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Texans Transcripts: August 17

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Head Coach Bill O’Brien**
(on having OLB Jadeveon Clowney back at practice) “You know, it’s good to have everybody out here. Anytime you get guys back from injury, it’s always good to have as close to a full 90-man roster as you can.  It’s good to have everybody out here.”

(on how OLB Jadeveon Clowney looked today) “I think all those guys that came back, (Akeem) Dent came back today. He came back. They all looked like football players.”

(on what he wanted to see out of OLB Jadeveon Clowney today) “Again, we brought him back, walkthroughs, stretch, individual. I thought that’s basically what we wanted to see.”

(on the work OLB Jadeveon Clowney put in to get back) “Yeah, I think anytime you have surgery, the rehab process can be monotonous. He put in the work. We’re going to ease him back into this thing and ramp him up to be able to play in games and go from there. So yeah, he put in a lot of work.”

(on if he spent time with OLB Jadeveon Clowney during rehab) “I spent time with him. He and I talk. Obviously, when we went with the surgery with him, we felt like that was the best thing for him. At that time, we probably spoke the most about how important rehab was going to be. I think he took that to heart. He worked hard and now he’s back out here, which is good.”

(on when OLB Jadeveon Clowney will play in a game) “I don’t know.”

(on ILB Akeem Dent getting back today) “Dent was able to come back out here and do similar things. Walkthrough, stretch, individual, did some drills off on the side. So, similar plan there to Jadeveon (Clowney).”

(on getting ILB Akeem Dent back) “That was good. It was good to get him back. He’s been working hard to get back. It was good to have him out there today.”

(on how he will use the second preseason game to prepare for the season) “Each game is different. Basically, the second preseason game will be, as far as reps, for most of the players will be similar to the first preseason game.”

(on the competition at wide receiver) “It’s a very competitive group. There are 12 guys, knock on wood, they’ve all stayed pretty healthy. It’s a competition every day. We feel good about that group. Bunch of good guys there that work extremely hard–some good route runners, some good veterans, some good younger players. It’s very competitive.”

(on the offensive line) “I think that overall they’ve put a lot of work into this offseason, into training camp. There’s been so much improvement relative to where we were at this point last year. Last year, I think there was a lot of thinking going on. I think the coaching has really helped there with Mike Devlin. He’s done a great job with that group. There are things they need to work on from the first game that we see, but overall I’ve been really pleased with that group. I just really enjoy those guys. I think they work really hard. There’s some good veteran leadership in that group. I’m pleased with their progress.”

(on if QB Ryan Mallett will get the same reps that QB Brian Hoyer got on Saturday) “I think we’ll have to get into the game and see how it goes. Everything with that deal there is based on how the game goes. How many reps? Let’s get into the game. Let’s see how the game goes and then as we get a feel for the game, did each guy get enough reps against the blitz, against nickel, against base? That’s kind of how it goes, so it’s different in each game.”

(on if he expects to name a starting quarterback by the third preseason game) “I think we have to take it day-by-day. I don’t know when that announcement will be made. I don’t, again, announcements and things like that, I don’t really get into all that. Everything that we do here, every decision we make, is in the best interest of the team. Certainly, we know that’s an important position. We know that the fans want to know. We know that you want to know. We know that you guys are trying to do your jobs. When we decide on who that guy is, we’ll make sure that we tell everybody and we move on. But again, I go back to it, these guys have worked really hard. Both guys, to this point, are pretty even. We’ll see. One guy will start. The other guy will back up. They both need to be ready to play.”

(on G Chad Slade) “He’s a young player that we think has potential. Potential is a very dangerous word. We have to see it every day. He’s got to come out here and get better every day, but he’s got a good work ethic. He’s been out here every day, which is good. He’s been able to get all the practice reps and there were some things in the game that we saw that were decent from him. Hopefully, he can build on that and we can continue to teach him and coach him and get him to continually improve.”

(on OLB Kourtnei Brown’s game on Saturday) “Kourtnei did some decent things. One of the sacks was on a look pass, where the line was blocking the run, and really nobody blocked him, so I would hope he would make that sack. But he did, he played hard and was active in the game.”

(on the tackling by the corners in the game on Saturday) “Darryl Morris had some nice tackles. Kevin (Johnson) did, too.”

