Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(opening statement) "I'll just start off today with a little injury update. (T) Jeff Adams, he'll be out for the year with a knee injury. I feel for the guy. The guy really put a lot of effort into this season. He was here all offseason, really improved as a player, and those things happen. Those injuries happen. He'll be out for the year. The rest of these guys are basically day-to-day. I would even say (T) Duane Brown would be day-to-day. We'll see how that goes towards the end of the week. (RB) Arian Foster, same thing, day-to-day. Kind of see how that goes and keep you updated on that throughout the week. Other than that, open it up to questions."
(on if G Xavier Su'a-Filo is coming back this week) "I would say he's in the day-to-day category."
(on the defense giving up five touchdown passes in two games) "I think there's a lot of things we can do better. I think we can communicate better, coach to player, player to player. I think we can coach the scheme better. I think that the players can execute better. I think the big thing is on defense we're all in it together, and we're just going to really try hard to get out there this week and put together a good game plan for Tampa Bay."
(on how the running game is looking and how he feels about the running back by committee approach) "The running back position, that's the way it's going to be. We're going to rotate guys in and out of there, different guys for different schemes, different personnel groupings, things like that. I think the offensive line has played a little bit inconsistent, but at times they've looked really good. There's been some yards out there that maybe we've missed. I think it all works together. I think the backs need to run better, I think the line can block better, but I think that we're going to, like I said about the defense, we're going to work very hard to really improve this week. I'll say this too, we understand where we're at. We get it. We know we're 0-2. I think that the key for this team is to understand that the league is about adversity and how you deal with adversity. We've got a very tough opponent coming in here this week, Tampa Bay, that just had a big win over New Orleans. These guys are going to work really hard this week to put together a good game plan, practice hard, and go out there and try to get a win."
(on T Oday Aboushi and how much he can fill in given the injuries on the line) "I think we can get him up to speed. I think he's a smart guy. He's been in a similar offense before in New York, similar terminology with the line communication, things like that. I think he's a guy that we can definitely get in there and can possibly help us this week."
(on T Kendall Lamm playing for the first time) "I thought Lamm played pretty well for that being his first time. I think he played 47 plays. I think it was 47. I thought he hung in there. I think he's a tough kid. I think it's very important to him. He's in here extra all the time working hard, trying to get stronger in the weight room. I thought he went out there for his first time out there, I thought he competed pretty well."
(on how he would assess Offensive Coordinator George Godsey and the play calling) "I think everybody's got to do better. I think it starts with me as a head coach. I'm not going to evaluate each coach on the staff and assess this and assess that. I'll assess myself. I have to do a better job, get the team ready to play, and get this thing going in the right direction."
(on some of the running backs saying they were getting hit right after they got the ball) "I think sometimes there were things that we could do both up front and from the quarterback position to get us into the right play. The overall execution of the running game from the basics of the hand off, and how we're executing the running as it relates to the scheme in the backfield, those things can be better, the blocking can be better. I think it all starts with us making sure that we improve. We just spent a lot of time in the film room with these guys trying to correct the mistakes and I think they understand it. Now we've got to go out there and improve."
(on if he is confident in the Texans defense) "Look, we've got to play better as a team. We have to play better complimentary football. On defense, we have to tackle better. We've got to communicate better. We've got to challenge receivers more. We've got to pressure the quarterback more. There's just a lot of different things that we can all do better. I think that the players know that the coaches are working very hard this week to put them in that position to play better. Again, like I've said, and I'll say it all along, we're all in it together. We're all trying to improve. That's kind of where it's at right now."
(on what he's liked about the Texans defense) "First of all, I think that these guys compete very hard. They play hard. I think they've come up with some big stops, like at the end of the game there, to get us the ball back. I think there's been some – obviously with J.J. (Watt) and a couple other instances of other players with tackles for loss, sacks, pressuring the quarterback. (Jadeveon) Clowney got in there. (Jared) Crick tipped the ball. Clowney tipped the ball, almost had a strip sack. I think there's some things we've done that have been good. We just have to be more consistent about doing these things."
(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney's performance vs. Carolina and increased playing time) "I think the more he plays, the better he'll get. I really do. I think that his play count will go up each week. The more that he's in there, the more that it helps our team and the better he'll get. Because basically you're looking at a guy that's still in his rookie year, from a playing standpoint. He's shown us the signs of what we expect out of him, chasing the ball down, pressuring the quarterback, taking on blocks in the running game. I think the more experience he gets, the better he'll get."
