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Texans-Cowboys postgame quotes

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The Texans gather on the field as wide receiver Harry Williams is carted to an ambulance after suffering a neck injury on kickoff coverage.

IRVING, Texas - The Texans spoke to the media following their preseason contest against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on the game) "Well, offensively, we struggled early in the game. We missed some throws, and we go as our quarterback goes. But he did settle down and end up playing pretty dang good. Defensively, it looked like we struggled all night to stop them. Other than the turnovers, I don't know that we really stopped them. Special teams, we did a good job with our field position. I think some of our coverage looked not as good as you would want it to be. But they're a good football team, and we knew that.

"I was proud of some of these young players that were playing tonight in some starting roles, so that's exciting for this team. You'd love to win, but I like the way our guys battled. They've got a lot of things to fix between now and opening day, but they've got to get back and do that."

(on WR Harry Williams) "Harry Williams is doing well. He's got movement throughout his body, feeling throughout his body. The last report I got is that everything looked good. We'll of course leave him here overnight, but all the feedback I'm getting right now is that Harry's going to be fine."

(on going for a two-point conversion to try to win the game) "Well, yeah, we're going to try to win the game, preseason. We've been out there a while, there were a few snaps, and we had a play to make right there. You've got to make a great play, but Dallas made the play, give them credit. And we're still hoping we can get our self in position to get the ball back but we get that call against us on third down, so it's tough."

(on the running backs) "Well, I thought Chris (Taylor) and (Steve) Slaton both did some good things. I thought that Darius (Walker), he hasn't had a lot of work, I thought he ran hard there in the fourth quarter. It's encouraging to know that those three young guys are coming along. That was a good defense they were running against, so depending on where Ahman's (Green) at and where Chris Brown is at, it's nice to know that these guys have had that work."

(on anybody else who caught his eye) "You know, I don't know. It's hard to say. I like the way our quarterback battled back. Didn't like the way he started, but I like the way he battled back. That's part of being a quarterback. I like the fact that we continue to protect the ball on offense. That's the thing that kept us in the game against them, them turning it over and us not turning it over. But believe me, we've got plenty of things to fix."

(on RB Chris Brown) "Well, basically what happened with Chris is on – I'll get my days straight here – on Wednesday at practice, his back started bothering him again. And so we kind of limited him in practice; (he) didn't take many reps. Woke up Thursday morning, still bothering him. When you have the injection, you need rest, so that's why we did not travel him. But he is doing good; he's doing fine. I expect him back on the field this week."

(on if it was a cortisone shot) "That's the way I understand it. I just know you can't have too many of those injections. I know that, and this is two for him in the last, what, three-week span or four-week span. So hopefully, whatever it is, we get it corrected."

(how tough it was when WR Harry Williams went down) "Well, it's difficult on your football team. I could feel our emotion of our football team. They love that kid. He's been earning his way on this team as a special teams player, and we had a fast start as a football team. We had a nice return. Kris (Brown) makes a nice field goal, and then all of a sudden you're sitting and one of your buddies is down, so that's hard to overcome. But I did talk to Harry on the field, and he told me, 'Y'all win the game for me.' Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that, but I think Harry's going to be OK."

(on QB Sage Rosenfels' scramble for a touchdown) "Well, actually, it was a called quarterback draw. It was a called play. We were hoping to get a certain coverage. He made a great play."

(on how worried he was with the way QB Matt Schaub started so off-target) "Well, there are naturally plays there that he's been making all along, and when he struggles, our football team (struggles). That's how much we rely on him, and I just told him, 'They're counting on you making those plays.' But I like the way he made a tremendous play that got us back in the game, the one where he hit I think Owen Daniels on a deep route that he avoided a guy who we missed in a blitz. And when he makes plays like that, we're going to play well. If he misses some throws, we're going to struggle. So, we're going to go as he goes, and that's a lot of pressure, but that's what we expect."

