TEXANS HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN**
"I feel good for these guys. They brought a lot of energy to practice this week and practiced very hard. I think the bye week came at a good time for us as it relates for this game. These guys put in a lot of work and we came in here against a very good football team, being first in their division with a record of 6-3. Anytime you win on the road, it's big and very gratifying, especially for the players."
On Texans QB Ryan Mallett's performance:
"I'm sure there are some plays that he wishes he could have back, but overall he did what we asked him to do. Now he has to go back to work, study this film, have another good week of practice, and see what happens next week. The last time I was around him was when he was a rookie. He grew up playing football since he was a little kid. He understands football and he understands the system. It's only one game and I'm sure there are some mistakes that we have to correct, but it's a good start for him."
On what he had to say to the team after the game:
"I just felt good for them. I told them that this is a great team to win against. Obviously, they made some mistakes. In any game, there are going to be mistakes. We came up here and we knew what the keys to the game were, took care of those keys, and we came away with a great victory."
On what he thought the keys to winning the game were:
"Defensively, we had to stop the running and we did a good job of that. I thought we got pressure when we needed to. We played decent coverage for the most part and offensively we ran the ball well. I thought that Ryan managed the tempo of the game. The receivers came up with some big plays and catches. Overall, special teams made a couple of mistakes, but (K) Randy (Bullock) got a couple of good field goals."
On the performance of the offense:
"I think the offensive line spent a lot of extra time practicing over the last two or three weeks. I talk a lot about it being a new system. (Texans T) Duane Brown, for example, played one system for a long time and now he's in a new system. It takes a while and I think these guys are starting to understand what we're trying to do. Ryan did a good job of stepping up in the pocket and I thought the line played their best game of the year. I thought the tight ends and the offensive line did a very good job of blocking. (RB) Alfred Blue is a tough kid. He's a big runner, a physical guy, smart, and has good vision. He's a good team guy and a great teammate."
On the importance of being 5-5 instead of 4-6:
"Any time you come up on a road game towards Thanksgiving when you are playing a team like Cleveland that is very well coached and in first place, it is a very big win for us. Like I told the team, we have to have another good week of practice because we've got a really good Cincinnati team coming in, another AFC North team. We have to play well to beat those guys. This is one game which I think is a great win for our team, but we have to go back to work."
On the play of the defense:
"Those guys play so hard. We gave up some plays here and there, but overall, we stopped the run real well and the secondary played, for the most part. tight coverage. We tackled well. We tackled their space players very well, and we got some pressure on (QB) Brian (Hoyer) and made it difficult for him at times. I think the defense played a hell of a game."
On the TD pass to Texans DE J.J. WATT:
"We've been practicing that for a while. We put him out there -- he's a 6-7, 290-pounds guy -- and it doesn't matter who they put out there, it's going to be an advantage because there aren't that many 6-7, 290-pound guys who are going to walk out with him. We've been practicing that for a while and he came up with a big catch. (Texans QB) Ryan (Mallett) made a nice throw on that. J.J. is what he is on defense. He's hard to block and he's a relentless player."
On the return of Texans ILB Brian Cushing:
"I think it is good to have Brian Cushing back for a lot of reasons. Obviously, because of the way he plays but also what he brings to our team in the locker room before the game, at halftime and the intensity and leadership. Brian is a great teammate. Any time that he is out there for us, when he is healthy and playing at the level that he wants to play and can play, then it really helps our team."
On the play of Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney:
"I'll have to watch the tape, but I saw him do some things. I think that he was out there for a good amount of plays. He is a rookie and he'll get better with more experience. He felt good this week, and it was good to see him out there."
On the pace of the offense:
"I felt that Ryan got in and out of the huddle well. Ryan got us to the line of scrimmage on his own and that ws good. There were times where we had the Browns on the run a little bit, but we didn't finish drives well. We kind of stalled and kicked field goals. That's where we really have to get better. We have to finish those drives in the end zone and not with field goals, but I thought that this was a good first start for Ryan."
On why SS D.J. Swearinger didn't start:
"That was just the package that we started with. D.J. was in there quite a bit."
On if Swearinger broke a rule:
On how this win ranks on his list:
"Every win is a great win. I mean, when you win a football game, especially on the road, in this league -- this is a tough league. These teams are good, the coaches are really good and these players you play against are great. Any win is a great win."
On if this is the type of win that gets a team going:
"We've got a good bunch of guys who practice hard and really have taken to coaching well. We coach them hard. We've got some good veterans we really want to win and to see the smiles on their faces. (Texans WR) Andre Johnson, that guy wants to win. That's what he wants to do. There are other examples: (Texans CB) Jonathan Joseph, (C) Chris Myers, (P) Shane Lechler. Those guys really want to win and that is good to see. I am glad that they were rewarded for the way they practiced."
RB ALFRED BLUE
On the game:
"It was fun out there. I was running the ball behind my offensive line and they were making some great blocks. The receivers were making blocks. It was really like playing in the backyard."
On working together with Texans QB Ryan Mallett:
"It was great working with (QB Ryan) Mallett. All week he prepared well. He put himself in position to come out and run this offense and get the win."
