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Houston Texans

Texans Transcripts: August 13

Take a look at the best photos from the 10th practice of #TexansCamp.

Founder, Chairman and CEO Bob McNair
(on the first episode of Hard Knocks) "I thought it was a very entertaining program. I thought it introduced a lot of our players and coaches to the public, and gave them an opportunity to know them the way we do. I think they're some interesting personalities, and I think it's going to be a popular show."

(on what he thought about the language in the show) "Well, I'm not shocked by it, but we'll see. I think people will pay more attention to their vocabulary."

(on if he thinks that is why the ratings were up and why the show was exciting) "Yeah, well, I guess that's why they show it late at night too."

(on his thoughts on the first episode) "I thought it was very good. I think that the NFL Films guys who are producing it for HBO are doing a good job. They understand that we don't want to get involved in anything that's competitive, and it's all about personalities on the team. I think that's something that's very interesting for everyone."

(on what it means to have such a big audience for the show) "I think it's good for our brand. I think it's good for our team, good for our coaches, because the national media people, they look at ratings and they look at teams and what they draw. If people are not familiar with you, you're not going to be as popular. So the more familiar they are with you, the bigger draw you're going to be."

(on what he wants people to take away from Hard Knocks) "I'd like for them to understand that our message is all about teamwork and you win by working together. You win by hard work. You win by getting better every day, and I think J.J. (Watt) is the best example of that. As a youngster he was not the natural talent that some of the other players are, and yet he's worked hard every day and gotten better every day, and there's no one better. I think it's a wonderful message for young people."

(on the first preseason game on Saturday) "Well we'll have a chance to see how we're doing. We know what our veterans can do. Now we'll learn more about our young players and see how much they've progressed. We've got a number of guys, this will be their second year, and as you know, that's the opportunity for them to really step up between the first and the second year. I think some of them are doing that, and we'll find out more about it Saturday."

(on if he would be open to the idea of signing Ray Rice) "I think I'd want to talk with our players, and I don't know that that's something that they would like. We want people that fit in our locker room, because as I said, it's all about teamwork. Look, we've got four good running backs; I don't know that he's as good as any of the four we've got. So I haven't seen anybody else try to sign him, so I think that's a pretty good indication of where he stands."

Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on what he has improved on the most as a head coach in his second year) "There are a lot of different things that we looked at as a staff and I looked at myself. Some of it, you saw here today. Working more situational football, trying to help these guys understand the situation of the game better, trying to help our coaching staff continue to be on the same page in the different situations of the game. I think we've changed our training camp schedule a little bit meeting-wise and things like that. We looked at what we did last year. We thought some of the things were doing this year would be better, so different things like that. I think everybody, you know, makes adjustments all the way thought. It's a continual- you're always evolving. You're always trying to be better and that's what we're always trying to do."

(on what type of game plan he will use vs. the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday) "Well I mean, how would you like me to answer that? You'll see on Saturday and then you'll see the following Saturday and then you'll see the following Sunday and then you'll see against Dallas. You can make the determination whether it's vanilla or it's not vanilla or whatever."

(on the tight ends) "Yeah, Garrett (Graham), that whole position has had a decent camp. Griff (Ryan Griffin) has been out a little bit, but he'll be back next week. But that whole position has really improved. Garrett has had a good camp. He's been out there every day. C.J. (Fiedorowicz) is doing some good things. We've got some younger guys that are fighting through, and learning, and doing some good things. It's been a good position."

(on TE Garrett Graham's health) "He's healthy. He's been out there every day. You'd have to ask him that, but in seeing him on the field, he's getting better every day, which is good to see."

(on how he feels about the offensive line) "Good."

(on what he feels the offensive line has done well) "I think they are working well together. They're very well-coached."

(on if he watched RB Chris Polk's big game against the Texans last year when they were evaluating him as a free agent) "Oh yeah, I mean, that's definitely part of the evaluation when you are looking to bring somebody in at any position if you've played against them, that's a good part of the process of evaluating if the guy will help you certainly."

(on if RB Chris Polk's big game against the Texans effected the decision to sign him) "Well, I wouldn't say that he set records against us in that game. But yeah, he did, he rushed for some yards. I didn't say 'oh gosh, we've got to get Chris Polk because he rushed for 900 yards against us.' I know what you're saying. I think that he did have a nice game against us. He ran the ball downhill and they ran certain plays in Philly that we run here. We could compare, so I thought that was definitely part of the evaluation."