(on previously saying that RB Chris Brown would start tonight) "Well, he was. We went to Wednesday's practice as I just said, and his back started bothering him at practice. We practiced indoors. (He) Took a few reps and then we just stopped him and said we'll go back and take a look at it. We assumed he was going to be fine. Woke up Thursday morning with his back continuing to bother him. The doctors felt like he needed another injection, so the minute we did that we had to leave him at home."

(on if the injection was in Brown's back) "Yes, that's the second time he's had one in a month."

(on the running backs, particularly RB Chris Taylor) "I thought they both (RB Chris Taylor and RB Steve Slaton) did some good things. It's the best Chris has looked in the preseason, and it was a big opportunity for him. I thought for them to get the opportunity to start this game against this type of defensive football team says a lot about their preparation, how far they've come. And we need them to come a long way."

(on the pass rush) "Obviously, we're not getting to the quarterback. It's a concern. He (Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo) had too much time to make plays back there. Some of the routes that they completed, they belonged to the guys up front, not the secondary. You can't let the kid hold the ball that long. So, we played a lot of people. We moved people around. We'll keep doing it. We'll find somebody that can get there."

(on if needing to find a pass rush will affect his strategy for allotting playing time in the preseason finale) "You know, I don't think so. I'm going to go back and look. We've had a good camp. We're relatively healthy. I've got a lot of decisions that I've got to make on young players, and the only way I can make them is to let them go out there and compete, so I plan on letting those guys get a lot of time this week."

(on how much the team will miss WR Harry Williams on special teams) "We'll miss him a great deal. He was the best we had on all big four (phases of special teams) that he plays on; he's the best guy we've got. And it's disappionting if he's going to be out, but hopefully he's going to be OK. Let's keep our fingers crossed and see."

Texans physician Dr. Walter Lowe

(on the injury status of WR Harry Williams) ""Harry (Williams) was injured during a kickoff in the first quarter of the game. On the field, he was alert, but paralyzed from the neck down. His spine was immobilized and he was taken in an ambulance to Presbyterian Hospital-Dallas for evaluation. During his transportation to the hospital, he began to regain feeling in his arms and legs. At the current time, he has regained almost normal neurologic function. The evaluation at the hospital revealed a fracture of the C-3 vertebra and a significant ligamentous injury to the neck. This injury will require surgical stabilization this weekend."

"The work at Presbyterian has just been completed, literally just a few minutes ago, shows he has a significant injury to his spine with a small fracture at a high level, C3, an unstable sort of ligamentous injury to the back of the spine that's going to require surgery this weekend to stabilize his spine. The prognosis is very good for Harry to return to normal neurologic function on that, but it will require fusion of the spine before he can move forward from this."

(on if players in the past have been able to return from injuries like this to play football) "You know, I think it's just one of those deals that it's too early to talk about that. He's being evaluated by the spine guys here. Dr. Drew Dossett is one of the spine guys in Dallas. He's part of the Cowboys' medical team that actually has participated in writing all of the new updates on how to care for a spinal cord injury on the field and all that, so Drew is headed over there to see him personally right now and I think those determinations of long-term have sort of yet to be made."

(on if Williams' surgery will be in Houston) "No, he'll have his surgery here this weekend sometime."

(on who will perform the surgery) "Dr. Drew Dossett."

(on if he has talked to Williams) "I have not talked to Harry. He's essentially been in a scanner since the moment it happened, but I think he was able to talk to Gary (Kubiak) briefly. And Harry is just a true pro, I mean he is a champ through this. Did everything he needed to do to make sure the move and everything else worked out right.

(on what it was a fracture of) "Actually, the C3 spinous process or the back part of the C3."

T Duane Brown

(on his performance) "Myself, I think I did pretty good. I had a few plays where DeMarcus Ware got the best of me, but overall, I think I had more good plays than bad plays. It was a great learning experience for me."

(on the Dallas defense being a good test) "Definitely, definitely. They're extremely talented. This is our first time this season going against a 3-4, so we had to prepare ourselves for that. They have great athletes over there. They play together and in sync. So, it's pretty tough to move the ball against them but we did a pretty good job, especially running the ball, I think."

