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Texans-Panthers post-game quotes

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Schaub scored a perfect quarterback rating after the first quarter.

Head coach Gary Kubiak and several players spoke to the media after the Texans' 34-21 win over the Panthers.

Houston Texans
Head coach Gary Kubiak
* (on what he thinks of the win) "Well, it was a tremendous team victory. Anytime you walk in a visiting stadium in the league and you're sloppy early and you get down like that, it's very difficult in this league. We've got a different group. We've got a group of guys that believe in themselves – that are going to play for 60 minutes regardless of what's going on. And I think they showed that today."

(on how he was able to turn around the game) "I think it was about them and them believing in themselves. They're very hard on themselves. They never lose confidence in what they're doing. They get after each other. I kind of told you that as we went through training camp. We've got some very hungry players in there and we're going to get what they've got every week."

(on how good it was to see DT Amobi Okoye have a breakout game) "That was really good because he missed practice Thursday when his foot was bothering him. He came out Friday. I saw him at breakfast this morning and asked him if he was ready to go, he said, 'you bet.' That means we can trust him when he tells us something, be smart with him. But he's got a chance to be a heck of a football player."

(on what he is seeing from DT Amobi Okoye on the field) "He's got the ability to go get the passer, and that's what he has the ability to do. And I think he's playing the run better than we thought was. They're just coming together as a group. It's about the whole group playing ball."

(on how big the first touchdown was) "Yeah, that was big. Matt (Schaub) makes a couple big throws. Andre (Johnson) makes a big run after the catch. We answer. We talked about last night as a team, 'Hey, we're on the road. If they start really fast, we don't panic. If we start fast, it's not good enough. We've got to play all day.' I just think it's something we've been addressing as a team, worrying about ourselves and worrying about being a 60-minute football team."

(on the returned interception call) "When you're on the road, it's very difficult to get a replay. Most home stadiums are not going to show that replay too many times when it affects the visiting team. It was a very hard call for us, but our players were convinced that he did not have the ball, so that was our last challenge – we're done for the day. But those are huge points right there. You really have to trust your players. You can have guys looking up in the booth all you want, but when your players tell you something, you have to trust them. And that's what we were doing right there."

(on any injuries) "The biggest concern right now is Andre (Johnson). He has a sprained knee, and we'll look at it when we get home. He'll be day-to-day."

(on RB Ahman Green's status) "He's been cramping a little bit, and Ronnie (Dayne) is a big pounder at the end of the game. We were playing the game smart at the end, trying to get do nothing to beat ourselves. So we were just smart right there and went running."
(on if this game validates the team) "This is a 16-game season. We're doing some things better and we're doing a lot of thing we've got to improve on to be a good football team. I'm proud of our football team. We come here on the road and win, and we get to go play the World Champs next week. This is as tough a league as there is, and you've got to be ready to play each week."

(on S Will Demps getting in the game) "Yeah, he did. You know, they trusted him. He had a pretty good grasp of some of the things we're doing, but he's going to have to play and play very fast. He and (Michael) Boulware will, so that will be part of our whole season with those two guys."

(on if he made changes after the team got down 14-0) "We didn't make any changes. We believed in our plan. We made plays early in the game and we just hurt ourselves. We made a big third down and didn't lineup correctly. OD (Owen Daniels) makes a nice play and we fumble the ball. It's not like we were getting stuffed. We were just kind of hurting ourselves, but once we got over that fact, we just went out there and played good ball."

(on what the win says about the team) "We're going to play every week. Out group is growing up. They know how important that is in this league to keep your composure, and winning two games does not a season make. We're off to a good start and we've got to get these guys healthy. We're going to have to be as good as we can be next week."

(on how QB Matt Schaub played) "I thought he was tremendous. His composure was to me – what our team was able to do being down 14 points and not lose any composure when you play all day- that to me is a reflection of your quarterback keeping everybody calm on the football field. He's a good player and he's got a chance to be a great player. I'm excited to watch him get better each week."

