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Texans-Titans postgame quotes


Running back Steve Slaton celebrates a six-yard touchdown run.

After the Texans' 31-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field, members of both teams talked to the media about the game.

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak

(on missed opportunities in the game) "In the first half, we dropped a couple touchdowns. You can't come into a place like this and do that. We had our chances in the first half to make some big plays. In the second half, our defense played extremely well and they gave us a chance to win. We didn't make any plays on offense. We were poor on third down. We missed some on fourth downs. We were very poor in the red zone. I think we were 1-6, so it's very tough to win that way."

(on how he thought the team played) "I thought our guys played hard, played extremely hard. We just didn't play very clean, like I said. I don't want to rehash it, but if you look at the first half, we had out chances to make our plays just like we'd worked on. But we didn't make them. Then in the second half, like I said, give them credit. They did a good job. They knew that we were starting to throw the ball a quite bit. I mean 93 (Kyle Vanden Bosch) is a tough guy to handle and he gave us all we could handle."

(on going for it on fourth downs) "Even if we kick a field goal, we are still two scores away. So I felt good. We need to be aggressive as a football team and work through this. We called zone coverage; we had a screen on. I feel pretty good about the play. I think it was fourth-and-four, but we didn't get one of our guys out. One of our linemen out got held up, which that stuff happens. And they made the play. I'd be aggressive there again. Plus, I'd have to admit that I was very concerned there after watching the ball roll back there a couple times from a snap standpoint. So it concerned me."

{QUOTE}(on QB Matt Schaub) "I know he struggled early. Now, I'm at the point after that where I have to go back and look at the rest of the football game. But early in the game, there were some things that were uncharacteristic. But we'll go back and look at all four quarters and evaluate everybody's play, including him."

(on if he considered playing QB Sage Rosenfels) "You've got to let a guy work through things. I mean, he did not start clean, but we were right there in the ball game. It was a 12-10 ball game. That's part of playing quarterback in this league. I didn't consider it today. I'll go back and I'll study everybody on the film and see how we were playing. He needed to work through that and make some plays to help us win the game. We were in a very tight football game and we've got some plays there that we didn't make. You've got to also remember there that he did make two great throws that we dropped for touchdowns. There's other people involved in winning and losing, not just the quarterback. We've all got to do our job."

(on who dropped touchdown passes) "I think we had Andre (Johnson) in the left corner early in the game for a touchdown, and then the big ball down the middle of the field was the other one. Those were two touchdown plays right there. Those are our plays to make and we've got to make them."

(on RB Steve Slaton) "I thought he was special in the game. He played a lot of plays. We were going to rotate him, but he played so well we kept going with him. I liked the way he broke tackles. He just kept going and gave us a chance to make big plays. I think he ended up with 120 yards rushing. We probably got away from the run game too quick in the second half, in all honestly. We ran the ball good in the first half. He has a chance to be a fine player; he's just got to keep going."

(on if the loss to the Titans was particularly difficult to swallow) "They are all hard to swallow. When you work your tail off and you lose in this league, it's very difficult. Like I said, I thought this team battled and I thought they battled extremely hard today, but there are a lot of things that we have to clean up if we're going to compete and win at places like this and where we are going next week. But I thought they were ready to play and I thought they played extremely hard. We just didn't play extremely good."

(on the Titans' defense) "They've got a hell of a defense. They don't give up many big plays. They pin their ears back on third downs. Those two ends are very difficult to handle with those guys pushing inside. It's very difficult to make big plays against them, and when you get one you better make it. And like I said, we had a chance to make a couple and we didn't make it."

(on the defensive effort) "I just think they played their hearts out. They kept us in the football game. They were excellent on third downs in the second half - gave us a chance for some returns, gave us some good field positions. We just didn't get it done offensively."

(on why he didn't challenge a reception by Titans WR Justin McCareins) "We didn't see that one on the replay for some reason. Upstairs we never got that replay. But it's my understanding that it was very close. I thought on the first one that the kid maybe didn't have total control when his helmet hit the out of bounds line, but obviously not."

