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Texans Quotes: October 3


Head Coach Gary Kubiak** Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
T Duane Brown
WR DeAndre Hopkins
G/C Ben Jones
FS Ed Reed
DE Antonio Smith

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the NFL maybe adopting a blood rule as a result of DE J.J. Watt's bloody face from last Sunday) "I don't know how to answer that. I'm sure they'll do whatever they think is best."

(on any injuries) "As far as practices goes, Cush (Brian Cushing) was limited in practiced. Greg Jones was limited. Andre Johnson was limited. (Darryl) Sharpton, (Brandon) Brooks and (Tim) Dobbins did not practice at all. So that's where we're at. Neither three of those practiced, the other guys were limited in what they did. Duane (Brown) was full go, did everything."

(on G Brandon Brooks' status for Sunday) "I don't know. He's day-to-day. He's battling his toe and (we) kept him inside yesterday. He came out a little bit today (and) went back inside. So we'll see where we're at tomorrow. We'll try to get him up moving around. We tried to keep him off of for a couple of days. He can play obviously and he can go play. He's played pretty darn good for us for a young player. We'll just where he's at each day."

(on G/C Ben Jones' role this year) "He's done good. Of course, y'all know last week, he did splay some in the game. He spelled Wade (smith) for a couple of series and he played well. We've got a lot of confidence in Ben. He played a lot of football for us last year. I like Ben's energy. Ben loves to play. He's a young player just like Brandon (Brooks). I think he brings a lot to our group when he's in there. He's ready to go if Brandon can't go, he's getting the reps. He'll be ready to go."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins being named the NFL's offensive rookie of the month) "Yeah, it's pretty cool for a young guy like that just getting started in his first month. Coop (Kevin Cooper) told me this morning. But he's done a really good job. I think the thing that I've told you all that I'm so excited about is, man, he can get so much better just from a knowledge standpoint, scheme-wise,  knowing what he's doing consistently and us making sure we get him in the right position, but he's off to one heck of a start for young guy. That's what we brought him here for. The thing I'm really impressed is how hard he practices, how hard he works at what he does, really likes to play. I can't think of any time he's missed other than the concussion in training camp."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins always being ready) "He's done a good job. Last week, he didn't catch a ball until late in the game. Our tight ends were very active and had a lot of big plays. Andre (Johnson) had some big plays, Arian (Foster) also. There's only so many to go around. So you never know where it's going to go on a given coverage or a given call. He's been doing his job. He played against two of the best corners in football last week. We'll play two darn good ones again this week. So he's getting challenged real quick. He's playing in some big time football games at such a young age."

(on if WR Andre Johnson is still dealing with a shin issue) "Yeah, his leg is still sore. He moved around a little bit yesterday. He took a little bit today. Just working through the soreness and also kind of the protocol that we follow with him where he's a limited practicing guy right now anyway with what we're doing."

(on how T Duane Brown looked today) "I thought he looked pretty good today. We worked really hard, went through a rain storm, got hot as what out there. We kept going. We were out there a long time, but he hung in there all day. He said he felt good. Unless he comes in tomorrow morning sore or something, I think we're moving in the right direction towards Sunday. Today was a big step for him."

(on the growth of OLB Whitney Mercilus) "Yeah, I think we were all surprised early just because he had missed so much time to play as well as he has. Then, the surprise went away real quick. He's been very consistent with his play, very productive with his play. I think he's an ascending player form a standpoint of playing with his hand off the ground, standing up coming out of college with where he's at right now. Bright, bright future and that's what he was brought here for. So he's responding, playing well."

(on how much depth on the offensive line helps, particularly with G/C Ben Jones) "Well, it definitely helps. Ben's usually the seventh guy on game day. He plays center and guard. He can do a lot. Knowledge-wise, he's obviously very good. I've been a little concerned early just with the cohesiveness with what's going on because we've had guys miss or this or that. The good news is we do have a lot of guys. We've got seven guys that have played a lot of football. In the long haul, when you're going through things like this, it's what you need. So it's nice to have young player like that can fill extra roles."

(on how to address the penalties) "Well, we address them every week. I thought last week, we were playing basically a penalty-free game. We had three penalties until the overtime and then we get three penalties in the overtime that was a 54-yard difference in winning and losing. I tell you like I always tell you, I don't want to ever take the aggression away from the football team, but we've got to be smart in what we're doing, especially when you're turning the ball over and making mistakes. If you add those things to it, it makes it even tougher to win. Us cleaning that up, us protecting the ball, all those things go hand-in-hand with our success, with us getting back on the right track."

