HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN**
Q: What did you like best about this one?
Coach O'Brien: "We won, on the road, and that's good. We can play better, but I felt like we did the things necessary to win. We're playing well as a team and our defense is creating turnovers and our offense is playing smart, but we need to keep improving. We need to keep improving in all areas."
Q: Turnovers in the game…
Coach O'Brien: "Yeah, those are big. In these games, in the NFL, they come down to third-down conversions, they come down to red area percentage and then obviously, probably most importantly, they come down to turnovers. So, if you're the team that doesn't turn it over and the other team does turn it over, then you've got a heck of a shot to win and our team is doing a pretty good job of that right now."
Q: How about your team's ability to actually do something once they scoop the ball up on a fumble and put your offense in a better position?
Coach O'Brien: "It's good. It's good that they're alert for that. We preach that to them all the time and that's something that they've picked up on. That shows that you have some instinctive players that are doing a good job of that."
Q: Can you talk about Arian Foster today?
Coach O'Brien: "Again, just like last week I felt like he got stronger as the game went on. He's got really good vision, really good cutting ability, took care of the ball well today. He's just an all around really, really good running back."
Q: Putting J.J. [Watt] in on offense…
Coach O'Brien: "We've been working on that for a while. You've got a guy there that's such a great athlete, 6'7, 290 pounds, got really good hands. You should probably try to get him in there once in a while on offense, so we decided to do that today."
Q: How long after your first conversation with J.J. [Watt] did he bring up that he wanted to catch a touchdown pass?
Coach O'Brien: "No, he doesn't do that, I'm telling you, he really doesn't. When we put him in there, we joke around with him a lot about it. The other guys probably bust his chops about it. But, once we put him in there, we had some tight end injuries as you guys know, so we felt like he was a really good option there at that position."
Q: So he did not lobby for that?
Coach O'Brien: "No, he doesn't lobby me for things like that."
Q: What about how you got off so quickly on offense, scoring on the first two series?
Coach O'Brien: "It was important. It's always important, I believe, in this League to try to get off to a good start. These are all usually very close games and so if you can start off well by holding them on defense, being good on special teams and scoring some points, that always helps your game."
Q: You went 5-for-5 right off the bat for third down. Can you talk about that?
Coach O'Brien: "Yeah, it was big. It was big. We worked hard on third down this week because last week it wasn't as good, especially in the first half last week, so we spent some extra time on third down and I felt like today it paid off."
Q: Ryan Fitzpatrick…
Coach O'Brien: "Yeah, he's doing a good job. That's his job. His job is to get us into the right play, to make good decisions with the ball. He's the field general on offense and right now he's doing a good job of that. I just said to him at the end of the game there, I said, 'Look, just continue to do that. Take care of the football, get us into the right play, continue to operate the offense efficiently, it's very, very important.' Like I said to the team, it only gets harder now. Now you go to a really good New York Giants team in MetLife Stadium. It's not going to be easy. We'll have a good plane ride back, but we'll get right to work on the Giants in the morning."
Q: The play with J.J. [Watt] is not a trick play, right? Is it something you could run every Sunday?
Coach O'Brien: "Yes sir, yeah, that's not a trick play at all. I think it's good, sound football. I thought we called that play at the right time. They had stuffed us. What happened was, Arian [Foster] ran a long run down there and they reviewed the spot there, the scoring plays are reviewed, they said his knee was down. So, we ran it on first down and didn't get anything. I think we lost half a yard, and then with that call on second down, it was good. It was good timing of the call and J.J. made a nice play."
QB RYAN FITZPATRICK
Q: The back shoulder throw to DeAndre (Hopkins) for the touchdown, what did you see there? Did that work out about as well as it could have?
Fitzpatrick: "Yeah, that was awesome. It was one-on-one coverage. It's something we've worked a decent amount on, in terms of where that player is playing and with DeAndre, if you get it in his vicinity, he's going to catch it. He's got those huge hands. He did a great job bringing it down and getting two feet in. I threw that ball with a lot of confidence, knowing that was going to come down with it."
Q: You guys worked a lot on that in training camp. Is that something you've been building for?
Fitzpatrick: "Yeah, that's something that really does take some timing and some practice. With the Andre (Johnson) stuff, DeAndre makes it easier for a quarterback because of his range. You can put it in a lot of different places, not throw a perfect ball and he's still going to come down with it."
Q: How much fun is that to get JJ (Watt) involved?
Fitzpatrick: "That was a lot of fun. You almost wish it would have happened at home because I don't know what would have happened in front of the home crowd if he had caught a touchdown. He's obviously a phenomenal athlete, to get him down there. That one, he was pretty open so it was just about him catching the ball and not thinking too much about it. He did a good job there."
Q: It's not a trick play, it's just part of your offense?
Fitzpatrick: "Yeah, it's just a basic goal-line play. John Perry, the tight ends coach, wanted me to make sure I mentioned him. He coached JJ with the long arms and the great hands."
Q: What did you think of the job that Arian Foster did?
