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Texans Quotes: September 22


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on an update to P Shane Lechler and the rest of the teams' health) "I would tell you that any of these guys that have what I would term soft tissue type injuries, whether it's hamstrings or hip flexors or quad strains or whatever it might be, every one of them is day-to-day. Every single morning we'll come in, we'll see how they're feeling and we'll list it on the injury report as what basically they tell us. And usually with all of these guys that are under that category of soft tissue injury, it will be day-to-day."

(on if the team is bringing in additional punters to look at) "Well there are a few different options that you have there. Maybe you bring some guys in to take a look at in a workout. Maybe you have someone on your team that's done it in the past that can do it. But we're not at that stage yet where we have to decide it because Shane (Lechler) being the pro that he is, he's going to let us know how he feels and what he can do."

(on when he was certain RB Arian Foster wasn't going to be able to play) "Right up until game time. He worked out whatever it was like an hour or two before the game, and he felt like it wasn't 100 percent. I think he said this earlier today, you know, with those types of hamstring injuries, you never know how one cut is going to make it feel and things like that. He felt like he couldn't go. That's when we knew. I would tell you that certainly there are things that we would do with Arian in there that maybe we didn't do. Maybe we'll do other things with other players that we wouldn't do with Arian. I wouldn't say that it affected the game plan too much."

(on if he is concerned with run defense) "Sure. We have to stop the run better. No question about it. It starts with me. We got to do a better job of making sure that we understand what run schemes we're going to see, what new run schemes we may see, and then the players need to go out and execute better. But we certainly have to do a better job of stopping the run."

(on his relationship with Bills head coach Doug Marrone) "He's one of my closest friends. He's a guy that helped me really break into this profession as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech. He's a fantastic football coach. We worked together on the same staff at Georgia Tech. We carpooled to work together. His wife and my wife were college roommates at Boston College. We've known each other for a long time and I have a great deal of respect for him. This week it's about—and I'm sure he'll say the same thing—it's about the Buffalo Bills versus the Houston Texans. It really is. When the two teams take the field, it's all about the players and then the coaching on each sideline putting the players in the best position to try to win the game. They're an excellent football team; a lot of good players on both sides of the ball—very well coached."

(on if it makes it more special going against somebody that he is close with) "Again, I think when you're in this profession; there are so many guys in this profession that you work with, especially when you've been in it for 20-plus years. There are just a lot of guys that you coach against that you coached with. I think at the end of the day any coach would tell you once the two teams play, when you're on opposite sidelines, it's all about the two teams and wanting to win just like any other game. Certainly there are relationships there, but you could say that just about any team that we play. There are coaches on either sideline that some of our coaches are really close with. But it's all about going out there and trying to win, so I don't think it makes it any extra special or anything like that. It's just about trying to put your team in the best position to win."

(on the one-handed catch WR DeAndre Hopkins made that was nullified by a penalty) "It was a fantastic catch. He's having a really good year. He's a guy that has come up with some really big catches for us. Just a very, very enjoyable guy to coach. But, yeah, one-handed catch like that, you know, he makes a lot of those catches in practice. It wasn't really too much of a surprise to see him go up there and do that and it was a heck of a catch. But he was the guy that was aligned improperly. He's got to get aligned right so that the catch counts next time. We've got to do a better job of coaching that. He's a really, really good young player who has an excellent future. We need to do a better job of getting him the ball."

(on the importance of the veterans following loss) "We talked today to those guys about number one that we're all in it together. We all made mistakes yesterday. We've got to coach better. We've got to execute the plays better. We talked to them today about the veteran players in that room. There are so many guys in that room that have won a lot in this league. Now we have to make sure that we correct the mistakes and we make sure the younger players understand that these mistakes aren't acceptable and we've got to correct them. We go forward in practice and try to correct them. We have good leadership in that locker room, and that guys will do a good job of leading this team."

(on what jumped out to him from the offensive and defensive line play) "We didn't play the way we had been playing up front. And again, when we look at that tape, we look in the mirror first. What did we do that they weren't quite as prepared as they needed to be? So we've got to prepare these guys even better. They know that they need to go out there and play better. The players know that. These guys are outstanding guys. Really enjoy coaching these guys. We'll get it corrected and we'll begin working on Buffalo tomorrow, or Wednesday."

(on if he feels the team needs to dominate the lines of scrimmage) "I think that the line of scrimmage in any game is where most games are determined. I really do believe that. I think that your ability to run the football, your ability to stop the run, your ability to pressure the quarterback, your ability to protect your quarterback is always part of the formula for success. We did that at times yesterday. We protected the quarterback. We ran the ball. We stopped the run at times, but not enough. Not nearly enough. We've got to do it better and we've got to coach it better. That's what we're starting to do this week."

