Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on what the team accomplished during OTAs) "I think that we've accomplished a lot. I think that the guys that were here last year, having been in the system now for over a year, they're able to practice faster, there's not as much thinking as there was when we were installing all three phases last year. So we've made improvement there. I think the expectation level between the coaches and the players is very good. They understand what they expect out of each other and they understand our expectations as far as how we compete in practice, the pace in which we practice. I've been, you know, I wouldn't say impressed, but I've been happy with the rookie group. I think these guys for the most part have worked hard to try to get with our program. I told them just now out on the field that we've had a good offseason program and now it's important to finish it off next week in the minicamp with some good days of practice there."
(on naming a starter at quarterback) "Again, these two guys are competing really well. They're very bright guys. I think they've both had really good springs. I really do. I think whichever guy is the guy that ends up being starter is going to do a good job for our football team. And whoever is not the starter is going to do a good job for our football team too. That guy might be named next week, it might be after the Redskins' three days of practice, it maybe after the San Francisco preseason game. I'm not ready yet to name that guy because I think it's important, don't get me wrong, but I also know that we've got a good bunch of guys in that locker room that are competing together. I think they understand that these two quarterbacks are really doing a good job on the practice field and when the timing is right we will make a decision."
(on what he is looking at in the decision to name a starting quarterback) "That's a good question, that's a very good question. We look at a lot of different things. We look at how they are in the meetings, how alert they are in the meetings, and both these guys have been really good in our meetings, whether it's a unit meeting, a team meeting, or a position meeting. We look at how they practice out on the field. What type of decisions do they make? Are they good decisions? Are they poor decisions relative to what we've coached them? Are they decisions that are going to help the team, you know, help the team win the game, score a touchdown, kick a field goal, or just manage the game? Reserve the right to punt in some of these situations that we work on in practice. I would say that both guys have shown us they can be the starter. I don't think there's a situation here where one guy has just been that much better on any given day than the other guy. They both practice very well. I think it's helped our team. Our team has practiced well because the ball comes out very well, very quickly and accurately. These guys command at the line of scrimmage. Both these guys know how to run an offensive huddle in pro football. They're leaders, so I think it's helped our team. Like I said, when the timing is right, when I feel good about who that guy is going to be, we'll make a decision."
(on giving play calling duties to Offensive Coordinator George Godsey) "I felt that he did a lot of that last year. I called plays. He called plays. I don't think it's easy to call plays in this league. I think it's a league where the defensive coordinators on the other side of the ball and the offensive coordinators on the other side of the ball are just so good and so experienced in many ways. I think what we did last year was we worked as team, he and I. I think now he is ready to call the plays. He is ready to put the game plan in. He is ready to go out there on game day and call the plays. I will be very involved with the play calling. There will not be a play call made that I don't approve of. Just understand that, but also at the end of the day, he's going to call the plays and I have all the confidence in the world that he'll do a good job. He's a bright guy. He's a good communicator. He's a fast thinker. He's a riser in this profession. He's a good football coach and he works extremely hard at it. He is ready to do it."
(on his expectations for OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "High expectations. I think the guy has worked hard. When I say high expectations, I mean for him coming back and being on schedule to start the season. Now, when he comes back to be able to practice in training camp, we don't really know that yet. Obviously, he would have to practice some to be able to be ready to play in the Kansas City game, even if it was on a limited basis. But he's worked extremely hard. I think he's moving well. I think he feels better. We'll be looking forward to seeing where he is at once we get back here at the end of July."
(on if OLB Jadeveon Clowney will be limited when he comes back) "I think the smart thing to do would be not to put him in there for 80 plays a game. First of all, we've got guys that are out here working very hard every single day. Whitney Mercilus, John Simon, we've got some young outside backers that are working very hard. Again, he's got to come back here and earn his playing time. But at the same time, we're not going to rush him back and if he does come back and earn playing time all of a sudden play him 75 plays in a game. I think we'd have to be very smart about how much we play him early on."