(on how the game validated QB Matt Schaub) "It's easy to say today because things are going so good, but the thing is the kid's been consistent each day. He makes mistakes, he takes them in the chops. He lets his players know that's on me, 'Coach, I made a mistake.' When he threw that ball to Andre, that one we thought was intercepted, he's supposed to get that ball on the back shoulder, you think the kid wouldn't be worrying about this, but when he came off the field he said, 'I promise you that will never happened again.' I mean that's that type of kid he is. That's how he play the game"

(on the replay throw to WR Andre Johnson) "He's supposed to throw it on the back shoulder to Andre (Johnson), and he got the ball hung inside. He comes to me and says, 'That's never happened again.' I tell you, if you coach this kid, you believe him."

*
DE Mario Williams

(on playing in his home state) "I had a lot of people calling my name out, but I was trying to focus on the game."

(on coming back after being down 14-0) "Last week, I talked about facing adversity. We're not just going to give up. It was 14-0 pretty quick, so we're out there focusing together. We do what we have to do."

(on if anything changed in the game plan) "No. We were just playing ball. That's all it is. We're just trying to be focused. We're taking it one game at a time. And, like I said, when adversity strikes, we're still in it."

(on how much confidence the win gives the team) "Every win is very important, but to start out 2-0 – I've never felt that before. Honestly, I say we're pretty hyped right now and we have a very tough opponent coming in this week."

(on how good it feels to win in his home state) "It feels great. We knew that coming in was going to be a very tough challenge. We knew if we came in and played our ball, we could walk away with a victory. And that's what we did."

(on the defensive lineup with him and DT Amobi Okoye) "It changes up the scheme of everything. It kind of keeps it uneven so the offense can't just key on one person, but, like I said, it's not just me and Amobi (Okoye). It's the whole defensive line. It's the linebackers shooting gaps. It's the DB's covering. It's everybody. It's a defensive unit right now."

(on what kind of adjustments the team made being down 14-0) "We didn't do anything different. You didn't see anything that we did out there that was different. It was the same stuff. And, like I said, adversity struck, and we just held tight."

(on how DT Amobi Okoye is catching up quickly) "It's kind of funny, because when Amobi (Okoye) got a sack, I felt like I got a sack. I was just so excited for him. He's coming along, and that's all we need for everybody to be on the same page right there with us."

WR Andre Johnson

(on getting open) "It's just part of our game plan. Our coaches put in a good game plan. They knew what was going to be open, and the plays we ran were wide open."

(on how good the win feel) "Of course, the guys are excited about winning. We really haven't had that feeling around here. This is our second win of the season, and we have the World Champs coming in next week. We'll enjoy it for the day and move on."

(on what he learned about QB Matt Schaub during the game) "He doesn't panic, and I think by him not panicking it's rubbing off on us. Before we'd go down 14 points early in the game, in the past years the games were over. The games were pretty much over when we'd go down 14 points. Now everyone comes on the sidelines, saying, 'Hey, we're fine. We've got a lot of football left. Make the corrections.' And before we know it, we're back up."

(on how important the 31-yard touchdown pass was) "All we knew was that someone had to make a play. We put the play in, and our objective was for me to distract the safety and get Kevin (Walter) open, but I popped open. And Matt (Schaub) made a great pass. And once we made that pass, I was able to come back and make another play where Jeb (Putzier) made a pick for me and I just rubbed right off of him and ran it to the end zone. Once that happened, we just got to rolling."

(on what he thought when they game was tied at 14) "My rookie year, we played against Carolina, and we knew that when things were going good for them, they were going to play. And when things aren't going good, they just kind of lay back. And once we got up to 14 and tied the game up, we knew that we were rolling and that they didn't feel like they could stop us. Our defense was able to go out and get some key stops for us, and we were able to score some points."

(on if he thought Carolina felt defeated at 17-14) "When we stopped the running ball on them, I was just saying, "Hey, they're kind of giving up.' The guys they have on the defense are great players. It just says a lot about our team that guys are determined to go out and win games. We expect more from each other now."