(on QB Eli Manning doing a quick drop and getting rid of the ball quickly) "Well, there are a lot of things you can do there. Like you said, the blitz doesn't get there in time for those types of throws. One of the things that you have to coach your guys to do is to try and bat some balls down. That's one thing. Another thing is to play tight coverage on certain downs and distances. Tighter coverages where he doesn't have the quick throw quite as fast as he wants it. And there are other things that you can do. Disguise, stem the front and make their rhythm a little off for those types of plays. That's what we'll continue to work with or work to do is to try to control the quick passing game to the best of our ability."

(on if he feels good about RB Alfred Blue now that he's seen him more) "Yeah, I do. Blue is a big back. He's a smart back. He's a tough kid. He's young. He runs tough and he's a guy that helps us on special teams. Really good work ethic, and I think he's the type of guy because of the way he works he'll only get better."

(on if he worries about the guys who were here last year thinking here we go again) "No. No, I don't worry about that at all. I do, I really do because a lot of you guys were here last year, but every year, every year in the league is different. Every single year. No two teams, no team is alike from one year to the next. Coaches change, players change; that's just the nature of the league. Everything changes from year to year. We don't talk about last year. We talk about what happened in the game yesterday and what we're going to do to try and correct those mistakes and go and try to beat a very, very good Buffalo team."

(on if there is anything that makes him look extra close to see if guys are falling into a funk) "No."

(on what positive thing he takes away from last week's loss) "I'll tell you the one thing that I take out of that game is I know this about that group of guys in the locker room. I told them this this morning. This is really a given, hopefully in pro football it's a given, but I think it's especially true of this group. We've got good leaders in there. They never quit. Right down to the last play, those guys were playing hard. It was a very physical game. Like I said after the game, give the Giants a lot of credit. They obviously coached and played better than we did. But our guys play hard, they play with great effort, we've just go to sharpen a lot of things up. And hopefully we can get those things sharpened up for Buffalo."

(on how he thinks this group handles adversity) "This group of guys is very focused and they have really good work ethics. And they do, they care about each other and they hate to lose. They just hate it, just as we do as coaches. We all do. They come in here today, you know, certainly they don't feel great about how the game went yesterday, but they know they can play better and we know as a coaching staff we can coach better. That is what we have to do to correct these mistakes and move forward to Buffalo."

(on how he feels about the depth of the secondary) "I felt overall they gave up some plays, but I felt the secondary played OK. I think D-Mo (Darryl Morris) went in there and made some good plays on a couple fade balls in the end zone. He chased down Victor Cruz on the one long play, which was a heck of a play by him. I'm confident in the way we're rotating those guys in the secondary. Injuries occur in this league for every team every game, and we have to be prepared for that. I thought Dre (Andre) Hal went in there and did some things that were decent. I think those guys will continue to get better and better. There is great leadership in that group with J-Joe (Johnathan Joseph), Kendrick Lewis and those guys. I'm pleased with where the secondary is right now."

(on WR Damaris Johnson getting an increase of playing time on offense) "D.J., he went in there and I thought he improved from the previous week. He does have some good speed, some good quickness. He helps us in special teams. He's a good slot receiver for our offense. He's a good fit for our offense. And I'll also say this, Keshawn Martin went in there, and didn't play a whole lot, but when he did go in there he did some decent things. He's a guy that's still in the mix there, obviously. But D.J., he's a guy that will get better and better in our system."

(on NT Louis Nix III's progression) "He's still got a ways to go, but he's getting better. He works hard after practice. I believe that he wants to be good, but he's got a ways to go."

(on DE Tim Jamison cracking the rotation earlier than he had in previous games) "Basically for the game yesterday, I believe we had five guys active. (J.J.) Watt, (Jared) Crick, J-Mo (Jamison), (Jeoffrey) Pagan and (Jerrell) Powe, and so J-Mo is a guy that gets in quite a bit. He's playing in the base package and he's playing as a sub pass rusher. There were some guys that got banged up during the game like Crick, so J-Mo went in there and played for him a little bit. We've got to get Pagan on the field a little bit more. He played 16 snaps. We're going to play him a little bit more. Rotate that thing a little bit more than we are right now. Those guys are coached very well by Bill Kollar. They take a lot of pride in playing that position. They take it to heart when teams run the ball on them. I think they're going to come out and have a really good practice week and be improved next week."