(on being a game plan offense and the challenges he faced last year) "I think they understand that more. They understand how we meet, the progression of our meeting. We have a 7:30 position meeting where we kind of talk about the specifics to that position, what's going to happen that day. Then we go into a team meeting, then we have a unit meeting. In the unit meeting, George (Godsey) gives the overview of the day and how it relates to the whole unit. These are the runs, these are the passes, these are the routes, these are the protections that we're putting in. I think they understand how we talk, our language, what we're looking at defensively, how we label defenses, personnel, fronts, coverages, blitzes, how we call our own plays and our different tempos that we play at. They're used to that now. They understand what this means, this word means now. They don't have to go look it up. They got it. I think that's something that means a lot a year into this thing. I think we've had a good offseason and training camp will be a big test for our offense."
(on how he manages being a game plan offense) "You have to be ahead of the game, so towards the end of the previous week, whether it's Friday night or Saturday morning, you've got to start to look ahead to the next opponent. That doesn't mean you're not thinking about first and foremost that opponent on Sunday. It just means, can you get ahead on at least studying some of the tendencies of that next opponent because that enables you to, after the Sunday game, review that Sunday game but quickly move on to with some ideas that you have on Monday and Tuesday for the Wednesday meeting. The Wednesday meeting is basically first and second down, personnel, their top players, how are we going to attack their top players, how are we going to defend their top players. Then Thursday is more of a third down, more of a hitting day, short yardage and goal line. Then Friday is red zone and two minute. That's kind of how we do it. Saturday wraps it all up with a walkthrough. We try to stay ahead of the game. It's difficult to do sometimes because you're thinking about that Sunday game, but you got to try and get a jump later in the week, Friday or Saturday, on that next opponent."
(on QB Brian Hoyer's command of the offense) "I think he's done a good job of working hard to get that because everybody has been a little bit different with this offense, whether it was Charlie Weiss, Josh McDaniels, myself in New England, obviously Bill Belichick had an influence on it, and now George Godsey here in Houston. It's a little bit different. It's kind of an interesting evolution of the offense based on who's designing the offense. Brian has had to come in here and work hard to learn the nuances of the Houston Texans offense. That's what it is, it's the Houston Texans offense. I think he's done a good job. I know that he is a very conscientious guy, so is (Ryan) Mallett. They work hard. They're in early. They're staying late. They're trying to figure things out. I think they're both doing a really good job."
(on if one of the quarterbacks could do something next week to convince him to name a starter) "I think that would be tough. I do. I think the way that these guys compete, the way that they practice, and the way that both of them have attacked each day, I don't see either guy right now going out there and just totally separating himself from the other guy. I think both guys are good players and they're very competitive, but you never know. If one guy goes out and just doesn't have a great day and the other guy has a great day, not saying you'd make a judgment there right that day, but you'd have to take that into account. Right now, that hasn't happened so I don't see that really happening."
(on if it's important to see the quarterbacks against another team) "That's part of the thought process, definitely, that we're thinking about. We think about this all the time. We think about our roster, not just the quarterback position, but the roster. I think this is a passing camp. You can't really run the ball, so there's no running game. The defense is thinking pass all the time. The offense is thinking pass all the time because there's no pads on. Not just with the quarterback, but with the defensive and offensive lines, the jury is out on a lot of these, especially the younger players. Where are these guys at? That's where training camp comes in when we can run the ball, how is our run defense, how is our run offense, how do the quarterbacks handle the running game. I think part of that is in the thought process of making sure that we cover all our bases as it relates to all those things."
(on how much the players on the team affect his decision about the quarterback) "I think you have to do a good job of making sure that you're making a good decision for the team, but also understanding that maybe the team isn't always thinking about this all the time. The team is thinking about the team. I think with these two guys, I think the team realizes that we have two good guys. Both guys can play football. They've proven it. Ryan (Mallett) obviously has only played in one or two games with the Cincinnati game. (Brian) Hoyer is 10-6 as a starter. He's played a little bit more. I think our team realizes that we've got two good guys there and whoever plays quarterback is going to do a good job. I think our team is more concerned about the whole team and how we're moving ahead as a team. I think that's how they look at it right now."
