Secondary Coach John Butler
(on how the secondary has performed the first half of the season) "I think the guys have done a nice job of preparing. I think there are obviously some games we've played better than others. I think collectively we are still in the process of coming together as a unit, both the corners and the safeties under the direction of myself and (Assistant Secondary) Coach (Anthony) Midget. I think that overall the focus is trying to get them a little bit better each week and I think we accomplished that last week against Tennessee."
(on how CB Kevin Johnson is progressing) "Kevin is a very good young player that takes a very serious approach to being a professional football player and what it takes both on and off the field, so I think if he continues to take that approach, he will have a very successful career in this league."
(on S Andre Hal's development) "Dre has been a good addition not only last year as a corner, but when we moved him to safety, he approached that in a professional way and throughout this season whether he's been playing on defense and special teams or just defense, he's done a nice job of learning the position, contributing when he can and I think he takes a professional approach so I think that's good."
(on S Lonnie Ballentine being injured again) "Lonnie, personally is a good kid that has worked hard. Lonnie has a bright future if he continues to work and accept the challenge of what he has to do both on and off the field over his rehabilitation, and I think he'll do that. I think like anything else in life, adversity, you learn a little bit about yourself when you deal with stuff like that and I think he will respond well and I'm looking forward to working with him in the future."
(on what S Rahim Moore needs to do to improve) "Without getting into individual performance, basically he's just got to continue to practice well, prepare well, do whatever it takes to fit in to the game plan and just like with every individual player at the position, opportunities will come based on their performance."
(on how veteran leadership from CB Johnathan Joseph and CB Kareem Jackson helps the development of the younger players) "I think that's been huge. Johnathan Joseph is not only a very good player in the NFL, but in my two-year experience with him, he's an outstanding leader. I think he's somebody who leads by example and leads vocally when he can, but I think the guys that observe him see the professional approach that he has, and Kareem as well. And there are others, but the young players understand what it takes when they see the stuff they have to do behind the scenes, not just the watching of the film and the practicing, but what they've got to do in the training room and what they've got to do to off the field to keep themselves fresh. That's been invaluable for us over the last couple of years."
(on the importance of communication when playing safety) "Not necessarily because when we meet and prepare they are all in there together, so one of the things we're constantly working on in the meetings and on the practice field, we are always working multiple groups so they are working on communicating with each other when they are in meetings and in walkthroughs, when we are in practice so communication is a huge part of an effective secondary and I think those guys understand that and take that approach."
(on where he wants to see improvement in the second half of the season) "Not necessarily the second half, but I think we have to continue the three things we talk to our guys about constantly. We have to be able to cover both man and zone. We have to be able to tackle because that is just the nature of the position specifically at safety and then we have to be able to play the ball. Those are the three things from a general perspective we're always harping on our guys about is cleaning up your technique with regards to their coverage, making sure we are practicing tackling with them so they can be efficient tacklers. Then when the opportunity comes to play the ball because obviously our main goal is to try to get the ball back to the offense as quickly as possible and you can do that with takeaways."
(on how tough it will be to cover Bengals WR A.J. Green) "I think every week is tough in the NFL. We're coaching the best players in the game of football, players in the National Football League, but so are the guys on the other team. So every team we play has good players and that's why they are called pro football players, and that is the approach we've got to take. Obviously some guys and some teams present bigger challenges than others, but we take the approach the same way that we know who we are playing against and we have to focus on us a lot of the time."
(on his first in-person meeting with CB Kevin Johnson) "Probably at the Combine. He was very similar to what he is now. When I personally met him at the Combine during the process when the assistants get involved, he presented himself as a very mature and professional young player. He gave us the impression that he was going to take a very serious approach to being a pro football player and that this is not just a game. Since he's been here, he has been that same person. He's been that same guy and because of that, since he's been here, he's improved every day and that's shown in his performance."
Offensive Line Coach Mike Devlin
(on the challenges of mixing and matching players on the offensive line this year) "Yeah, first of all, real proud of how they've all adjusted. It's a unique situation, something I've never had to deal with before really. We've had a bunch of injuries and we've had to move and manipulate to try to get the best five out there that we can on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, it's been every week."
