HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN**
"Ok so after reviewing the film, nothing changed from what I said after the game last night. It was a bad night for the Houston Texans, give all the credit to the New England Patriots. We're turning the page. We're on to the Colts. It's a big game for obviously both teams. We've already started working on these guys, and our players are very focused on the Indianapolis Colts. As far as injuries last night, we have the normal bumps and bruises, most significant one would be Brian Hoyer. Suffered a concussion at the end of the game and he in the concussion protocol as we speak. With that, I'll open it up to questions."
Is there some short-term and long-term concern about QB Brian Hoyer after his second concussion this season?
"Well first I'll tell you, there's nothing more important than the health and safety of every player in that locker room. I think that's paramount. That's number one, and as far as those things go, I think obviously it's too early to tell. Obviously whenever you suffer a concussion like that, multiple concussions within a five or six-week span, obviously the player himself is concerned about that. Nobody is more concerned than I am because of my relationship with Brian and his family. I think that the Houston Texans will always do what's best for the player."
Is QB Brian Hoyer's status for Sunday up in the air?
"Yeah, I would say right now it's up in the air. I would say it'd be doubtful that he would play in the game on Sunday."
Have you seen QB T.J. Yates grow in the last few weeks since he's been here?
"Yes, he's a smart guy, he works very hard at it. He prepares like he is the starter. In a situation like this which is, you know it's not the easiest of situations, but that's what happens this time of the year. Injuries occur, every team has injuries. I think we have a good guy there to step in because he's a pro and he's got really good poise. He's a bright guy, told the team that today. I told the offense that too. We have a lot of confidence in T.J."
It looked like before QB Brian Hoyer got the concussion, trainers were working with him on the sideline. What else was he dealing with?
"It wasn't just a concussion. I think he strained his neck. He had a wrist problem. He took a beating last night. I think they were checking him out for all various injuries."
Are you concerned about the play of the offensive line since he did get hit so many times yesterday?
"I think everybody is involved in that, I really do. Look, I think we all have to do better. I think I have to do a better job of helping those guys out with better schemes. I think they have to play better, they know that. I think that the backs and the tight ends are involved in protecting the quarterback too. The receivers are involved in getting open better, things like that. Give the credit to the Patriots. They did a great job of covering us and pressuring the quarterback, but we all have to do a better job this week."
How is ILB Brian Cushing?
"He's banged up, but I think he'll be ready to go next Sunday."
What was the nature of what ILB Brian Cushing dealt with?
"I think it's just a lower extremity deal, not sure exactly what it is. It's not a major injury. What I'm saying is everybody is banged up this time of the year."
WR DeAndre Hopkins echoed some of the things you said last night. What are your thoughts on getting him more involved?
"Look, we try to get him involved every week. I think there's a two-fold deal there. We can do a better job. He can do a better job. I think other guys have to step up and make plays and right now people are doubling him quite a bit. That's just the way it goes when you're an elite receiver and I think he understands that. Look, we're all going to work really hard to get DeAndre the ball. We're not crazy, we're not trying to not throw him the football. We all have to work together on it."
When you first got here you said you have no interest in the past. Does that still hold true about this team never having won in Indianapolis?
"Yeah, I don't care about that. I understand that you guys, that's part of your job, but we're playing the 2015 Indianapolis Colts for the second time this year. I don't think any of that matters, I really don't.
OLB Jadeveon Clowney said after the game he was disappointed about the loss but happy to get it going with his own game. How encouraged are you by his progress?
"He played well, he played well. Give him a lot of credit, he played hard. He can play even better. There were plays out there that he'd be probably the first one to tell you that he missed, that he broke free in the backfield and didn't make the play, but overall he played a good football game and we need him to play well, especially down the stretch here. He's a big part of what we're doing."
Do you have concerns about the tackling digressing in this last game?
"Well we have to focus defensively on all of the little things and offensively too. On defense we have to focus on tackling, tackling technique, go back to the fundamentals. We have to focus on communication. Look, at the end of the day, I think our defense played hard, made a lot of good plays in the game. Offensively, we didn't move the ball. When you don't crack 200 yards of offense, you're putting your defense in a bind. I'm not going to stand up here and analyze the defense. I think everybody can do better. But I thought the defense played real hard last night.
