Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
OLB Connor Barwin
NT Shaun Cody
TE Owen Daniels
ILB Tim Dobbins
RB Arian Foster
WR Andre Johnson
QB Matt Schaub
DE J.J. Watt
Jacksonville Head Coach Mike Mularkey Conference Call
Jacksonville WR Laurent Robinson Conference Call
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the team's health in practice today) "Everybody was back on the practice field today. Everybody participated. (RB Ben) Tate did practice. (TE) Owen (Daniels) practiced. (NT) Shaun Cody did practice. We were kind of light in what we did, but they were all back in practice today, so should be all back out there tomorrow. That's where we're at."
(on if those players were full participants in practice) "Yeah, they did practice."
(on Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Bill Kollar) "(Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line) Coach (Bill) Kollar is actually in the plane as we speak. He was on a 12 o'clock flight and should be back in town here in about an hour. Probably be up here this evening, but he's doing good and will be back on the practice field tomorrow."
(on if RB Ben Tate will play Sunday) "I can't say that. I don't know until we push through the rest of the week. Obviously, tomorrow is our big work day and we get into Friday. I think we're heading in the right direction. A lot closer right now than we were at this time last week so we'll have to wait and see."
(on moving on from a big game to a game against a struggling team) "They all count the same. The trip is the thing that's hard to get back going from because you get in so late and try to turn the corner right away and get back to work. They've been very businesslike. We briefly talked about the game a little bit again this morning before we started our Jacksonville stuff about the things we have to clean up. They're very businesslike. As I've told you all before, they're really mature and growing up as a group. They find a way to go refocus each and every week. It's a division game. We always have tough, physical games with these guys so kind of a short week for us because of Sunday night but we got to turn around, get ready to go."
(on the secondary) "They've played extremely well. The thing that's helped is how well we've played up front, making the quarterback get rid of the ball. I think what you're seeing is time together. (SS Danieal Manning) D-Man, (CB Johnathan) Joseph playing a lot of football now, together almost what a year and a half, a little bit more than that, (FS Glover Quin) GQ, (CB) Kareem (Jackson). Kareem's development as a player has been huge as a secondary. Then I think getting (SS Quintin) Demps back has helped our football team, getting him back last week and then (CB) Brice (McCain) has been very consistent playing the nickel for us. A lot of reps. We've been fortunate we've stayed healthy back there. The more they play together, the better they seem to get."
(on CB Kareem Jackson's improvement) "I just think it's confidence. When you're a young guy and you go out there and play 16 weeks in this league, they throw it at you. You're going to give up some plays. So confidence plays a factor. Our team wasn't as good then as it is now so we can help (CB) Kareem (Jackson) a lot more. His confidence in what (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) has him doing and the job that (Defensive Backs) Vance (Joseph) has done with him I think has been exceptional. Kareem's a very smart player, understands leverage, understands where his help is."
(on if the team has prepared at all for Detroit) "No, I don't believe in that. We've got a game to win this week and we've got to find a way to win our ninth game. Heck, if we had a two-day turnaround I don't believe in getting a head start on people. I think it confuses you and complicates things. We'll deal with that when the time comes. We understand what we're facing next week. That's my job as a coach from a scheduling standpoint to be ready for that, but as far as talking about things like that we refuse to do that. We got to find a way to win this game."
(on if the team has any coaches preparing for Detroit) "There are always people in the building that do pre-work for coaches that they've got to do that but that's consistent. It's not like it's just next week or any other time. But as far as our coaches and how we do things, we do it totally opposite. We wait. We got to focus on this one."
(on RB Justin Forsett) "I think he's played very well. The other night he averages what, six yards a carry-plus. We just have a lot of confidence in him. He's pass protected well. He's a good, young player. He's played well on special teams for us. We're very fortunate to get him to come in here in our situation in the backfield. He's added a lot to our team and I think he'll continue to do that. Our guys just believe in him. Watch him practice, watch him prepare, they know he'll do a good job."
(on RB Justin Forsett's skills) "He's a speed guy. He is small, but he is pretty well built. He runs pretty good between the tackles, runs good routes out of the backfield, those types of things. He could probably be a hell of a third down back for us, but our guy is a three down player so that's a difference in our team. He does a good job making tackles on special teams. He'll go in there and break up a wedge on kickoff. He'll do a lot of things you wouldn't think a small statured guy would do, but he'll go out there and do it."
(on WR Andre Johnson's Sunday night performance and how he feels right now) "I think he's just feeling very good. I think over the course of the last three or four weeks he's played his legs have come back and they have stayed this time. I just think he's handling himself, this program that (Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan) Kap has him on throughout the week. He's gained some confidence in this program and continues to do it. He got matched up on 33 (CB Charles Tillman) all night the other night. It was a tough night to throw the ball, so you weren't going to catch a lot of balls. He's very into what's going on. I think he feels good about the back half of the season and the type of player he can be in the back half."