(on FB Jay Prosch) "He's really worked hard in the offseason. He's one of those guys that stuck around here, was between here and Auburn I think and worked hard at trimming down a little bit, changing his level of flexibility, his quickness. He's worked on catching the ball. He knows our offense better. He's a tough guy. Yeah, he's come back improved. He's one of the more improved guys on our team."

(on WR EZ Nwachukwu having a good practice) "I think EZ has come in here and worked really hard. He really has. He's been a guy that really grinds it out every time. It hasn't always worked out for him, but I just really respect his work ethic and his improvement. He's in a very competitive position and he's competing very well in that position."

(on if G Xavier Su'a Filo is in a walking boot) "I don't know if- he's in whatever boot he's in. He's not out there at practice."

(on C Ben Jones) "Ben Jones has had a good camp. Ben Jones is another guy that has really put a lot of time in the offseason to get stronger, get in really good shape. He really did a good job when we got back here for training camp and the conditioning test. He's a very smart player. I've really been pleased with how he's played this training camp."

(on the wide receivers) "It's a competitive position. There are 12 guys there and they're all competing very hard. There's going to be some very tough decision to make there, no doubt about it."

(on C Ben Jones going back to playing center) "He played center in college. He played some center here when he first got here and then we played him at left guard last year, but I think he is probably a natural center. That's something he's comfortable doing. He likes being the captain of the ship up front as far as making the calls and things like that. He studies. He's smart and I think he's got a decent skill set for center. I'd see it that way."

(on QB Tom Savage in his second year) "I think anytime you have a year under your belt. You've been in the system for a year. You kind of know how practice goes. The whole routine of what you have to do to study to get ahead. I think that helps you. He's put a lot of work into this and I think he's really improved because of that."

(on going inside the Houston Methodist Training Center for practice today) "I just felt like it was the type of practice we were going to have, not being in full pads, this would be a good place to have it in."

(on if the practice strategy was different since it was inside) "No."

RB Alfred Blue
(on what he wants to show people in the first preseason game) "Run the ball downhill, man. Get positive yards, don't lose any yards, hold onto that football, definitely don't fumble the ball. Just be productive in the backfield as a unit."

(on showing people in the first game that the running back unit is ready) "I mean, that's always good, show the coaches. I mean, that's the biggest thing is show the coaches that we can handle the load and go out there and play comfortable in the situations and just take the best of each opportunity we all get in the backfield."

(on if the running backs have developed a camaraderie now that they're all taking on more responsibility) "I would say so, man. We're all pulling each other together. We're helping each other out, just motivating each other out there. It's friendly competition in the room so we go out each and every day and compete against each other in the room.

(on if he feels like the leader now with the running backs) "I would say, yeah I mean they've made me the number one guy so, I feel as being the number one guy you've got to take that kind of role and just motivate the room and just push them at practice. It'll start off slow sometimes – you don't want to be out there, but you've got to put your mind, put your head down and keep going through and get through practice and just try to get better each and every day."

(on what it means to him to be the number one guy in just his second year) "It means a lot. It's a great opportunity. I hear it around the locker room every day, the vets tell me, 'It's a great opportunity.' All my career, at LSU, it's opportunity. Just seize the moment when your number is called."

(on how he got the nickname 'Cheese') "My mom gave me that name when I was a baby. She said I was fat, and you know how the babies have the little creases. She said I was cheesy so it just stuck with me growing up."

(on if he likes to eat cheese) "I like cheese on my burgers. I get extra cheese on mine, so yeah."

DT Christian Covington
(on defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni talking about playing time) "Nothing really has been said so far to supreme details. I'm just looking forward to the game on Saturday. Whatever happens, happens, you know? The whole depth chart thing is really a big focus for a lot of these guys, so whatever happens, happens. Just the fact, if I'm able to get into this game this Saturday. I'm going to take the most of my advantage."

(on what he has to do Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers) "I have to perform. I have to just be able to execute my assignments. I have to be able to just do my job and just execute everything with a relentless effort."