You haven't had a lot of success with the wildcat offense. What is the thinking behind continuing to stick with it?
"It is just a wrinkle to try to run the football. Look, last night it didn't work out well. Give the Patriots credit, they had a good plan for it. Whether we use it moving forward here is really just how we study the Colts to see if we can apply some of that to what the Colts do. Maybe we do, maybe we don't, but I think it's more of, again, like I've said about pretty much everything else, everyone being in it together to try and improve that part of our offense if we can. If we're going to use it, then we have to improve it."
For DE J.J. Watt, it is about the gripping issue and the pain of the hand injury. Do you think that he will be able to get more adjusted to playing with the cast?
"Yeah, there are two parts to the answer of that question. First, one thing that I will say is that he will get more and more adjusted to having that club on his hand, without the use of his fingers. That is the type of athlete he is, that is the type of worker that he is. He is just a great player. But I think the other thing too is to look at, when you watch him play, it's not all about the stats. He put a lot of heat on (Tom) Brady. He did a lot of things in the running game to help stop the run. Even though he may not have been the one making the tackle, he was very disruptive, along with (Jadeveon) Clowney, along with some other guys in there, so he still is his disruptive self. Just because it doesn't always show up on the stats sheet doesn't mean he didn't have a good game. I thought that he played a whale of a game."
RB ALFRED BLUE
When did you find out that you weren't going to start last night?
"At the game, when the game kicked off."
How do you handle not starting?
"I mean it is a back-by-committee, anyways, so you just have to wait until your number is called and opportunity and just stay patient back there."
What is the mood like in the locker room?
"It is kind of real quiet, serious in the locker room right now knowing that we have to go up there and get this win to get to the playoffs, one step to the playoffs."
How concerned are you about QB Brian Hoyer's health?
"It is a big concern for us. He is the leader of the offense, a big leader on the team, so we hope he will be ready to play on Sunday."
OLB WHITNEY MERCILUS
What is the mood of this team right now?
"Of course we are pissed off and all that. We haven't played the way that we have wanted to play, especially like last night and the week before. Just critical situations, yesterday, we didn't play as a complete team, playing complementary football as we usually do. That is one of the biggest things, so pretty much just pissed off."
What are your thoughts on playing up in Indianapolis in basically a do-or-die situation?
"We will get to the drawing board on Wednesday, prepare for Indy. That's the thing, we have to go up there and just win this thing out. That's it. That's the mentality we have right now, just give us a shot at getting to the playoffs."
Is there any different approach when you know what is riding on the game this week?
"I wouldn't say there is a difference. We do what we do day-in, week-in and week-out. We are emphasizing practicing hard, practicing smart, fast and, definitely, trying to go in there and get a W."
QB T.J. YATES
With QB Brian Hoyer possibly being out, how do you prepare, mentally, for this week knowing you could play?
"I am just going to prepare like I do every single week and just get ready to play if that needs to be. I hope Brian is okay. I hope he is doing alright, but I'll be ready to play."
If you do have to play, will it be easier since you have been here for a little while now?
"Yeah, it definitely will be a lot easier. More comfortable with the offense, more comfortable with the operation, the guys I will be throwing to and everything. Everything is just another month ahead."
What do you remember about the start that you had in Indianapolis in 2011?
"It didn't go as planned. We didn't play well that game. It's a different team now, different team up there. A lot of things are different, but it is still the same goal; we are trying to go up there and win in a place that we have never won before."
What similarities can you take from your previous start up there to today?
"Just knowing, going up there before, played there before, started there, it's not a new territory that I have never been, but so many things are going to be different. The situation is still kind of the same for what's on the line. We have to go up there and win, that's the number one goal, that's the only thing that matters right now."
What do you know about the Colts defensively?
"I flew through the game we played against them earlier in the year, when I wasn't here, just checking out their defensive personnel, just kind of seeing what their front is and what kind of coverages they play. I haven't really gotten much into it at all, but just kind of getting familiar with them."
What is it like to play there in Indianapolis?
"It can get pretty loud, especially on third downs. They definitely have a good home crowd and good atmosphere. When they are on offense, they are pretty much silent, so they have a good home crowd and it is going to be a good task for us."