Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(opening statement) "We brought Chandler Worthy up from the practice squad to the 53. We brought (Joseph) Treadwell back to the practice squad and we put Ryan Griffin on IR with a designation for return. That's just an update on the roster."
(on if he's going to tell them who the quarterback is going to be) "Quarterback, you guys will find out on Sunday. It'll be a decision again that's in the best interest of the team."
(on if the quarterbacks know who is starting) "It'll be in the best interest of the team. The quarterback that plays on Sunday, you guys will see who it is the first offensive snap of the game on Sunday."
(on how many more plays he expects OLB Jadeveon Clowney to play) "He'll play more. Yeah, he'll definitely play more. I think he's still on I would say a bit of a count, but he'll play more."
(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney going home when they play Carolina this weekend) "I think he's excited. You know Johnathan Joseph too is from the same hometown, so I think both guys are very excited. You only get to play 16 times a year, hopefully more than that, but 16 times in the regular season and when there's one that's near your hometown, that adds to it. I think both guys are very excited."
(on things going well for OLB Jadeveon Clowney being healthy again and getting a chance to play in his hometown) "I thought he did some good things on Sunday. There were some things he needs to improve on, but he's been out there at practice practicing hard, today had a good practice. I think as we bring him back from the injury, from the surgery, I think he'll keep getting better and better. I really do believe that."
(on how OLB Jadeveon Clowney, DE J.J. Watt, and NT Vince Wilfork have responded to the soreness from their first game) "Good, they were out there today. I think we had a bunch of guys in here yesterday lifting and getting treatment and things like that. Other than (TE Ryan) Griffin which was a tough thing to see, we didn't have any major injuries in the game. A lot of guys were in here just getting treatment and lifting and those guys were in that group."
(on what T Duane Brown may or may not be able to do this weekend) "Look, he's going to go through the week here and see how it goes in the training room, out on the practice field. I don't think we'll know anything about Duane until game time. I really don't. I think it's going to be that type of deal. Without getting into details of it, I'll tell you that we're going to have to mix and match some guys. We're going to have to move some guys around, play some guys at some different positions, and I think that's a credit to everybody here, especially those guys, that we have some versatile guys that can play different positions. Guess you'll have to wait to find out on Sunday but yeah, if Duane didn't go, we'd probably have to move some guys around."
(on how difficult it is to make changes on the offensive line on the fly) "Well we practice that way, we really do. We practice that way from OTAs and training camp and guys play all over the place. Last year in the Baltimore game, Brooksy (Brandon Brooks) got hurt and Derek Newton, I think he might have had five reps at right guard the whole season. He went right in there at right guard and actually played a pretty good game. I think as long as we're training that way and we teach them all the positions, that's the expectation level, that's what we want as offensive linemen are versatile guys."
(on with T Duane Brown, how he decides when to let guys practice vs. rest and recover) "Well I think Duane and I have a great relationship. I think it's more about communication with a veteran player who's a tough, tough guy. If he can go, he'll go. If he can't, he can't, but we'll make the best decision for him and the team."
(on some coaches saying you have to practice to play, how that works with T Duane Brown or other players) "I think it depends on who it is. I think that's a great question. I think it depends on who it is. I think if you have a guy like Duane who's played bunch of games in this league and knows what it takes to play and how to get himself ready I think you can do it. I think with a rookie or second-year player, it might be a little different. I think a guy with a lot of experience can probably do it."
(on if he thinks he would carry seven receivers on the roster this week) "Possibly, possibly, yep."
(on WR Chandler Worthy) "Well he can do a lot of different things. You bring up the speed and that's a big factor. He's got good hands. He's a tough kid, he's helped us on special teams, he can play receiver, he can play running back, he can play quarterback, so he can do a lot of different things for us so we'll see what he can do in this game."
(on how T Chris Clark has developed) "It's been good, he's a pro. He came in here and I think he was a little bit familiar with our system because in Denver when he was there for a few years, they ran this system, similar system, same terminology in many different ways, so he had an idea what we were doing and here's a guy that can play right tackle, left tackle, versatile guy, so I think he's done a good job of coming in and picking it up."
(on assessing RB Chris Polk's play) "Yeah, I think Chris is a tough guy. He runs low, he gets the extra yards, he's got good hands out of the backfield. I think he's still learning our offense. I think it's a little bit different than what he's coming from, and he's still learning, but he's out there practicing every day. I think the big thing with Chris, and I'm sure he'd be the first one to tell you, is just health, being able to stay healthy, being able to stay out there. Knock on wood, he's been able to do that so far."
