Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(opening statement) "Kareem Jackson passed his concussion test. He passed it Sunday and he passed it again on Monday morning. He's not in the concussion protocol, and he will be available for Thursday's game. Other than that, I'll open it up to questions."
(on how CB Kareem Jackson played at safety against the Falcons and his goal for the secondary) "That's a game plan package, something that we felt would be a package versus the Falcons. That's not necessarily something we'll do every week. I don't think anything, not to rehash Sunday, nothing really went well on Sunday. We'll just keep evaluating and again, it's week-to-week. Every opponent is different. We're just trying to do what's best for us versus the Colts."
(on how ILB Brian Peters and ILB Max Bullough performed on special teams last Sunday) "I don't think anybody played well in that game. Obviously we didn't coach well, so hopefully we can do a better job this week."
(on what he's seen from the Colts on film) "They're a good team, they're a good team. I see on offense obviously Andrew (Luck) didn't play last week, but in the games that he played, he's the same guy. Great player, accurate passer, really tough competitor. Frank Gore is running the ball well. T.Y. Hilton, (Donte) Moncrief, Andre (Johnson), (Coby) Fleener, Dwayne Allen, the line, they've got a lot of good players. Defensively, they really pose a lot of problems with Vontae Davis in coverage, does a really good job of matching the other team's best receiver. Their third down package is very, very difficult to deal with. Special teams, (Pat) McAfee is a great kicker and punter. Adam (Vinatieri) kicked the game-winning field goal last week. I just think they're a really good team, big challenge for us."
(on how much turnovers are luck or skill) "There's some truth to that, I think that we've had some batted balls this year, we've had some balls on the ground. I can remember one game where the punt returner for the other team dropped the punt twice and we weren't close enough to make the play on the ball. Some of that is the bounce of the ball, some of it is us, having to coach it better, do a better job of making those plays. We call them missed opportunities. When the opportunity is there, we have to make the play. I think the big thing for us as a team is we have to take care of the ball better ourselves on offense. We turned the ball over I think it was four times in the Atlanta game. That's terrible. We have to really have 100 percent ball security and I think that's somewhat what this game will be about. This game will be somewhat about who takes care of the ball the best and who can take it away."
(on how they can work on not turning the ball over and getting takeaways) "There's not much you can do this week just because of the short week. We show it, I don't mean to say we're ignoring it, but we show it on tape, show some of the things we think are necessary to help improve it on game day. I think there's drills, we do a lot of drills in practice, interception drills, strip drills, we work a lot on it in OTAs and training camp. It just hasn't been there for us this year so far. It's four games and there's a lot of season left so hopefully we'll improve there."
(on if there is any statistic more important than the turnover margin) "I think that would be a tough thing to argue with you. I believe that that's a big, big stat. It was a big stat for us last year. I think we were plus-12 in that category last year, thereabouts. I think it's up there with third down, red area percentage, things like that, touchdown percentage in the red area, but I think turnovers and takeaway, that ratio is a big stat."
(on Colts WR Andre Johnson coming back to play Houston for the first time) "I always had good conversations with Andre. Those conversations will stay between Andre and I. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Andre. I feel very fortunate to have been associated with him as a coach. I think he'll go down as one of the best receivers to ever play the game in this league. I really believe that, from a yardage standpoint, a catches standpoint, a toughness standpoint, all the things that he could do for us. In the end, we try to make decisions in the best interest of the player and in the best interest of the team, and we obviously wish Andre all the luck in the world, not too much luck on Thursday night, but personally I think the world of Andre."
(on Colts WR Andre Johnson turning down an offer to return to Houston after last year) "Again, I'm not going to get into all the conversations that we had. Those are conversations between myself and Andre. (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Rick (Smith) had conversations with him and his representatives, but I don't think that's anything to bring up right now. I just think it's more about the game on Thursday night and my respect for Andre is what I would like you guys to know."
(on if they will structure the offensive line similarly to last Sunday in regards to G Xavier Su'a-Filo) "I could see us playing the game in a similar way."
(on if he would like to get the tight ends more involved in the offense) "We would, we think that those guys are working hard. We'd like to get them more involved, but we try to design passing plays to throw it to the open guy. Even though it doesn't look that way at times, we're trying to throw it to the open guy whether that's a tight end or receiver or back. We're going to continue to try to work everybody into the passing game a little bit better."