(on WR Andre Johnson's Sunday night game) "No doubt, he makes a few plays. That was a night where you kind of had to be unselfish if you were a receiver, tight end, whatever you were you were going to have to be an unselfish and get in there and block and just wasn't your night to catch a lot of balls. I can tell you one thing and I've told you all this before all (WR) Andre (Johnson) cares about is winning. He's been doing this a long time and this is his opportunity to be on a good football team and he's enjoying it right now."
(on WR Andre Johnson becoming the most prolific receiver in Texas history) "You know what, I saw that. I didn't know that. Actually, I haven't said anything to the team. It seems like all the time I mention something he's done that's never been done around here, so I have to make sure I mention that one next."
(on RB Arian Foster's workload and if it concerns him about his future) "First off, I only think about the next game. I'm not thinking about next year or three years down the road or week 16. We're trying to be as good as we can be this week. (RB) Arian (Foster) is a hell of a player. He's stayed healthy this year. Whoever is going to play running back for us is going to carry the ball. It just happens that's Arian. He gives us an excellent chance to win. I'm going to give him opportunities to touch the ball and give us a chance to be at our best week in and week out. I worry about a lot of things, but having that one to worry about it's a nice one because I'm glad he's there every week and playing the way he's playing."
(on if he's noticed increased hunger from QB Matt Schaub as this season has progressed) "I think it's been there from the get-go after what he went through last year sitting there watching the last six games and the two playoff games is very difficult on him. A matter of fact, I can picture his face right now when we stepped off the field against Baltimore. I was talking to the team. He's been driven to get back. It's our job to keep him in one piece, too and I think we've done a good job up front. I think we're number one or two in protecting the quarterback in the league. That's important to the long haul for our team. He's been driven. He's been driven ever since I've had him."
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on RB Justin Forsett's progression) "Well I don't know if you call it progression, we had a lot of confidence in (RB) Justin (Forsett). He's proven us right, if you want to say it that way. He did a great job in the game as always. He sees the big picture and understands what we're trying to do. We saw that in training camp. He really did progress in training camp. We feel real good about what he's done."
(on WR Andre Johnson feeling good) "He does. We're hoping to keep working him and he's doing great stuff. The other day was hard to get the ball to anybody, but he was working hard. We know he'll continue to do that. It looks really good for him."
(on WR Andre Johnson becoming the most prolific receiver in Texas state history) "I read that somewhere. It's obviously a big thing because of all the pro teams that you look at the history of Dallas and what not. The thing that just amazes me is how hard he works all the time in the meeting, out on the field, doesn't say anything. He just works, which is very, very impressive to be around a guy that does that. I've been around a couple and there is a reason why he's the most prolific because he works very hard at it and he is talented. You can't discount the amount of time and effort he puts into it."
(on if he'd vote for WR Andre Johnson for the Hall of Fame) "In a heartbeat. Not sure they're giving me a vote though."
(on how much they missed TE Owen Daniels in Sunday's game) "Well certainly with (TE) Owen's (Daniels) ability to catch the ball underneath and the way he's been playing; it's not so much 'miss,' there is just another option for us to have. (TE) Garrett's (Graham) been playing very, very well, but to have another option inside would have been great. But those are decisions that were made based on we need Owen for as many games as we can. We don't want to put him at risk. We made some adjustments. Some of them were a little rough at times, but we did some good things without Owen and hopefully get him back as soon as we can because we need those options."
(on the challenge of playing the Jaguars' defense after facing the tough Bears' defense) "The Jacksonville Jaguars are a challenge to us every time we play them. They're a very good defense. They play very physical up front. I don't look at stats. I just look at the film and I know just watching our last game it was a grind for us. They know us. They're a division opponent. They do a great job up front. They're quality guys all over. They know what they're doing. It's always been a struggle so there are no days off for us. It's going to be a tough challenge for us. We're going to have to make our yards. We're going to have to keep the ball moving and get as many points as we can."
OLB Connor Barwin
(on CB Johnathan Joseph saying DE Antonio Smith is the "grandfather of the defense") "I wouldn't argue with that. I mean, I think he's the oldest guy on the defense. I think (ILB) Bradie James is up there. But I think age-wise, he might be the only guy over 30 on our defense."
(on if DE Antonio Smith is the "wise, old sage of the defense") "Yeah, I think he embraces that, too. He likes thinking he has a whole bunch of wisdom and sharing it, and he does, actually. He does help rookies out more than other any older guy I've ever seen. He's done that ever since I was a rookie, which I commend him for."
(on being a two-touchdown favorite on Sunday) "I don't really have any thoughts about that. I know that the Jaguars are a good team. I know their defense always gives our offense problems. I know they've got talent on offense. They've been able to move the ball well. So we'll have to show up on Sunday if we want to get a win."
(on Sunday's game not being labeled a trap game) "I think we're all focused. I think we like what we're doing right now. We like how we're playing but I think we all know there is stuff we can improve on. I think this is a focused group of guys that have a bigger picture in mind and we know that we need to play well if we want to keep going the way we want this Sunday."
(on how he thinks he is playing) "I'm happy with what I'm doing but there's obviously some things I can improve on, like everybody. But I'm happy with the way we're playing on defense."