(on the competition at cornerback) “It’s similar to that wide receiver position. There are some really good players there. There’s some depth. It’s very, very competitive. It’s very competitive. There are good guys there, really good team guys. (I) really enjoy being around those guys. They have a lot of fun. They care about each other. They care about the team. That’s going to be an interesting deal as it plays out over the next three weeks.”

OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on how he felt at practice) “I felt pretty good. I’m just happy to be back out here with my teammates. Taking it one day at a time.”

(on what it means to him to get back out on the field after being injured) “It means a lot to me, you know, to be out here, practicing with the guys. It’s been a long time, so I was very excited to be out there today.”

(on wrapping up this past year) “Long. You know I went through a lot. It was hard work, but we’re pulling it off. I had a lot of help, a lot of assistance from guys, from my teammates, from the trainers, my family. Everybody supported me through the whole thing, so still a little ways to go but we’re in the right direction.”

(on going through practice with Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel and doing drills with the team) “It was great, you know, I haven’t done some of that stuff in a long time and just to be back out here was a good feeling. Just, like I said, taking it one day at a time and just building up for when I start back playing.”

(on the work he put in to get to the point he is at right now) “More than I’ve worked in my whole life probably but it was worth it. Just to be back out here. It was all worth it, man.”

(on his soreness) “No soreness today. We’re just building up. I hope we just stay like that, maintain, keep going forward.”

(on what percentage he would say he’s at physically) “I feel better than I did last year after my first surgery, so that’s all I’m going to say on that. I feel great, just saying what they tell me. Everyday we’re going to build up from what I did today, so tomorrow will be more than what I did today, so just building to hopefully stay where I’m at.”

(on if it’s tough to hold back at practice) “Yeah, I was like ‘Coach, let me get some pass rush today.’ He was like ‘No, it’s your first day out here, we’re going to take it slow.’ I was like, ‘Man, what am I going to do now this whole time?’ Take it slow, you’re going to have plenty of opportunity, so just wait.”

(on Head Coach Bill O’Brien talking to him about the surgery) “The first day before surgery, he was like, ‘We’re going to have to grind this out. You’ve got to just put your head down and plow forward. You’re going to have a long rehab, long surgery’ and I was like, ‘I’m ready to do it.’ And we came out, we put a plan together and we followed it up with the plan and it’s working out for me.”

(on any pleasant surprises he had during rehab and out at practice) “No, not really. After everybody was telling me about the surgery, on how hard it was going to be and a lot of guys don’t do this after the surgery, don’t do that, I was like, ‘I’m going to try to beat the odds.’ I’ve always been that way my whole life, so I was going to work hard and just try to push for a good time to come back and I’m feeling great.”

(on the best part of being out at practice today) “Just being out there with my teammates. Laughing and giggling with the guys. They gave me a hard time today, first day back. They were like, ‘New kid on the team,’ so you know, it’s fun.”

(on Jets CB Darrelle Revis being a motivation for him to come back) “I’m going to say, I was already determined I was going to come back. I wasn’t really worried about it, I was just really going to work hard and just do what I had to do. Listening from other guys that have been through it was a big help. I talked to some guys and it helped me a lot. I started taking little notes and doing what they had, what they planned together and followed my plan and it helped me.”

(on who gave him the hardest time at practice today) “Today? Probably (Brian) Cushing, like always. You know, he always ‘New kid on the team.’ A lot of guys, you know, but it was fun being out here with the guys today. I’m just looking forward to moving up.”

(on who he talked to who went through the same surgery) “Jon Beason from the Panthers, when he was at the Panthers and Giants. I talked to him a few times. He told me to put together a routine. He told me the stuff he was using and I started finally doing what he did and it helped me out a lot and leading up to practicing. I’m back.”

(on if he feels a sense of relief that he’s finally back) “Oh man, it’s very relieving. I had a hard time. Some days I was like, ‘I don’t feel like doing this, I feel like doing that.’ It was hard some days, so being out here with my teammates is the best feeling.”

(on if he still feels somewhat like a rookie since he didn’t get to play much last year) “You know I was talking about that. I don’t know. I say, ‘Yeah, I do feel like kind of a rookie because I didn’t get to play more than what, four games?’ So yeah, it’s kind of like a rookie season all over again for me.”

