Wide receiver André Davis celebrates a 35-yard touchdown catch.
Members of the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons spoke to the media after the Texans' 26-16 loss on Sunday, Sept. 30 in the Georgia Dome.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak
(on what contributed to the loss) "Well, didn't do it. The things we talked about that we had to do to come in here and win, we didn't do. We had penalties on special teams. Offensively, we turned the ball over for the fourth week in a row. We're not going to win if we continue to do that. Our defense didn't get to their quarterback. So it was those three things. Hats off to the Falcons; they played well. They deserved to win. The big factors you can look at is us being 0-2 in the red zone. That's a big factor right there, and our inability to get first downs on third and one's. I think we missed three times in the course of the game, so you're talking about another at least nine football plays that could be the difference between winning and losing."
(on the Texans' penalties) "They seemed like they compiled. I'm trying to look for that section right here. I know we had plenty of them; especially we had some on special teams. They hurt drives, John (McClain). You have penalties, you're in trouble. We had a touchdown called back, which was right there at the end of the game. I don't know what to tell you except they happen, and if you have penalties and you turn the ball over, you lose in the National Football League."
(on WR Andre Davis) "I think right now we're throwing the football better than we've ever thrown it as Texans. I can tell you that. And those three kids, André (Davis), David (Anderson) and Kevin (Walter), boy did they play well and they played their hearts out. Boy, we trust those guys; we can count on those guys every week being there for our football team. Our quarterback is playing extremely well. He can't turn the ball over, he's got to play better in the pocket, but he's playing well. Our effort is not a problem at all. We are not playing clean, and when you don't play clean, you're going to get beat in this league."
(on QB Matt Schaub playing well despite the offensive injuries) "I don't get into that. I expect him to play well every week. I don't care who's in there or not in there. We expect to win; we work to win. We didn't win, and we didn't win because we were missing man power. We lost because of poor play and had an ineffective football game."
(on the defense's play) "Yeah, they kept us in there. When you play a team in the National Football League and their quarterback is 29-33, that's not getting it done in the National Football League. You've got to go out there and make some plays. I can promise you, we expect us and I expect us to play a whole heck of a lot better than we played today. And we will. We'll go get it fixed and we will come back and play better."
(on blitzing more on defense) "Yeah, we were aggressive. We came after them, trying to make them get rid of the ball quick and make some plays on the ball. You've got to give them credit for picking some of them up. You've got to give the quarterback credit. Joey Harrington has had his ups and downs in this league, but I'll tell you what, he did a heck of a job today. I'm impressed with what they've done with him. He got rid of the football. He made great plays and he gets a lot of the credit for them beating our football team today. I thought he played extremely well."
(on any injuries to QB Matt Schaub) "He's okay, just banged up. Just battling and trying to get to the end zone in that quarterback draw, he took a good shot, but I think he'll be fine."
(on RB Ron Dayne going wide on a play) "We were trying to run our pitch flip. We had been unsuccessful shoving the ball at them. We were trying to run our pitch flip. We got the look we wanted. I don't know. I'd have to go back there and look at it to see if he was going to get there or not. But we bobbled the pitch, and once you bobble the pitch it's over. Then we lined up to kick the field goal and we missed that. There's plenty of blame to go around. You could go to every phase of the game as to why we didn't win, and, like I said, if you don't play clean in this league, you're not going to win."
(on how he feels about not playing clean again) "I'm frustrated, John (McClain). I know we are capable of it and I've been preaching that since opening day. We turned the ball over every game this year. I can sit here and say we didn't turn it over the first two weeks we won, but we turned it over those two weeks, too. It's coming back to bite us. If you turn the ball over in this league, your chances of winning go way, way down. It was definitely a factor in the game today. Were there other factors that got us beat? You bet. There were a lot of other factors, but that has to be addressed. That has to be fixed. We can't turn the ball over."