On the tempo and confidence Mallett brought to the offense:
"It was great to get our tempo up and keep the defense off balance. They don't really know what's coming at them and they can't get lined up . The tempo helps the offense keep them (Browns defense) off balance."
On proving himself being a sixth-round draft pick:
"I take a lot of pride in it. It was instilled in me to always be ready and to seize the opportunity."
On letting his play doing his talking:
"I just try and go out there and be a good teammate and know what I have to do with the offense. I'm not much of a talker, but I joke around a little bit once I loosen up."
T DUANE BROWN
On Texans QB Ryan Mallet's first career game:
"It was amazing. He's very knowledgeable with the offense. He has a great idea of what he wants to get accomplished and I think he did that. We had a very fast tempo, the fastest I think any of us really expected, but it really hurt their defense. They were gassed all day, and we kept them on their heels and ran the ball and pass the ball very effectively."
On if this is one of the biggest non-playoff wins he has been part of:
"I believe so, considering the year we had. Coming out, the thought we had in our minds was this was the kind of game we wanted to have, and it went exactly as planned. We didn't have our feature back and had a new quarterback coming in making his first start. We have a team that is playing really well in Cleveland. I don't think many people had us coming in here and winning convincingly the way we did. It's a great feeling, but we still have a lot of work to do."
On having to learn a new system for the offensive line:
"We had a few days during the bye week where we worked just getting together and meeting and going over protections and run schemes and things like that and trying to get on the same page. We had an excellent week of practice. We just kind of got in sync more and built some chemistry without actually having to be on the field and the meeting room. We had great practices all week. We've been practicing great tempo – great competitive, physical practices. The defense did a great job of giving us good looks in practice."
QB RYAN MALLETT
On his emotions as he closed out his first win as a starter:
"It feels good. It made the four years worth it. I couldn't ask for a better start to my career- I guess you could say-to get the win. We are now on to Cincinnati."
On his first career touchdown pass being to DE J. J. Watt:
"I never would have thought my first career touchdown pass would be to a defensive lineman. He's a pretty good player."
On how he thinks he played:
"I played alright. We ran the ball well. Those guys up front, they played their butts off. We had about 250 rushing yards and no sacks. Those guys really took control of the game. They really got us going."
On his second touchdown pass to Texans TE Garrett Graham:
"He came off the line, got open and I got him the ball. He made the rest happen. We needed those points right before the half. We didn't want a field goal, we wanted seven points. He made it happen. What we have to do is score more touchdowns when we get to the plus side of the field. We can't kick that many field goals."
NT RYAN PICKETT
On today's win:
"It's special. It's big for us. We wanted this one really bad. Coming off the bye week, we practiced extra hard – we prepared. We knew we were going to playing a physically tough team. We felt like we could win. We came out and played ball. It's good to get a win especially against an opponent like Cleveland. We're just trying to string some wins together We're a confident team and know that we can be a really good team. We're just going to take one step at a time - one win at a time - and this is the start of it."
On the defense today:
"First of all, we made it one dimensional. We did a good job on the run, then they hit us with a big play. From that point, we settled down, stopped the run, and then made the game one dimensional."
On shutting down the running game:
"When coach says we've got one-on-one blocks – we've got to win. That's what guys did today. We had one-on-one blocks and we came off and made tackles. We tackled well today and that had a lot to do with it."
On playing in the cold:
"This is what I'm used to. It was a great atmosphere, great weather. It felt great out there. We had fun."
DE J.J. WATT
On his touchdown:
"It was a great throw. First, you have to give a lot of credit to the offense for getting the ball down there. The did a heck of a job getting it down there. Great throw by (QB Ryan) Mallett. My job was to catch it and it worked out pretty well."
On if he knew if his feet were in bounds:
"I knew I was close but I could tell when I was going down that is was going to be my knee, not my feet. At that point, I was just worried about catching the ball and hopefully staying in."
On being the first DE to have four touchdowns in one season since 1940s:
"That's pretty cool. That's a long time ago. I think there is a lot of season left. Hopefully it's not the end of it. Any way you can help your team win football games. I'm very fortunate that the coaching staff and our players have trust in me in a situation like that. It feels great. I was telling the offensive linemen that there's nothing better than to score a touchdown and the whole offense runs over to congratulate you. Such a cool feeling that I really, really enjoyed today. It was such a blast."
On how he feels that he played today:
"Obviously, there are two plays I wish I didn't do, but I will never apologize for trying to make a play. My number was called and I tried to go out there and make a play. I wish I had gone a little bit more to the left or so. The rest of the day - I'll look at it and see what happened. I think it was a productive day. Overall, we got a win and that's all that matters to me."
On stopping the run:
"I think our team did a great job on defense playing together. Everybody fit where they were supposed to fit. Obviously, we gave up that one long run but you take that away, and it was pretty darn good for the defense and stopping the run. You have to give a lot of credit to the guys inside (NT Ryan) Pickett, (NT Jerrell) Powe, (DE Jared) Crick, (DE Tim) Jamison, everybody. It was a full defense team effort."