(on how good it felt to play again) "It was great to get back on the field. I mean, that is where we belong on Sundays. That's what we do for a living. It was a long week. It was a long, hard week. We were hoping to make it a good week by finishing it the right way and we are disappointed from that standpoint."

(on if this loss bothered him more than others) "They all bother me the same. When you get beat, you get beat in this league. I don't think it's one thing over another. I thought we had a chance to win in the second half. The defense put us in a position to win and we just couldn't make any plays on offense."

Texans tight end Owen Daniels

(on the struggles of the passing game) "We really had high expectations based on the way we worked in the offseason and the way we played in the preseason. We were able to move the ball in every game. It is not like we didn't move the ball today. We just weren't able to punch it in when we got there. The red zone is definitely going to be a focus this week."

(on missed opportunities on offense) "You could start from the first drive all the way through the end of the game, we had chances to make plays and chances to go ahead and give our defense a break and stay in the game. We just didn't do it. We were in the game the whole time. We were playing hard. I think everyone was playing their butts off. No one was giving up. We just couldn't convert the opportunities."

(on if the offense likes when the coach has confidence in converting fourth downs) "Absolutely. We'll see how it goes the next couple weeks if he's going to let us keep doing that. But we believe we can get it. I think they've had the confidence in us to let us go ahead and try and convert those situations. If we get a chance to do it, we need to prove it to him that we can actually convert."

Texans safety Will Demps

(on the game) "They made plays in the first half and you have to give them credit. They make money too. They are professionals. You have to give it to them. We are 0-2, but it is not the end of the world. We have 14 more weeks to play and (we) can't sit and put our heads down.

(on the start of the season) "It is football and things can change. Weren't the Giants 0-2? Yes, they were. Did they panic? No. Yes, we have distractions. There was a hurricane and there was no power, but we can't worry about that. We have to worry about us in this locker room."

Wide receiver Andre Johnson

(on the missed touchdown catch in the middle of the field) "I thought I was by myself and instead of attacking the ball I let the ball come into my arms. He (cornerback Nick Harper) swung at it and hit my arms. It just slipped right out. So like I said, the game, it's my fault. I take full responsibility for it and for me to be the player I want to be, that's one of the plays I have to make."

(on offensive performance in the game) "We just didn't make the plays to win the game. I didn't make plays. Plain and simple, it ain't no big mystery."

(on troubles converting third and fourth downs late in the game) "One guy's not going to go out and get a fourth down. You have to have all 11 guys working together. As an offense, it's not a mystery. We just didn't go out and make any plays today. The defense gave us chances, they gave us turnovers, and we didn't capitalize off of none of them. If you don't convert third downs, you're not going to win. Today, we just didn't make it happen. It's real frustrating but, at the same time, we just have to keep working. We still have a lot of football games left."

(on potential criticism of QB Matt Schaub after throwing two interceptions for second straight game) "It's everybody as a whole. We just can't blame everything on Matt. There was plays I should have made today and I didn't make them. It's not all his fault. In the game of football, you have to have 11 guys working at one time. One guy can mess up a whole play. We just have to keep everybody on the same page and go out and execute our plays."

Texans DE N.D. Kalu

(on if he's worried about the team) "Not at all. It's so early. I've been on teams that started off 0-3, 0-4 and still had successful years. It's not time to worry right now."

(on what the difference was in the second half on defense) "We were tackling better. We were executing the game plan. They (coaches) got us ready all week and it just feels like in the second half that we were really executing the game plan."

(on what the Texans' game plan was) "We were trying to stop the run. We knew that rookie was explosive. And hopefully get them in third-and-long so we can get some pressure on the quarterback."

Texans DT Amobi Okoye

(on whether the hurricane-related layoff had a negative impact on team) "I really don't think so. I think we were well prepared for them. I think we knew everything they were about to do. We'll go back and watch the film to see what exactly didn't work. Going through everything we went through, you can't wait to get on the field. All of a sudden, you had a bye week that you didn't know about. It was great getting back on the field.

(on defensive performance in game) "It was all about stepping up. We wanted to win bad. We just wish we could have gotten a little more turnovers in the second half as we did in the first. That's something we're going to keep on working on."

