Texans Transcripts: August 2


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**

(on if practice was cleaner today) "Yeah, I thought we got better today. These guys came out very focused. We definitely took a step forward today."

(on QB Ryan Mallett practicing well) "Yeah, I thought he had a good day."

(on how the quarterbacks looked today) "You know, I'm not going to really get into evaluations. I will just tell you that they all came out and competed today. They all repped with different groups. I thought as a team, we got better today."

(on how night practice tomorrow will affect the team) "We'll get them up in the morning. We'll meet today and tonight then walkthrough tonight. Then well get them up in the morning, meet, and walkthrough some more. Come out here tomorrow night, full pads."

(on how he will improve the special teams unit) "My strategic plan to improve? I'm not telling you that, I can promise you that. Whatever you decipher out here, that's our strategic plan. Whatever you see out here, that's what we're trying to do."

(on WR DeAndre Hopkins) "Yeah, he had a good day today. He's had a good training camp so far. He came back early and he really performed well in the early training camp. He's had two good days here too."

(on the rumor QB Brian Hoyer has been named the starter) "That would be absolutely untrue. Every play, every day is evaluated. These guys are very even. No decisions have been made."

(on what he was pleased with and not pleased with at practice today) "There weren't too many things that I wasn't pleased with. I thought we came out here and got better. I thought these guys competed hard on both sides of the ball. We made plays on both sides of the ball. I thought we got better on the kickoff team today, worked our kickoff coverage. Looks like we found a couple guys there that are candidates to be on that kickoff team. So I thought we got better today."

(on the running back depth) "All those guys have good roles for us, especially the guys that were here last year. Arian (Foster) has had really good training camp to this point. He had a really good day today. Alfred Blue is a solid, steady performer. One of our core special teams guys and a first and second down running back. Jonathan Grimes is a very smart player. We use him more in substituted situations, but a very smart player and he's had a good camp. Chris Polk has been a good addition. Jay Prosch at fullback has gotten better from last year. I think that's a very competitive position. Kenny Hilliard coming in here, we're getting him some extra work after practice. I think that's going to help him, so I like the depth there and the competition at that position."

(on DE J.J. Watt's work ethic and leadership) "I've said this time and time again. If I was a young player, on either side of the ball, I would definitely attach myself to him and basically, 'How do you do it? How do you eat? How do you lift? How do you work out? What's your daily routine?' Because in addition to being obviously very talented, he's got a tremendous work ethic. He's got a tremendous heart. He's a great practice player and obviously a great game player. He's a smart player. He's a very smart player, so when you see him giving advice, yeah, when he's not in there he's talking to the younger players and trying to tell them, give them some tips on what they should be looking for and things like that. I would listen to him if I was them."

(on when the team expects OLB Jadeveon Clowney back on the field) "I would say that the goal is to get him back on the field by about August 17th and then go from there."

(on NT Louis Nix III and his conditioning) "I'm not sure what happened to him today, but he came back and passed the conditioning test, which is a big, big accomplishment for him. He's worked very hard this offseason. I think if he keeps stringing days together where he can improve every day and get better, I think he's off to a good start."

(on if he is pleased with how NT Louis Nix III has played) "Yes. Now, don't get me wrong, he's not headed for Canton quite yet, but he's getting better every day."

(on why the team is targeting August 17th for OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "I don't know. We'll see how he is on the 17th."

(on what he wants to see from his kick and punt returners) "Number one is ability to catch the ball. As simple as that sounds, go back there and make the catch. Field the punt, field the kickoff, and then once that's accomplished, and I think all those guys are working. That's a totally different task then catching a pass. Totally different. You have to judge the trajectory of the ball, the nose of the ball, the wind, and the type of punter or kicker that's kicking to you. That takes a lot of work. Once we feel like they've gotten that down, then it's about what's their instincts as far as being a returner. Can they get the ball and then catch it cleanly and then go make a play? Make smart decisions with the ball. That's what we're looking for. We won't really see a lot of that until the games."

