win games. Like I said, we're going to do everything we can to prepare this week and arrive on Sunday and see what happens."
(on Chargers CBs Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer) "Quentin, he's a very physical corner. I've played against Jammer before. I've never played against Cason before. You look at them on film, you can tell both of them are very talented. They're very good at what they do. What you see is what you get from them. They're very talented players, and it's going to be a big challenge for us."
FB Vonta Leach
(on what it takes to get off to better starts in games) "Well, a lot of things. You've got to be more focused when you go out there. We had a few busts in the first plays. We can't have that as an offensive team. We're a veteran group and we can't have that."
(on playing from behind and the difference of coming out to play in the first and third quarters) "I think it's more focus. Guys are more focused and tuned in. I don't think the guys are lackadaisical or nothing, I just think we need to pay more attention to detail. That's what we've got to do and that's what we're working on this week."
QB Matt Schaub(on how he feels) "I'm feeling good. It's a new week. We're back out on the practice field. It felt good to get back out there. Gotta get ready for San Diego."
(on what bouncing back strong from losses this season says about the Texans as a team) "We're resilient. We come back with good practices and preparation for the next game. We put the past game behind us and learn from it and move on. That comes from the veteran leadership of this group and guys just getting their minds focused on the next one."
(on what stands out about San Diego's defense) "Well, they're physical, they're aggressive and they have a good pass rush. Their secondary is disciplined. They have veteran corners; they just keep things in front of them. They don't give up, necessarily, the big play. They wait for you to make a mistake."
(on what the Texans can do to get off to better starts in their games) "Take the ball down the field the first drive and put points on the board, that's the main thing, to get off on a good start. Get into a rhythm. We're an offense that when we get into a rhythm, we can be pretty good."
(on the best way for the offense to get into a rhythm) "However it happens; whether it's the run game, pass game. Whatever it takes."
(on how he evaluates his play against the Colts last Monday night) "I feel like there is a lot to get better from, not just from a team perspective, but myself included. But we're on to this one, we're on to San Diego and getting better."
(on if he is playing better than he did last year) "I feel like there are times. There are times where I can play better, where I played better last year. I just feel like there are things as a team and individually everyone can get better. You never can be satisfied with what you did or what you're doing at the time. You always try to get better."
(on how hard it is to do his job when there is a stronger pass rush coming at him) "It's part of football. You got to be able to operate when they're bringing people and it's a chance to make bigger plays down the field. Our protection has been very solid and very good all year. It's just about being able to step up and make the plays."
(on how he communicates his frustration on the sideline after throwing an interception) "You go back and you just get the next call and you go out there for the next series. You have to have a short term memory, good, bad or indifferent. You come over and get a swig of Gatorade or water and you go back out there for the next series and put it behind you. Find a way to go get a score on the next possession."
(on if he thinks the Texans should run the ball more) "Well, we didn't convert third downs last week. That's why we didn't have more plays, whether it be run or pass. In the first half, we didn't convert third downs and stay on the football field, so the more we can do that, the more plays we're going to have. "
(on how similar San Diego's 3-4 defense is to Washington's 3-4 defense) "It's more similar to what Dallas runs, from a 3-4 perspective, but different personnel. They're a solid group. They're number one in the NFL. It's a tough test, a tough challenge we're getting ready for."
(on what make's San Diego's defense so similar to Dallas' defense) "Just the variety of things that they do, blitz-wise, makes it similar."
(on putting together two good halves of football) "It's just about coming out and being consistent and executing our plan, executing our plays; staying on the field on third down. Bottom line."
(on how his offensive lineman reacted to him taking some hard hits against Indianapolis) "I mean, they don't want to have that happen. I don't want to have it happen. It's part of football and you just gotta go on to the next play."
(on why the Texans offense has performed better in the third quarter this season) "I don't know. We don't do anything different. We execute. That's the name of the game; it's execution. We didn't execute in the first half the other night as far as third downs go, and so we weren't on the field as much. We didn't sustain drives. But in the third quarter, fourth quarter, we were able to do so."
