Texans Transcripts: Friday media session

**

Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on the energy of practice the past two days) "They did. I thought the last two days were really good. I thought we practiced hard and got a lot accomplished, a lot of things done in practice."

(on if he sees any difference in QB Ryan Mallett heading into his second week as starter) "I think he's been consistent this week. He's worked very hard. He's been in here early and staying late. I think he's had a decent week. I just like how he's approaching each day."

(on from his experience if he sees a difference in a quarterback's second game) "I think any time you can go in there in your first start and play decently, it has to give you some confidence to be able to go out there and do it again. The issue is you've got a whole different challenge. It's a totally different team, different scheme and a really good team in Cincinnati. That's the challenge, but he's approached every day with the same, for lack of a better term, business-like approach, which has been good to see."

(on if the focus on the quarterback position is solely on Cincinnati or for the rest of the season) "Cincinnati. That's it. I think the big thing there is we're focused on Cincinnati. Cincinnati is a good football team. They present a number of different challenges to us on both sides of the ball and on special teams. We're very focused on them."

(on how RB Alfred Blue responded this week after his big game) "The thing about Alfred is he's been the same ever since he got here as far as his approach to practice and meetings. He's a kid that's definitely wise beyond his years. He comes in here and he understands how to approach things. I give LSU a lot credit there. He played in a good college football program and he comes here and he approaches things in a very business-like way each and every week."

(on WR Andre Johnson speaking highly of RB Alfred Blue's work ethic from the start of training camp) "I think when it comes from a guy like Andre Johnson that carries a lot of weight. I think Alfred has done a good job. He really studies the game, he studies the game plan, he practices hard, he's a tough kid, he's a good teammate, he's unselfish; he's everything that you're looking for in a teammate.

(on RB Alfred Blue not having his role reduced on special teams against Cleveland and if that will continue) "We didn't. I think we probably need to watch that moving forward, but he's such an important part of our special teams units. We have to be aware thought that he carried the ball 36 times in that game. I'm not sure how much he'll carry the ball on Sunday. We have to be aware of that."

(on if 36 carries is the max that RB Alfred Blue will get in a game) "We don't really keep count on that. We definitely communicate with how they're feeling on the sideline and we rotated him in there. (Jonathan) Grimes went in there and he had some carries and did a good job. But we definitely talk to him between series, like 'how are you feeling and how are you doing.' Of course, most of these tell us I'm doing great. We do a good job of having a good feel for that."

(on the energy of practice following a victory) "We've had some good energy, especially that last two days. We've had good energy the last two days. I think the guys have been detailed. They were out there today. They were flying around out there today, which was good to see. Of course I've been around teams where you've had great, great practice weeks and then Sunday was a different story and vice versa. It all comes down to how we play on Sunday. I know these guys know that these games are very, very important. Like I said a few weeks ago, in the NFL it really comes down to Thanksgiving. The season really gets going at Thanksgiving. It's just about Thanksgiving, so we need to play well on Sunday."

(on the health of the team at this point of the season) "With the exception of Kareem (Jackson). Kareem not being in there, you know, that's a starting corner in this league. And the other guys that have come in for him have stepped up and done some decent things. But you're right, overall, knock on wood, we've stayed fairly healthy, and it's good to be healthy at this time of the year."

(on the experience and leadership that CB Johnathan Joseph brings) "A lot. Johnathan Joseph is definitely one of the leaders of this team. Not only on defense, but in that locker room. He's just a very professional guy. The way he approaches every day, he wants to practice, he wants to be out there. He's done a lot for this football team this year and that's the type of leadership we're always looking for and he provides it."

(on if there has been a decision on RB Arian Foster) "No."

(on QB Ryan Mallett's approach) "He's done a good job. One thing that I noticed about him- I only had him as a rookie before he came here- one thing that I noticed right away about him was his approach to the game when he came. I think that says a lot about himself, how he's learned to become a professional football player over the years. It says a lot about New England and how he was trained in New England backing up Tom Brady, being coached there. And he came here and he is every single day so far, he's been in the right routine. He's here at 5:45 in the morning, he's taking care of his body, he's studying tape, he's going to be until 5 or 6 o'clock tonight doing the same things, studying tape. I think as long as he keeps going that way and he understands that, he'll be fine. That's been something that's been impressive to see behind the scenes."

RB Alfred Blue
(on how he responded this week after a 36-carry game) "I'd say I responded pretty well. I was a little sore on Monday. As we started practicing on Wednesday and going through the practices, I kind of worked the soreness out by running around a little bit."

(on if he knew had that many carries as the game was going on) "No, man. When you're in the flow of the game you don't know how many carries you've got. You're just doing your job out there, running the ball and trying to make the best of it."

(on how many more carries he could have taken) "I don't know. They would've get giving it to me, we would've found out. It ended at 36."

(on if he would have ever told the coaches that he couldn't handle any more carries) "No. When they call upon you, you have to be ready to go. If they would have given me 50 carries out there, I would've ran the ball 50 times. You just have to do your job out there."

(on being ready to go if RB Arian Foster can't go) "Right. Like I always said, you have to know your role and my role is backing up Arian. If he's not able to play in the game, than I have to be the starter and have a game like I had last week."

(on if he was aware he was playing a full load on special teams) "I wasn't thinking about how many carries or how many plays I was out there. I was just trying to do my job. Whatever unit was out there, whether it was offense or special teams, I was just going on the field and doing my job."

(on if he was worried he was playing too many snaps) "I mean, yeah. I was out there having fun. Like I said, I wasn't keeping track of how many plays I was in the game. I was just going out there and having fun and trying to do my job the best that I can."

(on what he saw on film that he wants to do better) "It was just some stuff, just more patience in the run game. A lot more understanding in four-minute. Stay in bounds, don't go out of bounds, keep the clock running."

RB Arian Foster
(on preaching RB Alfred Blue about running patient) "That's kind of always been my running style is just to be patient. I don't preach to him. He's a very talented young cat. He's got a bright future in this league, and so I just try to show him the ropes. Same as the old heads showed me the ropes when I first got in the NFL. Just trying to teach him things that I've learned along the way so that he doesn't make the same mistakes. He should be a very productive back for a long time in this league."

(on being undrafted similar to RB Alfred Blue was a sixth round pick) "If you've got talent in this league, they'll find you. It's about opportunity and what you do with the opportunity when it's handed to you. He's showing up, so you can't be nothing but happy for a guy like that."

(on RB Alfred Blue carrying the ball 36 times) "I don't want that. He can have that. I told him that he doesn't want that too much. It's good to show you can do that, but you don't want that."

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