(on what he sees from the pass protection and run blocking this season) "I think they go out there and when you move moving pieces around, there's that gelling factor, so that's the part I'm proud of. They try to learn the system and work hard to really defend them. As far as the run game goes, that's just one more element of everyone trying to get together on the same page. Starting with myself, everyone's got to do a better job in that area and that's what we're assessing now and try to get the best scheme fits."
(on if the chemistry between offensive linemen is more important in run blocking or pass protection) "I really think it's both. Even when I played, it's important to try to have five guys doing the same thing. It's like a choreographed ballet, to be honest with you, but more physical. That's the unique thing. Again, the way they've approached it week to week and guys plugging in and doing this, doing that, if someone goes down, got to do this, it's been tough but they work hard. I'm proud of that."
(on if that speaks to the offensive linemen's intelligence) "In order to move multiple positions, again, this is my first run with this situation in all the times I've ever played or coached, but the fact that they can, a lot of them are in the second year in the system so they've known a little bit more, so it transfers over. It's the ability to change your technique from one side to the other. It's been, knock on wood, the fact that Ben Jones has been kind of the constant, that always helps to have the center."
(on being able to relate to the players since he played the position) "Well, I think that I can relate to some of the situations. Some of my experiences and how you feel, it's a 16-game grind, it's a long season. How you start and how you finish, it's a long way and we have a lot of improvement to do. That's what they're working for. I just think that I can help them, from my experiences, on that grind."
(on if he brings up any stories from his playing career that can help the players in what they're going through) "Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes they fine me for talking too much. If it's pertinent, I did play in a different era, if you will. I think these guys are much bigger and stronger and faster than I was, I know that. But yeah, I think the mental aspect of it is the one thing I try to lean on with these guys. Then obviously, technique and certain things that come up and things to look on the defense and they study hard and they pick up on it. Like I said, I'm proud of how they're working hard."
(on his coaching style) "I believe in working hard. I think there's a time to let them be kids. It is a kids' game, even though they're men. Obviously, there's definitely a time you got to go out there and strap 'em on and be a tough guy. I think you can be a good guy and a tough guy and be a smart guy and be an NFL player. That's kind of what I impart."
(on how G Xavier Su'a-Filo is coming along) "I'm liking his progress. The injury definitely put him behind but I think he's progressing nicely and he's going to have his opportunity soon."
(on if G Oday Aboushi is a tough player) "Yeah, tough guy. I'm proud of the fact that he came in in a short time and tried to catch up to speed. I think he fits in the room nicely with the rest of the guys as far as being a professional. Like anything else, the tough aspect of it is a good thing."
(on T Derek Newton playing every position but center) "That's a thing he should be proud of, for sure. That's a tough thing to do. Your tackles obviously block the best rushers that the defense has, Cincinnati coming up, those guys. But then, you move them inside, injuries or whatever else, I'm saying, 'Hey Newt, we're going to put you against their best (Ndamukong) Suh or whatever.' Most defenses are three-techniques and they're ends and all that. Everyone's got good players. We were really trying to match him up in these circumstances against their best player."
(on facing some really good defensive lines in the next few weeks) "No question, we have to improve in all areas. Like you said, every front that you see in this league has really good players. The system has to work for us. We have to do a better job. I have to do a better job. That's never going to end, 16 weeks here and then beyond. That's just how it is up front, one play you're good, one play you're bad. That's the life you live."
(on what kind of communicator C Ben Jones is) "Very good. He's got a crazy southern accent though that I can't quite understand. Very intelligent and he's able to put a lot of guys, starting with the quarterback in our system, obviously, and then he's able to communicate with everyone to get everyone on the same page and that's why in this time that we've had, his ability to do that has helped us to get through it and try to get better because he communicates, 'Okay, this guy's new, better do this.' Proud of him."