(on how dropping catchable passes can affect an offense) "We have to catch the ball better. We had, I think seven or eight drops. We just talked about that in there. These guys are – they feel as bad about it as we do. They know that we have to catch the ball. I think some of them, we can throw the ball better and then some of them we just basically have to make a catch. It's in our hands and we have to catch the ball. They'll work hard on it this week. They'll work hard after practice and before practice to make sure that doesn't happen again."
(on what WR Jaelen Strong needs to do to be active on game day) "He needs to practice better."
(on if only having two tight ends limited the offense and if he is considering making changes at that position) "No."
(on what WR Jaelen Strong needs to do in practice) "Like everybody, just try to improve every day."
(on if he needs to find a balance on offense after leading the league in pass attempts) "The reason why we've been throwing the ball a lot and really you're right we need to find a balance. You're right. The reason why is on first down we don't gain enough yards. When you put yourself behind schedule on first down and you're in second-and-long and then a lot of times that leads to third-and-longer distances that leads to a lot of throws. We've got to do a better job on first down of gaining yards and then that can help our running game because now you're in more manageable distances where a three or four-yard run can really help you. But yeah, we've been a little bit out of whack. Now, the other thing to be clear on that though is we're always going to do what we believe it takes to win the game. If we feel like it takes 50 passes or 55 passes to help us win the game, that's what we're going to do. But going into the game, we're always trying to strike a balance."
T Duane Brown
(on if he is playing on Sunday vs. the Buccaneers) "I can't say that quite yet. I'm still taking it one day at a time, seeing how much I can heal up this week."
(on how much taking a week off helped the healing process) "It helped some. But it's something I have to be smart about and not rush. It's a long season, so I just want to be smart about it."
(on dealing with his emotions on the sideline) "It's tough, man. Especially when you come away from a game unsuccessful. It's really tough to sit on the sideline. I just try to be as supportive as possible and do as much as I can from just another set of eyes for the coaches to helping my guys up front out while I was there."
(on if he's been able to lift weights) "Yeah, I've been able to stay in shape and try to maintain my strength as much as possible, but as far as action on the field, I haven't been able to do that. That's what I'm working towards."
(on QB Ryan Mallett's performance and how much experience helps) "I think experience is everything. First start on the road this year, I thought he played well. We have to continue to do a great job up front. We have another pretty good defense coming in this week. Continue to battle, to keep him upright, and give him time to operate. But I thought he did well."
(on how he hurt his thumb originally) "Blocking."
(on if his injury was a fluke) "Yeah, it was a fluke."
(on if it's something he has dealt with before) "No, I haven't done it before."
(on if he pushed it too hard by trying to play the first game vs. Kansas City) "Yeah, first game set me back a little bit. That was a game I was really excited to play in and perform, and going against that defense and against those edge rushers, I really wanted to be out there. It set me back a little bit, but it's not anything that I think will linger too much longer, but like I said, I 've got to be smart about it."
(on what the team needs to improve on) "The running game, man. We have to get our rushing game going in order to be successful. We can't be one dimensional in this league against the defenses that we have to face. I think that's the main thing. I thought upfront in pass protection, we did a pretty good job all things considered. We had our right tackle go down. We had a rookie go in there and play. Everyone battled hard, but the run game suffered. I think in this offense, you have to be able to do both in order to really be productive. That's something we have to continue to work on."
(on why the running game has struggled) "We knew going into that Carolina game that was a very stout defense. Their front is very, very big. They do a great job of swarming to the ball. With that being said, I think it's just a mindset we have to have upfront. It's being more physical than the other team and just sustaining our blocks. We weren't able to do that this week, so we have to have a better outing next week."
(on the percentage chance he plays this week) "No percentage yet, man. I might know something later on in the week, but right now, I don't know."
CB Kareem Jackson
(on NT Vince Wilfork saying he's not satisfied) "I agree with him. We all should be like that, especially the way the last two games went. Little things, paying attention to the little details, small things, keeping up with winning games. I agree with him. It has to get better and it has to get better now."
(on it not being too early to be dissatisfied) "It's definitely not too soon. Anytime you lose, you can't just brush it off. You've got to fix whatever the problem is. As a team, we'll evaluate it today, go out and make corrections and get back to work."