(on what it means to hear Head Coach Bill O’Brien say that he can help the team) “It’s great to know that he believes in me. He put his trust in me, and I do the work and come out here, be a leader, help lead this team to wins, and that’s what I’m going to do, try to do what I can do to be the best player I can be.”

(on what got him through the days when he didn’t want to do it anymore) “I’m going to say my support, my family, my teammates, the training staff, they push me every day. My mom, my girl, it was just like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to get up and go,’ and I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know about today, I’m calling in today.’ They were like ‘No, man, don’t do it.’ So they got me out of the house, and I just got up here, and once I was done I was like, ‘Man, I’m glad I did it today.’ Got the work in and it helped me, (Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer) Roland (Ramirez) and them stayed on me the whole time through my rehab. He never let me quit. He was like, ‘Man, you’ve got to finish, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that. I’m like, ‘I’m tired.’ He’s like, ‘Go, go’ and I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’”

(on if he felt like there was a turning point in his rehab where it started getting easier) “Probably after OTAs. Before OTAs, I was a little worried, there was a little swelling here and there, but after OTAs it started coming around, it started feeling great. And I was just like, (Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer) Roland (Ramirez) let’s push for a good date to come back, and he’s like, put down the 17th.”

(on his emotion when he heard his start date) “I was like, I was just happy, I was like, ‘Let’s do it, let’s see where we can get.’ We aren’t going to set on 17th, but if I can go by the 17th, I’m going to come out here and be with my teammates.”

(on if he talked to RB Marcus Lattimore during this process) “I didn’t really talk to him. I just heard his story about how hard it was for him, and I was like, ‘I know how that feels, can’t take this for granted.’ Now I’m out here, I’ve worked hard to get back, I just want to stay out here and push harder.”

(on how he thinks it’ll feel to go full speed) “Man, I’m very anxious. It’s going to be great to be out there, rushing the passer and just putting my hands on other guys. I’ve been hitting these dummies for so long and nobody hits back. So we’re going to see how it goes.”

(on if there’s anything he can’t do now that he could do before the injury) “No, before I was hurt? No. Everything is coming along. I can pretty much do just about everything.”

(on if he has more comfort in the system now than last year) “Yeah, learning the calls and stuff, I think I know a lot more this year than I did last year. Once I learned something it kind of sticks to me, about the system, so it was a big help for me from last season to come in and know the calls and stuff. Now I just have to go out there and play and put them together on the field.”

(on how much Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel helping him with his recovery) “Vrabel might be the smartest coach I ever had. He just, he talks so fast, he’s so smart, he gets us lost sometimes in the meeting. We’ll be like, ‘What? Slow down coach, you know you can’t talk like that so fast.’ He’s a smart coach, he’ll put you in the right places to make plays, and you need a guy like that to help you.”

(on if he will play when the regular season starts) “We’ll see, we’ll see.”

ILB Brian Cushing
(on how OLB Jadeveon Clowney feels about being back) “Mentally it is really good for him. I know just from watching him and talking to him today he feels good about it. It is a long kind of drawn out process being in rehab and going through all the steps to get back. He is just one step closer and you can definitely tell he is very upbeat about it.”

(on if he could tell how serious OLB Jadeveon Clowney was about putting the work in to get back) “Yeah, well you knew he wanted to play football again. He wanted to be back and doing his thing and that’s playing. He is very passionate, motivated, and focused towards getting back here and playing. The kid loves football and did a great job in the offseason getting back towards that.”

(on if he can appreciate the process OLB Jadeveon Clowney had to go through) “Sure, sure can. I know what it is like, I have done it twice. It’s not easy. There are a lot of dark days and repetitive hard work that has to go in. The hardest part is over for him. Now it is the fun part, getting back and playing football with the guys.”

(on what it means to still be included by your teammates during an injury like that) “It helps a lot. The biggest thing is playing again. You can talk all you want. It definitely helps, but the most important thing and the biggest thing for you mentally is definitely playing again. He is back out here, like I already said, you can tell the difference in the way that he is walking around and the way he is approaching the game.”

(on if OLB Jadeveon Clowney sought his advice) “We talk a bunch. We talk about little things and the knee and all that. We talked a lot during the whole process. Like I said, he looks great.”

(on if he will keep an eye on OLB Jadeveon Clowney to make sure he doesn’t do too much too quickly) “No, it’s not my job. There are a lot of guys out there that it is their job, but I will definitely give him my input if he asks it. I think there are a lot of people watching him and doing a good job monitoring everything he does.”