(on what he accomplished in OTAs that he feels best about) "Well, I think the big thing for me is personally that I just see our guys moving around a lot faster. Just knowing the systems on both sides of the ball and on special teams. We're able to evaluate better because these guys aren't thinking as much. They're able to go out there and do it, run the route precisely, cover the running back precisely the way we teach it, understanding where to line up, and all those things. I like that. I think we've accomplished that. What I really do like about this team, and I do like this team right now, they work very hard. These guys are working hard out on the practice field. They come to work every single day with a good attitude. We've had great participation. All of this is voluntary and we've had everybody here. I think it's really good to see that and I really appreciate the fact these guys basically bring their lunch pail every single day and go to work."
(on his expectations for ILB Brian Cushing) "I really have a lot of respect for him. He and I have had a few talks over the last year, year and a half just making sure that he understands how I see his role in the defense and his role in this team. He's a leader of this team. He's taken to heart some of the things that he and I have talked about. He's come back and had a hell of an offseason. He's moving well. He made a play today out there in a two-minute drill on about a 20-yard pass where he got back in coverage and he tipped the ball away. That was a big play. It was good for me to see that. I think he felt good about making that play, but that's an example of how far he's come from the end of last year. I thought he was playing pretty well. I think he changed his training regime a little bit this offseason. I have very high expectations for Brian. He's a good football player and really one of the leaders of our team."
(on everyone being here at voluntary camp) "I just think that's big. I think it says a lot about the guys in that locker room. That's the one thing about me, if you really think about what I love about pro football is working with the players, coaching the players. I really enjoy these guys. These guys work very hard. They know how to laugh. They have good senses of humor. They work hard. They study hard. They practice hard. I really enjoy that about this team, so hopefully we can really come together in training camp and do something next year because it's about time that the Houston Texans did something. It's time for us to go out there and win games and do what this city expects us to do. So that's what we're looking to do. As we sit here right now, I like the direction that we're headed."
(on if the team has bonded) "I think you'd have to ask them. I really do. I wouldn't want to answer for all those guys, but I do think this team has some good chemistry right now. I think there's some good chemistry right now. We'll have to really foster that during training camp. I think going away to Washington will help it. I think just the grind of training camp will help it. I'm looking forward to seeing how that comes together, but as we sit here right now I would say the guys in that locker room have a healthy respect for each other and how each of those guys work."
ILB Brian Cushing
(on going to the CMAs with JJ Watt) "It was definitely a different experience. It was good though, a lot of fun. It was a good bonding experience to go up there and see some guys in their craft and their professional hobbies and jobs, and just a really cool experience. Great town, just a great time overall."
(on Bill O'Brien talking about his standout performance today and progress) "It just feels really good to be getting my range back. I felt very limited last year, and just kind of my health, coverage, and a lot of things I couldn't do really on the field. Really feeling like myself again and kind of feeling like I can play anywhere on the field and make a play anywhere on the field. I'm getting, like I said, that range back and feeling very explosive and very happy about that."
(on if it was just a matter of still not being 100 percent last year) "I mean I guess so. I was talking with my doctor after the last injury basically telling me that it could take me up to a year, year and half to really recover from something like this, especially back-to-back years on the same leg, and really the degree of damage I did to that leg. It was frustrating, but at the same time I'm a stubborn person and felt I could go out there Week 1 and be myself, but I think the coaching staff and myself eventually convincing me that I couldn't do that, really looking out for me and I think it's really paying off this offseason just for how I feel right now."
(on Bill O'Brien saying he has changed his training regimen) "Well I can train again. You know, I can work out again, so that was the biggest thing and I think that's what he means. A lot of things I wasn't able to do last year and I was very limited in the things I could do. I just really focused everyday on getting my leg back, learning how to walk again at one point, that's how far it went. It was just a very severe and rough time I had to go through, but it also limited my offseason on how I could really train and work out. I didn't have any of those kind of setbacks this year and could really just full go on the offseason."
