The Texans spoke to the media after their 30-27 overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on the game) "It was a great football game, a great NFL football game. It came down to a play at the end, and you have to give them credit. They stepped up and made some big plays there at the end – made a couple of guys miss. The quarterback did a great job in the drive before that. But give them credit, they made the play."
(on QB Matt's Schaub performance) "I expected it, John (McClain). He's a winner, you know. I've been around a lot of guys and I'll tell you what, the kid's a battler. He had a lot on his plate going into this game and he stepped up to the plate and played like a winner. He's got a chance to be a great player."
(on if the coverage on WR Andre Johnson left other receivers open) "They did a lot against us, a bunch of corner fires, played a bunch of different stuff. But, you know, Andre (Johnson) did some things, and we adjusted very well and got everybody involved in the football game. We were excellent on third downs and moved the ball very, very well. Just as a team, we came up a little short."
(on the defensive performance in the second half) "Well, we struggled. I thought we had some chances to get them off the field. They had some big third downs. They had a big fourth down, am I right? They had that one drive, we have to have players step to the plate and make those plays, make those tackles, get to the quarterback. Like you said, we didn't do it. Give them credit, they did."
(on if he was surprised by the Jaguars' first touchdown) "I though we had stuffed the play, to be honest with you. I thought we had lined up and stuffed it. We should have, but we didn't. It was a gutsy call on his (Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio) part, and it worked out."
(on if he was surprised that Jacksonville went for it on the first touchdown) "I think when we play these guys we expect stuff like that because they do various things on special teams, you know. They actually got another lineman in there, you know. But we were gapped out like we were supposed to be, and they did a good job."
(on if the loss is easier to take because the game was close) "In this league, John (McClain), it doesn't matter if it's by one or by 30. If you lose, you lose. You work the same all week, regardless of what is going on. We have been working extremely hard. You know, it's been a very, very difficult start in the National Football League with these three road games, and it doesn't get much easier going home and playing the former World Champion Colts. But that's the NFL, and you've got to prepare every week. And if we come out and play with this attention to detail and this effort and make another play or two, we give ourselves a chance to win."
(on how the defense did against RBs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew) "I thought we somewhat contained them. At the same time, they just keep coming, keep coming, keep coming and eventually they find a way. I think we are still (with an) average per rush – I think it's still 5.6, which, you know, is unacceptable to win in this league. I thought we had some containment. I think I'm going to go back and look at big, big third downs and big, big fourth downs and what they did."
(on Jaguars QB David Garrard running the ball) "I thought the big thing when he did run, he broke some tackles, too – got out of the pocket and broke some tackles. I think the one touchdown that was called was a quarterback draw lead – same play, I think, they ran against Pittsburg last year in the playoff game. I don't know if I'm right. It looked like it. But he's a presence when he starts to move. You've got to tackle him just like you tackle their backs, you know. But the young man is coming of age and is very impressive."
(on the injury to S C.C. Brown) "He has a fracture. He'll have to have surgery tomorrow morning and we'll have to determine after the surgery how long he would be out. There is a chance that he could come back and play with a cast on. We'll have to determine how long he will be."
(on if the injury is to Brown's upper or lower arm) "You know, John (McClain), I'm not sure. I can't answer that."
LB DeMeco Ryans
(on coming so close to winning) "It was real tough. It was real tough. One of the toughest ones I've been in. Just to come so close and to not be on the winning side is very, very tough. It was a very hard-fought game. I'm very proud of the guys, the way we fought them to stay in it, but we definitely want to be on the other side of the locker room right now."
(on what went wrong defensively in the second half) "I think we just started missing a few tackles. They made some plays on us. The quarterback kind of started making plays with his legs to kind of keep drives going when we should've been off the field. He found a way to make a play, and we didn't stop him."
(on how determined QB David Garrard seemed at the end of the game) "We had a problem getting him down on the ground. We had our coverage well in the back end and he saw everybody was covered up tight and he saw a green light and kind of took off on us a couple of times and that really kind of hurt us."
