Tight end Owen Daniels comes down after making a catch in Saturday's 33-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals
Members of the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals spoke to the media following Saturday's 33-20 Texans victory in Glendale, Ariz.
HOUSTON TEXANS PLAYERS AND COACHES
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (on injuries that occurred during the Texans-Cardinals game) "Let me start with our injuries. N.D. Kalu's got a hip pointer, so that's probably a day to day thing as we go to our next week. Fred Weary basically sprained the same ankle that he sprained earlier in camp. We don't think it's anything serious and we would expect him to be back this week. Patrick Pass, a hamstring, he'll be day to day. Chris White sprained his ankle. We do not think it's serious, we expect him back. The most serious looks like Jon Abbate. They're x-raying his ankle right now. We're not sure, but it looks like the most serious of the injuries."
(on the all-around performance of rookie wide receiver Jacoby Jones) "We did specifically some things for him. Boy, that play he made on the punt, to even field the punt. To me, I'm talking in the headset, expecting him to make a fair catch. He's fearless, he's a playmaker and you know, we've got something special right there. We just need to keep him going, but boy, is he a good football player."
(on Jones running reverses and how it opens up the offense) "Well, after what we saw last week, we just decided we wanted to seem him do some of those things. It helps keep people honest in the run game, so he's going to get on the field. I mean a kid makes plays like this, we've got to get him on the field."
(on the chances of Jones cracking the starting lineup) "I think there's an excellent chance he's going to be on the field a lot. I think he's pushing (Texans wide receiver) Kevin (Walter) extremely hard to get on the field, but I also think Kevin's playing good football. In the National Football League, you're probably going to play three anyway, but I think right now he's pushing the heck out of him."
(on who the Texans' fourth receiver will be) "I'm not sure right now. It's going to be a very difficult decision to make. A guy's going to have to be able to do a lot of things, play a lot of spots, so we'll continue to work through this week. It's going to be a very difficult decision. Charlie Adams stepped up and made a big play. He's had a fine camp, we haven't talked about him. Bethel (Johnson) came in and ran a nice around. That's going to be a tough decision, but that's a nice problem to have."
(on the performance of a quarterback Matt Schaub)"I'll tell you what he did, he played like he practices. He's very much in control of what's going on. He kind of lifts the group, you know. We've got third and 12, we run verticals, and that throw he made to O.D. (Texans tight end Owen Daniels) lifted the whole bench, the whole football team. He's got great presence in what he's doing, runs the football team extremely well. I think what you're looking at is you're looking at a player, this is his first time out as a starter and I would expect him to just get better and better and better, and I'm very pleased with his effort tonight."
(on whether free safety C.C. Brown should have made a stop on the Cardinals' trick pass in the first quarter) "I thought he was in good position. We ran a zone dog, he should be back there, he should be fine. But that's a pretty dang good athlete (Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald) that's trying to get behind him. He's just got to stay at home and find the ball make that play, but he should have been there to make that play."
(on if he is surprised at how good the pass protection has been) "Well, no, because both of those guys (Schaub and Texans quarterback Sage Rosenfels) know how to get rid of the ball. They understand protections. They take a lot of pride with not going down with the football and they do that in practice as well as in the game. That's going to help you get better up front when you've got somebody doing that."
(on the pass rush from the Texans defensive line) "You know, I have to see. I do know this: last week, we concentrated on working with four guys. This week Richard mixed it up, we went from four to everybody. It looked like we did not get there. (I'll need to) go look at the film and see, but I told our team last night in the team meeting, for us to go from a good defense to a great defense, our four guys up front will have to be able to get after the quarterback. That hasn't changed and that's going to be a key factor the whole season, not just tonight. It's going to be a key to us being better in that phase of the game."
(on the play of Texans defensive end Mario Williams) "Well, I guarantee you he's got to make plays. I (need to) go back on the film on him, too. I thought I saw him making a play or two on the back side chasing down the run. But it's pretty obvious he's got to play better, he's got to be more of a factor for us to become a great defense. I don't see a lack of effort in the kid, but it's obvious we as coaches have to take more upon ourselves to get him in position to be making those plays. He's got his part to do. We've got our part to do."
