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Texans Quotes: October 19


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(opening statement) "I'd just say on the injury front that Lonnie Ballentine will obviously be out for a while. Other than that, I would say all these other guys are day-to-day. With that, open it up to questions."

(on the new offensive line configuration) "I think at times it was really good and I think most of the day it was good. We rushed for 93 yards, they were all tough yards. It's a very good rush defense that we were going against. We can always do better running the ball, but I thought the guys blocked really hard and I think the pass protection was very good for the most part. Some of the play-action protections, we got some pressure on, but overall when I spoke to the team at noon, I told the team that on the offensive side of the ball, I thought the offensive line played well as a unit."

(on OLB Whitney Mercilus being more comfortable playing on the right side than on the left side) "There might be something to that. Whitney probably played, to this point in the season, his best game. He had two sacks and set the edge in the running game. I think they only rushed for 63 yards, only 46 of those yards were by the running backs for Jacksonville, so that's a good job because I think their offensive line is playing well. I thought our guys did a good job stopping the run."

(on how the team and offense responds to QB Brian Hoyer) "I think they respond well, at least they did on Sunday. He's a good guy. He's a good teammate. They listen to him in the huddle. I'm close to the huddle during practice. I thought he threw the ball accurately, made good decisions with the ball, now the key is to do it again. The trick is to do it again. This is a very difficult defense that we will be facing this week with Cameron Wake who had four sacks and strip sacks and they are playing at a high level right now, Miami, so it will be a difficult challenge, but I think the guys on offense enjoying playing for and with Brian."

(on building on this win) "Of course, consistency is the word, you have to try to do it again. I mean if your whole season is like this, then you're not going to be where you want to be. I think these guys were very attentive in the meeting that we just had, they understand what's at stake and they know, like I've said, now it is 10 one-game seasons, so now it's on to the next season, which is Miami, which will be very difficult. It's on the road. It's an AFC East opponent. New coach, obviously they are playing with a lot of intensity, playing good team football as they did yesterday against Tennessee so it will be a big challenge."

(on the defensive miscommunication on the touchdown by Jaguars TE Julius Thomas) "It was a good play by Jacksonville, they got us on that one. That was a very good answer for that blitz that we brought. Miscommunication or not, it's on us as the coaches, we got to get that right and make sure that, sometimes that can be a good blitz, but I think we gave it away yesterday."

(on if he feels better about how the defense is playing) "Yeah, you know, I thought they stepped up. I thought we played good complementary football in the fourth quarter. I think we scored, they stopped them, or however it went, but right after we scored, we got the pick six from 'Dre (Hal). I thought 'Dre had a good game, had two interceptions, two key interceptions for us. Obviously when you score on defense, that's big. I thought we did a decent job overall of stopping the run. We've got to do a better job against these scrambling, these running quarterbacks. We can't give up big plays like that, do a little bit better job of not giving up big plays in the passing game. I think we had three or four plays that were 25-or-more yards gained. We've got to do a better job there, but I thought overall that it was a good team win and the defense did what they had to do to win."

(on what leadership in the quarterback position means to him and what he's seen from QB Brian Hoyer) "It starts with being a good guy, being a good person, and being a good communicator. He's very good with his teammates. I think it has a lot to do with work ethic. He works very hard. He prepares, I think it has a lot to do with being professional. When things weren't going well for him earlier in the year, I think he approached it in a very professional way. I think that was a great example for younger players in this organization to watch how he approached things. Look, it's one game, he had a good football game. He got a game ball for the game, but we're 2-4. We are what our record says we are. Now let's see if we can go out there and play better. We're going to have to play better to beat Miami. We're not going to be able to do the same things mistake-wise that we did against Jacksonville against Miami."

(on if they recognize that as rough as the beginning of the season was, the team is only one game back in the division) "Oh yeah, I said it last week. There's a lot of football left. There's 10 games left. We've only played two games in the division. We're 1-1 in the division. The division games are very, very important. Of course, we don't have a division game this week. We've got another road game, but it's a conference game, which is important. So yeah, again, it really is, it's 10 one-game seasons. We've got to take it one day at a time. We'll get this stuff corrected today, show up here Wednesday ready to go to work, but there's a lot of football left in this season. It's really, it's the old saying, 'It's not really where you start, it's how you finish.' We've got to continue to play consistent football."

(on if he thinks benching QB Brian Hoyer was good for him) "I'd say you probably have to ask him. I think he would probably be better to answer that. I thought it was in the best interest of the team to make that decision at that time. I don't look back on those things, don't regret any decisions that I've made as it relates to this team. I just know that Hoyer approached it very well. Brian approached it very well, like the true professional that he is. He's been around for a while. He's been through the ups and downs of this league, especially at that position. He's been injured, he's been cut, he's been everything that you guys have written about him, good and bad. He approached it the right way, and I think he showed up this week in practice and had a good week and it showed up on the field."

(on if he's more committed to QB Brian Hoyer now) "I would say he's our quarterback. We're going to stick with him. He's playing really well. He's playing at a high level and we've got a lot of confidence in him."

(on the performance of WR DeAndre Hopkins so far this season) "It's hard to say more about it than what I said yesterday. The guy, I think he's second in the NFL in catches right now. I think he's first in yardage. Forty-two of his catches have been for first downs. He's one of the leading, if not, the leading third down receiver in the league. I think he's second in the league in yards from scrimmage before the Monday night game is played I guess obviously, but I think that he's really worked at it. I use him as another example to younger players. You've got a guy like Jaelen Strong and Keith Mumphery, Chandler Worthy and some of these guys that have a guy like him at the position to look up to. That's a hell of a guy to look up to because he's worked very hard to get to where he is now. I think he continues to work hard. He's always out at practice, never misses practice, and he works very hard. He's got strong hands, good route runner, tough guy to cover."