(on injuries holding back G Brandon Brooks this year) "Yeah, a little bit. He's really been one of our more consistent lineman when he's in there. Powerful young man and really the strongest, heaviest hands I've ever got to coach. Before a game, he slaps my hand and nearly breaks it. Like all of them, they have been fighting through things and that mental toughness to do that, really, it's a credit to them because every week, it's been something different and we've had to respond. That's where driving forward we've got to try to get healthy and be together and gel as one."
(on being back in Houston after his time in high school) "Yeah, I think about that often. I've got a picture of my dad in my office. I talk to some old friends I went to high school with and played with. It's a neat, neat feeling to be here where my father was. I never thought back then when I was in high school that I'd be doing what he was doing and trying to follow in his footsteps."
(on how special it is to follow in his father's footsteps) "Yeah, it's extremely. He passed away. It's been a while but he tried to stop me from doing this but I didn't listen. He was the type that he always could get the best out of guys, even myself when I was a player. I want a little bit of that. That's my goal if I can be like him in that way. That's who I'm trying to be."
Wide Receivers Coach Stan Hixon
(on the development of WR DeAndre Hopkins) "He's getting better and better. He's making plays for us. Obviously, his ball skills are tremendous and he's learning the offense. He's playing multiple positions in the offense, so he knows what everybody's doing, which helps him a lot. He is just gaining a lot of confidence along the way."
(on if WR DeAndre Hopkins impressed him with his study habits and him studying New England's offense the first year) "It did. I think with receivers, both young and old, the more you actually do it on the field, the better you're going to be actually running the offense. But you can get some of the nuances from watching tapes of the New England type of offense they run. I think he's gotten better by actually running our plays and doing our system because it's a little bit different."
(on wanting to have WR Nate Washington and WR Cecil Shorts III healthy at the same time) "It hasn't happened very often, but when all three were going at the same time, we were pretty good. I think with the upcoming game, we should have – hopefully have all three together at the same time. Cecil has done a good job and Nate is getting better and better. The chemistry with the quarterback with Nate has been really good the last two ball games."
(on rookie WR Keith Mumphery and WR Jaelen Strong) "Keith got off to a fast start, even from OTAs and then training camp. He's like the energizer bunny because he's always going full speed, going long. Jaelen got off to a slow start, but now he's kind of hitting his stride. I think the more he plays, the better he's going to be."
(on the impact WR Andre Johnson had on WR DeAndre Hopkins) "I think when he was here, it helped but now obviously he's gone. He's kind of on his own right now. I think with that early part of his development, it had some effect on him."
Special Teams Coordinator Bob Ligashesky
(on if CB Charles James is a spark for this team) "Charles has a lot of energy. He brings a lot of energy to the room, to the football team. It's not only on special teams, it's in everything. That guy is a special guy, and he has a lot of positive energy about him. He's a lot of fun to be around, and he's been productive for us and he needs to continue to be productive for us."
(on WR Keith Mumphery) "Yeah, we were just talking about – Mumph's improved as a returner, in both punts and kickoff returns. For him, it's about improving every day, not only on the field but in how to study the tape. He's improved on tracking and catching the football, and we have to help him. We have to help him with what we're doing schematically, what we're doing as far as improving and the guys helping around him. Again, it's just not one guy, it's all of us making each other better."
(on if he's amazed at what P Shane Lechler can still do) "No, not at all, I've had an opportunity to be around Shane on two teams now and nothing amazes me with him. He's not only a special player, he's a special guy, special person, not only because of his production on the football field but because of his leadership on and off the football field. He, again, not only is productive in what he does but leads by example and he leads with everybody on the football team."
Defensive Line Coach Paul Pasqualoni
(on DE J.J. Watt's stats being on track or better than last year but people thinking he's having a down year) "Yeah, well I wasn't here last year so I'm not familiar, I know he had big stats. He works his butt off. He prepares for every detail. He knows his responsibilities. He knows what to expect and I think the fact that he plays with such a high motor and he's such a smart player results in a lot of production. In my experience, he's a highly productive guy."