(on T Derek Newton and how much he's evolved as a player) "Yeah, it's funny you ask that, I just walked in from practice with him. He's a great guy, great teammate, really wanted him back, really happy when we were able to sign him back here. Versatile guy, I remember when I got here right after the '13 season, a lot of people were down on that guy. He played very well for us last year, was a versatile guy, a tough guy, can play right, can play left tackle-wise, can play right guard, left guard, probably can play center. We've never really used him there but he definitely can play four out of the five, valuable guy."
(on if things change with the play calling if T Duane Brown can't play) "No, we won't change. If Duane's not out there, that's something that we have to deal with and that's the nature of pro football. That's injuries. You only have 53 guys, so hopefully you have a strong enough roster that you can still go out there and function. The expectation would be to go out there and still play well and not change the plays."
(on what kind of problems Panthers LB Luke Kuechly and DT Star Lotulelei present if they play) "Well, Kuechly two out of the last three years has led the NFL in tackles. I mean this guy is one of the best linebackers in the game, instinctive, smart, studies film, tough, this guy is a hell of a football player. With Lotulelei, I would say this guy is a grinder, he's a tough guy, he's a guy that along the lines of what Coach (Ron) Rivera I know is probably looking for, he's just a tough football player. Both guys, difficult to deal with."
(on if he's worried about Panthers QB Cam Newton's ability to run) "I mean Cam Newton is one of these quarterbacks that's very, very dangerous because he can do a lot of things well. You bring up running, let's talk about passing first. He has a very strong arm, very accurate arm, he's big, he's 6'5", 250 pounds, very difficult guy to sack. There's not many guys like that in the league. I would equate that to kind of a (Ben) Roethlisberger, a very difficult guy to bring down as far as just pocket passer and sacking him. Then you add on the fact that he runs a read-option, quarterback power, all the things he does scramble-wise. This guy is a dangerous player and he's a great player. He's a big challenge for our team."
(on if the Panthers make plays specifically for QB Cam Newton to run like when he was younger) "Sure, and rightfully so. He can run, he's tough, he's got good size, so yeah, there's definitely plays that are designed for him to run."
(on how the Texans need to improve to cover Panthers WR Ted Ginn Jr.) "We better improve a whole lot, on our punt team especially. He's a punt returner, had a long of 37 last game, 37-yard return. He averaged 15 yards per return. We've got a big challenge. He's a very, very fast guy. He's been doing it. He's got the green light. He can field the punt wherever he wants and it's a big challenge for us."
(on concerns about short-yardage offensive situations) "It's got to get better. It's beyond a concern. It's more about like, 'We've got to do this.' We've got to gain one yard. We've all got to coach it better, we've got to execute it better, and we need to go out there and be able to gain a yard. That one on Sunday was a big one and I felt like we had to go for it at that point. We were down some points in the game and I felt like we were moving the ball on that drive, and then to not get that, it was everybody. It starts with me, but we've got to do a better job there of executing on short yardage."
(on the Panthers number one offensive target being a tight end, if that game plan is similar to the Chiefs because of TE Travis Kelce) "Well this guy is a really good player, big guy, 6'6", 250-pound guy, can run, he can jump and catch, so he's a big challenge for us. I think he had 84 catches last year, over 1,000 yards. You've got a guy there that's a big challenge for our team."
(on RB Alfred Blue saying he needs to show more patience on short-yardage situations) "I think he should put his head down and go get a yard. So whatever that means, patience, toughness, whatever. He's got the toughness. To me is, we've all got to work together. Offensive line, fullback, schematically coaching-wise, and our runners, like, go get us one yard."
(on if RB Alfred Blue is the best option for short-yardage situations) "I think that we have a lot of options there. I wouldn't qualify anybody as a best option or anything like that. I think all those guys bring different attributes to that role. It depends on what we're seeing defensively when we put a certain personnel group in. That's really what it comes down to."
Offensive Coordinator George Godsey
(on what he'd like to see better from both quarterbacks) "I think really as an offense as a whole we talk about just better execution, the plays you'd like to have, really a few plays back, particularly the turnovers, some drive-killing penalties, some drops and some sacks. That's usually the equation in this league."
(on both quarterbacks' performances against the Chiefs) "There's plenty of plays between both of them we'd like to take back. Unfortunately you can't, and the only thing to do from now on is to move on, learn from those. In football, you've only got one game a week, so you've got to make every play count when you're out there, and I think that's what we're working on this week."
(on the short-yardage situations in the first game) "Again, it comes down to execution. Also, from a play-calling standpoint we can help them out with some things. I think when I say we would like some plays back, I think from an offensive unit and coaches included, players, we're all in it together and that's the way we look at it. This week we can only just press forward and try to get better at those situations."
(on the committee approach to the running backs) "I mean all those are being considered. We had three big runs over 10 yards, so that helps out with your average, and unfortunately the situation that we got in to, we threw the ball quite a bit. We'll try to balance that out and move on from there."