(on playing against the pass against Garrard) "He made a couple of throws on us, but I think for the most part we defended the pass well. I wish we could've came up with a couple more big plays in the passing game, got a couple of turnovers in some kind of way, but we handled it OK."
(on if the game gave him any reasons for encouragement) "It's very encouraging, just when you're watching how our guys fought. That's how you want your team to go out. And they didn't just dominate us. It was a hard-fought game and they made that one extra play that they needed to make to win the game."
(on if it always goes down to the end against Jacksonville) "It always comes down to there with Jacksonville. It's always going to go to the wire. Somebody from each team always steps up and makes that big play, and today we didn't do it."
(on the offense coming together) "The offense did a great job, a great job of driving down the last (time). Matt (Schaub) did a good job managing the guys in the last two minutes to get Kris (Brown) out there to kick the field goal. Just shows that we've come a long way and we'll keep fighting. Without Matt leading the guys, working the way they did today, it wouldn't have even been close."
(on his ankle) "I rolled my ankle. It's very sore right now. I'll just get treatment and get better in a week."
(on how it feels) "It's hard for me to say how this feels. I got it taped up and I was back out there."
QB Matt Schaub
(on if the Jaguars' focus on stopping WR Andre Johnson helped other receivers make plays) "I think a little bit, but I think it was just a matter of guys stepping up when they were called upon to make a play. They were paying attention to Andre (Johnson) a little bit but they were doing the same thing on both sides of the field with their coverages and stuff, so I think it was just a new scheme. They were trying to give us different looks and try something new, and we were just able to find ways to make plays whether it be Kevin (Walter) or Owen (Daniels), the backs, guys stepped up and made the plays.
(on why the Texans were so effective on third down) "I think we had a good feel for what we're trying to get done with our protections and our routes. We kept it simple as far as our concepts and stuff that we've been doing all since training camp, so guys had a real good feel of what we were trying to get done and guys were getting open and beating man coverage which was a big part of what they were playing."
(on getting the ball to WR Kevin Walter and TE Owen Daniels) "Well, it's always something that we're trying to get done. They're always in the mix because they're such great players and they have a lot of ability. And like I said, they were playing a lot of man coverage and getting help over to Andre (Johnson), so that gives one-on-one coverage and Owen's usually matched up with a safety or linebacker and we like that matchup. And Kevin works good routes and he's able to make people miss after he catches it, so it keeps us (with) a good mix-up of intermediate throws where those guys can make plays."
(on the protection provided by the offensive line) "You know, they played great. Our offensive line, they stepped up to the task. They've got a lot of big guys in there and a lot of speed on the outside. They were able to hold up really well and give me time to throw and they were able to open up holes for the backs when they were needed. They played their hearts out."
(on how much it stings to play so much better personally and still lose) "It stings a lot. It hurts a lot any time you lose in this business. But knowing that we were that close to winning this week, we played a much better game across the board. Falling one play short, that hurts, but it's the nature of this game. You go to overtime and you flip a coin, you hope you get the ball first, but if not, you hope your defense goes out there and makes a play. And they were able to just make the plays today. We fell one play short, and it hurts."
(on the game being decided by a coin flip) "Well, it's tough. If we were on the other side of the coin, we probably wouldn't be even mentioning it. It's tough, but that's the way this game goes. It's the rules. There's sudden death overtime and you hope the coin flips your way but if not, you just tell your defense, 'Hey, go out there and get them off the field and we'll go down there and get a field goal.' And they just made that play today."
(on how he feels personally after taking so much grief after the first two games) "I felt pretty good about what I was doing out there. I felt like I was seeing things really well and guys were stepping up and making plays for us. For me to feel good about what I'm doing, there's 10 other guys in the huddle that need to be doing things well. So I think collectively, as a group offensively, we made some plays. We were able to move the football today and play a much better game, and I think it makes it hurt that much more falling one play short."