(on feeling a sense of urgency after the interception by LB Zac Diles) "Definitely. After the defense worked so hard to get a turnover in our own end zone, you definitely want to bounce back and make something happen and get some points off of it. So we were fortunate enough to get a good drive and keep our defense off the field for a while, and I think that helped us out a little bit."

{QUOTE}(on standing up well to the test of Dallas' defense) "Yeah, it was definitely a test. DeMarcus Ware's a great athlete, a great player. He showed me a lot of different things, and I tried to get a feel for him at the beginning of the game. I had some rough plays, but I had more good plays than bad, so I think I did pretty good overall."

(on G Kasey Studdard) "He had a crazy rotation going with him and Chris White. He did pretty good from what I could tell when I was in there with him. He had a lot of reps, though."

(on what the team takes away from this game) "I think it was a learning experience for all of us. To come in here with a team of this caliber who's expected to do a lot this year and come back from being down like that and rally together, we didn't play as well as we could have and we only lost by one, so it showed what we can do. We've just got go keep moving forward."

(on the success of the running game) "Definitely. We're trying to make our trademark the running game, so tonight was a great showing for us."

WR Andre Johnson

(on the team's performance overall) "I think we started off a little slow. When we put ourselves in third-and-long situations, we tend not to convert them. Whenever we're in third and short, we're able to move the ball, and when we're running the ball well the offense is moving. We started off slow. It picked up later on. We went out and made some plays, but there are some things we've got to fix. We have to get that fixed before the start of the regular season."

(on if beginning of game was rusty for him) "I wouldn't say it was rust. It was my first time out there, so I was a little excited just to be back out there. I just think we started out a little slow, that's all."

(on how his body felt tonight) "I felt fine. I really didn't know how my body would respond, but I went out and felt fine, didn't have any pain through anything. Nothing was bothering me; I felt like myself."

LB DeMeco Ryans

(on the defense's two turnovers) "That's what kept us in it, the turnovers. That was the best thing that came out of it, getting those two turnovers. (LB) Zac (Diles) with the interception and the (DT Frank Okam) fumble recovery were the biggest plays for our defense. It took us way too long to get started as a defense. When we step out on the field, we have to get it going early. We have got to start hot and keep it rolling. We were kind of a little bit down for some kind of reason. I can't tell you what."

(on if he is concerned with tonight's performance with respect to the regular season) "I'm just concerned for our defense. That's not the outing that we wanted to have out there today. They continued to make play after play on us, and it was way too easy like we weren't really challenging, like we weren't up in their face challenging and making the plays hard on them."

(on Cowboys QB Tony Romo having too much time) "He did. We didn't get the pressure that we needed. That allowed him to sit back in the pocket and take his time and allow the receivers time to get open. Our back end, we can't cover for that long. We have to find a way to get pressure and make quarterbacks make erratic decisions."

(on if the defensive unit is regular season ready) "Well, I think there are some kinks that need to be worked out. As far as being ready, we're definitely ready. I don't see it being anything major. It's just our intensity needs to be picked up, and we just need better pass rush and finish on plays. That's nothing major. That can be done quickly."

(on if everything that needs to be fixed is correctable) "They're all correctable, nothing just out of the ordinary that we've got to go back and change our entire defensive scheme or anything like that. It's just a matter of us playing better."

(on LB Zac Diles' interception) "Zac's been doing a great job, and I was happy to see him make a big play for our team tonight. It was big for Zac, big for this team, big for his confidence. With Zac getting his confidence level up, it's going to allow him to step into that starting role when the season kicks off and be a productive player for us."

QB Matt Schaub

(on if the team felt an urgency after LB Zac Diles' interception) "We did. At that point, it was 10-3, and they were going in to make it a 14-point game. A play like that down there in the end zone is a huge momentum swing. As an offense, we were just saying, 'Hey, let's go and make points out of this. The defense set us up. Let's go tie this ball game up and we're in it.' We were able to do that."