(on if the potential shift in the offensive line will lead him to play his quarterbacks differently) "No, I mean we've worked all the linemen in training camp as far as, as many times as we could. Chris (Clark), adding him later, he may not have got as many reps as some of the other guys, but we mix the group. Coach (Mike) Devlin does a good job of getting everybody reps in case of a situation like that if that were to be the case."
(on how T Chris Clark has been progressing) "Well it's been a lot quickly and a lot of extra nights for him. Every rep that he gets out there, he's not taking himself out, he's taking both show team reps and regular reps. It's been important for him and we'll keep pushing the pedal to the ground with that learning scale."
(on if he's happy with his receivers) "I think that they made some plays and again, there's probably some plays that we'd like to rehash out there. That group has worked extremely hard. It's really a new group, few of them, the offense with timing, the communication, it's very important. They've put a lot of time into it and just got to keep improving. I think that those guys along with us would like to keep moving forward."
(on WR Nate Washington's regular season debut with the Texans, if he was pleased with his performance) "Yeah, I mean Nate's doing what he can to help the team. Nate's been a pro for quite a bit. He knows how the game's played. He knows quite a bit with the personnel. He does a good job of preparing and I'm not surprised by the results."
(on WR Nate Washington compared to other receivers in the league) "The thing I'll tell you about Nate is he's reliable. He comes out there every day, he practices, he's played a lot of years like I mentioned and he's out there practicing every rep. I don't see any reason to think that that's going to slow up just by his habits."
(on when was the last time he had two tight ends) "Yeah, I mean this will be between C.J. (Fiedorowicz) and Garrett (Graham), they're going to have to be flexible and not only just do their role, but also when they're called on to do something else, to try to take care of maybe a hole in the lineup, they execute it. Again, we work some of these things in training camp. Today is maybe a day where you only have these many players. We're prepared from an offensive standpoint."
(on TE C.J. Fiedorowicz making a good catch in the last game) "Yeah, I mean it was actually a broken play. I think the numbers we threw to the tight ends were only a handful of times, but that was a big play because it sparked that drive at least moving, continuing to get positive yards. I mean it was a great play. I'd like to have more of those made."
(on implementing the tight ends more this week) "I mean the thing was is the receivers were producing too. We're going to try to use everybody, and if we can, I'd like to hit the backs more, hit the tight ends more, and some of those plays the receivers would like to have back too. I'll say this that those players after practice and before practice were definitely back on to the next week."
(on WR DeAndre Hopkins saying the first interception of the game was his fault) "I mean, just, not to rehash the whole situation but from my perspective, it's not DeAndre's fault. I mean there's a play that's called, there's an execution, it's more than one person, that's why it's a team game. That's how we view it offensively. Nobody points fingers and we really take it from the coaching staff to the players in that order. That's the way we look at each play."
OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on how he feels about going back home) "I feel good. I'm ready to go home and play in front of the home crowd. It's going to be awesome."
(on how his body feels after the first game) "It felt good. It's football, you're going to get some nicks and bruises here and there, but I'll make it through the week and get ready to play again on Sunday."
(on if this game is special since it's in his home state) "No, it's just another game on the road to play."
(on CB Johnathan Joseph saying it was going to be a special game for them) "That doesn't make it special to me, maybe to him. All of them are special to me. I'm out here this year and I'm happy to be back out there, so they all are special."
(on playing more snaps this week) "Yeah, I'm excited. I always want to play in games and go out there and help my team win. I'm excited about getting more snaps."
(on how much it helps to have played a game) "Just getting better and better. Focused on using my hands a lot more this week and just get ready to play. There's different tasks this week, we've got to stop Cam Newton. Hopefully contain him and stop him."
(on the challenge of facing Panthers QB Cam Newton) "It's going to be a challenge. He's a big, physical guy. Just keep him in the pocket and tackle him, get him to the ground."
(on if he felt explosive on Sunday vs. the Chiefs) "I felt good. I felt explosive. I'm just out there trying to do my job really and get after it."
(on how long he's watched Panthers QB Cam Newton) "For years, yeah. I've been watching Cam since he was in college. I know he likes to get outside that pocket and make a lot of plays with his legs. Hopefully, keep him in the pocket and get him to the ground and make him become a passer."
(on Panthers QB Cam Newton being nearly his size) "Yeah, that's special. Very special that he's about my size. He can run and move just as well as anybody out there on the field. You've got to get him to the ground and make him do things he doesn't like to do."
(on if he knows Panthers QB Cam Newton) "No, not really. Just watching him."
(on how many tickets he has bought for the game in Carolina) "About 30-40 tickets for this game. My whole check's gone."
(on if this is the first time a lot of his friends and family will see him play) "Yeah, a lot of the guys I hang out with back home, it's the first time for them to come out there. It's going to be awesome to get them guys to come out there and watch me play this week."
