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Houston Texans

Texans-Steelers postgame quotes


After the Texans' 38-17 loss to the Steelers, members of both teams spoke to the media.

Head coach Gary Kubiak

(on his thoughts on the game) "Well, we got manhandled, you know? They got after us pretty good. I don't have any excuses for you. The first place I look at, I go look at myself. I take a hard look at myself and where I had the football team going into the game. Obviously, it wasn't anywhere close to good enough. Just very disappointed, but give them credit. They beat us in every phase there was to beat us in."

(on if he's surprised by the game) "I'm extremely surprised. I felt good going in. I liked our practice this week. I liked the way we came out of the tunnel ready to go. The fourth down play that we don't make, I felt good being aggressive right there. We preach to our football team that we're going to be aggressive. After that, it just kind of snowballed and it didn't really stop until the end of the third quarter sometime. It was disappointing, but I've got to start with myself. That's where I've got to start."

(on the officials' call on the fourth-and-one play) "Well, the thing I was disappointed in is the referee signaled first down twice and then the guy on the side came in and spotted the ball. So that was my biggest fuss. I just told him, I asked (referee) Terry (McAulay), I said, 'Terry, you signaled first down. So what happened between that and spotting the ball?' But basically, if they spot it and it's not good enough, that's the way it goes. That's what we've got to live with."

(on QB Matt Schaub) "He had two decisions there early in the game. This football team's [Pittsburgh] too good. You're going to have to play near-perfect to have a chance to beat them, especially in this place. And if you go out there, you throw them a couple, you're just compounding the problem. So, the kid battled his heart out. He kept playing. He took a shot early, which concerned me. I'm not sure he wasn't dinged up a little bit, but we've got to protect the ball. We've known that. How many turnovers did we have today, three? That's more than we had the whole preseason. So if we do that, then we're going to have a hard time winning."

(on if he's concerned that QB Matt Schaub also started that way against Dallas) "Well, he missed a couple of plays against Dallas. Early in the game, I didn't think he missed some throws. I'll have to go back and look at it. I saw him make a couple of bad decisions with the ball. Dallas was just he purely missed some guys that were there. But here it was just a case of reading something and saying no to the play and moving on to the next guy, which he didn't do."

(on if he thought about playing QB Sage Rosenfels) "My only consideration would have been if I thought Matt was dinged. He took a good shot on the second sack, if I recall, and I was a little concerned about him from a standpoint where he had just taken a good shot. But other than that, no."

(on the running game) "We knew it was going to be hard sledding against them, but we felt like we could run the ball in some second-and-10 nickel situations. That was kind of our game plan. We did it early. We kept ourselves in decent third downs, but we didn't make the third down. But when you get down like we did, it's hard to stay committed to it."

(on giving up a lot of rushing yards) "Well, I'm sitting here looking at it. They ran for 183 yards and 4.7 (yards per carry). They're a ball control team. If they're able to do that, they were five-for-five in the red zone, and nothing good's going to happen for your football team."

(on if QB Matt Schaub held on to the ball for too long on some sacks) "Well, they're capable coverage wise of making you hold the ball. They do a lot of different things coverage-wise as a team. A lot of man-under stuff, so your check-downs and stuff are not there. So they'll make you hold the ball. At the same time, sometimes you've got to throw it away, go to second down. But we knew that going in. They didn't do anything different that we hadn't seen. We just didn't execute."

(on the Steelers being a good team) "It's a hell of a team. It's a hell of a franchise, a hell of a team. Their quarterback's one great player, the job he does for them. They don't give up big plays. And you know that coming in, and you better find a way to go toe-to-toe with them running the football and those types of things. If you do turn the ball over against them, you're in deep, deep trouble."

(on what one thing he's most disappointed about after the game) "I can't put my finger on one thing. It's pointing at me right now. I'm the one struggling to figure out why that happened, why we went two-and-a-half quarters and played the way we did as a football team. So I'll start with myself."

(on if he tried to change anything at halftime) "No, not really. We didn't execute well. We didn't do anything well. We just needed to come out and do our base stuff and compete. If I recall, we didn't stop them the first two drives of the second half. They went right back down our throat again, and offensively we didn't do nothing. But, no. To come in here after the way we played in the first half, to think that we were going to come up with some tremendous answer wasn't the case. We just weren't playing well."

(on being in position to score after LB DeMeco Ryans' fumble recovery) "Yeah, it's big. We had two runs in a row, we end up with third-and-15, I think. So at least if you get the ball into the end zone right there, you find a way to get into the half at 21-7 or something, you feel pretty good. But they stood up and made a couple of good plays. Give them credit."