(on learning to walk again) "No, well both times actually. The second injury was really a lot worse because I was finally getting back and my quad and my whole leg still wasn't back from the first injury and then you hurt the same thing again, so it was tough but it was a long time ago and I'm just feeling a lot better, way better."
(on if it was more difficult mentally or physically to get over the injury) "Probably mentally, probably mentally. Physically you're inhibited, but it really takes a toll mentally because it's somewhere you don't want to be, especially the second time going through it. You finally get over it the first time and then it happens again. It's devastating, but having a really good support system and having a lot of people to help me push through it, like I said I'm just really happy where I am now."
(on the mental demands the defense puts on his position) "Yeah, no question, no question. I mean I remember still going into the first and second games last year and really still learning. Romeo (Crennel) has got a big playbook, and you said it, it asks a lot out of the Mike linebacker, and really everyone on the defense. We have a ton of play calls, ton of different looks, ton of different schemes, substitutions, fronts, all that, so you really have to know what you're doing on all different situations and downs and distances and all that. Really the second year going into it, I feel way more comfortable, way more comfortable. Just even OTAs how much smoother running and better we feel on defense, a lot more confidence, guys are talking to each other, communicating and we're anticipating things a lot more instead of really just trying to figure ourselves out and figure our defense and our identity. We've got that down and now it's just building upon that."
(on if he feels 100 percent) "Yeah, yeah. If it's not 100 percent, maybe it's 98, 99, so I mean, I can say that up here and really mean it. I've said it before and really haven't, so I'm telling you the truth right now. I feel great and just really excited to be back out there. Mentally the best I've been in a while because physically it's the best I've been in a long, long time."
(on how special this defense is) "It's special, we know we've got really good players on defense but the thing is we really want to play together as one, play really good. We don't look at it as levels, d-line, linebackers, defensive backs, we look at it as just one defense. Every time we go out there we have a lot of confidence and a lot of trust in one another. When we do that, we can really come together as one and play as one, so it's a really good feeling with these guys."
(on if he's reached out to Jadeveon Clowney and given advice about recovering from injury) "Yeah, absolutely. We're all sort of right next to each other in the locker room and we talk a lot. He's doing a really good job. I know there's a lot of anticipation and a lot of people out there that want to see him play and obviously was an extremely high draft pick, very rare talent who's going to help this football team a lot. At the same time, he's a young kid who's already gone through a pretty traumatic injury and has to be smart, take care of himself, and be out there when he's ready, and he will be. He's done a really good job, and I've tried to just extend my knowledge as much as I can to him and let him know what he's going through is normal right now, he's going to have ups and downs throughout rehab coming back and that's just how it goes."
(on Romeo Crennel's strategy for calling the defense) "It definitely gives you a lot of confidence when someone's up there in the front of your meeting and you know all the games he's won, and defenses he's coached, and great players he's coached. I've been very fortunate of the defensive coordinators I've had in the league and played for. Romeo is really kind of an icon and seeing him up there sometimes can be surreal, just knowing that he's your coach, he's talking to you. He's got a lot of trust in us, we've got a lot of trust in him, you know it's a two-way street. We really appreciate everything he does and like I said, it's a lot of confidence going into a game knowing he's making the calls and kind of the studying and research he puts in all week to attack an offense."
(on the inside linebacker group and Max Bullough) "It's very deep, it's a very deep group and very competitive. Max is doing great. Max is one of the smartest if not our smartest inside linebacker, maybe the smartest guy in the whole defensive meeting room. I know that might be the first time you heard that, but he really is. Very good football IQ, very smart guy, knows the ins and outs of football. Anytime he gets the opportunity to go out there he competes, he does well, makes a lot of plays and just a really good football player all the way around."