(on how he personally is handling the losses) "I don't think anyone likes to lose. I'm not someone that is used to that or enjoys it at all, but I do really appreciate these players. I think our players are great guys. I think they play hard. I think our coaching staff is working hard to try to correct it, get these guys in the right position to make plays. I really do take responsibility for our 1-3 record. I know it's not where anyone wants us to be. We're disappointed about it, but we're moving on. We've got to move quickly like we have on to Indianapolis. We've had two good days here. Guys' attitudes are real good. We're looking forward to the challenge on Thursday night."
(on if he reaches out to anyone for advice when this happens and what helps him get through this) "I have great perspective. Just based on my own family experience, I have great perspective on these things, and the sun came up on Monday. The sun came up on Monday. We go back to work and that's what we do. That's football. Sometimes football doesn't turn out the way you want it to. It's not from a lack of effort. It may be from me making better decisions for this football team. I have great perspective on football and what it means. It's definitely a big, big part of my life, and these players' lives and our coaches' lives, but we work very hard to try to turn this thing around and hopefully we get it turned around on Thursday night."
(on how much RB Arian Foster changes the offense particularly in the passing game) "It changes it. He's a very talented guy. He can do a lot of different things obviously as a runner. It's hard for anyone to expect him to come into that first game and just be totally back to normal. He hasn't played in a long time, it's a significant injury that he had. He's a great player. He knows that he has to play well, just like I know that I have to coach well. He's going to have a good week here, he's had two good days here, and I think as we work him back into the offense, he'll really help us."
Offensive Coordinator George Godsey
(on his assurance in QB Ryan Mallett) "I think the first thing is, we've got to play together and better as an offensive unit. That'll help the quarterback force some balls, making right decisions, taking what the defense gives him. The easiest way to lose in this league is to turn the ball over. Whether it's fumbles, interceptions, we've got to eliminate those. Those have been deadly for us on offense, just giving the other team points."
(on how the coaches can help QB Ryan Mallett's accuracy) "The way the game is played – not making it one-dimensional. Being able to run, being able to mix up play action, being able to mix the intermediate drop-back passing, I think that helps any quarterback. That's the goal really, to start out and be really balanced between run and pass."
(on RB Arian Foster's role in his second game back on Thursday) "That's his game, he's a very productive player. His career shows that, and he'll improve the more he gets. He's been out of football for a while. He's just going to knock the rust off and continue to get better each day."
(on if he would like to get the tight ends more involved) "They had nine opportunities in the game the previous week. A lot balls went to DeAndre (Hopkins). We're going to put the ball where the open receiver is, that's the goal, and make sure that we don't just negate them from the game. They're part of the game and part of the passing game. They do a good job in the running game too. I think everybody is equally involved. Obviously some other players may get the ball thrown to them a little bit more."
(on QB Ryan Mallett's arm strength and how they make sure it doesn't affect his accuracy) "A lot of it too is just not taking the profit. I think we've talked a lot about this, just taking the profit. It's okay to be second-and-8, it's okay to be second-and-7. Get yourself into a rhythm, take what the defense gives us, going against a lot of good defenses and another one this week. It's not going to be exactly how it's drawn up each time, and then when it is available, that's where we need to capitalize."
(on how the young receivers can fit into WR Cecil Shorts' role) "Both Jaelen (Strong), Chandler (Worthy), those players have gotten a lot of reps in the preseason. Jaelen has slowly improved to the process here. They're going to have to step up I think. We've talked about it with the offensive line. That's one thing that goes into your name as an NFL football player. You have to be ready when your number is called and you have to be ready to perform. Those guys fit into that mold right now."
(on what he saw in G Xavier Su'a-Filo last Sunday) "He played a limited amount of plays, but getting back. I think it's in the same conversation with Arian (Foster), just getting back to football, getting back to playing your reps and doing your assignments and hitting people. When you're away from contact like that, then sometimes some negative plays happen."
(on how Head Coach Bill O'Brien deals with losing a game like last Sunday's) "I mean we're all competitive, every one of us here, I think everyone in the building. It's not a good feeling. The only thing we can do, and thankful we can, is move on. That's what we've done, we've moved on to Indianapolis. This is a very good team and it's an important game because it's in our division. Thankfully it happened a little bit quicker than normal, and for us we're going to have to spend every waking moment getting ready for it, and anything we do thinking about the past is just preventing us from moving on."