(on being able to play in front of his friends and family) "It's awesome. It's going to be great, just getting them guys out there. Some of them have been asking me for years, 'When they come play Carolina, make sure I'm there.' Everybody's been asking me for tickets, so I'll try to get as many of them to the game as I can. Who knows, we'll see how it turns out."
(on what he wants to accomplish now that he's back playing) "Just continue to get after the quarterback, make plays and set the edge, and help the defense get three-and-outs, get the ball punted to our offense, put them in position to make touchdowns, and win games. Try to do my job, rush the passer and make tackles."
(on if he feels like himself yet) "I'm coming around. I told the guys that I'm feeling better and better each week, each day. I hope I keep on the up and up and this season becomes better and better for me."
(on if his biggest growth has been his technique) "Yeah, and I got a lot stronger than I was last year. I'm a lot more stronger than I've ever been right now."
(on why he's stronger than he's ever been) "I worked out here all offseason trying to get my knee right. I was like 'I'm here, I'll lift weights, too.' Lifting and running, I got a lot more stronger than I've ever been."
(on if rehabbing his knee benefited his game) "Yeah, it benefited everything around me because I had to push myself more and more than I ever did this offseason because of my knee. I got a lot stronger. I got everything else stronger around my knee, upper body, legs, hips."
(on if he was a Panthers fan growing up) "Yeah, I used to love the Panthers. Julius Peppers played there, Mike Minter, (Chris) Gamble was out there. I used to love their defense. I used to get out there, so it's going to be a good feeling to be out there playing against them."
(on if his knee is ready to chase down the Panthers strong running game) "I think so. It's my job to get after Cam (Newton). I think we're going to do a good job of that. We're going to go out there, play our game, and set the edge. Try to get them in third-and-long situations where they can pass the ball."
WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on the confidence that QB Ryan Mallett has in him) "He's been around a lot of receivers being in New England, even though he was the backup, he still threw to a lot of guys out there. That's a good compliment coming from someone who's played with a lot of receivers."
(on how important stability is in the locker room right now) "The receivers, it really doesn't matter who's throwing us the ball, Brian (Hoyer) or (Ryan) Mallett, we've just got to be out there and be accounted for when our number is called. Both of those guys know the offense, so it's not like we have a new quarterback here who doesn't know this offense. It's good that both of those guys have been in this offense for a while."
(on if he told QB Ryan Mallett to look for him when he went in) "No man, it was the play calling and him being in there knowing the offense. A one-on-one matchup gives me a chance to make a play even on the touchdown that we threw, I didn't see the safety inside of me. Obviously he did so he put the ball perfect where nobody would get it but me. That's just his understanding of this offense."
(on if he liked being called Spiderman by QB Ryan Mallett) "I really wasn't into super heroes growing up. Whatever nickname or comedy, I don't really care."
(on his biggest concern facing the Panthers defense) "Those guys get the ball out very well. They cause a lot of turnovers and they've got a middle linebacker that's been around the league for a while and knows a lot about offenses. We've got to come out and execute our game plan. We can't start off like we did last week or it's going to hurt us."
QB Brian Hoyer
(on preparing like he's the starter going into Sunday) "For sure, I think that's the only way to prepare as a quarterback in the NFL is whether it's an injury or whatever it might be, you're only one play away. For me, whether it's the starting quarterback, whatever depth you are, you prepare to be the starter and that's how I'll approach this week like I do every week."
(on what it meant to him that WR DeAndre Hopkins said the interception was his own fault, not Hoyer's) "Yeah, I mean it's just, it's accountability, it's stepping up and it means a lot to me because to the outside world, it looks like I'm throwing it right to the defensive back, but Hop's a great guy, a great teammate, and just like anybody else would, they know when to take accountability and you move on. You look at the way he played the rest of the game, he had a great game."
(on watching the film and seeing what they can correct) "Sure, I mean it's all correctable. I think you look at it and you get in the meeting room and you correct it and then you move forward. Like I said, you get ready to play Carolina. It's a tough defense which I know Houston's not too familiar with. I played against these guys last year so I have a little bit of recollection but usually a team you don't play a lot against so you've got to get in there and watch the film and really see what they're doing."
(on playing two different styles of defense in Week 1 and Week 2) "Yeah, it's a big mix up. That's just the way the NFL is. You go from playing one scheme one week to the next week it could be completely different. We've got to be able to get in there and get a little extra work, watching these guys because like I said, it's a team that the Texans don't play a lot."
(on maybe having to shuffle the offense line if T Duane Brown can't play) "I think the offensive line is always kind of a cohesive unit and those guys are always talking, they have great chemistry. Whatever it might be, those guys will be prepared and they'll get ready to play."