(on if he's heard from the League about CB Kareem Jackson's penalty) "Still have not heard anything."

(on if the 49ers defense is similar to the one Wade Phillips runs here) "A little bit. Front-wise, yeah it is. Front-wise, yeah it's what we've got going on coverage-wise, a little bit the same and different in some areas. Built a little bit different as far as the size. Really a big, big defensive football team. Obviously, they're missing 99 (Aldon Smith) right now. With him being out, the other guy has come in and played very well. The two inside guys are probably as good as we play against. And this team will play a little bit of nickel, they play a little bit of everything. Very active. What are they fourth or fifth in defense? This will be the second week in a  row we'll play an excellent defense in our league, a very physical team."

(on what 49ers ILB's Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman bring) "The thing that's impressive is, usually in a 3-4 defense, you may have some inside linebackers that leave the field. These guys aren't leaving the field. They're going to play every down, whether it's nickel, dime, base. They can run. They can cover. A lot like (Brian) Cushing from that standpoint, what you get on the field when they play. They're interchangeable in a lot of things they do. They can put their hand down and rush. Those things just make it tough on you."

(on how the energy has been at practice this week) "It's been good. We've got a lot of guys that are missing a little bit of time, so I've got to get them to Sunday night right now. We've got some guys nicked up and stuff, but we'll work through that. Having to push through today, one thing about Houston is it's still, what was it 90 today in October? We're still working in the heat, pushing through but our focus was good. Trying to stay focused one play at a time, one day at a time. Just trying to worry about finding a way to win the next football game. Just trying to keep our focus narrow and keep moving forward."

(on if the late kickoff affects the team) "I think it affects you coming home. We can probably use the rest this week. That day will probably be good for us after the game we were coming out of last week. It probably affects you coming home more than anything. You get home at six in the morning, seven in the morning and you've got to turn around and get right back to work. That's probably the hardest part."

(on what the team will do at fullback if FB Greg Jones is unable to play) "That's a good question. I expect him to play. He took a little bit of practice today. I expect him to practice full-time tomorrow."

Wade Phillips
(on OLB Whitney Mercilus describing QB Colin Kaepernick as a gazelle) "That's probably a pretty good analogy. We just played one last week and this guy is similar. He's bigger; he's taller and a little stronger obviously. Similar type guy, different offenses, but both of them run the ball well and both of them can throw the ball."

(on if it helps to see a similar offense in back-to-back weeks) "It's good to see a similar concept. They don't have the same offense obviously, but a similar concept. In the old days, we used to have to play against the wishbone one a year and if you saw it twice in a row, that was good. It's the same thing. Real old days—before that, the single-wing. We had the box formation. We saw that a lot."

(on if the read-option and other offenses are coming from the college game) "Sure. Most of the time the college teams were copying the pros. Now, I think the pro are copying the colleges as far as spreading it wide and open like that."

(on his dad, Bum Phillips, turning 90 on Sunday and what he had to say about the game) "I told my dad that his birthday present was the first half. He kind of laughed. He's an older football coach. He said, 'Hey, you've got to go to the next one. You have to keep playing better and better and we'll see what the final results are. He's real positive when you lose and gets on me when we win, saying, 'You better play better than that or you might not win the next one.'"

(on if Bum Phillips gives him any advice for games) "He always gives me a little advice about why did you play this on that certain down and this stuff. He's sharp on all the football stuff."

(on how important Frank Gore is to the 49ers offense) "They had a little meeting or whatever but they decided to go more back to the running game and obviously it paid off really well for them. They're so strong up front and they have such a great running back that they utilize it well, especially last week."

(on how their offensive line stacks up against the rest of the NFL) "They're one of the top ones. They've got an all-star left tackle that everybody needs. They are big and strong up front. They've got number ones. They've got guys that can play and they're big. Every offensive line is big, but they're bigger than the normal you see every week."

(on how ILB Brian Cushing has been this week) "Cush was limited today. I think that's partly due to all of the (concussion) protocol stuff. We hope to have him, but we'll see."

(on if there is a chance ILB Brian Cushing won't play) "He was limited today, so if a guy doesn't practice every snap, I don't know for sure."