(on if Head Coach Bill O'Brien is any different when they win and when they lose) "He's a consistent coach and that's the same person I've seen all the time."
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
(on the decision to not start S Rahim Moore against the Falcons) "Last week we wanted to put an extra cover guy in the game. When you put an extra cover guy in the game, you have to take somebody out. Rahim was taken out on 3-4 defense, but he was still in the game on our charger and our sub defenses. For just that one segment, he was taken out."
(on if the lack of turnovers is fixable or if it's just the bounce of the ball) "I think bounce of the ball has something to do with it, because it bounced our way last year. This year it's not bouncing as often our way. We've gotten our hands on a couple balls, but last year when we got our hands on the ball, it resulted in turnovers for us. This year, we get our hands on the ball and we drop it, the offense comes back and they get to line up a play again. You can talk about it, you can kind of do some drills, catching drills, drills to try to get the ball out when the opportunity comes. A lot of it has to do with being able to make the catch when the ball comes and hits you in the hands."
(on if he is disappointed in the pass rush) "I'm disappointed in the last game and what happened in the last game. I think that some of the things that they're doing to us as far as pass rush goes kind of limits the pass rush and I anticipate that the pass rush will improve depending on particularly how they try to protect us. We'll see Thursday night what happens and hopefully we can get a couple sacks, defend some passes, and maybe some balls will hit us in the hands that we will catch, and feel better about ourselves at that point."
(on if some teams are using more pass protect against them) "Some of them, some of them are keeping seven guys in to pass protect which makes it tough, and then sometimes the quarterback is getting the ball out of his hands quicker. They're throwing quicker passes too. The combination of those things kind of limit the pass rush."
(on if the players being deeper in the system has hurt their fundamentals) "No, I think every year you start new because you have new people. The new people have to integrate themselves into the team, the team has to accept the new people coming, so generally there's a little getting used to each other one way or the other. I think that happens every year."
(on what the secondary did to shut down Falcons WR Julio Jones) "Generally when you put your coverage to one guy, then the guys on the backside are kind of left by themselves. They have to be able to hold up. A good quarterback, after a point he realizes kind of what's happening a little bit, and then he goes to the guys who are one-on-one. They ran some route combinations that took advantage of the coverage we were playing and made some plays."
(on if it's unfair to expect the defense to play a lot better) "No, I don't think it's unfair. I thought coming in everybody expected the defense to be better. I want the defense to be better. There's a process every year like we mentioned. You come together for the first time with some new people, and you kind of see what happens. Hey guys, those other guys they watch film and they're good coaches also, and they know that when you have a dynamic player just like Julio Jones, and you put your resources to him, they put their resources to J.J. (Watt). What we need is some other guys to step up and be able to win some one-on-ones."
(on if certain players are better at getting turnovers than others) "Sure. The ball comes to some guys. It really does. When I was with the Giants, George Martin played defensive end, and the ball just seemed to come to him. He would intercept a pass, he was around the ball and would recover a fumble, and sometimes the ball just comes to you."
(on how you can be good at turnovers, if it's watching film or something else) "I think it's a combination of all of it. Guys who watch the film can anticipate maybe what plays might be coming, then their effort and hustle on the football field once the ball is snapped, because when you hustle and put yourself in position to be around the ball, then the ball comes out and you're there, then it's easier for it to come to you. If you don't hustle and you don't pursue, then you're not going to be in position to make those plays on the ball. It's a combination."
(on if the Falcons running rub routes frustrates him) "It's a little frustrating you know. Hey, when they make contact with you, the officials they don't see anything, and so you have to play the game. They made the play, we didn't, and we have to live with it."
(on CB Kevin Johnson getting more reps last Sunday than any other cornerback) "Well you know we've said all along that we like Kevin and felt like that as he progresses, he's going to be playing a lot more. That's the case, and I think he represents himself very well out there."
(on having CB Kareem Jackson move over to safety against the Falcons and if it helps against the run) "I depend on the guys up front to do most of the work in the running game. When they don't do the job up front, I don't like it getting to the safeties, into the secondary. I like for those guys to be clean when they have to try to make a tackle. I like those tackles to be at the line of scrimmage."
(on if he changes preparation depending on who is starting at quarterback for the Colts) "I think we have to prepare for (Andrew) Luck. Then if we see (Matt) Hasselbeck, he did a good job last week, we have to be prepared for him because he's an experienced guy, and he did spread the ball around a little bit. Everybody has to be on point as far as that goes."