(on NT Vince Wilfork's performance this year) "Very, very intelligent, really knows how to prepare, and very steady and very consistent, rarely makes a mistake, rarely is out of position, and just a very steadying, solid, very solid guy who plays the run extremely well. Probably isn't given enough credit for how well he can collapse the pocket too. I mean he can push people back."
Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel
(on the play of OLB Whitney Mercilus) "Yeah, his progress is, he comes in everyday ready to work, willing to learn, get better. We try to coach him hard every day and try to make him better. He is willing, since the first day that this staff has gotten here, to try and learn those things and not just be the defensive end that he was in college. In his first few years here, he is trying to get better awareness in his coverage game, he's trying to work on his moves, he's trying to understand how to set a guy up, he's not using the same moves over and over, so I think he's getting better."
(on OLB Whitney Mercilus and OLB Jadeveon Clowney both rushing better on the right side and the challenges that will bring getting them both on the right side) "I think what we have to do is, we have to find situationally where guys can help us each down and distance. If it is third down, we move some guys around. I think some guys are comfortable different places. Just because both of those guys have predominately played on the right side, I don't think that is necessarily their strongest position. I try to tell them the left tackles are the ones that make the most money, so if it were me, I'd try to rush somewhere other than the best player on the offense. That was always my theory. I think, hopefully, they can buy into that. We just have to continue to find out who gives us the best chance to win on first down, second down and third down."
(on the progress of OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "I think his progress is when he has been healthy and when he has been able to work for us, he works. I think we just have to continue to show him what it is to be a 3-4 outside linebacker, show him what we want, teach him what we want from an end. There are certain packages that he's an end and there are certain packages where he is an outside linebacker. No different than we did with John Simon, when he first got here last year, and with Whitney (Mercilus), JD is the same. He is continuing to learn. He is always, he wants to be going forward and we need to keep him going forward the best that we can, but there are certain things that, he's got good instincts, I think that when he can drop, he's done a good job of that as well."
(on OLB Whitney Mercilus getting multiple sacks in a game when he records a sack) "I think it's a confidence thing for Whitney. He rushed (Jaguars OT Luke) Joeckel really well. If you look back, he really did a nice job against him in Jacksonville. If he has success against a guy early in the game and he's like, 'Okay, this works, I can go to this, I can come back and use a power rush and run him over one time and make him miss another time,' then he starts to build on that. No different than a pitcher in baseball, it's not just straight fastball, it's different pitches, it's different moves and I think when he realizes that it works earlier in the game, that there is some confidence through the course of four quarters."
(on ILB Max Bullough's development) "Max has come in, he has great instincts and great awareness, goes hard in practice, practices well, he is able to go out on the field and is a great communicator, tries to get everyone lined up and help Cush (Brian Cushing) get everyone lined up and he was able to get in there and make some tackles for us the other day."
(on the difficulties of having to keep rotating inside linebackers) "We always talk about, not the injury, but how we deal with them as players and then as coaches. As a player, you have to do everything in your power to get back as fast as you can and try to be positive because the injury rate in football is 100 percent. Everybody is bound and determined to get injured. As coaches, we have to get the guys behind each other ready and then figure out which combination of guys work."
RB Alfred Blue
(on being tied for first place) "It feels good man, but we can't get overjoyed by it. We got to stay hungry and keep pushing forward."
(on if he watched the Colts-Panthers game last night) "No."
(on what he thought when he had heard that the Colts lost) "I said it's good for us. We have to take that and build from the game from last week and keep moving forward."
(on self-scouting himself and the running game) "I think it's just about assignment, knowing who you are working up to and stuff like that. I think that there is stuff that we can clean up in practice this week. We have a long week so I think we are going to get better as an offensive unit and running the ball this week."
(on if they run any zone concepts) "Yeah, we run a little bit of zone. We mix it up a little bit. It depends on the team and the defensive scheme they run."
(on if he likes those plays) "Yeah, anytime I get the ball, I love it when I have the ball in my hand."
(on getting to get away and clear your mind) "It's good. You get your legs back under you, the nicks and bruises that everybody has, you get that healed up and get ready to go. You come back really fresh."