NT Shaun Cody
(on how it felt to be back at practice) "It felt good to move around, be around the guys, practicing."
(on his situation for Sunday) "Hopeful. I felt good today. I'll do a little more contact tomorrow and see how it feels and go from there."
(on if his ribs or back are the bigger injury concern) "The ribs right now. They're a little more tender than the back is. Actually, I've got a little cold and that's kind of worse than both of them."
(on how he can play with sore ribs as a defensive lineman) "Well, they have this invention called the medication. And the medication sometimes helps with that kind of stuff. So we'll be on some form of hopefully pain medication that will help a little bit. But there's just a certain amount of pain you have to deal with and get through. I've been playing football for a while and you've got to play with little things here and there, so it's just another something to deal with."
(on wearing extra-protective covering) "I don't necessarily think it'll pertain too much because there's a lot of moving and torqueing. It's not so much getting hit on the spot as trying to torque and move. So that's where most of the pain comes from."
(on how important it is to not just be a great defense but to be the best defense in the NFL) "It's one of the things you shoot for as a defense. It's important that we play well every week and we try to go out there and put our best foot forward. As far as looking at numbers and stuff, I don't know how much we do of that but we know we want to put our offense in a good position to get the ball a lot so they can do some good things."
(on the possibility of a letdown following Sunday night's win) "It hasn't been a problem with this team. I think we've always done a good job preparing the same way each week. Coach (Wade) Phillips does a great job on our side getting us ready for what we have to deal with. We have a team that can be explosive at times. They've got a running back issue but they're going to be ready to play. They're going to trying to pull out the upset, I guess, come here in our stadium and beat us. They'll be fired up."
(on DE Antonio Smith being the "grandfather of the defense") "I don't know how I feel about that because I'm a only a year younger than him so I don't know how I really feel about that. If he's the grandfather, what does that make me? He's the guy we look to when times are tough. (DE) Antonio (Smith) has been through a lot of stuff in his career. He's been in Canada. He's been in the Super Bowl. He's seen the bottom, he's seen the top, so it's always good to have a guy like that you can look to for advice in tough times. He's seen it all."
TE Owen Daniels
(on the prospects that he'll play this Sunday) "Much better than past Sunday. I tried to play and wanted to play but I'm definitely feeling better every day and making a lot of progress. Practice today was a different tempo. So, looked at everything and looking forward to doing everything tomorrow."
(on the Texans holding him out of Sunday's game) "Yeah. I didn't practice all week, really. They were just being cautious. I was feeling pretty good. We didn't know about how I was going to feel if I took a hit on it or how I was going to react to that. So that was the biggest variable, in my eyes. But I think I just took the safe route."
(on if he has a hip or back injury) "Back. Specifically, my back."
(on if he'll play on Sunday) "I don't know. I don't know if it's my call but I see myself playing."
(on how important it is for him to get back on the field) "It's definitely important. I hate missing time. I put in a lot of work to get back so it means a lot to me to be out there."
(on how hard it was to watch the Chicago game from the sideline) "It was tough for a lot of reasons. Obviously, it was a huge game, on a big stage and back home, so it was not an ideal situation for me, but I tried to help out as best I could."
(on if he feels better than anticipated today) "We made pretty big strides last week from Wednesday to Friday to Sunday and it's just kept improving from there. I was happy I was able to go out there today without any restrictions. I felt good about that."
(on the Texans being 15.5-point favorites) "You know we don't look at that stuff. We never ever talk about that type of thing. We're focused on a divisional opponent that we seem to have trouble with sometimes offensively. They've got a pretty darn good defense. It's always a tough challenge for us, so we're focused on getting back to playing in some good conditions and getting on track and being more productive."
ILB Tim Dobbins
(on being fined $30,000 for his hit on Chicago QB Jay Cutler) "My assessment is that it's way too high and I felt like I didn't do anything wrong. I'm not a dirty player and I really can't do nothing but appeal it at this point."
(on how disappointed he is that he was fined) "I'm definitely disappointed. I mean, I didn't know if he was going to run the ball or he was going to pass the ball. I felt like he was past the line and then I just went in and I tried to get a clean hit on him. It just didn't work out, I guess."
(on if he thought his hit on Chicago QB Jay Cutler was clean) "I felt like it was a clean hit. I looked at the film. It looked like I got a little helmet-to-helmet but I definitely didn't try to."
(on how shocked he was when he saw his fine letter) "Very shocked. There were a lot of zeroes on that paper."
(on if his agent will appeal the fine) "Yes, sir. I already told him to appeal this. It's in the process right now, I suppose."
(on if he thinks he has a case to win his appeal) "I have no idea. I went through the appeal process one time and I think it got overturned. I'm hoping for the best."
(on if he had a chance to talk to Chicago QB Jay Cutler after the game) "I did not."
RB Arian Foster
(on being third in Pro Bowl fan voting) "That's pretty cool. Thank the fans for voting. I appreciate that."