QB Brian Hoyer
(on the quarterback competition) "It's great, it's a lot of fun to go out there every day. I think not only the competition between the quarterbacks, but I think between our team, offense, defense. I mean for us offensively we're going against one of the top defenses in the league, day-in and day-out. It's making us better as a team and I think the more we go out there and compete and try to get better each day off of that and learn from mistakes and continue to grow, it's great for our team."
(on Bill O'Brien saying he has no timetable to name a starter) "I've been through it before so I think for me, at this point in the year I'm just trying to go out there and get better every day, like I said always trying to acclimate myself to this offense, learn my personnel, my teammates, and just be the best quarterback I can be on a daily basis and that's coach's decision and he'll make the decision when he feels like it needs to be done. So for me, not to say that it's the farthest thing on my mind, but I'm worried about the red zone, what our defense is doing, there's a lot more to worry about than that right now I think. At this time of the year, it's a learning, teaching time and for me being the new guy in the system, that's what I'm trying to do right now. I have a lot of trust in Bill and whenever he makes the decision, that's up to him."
(on learning the system and progress throughout OTAs) "Like I said, for me, coming back into this offense, there's a lot of similarities but there's also some new plays, some new wording, things like that. So coming out each day and really trying to focus on what we have that day, whether it's situational football, we've been doing a lot of third down, red area, two-minute, that kind of stuff, so in the beginning of camp it's just kind of first and second down, you're just throwing all your plays, that's kind of your base stuff. Now we're kind of getting into the situational football stuff which is a little bit more condensed, there's a lot more possibilities because the defense is showing blitz and things like that. Getting to see our defense better, reading the defense, going through progressions, you're always trying to get better on that and there's always stuff being installed so you're trying to stay ahead and learn the new stuff as well."
(on what he hopes to build upon in minicamp) "I think now, you've had your 10 OTAs and now you try to go back, review, and really refine it and get it to where you're out there and you're just playing, you don't have to think about it. You've had 10 practices, we have three more, it's a chance to really take what you've learned in those 10 OTAs and really execute it on the field in 11-on-11."
(on the biggest difference without pads) "For me, nothing really because I'm not going to get hit until we play another team anyways. I think it's always interesting every year as a quarterback, you've kind of got to get used to throwing in your pads again and break them in a little bit. I know I'm going to sweat a ton down here with the heat, so that'll take about a day or two. Other than that, I think obviously it helps our offensive line a little bit, it's easier to block guys when you have pads, that'll be good. Then obviously the running game will help because we'll be able to mix it up a little more. Right now it's a predominantly passing camp where we're throwing it, so when you can get in a move the field situation and run it, play action, I think that'll help too."
Take a look at photos from the Houston Texans' third week of OTAs.
(on if he is where he wants to be at this point in camp) "Yeah, I think so. I think there's definitely been improvement by the entire offense, the entire team, so the fact that we're going out every day, getting better, learning from mistakes, and like I said this is the time to learn and to teach the system. For me, I think I have a long ways to go, but I'm just coming out every day really focusing on what we're really going over that day, you try to just build it all together next week when we go to our mini-camp, depending on whatever situation coach throws at us, you're ready and at a moment's notice you can go and play and not have to think about it."
(on it being a passing camp and keeping perspective) "It makes us better. You can't throw the ball through the d-linemen, so for us quarterbacks, it's about finding a window, throwing around them, that type of thing. Also, it makes you be a little more disciplined because you know they're going to be dropping back into coverage so you try to go through your reads and find the open hole. It also makes it easier when it comes along when here's the pads, you can run the ball, you can play action, or you can pass. It gives the defense a little more to think about when the pads go on. Right now I think for us as quarterbacks, when you know you're throwing, the defense knows you're throwing, there's a lot of times in the games when that comes up too, so you've got to go through your progression and read it out. I think it's great, you get a lot of pass reps so when we get to full pads, you're mixing so it gets scaled back a little bit."