(on how confident he is in backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels) "He's special. If you asked him, his first week of camp was kind of rough. And I think a lot of that maybe had to do with he was still kind of down with the decision that we had made and where we went, which I understood. But we talked about that. He's a pro. He's over that. He understands, and he respects Matt and Matt's game. They make each other better every day and I know one thing, if he's got to go in there and play for our team, he's going to play pretty dang good."
(on the increase in long passing plays this preseason compared to last season) "Well, if we run the ball, we'll have a chance to take our shots. They played us with eight men in the box. They got down there. We ran the ball better. I don't know how well we ran it, but we ran it better. And if you do run the ball well in this league, people will come down. I think people looked at us last year like we didn't make big plays in the run game and felt like the only way we could make a big play on them was with (Texans wide receiver) Andre (Johnson), so we got a lot of soft (cover) two and people making us work. It looks like that has changed a little bit here. We'll wait and see."
(on if he's disappointed that his team has had so many field goals this preseason) "Well, we need more touchdowns. It means you're moving the dang ball and that's a good thing. We're one-for-three in the red zone and we should make both those other plays. We got a nice call with Owen (Daniels) working inside. O.D. can run a better route on the Mike linebacker. We've got to make that play. We got 12 (Jacoby Jones) one-on-one, which right now that's pretty good for us. He's got to make that move and beat that corner. Those are nice things to work on. It's nice to go in there and be moving the ball and say, we've got a touchdown there."
(on Texans kicker Kris Brown) "Yeah, he's really been good. He had an excellent offseason. He's a very committed kid in his work and I tell you what's special about it is when you do it with two holders, that just shows you where his concentration is and he's doing it with a different guy holding every time."
(on the punting competition between Chad Stanley and Matt Turk) "We're going to have to get back out on the practice field and let them work. We had the one punt for 45 (by Turk), so we'll get back on the practice field and make it work. But they'll battle through this week."
(on the interceptions from Dexter Wynn and Jamar Fletcher) "Well, they're both fine players, they've been in this league for a while. You expect them to make plays in the second half of the preseason and they did. I'd like to see Fletch take that one back and have a little patience. The key tonight is we got turnovers we did not turn the ball over. If you make turnovers, you've got a chance to win in this league."
Texans kicker Kris Brown (on what's behind his perfect start to the preseason) "You know, I just really sat down this offseason and figured out some specific goals for myself and ways that I can become better and ways that I can make this team better. Joe and I have worked for over a year now on changing my technique up a little bit and you know last year, I was still trying to get used to it a little bit. It wasn't real comfortable. And now I just feel like the changes that we've made, I just feel so comfortable doing it and I'm not really thinking about how to get lined up and so forth."
(on how it feels to know he has the confidence of his teammates) "That's what this is all about. It's all about accountability. It's all about guys being able to know that they can count on me to go out there and put points on the board. And really, that's what this game's about. It's about being the guy at that moment in the game that if we need to make a play, can make a play."
(on if it's been difficult to kick with punters Chad Stanley and Matt Turk sharing the holding duties) "No, it's been great. Both of those guys have been doing it a long time. It makes it somewhat easier when you've got Bryan Pittman snapping. Changing holders really isn't really that big of a deal when you've got somebody like Bryan snapping."
(on if he's going to go 100% on field goals for the entire season) "I'm not going to make any predictions. I'm just going to go out there and take each attempt one attempt at a time and focus on it, and that's all I can do."
Texans tight end Owen Daniels (on making plays) "You only have so many opportunities to make plays and you get that chance you've got to make the most of them."
(on having other weapons in the offense) "We want to spread the ball around. We don't want to have one guy with 130 catches or whatever. We want to spread the ball around a lot and I think that'll make us successful."
Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones (on not fair catching the punt) "That was my first return of the day and I was really anxious to touch it, so I was just taking a chance. The special teams did a good job blocking so the outcome was good."
(on the end zone dance) "I was having fun."
(on being versatile) "I'm a role player; I can do whatever they want me to do. If they want me to do something, I'll be able to do it to help the team out."