(on what it means to have that much fan support) "I think it just shows the fan base that this team has and they support their players. For everybody who voted, I appreciate it."
(on fans from around the NFL that aren't Texans fans but are fans of his) "It's just a humbling feeling that you know that people out there appreciate the way you go about your business and they appreciate the preparation that you put into this game. It's a pretty cool feeling."
(on if he could have dreamed of being third in Pro Bowl fan voting) "I've never thought about Pro Bowl voting before. It's a nice honor, but at the end of the day that's not what you play for. It's a great honor though, but that's not what you play for."
(on avoiding a trap game against the Jaguars) "I don't even know who invented that term. They obviously have never played in the NFL before. Jacksonville is a talented team and we're focused. We have a goal in mind. The first part of that goal is this Sunday against Jacksonville."
(on the progress on the right side of the offensive line and how they played well against Chicago) "They did. That's what being and playing on the offensive line, it's all about cohesiveness. It's all about camaraderie and they have a bunch of camaraderie in the offensive line room. They're getting better every week. I tell them all the time, 'We, as a team, go as they go.' We're going to be as good as they are."
(on avoiding trap games ) "No it doesn't. You have to bring your best game every week because the other team will and if you don't that'll show up."
(on how he's managed to have success when opposing defenses are focused on him) "It's not just me. I have 10 teammates out there helping me a long, great coaching staff with a great game plan. That's football. We try to stop what they do. They try to stop what we do. That's what we play for."
(on if ever gets the chance to watch the Texans' defense from the sideline) "I watch them all the time. I've been saying this since last year's training camp. I just really enjoy how they play the game. The passion they play with. They fly around and they have so much fun out there. I enjoy watching them."
(on WR Andre Johnson becoming the most prolific receiver in Texas history) "I didn't know. Congratulations, 'Dre (WR Andre Johnson). Obviously, he's been my inspiration since I came into the NFL. I remember when I was a rookie I used to watch him. He don't ever talk, so I used to just watch him. I finally mustered up some courage the end of my rookie year to ask him what it took to be great. I actually did it over email. I couldn't do it to his face. He hit me back on the email. He told me that he was glad that I hit him up because he saw a lot of potential in me. Ever since then, our relationship grew and he's been my mentor in this league. I don't expect anything else from him. He's just a great player, a great teammate, and a great man."
(on what he thought of WR Andre Johnson before he arrived in the NFL) "He was just a name to me. He was just like a superstar in the NFL. You don't really understand the caliber of a great athlete until you're around them. He's like guys like Peyton Manning or a Lebron James. They're just names because you don't know them and you don't know the work. When you're in the NFL and you see all the work it takes and you see guys shuffled in and out and you see how much dedication, how much work, and how hard it is to stay on top for that many years, you gain a whole new level of respect for him."
(on his workload and how good it will be to have RB Ben Tate back) "He's a big part of what we do. The workload I think is getting over-talked about. That's what you all do."
(on RB Justin Forsett's performances lately) "He's stepped up. They give me a lot of free reign to come in and out as I want to. Every time he's had an opportunity he's done his job and then some. He's a good teammate."
(on if he's kept in touch with Earl Campbell) "Yeah, we keep in touch every now and then. He's obviously one of the greatest to ever put on a helmet so I'm not just going to not talk to him."
(on how his workload is similar to what Earl Campbell did in his career) "The style of football we play kind of calls for that. We got a defense that gets off the field fast and we have an offense that likes to keep the defense off the field. That's what my team needs right now."
(on how it helps him having free reign and being able to come out when he needs to) "I think it just helps with the confidence of any player when he knows that he has the confidence of his coaches especially in the fourth quarter when I felt like I don't need a break. They understand that and they let me go."
(on QB Matt Schaub's focus after missing last season's playoffs) "I think that kind of started in OTAs for him. As soon as he got cleared and he was able to participate with us, even limited, the focus was there. He's our leader on this team and we look to him for that leadership. He's the first one in here, the last one to leave. It's inspiring to meet a player like that. It inspires you to be a better play for him and for everybody else."
WR Andre Johnson
(on becoming the most prolific receiver in Texas state history) "I really don't pay much attention to it. Like I said before about anything I've ever accomplished, it's a great accomplishment. I really don't look much into it. I don't think I'll probably realize it until I probably stop playing. I think right now as you're playing, it doesn't really hit you."
(on knowing WR Michael Irvin) "He was a guy that I watched growing up. He was one of my favorite players. Of course, going back to the UM days, I've had chances to see him at times during the offseason and just sit down and talk and stuff like that. He's a guy, like I said, I watched growing up. To have an accomplishment like that, it's awesome."
(on if he knows WR Charlie Joiner) "No, I don't know him personally. I had the chance to meet him. He coached for me one year in the Pro Bowl."
(on if this is the best he has felt in a while) "Yeah, I've just been feeling better week by week. Like I said before, I think just what we're doing in the training room and stuff, they're putting together something good that has made me feel better."
