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Texans Quotes: December 13


Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips**
(opening statement) "Practice, I thought, went well. We were real focused, a lot of energy in practice. They're getting ready to play. I like the vibe from our team as far as that's concerned. As far as injuries, Garrett Graham did not practice again today. He will be a game-time decision. Garrett was in the huddle every play. He knows what to do. I think he could play if he's ready to play. Physically, we would play him. It's not a situation where, if he didn't practice at all, he couldn't play. That's the situation with him. Everybody else is expected to play."

(on if he used to use multiple tight ends or wide receivers more when he was a head coach) "Depended on what we had. If you got real good receivers, use more of them. If you've got real good tight ends, use those. It's just like we do on defense. I think you utilize the players you have and see what they can do. You analyze your team and say, 'Hey, this is our strength. This guy's a really good player; we have to get him into the game,' those kinds of things."

(on if it'll be hard for him to let Vance Joseph call plays that he might not and bite his lip) "No, I think we talk about the gameplan and we don't go off the gameplan. I don't call something that we don't have or hadn't discussed about being a good call in certain situations or against certain personnel. It's not set in stone what you call every play, but it's something that I think is structured enough that we'll certainly be on the same page that this call or that call is pretty close as far as situations."

(on what the team did to shut down Andrew Luck in the first half of the last meeting between the teams) "Well, we did like our team's done this year I think, we played really well in spurts then we've given up a big play or not made the play. That's kind of how we've been, hit or miss as far as that's concerned. I thought we played real well some of the time and we didn't other times this year."

(on if this team could improve very quickly for next season) "Sure. I believe in the guys, certainly believe in the guys that are here as far as players concerned, plus the organization like you said. Plus Rick (Smith) is strong as far as personnel. We've picked up some guys I think have helped us this year that were on the street. I like our personnel people. I like our personnel on our team. But I don't like our record."

(on Ryan Griffin's development) "Ryan, again, he may have developed real quickly here if he's playing or starting or really playing the whole game. But I think he's done well. Again, he was a later draft choice. Again, I think they did a good job of picking a guy that could fit in real well with what we like to do offensively and especially our right end."

(on his message to the team this week for the final three games) "Well, there are a lot of messages. First of all, I think you want to not make many mistakes. That's the first thing. We don't want to have penalties. We don't want to have a lot of mistakes. We still emphasize those kinds of things. But I think it's just high energy at this point of the season. You lost 11 games in a row (and) how's your attitude going to be? How's your enthusiasm going to be? How's that going to be? Well, we've got to generate that and that's part of the message."

(on if he's given a message to boost morale) "Well, I think so. I mean, that's what you do coaching-wise is try to emphasize things that you think are important and that fits your team, and fits the team that you have at that time, because all teams are different. That is the good thing about being experienced as a head coach. I've coached different teams different ways and sometimes you have to get on them real hard. Other teams, they need to be more relaxed. There are different types of situations."

(on how he's learned to manage his hours given the health of Gary Kubiak and John Fox this season) "Yeah, I'm a workout guy (joking). Well, I've been in it a long time, I guess. When I was with the Oilers and we thought we were successful and I thought I was a really good coach because we were winning a lot of games, then we got fired. Then, I realized it's somebody else's decision on those kind of things. You've just got to work as hard as you can, do your job as well as you can do it and go from there. I've said it before, they fire good coaches too, and I found that out earlier. At least I thought I was a good coach and then later on I found out two of the guys I was coaching went in the Hall of Fame, and actually I might not have been a great coach to start with."

(on what some of the changes are that he hopes to see on special teams on Sunday) "I want us to be solid on special teams, but I think we have an opportunity to make plays on special teams. It's like offense and defense. It's about making plays and we need to make plays, but we have the capabilities of doing those in our return game. In our coverage we need to cause a fumble. We need to do some things that we haven't done, but I have confidence that we're going to try to do that."

(on Antonio Smith's season) "You know, I think you get caught up certainly with J.J. (Watt) or Antonio, or anybody on defense when you lose as many games as we did. But there are certain guys that are playing well and he's played well this year. He's obviously a good player. He's given us the things that we had when we won all those games."

(on if he's disappointed that the outside linebackers haven't had as many sacks in the last two seasons)
"No, I've had different guys at different times. We're still, I don't know where we are now, but we're probably still in the top-10 as far as sacks per pass, so that's kind of what you look at is how much rush you're getting from everybody. You'd like everybody to be DeMarcus Ware or Ricky Jackson, or Bryce Paup, guys that have led the league that I've coached. But I think we've got some young guys that are good players and we try to utilize what they can do well and I don't know where Whit (Whitney Mercilus) is, he's probably at six or seven (sacks). We don't rush the Sam backer as much this year because we're not getting as much out of that. It's all team-wise. It's really not those guys individually. But yeah, you'd like a guy to be the leader in sacks at an outside backer, but that isn't always the case."

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