(on if he is staying in town or going to see family) "I think I am going to see the family back in Louisiana for a little bit."
TE Ryan Griffin
(on what it's going to be like coming off Injured Reserve) "I'll see how it goes. I've never been out this long, so it's kind of like a new process for me. But I'm excited and I get that extra day with it being on Monday night, so just ready to get out there."
(on if it's been frustrating) "Yeah, it has. It's been like the worst eight weeks, just sitting back not even on the sideline with my team. It's been hard to watch."
(on his knee brace) "I won't be able to take it off. I'll be playing with like a smaller brace. I've been trying to get it lighter and lighter, but I'll be playing with one."
(on if the knee brace limits him) "A little bit, yeah, coming through and with my knee drive and stuff. It's just something I'm going to have to work through."
(on if the plan is for him to practice next week) "Yeah, the plan as of right now and it's subject to change, but Monday I'll be out there full-go."
(on what his presence means for the offense) "Who knows? It's up to (Offensive Coordinator) George (Godsey) and what they want to do with me. Hopefully it'll be like I never left. Hopefully I'll be out there playing a lot."
(on if he felt good about the role they had for him before his injury) "I thought so, yeah. Coming out, I thought I had a good camp and a good spring. I was really looking forward to this season and now it's just delayed a little bit. I'm still looking forward to it."
(on joining a first place team) "Yeah, that's right. We love it in here. We haven't been playing as well as we all want to and should be, but still a first place team. We got everything we want out in front of us."
QB Brian Hoyer
(on if he watched the Colts-Panthers game last night) "A little bit. Usually my kids dominate the television, so there was a lot of Power Rangers and PAW Patrol too. When there was a commercial, I kind of go back and forth."
(on if he was watching when the Panthers won) "No, I was sleeping."
(on being tied with the Indianapolis Colts for first place in the AFC South) "I think for us, the bye week comes at a great time, not only is it halfway through the season, but it's good to go in with a win. Kind of get people healthy, get people going, and realize we have a whole new season coming ahead of us and really we just got to go out and keep getting better and execute and do our job. It's not about anyone else. It's about us."
(on how cool it is to have a shot to win the division) "I think for the way things have gone, to be where we're at, I think it's good to go into this bye, recollect our thoughts, obviously go in with a good feeling coming off a win, a divisional win. Then get ready to go for the next eight games, which to me, is really like a whole new season."
(on what stood out to him watching the game film vs. Tennessee) "I think we could have played better for sure. When you get some of those turnovers and the field position, we got to turn those into touchdowns. I think that's something we have to definitely improve upon. I think just going back out there every series and playing the next play. I know so much was made of starting fast and we didn't necessarily start fast, but we kept playing, kept playing, and then boom, all of a sudden we throw a touchdown to (DeAndre) Hopkins. Then we kept moving the ball, kept moving the ball, and then boom, here's a long pass to Nate (Washington) for a touchdown. The part for me is when we do get those turnovers and we do get that good field position, we have to take advantage of it and score touchdowns, not field goals."
(on his biggest takeaway from the first half of the season) "I think there's definitely things that we did well, but there's a lot of things that we have to improve on. We have to take it upon ourselves as players and kind of look at ourselves honestly and say 'Hey, what can I do better to help this team win the second half of the season?'"
(on if he will do anything during the bye week) "No, just relax."
(on playing with WR DeAndre Hopkins) "Really, DeAndre gets a lot of the hype, but I think that whole group as a whole has done such a great job. Hop, this being really his second year in the offense, evolving, coming up with the big plays when we need them. But the other guys, really the other four of them, it's all their first year in the system to learn it, to go out and execute it. They've all made big plays at different times and that's what we're going to need to continue from them."
(on going into the second half knowing he is the Texans quarterback) "I think obviously that it's good but like I said after the game on Sunday, for me at this point in my career with what I've gone through, it's really one day at a time and one game at a time. I'm going to continue to take that mentality towards it."