(on his new training regimen and what's changed) "Well, they just found different exercises and stuff. They do a little flexibility tests and stuff which you see which areas you're weak in and stuff like that. They just work on those areas that you're weak at. It just kind of helps with your flexibility, just core stuff, it just makes everything stronger so it makes you feel better."
(on the conditions Sunday night and how he felt) "That was pretty bad. That's probably the worst conditions I've probably played in. The field was pretty bad, but it was just part of it and you just had to deal with it."
(on if he was conscious of the footing and trying not to fall on Sunday night) "No. I just was playing. I wasn't really thinking about falling down or anything like that. I was just playing and trying to do whatever we needed to do to win the game."
(on if he learned something about the team after grinding out the Chicago win) "I would say the media probably looked more into it than we did. The significance of the game, right now people are still talking about it. We're not talking about it anymore. I think we weren't surprised about what we did. I think everybody else was."
(on the team's feeling about its 8-1 start) "I know when the season first started you guys were probably looking at us crazy when we were talking about our expectations as a team. Right now, we're in the situation we thought we'd be in. I've had people ask me, 'How does it feel to be 8-1?' I tell them I feel like we're supposed to be 8-1. It just feels like it was supposed to happen. That's pretty much it. That's the only thing I could say to explain it."
(on if it's hard to keep a one-game-at-a-time mentality) "No. One thing we know is you can't take anybody lightly in this league. We approach every game the same. We're going to prepare and go out and work hard during the week and get ready for Sunday. You can't look past anybody because anybody could be beaten any Sunday."
(on if he watches the Texans defense from the sideline) "I get a chance to watch them. I would probably say this is the most I've ever watched our defense since I've been here. Normally in previous years, I'd just sit on the sideline and just wait until it's time for the offense to go back out."
(on how fun it is to watch the Texans defense) "It's exciting. They're great to watch. They bring a lot of excitement to the game. It's just great. It's great to see that."
(on if he saw OLB Connor Barwin's leap) "That was something when the play happened that was the first thing we talked about. Everybody was like, 'Man, did you see Connor jump over that guy?' He's a great athlete. We all know he played basketball in college. It was crazy though to see him do that in the game."
(on the team leading the league in time of possession) "I think when you're able to run the ball you're able to eat up the clock. You're able to control the game. When you go out and throw it all the time, it tends to make the game longer. When you're able to go out and run the ball and run it good, you're able to pretty much maintain control of the game."
(on his friendship with RB Arian Foster and how it started with an email) "That's where it all started, from an email. I was sitting at the house one day and had an email come on the phone. I didn't know who it was and it was (RB) Arian (Foster). He just asked me like what is it that you put into it, just kind of like what do you do to be successful. I just emailed him back, told him what it was, and ever since then we've just been hanging out."
(on if he's amazed at RB Arian Foster's evolution) "Am I surprised? I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I will say that it just showed that, the first time I saw him play, I knew that he had a lot of talent, but when guys come in as free agents a lot of them don't get much opportunity. He had an opportunity and took advantage of it. It just shows that he wants to be great. He had a chip on his shoulder and he came in and wanted to show people the type of player he was and he did."
(on how he remembers getting that email from RB Arian Foster) "Yeah, I remember. Like I said, I wasn't expecting it, but he emailed me one day. I emailed him back and ever since then he's been bugging me, bothering me ever since. He's a great guy. Now, we even hang out off the field and stuff like that. We were at the Heat game sitting together, the Heat and Rockets game the other night. It's been pretty fun."
(on if RB Arian Foster does most of the talking) "Yeah, he's always talking. He has a way of getting me out of my shell a little bit."
(on RB Arian Foster calling him a mentor) "I don't look at it like that. I just look at is as my teammate. He asked for some advice. I gave it to him and he took advantage of it. A lot of young guys when they ask for advice sometimes they ask and don't do what they want to do. He took advantage of it and that's why he's probably the best back in the game right now."
QB Matt Schaub
(on WR Andre Johnson's play on Sunday night and how he looks) "He played well. He moved around real well, given the field conditions. He looked like (WR) Andre (Johnson)."
(on if he was aware that WR Andre Johnson became the most prolific receiver in Texas history) "I was not aware of that, but I'm not surprised about it at all."
(on if WR Andre Johnson is headed to the Hall of Fame one day) "He's well on his way the way he's been playing."
(on WR Andre Johnson has his vote for the Hall of Fame) "Sure does."
(on RB Justin Forsett's play) "(RB) Justin's (Forsett) a real dependable guy. He's played in this league for a few years now. He understands our offense and what we do in our running game, in blitz pickup, and in the pass game. We have a lot of confidence in what we can do when he gets in there. This league is about opportunity. He's been given an opportunity to help us out and he's done that whether it be on offense or on special teams. Just a real bright guy that really does his job well."
(on the Jaguars' talent despite their poor record) "Their defense has always played us tough. Their front is a big, physical group. Their secondary is a lot of veteran players back there. They've always given us a tough task, so we've got to be on top of our game plan and go out and play a real efficient game, much like we did the first time we played them. Take care of the football, take what they give us, just get all the tough yards we can."
