Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(opening statement) "I just want to congratulate the Astros and (Houston Astros Manager) A.J. Hinch on just a great wild card berth and good luck. I think they play Tuesday, if I'm not mistaken, and they play the Yankees, so I'll definitely be rooting hard for the Astros in that game. On to yesterday, you know, losing like that is tough. It's not good. It's not acceptable. We are a team that's going to continue to fight. We're a team that's going to come to work. Our guys are in here right now working in the weight room and working on Indianapolis already. We're going to improve. We're going to get better. That may not be what everyone here wants to hear, but that's the truth. It's my responsibility, like I told you after the game yesterday, to make sure that type of game never happens again and that our team is better prepared to play these games starting Thursday night against the Colts. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that we improve and that we come out and go compete hard and get a win against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. We have to make an honest assessment of where we are right now. We've got to coach better. We've got to stop turning the ball over. We've got to put our players in better positions to make plays. We've got to tackle better. We have to catch the ball better. We can't continue to give up big plays and we have to eliminate penalties. We have too many penalties. Those are some things that we have to improve upon. Again, a lot of that comes down to coaching. I know that many of the players you spoke to yesterday after the game took responsibility and I appreciate that. We've got a good locker room, good bunch of guys and we're all in it together. We're going to work hard to improve. As far as the injuries go, I would say that Quintin Demps is day-to-day. Nate Washington is day-to-day. I would say that Cecil Shorts will probably be out for the Thursday game. Whitney Mercilus is day-to-day. Kareem Jackson underwent the concussion protocol yesterday. I'm not sure yet, I haven't checked with the doctors whether he's been cleared or not. That's basically the injury update at that point. Arian Foster played in the game. Like all of us, I think he said it after the game, we all need to do better. He's going to try to play better, but it looks like he came out of it healthy and he should be ready for Thursday night. Other than that, I'll open it up to questions."
(on OLB Whitney Mercilus' injury) "It was a leg bruise."
(on who the quarterback will be moving forward) "It will be Ryan Mallett."
(on why the team is sticking with QB Ryan Mallett) "He's our starting quarterback. Like all of us, he knows that he has to play better. We all have to do better. He's got to do a better job of throwing the ball more accurately, be more controlled in the pocket, don't turn it over, gets us into the right play, but that's who will start against the Indianapolis Colts."
(on what was different about this game compared to the previous three) "I don't know. I think what it is right now is – just like everybody, we've all got to be more consistent. I think the play right now is up and down. Sometimes it looks okay. A lot of times yesterday it didn't look very good at all. I think that we really need to work on the running game. We've got to be able to run the football. When the passes are there and guys are open, we've got to throw it accurately and we've got to catch the ball. When it's man coverage, guys have to get open and we still have to throw it accurately and catch the ball. I think everybody is working hard to get back."
(on the team needing to run the ball more) "I think what's happened is, especially yesterday, we fell behind. It became more of a two-minute type of game early in the game. We were in more of a no-huddle mode and trying to get back in the game, which obviously we really didn't do. We were in more of a throwing mode. That's what's happened in a couple of the other losses too. We just have to be more balanced and really stick with the running game through four quarters and for 60 minutes. When you fall behind, that's not a good thing."
(on handling the week routine-wise) "We're going to meet here at 2 o'clock. We'll meet on special teams, meet O and D. We'll have a walkthrough around 5 o'clock. We'll walkthrough probably for about an hour or an hour and a half. Then do a similar schedule tomorrow, but in the morning. The walkthrough will be more of a jog through tomorrow. We'll break a sweat tomorrow. We'll go out there and run around. We probably won't be in helmets or anything, but we'll get some work done, more physical type of work, not contact-wise, but at least running around. Wednesday is the day before the game, so it'll be a normal day before the game routine."
(on K Nick Novak's missed field goal) "Nick on that one, you know, I think the operation looked okay. I think we just have to go back and look at exactly where the ball is being snapped, Shane (Lechler) working with Nick as the holder. Then Nick just being comfortable with the whole operation, not an excuse for Nick. It wasn't a great kick obviously. It was a long kick that didn't even come close, but I think that Nick will work hard to get better."
(on if the team is looking to make any roster moves at wide receiver) "I think we're in the process of discussing some things. We haven't made any moves yet. I really haven't seen (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Rick (Smith) too much today. I've just been in coaching meetings and things like that. I'm sure we'll reconvene later on here today, but right now, you got Hop (DeAndre Hopkins), you have (Keith) Mumphery, (Jaelen) Strong and (Chandler) Worthy. Those are the guys that you have right now. Those are guys that have – you know, Hop's been out there a lot obviously, but Mumphery really had some good catches yesterday and played hard. Strong's getting better. He had a good week of practice last week. Worthy, same thing. Young players that we think are getting better."