(on WR André Davis making great plays) "Yeah, he has, but I will say this, I told you guys that by watching him practice, I knew the kid was going to play good. He's talented. This is a huge opportunity for him in the National Football League after he's been through a few teams, and he's a kid that's ready to take advantage of it. Like I said, we suited three wide receivers and I've never done that in the National Football League, and those kids played their tails off and gave us a chance to win"
(on not establishing the running game) "We came three-and-out running one of our top running plays. We started to run the ball a little bit on the second drive, I think, but we got stuffed on two or three third-and-ones. So you lose some confidence, and me, as a play caller, I've got to still give them a chance. I've got to still line up and pound them, but you probably lose a little bit of confidence knocking them off the ball in those situation. It doesn't matter how many people a team puts in the box, when it's third-and-one, you've got to be able to lineup and say, 'Hey, we're running right here. We're going to make a yard.' I mean that's part of it. That's a mind set of a football team, and we didn't do that today."
Texans QB Matt Schaub
(on it being different returning to Atlanta as an opponent) "A little bit. It was a new experience walking down this way."
(on the offense not finding a groove) "I felt like we weren't ourselves. You can't turn the football over on the road or have any type of mistake, so that hurt us. We've got to convert on third downs, especially third and short. Being down in the red zone, especially at the goal line, we've got to turn those into seven points. A lot of times we are settling for three."
(on missing WR Andre Johnson) "Anytime we have guys banged up, you're going to miss them because the other guys have to go the full time and they're going to wear down. Those guys stepped up big today and they played really well. That wide receiver group has a lot of talent heart and a lot of heart in that group."
(on what he said to his former Falcons teammates) "I spoke to a bunch of them, before and after the game. It was good to see the guys I haven't seen or talked to in a while, so it's good to catch up with them."
(on André Davis) "He stepped up and made some plays for us. We had some chances to make some big plays down the field. He stepped up in a big way and Owen Daniels stepped up and Kevin Walter made some big plays. So everybody chipped in, and that's what we have to do."
(on how he motivated the team after not converting on big third downs) "It's really frustrating when you can't convert those. We weren't able to, but just have to keep plugging away because things were there. We were just hurting ourselves. If we had just kept playing out game, things would have worked out better."
(on going back to the Georgia Dome) "All week I said that we were approaching this as another game. It's 1/16 of the season and a chance to go on the road for a win and to get the bad taste out of our mouths from last week against the Colts. Unfortunately, we came here and they played better. It was a fun experience to come back and play those guys- guys I hadn't seen for a long time."
(on the touchdown that was challenged) "I knew it was going to be close. In the heat of the game and the heat of the moment, I thought I was in, but I couldn't really tell where the ball was or where my knee hit. Looking at it on replay, I was definitely a little short of the goal."
(on how frustrating it is not score in the red zone) "Obviously, it's very frustrating when you can't convert on third and less than two yards or when you're down within the 17-yard line and have to kick field goals rather than score a touchdown. It's definitely frustrating."
(on if the coverage dictated him running for the touchdown) "It was. If the coverage dictated if I was going to run it, then I was going to run. If not, then they were going after me and I was going to throw it."
(on RB Ron Dayne's bobbled catch) "It was a little high. It was up in his eyes. On that typw of play you have to catch it and it has to be a real clean type of play because you're getting outside wide. Once you bobble it, the defense can get all over you."
(on the offensive line taking the blame) "No one feels good in the locker room. We all worked hard, so no one will feel good about it. He's just more vocal because that is his personality."
Texans WR André Davis
(on his touchdown catch) "It was just one of those plays that it was me against that one DB and it who wanted the ball more, and I think I wanted the ball a little bit more than he did."
(on his dislocated finger) "It's just a finger. I knew I could play through it if I had to, and it was just a good opportunity for me to go out there and prove myself."
(on his chemistry with QB Matt Schaub) "Matt is an easy guy to get along with and he's a guy to get in there, and we've been practicing hard throughout the week. And I think a lot of it was that were able to go out there and practice. It really is a testament to how hard we practice. And then we can go out there in the game and do the same thing. I think it's about the hard work that we put into it and it paid off somewhat, but I think we could have done a little bit more."