(on the Texans playing better when they have a sense of urgency) "Well, we have a sense of urgency regardless. It's just whether we execute and play to our potential and play to what our standard around here. As far as being desperate, I don't know if that's necessarily the word, but when we had to make plays, we were able to make plays and move the football. We just fell short."
(on the biggest problem the Chargers defense presents) "They just bring a variety of fronts and looks and blitzes, whether it's in their base personnel or in nickel. It's just stuff we have to identify where they're at, who's coming and be able to make the plays and execute. They're a veteran group. They've been together for awhile and a team we have to be ready for what they present."
(on his team's confidence) "We have a ton of confidence. If you lose your confidence, you're fighting an uphill battle. We've got a lot of guys that play extremely well and played a lot of good football. So we have a ton of confidence. It's just about going out and putting it together for a full game, for 60 minutes. We're ready to go do that this week."
(on if he would have like to see more running plays last week) "Everyone is asking the same thing. If you don't convert third downs, we were 0-for-6 in the first half, when you don't convert third downs, you don't get as many plays. So we were off the field. We weren't sustaining drives and therefore, less running plays, less pass plays, less plays total."
(on how this Texans team is different than last year's) "I don't know. I haven't really thought about it going back to last year. I'm too focused on getting better this week and beating the Chargers. I haven't even thought about last year."
(on if it is more frustrating looking at video from the Indianapolis game) "Yeah. It was missed opportunities. In the first half, we didn't sustain drives or stay on the field, so we missed opportunities with that and our defense kept us in the game. We started moving the ball, started putting some points on the board in the second half, but it was too little, too late and we didn't make it all the way back."
(on getting to the next level as a team) "It always comes back to the little things. When either you win or you lose, in this league, it's not by very much. We lost by 13 the other night but that was two plays difference. And it was the little things. And when we win; we came back against Washington, it's just the little things that get you there or don't get you there. We've known that, but it's about making those plays and making those details so important that you make them."
(on the effects of the interception he threw against the Colts) "It's hard to come back from those things. You get down two scores early in the game in that place against that team, that's a tough hill to get over. But you just come to the sideline, you get ready to go back out there and score on the next drive."
T Eric Winston(on getting off to a better start against the Chargers) "I think sometimes, we tend to wait and let the flow of the game kind of take hold and then adjust to that. It's not like we're letting the other team dictate it. We just need to go out there and let it rip. More than anything just go out there from the start and go after them. I think that's what we can do better."
(on if that is a mental issue) "I don't know. It's been up and down. I remember a couple years ago, we had scored on every opening drive in nine straight games or something crazy like that in '07 or '08. Like I said, we're scoring more points than we ever have around here on offense. That's just the way it goes. You're always trying to correct the things you're not doing well and keep going with what you are."
(on if he feels different when he comes out in the third quarter compared to the first quarter) "I don't personally have a different feeling. I take that back. I do have a different feeling in the sense that you've already played. You know what's going to happen and you know what's going on. You know what they guy in front of you is going to do. The sense of urgency needs to be there from the beginning. That's really what it's all about. It's just having that sense of urgency right from the start and keeping that going for the whole game."
San Diego Head Coach Norv Turner Conference Call(on what were some things that the San Diego defense was able to do to keep Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson from being effective) "I think if you are going to play a run defense you have to do it as an entire group. I think that we were discipline. At one point, he cut back and made a big run. Other than that, I thought that we were very discipline at the point of attack. Everyone was very assignment conscious and then we did tackle well."
(on how similar are the running styles of RBs Ryan Matthews and Arian Foster) "It's hard for me to make comparisons. I think each guy has his own style. The thing that I think has really impressed me about (RB Arian) Foster is that he plays in such a physical nature and then he could be elusive and obviously can make the big play."