(on worst part of dealing with the storms in Houston) "Definitely, I think it was the power outage. We're so comfortable with having power 24/7, and all of a sudden you don't have a microwave and the fridge is not working. Those are things that reduce the comfort level."

Texans QB Matt Schaub

(on WR Andre Johnson taking the blame for the game) "For us to become the team that we want to be, we all have to play better – not just him but myself and everybody on the team. We squandered opportunities as an offense that we need to take advantage of. That is inexcusable for us and we expect more out of ourselves. The defense, they played tremendously well. They gave us a chance, and I think offensively we didn't take advantage of those opportunities."

(on how he would evaluate his performance) "It was a rough going there for a little bit. It was hard to get settled down and get some completions. Once we were able to get through that, we were able to move the football and get some points on the board. We settled for a couple field goals early, which was difficult to swallow. But I was upset with myself for some of the throws that I made, trying to get the ball in there. At the end of the game there I'm trying to make a play and get my team back in the game, but unfortunately that didn't happen. I've got to play better."

(on his last turnover) "The way we look at it, we get a good punt return there and the defense holds after we miss on fourth-and-goal at the goal line, and that was hard to swallow. We turned around with four minutes left of so – I guess three minutes – we get a big punt return and then a penalty and we get it down there in the red zone with a chance down 12 to score and the potential onside kick, and we're right there. We weren't able to put it in the end zone."

(on if the team struggled to regroup after Hurricane Ike) "I don't think so. It would be too easy to cling to that and say that was the reason. And we're not going to do that; we're not going to do that as a football team. You know, we were ready to play. We had a good week of practice. We were mentally and physically to go out there and play well. We just didn't make the plays that help you win. You know, the Tennessee Titans made the plays."

(on if executing is a mindset) "It is. It is a little bit of mindset. It's executing your offense, which you do on a week-to-week basis, the fundamentals of the game.

(on if got dinged up on the last hit of game) "I did a little bit, but that's part of the game. You get your bell rung and you just get up and dust yourself off and keep going."

(on converting in the red zone and on third downs) "It wasn't anything different. They just made the plays and we didn't. That's on us. You've got to be able to find a way to get it into the end zone. We're there on fourth down inside the five-yard line, inside the ten twice and we weren't able to convert. We've got to stay out of those situations. We can't put ourselves in a fourth-down situation. We just have to convert on third down. That starts with me. I handle the ball every play. I've got to help my team find a way in the end zone."

(on team's 0-2 start to season) "This is two pieces of the puzzle. It's a long season. You look at it and you just got to keep battling week to week. We're hitting a couple of bumps in the road here the first two weeks, but we've got to just rally around each other and come back stronger next week when we're playing another good football team."

Texans RB Steve Slaton

(on what happened on the 50-yard run) "The D-end hit me. He didn't wrap up and bounced me all the way to the outside and there was nobody over there."

(on if he can take any joy in his good game or if the loss prevents that) "I think you can take a little joy out of it. As an offense, we have to work on the red zone and putting points on the board. If we do the same thing we did today but come out with six points instead of three, I think we'll be doing a lot better."

(on what this breakout game means to him even though the team lost) "For me, I think I pride myself on scoring in the red zone and definitely as an offense, too. I had a few chances, and I didn't take the opportunity to put it in there, but hopefully we can work on it in the next few weeks."

(on the red zone offense) "It was very frustrating. We work on that in practice and when game time comes around, you want to put points on the board and you don't just want to settle for three."

Texans OT Eric Winston

(on the Titans' defense) "They apply a lot of pressure, so we have to hold up better. We have to give Matt a little extra step to complete some passes down the field. You have to give them some credit. They're a pretty good defense. They've been ranked in the top five the past couple years. I thought we did a pretty good job toward the end of the first half of keeping them off-balance and mixing it up. We couldn't do that the second half."

(on if he's frustrated by the loss) "Of course it's frustrating. We came here. I thought we played hard. I thought we played well. We got off the game plan a little bit in the second half. Against a team like that, it's tough. Passing a lot, more than usual, and not keeping them on their heels, you're going to have to make some plays. You're going to have to make some big plays, and we didn't. We knew we were going to have to make some big plays here to win, and the bottom line is we didn't get it done."