(on if anybody has stood out on special teams) "No."

(on if he thinks OLB Jadeveon Clowney will be back on the field for the target date of August 17th) "Do I feel confident? Yeah, I'm confident. I'm confident that he'll be back here on that day. Now, again, come out here tomorrow, you never know, he's working very hard. But as I stand here today, I feel confident about his ability to be back out there doing something on August 17th."

(on T David Quessenberry's status) "I think we're taking it day-to-day. He's still receiving treatments. First of all, I mean, what an incredible story. I want to make sure that everybody knows, with that being said, there's a few different reasons why he's still here. I think number one is we're standing by him as he goes through his cancer treatments. That's number one. We care about him as a person. He comes from a great family. We've gotten to know his family. We're close to David and we care about him as a person. I think, in addition to that, when I first got here I really saw the potential of a very good football player, which I know Gary Kubiak saw the same thing. I think that there's a guy there that has gone through a tough time, has really made it a long way. Now whether he can get back out on the field this year is yet to be determined, but that guy, if he can get back, that guy can play football. He's smart. He's tough. He's big. He's athletic. We're glad that he's still here."

(on the challenges of improving the team but not overworking them) "It's different strokes for different folks. You got some guys out there that are in their mid-30's. You got some guys out there that are 20 or 21 years old. Some guys have played thousands and thousands of snaps in this league. Some guys have not, so I think you have to do a good job of gauging. Every single guy is a little bit different. Some days out here, we'll give the veterans a day off and we'll practice the younger guys more. Some days we'll grind it through, like today. Today and yesterday were a grind. Monday night is going to be a grind. We're only two days in, but I believe that we do a good job of gauging that based on who they are and how long they've played."

(on if he treats all the players the same every year) "No, I think you have to be realistic and you have to be smart. Some of these guys have played a lot of football. Like, how many more double team blocks and down blocks does Vince Wilfork need to see? I mean, he's taking on 17,000 of them in his life. Now, does he have to get out here some days and work his technique and get better? Yeah, as opposed to Louis Nix, who hasn't played a lot of football in this league yet, he needs to get out there and get a bunch of reps, so I think we look at that and we take it individual by individual."

(on K Randy Bullock) "Randy had a good spring and Randy kicked well today. Randy's got a strong leg and we have very high expectations for Randy. Randy was drafted here and we're looking for Randy to be a top kicker."

(on DE Jared Crick) "I think he's a very smart player. Not enough is said about Jared Crick. He's kind of an unsung hero. He had a really good year last year. He's a very tough, very tough guy. He's out here every day. Never takes a day off. He's out here all the time. He's gotten better within our scheme. I think when we came in, it was a little bit different then what he had been playing before. I thought he went out there last year and last spring and really did a good job. He's picking up where he left off."

(on the defense's potential) "I think that every year is different. I think we have some very talented players. I do believe that our depth is better there, but they have got to go out there and do it. They have to go out there and do it in the preseason probably on a limited basis, and then when the season starts they have to be ready to roll. I have confidence in them. I really enjoy the guys on that side of the ball, they work very hard, but they have got to go do it."

(on the possibility of Jeff Adams starting at left guard) "Yes."

(on your impressions of ILB Brian Cushing so far) "Brian Cushing has had a good offseason. He is healthy, he has come back in great shape. Another guy who went out there the other day and did a great job during the conditioning test. He is one of the leaders of our team. He is a very smart guy and knows our system better. We are really glad he is back out there."

(on his impressions of CB Kevin Johnson) "He has come in here and done a nice job. He is aggressive. He will make his mistakes, you know, it is a totally different ball game than college. He is an aggressive kid, very smart, and very respectful of the game. He is learning from two guys in J-Jo (CB Johnathan Joseph) and Kareem (Jackson) that have played a lot of football. So far he has gotten off to a good start."