(on whether anyone took the ball from him) "I gave the ball to our trainer so he could put it in the truck for me. That's my momma's ball right there."
(on if he had talked to his mother yet) "No, my phone is off, I've probably got 1,000 text messages and voicemails."
(on the offense) "We played really well. We drove the ball and Matt (Schaub) scored the first touchdown. We were on a roll today."
(on whether Matt Schaub is faster than him) "He might be."
(on whether he'll get a chance to throw the ball) "They might let me do that. They'll probably let Kevin (Walter) do it before me."
(on the depth in the pass game) "We're strong at receiving. We've got a lot of depth and a lot of guys are pushing each other. We've also got the tight end and running back as well. We're a strong offense."
(on what he's learned from Andre Johnson) "I've learned a lot. I kind of steal some of his moves too."
(on how the preseason games have gone) "I thought I was going to be a little nervous, but I was excited more than anything."
(on feeling like he could be the No. 2 receiver) "We're still working. We've played two preseason games and we've got two more to look forward to."
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (on the performance of wide receiver Jacoby Jones)He's really excelling at it and it's great to see him make some catches and running with the football, that return was unbelievable. It's a really positive force to see that going forward."
(on how they prepared for big pass-play opportunities) "All week in practice, we saw that coming. We really corrected the mistakes we made last week against Chicago and really honed in our game plan in what we were trying to accomplish on offense. Guys went out and executed and that's the bottom line, so we're really pleased with that.
(on why the offense was able to go deep so well) "I think the key to that was that we were able to run the ball. You saw us open up some holes and (Texans running backs) Ahman (Green) and Ron Dayne were getting downfield into the secondary. That allowed us to take some shots down the field with the safeties coming up on the run action. So that was a positive for us, and those are things we're going to need to do as the season goes on."
(on the fact that his jersey didn't get dirty) "No it didn't. The guys up front, they did a tremendous job picking up some of the stunts in the game that Arizona was giving us, and they really did a nice job."
(on if the Texans acquired a lot of receivers to give him weapons on offense) "We sure did. Those guys, it's hats off to them. They've worked tremendously hard this offseason to get prepared, know their stuff and when they get in their they're capitalizing on opportunities to catch some footballs. We knew they were going to do that. We've seen it in training camp, and in OTA's, so we're excited to see that show up in games. It's very positive for us."
(on if the strong performance in the Arizona game is what fans can expect from the offense every week) "I think so, you know. There were some points left on the field again tonight. But we scored enough and the defense played tremendously. They got turnovers in crucial situations and put us in good field position. So I think that's something we're going to come to expect and demand from ourselves."
(on if he and Texans tight end Owen Daniels are building a good connection) "We are. I've always liked the tight ends. I had a good one in college, and back in Atlanta, Alge Crumpler. They're an incredible asset to this type of offense, working the middle of the field, and Owen you know used to play quarterback back in his olden days in high school and everything. So he has a good feel for coverages, and he's got some good hands to boot. So he's going to be a good weapon for us in the middle of the field."
(on his 'blazing speed' on the five-yard touchdown run) "It was just a bootleg. We had receivers on the route, and our guy in the flat got held up in the line of scrimmage, so he wasn't an option for us. I had the edge and decided to take off and run and I'm fortunate that my speed was able to get to the corner."
(on if he ran out of gas) "No."
(on the 40-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Adams) "That was a great throw by Sage. Yeah, that was Sage's throw."
(on if plays like his touchdown are made more effective by a good run game) "Those are, especially down there. You get a good run action. If you're running the ball well that day, there's an opportunity for you to get to the corner and run the ball in. That's really our first option, if we come out on that and see that we can get in the end zone without having to put the ball in the air, we're going to do that. So, that's what we're coached to do."
(on if he called the bootleg) "Oh no, that was Coach's decision. He called that play."
(on his offensive line providing pass protection) "I have 100% confidence in what they're doing. And guys are really working hard on picking up the stunts and the blitzes that we're going to see, and the running backs and tight ends are mixed in there, as well. We're doing a phenomenal job of creating a pocket that we can step up into and make some throws. And along those lines, the receivers know when they need to hurry up and get in their routes and get out of them so I can give them the football. So as a whole 11 guys in the huddle, that's what we're really concentrating on."