(on how he sees chemistry with the receivers coming along) "I mean, like I said, you get in there, you watch the film, you make the corrections. There's nothing like game reps when the bullets are flying, people react in a certain way and now you watch the first game, correct it and get back out there and work on it all practice week and hopefully go out there and execute better on Sunday."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on what he thinks it's going to be like for him and OLB Jadeveon Clowney to play back near their hometown) "Of course, I think overall you're happy to be around your family and give them the opportunity or someone who's never had the chance to come to an NFL game and things like that. You know for him it's like playing another college game or high school game right in your backyard. At the end of the day, it's always football, nothing else changes, just the location and the people that surround you."
(on when he first met OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "Clowney, it was years ago, man. He was young, man. I don't even know the exact date but he was probably playing middle school football back then."
(on if people thought OLB Jadeveon Clowney was going to be something special even when he was that young) "I think that probably started when he was in little league probably, everybody saying he's going to be special back in little league and I think he's made a name for himself and it's stuck with him. I think he's playing great now, and I'm sure he's excited to get back in front of some of his family and give them a chance to watch him."
(on if he got the chance to see some of OLB Jadeveon Clowney's high school play) "No, I haven't had a chance to watch. I've seen the highlights from going on YouTube, going on some of those college recruiting sites and things like that, but I've never seen him in person playing in high school."
(on if he'd ever seen anything like OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "Not up close in person, a guy that's able to play all the positions. What's funny was him playing running back in high school."
(on if it's crazy that he and OLB Jadeveon Clowney ended up on the same NFL team together and now they're both going back home together) "Yeah, it's my second time, it's his first time going back home, and it's my second time going back there to actually play. It's always sweet to go back in front of some of your friends and family that never really get to see you up close in person. For me, myself, I had a big ticket order, he will also, but at the end of the day, it's about going there and taking care of business and trying to win this ball game."
(on the challenges of going up against Panthers QB Cam Newton) "From a challenging standpoint, I think he's a guy that can make all the throws on the field. I think he's taken the next step in his game to do that to where he can sit in the pocket and look all over the field and make every throw. Then of course you always have to account for his legs because he's big and strong. He can kind of shake defenders off and extend plays, and then at the same time, he can take off running for a 50, 60-yard touchdown and beat you with his legs also."
(on how much pressure that puts on the defense playing a dual-threat quarterback) "I think it puts a lot of pressure on you as a defensive back because you have to cover for longer and you can't look around and worry about if he's sacked or not. You've just got to play to the whistle."
QB Ryan Mallett
(on the confidence he had when he came into the game on Sunday) "I felt good. Like I said after the game, it's about preparation. I get my confidence from how I prepare and it's going to be the same this week, prepare for whichever way we go. You know what I mean, prepare like the starter regardless."
(on if he feels content with his results from the game) "I don't think you can ever be happy when you get a loss. I played decent. I still think I missed an easy one at the end, that's the things you don't want to do. Just got to get better."
(on if he knew a change was going to be made in the game) "I was told right before. He said, 'I'm going to go with you.' I finished the game off and I warmed up and got ready to go."
(on how different it is going into the game from being on the sideline versus as the starter) "I mean in this league anything can happen in one play. That's the role of a backup quarterback. The whole complexion of the game can change in one play, so you've got to be like I said, prepared and know what's going on."
(on how much it's helped his game that he's taken regular season snaps) "It helps, got my feet wet, got into the speed of the game, so I kind of got up to speed. If I play Sunday at all then I'll feel confident."
(on playing last Sunday being a positive if he is the starter this Sunday) "Anytime you can get out there and play in a full speed, live game, it's not preseason or practice, it's going to help you."
(on maybe having to shuffle the offense line if T Duane Brown can't play) "I mean, our mentality is the next man up. Every week you're not going to have everybody at their position most of the time. It's the NFL, people get hurt. Probable, questionable, whatever, you've got to be flexible and be able to change the lineup whichever way it needs to go."
(on how he thought the receiving core performed in the first game) "You know, getting them the ball, they played well. We've got to give them the ball more and just let them make plays. They have three really good playmakers, veteran guys, so any time we can get them the ball and let them do what they do."
(on having WR DeAndre Hopkins as a weapon) "Yeah, it's like he's Spiderman. You throw the ball and it sticks to his hands. Anytime you got a guy like that, you feel confident. You feel good about it."
(on the importance of stability at quarterback with his teammates) "It's early. I think the way we did camp and the way we did OTAs where we split up reps and went with the ones and the twos, whatever it was. The guys know how we are and know how we perform and what to expect."
(on if his rhythm and approach help him) "Yeah, I learned at a young age in this league, you got to prepare as the starter regardless of whether you're the two or three. It can change with one play. Something can happen and you've got to be ready to go."