(on FS Ed Reed) "Ed is becoming more and more accustomed to what we're doing and how we're doing it. I think he's physically getting better every week. I still think he probably has a little ways to go as far as being 100 percent. I see more movement each week."

(on if the team missed ILB Brian Cushing in the second half and if that was why Seattle was able to come back and win) "I don't know. It always makes a difference when a star player is out of there. We had them down fourth-and-4. They only had one drive in the whole game. They had 225 yards of total offense when regulation was over. They were 20 percent on third downs. I think we played good without him, but you can always play better if you have a great player in there."

(on if has keys for his players to keeping a mobile quarterback like Colin Kaepernick contained) "Last week, it wasn't as much the read-option. They didn't hurt us with that. It was just quarterback scrambling on pass plays. It's hard to replicate those kinds of guys—their speed, their elusiveness—in practice. On that one drive, we found out the guy can really do some magical things. This guy is the same way. They can have big games running the ball when they're supposed to pass it. We learned something from that, but this guy is similar. He can give you the same kind of problem."

(on how he balances letting his players be aggressive and containing a mobile quarterback) "You want them to be aggressive and there is a fine line in there. Part of it is experience, I think, experience against those kinds of quarterbacks. If you play enough of them, you realize hey I can really go on this guy but I have to pull up if he starts outside or he can do this or that. When you haven't played against them, it's a little different too. If you play a certain guy twice a year, every year, you get a feel for whoever it is."

(on how they improve their red zone defense statistics) "That's a little misleading. They got it on the 21-yard line and they didn't make a yard, so that doesn't count as a red zone stop. We had it earlier in the year where they have a turnover inside the 30 and they didn't do anything on it. We stopped them in the red zone on fourth-and-4, we didn't make the play. Normally the team kicks a field goal and it's a red zone stop. I think we're playing better in the red zone. We're not giving up many points."

(on if some of the long drives given up defensively are due to fatigue) "I don't see that. Like I said, we held them to a normal field goal attempt the only time they got down there. The other time was on the 21, they didn't make a yard. Take each game as it goes."

(on how he keeps the defense upbeat when the offense gives up points) "We have complete confidence in our offense and our quarterback, as they believe in us. I look at it and I say, 'Look, we've got the leading receiver in the League, the NFL. We've got Andre Johnson as the leading receiver in the League. We've got the rookie offensive player of the month (DeAndre Hopkins). Somebody throws those guys the ball. Somebody gets them the ball.' I have a lot of confidence in our quarterback and our offense. We just need to keep playing and keep playing well. If you play at a high level every ball game, you're going to win a lot of games and that's what we're going to do."

(on if he feels QB Colin Kaepernick's gambling play style will contribute to defensive turnovers) "Each game is its own entity. Some teams will turn it over six times in one game and then don't turn it over for the next six games. We try to get turnovers in every game. We haven't, but we're opportunistic I think. We're really aggressive. Usually an aggressive team like us is going to get some turnovers. I think we'll do that, but I don't think it's because of the quarterback. His style is if they're not open, he's going to run with it. I don't think he's going to throw a lot of interceptions or fumble the ball a lot."

(on OLB Whitney Mercilus) "Yeah, I said last week, he was playing well and he had two more sacks in this last game. The guy is having a good year. He's learning as he goes too. He still is making some mistakes, but getting a feel. If you let him go and let him rush, he does a heck of a job, so that's what we try to do with him."

(on CB Kareem Jackson's personal foul penalty) "Same thing Gary (Kubiak) said. In my opinion, it cost us the game. It would have been third-down-and-long, and it put them into field goal range. And they made the field goal. You say one play doesn't cost you a game, but that one was really key."

(on the defense through the first four games) "I think we're still working to be better. We've got an aggressive group, we've got a smart group and a group that I like to coach. They want to do well. We challenged them last week and said, "Seattle's the number one defense in the league and we want to show them that we're better than they are.' Well, we didn't do it on the scoreboard, but I thought we played well."

T Duane Brown
(on how he feels) "I feel great, man. I feel great, feeling really good out there. Going full speed. Taking a lot of reps. It felt really good."

(on why it was important to take some time to rest the toe) "Yeah, there were a couple reasons. First off, you don't want to re-injure it, come back too early and re-injure it and then have to maybe get surgery and miss a significant amount of time. Besides that, I wanted to be confident in going out there and playing on it, and know I can play like myself and not feel like I'm less of a player on it. You had to be careful."