(on if he's excited about his opportunity) "Yeah, obviously, I'm always excited to have the opportunity to play in the NFL. I think one of the things that my experiences have taught me is how fortunate I am to be in this position. I go out every day and try to make the best of it. Like we've talked about here, things didn't always go the way we wanted them to in the first eight, but we're in a position to go out and do some really good things in the second half of the season. I'm fortunate to be the guy that's going to be able to do that."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on their record right now and being tied for first in the division) "Of course, you can only control what you can control. For us, it's about the division at the end of the day because that's the only way you can get into the playoffs. Right now we're sitting at the top but we have to continue to play better and play well also just to stay there."
(on how important the bye week is for the team) "I think it's good for the team overall just because you get some guys back fresh and healthy, then also you have a time where you can kind of do some self-scouting and see the things that you can correct and get better at. Then at the end of the day, just being away from it for a little bit just to kind of hit the reset button and get your mind back going and get fresh again for the second half of the season."
(on if he watched the game last night) "Yeah, I watched some of it last night."
(on what he thought of the Colts losing) "Not much really to be honest about it. I didn't really read too much into it. Obviously it was a loss but it wasn't an AFC game, but at the end of the day, that's what I really care about more than anything."
(on being in first place at the halfway point) "It's good for us as a team. We have a goal and our goal is to get into the playoffs first and foremost and I think that's a step in the right direction. We also have a chance to control our own destiny. If we go and take care of our business down the stretch, then we'll be where we need to be at the end of the year."
(on if he's trying to get CB Kareem Jackson back out there) "I'd like to have him out there but at the end of the day, we need him for as many games as we can so we don't want to kind of rush that thing. Ankles sometimes are a little tricky and I'm not a trainer, but I'd definitely like to have him back out there with me."
WR Cecil Shorts III
(on what he thinks about the Texans being in first place in the division right now) "Yeah, we've got to take advantage of our opportunities. We sat in meetings today and went over some corrections and things we can work on, so we didn't play our best the first half of the season but to still be in this position, it's a blessing so we want to take advantage of it."
(on what it means to have a shot at the playoffs) "It's exciting, it's exciting. We don't really care about the record as far as, we're focused on we're 0-0. We're just going to move forward from here."
(on what he's liked about the offense so far and what they can be better at in the second half of the season) "I just love the scheme of the offense. I love everything about the offense. I'm a big fan of it, but it's execute better, when it comes to the line of scrimmage, communication for us receivers, catching all the alerts, getting on the same page as the quarterback with some things, making the plays when they come, just continue to get better and I think you'll see good things."
(on what he plans to do this week) "Just continue to get healthy and spend some time with the family a little bit, also got to get ready for Cincinnati, I guess they play Thursday night too. We'll get to watch them Thursday night and kind of get ahead on the coming week."
(on the benefit of having the bye week in the middle of the season) "I think it's perfect timing. You really can't control the bye week, so it happens when it happens. It's perfect timing for us. Eight games in we can really evaluate each other, evaluate ourselves I should say, and improve in everything we can improve on and get our bodies right and get ready to finish the season strong."
DE J.J. Watt
(on moving his charity event to Minute Maid Park) "It's going to be exciting. We had done it at Constellation Field and that's been great, but there's been so many people every year that have wanted to go that didn't get the chance to because of there just weren't enough tickets and not enough capacity. So this year, we're moving it to the big show. It's going to be exciting. I've had people say, 'You can't sellout Minute Maid' and I say, 'You don't know our fans.' So I'm looking forward to the opportunity to prove people wrong and to hopefully sell out Minute Maid and put on one heck of a show."
(on if he is amazed by what his charity event has become) "Yeah, it's truly incredible. When we did it the first year, we literally had no idea what to expect. No idea how much money we were going to raise, no idea if people would show up, if it would be fun. It has just been bigger than our wildest dreams, so it's incredible. I'm so thankful to our fans and the players have a great time. They're unbelievable helping me out with it. We've raised so much money and helped so many kids that this year's going to be something truly special."