(on the development of rookie wide receiver Jacoby Jones) "Well, he's really stepped up for us. It's exciting to see. It's a tough position to be a rookie as a wide receiver in this league and he's really developing and learning his position and really excelling at it. It's great to see him make some catches and running with the football. That return was unbelievable. So it's really positive to see that going forward if he can just keep doing it week in and week out."
(on if Jones is nervous in the huddle) "He's cool and calm. The quarterback's the only one that talks in the huddle. So if he says anything he's going to get a mouthful. He just remained calm and knows his responsibility and knows that we try to in practice and off the field when we're in meetings we try to get with him and take him under our wings so he's really a cool and calm guy, no 'deer in the headlights' with Jacoby.
(on what the team needs to improve upon in the coming weeks) "I think, you know when we capitalize on some opportunities that are given to us. When the defense gives us a turnover deep in their territory and sets us up with a short field, those are things we have to capitalize and get seven points there. When we make a big play on a drive, an explosive play, the chances of you scoring go up dramatically and it's just a matter of minimizing our penalties and mistakes and executing our plays to the best of our ability and the points will come. And if we can continue to get good returns and field position and points in the special teams, that's a bonus for us.
Texans strong safety Jason Simmons (on how it felt to be in the starting lineup) "Man, it felt so good to get this opportunity. I just want to prove to everybody that I can play, to be honest with you."
(on how he felt about his performance in the game) "Feel good. I feel good. I could have done some things better, but you know it's one of those things where nobody ever plays the perfect game. As long as I stay hard on myself, it'll be alright."
(on if he was any more nervous before this game than others) "No, not really. It was just one of those things where you're just so happy, man. I know I prepared myself to go out there and play. That's why I was excited."
(on his mindset moving forward and trying to hold onto the starting position) "Well you know the thing is, man, it's about concentrating on the Cowboys. One thing I know is that the Lord is in control of everything. I've just got to do my best. I'm just expecting to play well now."
ARIZONA CARDINALS PLAYERS AND COACHES
Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt (on the progress between last weekend and today) "I saw some good things by our first offense. I think we moved the ball well in the first half. The fourth down play was a situation where we knew we could get anything thrown at us, so I wanted to see if our guys could handle something that maybe they didn't expect. We would have liked to have gotten the first down there. I think defensively, we didn't quite get done what we wanted to get done. I know we're not playing a lot of our defenses out there. We're playing a lot of base alignments, but that is the kind of the situation that you want to see your players win some one-on-one matchups and that was what this was all about. I also think the penalties; there were a couple of situations where we got have to clean those up, but that is all part of growing as a team."
(on the play of cornerback Antrel Rolle) "Part of the function of him getting beat on the plays was that we didn't get much pass rush. When you have time to double-move corners, I don't care who the corners are, they are going to get beat at times. I'm not so much concerned about that, but what I don't like is when he arm-barred the guy out of bounds, which is something that we have worked hard on with technique and being smart in those positions. Antrel was trying to compete and I understand that. It goes back to trying to play base alignments, the quarterback had too much time, they could run some double moves on us, so you're going to have to live with some of those things. Defensively, what I did like was when they got to the redzone, especially inside the 10-yard line twice, we held them to only a field goal which gave us a chance in the second half to come out and either tie the score or take the lead."
(on the play of the reserves) "Both teams had big plays out there today. I think the biggest thing to us is that in the third and fourth quarter, I think our intensity dropped off and that is something we need to work on. Overall, it is one of those games that we are going to be able to learn a lot from and get better."
(on the pass play involving Anquan Boldin to open the game) "It was something a little bit different. It was a chance to get that film and see if Anquan could actually throw the football. And he came up short. I thought it was something good in the home stadium to try and I knew that I could guarantee that we were going to have our starters in there on the first play. That is really what it was about, to get a look at it."