(on if it's difficult to prepare for the Jaguars after preparing for a tough Chicago team ) "No just because it's a divisional opponent. We know what's at stake, what this game means to us. We have the right guys in the locker room to approach it the right way. It's a great opportunity for us to continue to get better."
(on what it means to have TE Owen Daniels on the field) "He just adds a lot to our pass game and our run game for that matter. He's just one of those dependable guys. He's always in the right spot, doing the right thing. He gets open, creates a lot of mismatches for us in the pass game. He just makes plays. Whenever you're missing one of your playmakers, it can hurt you or affect you and force you to do other things."
(on his motivation and excitement this season after missing the playoffs last year) "Very excited. The more we climb this mountain and get closer towards the end, the more excited you get. It's been something all offseason. It's been what's motivated me, what's driven me to get back to 100 percent as soon as I could so I could be out there with my guys."
(on the team's leadership helping to avoid a trap game) "Yeah, just the leadership and the amount of guys that have been here for the number of years now, played together. We know how to approach every situation. Our head coach and our coaching staff is good about it .everyone is one the same page. We understand what position we're in and what's ahead for us. No greater an opportunity than this week to go out and play well."
(on what it's like for him to be the quarterback of a team with such a great defense) "It's the ultimate luxury to have as a quarterback to know, especially given the conditions the other night, that you don't have to force something. Third and eight or nine, you don't have to try to make a play down the field and force something to where something really negative could happen for your team. You could just check it down, add to the punt and let your defense go out and stop them again. To have that and know that that's what you got on your side is great."
(on what makes the Texans' defense so tough) "They just challenge every single thing that you can do. Whether it's in the run game or in the pass game, guys are always covered. There is always a defender. You never have wide open guys against our defense. The pass rush, guys getting their arms up and batting passes down. They cover every basis of what you're trying to do against them. They fly around and make plays."
(on if he watches the Texans' defense from the sideline) "It just depends on how long they're out there. Once we're done looking, it seems like every time we're just finishing up looking at the pictures from the previous series and getting ready for the next series, they're already getting off the field. It makes it hard to really watch what they're doing. There are times there, especially late in the game the other day when we were just running the ball trying to use the clock, watching those last couple series and it's impressive. I always try to go back Monday afternoon, Monday evening and just take a look at it just to get a pulse of what those guys are doing on that side of the ball, see them moving around, flying around making plays because it motivates us on offense that much more to get things done on our end so they can go out and play."
(on if he sensed that the defense was upset after the Green Bay loss) "I think we were all upset with ourselves. That's how we go. We were all upset after that one. Yeah, I sensed it that they wanted to go out and prove something. I think they've done that."
(on the progress of the offensive line's young players) "Yeah, they have. This league you got to get snaps to continue to improve. The more reps that they get and the more that they go against some of these defensive fronts that we're facing the better they're going to be. We've seen them really progress nicely over the last month."
(on if Sunday's game against Chicago was proof of the offensive line's improvement ) "That's a good front that we played the other day. They knew we were going to run it. The fact that we were still able to just shows how hard they've worked and how far they've come. Those guys we're just going to continue to ask more and more of them."
(on if a loss like the Green Bay game can be a turning point in a season) "I guess a lot of ball is left to be played. Maybe at the end of this thing we can look back and say maybe that was a turning point or a wakeup call so to speak. Right now, that was so far in the past that we're just moving on to the next one."
(on if he was having fun playing in the conditions on Sunday ) "Anytime time I'm out there on the field I'm having fun. I know the conditions will be pretty good this Sunday, so looking forward to that."
DE J.J. Watt
(on how this year's defense is different from last year's defense) "We have some different players."
(on if this year's defense is better than last year's defense) "We were pretty good. This season is not over yet so you can't make a full comparison. We have a lot of ball left to play and I think it's definitely too early to do that."
(on learning from the Green Bay loss) "That was a few weeks ago. We know who we are. We know what we do and we're attacking the week. To be honest, I'm not even thinking about that game anymore. It's just Jacksonville."
(on how important it is for the Texans to have the NFL's best defense) "It's very important. Obviously, every defense is striving for that goal but we're working extremely hard to make that happen. We attack everyday with intensity and that mentality that we're going to work harder to make that happen."
(on the defense's goals) "We have goals and we have things that we want to do. Obviously, being the number one defense in the league is a goal."
(on him receiving more attention from opposing offense) "It's obviously a change. You start to see more and more attention. As you see, other guys are stepping up and making big plays which is awesome. That's going to help take attention away from me. I've said it all along, if you want to double team me that's perfectly fine. You're going to have to deal with 10 other guys who are great playmakers."
(on the secondary's success) "It's awesome. It's so much fun because even though you're not directly getting a sack, you're not directly batting the ball, those guys in the back are making big plays. You've got (SS Danieal Manning) D-Man and (CB) Kareem (Jackson) and all those guys back there. It's so much fun and it makes you so much more comfortable in the game knowing that you have a back end that you can trust every single play."