(on the statistical difference between QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's first and second half) "That's a great example of a guy that has a resolve. He doesn't go in the tank at halftime because he's had a bad half. He's played a lot of football in this league. I think I said this yesterday after the game. The quarterback usually gets most of the blame as it relates to players when you lose. What I say to everybody out there is here's a guy that works extremely hard. We've got to do a better job of protecting him. We've got to do a better job of calling plays for him. When we did that in the second half, he went out there, I think we were in empty, we were in no huddle, and I think he completed some passes in a row and we stalled down there in the red area. But he was really in a good rhythm. We've got to continue to try and get him into a good rhythm and help him. The guys around him need to play to their best ability, too. It's a team sport. It's 11 guys trying to get on the same page and do things the right way on every single play. It's not a one-man sport, and so we've got to understand that as coaches and as players and continue to try to work towards that."

(on the ability to recover from a poor performance in the middle of the game) "That's an interesting question. Most of the guys that I've been around are guys that are mentally tough. The successful guys, the guys that are able to say, 'I'm going to play the next play even though this play was a bad one. I'm going to dwell on this play. I'm going to try and play the next play and make up for it.' And I think we've got a bunch of guys like that on this team. They realize that was not a good game for them. Give the Giants credit. They played much better than us, coached much better than us. Our guys are resolute in the fact that they're going to get the mistakes corrected and try to go out there and play better."

T Duane Brown
(on what the team does to move on from the loss) "We've just got to keep in perspective. It's one game. Obviously you want to win every time you go out there. We have a lot to learn from this game. That's just what we're going to do. We're going to learn from it. We're going to correct our mistakes. We have a long season ahead of us. I don't think anybody around here is sulking or walking around with their heads down. We're all still very motivated and optimistic about the rest of the year and this week. All we can do is just move on and be professionals about it."

(on how much different is the offense without RB Arian Foster) "Obviously he's part of our offense and he's used in a lot of different ways. I think (Alfred) Blue did a great job stepping in yesterday, ran the ball well, ran the ball hard. You know, he's learning a lot every day. He's improving. I'm not sure what the coaches think as far as the game plan going in with Arian there or not. Either way up front, we block pretty much the same. Whatever play is called."

(on making sure the losses don't start to spiral) "We don't think about last year at all. It's a new year. We have a new team. It's a totally different organization, I believe. Just the way of thinking; we're not getting used to this feeling. We're not thinking about losing again or going into this game thinking about not losing. We're going into this game thinking about winning and correcting our mistakes and playing the type of football we know we're accustomed to playing. We have a formula of what we want to do as a team, as an offense and defense and special teams that we got away from yesterday. We're just trying to get back to it. That's all we're worried about."

ILB Brian Cushing
(on what happened yesterday against the run) "I mean, they ran the ball well. They ran the ball well. They ran down hill, they bounced outside, I mean, they were hitting all the runs. They were hitting big runs. They just controlled the ball, controlled the line of scrimmage. As far as us defensively, it was really frustrating. It's something that we obviously have to correct."

(on if he is concerned about stopping the run) "Well, yeah. I'm a little concerned about it because obviously it's not a good thing and the game ended up in a loss. So it's something that we have to obviously correct. I'm concerned about it, but I know we will; I'm not extremely worried about it. This is a very competitive hungry football team that wants to get better, and we will."

(on where he is physically) "I'm feeling good. I'm feeling good. I feel like I'm getting better every game. There is a big difference between being in shape and being in football shape. I think getting these game reps and the experience and all that, I'm just feeling like myself more and more ever game. I'm pretty comfortable on the path I'm going on right now."

(on if he tells the younger guys that it's just one game) "That's the mindset after a win, too. It's just one game. You're only as good as your last game, but at the same time you have to put it behind you. Its 16 one-game seasons, really, if you look at it. That's how you have to treat it. Every single game is extremely important. The most important game of our season right now is the Buffalo Bills because it's our next one and it's just how we're looking at it."

*QB Ryan Fitzpatrick      *
(on what he needs to correct for the next game) "I think we've got to play efficiently. We can't have penalties. We can't have turnovers. We've got to be better on third. Stay in third and manageable. All of those different things, we've just got to do a better job of being effective at that and that will help our consistency."

(on what type of wrinkle it throws when RB Arian Foster is unavailable to play) "I thought (Alfred) Blue stepped in and did a good job in terms of some of the runs that he had and how hard he ran the ball. I said it yesterday, Arian is a big part of our offense and what we do, but that didn't have any effect on kind of the way that I turned the ball over yesterday."