(on the play of wide receiver Steve Breaston in kick and punt returns) "I think it is pretty obvious that Steve has distanced himself from everybody else. I am not displeased with J.J. (Arrington) on our kickoff returns, but you have to give Steve Breaston credit. He has shown up and that is what preseason games are for. He looks natural back there. He looks comfortable back there. The thing that I like is that he's not afraid to hit the hole."
(on the success of the Texans' misdirection play) "That goes back to what we were talking about with being smart technique wise. We worked all week on making sure on the backside that you don't chase the play and get caught down the line of scrimmage. When you get tired in a game and you forget those things, that's what we have to get better at. When we talk about being a disciplined football team, to me, that is the core of it right there. You emphasize that, we work on it in practice, but the important thing for us is that you carry that to the field. When you are tired and things are going a little bit faster, that you not lose that."
(on the pass rush generated by the defense) "I was a little bit disappointed that we didn't get more pressure off the edge, but once again, in those situations they had a couple of calls where we tried to set something up so we could evaluate that and we didn't get the right look. There will be an overall evaluation off of that tape."
(on the running game's performance) "I thought we had some good rushes. If you are going to be a good rushing football team, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to get a lot of long rushes early in the game. It is what you do consistently and we had some of those holes that opened up later where J.J. (Arrington) had the benefit of that. I'm not really concerned about that as much as how we move the ball offensively, which is what you want to see. The big thing is that we converted some third downs, so we were a lot better on that this week which to me was a critical factor. Defensively, the one thing that I am probably the most disappointed about is especially early in the game, we had some third-down situations where it was third and long and we did not get off the field. They did a good job on first and second down and that is an area we have to clean up."
(on the status of wide receiver Ahmad Merritt) "You talk about guys you want to stand up and show something and Ahmad was doing that for us, and unfortunately, he dislocated his ankle. There may or may not be a fracture involved with that, so we're waiting for the final evaluation of that. It is unfortunate because he was doing a good job for us."
(on the play of quarterback Matt Leinart) "He got a little bit of tough love this week. He was told to pick up his game and he responded and that's what you want from a young quarterback. He told me the day before the game that he was going to go 10-for-10. He wrote it down on a sheet of paper and gave it to me, so obviously he didn't make his goal so I am a little disappointed in him.
(on the play of quarterback Kurt Warner) "He has done a good job. He's a veteran quarterback. He understands the offense. He sees the field very well and he moves the ball for us. Once again, before the second half in a game like that where we were still playing a lot of our first guys, to move the ball down there in that situation and get a field goal to cut it to only three coming out in the second half was big. To start the second half with drive down there and have a touchdown and have it called back with a penalty, something we can't live with, was also a good sign. Once again, in two games we have had a chance to swing the momentum and we couldn't finish it off and that is what we have to better at as a football team. We need to understand that situation and finish in the fourth quarter."
(on the punt coverage throughout the game and the play of punter Scott Player) "Well Scott had a good punt on the one that got returned. I thought we had somebody in position to make the play. The guys that were covering that punt have not gotten a lot of reps together and that is what is going to happen in the second half of a preseason game sometimes. I was more interested in seeing our operation, our snap-to-kick and how Scott punted the ball because I didn't feel like he had punted as consistenly in Oakland. If nobdoy had been around him and he had made the return, I would be a little bit more concerned, but I think more of it was a missed tackle. That is something we stress, taking the proper leverage to take on the receiver. We'll take a look at it and see, but that was with a bunch of different guys on our punt coverage."
(on the fourth down play early in the first half and whether he considered using running back Marcel Shipp instead of running back Edgerrin James) "I figured it in that position it was something that happened quick, so there was no real wear on Edge and I felt good about that. The big thing there is in that situation, you don't know what they are going to do defensively because you are not really game planning them. A big part of what we are going to have to do in season is make adjustments during the game, so it was a valuable opportunity for us to evaluate how our guys react to a situation where they don't know what is coming. It is unfortunate because we would like to get that, but I also want to create the mindset of being aggressive. That was an opportunity to do that."
Cardinals wide receiver Steven Breaston (on his returns) "I just go out there and being able to make plays; they do a great job up front of blocking. When people make blocks and you have a coach like Coach Spencer who makes it easier out there because all you have to do is your part and hit the hole."
