Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(opening statement) "We had a decent practice today. It was great to have all the veterans and service men and women out there. It was great. Our guys really look forward to that and just thank them for everything they do to protect our freedom, especially during this day and age. It's just awesome to have them here, so Salute to Service week, very appreciative of that. With that, I'll open it up to questions."
(on if QB Brian Hoyer will be out on Sunday) "Yeah, I don't know. We have to see how it goes tomorrow and day-by-day. We signed Brandon (Weeden) and released Jumal Rolle. Jumal had done a really good job for us and you know how those things go, someday he may end up back here. Brandon was a guy that we had great reports on as a person, as a good teammate, good locker room guy, and so far what we see, that's definitely the case. Then he's got a real good arm, he's got a lot of arm, so it was good to be able to get him."
(on if QB Brian Hoyer is still day-to-day) "Yes."
(on the difficulties with getting QB Brandon Weeden caught up with the offense) "Yeah, that's the job. That's what the NFL is, sometimes you have to get guys ready. I remember – you know you guys ask me that a lot and it's really an interesting question – I remember being in New England, when I was first in New England, and we had a line coach there name Dante Scarnecchia. You guys ever heard of him? One of the best in the business, if there's a Hall of Fame for assistant coaches, he'll probably be in it. So I remember being there early on and it was 2007 and I can remember we had some injuries on the offensive line, whatever it was, and we brought a guy in on Wednesday. We didn't even have him in on Monday or Tuesday, we brought him in on Wednesday, and that guy played in the game on Sunday and played well. It's part of our job coaching-wise to get these guys trained and get them ready to go. We can't give him the whole gamut, that's for sure, but that's our job."
(on the progress from WR DeAndre Hopkins and if he'll be able to play on Sunday) "Yeah, I think he'll be able to go. I think DeAndre's played a lot of football for us, so I think he'll remember the plays and I think he'll be ready to go."
(on if WR DeAndre Hopkins needs to practice to be able to play on Sunday) "I think he'll be ready to go."
(on if the late addition quarterbacks only focus on the game plan for this week or if they try to learn the whole offense) "That's definitely the majority of what we try to do is get them up to speed on the game plan, but the first thing they have to do is learn what we call the basic information section of the play book which is basically the cadence, the huddle operation, the formations that we're going to use in that game, so we definitely don't try to give them, hand them a thick playbook that looks like one of my wife's law books when she was in law school, no we don't try to do that. We just try to make sure they know how to operate our offense and then give them the game plan and have them learn that."
(on if QB Zac Dysert is still the third quarterback on the depth chart) "I would say if Hoy (Brian Hoyer) can't go, I would say T.J. (Yates) will be the starter and Brandon Weeden would be the number two."
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
(on what was different about the defense last week and how they can build on their strong performance) "Each week is different. All season we've been trying to get to the point where we could play like we played last week. Hopefully that will be able to carry forward for the rest of the season. But I think the guys are beginning to understand their responsibilities in the defense, beginning to feel better about the guy next to them, and so when you have that, you know, that trust in each other, then it's easier to play and do your job. So I think that they've developed that."
(on his expectations for OLB Jadeveon Clowney this week) "We'll see. He's getting a little practice time in, so we'll find out how he feels tomorrow then kind of go from there."
(on the possibility of playing OLB Jadeveon Clowney at defensive end) "He's playing the linebacker position, so he has to do the linebacker things. He hasn't been able to practice as much, so we try to take that into consideration when we make calls and how we use him."
(on Jets CB Darrelle Revis) "He has a good combination of size, speed, strength, anticipation and savvy. When you got all of that and able to put it together, that makes you basically a shutdown corner and that's how he's been used most of his career."