(on being tied for first place in the AFC South) "It's not necessarily where you want to be record-wise and how things wanted to play out, but you're sitting here at your bye week, halfway through the year, with everything in front of you. So we have a chance to go out there in the second half of the season, look at it as a new season. A season of one-game seasons, like we've always talked about, and go out there and control what we can control and see what happens."
(on what he will do during the bye week) "Just getting healthy is the biggest thing. Going to get healthy, try and take some time to make sure I get this back all set and make sure everything's all right. Train and see my family. Really try and spend some time with family and friends, reconnect a little bit. Just get ready to go for the second half of the season."
(on the key to being more successful in the second half of the season) "I think going out there and playing like we did on Sunday. On defense, getting takeaways. On offense, doing a great job of holding on to the ball, like they've been doing, and like they did on Sunday. Going out there playing our game, playing our style, and making sure that we have energy and juice like we did on Sunday. Just playing confidently. Going out there and knowing that we put in the effort, knowing that we put in the time. Just doing what we do best."
(on the defense needing to play more consistent) "That's what we need to do. We need to be consistent. Obviously, we haven't been that. But like I said, we're in a position right now where everything is in front of us, so we need to go out there and we need to play our best football in the second half of the season."
(on getting better stopping the run) "There's some things that we do well, then there's times where it's just not good. We need to make sure that we do the good things more often and we do the bad things less often. I mean, it's the easiest thing in the world to say, but you actually have to go out there and do it. It's a matter of just getting things corrected. I think on Sunday we did a great job of it. We did a great job of tackling. We did a great job of guys being in the right places. We all played together as a defense. Guys really flying around, swarming to the football, and having a whole bunch of blue jerseys around the ball. That's what we need."
(on what it's been like playing next to NT Vince Wilfork) "It's good. Obviously, he's a big guy in the middle. A lot of experience in the league, so he does his job well. We just need to go out there and we all need to make sure that we do our jobs well. We all need to go out there and execute our jobs and have a great second half."
(on playing for Defensive Line Coach Paul Pasqualoni) "He's got a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge. He's been around for a long time and seen a lot of things."
(on not dwelling on the bad things that have happened this season) "It's just a matter of not listening to everybody out there who thinks you should be packing it in or thinks it should be over and who has this kind of 'end of the world' mentality. It's just going out there, practicing hard, watching the film, and just doing the things that you have to do to be a good football team. It's just a matter of believing in yourselves and we did that all last week, when most people think we shouldn't have, so it's just a matter of going out there, playing together, playing as a team, and knowing that if we did our job and we did what we had to do, we'd be where we are now, which is with everything in front of us."
(on how personal he takes things that happen out on the field) "I take everything personal. Every aspect of the game."
(on if there is an advantage to having the bye week in the middle of the season) "Yeah, I think it's good to come off of a win going into the bye. It's good to, like you said, be in a situation where we can control things in the second half of the season and the ability to look back and figure out what we need to improve upon, go out in the second half, and improve it."
NT Vince Wilfork
(on if he watched the Indianapolis vs. Carolina game last night) "Yeah, I watched some of it before I fell asleep."
(on being tied for the division lead now) "I'm really not paying attention to that. It's all about us getting better on our bye week. That's how we've got to approach this, control what we can control and that's us getting better as a team. That's how we're attacking this week. I think it'll be good for the team to attack it that way, the time we're here get some work done, and move on from there."
(on having the possibility of winning the division) "I'm not paying that no attention. We've got to take it one game at a time. Our next opponent is Cincinnati and we're going to gear everything towards Cincinnati and being able to come off a bye and have an extra week, few extra days to prepare for them will be good for us, especially going on the road. We have to take advantage of that, and that's what we've got to do this week and it starts today getting some stuff done in the meeting rooms and stuff, so tomorrow we'll go out on the field and put some things together and get off to a good track going into our next game in Cincinnati. It's going to be a long year from here on out, but everything's going to be important for us starting with this week and that's taking care of what we need to care of as a team and moving on to Cincinnati."