(on RB Steve Slaton's first NFL game) "I thought I saw some positive things and I also thought I saw some things that, in my opinion, he could do a lot better. He had some creases in some areas that he's got to get the ball downhill quicker, but it's his first time out. Looked like he was OK in protection. He's got to become a good player for us for us to become effective, so we're counting on him."

(on DE Mario Williams playing well) "I can't say enough about the kid. We've got to continue to find him some help, but this kid, he goes all day. He never says a word. Could easily get frustrated, but he doesn't. He keeps playing. What'd he have today? Two sacks, am I right? Two sacks, forced a fumble. The kid's special. The kid's special. He's something else."

(on his message to the team) "Well, my message in the locker room is that it's simple, that I'm going to start with me tonight. I'm going to go back and see what position I had the football team in coming into the game. And then tomorrow, we'll get together as a team, and I've asked everybody else to do the same thing. You've got to be able to bounce back in this league from getting your tail kicked, and we got our tail kicked today. Seven days from right now we're back on the field, and we're going to have to be a hell of a lot better. We've got to go learn from this. We don't have a choice. We've got to learn from this. We're going to play the same type of football team next week – physical, nasty football team coming in there."

(on if he planned to go with RB Steve Slaton so much) "No, we were going to rotate Ahman (Green) and him basically three plays at a time. It would've been crazy to send Ahman in there too much. So that was our plan all along. Just never got in a rhythm to see a good rotation going."

(on Pittsburgh controlling the ball for so long) "Well, they only threw the ball 18 times. In the National Football League, when you only make a team throw the football 18 times, you're in deep trouble. That's controlling the football game. So I know we were in a lot of eight-man fronts, which puts your corners on an island, but you've got to be able to stop it. And we've been poor doing it and we were poor again today."

T Duane Brown

(on the game) "This is definitely a great learning experience for me. I wish I could've came out and had a better day, but this is the NFL. You're going against great athletes week in and week out, on the road, so it's not going to get any easier for me. I've just got to come back tomorrow and get ready for next week."

(on if this was a tough baptism for him) "It was pretty rough. I blame myself. They have a great defense, great players, but I hurt myself more, I think, just with my technique and stuff. I got out of whack sometimes, and that hurt us a couple plays. But I've just got to bounce back."

WR Andre Johnson

(on the defense's turnover late in the first half) "That can change the game. The defense gave us a great opportunity, and you've got to take advantage of it. In order for us to be the team that we want to be, we can talk and say we want to be a playoff team and we want to be a winning team, but if we don't go out and do it on Sundays, then all the talking doesn't really matter."

(on if he worries about QB Matt Schaub after a game like this) "Well, you really can't just put it on Matt. I don't worry about Matt. I know Matt's a hard worker. It's not like Matt or anybody on this team goes out and tries to perform bad. Sometimes those things happen. Sometimes you have bad days, and you just have to go back, regroup and just try to bounce back."

Texans DT Travis Johnson

(on assessing the performance of the defense) "It was all of us, really. We as a group missed too many tackles. They had a lot of yards after the contact. We have to go back and really assess our missed tackles and get better at finishing the plays."

(on if he was embarrassed about the results) "Of course. Anytime you lose and the other team is taking out their starters in the fourth quarter, it's embarrassing. At the same time, you have to learn from it. You can't dwell on it. Tomorrow we have to go back to the drawing board and get better."

(on the two long Steelers' drives in the third quarter) "We missed too many tackles. We were hitting them early, but they'd bounce off and go for another seven or eight yards. That really hurt us. We have to go back and assess exactly what went wrong. "

(on if the Steelers are a more physical team) "No. I wouldn't say they're more physical. Today we just got beat. They were a better team today. I wouldn't say they're tougher than us. It was embarrassing, but I just can't say they're tougher than us."

(on if the Steelers' offensive numbers tell the story) "They don't tell the whole story. We missed a lot of tackles. A lot of those came from missed tackles from all of us – the defensive line, the defensive backs. We have to go back and reassess the film."

Texans G Chester Pitts

(on his thoughts on the game) "You tip your hat to them. They are a very good team defensively. There were not very many holes. There were not many gaps. They was no space in their defense. They play their scheme very well. You just have to find a way to overcome that."

Texans LB DeMeco Ryans

(on the Texans' missed tackles versus Pittsburgh) "It's just technique and it's just want-to, pretty much. If you want to get him on the ground, you're going to get him on the ground."

(on why the team missed tackles) "I wish I knew. I don't have an explanation for it."