(on improving) "I just want to get better everyday and make progress as a kick returner and as a receiver."
Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin (on his pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald) "It was just a play where we just wanted to open up the game, give a different look, and I thought we did that."
(on that play being in the playbook) "I think it is just another package that we have in the playook for myself; moving me around and letting me do different things."
(on the offense's success today) "Last week we waited until the third drive to get something going, I think the first two drives we had were pretty nice. We should have come away with 14 points but we ended up scoring on the second drive."
(on quarterback Matt Leinart's performance) "Like Matt said, coach had been on him the entire week, telling him to push the tempo and make better decisions as far as his reads, and it showed up today."
(on what the team needs to do better) "Finishing, just finishing the game. Even though it is a preseason game, whenever you are in there no matter who it is I believe that you should play hard. That is something we need to work on as a team."
(on penalties) "Coach is always preaching to be a smart team as well as a physical team. You won't win games if you continue to have penalties and have penalties at critical times."
Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett (on mistakes) "It's a great learning experience. The defense made some mistakes, I'm sure offense made theirs, and special teams made theirs. It's a learning experience and we just have to get better from it."
(on the Texans' line) "A lot of it is what they do. That is a max-protection team. They were keeping running bbacks in and running two man routes. When you see those things, anytime you rush three or four defensive linemen you are going against six people. With what they were doing, it was a good challenge for us because we might get the same thing during the season."
(on wanting to win) "Anytime you play at home you want to win games. Right now we're 0-2. We're going to hit it hard on Monday, that's just the type of character we have on this team. It's definitely going to be a game next week against San Diego, I can tell you that right now. I'm already fired up for that game."
(on the preseason record) "We have to keep going. We can't sit back and say 'we're 0-2, oh it doesn't look good for us," I dont' see a lot of 0-4 teams in preseason that come out and win."
(on the game) "Anytime you step on the field you want to win. First team, second team, third team; there is really no excuse for it. We lost the game. They came in and they executed what they were trying to do."
(on the first team defense) "I just think we made some mental mistakes out there. We're much better then that, and there are things that we have to correct in practice. That's it, it is preseason and you learn from it. You can't expect to go out there and do everything perfect in the preseason."
Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart (on his conversation with Whisenhunt about going ten-for-ten) "He's been on me pretty hard but it's a good thing because he is pushing me to become better. I use it as motivation. I know I need to get better as a quarterback. I'm my own worst critic. Coach Whisenhunt was pushing me harder this weekend and we talked about it. I was a little upset about how I played against Oakland and as a starting quarterback, I need to play better and lead this football team. I thought myself and this starting offense did very well today in our brief time that we were in there. I think I finished seven for seven, but I didn't get the chance to throw for three more passes."
(on the consistency of the starters) "It's nice because, especially in pre-season, you just want to take advantage of the time you get, which isn't a lot, and make the most of it. You want to move the ball, put points on the board, and establish a few drives. We worked on the short field in the first drive and the next play was big. We converted a few third downs and we got seven points. Just that consistency is great and of course it just builds going into the next game and then Monday Night Football."
(on how offensive tackle Levi Brown played) "He had a great week of practice and those guys are doing a great job. They are going to continue to get better and continue to gel together. Levi is going to be a great football player. He already has the physical tools, he just mentally needs to stay in it. He's doing a great job, but he needs to keep pushing himself just like I do as a young player. Just keep pushing yourself."
(on whether there are any worries about the running game) "We aren't worried about it. As a team we are rushing the ball pretty well whether it's the ones, twos, or threes. Edgerrin (James), I think the is the best he's looked since I've known him. I think he feels great and in practice he's been doing a great job. In practice he takes the bulk of the carries and the bulk of the work and then we want to rest him to get him ready for a long season."
(on if there was any improvement from last game) "It was great. I think for myself I just played with more confidence today. I just felt going in I was more comfortable. As an offense, the way you practice does show up on how you play on game day and I think we practiced great all week. We had some very sharp practices the last few days leading up to today and that carries over into the game. We like to win these games but as long as we come out and move the ball and be consistent, we will just keep getting better."