(on staying ready while being on the sideline) "I play the game on the sideline in my head. I look for stuff. I look for maybe tendencies that they're trying to break and try to help Brian (Hoyer). Last week, if I saw something, maybe just make a suggestion or something like that."
(on physically getting loose on the sideline) "You've just got to stay flexible. You've got to stretch a little bit in between series, warm up. I got to keep that wing loose now, so I got to throw in between series, help warm up with Brian (Hoyer) and make sure he's loose."
(on what it meant to him that QB Brain Hoyer was one of his first teammates to congratulate him after leading the team to a touchdown) "Yeah, we're teammates. We've known each other for like five years now. We were neighbors in New England. It's not like it's something new. We know each other. I'll be the first one to congratulate him. That's just our relationship. It's a great relationship. It's a great room, him, Tommy Savage and Zac (Dysert). We brought Zac in. It's a good room."
(on if he takes mental reps when he's not playing) "Any time I'm out there and it's live football going on, I'm taking reps in my head to be ready for whatever situation."
(on if he focused on getting the ball out early vs. Kansas City) "That's part of this game. You got to get the ball out. You can't just sit back there and hold the ball. There's a lot of great guys, defensive lineman, linebackers that are in the NFL for a reason. You're not going to stand back there and just get drilled."
T Derek Newton
(on offensive communication) "I mean you've just got to keep talking. That's where practice comes into play. Then you have meetings as well so it gives you time throughout the week to get most of the communication down what we expect in the game and the movement of the defense line and stuff like that."
(on what the Panthers defense can do and the challenges they present) "I mean they're a good defensive front. The linebackers are good, defensive line is good, safeties, so it's all about us putting in the work we need to put in this week to be better than we were last week. I feel like we were off to a great start today. We're going to go watch film in a few minutes and correct the things that we correct and just get the extra work we need, extra treatment we need, all the small things it takes for us to be a better team."
(on what he didn't like about the game last week) "I mean, you can't dwell on last week. We fell short, we know we did. We know what we got to do to be the team that we want to be, the offense we want to be. It's all about leaving last week in last week and focusing on Carolina."
(on how concerned they are with short-yardage situations) "That's a focus for us, I mean it's a big priority for us right now. We're going to keep working on it and we're going to get it down. We can't let it get us down, we've got to keep moving because once you focus on one thing, it's stops the progress of doing other things in the game and we can't let that stop us."
(on if he knows why short yard situations have been unsuccessful so far) "I mean, we've just got to keep working at it. When you're constantly doing reps at it, it gets better."
DE J.J. Watt
(on the problems QB Cam Newton poses, especially as a runner) "I mean he can do both things. He can run. He can pass. Obviously, he's a big guy, moves very well. You have to make sure you account for him obviously in the passing game and also the running game."
(on the Panthers offensive line) "They're a group that works well together. I think four of their five guys have been together for at least a year now. They work well together. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
(on what things he would like to see the defense improve upon from last week) "I would like to get some takeaways. I would like to take the ball away. That's one thing we're really going to focus on. We're trying to force some errors, force some takeaways and get the ball back in our offense's hands so they can put points on the board."
(on what he thought about OLB Jadeveon Clowney's first game back on the field) "I thought he did well. I know he wants to play more and I'm sure, as we move forward, he'll get a chance to once they ease him back into it. I'm just looking forward to seeing him continue to improve."
(on how close he came to intercepting a screen pass in the Kansas City game) "Yeah, I screwed that one up. It hit one of my hands but my hands were too far apart. I just kind of mistimed it. I guess I need to work on the JUGS machine a little more."
(on if he expects other teams to run play-action and screens similar to what the Chiefs used against the Texans) "That's what we're working on. We're working on correcting those types of things. That's what you do every single week. You go out there and watch the film. You see what you had problems with. You see what you need to correct and you go out there and we fix them. I think our team does a really good job of that. I think we do it within the game—you look at the second half versus the first half. Moving forward, we continue to improve on the things we need to grow on."
(on playing with NT Vince Wilfork for a second game and how he expects them to mesh) "I think it will just continue to improve. I think that as you get more comfortable as things continue to flow, it will get better and better."
(on if he plans on playing with a helmet this week) "I'm going to try to. Yeah, my mom called me twice after the game—once, immediately after and once, later that night. She just wanted to check and make sure I was okay—twice. I assured her that I was fine, but yeah, I've put more air in the helmet now and hopefully 330 pound men won't try to rip it off again because it comes off pretty easy if they try."
(on if it is painful having your helmet ripped off) "Yes, very painful because the chin strap is still on and it scrapes up your nose and basically just straight over the top of your head."