(on CB Johnathan Joseph and his ability to be effective for numerous years) "I think guys who have long careers, they find out an early age that this game is more than just the football game. It's the game in the classroom, it's the game in the weight room, it's the game on the practice field, so then you carry all of that to Sunday. It's the game in the training room taking care of your body so that you can get on the field. Guys who are able to play 10 years, they get it at an early age so that they're able to take care of themselves and last for 10 years. I think Johnathan is one of those guys. He was at a different team and then he came here and so all of that experience, coaching styles, coaching sets, all of that, he uses it to play the game. That's why he's able to play at a high level."
(on if CB Johnathan Joseph reminds him of any player) "Different body type, body types are different, but Ty Law played a long time in New England. They have the same number."
(on NT Christian Covington) "He's a young player. He's getting a couple of opportunities in the game and he's making the most of them. He made a play last week, showed up. If he can keep doing that, he'll get more opportunities. But he's a smart young man. He works very hard. He understands the game on the inside, how to use their weight against them. That helps him a lot."
(on CB Charles James) "You know what, in this league, there are a lot of guys like Charles who get cut from a team and go to another team and then get a chance to come back. We're glad to have him back because he brings a certain amount of energy and attitude to his play. He does have quickness and some speed. He can recognize routes and play receivers, so he's been a good addition for us."
(on CB Charles James being more than meets the eye initially) "Exactly."
(on taking on Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) "He knows us pretty well as well. That's a good part and also the bad part. But we have to treat him just like everybody else. We have to try to get into the pocket, so that he doesn't have time to look down the field, maybe go to a second read and things like that. If we can get him off the spot because he's an experienced guy and he knows where to go with the ball, so we got to get him off the spot, make him uncomfortable and if we can do that, hopefully he'll give us one or two."
(on ILB Benardrick McKinney) "He is gaining confidence as he gains experience. He's beginning to understand the defense better, he's beginning to understand his opponents better, and he's feeling more comfortable. I think that shows up on the field."
WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on if it is a big deal to miss a couple of practices this week) "No, it's not a big deal."
(on if he is making progress in his recovery) "I am 100 percent."
(on if he grew up watching Jets CB Darrelle Revis) "No, not really, not really. I watched the Carolina Panthers. I watched the (Washington) Redskins, the Atlanta Falcons."
(on the play of Jets CB Darrelle Revis) "He is a good corner. He's experienced. He's been in the league for a while, a vet, so he's a pro's pro."
(on if he gets excited about those kind of matchups against the better corners in the league) "Not so much. I am going to go out there and do the game plan and do what I do. I am not really worried so much about who is guarding me."
(on his confidence in his play this year) "Well, we are 4-5 right now. We have a losing record, so I don't really care so much about what I am doing."
(on what he has noticed about this team after coming off a big win last week) "It was a big win for us. We don't want to sit here and dwell on the past. We are moving forward and we are on to the Jets, that's what we are working on now."
(on if he saw any improvement in the team atmosphere from last week's win) "Not necessarily. We always had it in us. We knew we were a good team, we know we are a good team."
(on more guys making one-handed catches around the league) "I guess technology is better, better gloves."
(on if he works on making one-handed catches) "It's something I used to work on, not so much now. Now I work on making two-handed catches."
(on making plays for QB T.J. Yates to make things easier for him) "T.J. is a good quarterback. He threw me my first NFL touchdown, preseason against the Vikings. He knows what he is doing. He is in here working extra to gain a better edge of this offense and we are doing a good job of helping him out, doing things after practice and before practice with him."
(on if he has been amazed by how much QB T.J. Yates has been able to learn so quickly) "Not really amazed because I know he is a smart quarterback. What he did hasn't surprised me. What he is doing hasn't surprised me at all."
(on having military members out to practice today) "It was pretty cool. They do a lot for this nation and if they could, I would let them be at every practice because of the sacrifices that they do for us to be free, to be out here doing whatever we want. It was great to be able to meet a lot of people who look up to you when, actually, we look up to them also."
WR Cecil Shorts III
(on the Jets defense) "They bring a lot to the table. They're a good defense, a good team, a lot of veterans. Awesome defensive line, veteran secondary, especially at the corner position, so it will be a good test for us."