(on WR Jaelen Strong) "Right now he has still got a ways to go, but he came back in shape, passed the conditioning test. He has had two decent days of practice, decent days. He just needs to keep stringing them together. He has had a good couple of days here and that's good for us to see that."

(on DT Vince Wilfork pairing with ILB Brian Cushing) "Cush is a very instinctive player and adding Vince to the mix obviously will help. That is our number one priority is to stop the run. We need to be able to go out there and do it and Cush is a big part of that."

(on fan's reactions to the quarterbacks) "I don't get into that. I don't get into that. I know what both those guys do in the building. I take a lot of pride in both those guys. I know both those guys very well. I read, I understand what is written out there. Sometimes it pisses me off to be honest with you. These are two guys that are good quarterbacks that have played in this league. They work very hard, they are out here busting their ass every day to get better. I think the city of Houston should be proud of both of them. I think the media should understand that these guys can play. They have to go out there and do it. Look if they don't go out there and do it, they don't do it, but I have a lot of faith in those guys. One guy will start and one guy will be the backup and I'm looking forward to continuing to coach them. I think they are two good quarterbacks and I like both of them."

(on having two days of film to look at the quarterbacks) "We don't really look at it that way. Sometimes they are with the ones and sometimes they are with the twos. I think it is more of compiling it throughout the time period that we have before we make a decision whenever that time is. We don't have two TV screens in the film room and say ok let's look at (QB Brian) Hoyer's day yesterday and (QB Ryan) Mallet's day. We don't get into all that. We just try to look at every rep and try to make good decisions based on what is best for the team.

(on if the best assessment of the quarterbacks will come when the pads are on and a couple games are played) "You never know. You never know. When the time is right to make a decision, we will make the decision."

DT Christian Covington
(on being able to stay in Houston after college) "To be able to not have to get adjusted to a new city, to be able to already kind of know what the heat is like and to be able to familiarize yourself with these similar surroundings is something else really. To have a support staff like my boys back at Rice and to be able to have some family members that live in the Pearland area still here. It is unbelievable to be given the opportunity to play for the Texans."

(on playing with DE J.J. Watt and NT Vince Wilfork) "It is unbelievable to have guys like them on this defensive line. What they have accomplished in their careers is something else. I am just trying to get better every day and trying to learn from them every day. I am just looking forward to what lies next with camp."

(on being in the NFL) "I am just trying to learn my craft, get better every day. Nothing will really kick in until September when that the 53 man roster is set. So I am trying to get better every day, work hard, do my job, and just know what it takes to be a professional athlete."

(on being a professional athlete) "To be a professional athlete you have to be able to be more than one dimensional. You have to be able to perform on the field and perform in the meeting rooms. To be able to perform with the knowledge that you need to know every day, whether it's on the field or in the meeting room. You never know when you're going to be test. Especially in training camp, they are watching you and tests are ongoing."

(on having the first two practices in front of fans) "This is something else really. To be able to perform like this, I've never been a part of anything like this before, especially our training camps at Rice. This is something else. To have fans like the Houston Texans' fans, it's unbelievable to see how much support they have for this team. It's amazing."

(on having his dad as a mentor) "He's been coaching me since Day 1 really. I have been grateful to have a man like him, to be able to learn from, him being a defensive end in the CFL (Canadian Football League). He has been my coach since junior high, he has been my coach since high school, and he still instilled wisdom in me while I was in college. To be able to have him in my back corner and in my back pocket with support from a guy like him is unbelievable."

(on being the only person drafted in the NFL draft and CFL draft) "That is something else really. It is a blessing to be able to be drafted by an organization like the Houston Texans where your college team was located in the same city, and to be drafted by the BC Lions, my hometown team. I couldn't have asked for anything better than that. This is obviously my dream, the NFL is my dream and I am going to continue to work hard for this to be able to get the most out of my dream. But to be able to know that if all else fails to know that I go home to my hometown and be able to play for my hometown team is amazing too."