(on if its football instincts that keeps him playing after his helmet is ripped off) "Yeah, it's one of those things where people made such a big deal out of it. Literally, I didn't even think twice about it. I wouldn't have thought it was a big deal, until people made a big deal out of it because you're playing the game. It's like if a glove falls off or a shoe falls off, you're not just going to stop in the middle of the play. You're going to go make the play. I don't think I did anything different than anyone else would've done in that situation."
(on if he even realized his helmet came off or was he so focused on playing that he didn't) "I realize that my helmet came off. I knew that happened, but it's not like I sat there and was like, 'Oh, I should probably slow down now. This isn't good.' That's what happened. It takes a lot of force to pull that thing off, so I was just fortunate—it actually kind of helped when it came off because then I got to go get the sack."
(on how he controls himself when things like people ripping his helmet off happen) "I got a sack. What am I going to be mad about? It doesn't bother me. I've seen everything in the book. I don't really get that angry unless something is blatantly dirty and cheap. I don't think that was dirty or cheap at all. I think he was just trying to block and maybe I got a little lower and his hands got high. I don't think there was anything wrong with that play. No harm, no foul—it's just football."
(on if he has had to keep from overreacting in a game when something like that happens) "I don't know. I think that there are times where you can use it to your advantage if you can find a way to funnel that and use it as positive motivation. I think motivation comes in so many different forms. I'm trying to think of a situation where I've let it affect me in a negative way. You just have to use it in a positive way. Most of the time, when something dirty happens or something, most of the time you just laugh because you let the play on the field do the talking. If anybody is going to try anything dirty, just look at the stats, look at the game, go out there and play it. It's not fun to win a war of words. It's way more fun to win a war in an actual battle."
(on if he expects to see some similar things in what QB Cam Newton does as he did with QB Alex Smith) "I would imagine you're going to see Cam run a little bit more than Alex did, just the nature of their offenses and the way things go. They use him a little bit more as a runner. I think that they both can get out of the pocket if you let them and you want to make sure that you do a great job of popping and containing your guys, keeping them in there and forcing them to beat you with their arm."
(on if he has told the coaches he can be the third tight end with TE Ryan Griffin going on IR) "Maybe."
WR Chandler Worthy
(on where he feels like he can contribute the most) "Mainly just speed, giving the team that speed element. That's what I have to my advantage. I'm definitely trying to use it as much as I can."
(on if he's talked with Head Coach Bill O'Brien and Offensive Coordinator George Godsey on where they want him to contribute) "Just different packages that they try to put in. We haven't really nailed anything down so we're going to see day-by-day how it goes."
(on if he thinks he's going to get a chance to return on Sunday) "I'm not sure but I'm an optimist so we're going to see. I hope so."
(on how the call was to his mom when he told her he made the 53-man roster) "I called her and she was screaming happy for me, it was a great moment in my life."
(on how he told his mom that he made it) "I just called and was like, 'Mom,' and she was like, 'What?' 'I made the 53,' and she just started screaming. It was a beautiful moment for me."
(on what his reaction was when he made the team) "I got a call, I was shaking a little bit. I was at Steak 'n Shake eating a burger and a shake and I walked outside and when he told me, just an extreme joy came over me."
(on how he got his black eye) "The Dallas game, a guy poked me in it. It's been pretty bad. It was a lot worse than this. It's good now. He stuck about three fingers in my eye."
(on what his mentality is heading into the first game) "Mainly just keeping the same routine, trying to get better every day, trying to find ways that I can help improve the team in any way that I can."
(on if he's visualized his first play) "I've been playing that first play in my head since I was six years old. I'm just ready to get out there and excited about all of that."
(on what the reaction was like from his teammates) "Everybody was happy for me. Everybody started smiling when they kind of came in and saw I had a couple packages today. They're all extremely excited for me."
Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera Conference Call
(on how the uncertain quarterback situation with the Texans affects his game plan) "I don't think it's going to have much, to be honest with you. We're going to prepare for what the Texans do. Coach (Bill) O'Brien has got a good offensive system. We like the system. We're just going to prepare for it. To us, we think both quarterbacks are good football players. We've faced (Brian) Hoyer before. We faced (Ryan) Mallett in the preseason before. We think both guys do a really good job, so we're going to prepare for what they do."
(on how difficult it will be to stop the Texans pass rush) "That's exactly it, it's going to be difficult. They've got some good football players. We've got to be able to do our jobs and do the things that we need to. You can sit there and say, 'We're going to worry about J.J. (Watt)', but then like you just mentioned, they've got some other guys that are quality football players. Again, it goes back to just preparing for what they do and try to do the best you can against it."