Fitzpatrick: "He's a really, really talented guy. He's a very patient runner. He's a lot of fun to watch. It's fun to hand the ball off to him, even in situations where maybe we are running uphill and we don't have the best numbers. He still finds a way to get the job done, whether it's with speed, power or patience. It's been a lot of fun the last two games to be able to sit back and watch him work."
Q: You found Andre a lot on third downs. Is there a comfort there, especially on third downs?
Fitzpatrick: "There are some situations that I, looking at the pictures on the sidelines, maybe I could have gotten the ball to him a little bit more. He's a guy that we're going to try to get the ball, that's not a secret, especially on the third down stuff. With the various weapons that we have, hopefully we just continue to get better and spread the ball around and be a tough offense to defend."
Q: How do you think you did as an offense overall?
Fitzpatrick: "I thought we improved. I know, just from being out there and looking at the stuff on the sideline, there's a whole lot we could have done better. We were given a lot of opportunities by our defense today with the turnovers they created and a nice punt return with a short field. There were some things we've got to clean up. We still have a long way to go as an offense. Today was a step in the right direction."
Q: How much easier does it make your job when the defense is playing so well?
Fitzpatrick: "Yeah, the first two weeks, what the defense has done holding them out of the endzone as well as they have, and creating the turnovers, it's all about the momentum swings. Not settling for field goals, but getting touchdowns when that happens."
Q: Can you asses your offensive line's performance?
Fitzpatrick: "They stepped up big time. I thought they played great. There are obviously some things, when we look at the film, they'll think they could have done better. In terms of the way the game was played, and in terms of having that fourth quarter, that's an offensive lineman's dream. I thought they handled it well."
Q: How good is that for a line to be able to do that two games in a row?
Fitzpatrick: "I think it's a confidence builder. Like I said, as we were very fortunate to be 2-0, we've got to keep getting better. I've got to get better. They've got to get better. Hopefully keep heading down that path."
DE J.J. Watt
Q: What did you think about that touchdown catch?
Watt: "Which one? (Laughter) It was pretty cool. I'm fortunate that the team put enough trust in me to put me out there. Obviously Ryan Fitzpatrick with a heck of a throw. It's pretty neat. I'm very fortunate, like I said, that the team put enough trust in me to go out there and score a touchdown."
Q: What would have happened if it occurred at home?
Watt: "We're almost lucky it happened on the road. You never know what would have happened."
Q: Is it a trick play or is something we could see a lot from you?
Watt: "I wouldn't complain. That's for sure. Any way you can help the team win. If that's a way I can help the team and continue to help the team, obviously I hope to do that."
Q: Did you lobby for the opportunity?
Watt: "No. I really haven't done a lot, because I've tried that in the past and it's never really worked. I thought they were teasing me when they were first talking about it, but we put it in and it works in a game. To have a chance to score a touchdown in an NFL game on the offensive side of the ball is something that's pretty darn cool for me."
Q: When's the last time you scored a touchdown offensively?
Watt: "High school. Yeah my senior year of high school, so it's been a little bit of a while."
Q: Do you believe that Jared Crick said he was lobbying the coach to score a touchdown?
Watt: "I'm sure lots of guys would like to score a touchdown. That's why I said I'm so fortunate. Not many guys get that opportunity. I'm just really thankful that they put their trust in me."
Q: What do plays like that bring to the game?
Watt: "I think it's great, but I also think it's an effective football play. I think, like I said at the beginning of the year, my goal every offseason is to create the best athlete I can create and then give it to the coaches and then say here use it how you want. They choose to use it on offense, defense, special teams. However they want to use it. Today obviously they used it a little bit on offense so it was pretty cool."
Q: Were you shocked that you were that open?
Watt: "Yeah a little bit. It just took the ball so long. It was pretty neat. It was a cool experience. I feel like a little kid, so it's pretty cool."
Q: How do you think the team performed defensively as whole?
Watt: "I think our defense is having some fun right now. Obviously there are still things always to correct so there are things we're going to clean up as we move on. The way the guys play, the way that everybody does their job, everybody plays within the system, goes out there and flies around. It's a fun defense to play in, but there are still some things we need to get cleaned up."
Q: How much of the defense is strategic instead of trying to get the ball to bounce the right way?
Watt: "I think part of that comes from the guys too. We do a great job of trying to get in there and trying to get the ball out. I think we've had some success. Obviously our defense backs the last few weeks have done a great job forcing turnovers. Hopefully we can continue that trend."
Q: Is there a play in the system for you to throw a touchdown?
Watt: "I don't know. I don't give up any secrets, but I don't know if that one is coming anytime soon."
C CHRIS MYERS
Q: On that opening drive, can you talk about taking control of the line of scrimmage and what work goes into that?
Myers: "Yeah, that's something we want to do every week: to be able to come out early and often and run the ball. I think just as any offense, no matter what your scheme is, to be able to come out there and establish the line of scrimmage is what you want to do. We didn't get to do that last week with a couple of three-and-outs, but I think we had real success today doing that."
Q: With [RB] Arian [Foster] running the way he runs, is that fun to be a part of?