(on the team's performance against Chicago being one of its best despite not recording a sack) "Definitely, I would say especially with this defense you're not going to see too many games where you don't record a sack. For our defense to go out there and play the way we did and for our back end to perform the way they did without us up front getting a sack, I think it's pretty impressive. Obviously the field conditions made it difficult for us."
(on OLB Connor Barwin's leap) "It was impressive. It was really impressive. You got to give it to him. I can't believe, especially in those conditions on that field, it was crazy."
(on his favorite part about the Texans' defense) "My favorite part about our defense is that when you turn on the film you see effort. You see guys going 100 miles an hour. You don't' see anybody slowing down. I think you get the sense that we're having fun. We're enjoying it. We love being out there and playing with each other. That's my favorite part and that's the part I'm most proud of to be a part of this defense because every single guy is giving everything he has every game."
(on guarding against a trap game following a big win) "We prepare for that by being the Texans. That's who we are. We're a team that doesn't let things like this get to us. We're a team that attacks every single practice, every single meeting with intensity and purpose. I think that you go through our meetings today. You look at our practice today even thought it was a jog through. Guys were focused. Guys were locked in. We don't see that being an issue because of the way that our team's mentality is and because of the mental makeup of this squad nobody is going to let that happen."
(on Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Bill Kollar returning to Houston) "It's really good, really happy that he's okay, really excited to have him back. Obviously, he's an integral part of our defense and our team so that's good news."
(on if it was scary to hear of Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Bill Kollar's situation) "It was. I didn't even know at first. I went out there for warm-ups and he wasn't out there for warm-ups.so one I found out then I heard he was going to okay it obviously puts you at ease."
(on Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Bill Kollar's intensity) "He is intense. That's a good word. (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line) Bill (Kollar) is very intense. He definitely brings something to the table that I feel like not too many coaches in this league can do."
(on ILB Tim Dobbins' fine) "That's a lot of money."
(on if fines are ever crossing his mind as he is playing) "I'll never, on the field, think about something like that. You can't think about that. You've got to go out there and play the game. That's a tough hit. That's a lot of money."
(on facing the Jaguars' talent) "I think we know. I think that we understand. You watch the film. In this league, the NFL is everybody's a very good athlete in this league and at any time, somebody can make a play. So we're fully aware of what they're capable of, but we're also fully aware of what we're capable of. We're going to go out there and play Texans football. We're going to do what we do and just like every single week we know that if we take care of our business and do what we're capable of we'll be just fine."
(on if he notices how a quarterback reacts when the pressure of the pass rush is on him) "I think a little bit. I think as the game goes on you can start to feel it. For the most part, you're just trying to do whatever you can any play. You have to worry about yourself making sure that you do what you do."
Jacksonville Head Coach Mike Mularkey Conference Call
(on his message to the team) "I'm staying very positive. That's important because there are good things that are going on that they won't hear about or read about, but I think they see it themselves. They just need to be confirmed from starting with me that what I see, what our staff sees, what people that understand the game see and that we're not far off. We've had some things not go in our favor this year. We've been very undisciplined with some of the things that have taken place penalty-wise, which have really hurt our chances to win games. We're going to stay the course. This is the way things are going to get done. This is the way we're going to win. I think they know that. The staff believes it. They're very resilient. I think they're a mentally tough team. They come in. They're prepared every week. I've been on teams that don't do that. They pay attention to everything that's being said to them and they know it's from the heart. Good things are in sight. I don't know when that is. I hope it's this week. Good things will come to these guys."
(on the good things that are going on that the players won't hear or read about) "Each phase of our team has done something well and it's been in most games. It just hasn't been consistent. I put a tape on this morning that showed how each phase complemented the other phase. Whether the special team play that led to a three and out for our defense that led to a scoring drive by our offense. We have a number of those and we have a number of those against good teams throughout the year. It just hasn't been consistently done. We've really had to overcome ourselves in the majority of the games we've played, which is hard to do in this league. Our guys recognize it. We're trying to fix it. They're doing their best. There are good things that are on tape that our players realize."
(on why WR Justin Blackmon has struggled this season) "He's a young receiver. I think he's improved the last four weeks. He's practicing better. His approach to everything, he was in here bright and early this morning before most of the other players already looking at the playbook. He is learning a little bit on the run. He came right in here, well I can't say, he missed a little bit of camp, but he was thrown right in there into a starting role. It's just like every position there is some guys that click right now. There are other guys that need to see the picture and need to experience the picture. Each rep is a learning experience for him. It came naturally in college. I certainly have seen the things why he led the nation two years in a row in receiving. I just think he's growing each week that we play."
(on if there is anything he saw from the Bears defense that he wants to focus on to try to stop the Texans offense) "I think the Bears' front, those guys are about as physical as you can be. They're built to try to stop the run. There are some similarities to the defense, the style. We have our own method to what we're doing. We felt like we have matched up with these guys. We didn't play well the last time we played them, obviously, but in games past, we've felt very good about ourselves."