(on how he can build rhythm with QB T.J. Yates) "Practice, man. Being out there practicing, getting reps with him every day, after practice we're getting reps. T.J. is doing a great job, a great job. He's picking up the offense well. It's tough to come in and come to a complicated offense like this, so he's doing a good job with it. He did a good job on Monday night, kind of just getting thrown in there like that. We all believe in him. He's doing a great job preparing and leading the way so far."
(on the job QB T.J. Yates did Monday night) "It was impressive, but that's the reason he's been around for five years. You're a veteran and they expect you to come in and play well, even in that situation. It's tough but you got to get the job done. He did a good job of getting it done."
WR Nate Washington
(on the Jets defense) "I think they have a good core guys that are playing (Jets Head) Coach (Todd) Bowles' defense very well. I think that's the most important part of that defense. Coach Bowles has been one of the best defensive minds in this league for quite some years now, quite the past couple years. It's going to be important for us to understand his scheme, understand how his guys fit in his scheme, and understand how we must beat it. I think we have a good game plan thus far, so it's just going to be important for us to be on top of our assignments."
(on if he believes in momentum and if the Texans have any) "I think momentum definitely exists, but I don't know if it necessarily goes from game to game. I definitely understand that it happens within one game, but every game is going to be played different. Every team is going to be different. We're not going to be able to treat every team the same, so it's going to be very vital for us to come out with our energy, with our passion towards the game, and not try to compare or treat this other team as one of the teams that we've played in the past and make sure that we're on top of our assignments."
(on QB T.J. Yates) "He's a cool, calm and collected guy. He never gets flustered. I think he moreso understands his job. It's to come in and be a backup quarterback and give our team an opportunity to win a game. He did just that. He put us in a great position, took care of the ball, got us in our right formations, got the ball to the right guys at the right times. He just understands that this is a good team and all he has to do is do his job and everybody else will do theirs. I think that's the best thing about him."
(on him and NT Vince Wilfork having a turkey giveaway together) "It's a very exciting moment for both of us. I think this is something that we've both been doing on our own respectively before we got here and now that we're together, hopefully we can move forward in the future and do these type of things. The community is very important to me and Vince and all of our teammates, actually. It just so happened that me and Vince are the ones in on this project. It's very important for us as players to go out and reach out to the communities that we come from. I understand that we're not from Houston, obviously. But these are communities that we grew up in. We have to go out and make sure that they understand that just as much as they go and pay for our tickets, buy our jerseys, and support us in that matter, that we go back and we give the same. We're very fortunate and blessed to be in the position that were in to give back to the community. I think its's very vital that we show them the same support that they show us."
(on having troops at practice today) "It was awesome. It was awesome. I told a lot of them, some of them may be able to do my job but there's no way I can do theirs. I'm not the one that's going to go hide in trees and have a gun in my hand. I don't know what it comes to, but I commend them. Without them, we wouldn't be. We wouldn't have the opportunity and the freedom that we have. So much is going on today, I feel so much protected to see those guys on Sunday and understand that they have our backs. I'm very fortunate as a player in this league and as a young man in the United States to know that we have an army and a core behind them that gives everything that they have to make sure we have our freedom."
QB Brandon Weeden
(on being back with QB Brian Hoyer after spending time together in Cleveland) "I got a chance to see him in the fourth preseason game and kind of catch up. We always had a great working relationship. Brian's a great guy, he's a pro. He's been around Tom (Brady), he's been around a lot of guys that have been doing it for a long time. I'm excited to be back in it with him. He's had a good year so far, unfortunately got a little dinged up but I think he's done a lot of really good things and I'm excited for him."
(on what the last two days have been like for him) "It's been crazy, it's been crazy. My son's going to school in Dallas, my wife is worried about if we're going to have to – liked that school, don't know what's going to happen. You know it's been crazy. I got the call, we were obviously extremely excited. I could've jumped in my car and drove down right away, but they got me a flight in late last night and didn't get much sleep last night so it's been a whirlwind."