(on what the veterans tell the younger guys after the first loss of the year) "For some of these guys, they didn't really lose a lot in college either. The first thing is we don't have to get used to this feeling. This is a feeling that hurts. You hate to feel it on a Monday. It does happen and you've got to be able to put it behind you and move on. And not get caught up in the highs and the lows of an NFL season. Being 2-0 and young guys are already marking off that we're going to the Super Bowl and then losing a game and being doom and gloom, it's a long season and so you've got to be able to remain steady the whole way."

(on the importance of keeping emotions steady) "It's definitely about being steady. Not letting what's going on outside or not letting last week's performance kind of affect the work you put in for this week, that's kind of the big thing. Not allowing anything that happened in the past affects the way you go about your business for the next week."

(on if the team can just chalk up last week's loss as a bad day at the office) "We've got to learn. There are some good things we're going to learn from. We've got to look at a couple of the mistakes that we made and kind of why we made them. We'll learn from this one and hopefully take a few lessons, and then move on to the next game."

RB Arian Foster
(on if it is his call whether he plays or does not play) "Is it my call? I think it's my hamstring's call. Like, if it's ready to go, I'll definitely go."

(on if in short it is OK to say his hamstring wasn't ready to go against the New York Giants) "My hamstring is me, so I guess in essence it is."

(on if he was close to playing) "It's kind of here and there. It just depends. Hamstrings aren't like -I've had knee injuries, ankle injuries, shoulders, I've broken bones- I've played through a lot in this league and hamstrings are the hardest thing to gauge because you don't know how it's going to fatigue, how it's going to react to a certain cut. You never know, but it felt really good."

(on if his hamstring felt good before the game) "Yeah."

(on if his hamstring didn't feel good enough to play) "Obviously."

(on if he hurt his hamstring in practice) "No, I didn't hurt it in practice."

(on if he hurt his hamstring in a game) "I hurt it sometime."

(on if he expects to practice this week) "I just expect to go out and take it day-by-day and not push it, but work hard."

(on how difficult it was to watch the team struggle without him) "It's just hard watching your team play without you, period. I put a lot into this season. I put a lot into what I do as a professional, and so do they collectively as a team. When all your people aren't out there, it's just hard to stomach, but it's part of the game."

(on how felt RB Alfred Blue played) "I thought he played well. It was his first start. I know it was on the road and he made some big plays. I feel like he has a good future in this league. I was proud of him."

(on what it takes to let the hamstring heal) "You've just got to let it rest, man. Hamstrings heal on their own time. You can't push it or it'll relapse on you. You just have to take it day by day."

(on if the hamstring is one of the more frustrating injuries to deal with) "I mean, every injury is frustrating. It's just not an easy sport to play. It's not an easy position to play. Guys are getting beat up every single time you touch the ball. It's all frustrating."

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on if there is a way to correct the missed tackles) "Sometimes it's just taking an extra step, sometimes it's fitting in the right places and different things and sometimes getting all the guys to the ball and corralling around the ball carrier. Everything we did yesterday is correctable. It's just about going and looking at the film and taking that from the film and going out to the field with it."

(on what he tells the younger guys after the first loss of the year) "These guys have played football before. They understand the way it works. You're not going to win all of them. Of course you go into every game thinking you're going to win it, but you know, you come out as the loser sometimes. You just have to learn from it and never forget the feeling. Just go into the next game with the same mentality."

(on if he's been in a locker room where guys get too up after win or too down after losses) "You can't really get caught up in. I've seen it some, where it tends to ease in there some both ways, wins and losses. But you know, it's the NFL. You're not going to go out there and win every game or blow every team out. There are going to be some close games. There are going to be some games that you lose. It's a long season. That's why it's made for a reason. We have plenty of time. We just have to go out and correct things, you know, adjust our mistakes."

(on if the team got used to losing last year) "Not at all. You never get used to losing in this league because the more and more you lose, it costs people jobs. It's something that you never want to have, that taste in your mouth. It's something that we have to put to bed now."

(on what he tells the younger guys) "It's part of the NFL. Go and watch the film and just learn from it. Like I said, there's nothing you can do about it. Once that game's over, it's in the past. You just have to move on to the next week and just do what you can do about that upcoming week."

(on CB Darryl Morris' progression) "D-Mo came in, from the moment that he came in, he's been a guy that whenever he's been called upon, whether it be special teams or backup or whatever it is, I think he's come in and maximized his opportunities."

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