Texans Quotes: August 24


T Duane Brown**
(on QB Brian Hoyer being named the starting quarterback) "I was excited. I think Hoyer has done an incredible job coming in. He's pretty familiar with the offense, but just coming in and working very hard to learn it as much as possible. He wasn't with us last year. He's done a great job of making plays, taking control of the offense, being a field general and protecting the football, and that's all you can ask for. He's a great guy to have in the locker room, so I'm looking forward to blocking for him."

(on how much it helps to know who the starting quarterback is going into preseason game 3) "It's good to know. We didn't think about it too much. As an offensive lineman, your job is to block whoever is back there, you're doing the same thing pretty much every time, but it's good to know. Just to start to create more camaraderie with him and kind of being able to get in sync with him so we can all see out of the same set of eyes. If he sees something, if we see something, we communicate with him going forward. It's good to know now."

(on how much chemistry he can develop with QB Brian Hoyer now that he will have all these reps) "A great amount, great amount, I can really get a feel for where he'll be on certain drops. If it's a five-step drop, his drop might be a little different from (Ryan) Mallett's, so being able to see that over and over again so I can get kind of comfortable with my depth perception, things like that, that's about it, that's about the only thing you can think about."

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on what he likes about QB Brian Hoyer) "He brings leadership to the table. He's been in this position before as a starting QB. He knows what it's like to have this pressure on him, if you say so. I think he brings a lot of aspects to this team and to this offense."

(on QB Brian Hoyer's arm strength and other important quarterback qualities) "I think he's in the NFL, so all those things I think he measures up nice to. I mean, I don't question anything about him, about his arm strength or about his ability to make plays. Just watching film on him in Cleveland and I want to say he had a ball about 70 yards that he threw, or maybe it was close to 80 yards, so you know his arm strength isn't a question. He's been in this offense since he's been in the NFL, besides Cleveland, so if anyone can run this offense, he can."

(on if they'll be better now that QB Brian Hoyer will be getting more reps) "Yeah for sure, practice makes perfect, you know, and perfect practice. That helps out a lot, too, but just having the chance to be able to run my routes with him is going to help out a lot."

(on if he can tell QB Brian Hoyer is comfortable in the system) "Yes, since day one he's been comfortable. Since I got here and since he got here as well, he's been helping the young guys out and me also. Just talking and communicating with us, not just on the practice filed but in the locker room and going over things he sees that we need to work on and things that he needs to work on. That's coming from somebody that's been in this offense for four years and you can tell the way he handles himself out there on the field with composure."

QB Brian Hoyer
(on if he plays with a knee brace) "Yes. I'm surprised that was the first question I got in here. This is actually a new brace that they had when I got here and it actually feels great."

(on being named the Texans starting quarterback) "Obviously, excited. It's been a lot of hard work that goes into this. I think both Ryan (Mallett) and I both competed very hard. Obviously, a sense of excitement, a sense of accomplishment, I guess you would say, and realizing that it's just the beginning. Me being named the starter today doesn't meant that anything's going to be given to me. I have to go out and earn it every day. It's an honor and privilege to be able to do that. From here on out, I've got to go out and prove to my teammates, prove to everyone in this organization that I can be a winning starting quarterback for this team."

(on if he thinks his consistency is one of his strengths) "Yeah, well I think when I talked to you guys after every practice, whether it was OTAs, minicamp, training camp, it was always come out and get better every day. I think that's what – when you talk about consistency, it's not always easy. It's going through the grind of training camp. Not everything is always perfect, but you always want to come back, bounce back and try to get better each day. I think that's kind of the consistency part to it."

(on how this changes things for him going forward) "Not really. My mentality is to come out and prepare every day like I'm the starting quarterback. I've always looked at it that way even when I was fourth on the depth chart in New England. I think that's the only way you can really look at it when you play this position. Whether you're getting reps or not, you're taking them mentally. You're always into the practice, into the game, going over the situation. I think, for me, it doesn't really change much. I've been a starting quarterback before. I know what goes into it. I know especially what goes into it in this system, how much is demanded from this position. I'm ready to give everything I have to do what it takes to help this team win."