(on if he expects to play on Sunday) "Yeah, I do."

(on if he approaches the season as if he's 2-0 even though the team's 2-2) "Oh man, I don't look at it like that. I've been a part of team that the losses hurt me probably more than they hurt the guys out there. I'm just ready to get back and be able to produce with my team."

(on how close he is to 100 percent and if the injury is going to affect him at all) "I don't think so. That was another one of my worries, just having like constant pain. But I didn't have today in practice. Game time is going to be different, but I don't think anybody's ever playing at 100 percent. Very rarely at this point of the season are people really 100 percent. You're going to be dealing with something."

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on what it means to be offensive rookie of the month) "It means a lot, but it means even more when we're winning games."

(on being the first offensive player to win rookie of the month for the Texans since 2008) "It's great, but I'm here to win football games. The personal accolades really don't mean that too much to me."

(on if he doesn't like talking about himself) "No, not at all. It's a team sport."

(on always being ready during a game even when he's not targeted much and how he's able to keep focus) "That's how you be a professional. Do your job even when your number's not called. You have to be accounted for. You never know when you are."

(on if he's surprised himself with all of the impact he's made early on) "No, not really because the preparation I put I put in, I expect to get an outcome form it."

(on if he had any number goals going into the season) "No."

(on if there's anything about what he's doing that's surprised him so far) "No, like I said, I practice to be a great player. So that's what I expect when I go out on the field."

(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak saying that he's most excited about how much better he can get) "I agree. I've got a lot of for improvement. I'm not close to where I want to be at all. I agree with him on that."

(on what areas in his game he's working on right now) "Everything, honestly. I couldn't point one thing. I've got a lot of mistakes and errors that I can work on."

(on if any opposing secondary players have said anything to him about his game) "Richard Sherman, he kind of told me that I was doing a good job and just keep it up, during the game."

(on what it means for him to hear Seahawks CB Richard Sherman say he's doing a good job) "It really doesn't mean much."

(on if he's like to get the ball more like all receivers) "As long as we're winning or losing, I don't really care. I'm not the one calling the game plan. If blocking is what I have to do, then that's what I want to contribute and do."

(on if he talks to the team's cornerbacks about tendencies he might be tipping to opposing players) "Not really. I watch myself and kind of work on things, and see things that I need to work on because we have the iPads now. While you're doing anything, you can sit there and watch practice and what you did wrong."

(on if last week was a good test for him in the sense that he didn't receive the ball much early but was able to develop as the game went on) "It was a great challenge. Those two great DBs (defensive backs), they gave us a tough challenge. You're not going to see too much better, talent-wise, than those two guys and the secondary that we went against. So it was a great challenge."

G/J Ben Jones
(on what's most impressive about the 49ers front on defense) "They have a lot of talented guys. They have four or five guys that know what they're doing, they've been in this system for a while. They play hard every snap and their linebackers are guys you grew up watching and stuff like that. They are a great team. We'll just go out there and try to get a hat-on-hat and execute."

(on playing in a spot role for G Wade Smith last week and if he's able to get comfortable in that role) "Yeah, any snaps, I'm just happy to get in there and play, giving Wade a break or helping Brandon (Brooks) when he needs help out. Any time I can get in there and help out this team, I'm glad to help out."

(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak having confidence in him from early on) "Yeah, I'm just coming in here and I try to put all the stuff together. I'm in there, I'm trying to earn the system and I want them to feel confident in me. So any time during the game, if they need to put me in there or if they need me to play the whole game, I want them to feel confident in me."

(on if it's different at all playing either guard position) "Guard is guard. You've just got a little terminology difference. If the play's coming to your side, the terminology is a little different, but that's about it."

(on how much G Wade Smith helped him when he got here since he played mostly center in college and was going to be learning to play guard) "Wade's definitely a guy I really leaned on. He's a great guy because he really understands the game. I swear, last  year, I asked him something about every play because I spent more time watching him on tape than I actually did myself because I wanted to learn what he did. He was doing it the right way and the way Coach wanted it. I spent a lot of time just critiquing his tape and learning from him."