DE Jared Crick
(on the second day of training camp) "We got better today at every position. I thought everybody improved, whether it is just a little bit or a pretty good amount. That's the whole point of this, got to come out every day and get better at something every single day and that's how you become a great team. So, you know we're on the right path, we've just got to keep it up."

Take a look at the best photos from the second day of practice at #TexansCamp.

(on Head Coach Bill O'Brien saying the coaches are throwing some new things at the offense, if they are doing that on the defense as well) "First couple of days we're kind of keeping it pretty vanilla, just getting our base stuff in. I'm sure once training camp goes on, we'll open it up a little and as the regular season gets here of course we'll open it up. Right now, we're just trying to get our fundamentals, our technique down, and just kind of get a building block going."

(on what he's working on during training camp) "More pass rush, I've always been pretty solid playing the run in the league. That was mainly my job last year – coming off of first or second down and my role expanded towards the end of the season, had to do more pass rushing. With an expanded role going into this season, I'm working more on that trying to get my pass rush going."

(on how much easier NT Vince Wilfork makes his job) "You know, tons – not only on the field but off the field in the meeting room, just seeing stuff that he sees that as a defensive end you really wouldn't, a perspective that you really wouldn't think of before. It's nice just having him and have the career he's had, to have all the knowledge that he's had, to come in and help us out, it's awesome. Like I said, he's a force on the field. He's going to be awesome on the field, but he's also awesome off."

(on where his sack celebration dance came from) "That's when like the (WWE wrestler) Randy Orton vines were coming out with 'RKO out of nowhere' stuff, and so I thought that'd be cool to pay homage to that, so that's kind of my thing now whenever people see me, if they recognize me, they always ask me about it, so I think I've got to keep it now."

CB Kareem Jackson
(on how practice has been) "The first two practices have definitely been a fast pace and that's kind of how we want to play. We want to come out, we want to just kind of jump right in. We want to be able to communicate and just definitely execute."

(on the biggest change from last year to this year) "Just us knowing what to expect. We're all familiar with each other now. We're familiar with all of the coaches, we know what they expect from us. We know how they want us to come out and execute. We know how they want us to communicate and you know, for us, we just come out and do it now. After practice today, coach kind of echoed that he liked our intensity coming out and the way to work and that's what we want to do every day, come out, we want to work to the best of our ability. Come out and just get better as a team."

(on the depth of the team) "In my opinion, I think so. It's all about being competitive and like I said, (Head) Coach (Bill) O'Brien preaches about it every day, having a competitive roster. It's only going to make the guys better. It's only going to make everybody better. Going to make everybody want to come out and compete and it will bring the best out of you, so for us to be deep in the DB (defensive back) room and for us to come out and compete, like I said, it's going to have us ready for the season."

(on winning the Division) "We have a lot of confidence. We know what we're capable of and we go out and we execute, so for us we just want to come out every day and get better in every aspect as a team and on offense and defense and just work our way towards that first game and then just go out and leave it all on the field once we get to that point."

G/C Ben Jones
(on day 2 of camp) "It's camp. We're out here, it's day two. Just going out here and trying to get better every day. Everything has been going well, we'll just keep pushing and that's just part of camp. You're just grinding every day."

(on moving to center and his experience playing it) "Right. That's right, I played four years in college, I was drafted as a center and I had a great mentor. It's Chris Myers, heck of a player, heck of a guy. I'm just glad to have such a good friend like him. I still talk to him every day. Great guy and great leader we had here for so long."

(on his concerns for the offensive line) "Guys we're coming out here and we're just coming out here working every day. We got a great group of guys and everybody is just willing to work and everybody is diving into it every day, so the skies the limit right now as long as we just dive into it every day."

(on G Xavier Su'a-Filo) "Xavier (Su'a-Filo) is in here. Xavier is working his butt off. He's going to come out, he's still grinding. That's part of camp, you just got to learn how to grind."

(on the continuity of the offensive line) "Definitely, we have a really tight o-line. From one to 15, everybody is really great. Duane (Brown) is one of our guys to go to. He has us around all the time, bringing us to his house in the off season, so we have a really close group and that's just part of being an o-lineman. You're always going to do stuff together."