(on getting used to the offensive line) "Our offensive line has done a great job, both groups who've been rotating in there, whoever I've been in there with, there's a lot of communication amongst those guys which is great. There's a lot of calls that need to be made and they've done a great job. Depending on which group has been in there, I think they're learning as well and they're coming along just like everybody else. We talk about a passing camp, there's been some times where, they've had such a great pocket for us that it almost feels like a seven-on-seven drill, so they've done a great job."
(on seeing the offense getting better) "For sure, I think every day we're building on something from the day before. You talk over the routes with the receivers, you talk about the progressions with the tight ends, that type of thing. I think it's important for the receivers and the running backs and tight ends to know what we're thinking too. They know that maybe on a certain play they're the third progression, so they can take a little more time and work on those routes. As far as knowledge of the system, and like I said, this is my first year here, but I think everyone feels a little more comfortable, myself included now 10 practices in."
(on Offensive Coordinator George Godsey) "Godsey is awesome. For me, my first experience with George was when he was a tight ends coach in New England. Now to have a guy who's played quarterback, who's played the position, come in and he's coaching us up, he's calling the plays, I also think it's great when the quarterback coach is the guy who calls the plays because it's the guy you work with the most. He kind of gets a feel for what you like, you get a feel for what he likes. It's been good for me, obviously having a previous relationship with him and I think a lot of the times when you're a quarterback you want someone who's played the position to be coaching you as well."
(on why he likes having a former quarterback as the offensive coordinator) "Because someone who's been back there when 11 guys are coming at you, and they know what it's like to be in the fire, I think they relate a little bit better than someone who maybe sits back and watches it on film or out on the field."
(on what he likes about the Texans scheme) "I think for me first and foremost, this is the first scheme that I learned in the NFL and it obviously has had a lot of success, especially when I was in New England. The first way you kind of learn something, you kind of compare everything else to it, and to me it allows a quarterback to be in charge out on the field, which puts a lot of pressure on us but I think the big part for us is to make the decision and know what we're responsible for. That's something that allows you to see the whole defense a little bit better, you're not really zoning in on one thing or the other, everything is relatable and you have to be the guy to make the call. I think I really like that. The way the offense is designed is very user friendly I would say. There's a lot of stuff that helps us know what the defense is doing, so that makes it a little bit easier. Like I said, it puts a lot on the quarterback so for us, it's our responsibility to take that and really be in charge out there."
(on having option routes) "It's huge and that's what I was saying before, a lot of what's been important over these last 10 practices is to go out, practice, watch the film together, and talk it over like 'Hey I saw it this way, how did you see it?' I think in this offense those option routes are so critical. We all have to see things through the same eyes and that's where you're building that trust and building that relationship is these 10 practices plus the mini-camp next week."
(on how much time he spends away from the game or team) "Now in this day and age we have iPads so they can send stuff out to us. Other than the time that I'm here, it's a few hours a day. I think there's a lot going in and you want to be ahead of the game, if you get something sent to your iPad, you've got to take the time to study because in this offense, there is so much that if you slip up one day and you're caught behind, it really can throw you off. I always try to take some time out, whether it's at home or whether I come in early and really try to put a few extra hours in, because we're so limited in time with OTAs that you have limited amount of meeting time you take it upon yourself to get the extra stuff."
CB Kareem Jackson
(on how he knew what to wear to the CMTs) "I kind of went on the website and looked at the red carpet from the previous years, so I kind of had an idea. I kind of, it was a little mixture of everything. Some people dressed in the nice suits and tuxes and things like that, and some people were just in jeans and a nice shirt and a cowboy hat. I chose to go the route that I went."
(on what to wear to the CMTs being a big decision) "Definitely. When I hear red carpet, I think you've got to get decked out, so it was real relaxed but I think I did pretty good with what I wore."
(on who the biggest cowboy in the group is) "Definitely Ben (Jones), definitely Ben. That's a no brainer. He's probably the biggest cowboy in the locker room now that some of the other guys are gone. Definitely Ben."