(on how the knee is) "It was a slant play, and when I caught the ball, right when I caught it, my foot was still planted in the ground when I got hit. I just kind of fell awkward on it. I get a MRI on it in the morning. Right now, they say it's a sprained PCL. That's as much as I know about it right now."

(on if he will miss time next week) "I don't know. All I know right now is that it's a sprain. Hopefully, it'll be feeling good before Sunday.

(on how it feels to deal with an injury after a big win) "It's bad. I'm the type of guys who never really had to deal with injuries much, and to have Indianapolis coming in next week, that's a game you really don't want to miss. But I'm just going to take it one day at a time and do what I need to do to get ready."

QB Matt Schaub

(on being down early in the game) "It was tough for us early. We had some penalties and a turnover over there early, and they jumped on us 14-0, especially on the road, that's a tough mountain to climb. But it was early in the game, and so as an offense we just focused on our next play and how to make that play successful. And we were able to put together a drive and drive down the field and score seven in that next possession. So that was huge for us to cut it in half right there and answer their momentum swing when they scored. That's how we just got back in it."

(on tying the game) "That was huge for us too, for us to get the ball. Our defense put us in a lot of good situations with turnovers and good field position, and we were able to capitalize on it there with a few touchdown drives, and the momentum swung in our favor."
(on if there were any changes to the game plan) "No, we didn't change much because we hurt ourselves those first couple of drives. It was a matter of just sticking with what we were doing, execute it, play mistake free. And that's a big thing on the road - is to not turn the ball over, not have a lot of penalties against yourself. And we hurt ourselves early, so we just cleaned those things up and we were fine."

(on how huge the defense was) "Oh, it was huge. Our defense really stepped up after the first quarter and then they stopped the running game real well. You know, they've got a couple of great backs and they have a great passing attack, too. And they were able to make some keys plays and make some good turnovers for us and put us in a good situation."

(on what he thought of WR Kevin Walter's touchdown) "I tried not to celebrate too much because I realized they were going to challenge it. Once we got the call that it stood, that was really a momentum swing for us, because that put us up by 17 at that point. It gave us a lot of momentum in the second half there, and let our defense go play attacking style."

(on if he and WR Andre Johnson are developing good chemistry) "We are. All throughout our offense, our running game is clicking, and then when Andre (Johnson) can get open, we obviously want to get him the ball first and foremost in the passing game. But we've had other guys who've stepped up and made some plays to take come of the coverages away from him and give him single coverage, and he's just making plays. And the offensive line, it all goes to them, because they're blocking and protecting. And they had a tough challenge today with their front seven, especially their front four, and they stood up to it."

(on how good it feels to finally be the starting quarterback and be 2-0) "It's great for our football team to come into this type of place, their home opener, and come away with a victory. That was a tough opponent we played today, and we were up to the test and we really played well."

(on how he connected on good passes up the middle) "We have a lot of good pass routes and well-designed things to get guys open down the middle. And we were able to find some openings in the zone coverage and we were able to hit them in front of the linebackers."

(on what the win means to him) "It means a lot to be able to go out on the road here week two and beat this type of team and to win. I've been to this stadium a few times being in Atlanta, so I knew the type of environment we were coming into, and we were able to shake off the rust early and come back and play well."

(on how important it was to have the interception overturned) "That was huge. That was a huge momentum swing. I saw it on the field that it kind of went through his hands there. But it would have been unfortunate if it had gone the other way, but we were able to get it back and score some points."

(on how it feels to be 2-0) "I feel like we have a lot of good players and a lot guys stepping up in crucial situations to provide our team with a spark. And that's what it's going to take to win. It's not going to be one guy. It's going to be 53 guys going out and executing their jobs on offense, defense or special teams."

(on if he was looking for FB Vonta Leach) "It was just there, and he was able to get down the flat and make some catches and get us in some good, manageable third down situations with short yardage. So he's a good guy to get in the flat."

(on what he sees in FB Vonta Leach) "He's an athletic guy who can make plays in the passing game. And it's just a matter of looking downfield, if it's not there, getting it to him as fast as possible. Him, Ahman (Green), Ron Dayne, they are guys who can turn and get vertical and make yards for us."