(on the relationship between the offensive line) "Definitely. As soon as I got here, I think the first text I got was from Chris Myers and playing four years in college at center and having a guy, hey, first day. It was just amazing having that guy in the room and showing you his ways. On the field and off the field and just how to be a man and how to be a family man also."

(on playing center) "You got to go out there every day but the past two years I've played center every day in practice and I was back up center for the past three years and if anything went and happened to Chris (Myers) I had to go right in, so you got to prepare like you're a center every day."

(on not wearing pads) "We go out there and do our job every day, no matter helmets, full pads, everything. We're going to go out there and execute and that's the same thing. We're just coming out here and grinding every day."

(on wearing pads tomorrow) "Definitely, as an offensive lineman you always want to have the pads on. That's when you get the most realistic look, so we're always happy to get them on."

(on playing with NT Vince Wilfork) "He's a great leader and a guy that you can go against and you know he's one of the best in the league, so he's going to give you his best every day."

(on having Hard Knocks cameras at practice) "You don't really notice them. You're out there, you're just grinding, especially during practice. Practice is always filmed, media is always here, so you really don't even notice them."

(on the quarterback situation) "We have a great quarterback staff, one, two, three. We got a heck of a- they've put the work in and they come out here and grind every day, and any one of them could step in and do the job."

(on looking upside down at the quarterback) "Hopefully I don't have to do that much. We have a guard that taps so I don't have to look back there at all."

View photos of fans and players signing autographs after the second day of practice at #TexansCamp.

(on changing his technique) "You don't change anything at all. You come out there and do the same thing no matter who is in there."

(on quarterback improvement) "We got three great quarterbacks. I wouldn't have anybody else out there. These guys work so hard. They put in the effort and extra time. Great guys on the team and great leaders and I think we have three amazing quarterbacks."

(on playing against the defense) "I'd much rather practice against them then play against them every day. That's why we love going against them because they know they're one of the best in the NFL and having to go against that every day prepares you throughout the season."

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on if Kareem Jackson bought the first meal after he signed his contract) "Oh yeah, we had a great dinner; he owed us a couple so we held him up to it. He said, once it happened he was going to take us all out to dinner and we went out to Del Frisco's and had a nice little dinner."

(on being a veteran in training camp) "It's fun, man. I see myself coming out to practice a little earlier now, trying to get warmed up, getting in the cold tub and stretching, things like that, but just to have the opportunity each and every day to come out here and put that helmet and put that jersey on and be a part of the NFL, it's a blessing to be in year 10 and just to be around. We have a young defense in this team moving forward, because we've got a lot of great young guys, we've got some veteran guys here that've played a lot of football. I think we're on the rise, but we've got to come out here and put the work in in training camp and just prepare for the season."

(on where he sees CB Kevin Johnson fitting in) "A great young kid who's always prepared, comes out to the field, works hard, he doesn't really carry himself like a rookie. He's eager to learn, and I think he's just fitting right in and that's all you can ask for from a rookie."

(on if he sees some of himself when he was younger in CB Kevin Johnson) "It's hard to compare guys. What I see in him is an ultimate pro. That speaks volumes within itself because when you have that on your side, you're eager to learn and getting better and at the same time you can take coaching."

(on being more comfortable in this system in the second year) "Without a doubt. Looking back at the film last year, we made a lot plays and did a lot of things, played a lot of good football, but ultimately, you can always go back and find something that you can get better at. I think we did that throughout the OTA sessions and things like that. Once we got to training camp, we wanted to be even better at it and get those small details knocked out, knock some of the wrinkles out and just be the best we can and be a great defense."

ILB Benardrick McKinney
(on working out and the conditioning of the team) "We work out pretty hard every day, even if it's just coming out here and conditioning. We're working hard every day just trying to get better. Everybody is working out hard to try and stay in shape."