(on what got him going after the slow start) "Right there, you just try to make a couple of completions, get the ball out, three-step drop and get it to your guys and start moving the chains and convert a third down, which we did there with (WR) David Anderson in the flat. That kind of got the ball rolling. We started running the ball. The guys up front were tremendous tonight. They were able to open up some holes and (RBs) Chris Taylor and Steve Slaton were hitting them hard."

(on if he thinks he is regular-season ready) "I'm ready. We did a lot of good things this preseason. Obviously, this game we would have liked to come out on top, but there's a lot to learn from this tape especially because the first two weeks we're going to face a 3-4 defense. So, there's a lot to learn from this film. I feel like we've done a lot of good things."

(on where the timing between him and WR Andre Johnson is right now) "I think it's really good. We don't need a lot of time to pick up where we left off. Last season was a prime example with the time he missed, and then when he came back, we were hitting on all cylinders against the Saints. So, we'll just get back after this week and work on things and we'll be back to normal."

RB Steve Slaton

(on assessing his performance) "I think I did pretty good. I think in protection, when I'm checking, I need to do it a little bit faster and get out if nobody is coming."

(on if he likes being in on more than just third down) "I think it helps get a rhythm. The longer you're in there, the more you see. You see how the defense is playing and you get a rhythm and you feel a little bit better in there."

(on if the Cowboys were a better defensive unit than the two previous ones) "It's tough to say. You've got big, strong guys all crowding around the ball trying to stop the run."

(on what turned around the offense in the second half) "I think Zac's (Diles) interception. I think that definitely helped us out. That gave us a little spark on offense that we had to kick it up."

(on what was going through his head during the injury to WR Harry Williams) "I was just hoping he was alright. He's a big part of our special teams. He plays on every special team he's on, and hopefully he'll be alright and be able to bounce back from it."

G Kasey Studdard

(on if tonight's performance makes him eager or concerned for the regular season) "Eager. It makes me eager. The game's slowing down finally again. It's not so fast like it was last year, so that's a good thing."

(on what was going through his mind during the injury to WR Harry Williams) "Harry is one of my good friends. He's one of the funny guys on the team. It just sucks to see one of your teammates go down like that, but everything is going well right now for him. I'm happy about that."

(on all of the teammates going out onto the field during the injury) "That's just a team; (it's) love, man. The love of everybody you go to war with everyday, that's what it is. When it's like that, you respect everybody on the team because it's blood, sweat and tears."

RB Chris Taylor

(on the team's overall performance) "I think we need to put more force on the ball. We ran the ball pretty good tonight. We just want to continue that throughout next week and the last preseason game."

(on if tonight's game makes him eager for regular season or concerned about the things the team needs to work on) "We're always going to have things to work on, but we feel like we played a decent game tonight. We started out slow, but we ended up pretty good."

(on the defense and special teams getting turnovers for offense) "You always need those turnovers, and the offense has to take advantage of those turnovers."

(on going against the Dallas defensive unit) "We knew it was going to be a great matchup, and we just wanted to come out and try to establish the run. I feel like we did better running the ball than we did the two previous games."

(on the offense moving the ball) "Yeah, like I said, we moved the ball pretty well. That was kind of the emphasis this week. We didn't do as good of a job the last two preseason games, but we wanted to come out tonight and show that we could run the ball."

(on the red zone offense) "We have to score touchdowns. Those three points are good, but we have to try to get in the end zone more."

(on if he is ready for the season) "I feel like I'm ready to rock and roll. I always feel like I can get better, but I feel like I'm ready. If the season were tomorrow, I can play. I'm ready to roll."

DE Mario Williams

(on how concerned he is about the defensive line) "I'm not. We haven't even started the season yet, so I'm really not even worried about that right now."

(on if the defensive has progressed enough to be ready for the regular season) "We've still got a lot of work to do. Thankfully, we've still got another week. We've just got to work together a little better, not just with the run but against the pass and play off of each other better. So, we'll see what happens. Also, studying the opponent a lot more wouldn't hurt either. So, we'll see."

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