(on what worries him about the Texans offense) "I think they've got some dynamic playmakers. I think the wide receiver group is a good, young group. I think that those guys have the chance and the ability to make plays when they need to, which we saw in their game against Kansas City. We liked their quick strike potential, which we saw a couple times when they moved the ball. They moved the ball well. I think they've got a solid offensive line. Again, I know they suffered a little bit of an injury with the tight end position, but again, I think they've got some quality football players. We're going to just have to just be on our game. The big thing more so than anything else, we think they've got a very good offensive system. We just feel that they've got the type of playmakers you need to have in those positions to give you some trouble."
(on Panthers QB Cam Newton's growth as a player) "Probably the biggest thing, more so than anything else, is his whole approach to the game has changed. He's developed into the style of passer we need in our system. He understands what it takes in our system to have success. At the same time, he's learned so much more about the game. These guys coming out of colleges right now, what they've learned is so much different and so much less than what we have here. Guys have to grow and there's a lot to learn as they grow. He's taken all that and we feel he's in a place right now where he's really comfortable in what we're doing."
(on how much Panthers QB Cam Newton's physical skills affect their game plan and decision-making) "A big part really is once we get past the first few series and get a sense for what they're trying to do and how they're trying to attack us, I think that helps (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Shula). Once he gets an opportunity to understand that teams are playing specific coverages, spying certain guys, playing a different type of front, then we've got to adjust to those things and make good decisions."
(on Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien) "I think Bill's a solid person. I think he's done a heck of a job. He's got a great background in terms of where he's coached in the past, having been a head coach in college football and had success at a very difficult place at a very difficult time. I thought he handled that tremendously. He and I have interacted a couple times, especially in the offseason. We've been in clinics together. We've been at the combine together. We've talked. I've got a tremendous amount of respect for who he is, like I said, having to deal with some of the things that he's dealt with as a head coach in college football."
(on Texans DE J.J. Watt) "The thing about J.J. is I didn't study him when he came out because we knew we weren't going to get a chance to pick him. We just went on and looked at other players. This is one of the few times I've really had a chance to step back and look at who he is. He's a dynamic football player, he really is. He does have the ability to impact and change games. You've got to have an answer. You can't commit 100 percent focus on him though because, again, they've got enough quality football players that if you let him pull you away from what you do, it's going to be tough. It's going to be tough if you don't as well. You've got to show him the type of respect you do. Pass rushers with his type of ability are impact players. They're difference makers and you have to account for them. We know who he is and again, we're going to look at the things that we have to do to try and slow him down at least."
(on the Texans slow start vs. Kansas City and how much he takes from one game) "You really can't. You've got to try to take a look at the whole body and you've got to take a look at the different personalities that they have on their football team and the different players. Try to understand who they've been in the past as well. Again, they talk about - they have a little quarterback controversy going right now. Like I said, we've played against Brian Hoyer before and we have a lot of respect for his abilities. We've seen Ryan Mallett, we played him in the preseason a couple years back. We've seen his ability. We have respect for their arms. We think they're good football players and good quarterbacks. Again, you try to attack what they do and what they've shown. Everything else is a great unknown and hopefully your players have studied, hopefully your players prepare to react to what's thrown at them."
(on updating Panthers LB Luke Kuechly's status for Sunday's game) "No. Other than he's in the protocol, he went through the step that he was supposed to today and we'll see what the next step is once he sees the doctor."
Panthers QB Cam Newton Conference Call
(on the Texans defense) "They've got guys that fly around to the ball. They have a very dynamic defensive line and that's one thing that sticks out, obviously, when you watch those guys with one of the best players in the NFL on defense. He makes that defense better."
(on if he does anything different preparing for DE J.J. Watt) "No, we just got to control him and trust that our preparation will get us the win."
(on Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera saying he prefers him to pass the ball more than look to run) "It is what it is. My job is to win football games through hell or high water, that's what I need to do."
(on the biggest concern facing the Texans defense) "I don't necessarily know what our concern is. We're just going to stick to our jobs, have an unbelievable week in practice, and be prepared for whatever those guys bring. It comes down to our execution."
(on watching Texans DE J.J. Watt on tape) "He's a dynamic player. Obviously, he is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, MVP, All-Pro. The list goes on, but we're going to be prepared for him. I expect that our preparation in this week's practice is going to carry over to the game."
(on how much his ability to run is a weapon for him) "I try to take pretty much what the defense gives me. I have to understand when to run and when not to. But at the end of the day, my number one job is to win football games. If it calls for me to run, then I'm going to do it."
(on if he is trying to protect himself more during games) "I'm just trying to win football games."
(on if he is surprised by what Texans DE J.J. Watt has become after playing him in 2011) "I'm not necessarily surprised, but that was three years ago. We have updated film that we can pull from and I'm not the same player nor is anybody on that team the same player. We just got to stick to our guns and understand that we are playing a great defense, not only just J.J. Watt, but an unbelievable defense that's coached extremely well. We'll be prepared for them."