(on if he has any takeaways from the first game) “Yeah, we will watch a bunch of tape today, but it was a good game. I thought we did well in a bunch of key areas. You have got to stay more consistent. We still haven’t watched it as a group yet, but we will check it out today.”

(on what kind of impact OLB Jadeveon Clowney will have with this defense) “We will have to see, we will have to see. It is still very young in his career and we saw glimpses of it last year, but it should be interesting. We are all excited to see it.”

(on what the benefit is of facing Broncos QB Peyton Manning) “It is good. We did it last year too, so we did it in practice and we did it in a game. Definitely benefitted our football team to see a really good football player like that. It always helps.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on if he could tell that OLB Jadeveon Clowney took the difficulty of rehab to heart) “Without a doubt. I think he did his research as well. Everybody put their minds together. I am on the outside looking in, but this is just from speaking to him day to day. He talked with guys who played before who have had the injury. I think he went down his whole checklist and just making sure everything was in order, and I think he stuck to the plan. Everything worked itself out.”

(on what OLB Jadeveon Clowney could do to make the defense better) “I think obviously he is a dynamic talent. I think any time you can add a guy like that, it brings one more element to the pass rush, helping those guys up front. Ultimately all those guys up front make my job a lot easier on the back end.”

(on what it will be like for FS Rahim Moore playing his old team this week) “It should be business as usual. You can’t get caught up in the “rah rah rah” and all those things and get your emotions running high, because none of that gets the job done while you are out on the field. I just think you have to take it in stride and understand the business side of it. Just go out, play and relax.”

(on FS Rahim Moore’s impact on the defense so far) “I think he has done a great job so far coming in picking up the defense, being around new guys, fitting in, talking and communicating in the back, and just bringing another veteran presence. I think it is still early in the preseason right now, we have only had one game. I am looking forward to the opener and just taking these games week by week and day by day in practice.”

(on if it is a hoot to go against Broncos QB Peyton Manning even in the preseason) “Oh yeah, because he is going to bring it. Anytime he is in there under center, he is going to bring it. So it there is never a play off with that guy out there. It is always a good challenge for us to see where you are at up against the pass, because he is one of the best to ever do it.”

(on if he thinks Broncos QB Peyton Manning has picked up former Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s offense yet) “I’m sure he has picked it up. There is not an offense that you can throw at that guy that he can’t pick it up in a day or so. He is a student of the game. Not only a great player, but you know he works really hard in the classroom. I am sure he knows that offense. It worked well for us when he was here and I am sure Peyton is a guy who can pick it up and get it going with the weapons that he has in that offense.”

OLB Whitney Mercilus
(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney helping the defense when he’s fully back) “I mean, he’s going to help a whole lot, definitely with his size, his talents and all that. Also, it will give us a little bit more on the depth as well. We’re just looking forward to him being back, just working him in slowly right now. So, he’ll be ready to go.”

(on the impact FS Rahim Moore will make this season) “I think he’s definitely a great safety, communicates a lot on the field. That’s one of his key things that he, you know, just to get us on the same page from the back end. Also, just communicate with his guys, make sure their eyes aren’t in the back field playing overtop on the ball, stuff like that.”

(on what the team is saying to OLB Jadeveon Clowney about easing back in) “I mean, the thing is with any injury, you’ve got to gauge it. It just depends on how he feels. So the thing is, when he’s ready, he’s ready. He’ll be back.”

(on whether he could sense OLB Jadeveon Clowney’s anticipation this past week) “Oh yeah, Clowney is always excited. He’s definitely excited. He’s wanted to be a part of the group instead of all the way over there on the side of the field, instead of spectating. He wants to be in with the guys playing, in there, pass rushing, playing a run, things like that, so he’s excited to be back.”

(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney being happy about being back with the team today) “Definitely, definitely. You know, just talking to him off the field and all that and his anticipation being back and stuff like that, so I’m glad he’s back in a helmet, jersey, things like that, so I’m looking forward to him playing in the games.”

(on the impact that OLB Jadeveon Clowney has being back out on the field) “I mean it’s good. It’s a positive sign that he’s a tough kid, he’s ready to come in and play through his injuries and all that and be ready to be a part of the team and contribute.”

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