(on if they got to meet any notable people there) "We all had a chance to meet Arnold (Schwarzenegger). Right when we were getting ready to leave, he kind of came and talked to all of us and took some pictures with us and stuff. We got a chance to meet some of the artists there. They're definitely talented. Getting a chance to meet those guys and some of the women there as well that were artists, that was exciting for me."
(on if he game planned for the red carpet like he does for games) "Definitely. When J.J. (Watt) asked me, the first thing in my mind was, 'Are we going to be on the red carpet?' From there I just kind of started brain storming and looking at pictures and stuff like that. I came up with a good game plan and we executed it."
(on how ILB Brian Cushing looks out there) "I mean Cushing is looking good, man. It's the same Cushing I've seen since year one and a lot of energy, he's definitely moving well out there for a guy that's gone through the things he's gone through. The last couple of years just looking at him on the field, you wouldn't even be able to tell, but he's definitely a leader out there and he's a great piece for our team and our defense. I love being in the huddle with that guy."
(on how different OTAs are this year compared to last) "I think that we're a little bit further along now, being that everybody knows what to expect out of coach (Bill) O'Brien and defense-wise, we know what to do. Being in our second year in this scheme, we progress as a defense and we're doing a lot more now. Our communication is very well right now and I think that's coming from us being in our second year in the scheme. It's looking pretty good now."
(on how the intensity will change in mini-camp) "I think our intensity level is pretty high right now. Coach (Bill) O'Brien stresses competing each and every day and that's what we've been doing. I think we'll continue to go out and compete next week the same that we've done these previous weeks."
(on ILB Brian Cushing's recovery) "Anytime you go through injuries like he's gone through you definitely want to go out and prove to everybody that you can come back and play as well as you played before those injuries happened. Being the competitor that he is, that's just this mentality, that's his attitude. Each and every thing that he does, he's going to go out and put his best foot forward and we're behind him 100 percent."
(on if he is a fan of the Terminator movies) "Definitely. I watched Terminator movies growing up. Now I don't really watch them much but I definitely watched them growing up."
(on S Rahim Moore providing more security in the backfield) "Rahim is definitely a range-y safety. He's definitely great for our defense and we'll get a chance at certain calls to take a little bit more risk with him being in the centerfield, but for us as corners, knowing you have a guy like that behind you that'll be on top of you whatever the call is, it definitely gives us that confidence to sit in there a little bit longer in our peddle."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on going to the CMT Awards) "It was great, man. Got the invitation from J.J. (Watt). Just going down, being around the guys, and being in that atmosphere is great."
(on who all went to the CMT Awards) "Me, J.J. (Watt), Kareem Jackson, Brian Cushing, Ben Jones, and Shane Lechler."
(on if he is a big fan of country music) "Not much, but I actually had a great time. I enjoyed it. It was a lot more fun than I expected. I'm looking forward to going back next year."
(on if he had to buy new clothes for the CMT Awards) "I just wanted to make sure I fit in and had on the right gear. We all went to the internet and did some research to see what they wear on the red carpet."
(on DE J.J. Watt meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger) "Oh yeah, he came back in the back and told us that he had a chance to meet him and we jumped right on him about how we didn't get a chance. Right afterwards we waited in the alley out back. He had a chance to come through and walked through. We all met him. It was pretty awesome."
(on being unable to find a cowboy hat to fit his head) "Yeah, I shopped everywhere and I couldn't find one. My last resort, I had to go to lids and get a kids hat."
(on if the defense is ahead of the offense) "I think it's a competitive battle right now. I think obviously they have some good periods and we have some good periods. But I think at the end of the day, we're just trying to make the team better overall. I think anytime you have the offense going at it and the defense going at it, it's just going to make us better each and every day in practice."
(on if this is the most talented defensive group he's been a part of) "Without a doubt. I played in Cincinnati with a room full of first-rounders and guys like that. In this room we have our first-rounders and guys that were drafted in the second round. We have a lot of guys that are capable of making plays and a lot of guys that played extensive time last year and the year before. We have a solid group overall with guys that have some playing experience."