(on how much his career path helped mold him into the player he is today) "I think you have to deal adversity. For me, whether it was not getting drafted or getting cut or tearing my ACL, I've been through a lot. I think when you go through those things, it allows you to appreciate coming out here every day and playing this game. I never take it for granted. I know how fortunate I am to be in the position that I'm in. Just go out there and give everything I have and try to be the best quarterback on a daily basis. Now, it's not always going to be perfect. I think that's just the way this league is, but the goal is to go out there and strive to be perfect and try to do the best. So for me to be standing here in front of you guys with this opportunity, I don't want to let it get away. I want to take advantage of it and do the best with it."

(on if it feels like a weight off his shoulders to be named the starting quarterback) "I think if anything it gives you direction. Now, heading into the third week of the preseason, where you're kind of getting more into a regular season mode, granted we're still in training camp a little bit. To prepare as a starter, to go through and now do some game planning a little bit, not to the extent that we'll do in the regular season, it's good to be able to have that direction and be able to go in that direction for the third preseason game."

(on if he thinks he was better last year after being named the starter in Cleveland) "Not really. I think it kind of went along with getting those extra reps, getting the game planning. I know how I felt about the situation this year. To me, no offense to any of you guys, I've said this when I've been through this situation before, you block out all the noise, you block out the media, you block out the social media, whatever it might be. You just focus on your job that day and getting better. To me, I really didn't allow it to get to me. I came out every day, prepared like I was going to be the starter, whether I knew I was going to be or not. I didn't know this morning until about 7:55. It's good to now know where I stand and go forward and try to be the best quarterback I can for this team."

(on if he found out about starting with QB Ryan Mallett) "We were all together. For me, obviously, excitement. I know as I was sitting there listening to it, I was prepared for the other option, too. You kind of run through all those things in your head. So, obviously, like I said, we both competed very hard. I'm fortunate to be named the starting quarterback, but that doesn't mean, like I said, that doesn't mean much. You got to go out and earn it. This league is about winning, so I know that. I experienced it before. You got to go out and win. When you win, that takes care of everything else."

(on if he has spoken to QB Ryan Mallett) "Yeah, we've talked. I mean, it kind of happened really fast. It was right before the team meeting. We got in the team meetings and we've been kind of going all day, so like I said, we both competed very hard. I think we pushed each other. It made us both better quarterbacks."

(on how his previous quarterback battles prepared him for this year) "I think the experience of actually getting to play in games. I never really had that up until really two years ago when I got hurt. Then to come into last season, be a starting quarterback, prepare, go through all those things, it's good to learn on the job really and to experience those things. For me, I think I know what it takes. I know how hard it is to play this position in this league. It takes really everything you have physically, mentally, emotionally. So I know that going in. I'm going to give it all I have in those three areas to help this team win."

(on how much better chemistry he can develop with more repetitions) "Hopefully, we keep going in the right direction. I talked to you guys all training camp long. It was good for us to get work because you never know when someone gets injured, you never know when someone has to come out for a play. You want to get work with everybody, but I think now, going forward, you get the continuity of the entire offensive line, skill players, quarterback, and everything. You keep narrowing it down and really doing that. Really, you never know what's going to happen. Whether it's the fifth receiver or the third running back or the second tackle, whoever it is, everybody's got to be able to step up and fill in a spot. I think it's good to go out there and practice with everybody out there."

(on what he learned last year in Cleveland) "I think there's ups, there's down, there's adversity. You have to overcome those things. You have to be mentally tough. Like I said, the idea is to go out and strive for perfection. But in this league, that's a pretty hard thing to do. You've got to realize that there's going to be some bumps, there's going to be some highs, some lows. You've got to really kind of stay steady and ride through it."