Myers: "It helps out a little bit having ol' two-three [Arian Foster] behind you, I'll tell you that. We were able to block well today and he got his yards, but even when you don't he makes extra ones."
WR DeANDRE HOPKINS
Q: When you scored your touchdown, you had a guy draped all over you, tell me how you made the play?
Hopkins: "I feel like that's a strong point for me, making contested catches. I mean, it was right where it was supposed to be on the outside where only I could get it. The guy played good defense. Ryan put the ball where it's supposed to be."
Q: What did you think of JJ's (JJ Watt) catch?
Hopkins: "Oh man, I didn't expect it. I thought we were just going to run it while he was in there. You know, so, it kind of surprised me as well."
Q: Did your offense take a big step forward today?
Hopkins: "You know, I think we played consistent football. You know, we put up 30 or 33 points, I think that's good on any Sunday."
FS KENDRICK LEWIS
Q: How does your defensive line help your game?
Lewis: "Those guys apply pressure; those guys make our job easier as far as applying pressure on the quarterback, which was a young quarterback today who has some good intangibles. Our D-line played relentless, our linebackers played relentless for us, putting pressure on that guy, and allowing our DB's to make plays on the ball."
Q: You guys stripped the ball really well today.
Lewis: "That's something that we, us as a defense, that's what we drive on, even in practice. You know, it showed up in the game. Guys going after the ball, no matter if it's a running back breaking through, if it's a receiver catching the ball and turning up. We're stripping at the ball, trying to cause turnovers any way we can."
S DANIEAL MANNING
Q: As a defensive guy is it kind of a good thing to see [DE J.J. Watt score an offensive touchdown]?
Manning: "When I saw the touchdown I didn't know it was J.J., and then I saw the little brace go up and I said 'Oh, that's J.J.'"
Q: How does 2-0 feel?
Manning: "It feels great. These guys put together a great week of practice; we worked hard, Coach OB [head coach Bill O'Brien] and his staff. We knew exactly what we needed to do to get the win and everything he said, it happened."
Q: What were your impressions of young [Raiders QB] Derek Carr?
Manning: "I think a couple of long plays earlier in the game he was able to move the ball, and I was impressed by that. But as the game went on he did the same rookie mistakes that most rookies do when they come in: setting on the first look, looking right at it and throwing the ball. That's how we were able to get a lot of pass breakups and tipped balls. Pretty much it kept us in our coverage so we knew exactly what was going on."
RB ARIAN FOSTER
Q: What were your thoughts after this one?
Foster: "Just a good team win, happy to get the win."
Q: What keyed the good start for you guys? Not only up front, but you running the football?
Foster: "Just executing the game plan. Coaches had a great game plan man, and just sticking to it. And not getting rattled when things didn't go our way."
Q: What worked so well on the 40-yeard run to get things going?
Foster: "I don't know, it happened kind of fast. Just, I guess they blocked well."
Q: People talk about that running backs are devalued now, and teams are going against the run game, how much do you and that line take in doing it old school?
Foster: "I don't really listen to people man. Nobody really knows what they talking about. Happy though, that I'm getting in sync with the line and starting to gel."
Q: This is the 27th time you've gone over 100-yards, what does that mean to you?
Foster: "It's a team effort, it's not just me. So I'm just happy that we got the win."
Q: Pre-game the Oakland fans were having some fun with you…
Foster: "Yeah, they were talking trash, you know what I mean. But it's all good. I know they got a lot of passion so there was some fun little banter back and forth."
DE JARED CRICK
Q: What did you think about J.J. Watt's touchdown?
Crick: "You know, he's a former tight end, so it's nothing new to him. But he executed and made the play, and we got a lead out of it."
Q: Your defense sets the tone… you're forcing turnovers as a unit.
Crick: "Yeah, we took a lot of pride this week on stopping the run. Week one we didn't do that great on that. We came out with the mindset that that's what we had to do, first and foremost. And I thought we did a pretty good job at that. There's still some stuff we need to sure up. But that's every NFL team at this point. But we got the turnovers, guys were working hard to get the ball out, and like I said, did a great job and it really helped us."
WR ANDRE JOHNSON
Q: What did you think of J.J.'s [DE J.J. Watt] touchdown play?
Johnson: "I was joking on the sidelines like, 'He got a touchdown before I did.' It just shows how many ways we can use him, not just defensively. He's a heck of an athlete; he's always catching balls with us on the Jugs. I thought they would be looking for him but they left him open. It was great to see him get his first touchdown. Well, second touchdown."
Q: After everything you guys went through last year, 2-0 has to feel good and build some confidence internally.
Johnson: "Well that's the objective every week: to try to win. We're 2-0 our first two games so we're going to enjoy this one and come in tomorrow, look at the film, fix what's wrong and get ready for New York."
Q: Did you get a chance to watch [Raiders QB] Derek [Carr] a little bit?
Johnson: "Yeah, I watched him a little bit. I'm very happy for him. I got a chance to talk to him after the game and catch up with him a little bit, so it was good to see him."