(on rookie CB Kevin Johnson) "I think he's done great so far coming in as a rookie just learning everything and kind of soaking it up. Then he's showing it on the practice field. Anytime you're the first-round pick, the spotlight is always on you and I think he's done a great job of living up to it so far."
(on if he is more comfortable in this defense) "Without a doubt. Obviously, the more and more you have a chance to be in some, the more comfortable you get with it. I think right now as a defense, myself included, you understand where your help is on each and every call. You know when you can take a chance here and there. You just understand when he's going to make certain calls in certain situations."
QB Ryan Mallett
(on how things are going during OTAs) "Not bad. We're getting better every day. It's more of a passing camp, so I'm just trying to come out here and get better every day with the opportunity I'm given. It's been fun though."
(on if he accompanied his goals for OTAs) "I'm just trying to get better every day. Right now, it is what it is splitting reps. Take those reps and do what you can with them."
(on getting on board with the new wide receivers) "Just repetitions, meetings, walkthroughs. Showing those guys what we expect from them. They really stepped up and they're really catching on."
(on if he thinks it's important to show leadership off the field) "I just feel like I do what I do. I play quarterback. I can't speak on Brian's (Hoyer) behalf. That would be up to him. If the guys see me as a leader, so be it. Obviously, I want to be the leader of the team but I'm not going to sit there and step on toes."
(on not having a live rush from the defense in OTAs) "You see our defensive line? You just got to feel it. If those guys beat the tackles around the end, you just got to step up, try to avoid them, and play it like a game. That's the best thing you can do to get ready for live game action."
(on if he thinks about the quarterback competition) "No, that's not up to me. What's up to me is how I do my job. I compete with myself every day. I try to get better every day and correct the things that I didn't do well the day before or maybe that week."
(on why he wanted to come back to the Texans) "It's Houston, man. It's Houston, Texas. Man, I wanted to be a part of the Texans. I think we have a chance to do something special if we keep working and doing the things we've been doing in the offseason to get better."
(on getting familiar and communicating with his teammates) "I'm just being myself. I think the guys saw that last year. I have a good rapport with those guys and that's continued on to this year. Even the new guys, they've got to know how I am. I can get on them and then be loving on them the next second. I think they're catching on."
(on working with Offensive Coordinator George Godsey) "I love George. George taught me the offense in New England. He's a special offensive mind in my book. He's got a lot of different things that he does, it sets us up for success. We just have to execute his game plan."
(on Offensive Coordinator George Godsey's coaching style) "I don't know. That's a tough question. He's a coach. He coaches."
(on if Offensive Coordinator George Godsey is quiet) "No, George is not quiet. He might be quiet in front of you guys. It's very back and forth communicating during meetings, so we understand and we're on the same page as him because if we're not on the same page, then nobody is going to be successful."
(on what he worked on in the offseason) "Just working on accuracy, working on getting the ball out, footwork. Just the same stuff I do every offseason."
(on how he feels physically) "No, I've been fine."
(on the possibility a starting quarterback gets named soon) "I'm just trying to get better every day to be the best player I can for my team and be the best teammate I can. That's all I can do right now. That's not my choice. That's not my decision. My job is to go play quarterback, so that's what I'm focused on."
(on if he's talked to Head Coach Bill O'Brien about what he's expecting) "You'd have to talk to Bill about that. We've had discussions. All of us have in a group, so we know what he's looking for."
(on adjusting to the new wide receivers) "Yeah, you got to learn how each guy runs their route. Every guy is different. We try to get them the same as much as we can, but everybody has their own style and that's a good thing. That puts it on us to learn how they run certain routes and what routes they are better at than others."
(on if having pads on would make it more natural) "I like pads on. If we could put pads on right now, I'd love it."
(on if his arm strength is his biggest strength) "Not at all. My knowledge of the game, my knowledge of defenses, how I take coaching, how I take game planning, how I want to attack defenses."