(on having some big plays) "I would trade in all those big plays just to have some touchdowns out of those red zone chances that we had, and that seemed to be the difference. The field goals that we had then, if we could have had touchdowns, it could have made a big difference."
(on making big catches after not playing for a while this season) "It never feels like it's been that long. It's another opportunity for me to go out and play football, which is something that I love to do. And it's a chance to come out and try to help this team out and win It's a shame that we have to come out with a loss after all the hard work we put into it this week. So we just have to make sure we keep our heads down and get ready for next week."
(on how QB Matt Schaub held the team together despite the turnovers) "I think that just the way this team is - the chemistry that we have right now and the way that he plays. I don't think it's any individual out there- we all realize that in any point in time we can come back. We have played a lot of games where we did come back. We know we have the talent to be able to come back when we're down."
(on QB Matt Schaub trying to jump in the end zone) "It just shows the heart that he has. He's not going to be one of those quarterbacks that's afraid to get hit or take a shot. He's going to go out there and try to make a play or do whatever is necessary."
Texans FS Will Demps
(on competing on the road against an 0-3 team) "Anytime you are on the road, it doesn't matter who you play. Like Coach Kubiak has said, whether you are playing world champions, or a 0-3 team, it doesn't matter. You must be prepared. As you could see today, we didn't play well in all fazes of the game. We turned the ball over and we didn't play well on special teams. We didn't force any turnovers on defense. It was like a trap game really, but you don't want to say it."
(on game-planning for Joey Harrington) "Well he's a passing quarterback. It's kind of weird coming here and not playing against Vick, who is more of a runner. But Harrington, he's a step up in the pocket kind of quarterback. I've got to hand it to him, he made the plays they needed to make. He threw two touchdown passes and they needed the win. Not that we didn't, but you can't make the mistakes we made and win in this league."
Texans DT Jeff Zgonina
(on just how good an 0-3 team can be) "Hey, this is the NFL. We knew coming in this was going to be a tough one. They got on a roll early, and we just couldn't turn it around. But that's what happens when you play sloppy football in this league. Not to knock our offense, but when you turn the ball over, you are already behind the 8-ball. And when you turn it over on the short field, that's a disaster. At the same time, we didn't force anything on defense, so the blame can be shared. We must play a lot smarter than we did."
**(on just how good an 0-3 team can be) "Hey, this is the NFL. We knew coming in this was going to be a tough one. They got on a roll early, and we just couldn't turn it around. But that's what happens when you play sloppy football in this league. Not to knock our offense, but when you turn the ball over, you are already behind the 8-ball. And when you turn it over on the short field, that's a disaster. At the same time, we didn't force anything on defense, so the blame can be shared. We must play a lot smarter than we did."
(on playing against former teammate Joey Harrington) "Joey is darn good quarterback. All the talk about him is crazy. I played with him at Miami, and when Joey gets hot, he is a very good quarterback. We just didn't get after him like we should have."
Texans LB DeMeco Ryans
(on facing a winless team in the NFL) "I watched the film and I saw their athletes. I knew this was going to be a tough game. That's all there is to it. We flat out didn't do the job on defense. We didn't get enough pressure on their quarterback. And when you don't pressure a guy like Harrington, he will pick you apart. That's what happened today."
(on their defensive performance) "It's how we won our first two games. Getting turnovers and getting the offense a short field. After winning twice, it's our second week in a row we didn't do that. There's definitely a correlation between forcing turnovers and winning games. It's anybody's guess why we aren't making those plays and changing momentum. I came here today and expected to win."
Texans TE Owen Daniels
(on André Davis making his first start for the Texans this season) "He's doing a great job in there and working really hard. He played a lot of snaps and he was taking some hits, but he's a good player. He's been in the league for a little while now, and there is a reason for that. He stepped up and did really well for us."
(on where the team goes from here) "At least, we are going home next week. We just need to really focus on protecting the ball and staying on the field on third downs. That will be a huge focus this next week. Also getting touchdowns in the red zone instead of kicking those field goals will be a focus."
(on how the offense played today) "Matt Schaub worked his butt off out there. I'm sure he wanted to walk out of here, just as much as everyone else wanted to walk out of here with a win."