(on how difficult it is to pick up a new offense midseason) "It is. It's challenging. I've been in a few systems in my four years and I've never been in this one, so it's completely different than everything I've ever known but what I'm trying to do is kind of compare what's similar and kind of translate into what I know verbally then learn it that way. I got it last night and I laid there like, 'Oh my God, what am I looking at,' but it's a good system. I know a lot of guys that have played in it, and when you've got good players and got a good staff, it's a good recipe."
(on the most difficult part of picking up the offense) "Definitely the terminology, you can only run so many plays. You can motion, you can do all these things, you can really only run so many routes. A lot of teams across the league are running the same stuff, but everybody calls it something different and there's different ways to get to it. Formationally, motions, protections are a lot different. Personnels, you have different personnel groups that I don't really know because they may go by guys' last name or where they went to school or where they're from and I'm just learning it. It's more than just the terminology."
(on what he thinks about his performance in Dallas and what he was able to do) "I really am confident with the way I played. I think the big number that we weren't able to get accomplished were the wins. We just went 0-3. We let a big lead go there against Atlanta. I threw a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter with a two-minute drive that tied up against the Saints, but we never got the ball back. Just didn't play well enough against New England, so I'm confident in the way things went. I think you look at the numbers, I'm not a big numbers guy, but I felt like I put our team in a position to win games. It's tough when you haven't played much. I hadn't played much because I got the concussion in the preseason, only played in really one preseason game and then it came against Philly. Overall, the big number, the thing I'm most disappointed about is not finding a way to win one or two of those games to give us a chance and I'm sure that's why things happened the way they did."
(on what he's learned throughout his career that will help him succeed) "It's just, it's not going to be perfect all the time. That's probably the hardest thing about playing at this level is in college, I mean we were blowing and going, blowing people out and it was just, the teams at times seemed sometimes too easy, and at this level it's just not. That was the thing early on I just, they're going to cover our guys. Sometimes you have to eat it, take a sack, throw the ball over his head, be smart with the football. I think that and just learning how to prepare on a week-to-week basis and getting a routine and doing those types of things."
(on what the thought when he heard he was going to Houston) "I was excited. Obviously I got a little feeling just about some of the guys on the Hard Knocks show watching them a little bit. I've played against them for three years at least once a year I feel like, I may be wrong about that. I follow the game, I know pretty much everybody by name, everybody in the locker room, really follow what they do defensively. I've gone up against them on the other side of the ball and I kind of have a feeling about their personnel and what they do schematically and (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Romeo) Crennel and what he's all about. He's a really good coordinator. I was excited. I got some family and a lot of friends that live down here. My phone was going crazy, everybody was already offering to go out to dinner, or buy me lunch, or dinner or steak or whatever it may be. I was like, 'Man, I don't know if I'll have time for that,' but I'm excited. I'm extremely excited. It's a great opportunity and everybody I've talked to just raves about how good this locker room is."
(on if he feels like he would be ready to go if he had to play on Sunday) "Yeah, I mean that's the goal. I probably, I'm going to have to grind. I'm going to have to really buckle down and get on just – I'm sure we'll have a package for me that I'm comfortable with. Maybe we'll go in and call plays and function and give us a chance. Yeah, that's my job. If not, I'm doing everybody else a disservice. I'm going to do my part to be as ready as possible."
(on if he'll get any reps with the ones this week) "I would doubt it. There's just so few reps to go around, and T.J. (Yates), like you said, the starters get all the reps. That's the hard part about being a backup is you're not really getting them. You've got to get them on the side or mentally. I would assume he gets all of them and when they're off the field and the defense is out there, I've got to go over and repeat the plays and kind of walk through them. T.J. is kind of in the same boat. He hasn't been here real, real long, so he's going through the same process."