RB Steve Slaton
(on his frame of mind after three games) "It's just still trying to compete. That's the biggest think Coach Kubiak will preach on is competing and everybody playing, all cylinders, to try and get a win."
(on if the Jaguars focusing on WR Andre Johnson helped him) "Yeah. Any time you focus on one player, I think we have way too many weapons for a team just to focus on one guy so it's going to open up holes for everyone to make plays."
(on how he assesses himself three games into the season) "Still making too many mistakes. My linemen are helping me out on the mistakes that I've made, but I've just got to play on all cylinders and limit the mistakes each week."
(on QB Matt Schaub making a great throw on his touchdown reception) "Yeah. I mean, that's his job, and we've been practicing it all week in practice and whatnot and I'm just happy they called it."
WR Kevin Walter
(on his first touchdown) "The first one, it was something we designed, me coming in there to cut to the safety. I faked like I cut to the safety and pushed up in the end zone. Matt (Schaub) made a great throw, and we executed. We knew we had to do a better job in the red zone this week, and I think we did."
(on scoring on the last five series and still losing) "It's real tough. That's our game out there. That's our offense out there, moving the ball and executing. We know we can go out there and keep the chains moving. These past two weeks, we hadn't been doing it, but this week we have. And falling short like that, it's tough, but we're going to go back and look at it, look at the film and correct our mistakes and move on. We've got a big game next week against Indy."
(on stepping up when the Jaguars concentrated on WR Andre Johnson) "Right. That's what we need to do. If they're going to put their best corner on him and play a zone to him, we're going to be one-on-one. We've got to make something happen, and I think we did that and we've got to continue to do that."
(on what RB Steve Slaton has shown through three games) "He's shown a lot. He's shown that he's not a rookie. He's shown that he's a professional. It seems like he's been playing in this league for a long time. He's mentally there, he's physically there, he can run and he's the whole package."
(on QB Matt Schaub bouncing back after taking a lot of grief) "He definitely did. One thing we wanted to do as an offense is not turn the ball over and we didn't turn the ball over. Matt made great throws, and that's one thing that we wanted to do is not turn the ball over. Matt's our leader. Matt's a great quarterback He's going to continue to make great plays, and we know he can do that and today he did it."
(on if this game is indicative of the kind of offense the Texans can have) "There's no doubt about it. People can expect this type of offense. We weren't in our rhythm the first two weeks. This week, today, we were, and that's the type of football we're going to play. We're going to run the ball, we're going to smash it and then we're going to throw it down the field and make plays. Obviously, in the red zone, we did a better job than we did the past few weeks."
OT Eric Winston
(on if the Jaguars tried a bunch of different things on defense) "You know, I really think they were ready for one of our sets that we haven't really run much. I think they knew Tennessee hurt them with it and I think they probably knew we were going to bring it to them. They had a good game plan early in the game as far as shutting that down and not letting us do what we wanted to do. But at the same time, I think they thought they could get pressure with their four guys up front, kind of like Tennessee did. We just played with them. We didn't let them have it. Kind of coming in out of the second half, I thought they might start trying to bring some linebackers, but they stuck to it. We held them on it pretty good."
(on the Jaguars bringing their corners on blitzes) "Yeah, that was part of their package on that flex package – to shut it down, to not let us do what Tennessee hurt them with early in their game. That was part of their package, I think, to do that. They definitely weren't blitzing their corners to bring pressure for the pass. They were doing it to stop the run."
(on how he feels about QB Matt Schaub being able to bounce back from the first two weeks) "That's Matt. I think everyone else was a little bit more surprised than we are about it. We're used to seeing him bounce around. He's been bouncing around. I don't think it's affected him, and it shouldn't. He's a great quarterback. He's very able. No one lost any belief in him in the first couple of games. If that happened in the middle of the season, no one would have said anything. But we were behind him 100 percent. We believe in him 100 percent, and I think he kind of showed today what he can do."