Jacksonville WR Laurent Robinson Conference Call
(on the Texans' secondary) "They're doing a great job. We actually just got finished watching some of the game film from their previous games. They're doing a great job. (CB) Johnathan Joseph is coming along, having a Pro Bowl year. The other guy on the other side, (CB Kareem) Jackson, he's playing real well, too. The secondary in general is playing good as a unit. They're coming together and we've got to be on our p's and q's to go out there and execute against them."
(on Texans CB Kareem Jackson's improvement) "It looks like he's playing with a lot more confidence out there. He's comfortable in the system. He's going out there and playing football like I guess he knows how to play. That's something that we've been watching and we've been seeing on film. We've just got to be extra-detailed on our assignments and our routes to do our job."
(on the Jaguars' wide receivers) "We've improved a lot. (QB) Blaine's (Gabbert) come around twofold. He's trusting the offensive line. He's letting the plays open up. He's hitting the open receiver. (WR) Cecil Shorts just came on big. Our passing game is picking up. We're just excited to keep this thing rolling and keep continuing to gel together and get the chemistry together, keep it rolling in this game come Sunday."
(on if QB Blaine Gabbert's improvement this season is because of self-confidence or if he's starting to read defenses better) "I pretty much say both. He's confident in his arm, his ability to put the ball accurately. He's having the ability to read a defense and just putting the ball in a catchable place for the receivers. He's making it easy for us out there. That's all a receiver can ask for. He keeps trusting us to get open and make plays for him."
(on the Texans' front seven and what it changes for the Jaguars in the passing game) "We've got to be on top of things. It starts with everybody, not just one person. The whole team has to be on the same page. The offensive line, they've got to protect the front seven, the running backs, tight ends. The receivers have to be open on time because the rush is effective on everybody so we've got to be open at the right depth, and be open for the quarterback in a speedy time so he can get the ball out of his hands as quick as he can."
(on the little things that have gone wrong for the Jaguars this season) "You said it right. A lot of little things have been happening to us that we just don't understand why either. They are happening and we are in control to fix it. We've got to do the little things right. I had a fumble last week. I need to hold on to the ball better. We've just got to do our jobs. We've got to do it better and I think things will turn around once we just keep preparing the way we have been. Hopefully we can get over this hump of losing."
(on what Head Coach Mike Mularkey has been telling the team) "He's just telling us we've got to keep doing what we're doing. We prepare every week like we're going to go out there and win the game. That's what we fully plan on doing and that's what our intentions are. We keep preparing how we have been preparing and practicing hard and just knowing our assignments. We've been eliminating mental errors on both sides of the ball. We just continue to do that and play offense, defense, and special teams as one. We could surprise some people."
(on WR Justin Blackmon's struggles this season and if losing has affected him) "No, not really. He brings the same attitude every day. He practices hard, makes a lot of plays in practice and just comes up a little short in the games. He's just got keep working. He's a young guy, a lot expected out of him. He's just taking his time and his time is going to come. He's doing a great job of just weathering the storm and just going out there and playing football the next play."
(on WR Justin Blackmon's attitude this season) "I think his attitude is good. He's kind of got a nonchalant attitude. He's had that since he got here. That has nothing to do with it. He still plays the same way every day in practice, every play in the game. We kind of like him, just a laid back guy and just does his job."
(on how many concussions he has had this season) "I had one in training camp. I had one like the first couple plays in the Indianapolis game and then I had one the next week. That's three."
(on if he thinks he came back too soon after his Indianapolis concussion) "I can't say. I would say yeah, but that's just my want-to and my desire to get back out there and help the team. I might have come back too early, but I couldn't say. It was just unfortunate that it happened again. That's just me being hungry to get back out there."
(on if he pushed to return quickly) "I passed all the concussion tests and everything so I was ready to play. It's unfortunate I took another hit and it happened again."
(on if he thinks the league is doing enough for concussions) "Yeah, I think they are. I did everything they've been asking me to do. I've been resting, in the dark room just trying to get everything feeling better and passing all the concussion tests. I went through a lot of tests seeing a lot of different doctors. I think they're doing everything right and it's a timing thing. Sometimes it takes people less to overcome it and sometimes it takes people longer."
(on if he had concussions before in his career) "No, that's the crazy thing. I've never had them. I had one my rookie year, but since then I've had no problems with them. All of a sudden this year, it's happened. It's really, really frustrating for me because I do a lot to take care of my body to make sure I'm on the field. A head injury is something I really couldn't control."
(on if he's done any reading on the studies surrounding concussions) "Yeah, my wife, once I had the first one during the season she did a lot of research and reading. We came to a conclusion that we need to get this healed and healed all the way before you come back so we don't have any problems later in life."
(on if knowing that information, it's more scary dealing with concussions) "Yeah, definitely. Back in my rookie year, it's kind of like 'Oh you got your bell rung. Shake it off and get back in there.' Now it's so much more awareness about concussions and what they're doing to former players later in life. That's what we got to look for. That's what I've got to strive for because I just had a daughter three weeks ago. I want to be there for her later in life too. That's my goal."