(on apologizing to the defense after the turnover) "It's a team game, and there's no division between offense and defense. In practice or when we going against them in training camp, there is. But when you get out there on the field, it's us and them. Defense is probably the offense's best ally and vice versa. They put us in a lot of great situations with turnovers. We put them in a bad situation there early down in our own end with a fumble, but I was just letting them know, 'I've got your back, and you're going to have mine.'"

(on losing WR Andre Johnson to a knee injury) "It would be a big loss. He's a big part of what we do, but we'll see how it turns out. He'll be back quickly depending on what it is. He's a tough player, but we have guys who can step up and take the heat and play well, so we just have to get them ready to play."

(on turning up the intensity for the Colts) "We have the Super Bowl Champs coming into our house. They're a divisional opponent. They're a great football team across the board. We just have to prepare mentally this week and know our assignments and our game plan and go out and execute it."

(on if he was in a groove in the third quarter) "It was just executing what was in our plan and what we've been doing. You know, there are things that were open and we executed our plays. It's huge on the road to take that first drive in the third quarter after the halftime to get some points and establish yourselves in that half."

*DT Amobi Okoye *

(on the first sack) "The previous play before that, the defensive line we run games and stuff, and I probably didn't do well on it. I missed Mario (Williams). I said, 'I'm going to make it up.' The next play, we had that sack, and it was just a nice feeling. It was a real nice feeling and it was good."

(on DE Mario Williams being more excited than Okoye for the rookie's first sack) "Yeah, everybody said something to me on the whole defensive line. We're a pretty tight, close-knit group and we support each other and are happy for each other when we do good because we know the pressure we're under. But, everybody was happy for me. And I could tell that he was more happy than me."

(on his feelings after getting that sack) "My feelings were like, 'Yes, finally!' It's something I used to do in college, and now I'm doing it in the NFL. So it felt great, and then it's like, it's over now. Let's go get another one. So in the next series I just so happened to get another one."

(on if it was a familiar feeling to get sacks) "Oh, definitely. It's kind of like I went back to my old college days when I used to get two or two and a half a game. So it felt good."

(on the mentality of the defense when the team was down 14 points) "Even me, myself, when we were down 14, coming from the school I came from, we were rarely ever down that much, but at the same time, the whole team had a positive attitude. We were like, 'So what? Just keep on playing, keep your heads up.' We know what our goal is and we just want to show everybody that this is an adversity that we're going to overcome. And pretty much, that's what we did."

(on if things are coming quicker than he thought they would) "Yeah, I finally feel like everything is finally coming into the picture now. I tell you what, we have something special here. We really do have something special. Coming on the road and winning is a real big thing. Not just the defense, the offense and the special teams is a real balanced thing. I just hope we keep on doing things like this. That's what we plan on doing. So watch out, here come the Texans."

(on if he knows how important the Colts game is) "I already know. They already told me what kind of game it is, how it's going to feel. So I'm eager and waiting to see."

(on what DE Mario Williams told him about his rookie season) "He didn't even have to tell me. I could pretty much see what it was like. Being the first overall pick, there's a lot expected from you, not being a first-round pick, but the first overall pick. He knew every game he had to show up. He just told me he went through a lot, and I saw it from everybody's attitude and everything around here. And I'm glad we're finally answering all those questions."

(on if there was a backbreaking moment for the defense) "I think that was from snap one. It just so happens that they scored 14 quick. We knew from the get go, before we came here, that we had a real big shot where he could do it and get it done. And that's pretty much what happened."

(on if there was a point when the Panthers' offensive line started to falter) "No, those guys played to the best of their ability. They came out there. They wanted to win like we did. They wanted to get number two just like we wanted to get number two. They fought hard all the way."

(on getting to be more aggressive because the defense had more time to rest) "Our defense, we were pretty much on the sidelines just relaxing in a sense – not relaxing, but working on what we have to do when go back out there and get called. So they gave us an opportunity to get our breath back in a sense."