(on what has he done to get rid of the turnovers) "You look in certain areas. In certain plays you're going to have during the season unfortunately you're going to have. There are forced plays by the defense with a big hit. Obviously in the passing game, I think there are a certain number of turnovers you're going to have over a course of 16 games. The ones that I think you can't have are the ones that are kind of unforced. We had a number of those early with our young running backs between (RB) Ryan (Matthews) and (RB) Mike Tolbert. They had five or six fumbles in the first four games and then we had a couple of our younger receivers turn the ball over. I think some of that is learning from the job and education. It's something that we always stressed and coached awfully hard. I think we had seven fumbles the entire season last year. I think some of it had to do with those young players understanding in this league that they are going to rip the ball out. They are going to take it away from you. They are going to hold you up and get someone else in there and pull the ball out. I think Ryan and Tolbert have both done a great job over the last four games of securing the ball and mentally making a conscious effort in taking care of it."
(on what he has seen of the Texans pass defense) "Statistics are so hard for me because one or two games can slam a great deal. You could play awfully good and have two big plays really affect the numbers. I look at Houston and put on the tape and I just see them playing awfully well extended periods of time and then they do have situations where they've given up some big plays. They've played against some awfully good teams that are going to get yards on you."
(on what are some areas the Texans secondary has struggled against opposing tight ends) "It's a matter when you're a zone blitz team and then mix in the two-deep stuff there are areas where you could get the ball to the tight end. We have gone through it a little bit ourselves. If you don't get pressure there is one of the places that the ball gets to quicker than others. When quarterbacks get those zone pressures and get those looks that's usually who they are looking to the tight end."
(on the addition of former Texans K Kris Brown) "(K) Kris (Brown) has kind of bailed us out. I've known Kris since he was a rookie in Pittsburgh. It's fun to be around a guy like him. He's such a pro. He's got great preparation and obviously had a big game for us last week and was a big part of our victory. He's been awfully consistent as a kicker for us."
(on if he talked to K Kris Brown about coming back and facing his former team, the Texans) "No, this league is crazy because you end up doing this so much. Guys go from team to team. I don't think it's a big deal right now. I think it ends up being a real big deal on Sunday and certainly if he's looking at a kick that will have major impact the game. I'm sure it's going to be a real big deal to him."
(on how would he compare QB Philip Rivers to Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman at his fifth or sixth year in the league) "Each guy is different in their development. Our offense and where this game has gone in the last 10 years to me it's impossible to compare players from one period of time to now. I think the thing you want a guy to do is to get the most out of his abilities and potential and to be getting the most out of the guys around him. I think (QB) Philip (Rivers) does that as good as anyone I've been around. I think he gets the most out of his abilities and I think he brings out the best in all the guys that line up with him. Last week, three of our four receivers were practice squad guys two weeks ago. They're not household names. They're very few people in country that can name the other three receivers other than (WR) Patrick Crayton. Philip didn't blink. He just said hey let's make this work and we'll go and do what we do and he was able to get that done."
(on has TE Antonio Gates been getting quicker since recovering from his toe injury) "(TE) Antonio (Gates) is in a lot of pain. He was in a lot of pain Saturday before the game. He was in more pain Monday after the game. It's pretty amazing to me what he did. Sunday he knew we needed him to find a way to win a game and to keep in this thing. He's one of the more remarkable guys I've ever been around. He's a 260 pound guy that can play wide receiver and tight end. He can beat a corner. He can beat a safety. He can beat a linebacker. He gives you a matchup and he often beats double teams. He and (QB) Philip (Rivers) have great rapport and they know what each other is doing at such a high level. It's fun to kind of turn them loose. They do help our other guys. I think they compliment the rest of our players."
(on former Texan DT Travis Johnson) "I like what Travis has done for us. I think that he has become a true professional. He's worked very hard at it. He's in a rotation with our guys. We have guys that complement each other in there and I think he brings explosiveness and playmaking ability. We've got some other guys that are bigger and kind of pound on people. I think it's a nice mix and I think we are able roll those guys around."