(on focusing on the positives from the first half of the season and moving forward) "Yeah, when we play well, we play well. When we play consistent, we're a really good football team and I think we just have to do a lot more of that. We've seen flashes where we do that and we've seen flashes where we gave up some plays that we don't need to give up. The crazy thing about it is it's not like we have to wave a magic wand over everything, it's just simple stuff, little small things, just get everybody to understand it's the small things that lead to the bigger things. That's going to be very important for us to correct, just tackling and being in the right gap and fitting up well, just small things like that. It's a good week to look at film and take some time and just look at ourselves and see what we can do better as a team, not just as a defense but as a team. I think we'll benefit from that. That's how we're approaching it, and we'll go on the field tomorrow, make some more adjustments and everything, but when we get back going it's going to be a long ride, so we've got to be ready for it."
(on how he views what he's been able to do here in Houston) "I mean everything in a work in progress, for the most part I was brought here for a certain reason and anytime the running game – I'm very prideful of the running game, and that's one reason I was here, even though some plays that I'm not supposed to make, I'm always, I want to make those plays because of my foundation, what I was brought here for, I'm always frustrated when the run game doesn't go well. It might not be my fault all the time, but that's just me."
(on if he takes the run game personally) "Absolutely, I take it very personal. Last week we played well, and one thing I know about this team is they're going to fight their tails off. We've done it each week. Like I said, it's a lot of little things that we're doing wrong. It's nothing big, it's nothing to get angry about, but you can be disappointed just because we have so much better team, teammates and our coaching staff and everything. We have so much better players and for us to play the way we've been playing, it's just inconsistent. I think we've just got to be more consistent. I think if we do that, we'll be fine. Just watching the film just now, we saw that. A lot of times people don't understand from the outside looking in, they're saying this guy isn't making these plays, or we shouldn't be doing this, but it's a bunch of little stuff with us. Everybody saw today, so we've got a real good chance to watch from the front all the way to the back end to see what everybody's doing. We had a chance to do that today and see that, and we didn't get that time because the season's going on so fast, but now with the bye week we can actually take a step back and just make some corrections, and make sure everybody's on the same point and that's what we did today."
(on if playing alongside DE J.J. Watt has exceeded his expectations) "I mean that's one of the reasons I came here, to play with this staff, to play with this team, play for this organization. This team is built well, and J.J. is J.J. He's going to give everything he has and I expect the same thing out of everybody else. It's nothing that I haven't seen from afar looking in, but now I get a chance to see it every day when I'm going to practice and playing alongside of him. He's a special player. I'm just happy to be able to play with him, and I can tell you that. A lot of offenses, they have nightmares about how they want to block him and how they have to draw up schemes against him and everything. He has a motor. He never stops, and that's what makes it so special about him. He never stops. He brings a whole different dynamic to a game when you talk about as a player, you can't just say, 'You have to do it like this', a guy like that, you have to let him go out and do what he do. That's what we're going to continue to do."
(on what he thinks he's done well over the first half and what he would like to do better) "Like I said, I always take the run game personal, even if it's my fault or not my fault, that's just me. I think any good football team, you've got to be able to play well up front, in the run game, defending and to run the ball, and I take pride in that. It's a lot of little things that we can do a lot better I can tell you that, to make it look a lot different than what we've done already. That's why you have these byes, to see things like that so that everybody can get on the same page and that's what we did today. We saw a lot of things, saw a lot of film that we really couldn't watch because with so much game planning in each week, but now we have the time. We can go back and watch some plays that hurt us and see what happened on those plays and it's little things. Is it just missed tackling here or being out of gap just by half an inch, it's an arm tackle, it's little things like that we need to take care of. It's nothing that we can't fix, I'll tell you that. This is something that we can fix, and hopefully we'll have this extra time and guys can really understand and see what we need to do to be better. Like I said, it's not a bunch of things, it's not a thing to say, 'Okay, we need to bring in new players, we need this', no, we just need to execute better. When we do that, we're fine, and we've shown that this year when we do that, we're fine. We've just got to be more consistent with doing it and as long as we do that, we'll be okay."