CB Dunta Robinson

(on not guarding WR Steve Smith often) "From our film studies he was lined up on the left a lot last week against St. Louis so that was where we thought he was most comfortable and where he would be, but I only got him a few times. hen he was lined up against me they mostly went away, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Steve Smith is one of the top three receivers in the league and this was my first time going up against him, but I enjoyed myself and it was great to be able to go up against him."
(on the interception) "It was a route that we saw all week in practice and [Jake] Delhomme had gone away from it a few times earlier and I knew he was going to come to it eventually. I tried to bait him a little bit and I saw the ball coming, I jumped and I thought I was going to have a touchdown, but Steve Smith made a great play to get the tackle."

(on being back in the Carolinas) "This is my first time back and I didn't know that so many people remembered me. I went to school in South Carolina not North Carolina, but there were a lot of people who remembered me from my [University of] South Carolina days. I had a lot of friends back here so it was good to see them."

(on team looking up) "It feels great coming in here and beating a team like this. One of the most feared teams in the league is the Carolina Panthers and to come in here and beat them like we did, it feels great. We have been practicing hard so we expect to win football games. Even when we got down 14-0, it was all mistakes we made and we just had to fight back and keep our poise and that is what we did."

LB DeMeco Ryans

(on this might be the biggest win in franchise history) "It was definitely a big win for us. We're excited about this win, but we have a lot of work to do next week to get ready for the Colts."

(on the difference in this years team) "We talked about it before the game. We had the mind set that this was going to be a 60 minute game. It's not going to be over in the third quarter, it's going to take all 4 quarters. We kept the faith and we had the confidence to press forward and go out and stop them down on defense."

(on being surprised at how much this team has improved from one year to the next) "No I'm not surprised. The way that we worked in the off-season we could tell that there was a different buzz and a different feeling going around about this team. It just had to happen for us. We had the confidence and a lot more calm in situations where we would have panicked last year. We've certainly matured as a team."

Carolina Panthers
Head coach Jeff King

(on moving forward) "It was a tough loss for us but we have to take it one game at a time and prepare for next week. It takes great preparation; we have to get back to work starting tomorrow. We have to put together a good plan and practice hard this week. I think the best way to get over this is to have a good week and get a win next week."

(on the Steve Smith touchdown late in the game: "He is the ultimate pro and a great competitor. That play kind of got us back in the groove as we tried to make a move there towards the end."

(on if they looked past the Texans defense) "I don't think so, through film study we saw that their front four is playing really well. They have real active linebackers that played well last week. So I don't think that we were under estimating them or looking ahead."

WR Steve Smith

(on making plays at the end) "That's just the situation of the game. You have to be smart and get down, try to get what you can get out of bounds and save the clock."

(on catching the ball after tipping it) "That was just pure luck. I just stayed with the ball, that wasn't anything that I had planned or anything. I can't take credit for that."

(on catching the touchdown after the defense had a hand on him) "We play this game for a reason. Money is not the biggest thing that drives me to play this game. I love playing this game, so when you get an opportunity whether it's first quarter or fourth quarter you make the best of it. You try to play all out every play. I will continue to do that until I'm done playing."

DB Deke Cooper

(on Houston's receivers) "They started out hurting us by throwing to the fullback in the flat. I know he had six or seven catches. It's like they found a way to counteract to everything we were doing. They were running good routes, and had a nice offensive game plan."
(on fan reaction to home opener) "I understand, but you definitely don't want to turn your back on your team. We need them, whether we are winning or losing. It's a hard feeling when you're giving your best out there and the fans kind of turn their backs a little."

(on how to get fans back on board) "We got to win. We want them to stick with us whether we have a bad game or a good one. Sometimes we have bad games, and this is one of those times. But we have to be more steady and consistent."

(on everything going Houston's way) "When it is rains it pours. That's exactly how it felt today. It seemed like everything they tried, it worked. And for some reason everything we tried didn't work. They made plays and we didn't. We started out fast, but kind of fizzled at the end."