(on why they weren't able to get stops on third down) "Like I said, little things. Whether it was missed tackles, they completed a couple passes, not keeping him in the pocket, he scrambled a couple times and got first downs. A couple times we had flags and stuff. It was little things. The thing about it is it can be corrected. We'll continue to work to do that, correct things, and like I said, we have to go out and get better every day."
(on if the little things are tougher to correct than the big plays) "No, I don't think those are the hardest things to correct. Like I said, the smaller things should be the easiest things to correct. It's just us coming together as a total defense, just kind of taking it upon ourselves. Every man, every guy that's out there on the field, just kind of doing their job and meshing together."
(on if there is a sense of urgency this week to win) "Definitely. Anytime you start the season off 0-2, it's always an urgency to go and get that first win. Hopefully we can go get that first win this week and get the ball rolling in the right direction."
(on the size of the Tampa Bay receivers) "They have some size at receiver, but as a secondary, we each look forward to going out and competing. Smaller guys, bigger guys, to us it won't really matter. We have to go out and do our job. We have to go out and compete all day this week, we're definitely preparing the right way for them and then we'll go out and work towards getting a win."
(on if communication in the secondary is improving each week) "I think it's getting better every week. Every day that we're together out on the practice field it's getting better. Communication is definitely a factor. I think we've been doing a great job of communicating. Like I said, each and every day we go out, we're together. It's definitely getting better and better. We look forward to going out this week and continuing to go in the right direction."
CB Kevin Johnson
(on his second NFL game) "I felt pretty good. I feel like I'm getting better every week. Just trying to get in here, work hard and get better. Go to work this week in practice and hopefully improve again."
(on the defensive performance vs. Carolina) "As a defensive unit, we're very critical of ourselves. We want to get better at everything we're doing. We haven't watched the tape yet. We're about to watch the tape in a little bit. We'll make corrections. The plays that we left out there, we'll definitely correct those."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on if he agrees with NT Vince Wilfork saying the team needs to stop playing 'bad football') "No question. You don't want to dig yourself in a hole early in the year. I think I agree with him on some of that, from a standpoint of you don't want to just keep saying 'Well, we have time left' and things like that. You definitely have to get the ball rolling eventually. I wouldn't say that time has passed, but it's got to be sooner than later. I can say that from my standpoint, but I can't speak for exactly what he was saying but overall, I can see some of his point."
(on why exactly the defense is struggling on third down) "I don't even know to be exact and point it out. I know at one point in time, they were 0-for-6 on third downs. I don't know what they finished with or whatever. I don't know if it was really third down that hurt us more so than first and second down."
(on how he played individually) "I think I played decent. I'd like to get that touchdown back. I can't, in that situation right there when the game is tight like that, I can't give up that touchdown. I've got to come down and fight for the ball and get the ball out. Overall, anytime you don't get the win, however you played doesn't really matter because at the end of the day, you just want to win games. I'll take playing terribly bad and get the win then playing well and not getting the win. That's kind of how that is. But I'd definitely like to have that one play back for a touchdown."
(on the Buccaneers wide receivers) "I haven't really had a chance to watch them yet. Obviously, I'm familiar with the names with Vincent Jackson and the big kid they drafted a couple years ago, Mike Evans and those guys. I really haven't had a chance to watch them because it's been all Carolina last week. I'll definitely get a look at them today."
(on if the defense is close to putting together a complete game) "I think we're close, but I think it's easier said than done. I think for whatever reason, we have a couple lapses here and there. If you want to be a great and dominant defense, you can't have those lapses anytime throughout a game and especially the way these games are playing out, when it's coming down to one touchdown or a field goal to decide the game. We definitely have to be great all the time."
(on if there is pressure in the locker room) "I wouldn't say it's pressure, but it's just common sense around here. Being around this league a long time, you just can't put yourself in a hole. We definitely don't want to go down in a hole. We eventually have to get that number one win in the win column and of course we'd like it to be at home because it's our next game."
(on if working hard is the solution) "Of course. You don't want to point fingers. You don't want to blame one side or blame the other side. You just want to continue to work hard and go out there and put your best effort forward. I think we have to – I wouldn't say go back to the drawing board, but you just have to be precise and sharp at all times because the margin of error is really small."
(on facing a talented rookie quarterback in Jameis Winston) "You just have to play him for what he is. You have to go study and read your keys and tips. Don't do anything that you haven't been doing before. You have to be disciplined, sound and disciplined, upfront and in the back end. Just do everything that you're asked of the coaching staff."