(on if he thought it took the Chargers a couple of years to adjust to defensive coordinator's Ron Rivera's system) "No I don't think that. I think we've had so many changes last year and we had a lot of injuries at the beginning of the year. We didn't have the kind of continuity that we had to have where every guy is feeding off each other. We pretty much now with the six man rotation in the defensive line it's been the same since the middle of last year. Three of our four linebackers have been playing together for the last couple of years. In the secondary, we've had one addition with (CB Antoine) Cason. Those guys have had a chance to be in a system over a period of time and I think that's helped everyone."
(on CB Quentin Jammer) "That's what I'm talking about. You have a guy like (CB Quentin) Jammer who is a pro. He gets ready every week. He quietly gets better each year. I thought he had his best year last year. He's off to a great start. If you play out there at corner, they are going to make some plays on you and you are not going to shut them down every play. In this league, it's hard to be a corner. It's hard to be a safety because there are some awfully good players running down the field at you. He knows how to handle it. He knows handle it when you're having success and he knows how to handle it when he gives up a play. He's just and awfully consistent player."
San Diego QB Philip Rivers Conference Call
(on if this is the best he has ever played in a first-half season) "In some ways yeas and in others no, the bulk of some of these games I've played really well. But I've been a part of some of these key turnovers. I've had my fair share. I really base it off wins and losses. So it's hard to say that and we are sitting here at 3-5. We've put stretches in games that have been really productive and hopefully we can really keep taking care of the football and play any better in the second half."
(on if he is tired of hearing the possibility of passing Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino's record for most yards passing in a season) "I've hadn't heard too much of it yet. If we were to, which is obviously not in the front of our minds, it's a long way away and much has been made after eight games of the yards that we've had. That's a team deal. Obviously, it takes the guys upfront protecting like they do. To be able to push it down the field and then receivers making plays and when I'm saying receivers I'm talking about all of them, backs and obviously we got a tight end that's pretty good too."
(on his upcoming performance against the Texans' secondary this Sunday with him being on a record pace in passing facing league's worst pass defense statistically) "Honestly, that could be the misleading thing about statistics. You at us statistics-wise and as you mentioned, we are number one in a bunch of categories. But we are sitting at 3-5 and turning the football over and hadn't got in the end zone in critical situations. You look at the statistics of this defense and I think it could be misleading. When I turn on the tape and watch the things they do. They certainly don't look like what the statistics say. We've played poor on the road. We know this is a team that started off hot. We know they are still right there in the thick of their division. We are trying to fight to get back in ours. We are going to need to play well to win."
(on what makes TE Antonio Gates so special and compete at a high level) "There are a lot of teams in this league he could play wide receiver. He could line up and be a wide receiver in an every down basis. There really is no matchup that you don't like with him. I think the area that he's taking it to another level is just mentally he tries to get better every year, learning from a cover standpoint and what teams are trying to do in different ways so that he could try to get open. You keep thinking every year that's just about as good as he could play and then each year he finds ways to improve. I'm glad that he's on our side."
(on what are some things that cause the Texans defense problems against tight ends this year) "There are different things, I don't know just tight ends. One thing that keep showing up is the big play in just about every game that teams are able to capitalize and score quick or get a big touchdown on. I think the first thing that jumps out when you watch the tape to me is those guys up front. They can get after it from a pass rush standpoint. We know we got to play well. We just won a football game and we going fight like hell to win another one."
(on his relationship with former college teammate DE Mario Williams) "I haven't talked to (DE) Mario (Williams) in a while. Obviously, he was a young guy when I was at N.C. State. I saw right off the bat how special he was going to be. He and I have always got along great. It'll be fun being out there against him. He's certainly an impressive player and it'll be fun."