(on the Texans' problems scoring touchdowns in the red zone) "It's obviously something we have to work on. We're not getting it done down there. We're not scoring touchdowns. Simple things. We have to get it done. I don't know what the answer is. That's what the coaches are for. I know I have to play better. Andre said he's going to play better. I think if everyone starts playing a little better then I think the team will pick their game up."

(on running back Steve Slaton's performance) "I knew Slaton was good. We all knew. He has that speed and with our system he can break one at any time and I think he proved that. I wish we would've been able to get him the ball more in the second half. I think he's a guy that can just light (up the scoreboard) at any point. You're going to see a lot more of him. I thought he showed a lot of heart out there. He ran tough. He's a tough kid. He's not big, but he took some shots and kept plugging his legs. I know he got a lot of respect out of us. He's going to be a good back. I've been saying that for a while. From what I see of him, he plays with a lot of heart. He plays tough. I'm excited about him."

Titans head coach Jeff Fisher

(opening statements) "I want to start off by complimenting the entire Texans organization, the players, staff and administration, everybody associated with the organization for the job that they did really going back to as late as this past Tuesday. After visiting with a number of the coaches and some of the players before the game, it is hard to imagine what they went through. It is hard to imagine for us to imagine what basically the population has gone through there in south Texas.

And for them to pull together like they did and to fight to the very end I think the whole organization, players, coaches, staff and their fans should be commended for it. It was a tremendous effort. They are one of us. I just think, I want this to get out that they did one heck of a job today.

As far as the game is concerned, I think you saw that our defense, somebody told our defense that the field was five yards long, not a 100 yards long to assess our play inside the 5-yard line.

The defense made the plays when we needed to make the plays .We got the points; we got the turnaround. We didn't play the game I thought we were going to play, but we will take the win.

The turnovers, those types of things have a direct effect on the ballgame and they did today. Our offense was in a hole the second half. We couldn't get going with the difficult field position. But overall I think we took a step forward. I think we got a little better, but we have a lot of things to correct.

(on QB Kerry Collins' performance) "We expect Kerry to do well. He didn't start out the way he wanted to start out but he settled right back down. That's the experience that he has. He made a bad throw and the defense made a play for him and held them to three points. We got on a roll, so he was able to just brush that off. He did a nice job. He put the ball where it needed to be put. They're a good defense and I thought we did a nice job protecting for him. We kept his jersey somewhat clean and he made good reads and good decisions."

(on the rushing attempts by Kerry Collins) "I don't think they anticipated him doing that. That's why we had it in the game plan. But yeah, he can still get it for an old man. He lost a lot of weight in the off-season. He runs around in practice. In the future it helps keep the edges honest."

(on being able to rely on the defense to help when turnovers occur) "What's important is the experience itself. You can talk in front of a defense and say, 'Hey look regardless of what happens, if there is a field position shift what-have-you, you guys need to go make the play.' Now they know they are capable of doing it and getting use to it. It was the longest interception return in franchise history. That's a great way to finish the game."

(on if he was surprised about the fourth down decisions made by the Houston Texans) "You know, I'm never going to second guess another coach. Gary (Kubiak) has information over there that we don't have. They don't call plays not thinking that they're going to work. I thought they did a great job with their play calling and you could see the chunks that they were picking up throughout the game. We had to play defense too and our guys made the plays."

(on if Jevon Kearse is hurt) "No, he's fine. We didn't really have any injuries this week other than just minor bumps and bruises."

Titans QB Kerry Collins

(on the first interception of the game) "I sort of would have liked to have started better but that's part of it. It wasn't exactly how I wanted to start the game, but I felt like I came back well from it and settled down a little bit. Tried to come back and make good reads and good throws. Like I said, it wasn't the best way to start off but, hey, acknowledge it, kick yourself in the butt a little bit and move on."

(on running) "We ran some boots that were effective and I guess they forgot about me a little bit. I lost a little weight and picked up my 40-time a little bit. It was there and I took it. It was a good call by (Heimer)Dinger."

(on being able to run the ball too) "Well, hopefully it will slow a little of the backside pursuit. Obviously, its part of our game plan and part of what we do. I'll try to be as effective at it as I can."