T Jordan Gross

(on his performance against Houston defense) "The second quarter and the second half were totally different than the first quarter. We came out and moved the ball on them nice. Then it seemed like we had some protection breakdowns. We couldn't get it going again. We just have to be a lot more consistent, let our backs and Jake do what they do. There are a lot of things we can work at."

(on the disappointment in not getting the run game going like last week) "Yeah, I know we can do it, we proved it. It is just a matter of getting it done. They were a good defensive front, but they didn't do anything we didn't think they would. We just got to be ready to play."

(how they were successful early in the game) "We had the right attitude and got the momentum going. We stayed out of third and long, which we seemed to be in a lot after the first drive. We made some plays. There really is no secret to what happened, they just outplayed us today."

CB Ken Lucas

(on the defense making mistakes) "You can't make as many mistakes as we made today and expect to win. Especially on this level, everybody has the same amount of talent, and if you make mistakes then the other team will capitalize off of them. We did a very poor job of executing in every phase of the game today."

(on the play of Andre Johnson) "Well we knew, coming into this game that they like to use Andre Johnson like we use Steve Smith. Moving him around, lining him up on linebackers letting him work off of that. We called a lot of man at times but they lined up in splits that didn't allow us to press up. They did a great job of moving him around to where we didn't know where he was. It allowed him to get open and get free without any type of jam at the line of scrimmage."

(on the overturned interception) "I thought I had it, when the ball was coming in the air. By him pulling my shoulder pads a little bit it kind of threw me off somewhat and made me bobble the ball a bit. I guess it hit the ground when I was trying grasp it a second time. But you have to make those plays at this level right here and most of the time when you don't make them it comes back to bite you in the tail. They ended up scoring a touchdown off of that drive."

(on moving forward) "Well it was a very humbling experience. The only thing we can do is look at the film learn from it and move forward. There is nothing we can do to change the outcome of this game. But just learn from our mistakes and get ready for Atlanta."

CB Richard Marshall

(on today's play) "We didn't show up. I mean that's all there is to it, we just didn't show up. We had some plays we could have made that we didn't make and as a defense we didn't play hard like we did last week. We had to watch them come in and correct our mistakes and be ready to play the next game."

(on what happened on onside kick with Na'il Diggs) "We were both trying to make a play on the ball and we just kind of bumped each other and the ball went out of bounds."

(on if Houston did anything unexpected) "Honestly, no. We watched films and they did everything we saw on the films. We just didn't come in ready to play. It seemed like Houston wanted it more than us. We've got to come in and want it more than the next team."

DE Mike Rucker
* *(on a breakdown in today's game) "When you get up fourteen nothing, in this league, you got to put them away. And that is why there is a lesson to be learned.You can't be up fourteen nothing like that and let them go 31 unanswered. They had good looks and turnovers, and we just didn't play well today."

(on the secondary's performance) "They were sending the ball fast and wanting to get the ball into the receiver's hands so they can make the plays. What would happen is we would get them third down and they would dump something and get a first down. Between them moving the ball, scoring and us turning the ball over, those two don't mix well."

(on how the two scores in 14 seconds in the third quarter took them out of the game) "In this game, just like we went up fourteen nothing, they went up. You've got to answer back. This is a heavy weight fight. It's twelve rounds and you can't stop till the match is over. We might have knocked them down early, but they came back and knocked us out. You've got to get back up, and be able to fight all twelve rounds. They got the best of us."

*LB Dan Morgan *
* *(on today's play) "The momentum changed and we never got it back. They just kept running the ball, passing the ball, we had turnovers. It seemed like anything that could go wrong went wrong."

(on why QB Matt Schaub so effective) "Pretty much just your basic stuff. Throwing quick outs, fullbacks to the flat, it wasn't anything crazy. We were just that ineffective."

(on how will the defense prepare for next week) "It's one loss. We lost this one. We got beat up and you've got to take it like a man and move on to next week. There's fourteen more weeks to the season and you can't get all the way down. We've obviously learned from it and don't let this happen again. I think we'll be fine."


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