(on avoiding a quarterback controversy after how well QB Brian Hoyer played last game) "I think, again, Brian did go in there and do some good things. It was 42 to nothing at that time. It was a passing game. He did a good job. But I think right now being on a short week and things like that, I think it's important for us to stick with Ryan right now. I'll say what I said again, I'll say this again, we all have to do better. Ryan has to play better. Everybody's got to coach better and we all have to play better. I believe (Ryan) Mallett understands that."
(on if he is happy the team has a short week or prefers to be on normal schedule) "It depends on how you're doing. I think it's time to turn the page on Atlanta and move very quickly on to Indianapolis and that's what we're doing. In this regard, even though Atlanta was a very physical football game, that's why it's difficult because you're playing on a Sunday and it's a real smash mouth type game. Then you got to turn around and play on Thursday. That's tough, but in this instance, it's probably a good thing for our team."
(on the possibility of tying for first place if the Texans beat Indianapolis) "Absolutely. I think that, again, yesterday is not good. It can't happen again, but I do think that there's a lot of football to be played. There's a lot of football to be played. I think that divisional games have not been played yet. This will be our first divisional game for us. That's a great opportunity. I think every game is different. I think that we have 12 more regular season games and each one is going to be different, so we can't really look back on what happened. We can't do anything about what happened yesterday. We've got to really focus on Indianapolis and try to improve."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on if he felt like the plays were there, they just didn't execute) "It's a lot of different things. I think we had a few opportunities there, a couple times on third down defensively, we probably had a chance to get off the field and we didn't get off the field, things like that. I wouldn't say poor execution, we just weren't capitalizing when we had chances."
(on Colts QB Andrew Luck potentially playing on Thursday) "He's a great competitor, great quarterback in this league. He always presents a challenge, and for us it's about going out and taking the deep ball away, the explosive plays and things like that, what their offense is known for, being good on third downs, stopping the run, and playing great sound defense."
(on what it will be like playing against former Texans WR Andre Johnson) "Can't really speak about him, I'm sure he'll probably be pumped up or whatever, but for us it's just another ball game."
(on if it's better to be playing in a short week after a loss) "Yeah, I think so, coming off a loss like that, you have a long week. Things have been said in the media or whatever it is, the quicker you can get to your next game the better it is sometimes. I think that just happens to be the case this week."
(on if he's surprised that they're 1-3) "Maybe, maybe so. No one wants to be 1-3. Of course you want to win all your ball games. Things are not working out that way, but for us it's about taking it one game at a time and just moving on to the next game."
(on how much of their mistakes are correctable) "I think it's definitely correctable, I think we have the right guys to get the job done, but it's about executing better and just doing it better when the time calls for it. I'm sure we'll watch film, on a short week like this just go out, correct some things and move on to Indianapolis."
(on if he's satisfied with the quarterback situation) "That's not my call, my judgment. I play defense. I don't know anything about quarterback at all."
(on how he as a veteran motivates the team) "Just stay positive, it's a long year. You're 1-3, you go out and win this game you're 2-3, that looks a lot better than 1-3, 1-4. That's a step in the right direction. It's nothing you can do about being 1-3, you have to live with it and just try to get better from it."
WR Cecil Shorts III
(on how he is physically) "Don't know much. I'll let (Head) Coach (Bill) O'Brien get into the details and stuff. Dislocated yesterday in the game, that's the extent of it. I'll let Coach O'Brien take care of the rest of the stuff."
(on if he's disappointed with how yesterday went) "It wasn't a good day for us yesterday, but the good thing about it is we play again very soon. We've got the Colts on Thursday. We're looking to bounce back and play better than we did on Sunday."
(on if he's frustrated with the way the injury happened) "It's football, you know what I mean. Of course you don't want to get hurt in no part of the game, but the last play, but it is what it is. Just got to move on and get back as fast as I can."
(on if there's anything that kept the offense from getting into a rhythm) "I've got to watch film, I'm not sure. I don't want to make an abrupt statement without watching film and really understanding what's going on. As an offense, we need to execute better, that's just what it comes down to. All 11 players on the field executing."
(on what his outlook is with his shoulder injury) "I don't know, I'm trying to come back as fast as I can, you know what I mean. So we'll see what happens."
(on if he's ever had an injury similar to this) "No. Never had a dislocated shoulder before."
(on if he wishes he'd gone down sooner on that play) "You can wish a lot of things, now that the play is over and things happened the way they did. If I could go back, I'd probably do things a little differently, just get what I can and get down."
(on what was going through his mind at the end of that play) "My shoulder was hurting pretty bad."
(on how the team can get back on track) "The first quarter of the season is over, if you look at it by quarters, first four games. Now we're into the second quarter of the season. Thank God there are 12 games left. It's a lot of games left, a lot of football to be played. Like I said, I need to watch film. Coach will go over it today in the team meeting. What we've really got to improve on on all sides of the ball, and the good thing about it is we have 12 games to improve on."