T Duane Brown
(on what it means when they say they 'just have to execute') "It's knowing what to do, and then carrying out your job to the best of your ability. I think we've had some great game plans going into some games, but we just didn't execute it properly. From my standpoint or our standpoint as an offense, not being able to communicate up front, missing the blitz, missing a block, different routes, things like that, we just have to be sharp. You have to be sharp from the first play on to the last play. I think for us what we really have to focus on this week is coming out sharper and really executing on the first drive and not waiting until the second quarter or second half to get going."
(on what he expects it to be like playing against Colts WR Andre Johnson) "I remember nothing but great things from 'Dre, man. He taught me a lot about being a pro, just being able to observe him from day to day, very hard worker, extremely productive. It's going to be very different seeing him in a different uniform on an opposing sideline. I'm sure it will be very emotional for him coming back here, but we're trying to win. I'll holler at him before the game, but after kickoff, he's a Colt and I'm a Texan. That's what it is. We're trying to win."
(on what Colts WR Andre Johnson means to this franchise) "He's meant a lot to this franchise. I think he'll be a Hall of Famer when it's all said and done. That's without a doubt in my mind, and just the kind of person he is. He carries himself very well, total professional, does a lot in the community, he's a great example of what you want in a professional athlete."
(on what gives him confidence that they can turn this around) "Just the group of guys we have. We have a lot of talent in here, a great coaching staff. For us I think it just comes down to a mental approach and being focused. The one thing we have to remember is, this is the NFL, things are going to happen, mistakes are going to happen. You have to let it go and move on, so we'll be able to do that."
(on how big of a game this is) "It's a huge game. No matter what's happened up to this point, I think we all keep that in mind. It's a divisional game, we're going against the AFC South contenders, we're at home. This is a very important game for us. Forgetting everything else that's happened, we still have everything in perspective on what we can accomplish starting with this game. We all keep that in mind."
RB Arian Foster
(on what he hopes to accomplish in his second game back) "To win."
(on his personal goals) "To help win."
(on how much better he feels after playing a game) "I can't tell you that until after the second game. I'll know better then."
(on if he had expectations for how his body would respond to his first game) "I've learned in this life not to put expectations on anything, you know? I don't get disappointed afterwards. I'm just going to go with the flow."
(on the team trying to move on from the Falcons game) "Everybody's moved on, just have to have short-term memory in the NFL."
(on the Colts defense) "I see a good defense and we would like to score points against them."
(on getting back into rhythm) "Yeah, that's the thing about offense. It has to be a well-oiled machine and it takes time to develop and you have a short amount of time to do that. We're all professionals and doing what we can to accomplish that."
(on if he is excited to play his first game at home) "Yeah man, I love the fans. Hopefully we can put on a show."
(on if being out there more consistently would help the offense) "I believe so."
(on if he anticipates he will be able to play more on Thursday) "I just told you about expectations and anticipation, I don't get into it. Live a happier life."
WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on if it will be weird for him to go against Colts WR Andre Johnson) "It is. He's still my big brother. We still communicate all the time. It's going to be weird seeing him in a different uniform."
(on if he and Colts WR Andre Johnson have talked this week) "No, not this week. I'm pretty sure he's focused on us and I'm focused on them."
(on if Colts WR Andre Johnson will be remembered as one of the best WRs in Texans history) "Without a doubt, that's not even a question."
(on if he's surprised at Colts WR Andre Johnson's lack of production since going to Indianapolis) "I'm just focusing on the Houston Texans. I'm not really worried about the Indianapolis Colts."
(on what he's seen out of the Colts secondary) "They're aggressive. They're going to get up on you and make you earn every yard. They're not just going to give you anything."
(on if there's a certain type of defense he prefers going up against) "No, not really. Doesn't matter to me."
(on if he feels like they are in tune more as an offensive unit over the last couple of weeks) "Yeah, I think we're making progress. We're four games in, so you can't write us off yet."
(on if their feeling is 'don't write us off yet') "No, it's just a one-game season. It's game-to-game. We're really not worried about the next game after this. We're about the Colts."
(on what the young receivers can do to fill in for WR Cecil Shorts) "They've been practicing hard. This is what we brought those guys in for, for situations like this. I think they're ready. (Jaelen) Strong really hasn't played too much for us, but he's been practicing very well. I'm pretty sure that's going to lead over to the game."