FS Ed Reed
(on DC Wade Phillips saying that he's getting healthier and more used to the system) "Yeah, I am getting healthier and that's a great thing. With time, it's going to be completely healed. It's just tough in-season because you're constantly working. I've just got be smart about it and continue to get the rehab, continue to do the treatment and everything will work out."

(on the keys to containing 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick last year) "Our plan was to hit him every play. Have somebody on him. Have eyes on him. But know it's a 60-minute ball game and that's a tough thing to do with a great athlete like Kaepernick and a great team with so many weapons. The approach here is a little different, but we've definitely got eyes on him at all times."

(on if he's seen growth in 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in the first four games this year) "Yes, a lot of growth, but it's all according to who they're playing and how they present their game plan for that week."

(on his thoughts on how this team can get things figured out and how his leadership can affect the team) "Definitely, I felt like I was more effective on the sideline motivating those guys, encouraging those guys. When you're in the game, it's a little bit different because you see it different when you're on the field versus being off the field. But we go through those challenges the last two weeks for a reason. We went through those challenges, that adversity, those defeats, and we learned from it. The first quarter's up. We played those first four games. We were 2-2, could have been a lot better, could have been a lot worse. But we have to learn from those mistakes and move forward from there. Like I said, correct those mistakes and grow through those defeats and build yourself up through that adversity."

(on QB Matt Schaub's leadership and the kinds of things that he sees from him that others don't) "You see that he went through those tough times and he grew through it. As quick as it happened is as quick as you've got to forget. Matt is a competitor, so you could see the hurt. You could see the pain. When you go through tough situations, you want to be the guy who's considered to be the link that gave up a play here and there. There are so many plays that happen within the game that can cause that. This is a team sport and that's what I told Matt. I texted him the night of the game and we talked the day after also. I was like, 'Matt, this is a team effort. Hold your head up high. We support you.' There's going to be tough games like that. Of course, be smart with the ball, but I know he's his toughest critic. Any individual that's a competitor is always going to be his toughest critic. You can see that in him. The best thing we can do is encourage him, have his back and go out there and do our job. And learn from the mistakes that he made and the mistakes that we made, and try to better ourselves through it and from it. That's what a team will do."

(on the 49ers biggest threat aside from QB Colin Kaepernick) "Of course, Anquan (Boldin). I played with Anquan. I know his heart. The guy's a beast when it comes to football. I played against him in college and played against him when I was in Baltimore and he was in Arizona. Now, that's he's in San Fran, we've got this game. Anquan, Vernon (Davis) and those running backs are really fast. They've got threats all over their offense, very explosive guys. I've still got some film to watch on them. It's all about matchups at that time. You have to be on your P's and Q's at all times."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins being named the offensive rookie of the month and what he thinks of him as a young receiver) "I like DeAndre. That's good for his confidence. That's good for our offense that he's growing. You're not going to be able to just concentrate on Andre (Johnson). DeAndre's a threat to be reckoned with and coming along. As young guys tend to play more in this league, they tend to get more confidence, more experience."

(on if WR DeAndre Hopkins reminds him of any receivers) "Not yet. He's all himself right now. He's got the big-play ability and you see he's going up to get the ball. He's got a lot of attributes in him or a lot of qualities of receivers that you've seen in this league. I wouldn't put a name on him just yet. He's still young."

DE Antonio Smith
(on the team's mindset right now) "We're just being ourselves. I think everybody's got the right perspective. This is our next game up. We're trying to be 1-0 this week, so there really isn't any added kind of anything. I think we finally got back to practicing with a confidence, walking around this building with a confidence knowing what we've got to do. We've got a job this weekend and we've got to try our best to do it."

(on how important it is for this team to respond) "It's very important. It's very important just for us. This is the next game up. We've got to win. We like winning around here. This is just another to do. If you get to thinking too much of it and making it more than what it really is, it kind of makes this game bigger than the team and bigger than what we're trying to do as a whole. This is the next one and we're not worried about making any type of statement or anything like that. We're just anxious to get out on that field and get that bad taste out of our mouth."

(on ILB Brian Cushing saying that he was going to come back stronger from the injury last season and if he's seen that) "I told y'all, did y'all see how he was hitting against Seattle. He's just hitting the tip of the ice berg right now. I think Cush is becoming the person and player that he dreamed to be and that's one of the best linebackers in the league. If you ask him, that's what his goal is and I think he's right on his way to doing it."

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