(on if Head Coach Bill O'Brien told the quarterbacks who was starting all together) "We were all together."

(on what Head Coach Bill O'Brien said when he told the quarterbacks who was starting) "He said, I'm going to name Brian the starter. That doesn't mean anything. You got to go out and earn it every day. Ryan has got to stay ready to play. They played four quarterbacks last year. For me, the whole competition, like I said, it pushed us to be better. I think we both competed very hard. I know that, just because I'm named the started today, that doesn't mean if we go out there and lose a bunch of games that I'm going to still be the starter. You've got to go out and earn it every day. I think for me, the biggest thing being the new guy in the organization, I want to go out there and earn the respect of my teammates. I think the only way you really do that is by winning football games."

(on if he hopes this is where he will start for the rest of his career) "Yeah, that would be great. It would. But I think, like I said for me, you got to go out and prove it on a daily basis. To me, that's the way I look at it. Like I said, my mentality doesn't really change. I really got to focus on what I need to do to do this job the best I can and come out and do that on a daily basis. You talk about the consistency, that's coming out and doing it every single day from now through January, February, whenever that is. It's a long season. That's why I say it takes a lot, not only physically but mentally and emotionally, too. You have to put a lot into it."

(on if he wonders what it would be like to be entrenched as a starting quarterback) "Not really. I don't have a lot of time to think about it. I think the competition definitely pushes you to be better, no doubt. But obviously, a lot of quarterbacks are great when they're not pushed and they're entrenched, too. For me, it's all I've really ever known in this league. So, I just try to go out there and be the best quarterback I can every day. If that means I'm competing with someone, that means I push myself that much harder."

(on how much pressure he feels with RB Arian Foster out and new wide receivers) "I think there's pressure with anybody who comes into the NFL, but I think, especially the quarterback position and I talked about this when Arian went down. We all have to step up. Obviously, he's a huge piece to this offense. But really, not to get off the football topic here, but when I go back and I look at my entire career, look you talk about pressure, I think when the day is said and done, pressure is someone's working 40, 45 hours a week, living pay check to pay check to feed a family of four, you know what I mean? That's real pressure. I mean, us getting a chance to play in the NFL, yeah sure there's pressure. I want to go out there and perform. I don't want to ever go out there and lose a game. I want to go out there and perform to the best of my ability. I never want to go out and embarrass myself. But when the day is said and done, it's a privilege to be here and the pressure – it's a game and we're going out there to win. But real pressure is people who are dealing with real life scenarios. So for me, I try to go out there and have fun and enjoy it. Like I said, always with the intent to win the game."

(on his confidence as the starter and how he manages to not look over his shoulder) "I think you just go out and try to execute the best you can. For me, you really just kind of focus in on the task at hand, whatever that might be. Obviously, being a quarterback, that entails a lot. Leadership, command, being sharp in the huddle, obviously executing the play. It demands a lot. But I have a lot of confidence in myself. I've always kind of had that chip on my shoulder. I've been doubted my entire career, whether it was not getting drafted, cut, hurt, whatever it might be. I think that's a little extra driving force. I think that will always stay with me. I think even to this day, I always remember getting cut. It's always like, well it could always happen, you never know. I think for me that drives me every day. To have that chip on my shoulder, I think it gives me even more motivation then I already needed."

(on if his goal is to have a 60 percent completion percentage) "I don't know if I'd put an actual number on it. You obviously want to complete passes, that's the object of the game. I think in this offense, it allows for us to – were taught coverage, read the play out, so not only is it just throwing the football. I think a lot of people think that accuracy is me throwing it to you. I guarantee you I'd hit you right in the face 10 times out of 10. A lot of it has to do with progressions, going through the read, throwing it to the right guy. I think our coaches do a great job in this offense of setting us up for success when it comes to that. Whether it's the play calls, teaching us how a defense is run, and those types of things. It will definitely help me out."