(on the team's inability to get a touchdown near the end of the game) "Anytime we were down there, I think it would have changed the game a little bit for us. We were just shooting ourselves in the foot. That was tough. We didn't get any points out of it at all."
Texans RB Ron Dayne
(on how the offense played today) "As a team, we didn't do our job. We take it hard on ourselves, because we know what we are capable of. Just being able to get out there and do what we did was kind of tough, because we know we are better than that."
(on the number of penalties and third down conversions that were not made) "We knew we still had a shot. They could have kept the team on the field a couple of more times, too. I'm just going to go out this week and work hard in practice and try to get better. We know it's our job."
(on his fumble near the goal line) "I missed it. I do not blame it on anybody. It was me and I missed the ball."
Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino
(opening statement) "They are hard to beat, but we are sure glad we got the win. I thought our players prepared extremely well. We have been fighting through adversity all year long and the team has played hard, practice hard and prepared hard. It paid off today and that is a good feeling. I like the way we played. I thought our defense did a nice job in the game. They kept putting pressure on Matt (Schaub). Their offense is designed to get the ball out quickly and they made some big plays doing that, but we kept coming. We really made plays when the game was on the line tonight and that is what you like to see. Michael Boley's play on the fourth down is an example. He was responsible for the back and he fought through a rub and did a great job on the tackle to keep them from getting the first down. Offensively, I felt like we were in a rhythm for the most part. We continued to the move the ball. I certainly would have liked to get touchdowns where we got field goals. In the end when our defense got the big turnover, I was trying to work the clock. It was a good win and I was happy about it."
(on the two successful challenges) "The one was right in front of us and I felt like he had advanced past the first down marker. I was not going to throw the flag based on just how I felt, but the guys upstairs said there was not doubt he got the first down. I think he landed past the down marker and the ball was brought back when he spotted it. At the end, there was really no question once you saw the video. The coaches upstairs once again said he landed before he got in. That was big for us and it took points off the board for them and used the clock."
(on the ensuing drive after falling behind 7-3) "I think our offense is getting to the point where they have confidence. We still want to make sure we are running the ball and we came out on first down and Warrick (Dunn) had a good carry. We gave Warrick the ball again and I thought he had the first down, but that one was short. We called our third down play and our line blocked it well and we managed to get the first down. Any time you can get long gains, we call them 'chuck plays', your chances of scoring go up. When we got the first down we decided to take a shot down field to Roddy (White) and there was obviously a great throw and catch. He had to move so it was really a nice play by Joey (Harrington)."
(on anything special happening in the locker room post game) "Yes, Arthur (Blank) gave me a game ball. I hope there are many more to come."
(on the play of Michael Boley) "I felt like he was running around and making plays everywhere. Every week when we go through the stats and the tape, Michael is up there near the lead in tackles and plays made. He is having a really good year for us and he was really glued into what they were trying to do. The other things are the plays he made during crucial parts of the game. That is something we have been looking to do."
Falcons WR Michael Jenkins
(on the way it felt to win the game) "It's a great win for the Falcons and a great win for the fans at home. We just have to get back to the drawing board and get ready for the next week. This is just one but hopefully we can continue to win games."
(on the chemistry between QB Joey Harrington and WR Michael Jenkins today) "Yeah, it seemed as if we were on the page and we kind of got into a rhythm there in the first half. We just wanted to make some plays and score a couple touchdowns and that's what we did today."
(on the first touchdown that he scored tonight) "I was able to just get open and find some open ground. That gave Joey time to get the ball to me. I was also able to get a few yards after the catch and I was really feeling good out there. Then we got a call and Joey was able to make a great throw in the back of the end zone. It was a great day all around."
(on the second touchdown that Michael had today) "Yeah, Joey was able to get the ball to me on a third and short situations. I was able to make a guy miss and then I got into the end zone so it was just a great job by everybody."
Falcons LB Michael Boley
(on being 0-3 this season and finally getting a win) "Man it was great to finally get a win. I have never been 0-3 in anything and that was my mentality throughout practice. We wanted to just fix the problems that we were facing."
