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Texans Quotes: December 4

Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(opening statement) "Just before we get going here, I just wanted to take a second here and wish the University of Houston luck in their championship game tomorrow against Temple. (University of Houston Head Football Coach) Tom Herman has done a great job over there. I actually was honored to speak at their clinic last year and had a great time over there. He has done an unbelievable job, 11-win season, possibly their 12th win tomorrow. I know (Texans Linebackers Coach) Mike Vrabel is very close to Tom, and on behalf of the Houston Texans, just want to wish those guys the best tomorrow."

(on DE J.J. Watt and his status for Sunday) "Yeah, he was out there today and he was moving around, so he'll be out there on Sunday."

(on RB Alfred Blue's status for Sunday) "Yeah, I think we are at the time of the year where all of the backs are banged up a little bit. I would say there were things that we did this week to try to rest him a little bit, but in the end, he practiced, so I think he will be ready to go on Sunday."

(on as a team being pretty healthy at this point in the season) "Absolutely, and that is good. It is a good thing that we are 100 percent healthy. It does sometimes make it difficult on the inactives and things because you have got everybody out there working really hard to help us win, but in the end you have to do what is right for your team. It's really good to be healthy at this time of the year."

(on why the NFL doesn't allow all 53 players to be active) "Oh man, you are asking the wrong guy, really. I think it is a great question, but it is a question for someone a lot higher above me."

(on former University of Houston Basketball Coach Guy Lewis) "I have been reading some of the things about Coach Lewis and just really, growing up at that time when Phi Slama Jama was playing, I mean that was awesome basketball with those teams with (Hakeem) Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler. I think the Celtics actually, I am a Boston Celtics guy, I think they drafted Michael Young that was on that team when I was a teenager, so my condolences to the Lewis family and the University of Houston, but what a great man, great career."

(on how much development TE Ryan Griffin may have lost from having to miss part of the season) "I don't think he lost a lot. I think that he worked really hard to get back so that he was, even when he wasn't practicing with us he was able to go out and run routes. I give the guy a lot of credit because he stayed in good condition and when he got back he was ready to go. What I like about him is he's tough, he's got good hands, he's athletic, he's able to get open versus man-to-man coverage. He's smart, and I think he's become a better blocker so he's more of an all-around tight end than maybe when he first arrived here. That's a credit to him, credit to (Tight Ends) Coach (John) Perry and those guys on offense for getting him going. He's done a good job."

(on how important it was for DE J.J. Watt to get out there and practice today) "I think it's important for him. I think he's the type of guy that you just really love his attitude because he just hates it when he can't practice, and that's the type of player you want. It was good for him to be able to get out there for him."

(on if DE J.J. Watt tried to talk his way into practicing) "No, I've told you guys a thousand times. I'm not a doctor so I just follow the medical team's advice on everybody."

(on why the players and coaches have done a good job of not expecting to win week to week and focusing on the game plan and working hard instead) "It was to be in this league. I don't know, I'm not sure, I just think that we really stress that. I just think it's so important, this is such a difficult league to win in, and it's really hard to win on the road. It's really hard to win a conference game on the road in December. You have to focus on the task at hand. You cannot, you have to have blinders on, meaning you have to be focused on the opponent and your own game, your own game plan, and you have to make sure you're doing the best you can to help the team win, coaches and players."

(on if they talk to rookies on how to avoid the 'rookie wall') "Actually that's a good question. I did that a couple weeks ago. I try to stress that with them. I think people use that phrase a lot. Some people say it comes in training camp because training camp is difficult in the NFL. Some people say it comes in October. I really think it comes when the college season ends, so like they play whatever it is, 12 games, a bowl game, whatever it is, but in the pros when those 12 games come up or the 13th game, you've got three, four, if it's 11 games, whatever five more games left. They've got a lot of season left in pro football. I think that's when it comes. It's really important that they get their rest, that they take care of their bodies, that they're eating properly, they're drinking a lot of water, whatever it is. I just think it's important to really stress that to those guys during this time of the year when their college season really is over."

(on the strong receiving core on this team even outside of WR DeAndre Hopkins) "Hop has had a good season. He is a focal point, but you're exactly right. We've got a lot of guys that have contributed for us this year. Nate Washington is a guy we really don't talk about enough. I mean, he's been a great leader for our football team, great veteran player. He's come up with some really big plays for us. He's just a really great example for our younger players. Cecil (Shorts) has done a lot of different things for us, especially when he's been able to be out there, it's key for us that he's healthy. Keith Mumphery, he's been able to do some things for us on special teams especially. Jaelen Strong we're trying to work into the lineup because he's really improved quite a bit. C.J. Fiedorowicz has improved as a player and we're working with him. There are a lot of different guys that have contributed and the key is to keep contributing."

(on how TE Garrett Graham is doing) "He's doing fine, he's working hard. It's not easy for him, I know that. He's a professional, really good professional, great guy in the locker room. It's just, we've just decided to go with the 46 that we think gives us the best chance to win based on the opponent we're playing."

(on what WR Jaelen Strong has improved at) "He's in much better shape. He's hovering around the 200-pound mark, which is really ideal for him. He's become a really good route runner in our system based on what we like him to do. He's just done a good job. He knows our system really well and he's helping out on special teams so hopefully sooner or later we'll get him in the lineup."

ILB Brian Cushing
(on Buffalo's explosive offense) "Yeah, we are just looking forward to a good game. I mean, obviously, we are just going to go out there and try to execute the best that we can. We can't really control the environment, you know, we will play anywhere and that is the kind of the mindset that we have."

(on what is different with the defense the past month) "I am not sure. I just think we are really clicking and understand what the call, and how to play. We are playing hard, playing fast and it is really effective right now."

(on Bills RB LeSean McCoy) "He is just a balanced runner, very capable of running the ball anywhere on the field. When you think he is down, he is not, so it is really just wrapping him up, gang tackling him and getting after him the best that we can."

(on Bills TE Charles Clay) "Faster than your average tight end, really athletic, obviously, a big target for them as well, two guys that we have to key in on at all times."

(on the defense's improved communication) "Yeah, I think so. I think it comes from more practice, more work together, the guys are getting comfortable and we just play better together."

(on trying not to think about being in the playoff hunt) "Obviously, we know that, but at the same time we have to take it week by week, take care of our business and win, that is all that matters."

(on playing important guys in December) "It means we have done a good job up until now to still be in the hunt and, obviously, taking care of business, but still have a lot more to play."

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