WR Cecil Shorts III
(on his thoughts on QB Brian Hoyer being named the starting quarterback) "Well, honestly, I was kind of disappointed on everything, just because if you look at the stats, I have a perfect passer rating. I'm 2-2 in the NFL. I can at least get a couple reps at practice here and there. No, I'm just playing. OB (Bill O'Brien) and them, we trust the coaching staff, both guys busted their butt all offseason, and that's all up to them."

(on what QB Brian Hoyer brings to the table as a leader and a quarterback) "He's outstanding. He's the leader of the huddle, he knows the offense like the back of his hand. If we have any questions out there, he tells us what to do and the right direction. He's just awesome out there. He's a true leader, on and off the field, and it's going to be fun working with him."

(on what the biggest difference was between QB Brian Hoyer and QB Ryan Mallett going through camp) "You know both guys, like I said, they both do a good job in the huddle, outside the huddle. They both made numerous plays throughout training camp, throughout OTAs, going back to veteran mini-camp, they both did a great job. So they both knew the offense pretty well, they both came from the same system in New England. So that's past my pay grade to talk about that."

(on what it's like now that QB Brian Hoyer has been named the starter) "It's kind of the same as it was before. It wasn't like a big change here or there, he made the announcement and then we went business as usual."

(on his touchdown play against San Francisco) "Pass was a little high, I'm just playing. The offensive line did a great job first. Those guys stood and gave Brian (Hoyer) all day back there, because when you look at the film, he checked to the right first and then came back to me. He made a great read, so that was all offensive line and Brian and the other receivers doing the routes they're supposed to be doing."

WR Nate Washington
(on QB Brian Hoyer) "Very underrated guy in the NFL. He takes his teaching well. He's a guy that can convert the lessons in the classroom to the field, and that's major when you get in that guy in that position to be able to do that. Everything that we learned in the coaching sessions and in our film sessions, he's able to carry over. So it'll be huge for us."

(on the biggest difference between former Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and current Texans QB Brian Hoyer) "Well Fitzpatrick is a quick shooter. He wanted to get the ball out of his hands right now, whereas Hoyer does a little more reading and a little more observing. I think he's a little more thorough through his reading from side to side of the whole offense, whereas Fitzpatrick at times may have wanted to just take that matchup and exploit that matchup and get the ball out of his hands a little quicker."

(on what he's seen from QB Brian Hoyer as far as leadership) "He's very tightknit with the huddle. He makes sure the huddles always in place, making sure he's gaining full attention from the huddle and itself. Any mishaps that we may have had throughout practice or throughout a game or any misunderstandings that we may have had at that time, he makes sure we talk about it on the sidelines, makes sure that we're always getting right and getting things together. I think it's very important to understand that he has a huge job. His job in itself is to direct the whole offense, whether it be a lineman, a receiver, a running back or a tight end, so a lot of times his job can become a lot more detailing for him than it would be for us, just to go out and do our jobs in itself. He's been communicating very well, and been doing an awesome job of making sure we're all on the same page."

(on if there's any awkwardness with QB Ryan Mallett) "I can't speak for him personally, but for the crew in itself, I think the attitude has to be that we have two starting quarterbacks. Anything can happen in this league, I've been around this league for 10 years now. You go through a season a lot of times with a guy that you may consider your number one, and you never know what happens. So it's important that we stay on page with both of those guys. Of course the emphasis will definitely shift towards Brian (Hoyer) a little bit, being that he is nominated as the starter, and the solid guy that will be in, but you never know what'll happen. So it's important that we're on the same page with the system, doing what the coaching staff asks of us and carrying out our assignments. I think it's a very good system. I think we will all have an opportunity to make some plays, whether it be the guy catching the ball or the guy throwing it. It's just very important that we're all on the same opportunities and same page as each other making sure we're all doing the things that are expected of us."

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