(on what he did conditioning-wise after OTAs to be ready after Head Coach Bill O'Brien said the rookies all needed better conditioning) "Just talking to all the guys, trying to see what I had to do to be ready for the conditioning test. During the little break we had, I was just conditioning myself mentally and physically."

(on if he changed his weights or his running to focus on conditioning since OTAs) "More running sprints, doing linebacker specific drills."

T Derek Newton
(on the quarterback situation) "You can't worry about that. Whoever is under center come game day, we are going to play. We can't worry about that. Coach OB (Bill O'Brien) and those quarterbacks are great guys. Whoever is under center, they are going to come out and give their best. We all are going to give our best to come out here and win games."

(on giving DT Vince Wilfork number 75) "I've got a lot of respect for him, it was only right. We sat down and talked about it and he explained it to me. I am a respectful guy, it has been with him for a long time and it was only right I gave it to him."

(on the difference from last season to this season) "It is much smoother. Coming into a new offense like last year it is going to be a lot of nervousness trying to get everything down so fast. Coming into year two, I think everything is a lot smoother."

(on playing next to G Brandon Brooks for multiple seasons) "It has been good. We are always talking to each other whether it is on the field or in the building. I think having great chemistry on the field helps a lot – makes communication easier for us, but not only me and Brandon but for the whole unit."

(on improving things during day two of camp) "We cleaned up a few things from yesterday and I feel like that's our main thing, coming out and cleaning up what we did the day before and I feel like we accomplished that today."

(on what he has seen from the quarterbacks) "It has been great, great competition. Whoever is under center come game day, we are going to go out and win games."

(on having DT Vince Wilfork on the field) "It is great. He is a smart guy and has been in the league a long time. He knows what it takes to win and that is what we are looking for."

(on the veteran leadership in the locker room) "It is always great. Whenever you are having a problem with something or you want to know how to do something you go to them and they will help you. As a young guy, me, even though I am going into year five I am always asking questions. There is always room for improvement, things that help you to get better. So it is always good to go to those guys and ask questions."

(on the offensive line without C Chris Myers) "We feel pretty good. Chris was a great guy for us, a great leader, but we feel pretty good."

DE J.J. Watt
(on NT Vince Wilfork saying that there was nothing he could teach J.J.) "Vince is a great guy. He's a great player. I'm sure he can teach me how to barbecue, that's for sure. He knows how to do that very well. Vince and I talk every day. We talk about life. We talk about football experience. We talk about on-the-field things. We talk about many different things, so it's nice to be able to have a guy like that that I can talk to every day about anything."

(on his view of the first two days of training camp) "I think it's been good. I think it looks like the first two days of training camp. There are definitely some things that we want to work on and continue to work on, but I think there are a lot of things that we're doing very well also. The group that we have works together very well and I think that's the best part about it. We have guys that are communicating at a very high level. We have guys that are talking through things that are high-level things for being so early in camp. We have guys who work their butts off and that's probably the biggest thing of all: guys came back ready to roll. Guys come out here every single day and put in the time and put in the effort and it really shows."

(on the appearance that he has almost as much fun knocking down passes in practice as he does in games) "I enjoy making plays. I don't care if it's practice. I don't care if it's a game. Every single rep that I get to play football, I try and treat it like it's the real deal, like it's a game. Whether its practice or a game, a batted ball, sack, tackle for loss, every single one is special because of how hard it is."

(on the intensity of the wide receivers and defensive backs) "I don't get to see a whole lot of the one-on-one's and the seven-on-seven and things like that, but I know those two groups are very competitive. I can speak more for the defensive side. I know our defensive backfield is incredible. We've got a lot of guys back there, a lot of depth, a lot of very talented players. It's a lot of fun to have those guys behind you because they can make you look real good up front."

(on if he can tell a difference being in his second year under defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel) "Yeah, I think that being in the second year is huge. Guys understand the scheme and we can have conversations that are much higher level than we were last year at this time. Last year at this time, everyone was trying to learn the defense, make sure what we were supposed to do. Now we all know what we're supposed to do, so we can have more conversations about different schemes, different personnel packages. I think that's really given us that extra leg up."