(on feeling extra pressure as a draft pick) "I mean, as a rookie, yes. As a draft pick, yes, but at the same time, you know, at the end of the day you have to go into it knowing that this is football and obviously it's a bigger stage. You know you're going against bigger, stronger, faster players, but at the same day, you know, just rely on the fundamentals, just rely on the coaching you've had up to this point. Just have that confidence in yourself and in your play."

(on his dad DE Grover Covington and how much it has helped) "It has helped me a whole lot, you know, to be able to have a guy like him as my coach, as my mentor, since day one. He's been an unbelievable asset for me and to be able to, you know, continue to learn from him and be able to continue to have the little talks with him about my play because I already know he's going to be watching the game, critiquing me and I might just get a text message or a call from him after the game from him telling me what I did wrong. So to be able to have a guy like him in my corner, it's a great feeling to have."

(on getting praise from teammates) "I really do appreciate that. As a rookie, I've got to continue to keep my nose to the grind. You know, I don't want to allow that stuff to get to my head. You know, this is training camp. This is an opportunity for me to be able to showcase what I can do and to try to compete with these guys out here and to be able to try to improve every day I can."

(on practices thus far) "It's been great. The tempo of the game, just the whole aspect of this NFL experience so far. This is everything that you could expect from an NFL training camp. This is fast-paced, hard-hitting, you know, it's a competition everywhere. I believe that everybody has been doing a swell job so far. I believe everybody is prepared for this upcoming game. I just can't wait to see what happens on Saturday."

TE Garrett Graham
(on feeling good this year) "I think it's a combination of things and also just kind of understanding the offense better in a year's time. I think as a group, we're much further than we were last year, so just looking forward to getting back out there."

(on having a good camp) "Yeah, I think so. I think, as a group, we want to be involved in the offense and we want to get open for the quarterbacks and blocking the run game and do whatever we're asked to do. So it's definitely something we've worked on in the off season and in OTAs, so we're just trying to come out here on the practice field and perform."

(on his approach this year) "Just doing the same thing – getting in my playbook, trying to understand everything better so I can go out there and just play and react."

(on the team looking up to him) "Whatever my role is on the team, I'm fine with that. Again, just trying to go out and make plays, block my guy and then do whatever I'm asked."

(on TE Ryan Griffin, TE C.J. Fiedorowicz and Graham being in the offense the same amount) "We're also kind of picking the quarterbacks' minds on certain things because they've both been in it for a while, so it's great to have them and they give us a better understanding of the offense and how we can win and how we can affect the offense."

(on the quarterback position) "I think all three of them have done a great job and they all have a great understanding and it has definitely helped us out in the off season to have them here and be able to work with them. So, it's been good for us as a tight end group."

(on the quarterback's different personalities) "Yeah, they sure are. They're very different. It's all the same position; they've all been doing a great job."

RB Kenny Hilliard
(on if he enjoyed the practices in Richmond) "Oh yeah, I did. I enjoyed my time out there. You know, playing with the team, going out there and having fun. My cousin Ike Hilliard is a receivers coach out there so it was great seeing him. I hadn't seen him in a while so I had fun all along just going to Richmond and just competing."

(on using Ike Hilliard's experience in the NFL to his advantage) "I mean yeah, he kind of told me what I have to do to make the team on special teams. Coming out working hard at your position and just competing for a spot."

(on if he feels he is a running back who can finish his runs) "Definitely, I do. Yeah, I definitely think I can finish runs. Yeah I do, that's how I see myself. A big back, pound. Anything they see me doing, I can do. I think that is just who I am. I think obviously they know from watching film in college what type of back I am."

(on if it helped getting feedback from his family) "Most definitely. Speaking with Ike and my uncle Dalton (Hilliard). Those guys have been through it, you know. It was kind of easy for me just coming in and knowing what I have to do to make the team. I know they talked about playing on special teams. That is my goal right now, just making the team on special teams and making this roster."

(on being mentored by RB Alfred Blue) "Of course, he is another one too. He has been talking to me since his rookie year here while I was at LSU just kind of giving me the scoop of how to be a professional. It carried on and I'm here now and he is still teaching me how to be a pro. He is a great guy."