(on if he's shocked about the lopsided loss) "I am very shocked about it. I never expected for us to come out and have a day like this. I felt we were well-prepared. We practiced for them for a long time, so we knew the runs that they had. We knew their pass concepts that they were going to throw at us. It's just a matter of us stepping up, competing and making the plays and making the tackles in there."

(on if the Steelers were more physical than the Texans) "I wouldn't say that they were that much tougher or more physical. It's all on us. They didn't do anything that we didn't see on the film. They didn't come out with anything new. They ran all the plays that we practiced. We didn't step up and make the plays that we should've made."

(on coach Gary Kubiak taking responsibility for the loss) "I think every head coach will say that. You have to start from the top down when you go out there and get embarrassed like we did today."

(on the Steelers' starters watching from the sideline in the fourth quarter) "You know it's been a rough day for you when they bring their second-string quarterback and running back in. It's been a rough day. You don't want to see that ever when you're out there playing defense. You want to be competing with their top guys for all four quarters."

(on if it reminded him of his college days when Alabama would run up the score and he'd watch from the sideline) "That's how it was. That's what it seemed like. They had a pretty good lead. As they look at it, there's no point in getting their stars hurt."

Texans QB Matt Schaub

{QUOTE}(on his thoughts on the game) "I am extremely disappointed in myself, my performance, our team's performance, because we were ready for this game. We're capable of a whole lot more and we just didn't execute to the best of our ability. We expect a lot out of ourselves and we weren't even close to that."

(on why the team played so badly) "It's hard right now to put a finger on why. It's something we'll evaluate over the next 24 hours. We need to take a hard look at ourselves and us as a team and figure it out tomorrow and piece it together and come back this week ready to go."

(on his two interceptions) "The one was a very poor decision on my part. I should've just thrown the ball away – the second one. The first one I was trying to make a play to my guy in the flat and (the defender) jumped it. It was a bad decision as well, but the second one was a whole lot worse."

(on if he was affected by a previous hit) "No, I'm never going to say that I was affected by something like that. You just have to go out there and play."

(on his fourth down dive in the first quarter that was called short) "I thought I got the first down. I got a pretty good push in there behind my guys. I think I had plenty yards for the first down, you know, got enough. But it's always hard for those guys to kind of see where you get the ball to. But I think it was a pretty poor call on their part."

(on the difference that play made in the game) "You look in this league and a lot of the times the difference in winning and losing is a couple plays. We had something going there on that first series. We were moving the football and get the ball right there at midfield and I think if we get that we get a fresh set of downs and who knows what would've happened. We could've set the tone for the football game by either getting seven or three out of that first drive, but you can't just go back and say that play turned the tables."

(on if he's worried about the team bouncing back) "I'm not. I'm not, because as a football team there's a lot of veteran leadership on this team and we're going to pull ranks and pull together and get this thing right and be ready to go home next week against Baltimore."

(on the Texans' defense forcing a turnover in the first half) "That was a big play for us because I had just turned the football over and we got it right back and (the play) got us down in there in the red zone. We got to a third-and-long situation and they just played cover so I had to dump the ball down and hope that our guy could make someone miss and get a play there. But we had to settle for three and you always want to get seven points out of that situation."

Texans WR Kevin Walter

(on assessing the performance of the offense) "We struggled as an offense early, and you can't do that when you come into a hostile environment like this. We knew it was going to be loud; we knew it was going to be tough. We turned the ball over and that's what hurts. We put the defense in bad positions, and you can't expect to come on the road and win and be successful on offense when you do that."

(on the Steelers defense) "I don't think they surprised us at all. We did it to ourselves. We were playing against a good group, but we didn't execute. I think we did it to ourselves. It's nothing really that they did. We just have to make smart choices and execute better on offense."

(on if the Steelers are tougher and more physical) "No. Absolutely not. No, definitely not. It might have looked like it out there today, but we're physical. We're going to run the ball well. We didn't run the ball well today. We didn't play well as an offense today. We're going to look at the film tomorrow and correct our mistakes. We'll be back."

(on if he was concerned about Matt Schaub's performance) "No, it doesn't concern me. Matt's going to come out and have a great game. Matt's the leader. He's a great quarterback. You can't just put it on the quarterback's shoulders – it's the whole offense. We're all in this together, and if one fails we all fail. We all have to be on the same page or obviously it doesn't work."

(on how the team looks forward) "This is the first game of the season. Everyone starts undefeated. The Super Bowl champs lost their first game. We have to correct our mistakes. We have a home game next week against Baltimore. We're going to correct the mistakes from this week and move on."

Texans DE Anthony Weaver

(on the Texans defense) "When you give up that many rushing yards, it says a lot about what they did upfront. For us, it's just a matter of believing in what we do. And they played harder."