(on fans going crazy trying to get autographs and pictures of him) "It's insane. I've always said that it's never going to get old and it never will get old. It's literally the craziest thing in the world when you walk out here at 7 or 8 a.m. or whatever time it is and you walk across that bridge and the place erupts. There is nothing greater that you can ask for on your way to work every day. I'm so fortunate that I get to come to work for these people and they make it so much fun to come out here and work every day. It doesn't matter how hot it is and it doesn't matter how sweaty you get, you want to work your ass off because you want to make these people proud. It's so cool and I'm very, very fortunate. That's what we try to do as a team: we want to show these fans we appreciate them because we really, really do."

(on some fans that looked like they were coming unglued after receiving an autograph) "There have been some interesting ones. It's pretty incredible. I just sit there and think I'm a normal human being. I'm just a regular guy. It's really special and like I said, I know what it's like to be a fan outside at training camp. For me, if it takes a couple extra minutes or an extra half-hour or whatever it is, I try to get as many as I can in before I go inside and work out. I realize how special that experience can be."

(on the biggest thing he hopes to accomplish in this camp) "The team, building our team – guys coming together, guys understanding their roles, everybody communicating at a very high level and just having everybody mesh and get better every single day. I think that as long as you see that daily improvement, every single day, we'll be where we want to be come the first game."

(on who his "J.J. Watt" was when he was a kid attending training camp) "I grew up in Wisconsin so I spent a couple days at a Packers training camp when I was younger, so just standing outside of a fence by the players' cars waiting for an autograph and seeing what I could get. The cooler part was I remember sitting in the stands and watching their practice and seeing how cool it was that they got to go out there and compete and play football for a living. It was incredible. To see the way people react and to see the way I react if you get an autograph or something, to know that at the time I didn't know if they knew how much power they had to make somebody's day. That's kind of why I've always been the way I have with the fans, because I realize that even if it's just a handshake or wave or a smile, you can affect someone's entire day, entire mood, just by saying hello. It's incredible and to see the way they treat me out here now, I couldn't ask for anything better. I'm so lucky."

(on if there was a specific player that he remembers getting an autograph from when he was a kid at that training camp) "I'm not going to lie. I'll be 100 percent honest here. You stand outside by the gate and you don't know every player on the team, so I think I got four autographs and I didn't know one guy whose autograph I got, but that's what was so crazy. I have no clue who this big defensive lineman is who I got his autograph, but I was excited because I got somebody's autograph. If Brett Favre would've walked out and I would've got his autograph, I can only imagine what that would've been like. That's just kind of the mentality that I've brought with every single day. It's so much fun. It's just crazy."

(on watching NT Vince Wilfork up close and what his observations of him are) "For a big guy, Vince moves so well. He's so fluid. He's so affective with what he does. You look at a guy his size and you would think there is no way he can do what he does but he's incredible and he works extremely hard at it. The guy is 12 years into the league now, but he's still working every day to get better. He's still finding ways to get better. I think that a lot of guys can learn a lot from that. No matter how long you've been in the league and no matter how successful you've been, you still have to work your butt off every single day to stay at that level and to keep improving. I think Vince has done that and that's why he's where he is and that's why he has the respect that he has."

(on NT Vince Wilfork and him playfully boxing and having fun out on the field) "Vince and I have like a brother relationship – like a younger brother, older brother relationship. Today he told me, 'Why are you messing around all the time, man?' I felt, at that moment, like the little brother that's like, 'Hey, you want to play? Come on, let's go outside and play.' He had had enough of it. He was like, 'I just want to work.' We have fun and that's what's fun about training camp. That's why I said I was so excited to get back with my teammates because of the little things before practice – catching passes before warmups. It's the little things that people would never think are cool that we are going to remember for the rest of our lives."

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