(on if it's encouraging to know that with a win on Thursday night they can be tied for the division lead) "Yeah, this is a long season. It's the NFL, 16 games, so every game counts, but a division game counts even more. We're going to put the last game behind us and with this win, like you said, it can put us up there tied with the division. This is a big one for us."
(on what he sees from Colts CB Vontae Davis) "We played four games against him. He's a physical opponent. He's going to try to get in you and make you earn every yard."
QB Ryan Mallett
(on if he sees it as a challenge to try to improve after struggling) "Yeah, I don't see it as easy. Of course I want to get better every time we go out there and play. If we don't play good, then yes."
(on the mood in the locker room) "We're ready to play Thursday night."
(on if the team has a short-term memory) "Yeah, I think we're ready to go. It's a division game. I don't think it's going to take a lot to get ready to play for this one."
(on the Colts defense) "They're good. They're fast. We've got to execute our game plan, get open, run the ball, all those good things."
(on if their success depends more on their execution than what the other team is doing) "I think so. We still got to get better as a unit as far as just what we're doing. Then on top of that, you have a good defense coming in here, so we need to be on our p's and q's."
(on throwing the ball low) "Some of those might be throwaways just to save the ball."
(on RB Arian Foster) "You'd have to talk to him about how he's feeling. It's a week-to-week league, so we're trying to get better, execute our game plan, and get the guys the ball that can make plays."
(on if he responds well to criticism) "Anytime I don't play well, I take it personally. Whatever the case might be, I always want to try and improve on that and get better."
(on if he thinks he will play better) "I'm just trying to do my job. I'm just trying to do my job."
DE J.J. Watt
(on how the team is handling struggling) "We're getting prepared for a big game on Thursday night here at home. Our first divisional game against a good opponent, so we're looking forward to the opportunity."
(on the importance of Thursday's game vs. the Colts) "It's our first divisional game of the year. It's at home. It's against the Colts, who are a very good team. Obviously, they've had a lot of success in the division. They have. They're a very good team, so it's a big game for us. It's Thursday night. It's going to be a lot of fun."
(on Colts QB Andrew Luck) "He's a great quarterback. Obviously, he's had a lot of success at all the levels he's been at. He goes out there, he competes extremely hard. He's very smart. He's very talented, but he puts in a lot of work and a lot of effort. You can tell. He goes out there and he sometimes wills his team to win because he just he wants it very badly and you can tell that. It's a lot of fun going up against him because he's such a competitor."
(on facing Colts WR Andre Johnson) "I think once the game gets started, you really don't notice a whole lot about it. I'm sure our fans will give him a respectful reaction. I mean, he's done a whole lot for the city of Houston and he spent a lot of time here in a lot of rough years. He gave a lot to this city and to this team, so I think he deserves that respect. But at the end of the day, once you step on the field, football is football."
(on what WR Andre Johnson meant to the Texans) "I'm sure we can talk about all that when his career is over. We've got to focus on the game right now."
(on the challenges the Colts present) "You just have to go out there and play our game. I think a lot of it comes down to what we do. As a defense, we need to go out there and we need to play our game. We need to play well. We need to execute. We just need to make sure we do our jobs."
(on if it's more about what the Texans are doing than what opposing teams are doing) "We just need to play good football."
NT Vince Wilfork
(on how the team needs to respond to the loss to Atlanta) "Get back, turn the page and move on. That's what we're doing especially with a division opponent in the Colts. All our energy is geared towards them and how we need to win this ball game. A part of that is playing smarter and stop hurting ourselves. I think if we just clean up that area, we'll be a different looking football team. That's our goal. I think everybody came back focused with a quick turnaround. That's what we need for this week."
(on if the defense is executing the plays that are called correctly) "At times we are and at times we're not. I think the times we don't do it, it costs us. We have plenty of evidence from this year where we played solid defense. We played well together and we made plays. We get on and off the field. The plays that we're giving up are big plays. It hurts us. We've got to be able to eliminate that. That's the first thing OB (Head Coach Bill O'Brien) said. We want to eliminate bad football and we have yet to do that. Hopefully we can start to get it going and understand it's killing us and it's killing this team. No matter what, we're going to stick together. We're all we have. We understand that. We've just got to continue this fight, put pressure on one another and hold each other accountable. Go out there and hopefully it pays off this week. What can you do right now besides just keep your head up and keep pushing forward? We're all we have."