(on the work ethic of the linebackers in practice this week) "Yeah we were able to get in there and get some things done this week. It was a lot better. We have had some mistakes over the last couple weeks, so we were finally able to work some things out. We were able to focus in on making sure we made the right plays this week and get that corrected."
(on chasing after QB Matt Schaub and what was said as a result of that) "We didn't get a chance to talk about that today. It basically boiled down to just playing ball."
(on the defense of the offensive drives on the day) "Yeah it was just one of those things where they had some tendencies and luckily we were able to make some big plays on that drive. It worked out well for us at the end of the day."
(on being able to hang in there and play the whole four quarters) "Finishing the job has been our main focus through practice the entire week. We started out great this game and things didn't go our way towards the end of the game so it was important that we kept on fighting until the end."
Falcons S Lawyer Milloy
(on how much the team needed this win) "Man, words can't explain this because in this league, it's all about winning ball games and nothing else is acceptable. It doesn't matter how hard you fight or how close you are, if you lose ball games then that makes the week miserable. Hugging your loved ones is not as good, and that is what we were searching for and we got it today."
(on Matt Schaub and his performance today) "Yeah he is an outstanding competitor and we hate to see him leave but he has the opportunity of turning that organization around. We knew that they were down a couple of weapons and that they were going to try and establish the run. We made some plays and we were resilient in the red zone after giving up some big plays. That is what you need as a defense."
Falcons QB Joey Harrington
(opening statement) "The factor that makes me feel good about this win is that we've improved from week to week. These are noticeable improvements because you can look at game one and game four and see our progress. This is what we have to do on a continual basis and now take it into next week versus the Tennessee Titans. The fact that we're 1-3 is not the most positive but we took a step up today to where we want to be at the end of the season."
(on WR Michael Jenkins) "Like I said from day one, we have a talented group of receivers and Michael is one of them. He really knows how to work the middle of the field, which he has done very well this year. On his touchdown, he made a great move on their safety (C.C. Brown) and made a high ball catch in the back of the end zone. We need to get him more balls like that on a consistent basis because he is tremendous on those."
(on the offensive production) "We did very well but we need to finish more of the drives better. There was one drive where it was first down on the two-yard line, but we had a penalty that took us back. However, it is good to know that we can get down in the red zone the majority of the time and get some points. Morten Andersen always tells me that if we get the ball inside the 50-yard line, then that is good enough for him to handle the rest. He sure came through with his word today."
(on the offensive groove) "We got in the groove a little bit today and it felt good. Like I said last week, this game is all about momentum. Moreover, it is more about feeling the flow of the game so much that you're dictating to them what you're going to do. We have to finish drives better and then concentrate about putting them away."
Falcons RB Jerious Norwood
(on the Falcons getting their first win of the season) "It's great to get that first win in our building. Hopefully, it's the start of something good around here. We just have to go back to work on Monday, try to get better and get ready for next week."
(on the play of the Falcons offense) "I feel like the offense is starting to click. I mean we still have a lot of work to do but, like I said, the offense is starting to click and things are starting to flow a little better for us. Like I said, we have to continue to work and get better every week."
Falcons DE John Abraham
(on the fumble he forced of QB Matt Schaub) "I didn't think I was going to get there that time. They were trying to check me with a running back, but I was able to turn around and knock the ball out of his hand. I got close all day, but there's nothing like getting to the quarterback."
Falcons LB Keith Brooking
(on the Falcons getting their first win of the season) "It's just great to get that losing taste out of our mouths. It's been a long four weeks, but we found a way to win today and played four full quarters. Defensively and offensively we made plays. I think it was just a total team effort. It's a great feeling."
(on QB Matt Schaub) "He had a couple of his weapons who were out today and I think he showed
Falcons RB Warrick Dunn
(on the feeling in the locker room after the game) "I think right now, guys are very happy and excited that we played for four quarters, made play's and held on. After the first few weeks of frustration, you could really see that guys let loose a little bit. It was great to get the first win. It's usually the hardest win to get for a new coach. Now, we just need to come back."