(on the combination and chemistry between QB Brian Hoyer and WR DeAndre Hopkins) "They've worked at it. Again, I think the best thing to do would probably be to ask those two guys because they know but they've worked very hard to develop a connection. Offensive staff-wise, we've done a good job of moving DeAndre around so you can't double him. Sometimes they do double him but we try to move him around so you can't get a beat on where he is. I think Brian's done a good job of understanding the coverage in yesterday's game and knowing when he could get him the ball and when he couldn't get him the ball, things like that. We've got to try to continue to do that. Miami is going to approach us in a different way. We know that. We'll probably have to wait and see what it is. Those two guys have developed a good connection."

(on what challenges a new coach presents) "Yeah, it's very challenging. I have a lot of respect for (Dolphins Interim Head Coach) Dan (Campbell). I've never met Dan but I know of Dan. Dan played for Coach (Bill) Parcells. (Director of Player Personnel) Brian Gaine here is very familiar with Dan from being in Miami. We know he's a very smart guy, very tough football coach, kind of one of us. They're a different team. When you watch the tape which I've been sitting in there watching all morning, that's a good football team that's playing together, they're playing with intensity. We're going to need to match that. We're going to need to show up in Miami and match that in order to have a chance to win the game."

(on what he's seen WR DeAndre Hopkins improve at the most this season) "Probably the knowledge of our offense. To be able to be a receiver in our offense and know all the positions. To be able to line up at F, line up at Y, line up at Z, line up at X, that's four positions to know. Sometimes, we haven't done it lately, but sometimes we put him in the backfield. To be able to know four or five positions, it's very difficult. It's not easy to do that and it takes a lot of hard work, studying on your own and things like that. I think if we called any play in our offense right now, he would be able to tell what every receiving position has to do on that play. That's a testament to him and the time he's put in to learn our offense."

(on the status of ILB Benardrick McKinney and CB Kareem Jackson) "I would say probably towards the end of the week I would know better on that. Right now, I would say no for the game, but you never know as the week goes on here for both those guys."

T Duane Brown
(on if Sunday's win gave the team a confidence they needed) "I think we have always had confidence, just consistent confidence and playing with consistent confidence. I think the biggest thing for us is just to continue to play smarter as a team. We still had too many penalties, I believe, as a team. I think that is something we have to cut out. I think if you take away the penalties we had, it would have probably been more of a decisive victory. We just have to continue to play smarter football and we will be fine."

(on trying to establish the run this week) "This would be a great week because they have a good defense and they have great pass rushers. You really want to get the run game going this week and, like I said, consistently. We have had some good flashes, some big runs and then you get into those third-and-shorts, fourth-and-shorts, finding a way to convert those with the running game, that's something we have to work on this week."

(on communication on the offensive line) "I think first off, we all work very hard individually. We all have a great knowledge of the offense and kind of know what to expect, so no matter who is playing, what we all know we are all looking through the same set of eyes. With that being said, it is very important to gel and we have a new mixture that we just put together this week so Brandon (Brooks) and myself have to continue to gel, and Chris (Clark) and Derek (Newton) have to continue to gel. I think we did a good job this past week and we have to just keep improving, but we are all up to the task. We all know we have a lot of talent and a lot of potential in our room with our group, so it will be exciting for us to continue to work together."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins pinning the ball against his helmet to make a catch) "I wasn't sure if he caught it or not at first, I knew it was a possibility. And I was like we got to hurry and run this play, we got to hurry up and run this play because that is probably not a catch and then I saw the replay and I just couldn't believe it. That's kind of what we have been accustomed to seeing from him, plays that you can't believe. You throw the ball up to him, he is going to find a way to come down with it one way or another. To have the body control to get two feet in and to have the presence of mind to know not to try and catch it with two hands, but to keep it pinned to his facemask to get the catch, it's unbelievable. He is just a special player and I am glad we have him."

(on if the past three games between QB Brian Hoyer and WR DeAndre Hopkins reminded him of former duo QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson) "They are definitely clicking, man. I think Hoyer has done a great job not just with DeAndre, but with all of the receivers, the tight ends, the backs being able to click and get on the same page and get in sync. The connection they have is unbelievable. DeAndre is going to be open one way or another. I think Hoyer knows that and he is putting the ball in place for him to go up and make plays and it's great for our offense."

WR Nate Washington
(on being eager to get back on the field) "Of course, I am the player. The players are always the guys that are eager, but it is important for them to look out for the body properly and make sure that we're properly prepared to go out there and do what we are supposed to do. It has been good communication thus far, like I said, you just have to continue to work at it and we will see what happens this week in practice."

(on the play of WR DeAndre Hopkins) "I think his ability to play on Sunday is a testament to his work throughout the week. He steps on the practice field and he treats the practice field like a game, and that's the most important thing. Throughout the weeks, throughout the days, constantly, no matter how long we are out there, no matter what situation we are in, whether we have on pads or not, he is going to continue to press himself to get better. I think that's the most important thing for him right now that he has understood. Those things have carried over to the game for him and it's been a true success. As long as he continues to press himself in practice and continue to press himself throughout the weeks, I think he'll be alright. I think he'll continue to get better and you'll continue to see some outstanding things from him."

Check out these game photos from the Texans' Week 6 matchup with the Jaguars at EverBank Field.

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