(on how quickly he realized he was going to get to play with RB Alfred Blue again after getting drafted) "I mean, I really didn't know man, but God made it happen and it felt like that. I mean, we are both here together and it is time to play ball."

(on the running back tradition at LSU) "That is tradition there at LSU. From my uncle to all of the backs that came through there, that is just something that they have at LSU that is tradition. You know it kind of keeps us healthy. I didn't have that many carries in college, so I don't have the wear and tear on my body, but it is kind of something that they do at LSU."

(on if he watching his uncle play growing up) "No I mean I didn't watch him, but I have seen some old film at home. He was a great back. I looked up to him and that was my role model growing up. Very different kind of backs."

(on his playing time Saturday) "I don't, but I know whatever time I do have I need to go out there and give it all I've got."

WR Keith Mumphery
(on if he is feeling more comfortable on the field) "Oh yeah, I'm feeling better. I just got to use each day to get better physically and mentally."

(on what WR DeAndre Hopkins has taught him) "Just don't think. Just don't think and just be me and just be coachable."

(on if it's hard to just play and not over think things) "It's hard not to think. There's a lot going in, so you got to just calm yourself and really put the time in outside of the meeting rooms and work."

(on his expectations for Saturday) "Do whatever is asked of me, simple as that."

(on if his versatility will help him contribute to the team early) "Wherever they want me to play or wherever they put me, that's what I'm going to follow and go by."

(on the hardest adjustment going from college to the NFL) "I'll say installs. Yeah, installs."

(on the feedback he has received from Hard Knocks) "I'm not even worried about that. I'm just in my little bubble. I'm not even worried about Hard Knocks right now. I'm controlling what I can control. I can't control that."

WR Cecil Shorts III
(on what he needs to show Saturday) "Just continue to get better. That's something I strive on each day is continue to not make the same mistakes. There is a lot going on in this offense. Just continue to strive to get better. Just make plays when plays come. So I think that is what I'm going to try to do this weekend."

(on doing situational drills in practice) "Coach loves that, coach loves situational football. That is what football is. There will be a lot of situations that come up in a game that he wants us to be ready for it so we were doing this even in OTA's and stuff like that. It's no surprise."

(on what he wants to get done as a team Saturday) "Execute, do your job correctly. Get down the field and move the ball. Of course, you want to get down and score every time you are on the field, but just move the ball and get points."

(on if they will surprise people around the league) "We'll find out."

(on if the offense is complicated) "You have to study. That is just part of the nature of it. Here in the NFL, they demand a lot from you, which is a good thing. To me, I've had a lot of offensive coordinators, but (Offensive Coordinator George) Godsey and OB (Head Coach Bill O'Brien) are one of the best offensive minds I have been around and they throw a lot at you and they expect you to do it all, understand it all. That is part of studying, you are going to make mistakes here and there, but if you keep studying, keep learning, and this offense is proven so I am excited to be in it."

(on being able to play both receiver positions) "I mean, the more you can do is better for you. The fact that I can play inside and outside is a credit, and they expect me to be able to do that. They expect me to know a lot of positions. So there is a lot of studying going on. I get a little confused sometimes, but that comes with the territory. You know each game, each week, I am going to be prepared."

(on which position is his favorite) "As long as I am on the field, I'm good. I played outside my whole life, so I am kind of used to that. Like the one-on-one matchups and getting open. I feel like I run good routes. On the inside the opportunity to go against, I guess, I am a bigger guy for a nickel. Or I can also run with the nickel, and if I'm matched up on a safety or a linebacker, I'm smiling ear to ear."

(on if having different offensive coordinators in Jacksonville helped him) "You know what, I think so. I think so. Having three different coordinators and three different styles of offenses. They all brought something to the table different. All were good stuff, but I think it definitely helped me learn how to study and pick up things."

(on looking into the offense before he arrived) "Yeah, it is understanding where they came from, understanding the schemes and stuff like that. I knew ahead of time this would be a good fit."

(on WR Pierre Garcon paving the way for Mount Union players) "Yeah he definitely did. He's the guy that started it all. Without him, he ended up going sixth round and I went fourth round. I don't think I would have been looked at if it wasn't for him. When he got into the league and he started doing well with Peyton (Manning) and with the Colts, I think that opened up eyes for our little school."

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