(on being more comfortable in the role of starting quarterback) "I really tried to focus in on my preparation and really tried to have good practices, get the game plan down and get the mental part of the game ready for Sunday. I'm getting back into the flow. Certainly after a couple years of not doing it, there's certain things I've got to get back to doing, but I do feel like my preparation has been very good. I feel like I've got a good plan heading into the game and trying to make good decisions when I'm out there."

Titans TE Alge Crumpler

(on QB Kerry Collins making a couple of big rushing plays) "I did some radio interviews earlier in the week talking about how we were going to keep him in the pocket. They collapsed the pocket and we got around on that edge. If you can get 15 yards in a keeper like that, that's great."

(on the receivers making critical catches) "Chris Davis made a huge catch earlier in the ballgame. Justin McCareins made some great catches on the sideline and one big one going into the red zone. We've got some balance that we are going to need to continue to do for the rest of the season."

(on winning two divisional games early in the season) "It's good because we are two up in the division. I don't know what everybody else has done. This was a very important game for us. This week coming up we've got an unfamiliar opponent in Minnesota and a lot of us haven't played against this team. It's important for us to come out and protect our home turf and see if we can put together four quarters of good football."

Titans CB Cortland Finnegan

(on the Titans' defense) "You can't say enough about this defensive line. They give you a chance to make a play out there in the corner position. You are going to get some balls caught on you. But at the end of the day, the defensive line is part of this offense. They threw everything in the kitchen at us. They schemed us well, and we withstood some flurries. And as a defense I think overall, we played well.

(on late 4th quarter interception for a TD to seal the win) "No question about it, that I wanted to get to the (end) zone and make a play for my team. You know, I wanted to score. Like I said before, the defensive line contributes a lot to what we do on the outside. It's a great thing for the team, and we'll worry about the other stuff (franchise record interception for TD) a little later."

(on the Titans early won-loss record) "It means everything right now just to be 3-0 and on top of the division. It's a marathon and not a sprint, so definitely we want to take one game at a time. We've got a good Minnesota team coming in here, so we have to look forward to Minnesota."

Titans DE Jevon Kearse

(on first solo sack since returning to Tennessee) "It felt good to get the sack in front of the home crowd and they got kind of loud out there. This is only the beginning, so I have to keep working hard at it. My coach has been really pushing me, trying to get me to show them what I really have. It's coming slowly but surely. I made the airplane wings with my arms after the sack to get some 'Freak-quent' flier miles. I have to work on getting a whole lot more of those. I'm working on it."

(on Titans defensive effort holding Houston from scoring three times inside the 10-yard line) "It showed us that we'll bend, but we aren't going to break. I hate to say that, but anytime they get the ball down there at the goal line, it's out job to stand up and play defense and keep them out of the end zone. Personally, I feel we are just trying to send a message out to the rest of the league to not come into our home. You're not going to try to run the ball on us on third and fourth down. You better just punt the ball and be satisfied with that."

Titans DE Kyle Vanden Bosch

(on Houston going for it on fourth down a couple times) "Hopefully, we put that fire out. If teams go for it on fourth down and they convert early in the season, I think you see more of it as the year goes on. We did a good job of getting off the field today. Those were some big, big stops we made today. We weren't great on defense today but we stepped up when we had to. That is the type of defense that we need to be, a big-play type defense. We came up with big plays when we needed them."

(on slowing Steve Slaton in the second half) "He got some yards after contact early in the first half. I think we made some good adjustments defensively. He is a good running back. This is a good offense. He is going to get some yards this year. At the same time, we need to be better against the run. Like I said, I think we came in during halftime and made some adjustments and stepped up when we needed to."

(on the Houston offense not getting points a couple times in the red zone) "That is tough when a team gets down in the red zone and comes away with no points. Really, our red zone defense was good most of the day. We held them to field goals early and got a couple of stops late. It is really tough. That was a lot of fun. The crowd was into it chanting defense. We were all fired up. We really made some big stops down there. That is something we can build upon. As a defense, obviously we need to prevent teams from getting in the red zone but we need to continue to tighten up as a defense when teams get down in there."

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