(on if there is anything he could remember anything special about DE Mario Williams in college and how is he progressing in the NFL) "The one thing as a freshman and a young guy, to be 6-7, 300 pounder and be able to athletically be able to do what he did. It's unbelievable watching just the way he runs. All that, as a young guy. It was just a matter of time before he could learn how he could play. I'm mean from a techniques standpoint. He didn't have to as a freshman or sophomore in college there is no reason to. Now you've seen him grow and turn into the player that he is now. A year or two ago he lead the league in sack and now he's a Pro Bowl player. It doesn't surprise me even from where I saw there as freshman in college."
(on what explains his success this year) "It's hard to consider it a tone of success again we are 3-5. Offensively we've played in a pretty high level in the last few years. We got more yards obviously this year, but I don't know if we are playing better than we had the past few years when we've really gotten going. We stick to our same stuff. We push the ball down the field, but we mix in some high percentage stuff. Last week I think our backs caught 14 balls or something like that. One thing we do every week is that everybody gets their chance to get the ball in their hands. If you're a receiver, back or tight end and you dress there is a good chance that you'll catch a pass at some point during the game. I think as much as (TE) Antonio (Gates) is featured, any given play anybody can get it So there is not just one guy the defense can key on.
(on the Chargers turnover problem this season) We've had some that has been just crazy. A pass that was tended to be forward, but was ruled a lateral that gets ran back for 70 yards. We've had a young wide receiver in (WR Richard) Goodman that catches a 30 yard gain and he's not touchdown yet, but he thought he was and gives up and leaves the ball there. We've had some that was just crazy turnovers and other where I fumbled at the 20 yard line in Oakland. We had two fumbles inside the five as we were driving, so we've just had some things pop up and we addressed them. We've always been a team that had good ball security and had few turnovers. Obviously, they've creeped in this year. Last week, we only had one and it was right before the half. It turned out to be a mute play. We were able to hang on to the ball last week and ended on winning the game. Certainly, if we continue to do that we will give ourselves a chance to win each week."
(on how much of the turnover problems where mental and if they have address the issues last week by turning over the ball last week) "I think you got to be conscious of it obviously. Just squeeze it a little and play smart, but at the same time you can't make you play careful. When you play careful that's when you throw another interception or you don't make the cuts you want to make as a runner. So you don't want to play careful, you just want to play smart and make sure you make a little extra effort to squeeze it and hold on to it and make good decisions as a passer. There's a chance that I might turn it over this year. We are not going to go turnover free. We can overcome them. We just can't have them at rate we are having them because they were getting us out of scoring situations and obviously too often. In the New England game we had four straight possessions where we were turning it over. It's hard to beat good teams when you are doing that."
(on San Diego head coach Norv Turner's halftime speech last week) "The biggest thing is that it was emotionally felt. It was a heart-felt halftime talk. It was dead on accurate and I think it showed in the second half what was said by how physical we played and we came out in the second half and look like a different team."
(on what did the win against Tennessee do for the team after the three close losses in the previous games) "We certainly waited long enough to get one. It was a rough stretch. All it did for us now is to get us to 3-5. We may look back down the road and say man look what that win did, but at this point it just got to 3-5 and stopped the bleeding. Three straight losses were rough. We had a very simple approach of just win one game and that's the approach this week, just trying to win one game. We'll obviously have some time to get rested and healed up after this game heading into the bye, but we haven't won two games back-to-back this year and that's what we're trying to get done this week."
(on what else to RB Mike Tolbert bring to the offense) "He obviously can catch it. He had a 60 yard plus touchdown at Cleveland last year on a flat. He had a 60 yard gain in Denver on a little crossing route. He broke a 40 yard run last week and had over 100 yards rushing. He's obviously has been big for us in short yardage, but he's an every down back and he was a full back last year. He could do it all he about as versatile as it gets. He's probably not as fast as other tailbacks, but when he gets going he moves pretty good."