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Texans Quotes: December 24


Interim Head Coach Wade Phillips**
(opening statement) "We had a walkthrough practice basically. Two days after a game, physically, didn't want to tax them too much. Mentally, we had good focus. I thought the guys were into practice. Again, we demanded that this practice because so many different things are going on. It's going to take that the rest of the week when we come back on Thursday to play well. It's really going to take a lot of concentration and make sure we're focused as a team. We expect to do that."

(on the running back situation) "Jonathan Grimes is our starter right now. DJ's (Dennis Johnson) questionable. We didn't do much today, but DJ couldn't go at all today. So that's where we are as far as running backs are concerned."

(on how QB Case Keenum looked today with his thumb injury) "Well, it was a walkthrough today. We actually alternated the two quarterbacks, but it was a walkthrough and they really weren't throwing the ball that much today."

(on if there still is no decision about who will start at quarterback this week) "I think Thursday, when we start throwing the ball around and see how Case (Keenum) is, and see how he is on Friday after throwing the ball a lot on Thursday, we'll get a better idea."

(on if QB T.J. Yates is an option to start this week) "Not right now. Both of the other guys have played a whole lot and I think, going into the last game, they gave us the best opportunity. It just would be hard for T.J. to come in after not playing any the whole year."

(on how impressed he is with what WR Andre Johnson has done this year) "Yeah, it's amazing. Andre is just the consummate pro. He's always positive. He's always making plays. It's tremendous the number of plays he's made, over 100 catches five years. That just says so much about him. And if you know him as a person, he's even better."

RB Jonathan Grimes
(on how it feels to be named the starting running back) "It's cool. It's another opportunity and I'm just going to try to give my best on the field."

(on how difficult it is to step in in a situation like this where he hasn't had that much time to prepare) "Every week, you have a week for a game and, like I said, every week, you prepare like a starter. It's not much different for me mentally."

(on how his first NFL start as a running back strikes him) "It's just another opportunity. I'm not trying to buy into too much. I'm just trying to do my best."

WR Andre Johnson
(on how difficult it will be to try to win with all the injuries) "Every time we've played against the Titans it was always tough. It was always a hard-fought game between both teams. Normally comes down to the end of the game. The guys that we have here; most of the guys have been in our system. They're familiar with it. You just have to fight through it. Injuries happen. You just have to keep moving forward. Everybody has to step their level up play up. Pick up the slack. You go out there and just make plays. Try to win the game."

(on dealing with this season mentally and staying strong and knowing that things can turn around) "Just going through this is mentally frustrating. Just not for me, but for everybody; especially after going through a season like you had the past two seasons, and going to the playoffs, and everything seems like it's going forward, and then you take five, six, seven steps back. It's frustrating for everybody. Nobody wants to be in this position, but we made our bed so we have to lay in it, and hopefully we can get a win Sunday, and we don't have to deal with this losing streak the whole offseason."

(on if he feels like the window to win a Super Bowl here is shrinking) "I think if you just look around the league and you just look at different teams; you can make moves and put yourself into contention. There are going to be some decisions made this offseason with the new coach and everything like that. Hopefully, as an organization, we'll make some moves to put us in contention where we can go out and compete to hopefully win that Super Bowl."

ILB Joe Mays
(on his all-time favorite Christmas gift) "Man that's a tough one. I had a ton of great Christmas gifts. When I was younger I got a package of G.I. Joe figurines, so I thought that was pretty cool, because I was real big into them when I was a little younger."

(on if they're still around) "Absolutely not. Those are long gone. I lost those a long time ago."

(on what he's hoping for this year) "You know what I'm not really wishing or hoping for anything. The best thing for me right now is to continue to be healthy, happiness for me and my family, and for everyone that's a round me."

(on his Christmas wish for the fans) "We need to get y'all a win. I think that would be for both us and for y'all. I think that's the best thing we can do for y'all."

(on putting the season behind him) "It's be kind of tough to put it behind me, because for one it's probably the worst season I've had, but it's also a learning experience. Not a lot of people get a chance to go through this, and I think this makes guys a little bit; it makes us grow a little bit more. It makes us realize the things that we're doing wrong; some things that we're doing right. It's going to make us better in the long run."

NT Earl Mitchell
(on his favorite Christmas gift of all time) "My favorite of all time? I was really big into Hot Wheels when I was a kid so every year I probably got one of those. I used to just go to my grandma's house and play on my little track. That was probably my favorite."

(on his Christmas wish for the fans) "Just have faith in the team. It's definitely been a rough season, but I definitely want to wish them all a merry Christmas, and I want to thank them for supporting us, and just that I really appreciate the support that they've given us."

(on how much a win to finish the season will change the way they feel) "It'll definitely end it on a good note. Some type of positive aspect going into the future will definitely benefit us. Any type of positivity will definitely be good."

(on if he will use this season as motivation for next year or if he will just want to get it out of his mind) "It's tough, but times like these honestly help me out. It's a place that you never want to be, and it will definitely sit in the back of your mind. You know that this is a place you never want to be in again, and it's going to definitely push me to not want to be in the same place that we put ourselves in this season."

DE J.J. Watt
(on the challenges of Tennessee's offense) "They're a good football team. They're running the ball pretty well. Last game, they were very effective with both running backs running the ball. (Ryan) Fitzpatrick can move around back there. They're a good team."

(on if the last game of the season is bittersweet) "I just want to win. I don't have any feelings. I just want to win."

(on if there is a sense that players just want to get through this game and get the season over with) "No. Obviously, it would be extremely easy to do that, but we're trying to win a game. You want to go out with a win. We want to get a win period. But no, that's one thing that that the guys in this locker room, I can definitely say all year long, nobody's ever given up. Nobody's ever laid down and said, 'We're just going to ride it out.' Guys come to work and guys put in the effort to try and win."

(on how much a win would help change things going into the offseason) "It's going to be frustrating regardless. One win in the final game isn't going to make everything OK, but we definitely would like to get this win headed into the offseason, at least end it on a positive note."

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