NT Vince Wilfork
(on what is going on with him and WR Nate Washington giving away turkeys for Thanksgiving) "Every year, I try to do something for the community, especially around this time of year, the holiday season. This year I had the chance to partner up with a teammate, Nate Washington, and partnered up with Cisco, over 750 turkeys we are giving away this Monday. We are trying to get the information out now, so people can sign up. You have to sign up Saturday the 21st and it's going to be from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in the Third Ward. That's just one way for, not just me, but to partner up with another teammate, just to show our appreciation to the community. My life never was always peaches and cream. I had to struggle, I had to survive coming up. Sometimes, I think back to those days on what I didn't have and, it's always around this time, going without a meal on Thanksgiving and going without gifts on Christmas, it kind of put life into perspective. I don't do anything for show. I do it because that is how I was brought up and I know what it feels like, so that's what we are going to do. I am excited about it and hopefully the community can get out there, sign up and get their vouchers. On the 23rd, we will actually be handing them out. I am looking forward to it. It just one way for, not only myself, but another teammate and my partner Cisco, for all of us to show the community that we all want to give back, so that's what all starts with me is giving back and showing the community that we stand behind them 100 percent. I just can't wait, especially around this time of year, that is special for my family and I."
(on the progress the defense has made over the past two games) "I think we look back and we really got it going in the Tennessee game. We all looked at each other, looked in the mirror and just made a dedication, a commitment, that we want to be a good team and a good defense and it started then. We just got to keep it rolling. I think everybody here, we all know our role, we are all here for a different purpose, so whatever your purpose is, you have to be able to do that at the highest level and that's what we are doing. We are playing well together and we just have to continue to build together each week. Right now, it's all about the Jets for us. They are going to come into this game wanting to run the football, I mean that's what they do. They have a big offensive line. They have a hard runner. They have big receivers. They have a great defense. You talk about a team that's put together, they're put together pretty well. I know they are going to come down wanting to run the ball against us. Once again, we have to stand up and do what we have to do. For the most part, we just have to continue to get better each week and I think we have done that. We just have to continue that here on out, just take it one day at a time, game by game, and that's what we are going to do this week."
(on being able to trust one another on the defense) "That's big. In sports in general, you have to be able to trust the man next to you. Football is the ultimate sport because it's not a one-man wrecking crew, you have to have 11 guys on the same page. If you have one guy out of place, just one time, he can cost you. We have seen that this year, early in the year. As the year went on and on, we finally got it that we have to be able to trust one another. I think the past two games we did that, defensively, and it has shown. As long as we continue to do that and get better, we will be a hell of a defense. We have played well. We can be a top defense if we continue to do that and continue to get better. I think a lot people's confidence and trust level is at a high now, especially from the game we just won on Monday night against an 8-0 team. I think now we see that we can do it. We put it on film now, so we can't back paddle. We can't back paddle now. We just have to continue to prepare well, practice well, make plays and go out there as a team and we will do big things. That is what we are hoping to do this week against the Jets at home, get our crowd going, it will be a long day for them if we can actually get our crowd going. That's one of the things that can work towards our advantage, is to get this crowd going and we have to do anything in our will power to get that going. That is one of the goals of ours."
(on how special was it to be able to host military members at practice) "That's special, because what they do for us. When we sleep, they don't. When we're out vacationing with our families and when we are out hanging out, they are working, they are always working. They are protecting us and for them to come out and see us out practice, it was priceless. People just kept saying, 'Thank you for your time' and I am like, no, trust me, you can come out here any time of day that you want. Thank you for what you do for our country. Thank you for keeping my family safe, all of our families safe. It means a lot to me to see them come out there and for us to show our appreciation towards them because they are the true heroes. We have a lot of fans that watch us play, but let me tell you, at the end of the day, they are our biggest fans in the world. I think it needs to be known. Today was a good day for us to pay our respects to them and let them understand how much they mean to us and I think they got a kick out of it. Today was a good day. No matter how bad practice could have been or is, it didn't matter at the end of the day because, going up and seeing the troops and everybody, it put a smile on your face and put things into perspective. We just want them to know that we appreciate everything that they do for us and our country."