(on his reaction to the results) "We're not going to get too low. It's a long season and we have to get back to work."

Texans DE Mario Williams

(on the game) "We had all the intentions to come out here and make things happen. From a defensive player's view, starting from the d-line to the DBs, we've got to tackle. We missed a lot of tackles. We've just got to find out why. We had all preseason to go out there and hit guys and never encountered something where we were not able to make some tackles. They did everything we knew we were going to do. We were there. We were just missing way too many tackles."

(on him playing well but the team getting manhandled) "I'm part of the team, definitely. Whatever happens to one of us happens to all of us. So, like I said, we came out here and I can speak for the defense and say that we just weren't playing football right."

(on giving up so many rushing yards) "I mean, obviously this is definitely not what any of us want. I'm not going to sit here and say that it's OK, believe me. But when it's something as far as missing tackles, it could have easily went the other way. And we definitely needed it go the other way."

(on if he gets any satisfaction from the two sacks and forced fumble) "No. No."

(on why not) "Because we lost. From a personal standpoint, I look over there on that bench and I see Ben (Roethlisberger) with his hat on, and I'm like … that was the beginning of the fourth quarter. I don't like that too much. All that other stuff is wiped out."

(on if this is embarrassing) "I mean, we didn't play well."

(on their offensive line) "Their offensive line was good. They did exactly what we thought they were going to do. They played how we thought they were going to play as far as run blocking and pass blocking. We've just got to mix it up a little more and make things happen. One-on-one, personally, we each have to be held accountable and take care of business."

(on if on a couple of RB Willie Parker's touchdown runs the Steelers caught him going after QB Ben Roethlisberger and ran to his side) "The early one, it was like third-and-12; it was something long distance or whatever. And from what we were looking at it, definitely, we were thinking pass and they hit us with a draw and it was a great play."

(on if he felt like he was working harder than everyone else on the team ) "I mean, we are all working hard to get there. It's just one of those things if it comes your way, it comes your way. It is what it is. I'm not going to sit here and say everybody else isn't working hard because I know how hard everybody is working."

Texans T Eric Winston

(on being manhandled and embarrassed) "I'd say that's an accurate description. All of the above. That was a pretty accurate description. We never got in a rhythm, never got in a flow. It's good playing by them. They played well, and we didn't. I could say ifs and buts and if we get that fourth down and if we get that, but we didn't. And that's the way it is. There's no sense in making excuses. We came out, we didn't get it done. We didn't play well, they played great. That's what happens."

(on if he's shocked) "A little bit. A little bit. I was expecting to play them at least a lot closer. I came in here fully expecting that we could win this game. At the very least, I thought that we were going to play it close going into the fourth and see what happens. But to kind of get run over like this was a little shocking."

(on protecting QB Matt Schaub well last year but giving up sacks today) "It's real disappointing, but there's 15 more games. That means we can go 15-1. We've got to work for it. We've got to go out. We're not going to start over; we're not going to do all that stuff. We're going to go and we're going to get better. We're going to practice hard on Wednesday, practice hard on Thursday, get it together on Friday and we're going to go play a great game on Sunday. And that's what it's all about. You can't let this affect you. Ask Cleveland last year. They came in and kind of the same thing happened to them. Got ran over, and they had a great year. So to say that everything's a waste, you know, we've got 15 more. That's what's great about this league."

(on Pittsburgh being good) "Obviously, really good. They make it tough. They're a full team. They control the ball. They make you make those possessions count. And when they don't, then they take advantage of you. So it's a team effort on them. We tried to beat them at their own game, and we didn't get it done."

(on what it felt like as the game was progressing) "It just seemed like we couldn't stop that snowball coming downhill. You try to; once it starts rolling, it's hard to stop it. And that's what really happened. You just couldn't put the brakes on and get it moving in the other direction."

(on if a game like this can scar a team) "I think if you let it. But we've got to have a short memory. We've got to go out there and, like I said, play better, play hard, practice well and then forget about it. There's nothing we can do about it now. We didn't play well. We didn't live up to the expectations we set, but like I said, there's 15 more opportunities to do that."

Texans DT Jeff Zgonina

(on assessing the team's performance) "I don't know. We have a lot of work ahead of us. That's about it."

(on the Steelers dominating the game) "We didn't play very well today. We'll watch the film and see what happened."

(on his reaction to the results) "Very shocked. We thought we had a good game plan. We had a good week of practice. I thought we were ready to go."

(on bouncing back from the loss) "Well, you have to. It's Week 1. We have 15 more games to go. You can't go jumping into the tank already. We just have to go back, take a good look at it, prepare and go out there next week."

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