HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN**
How does the situational work you did at practice today help you?
"Yeah, we worked three different situations today. It's always good. You can never really predict what the situations will be in a game. As long as you keep repping them and making sure that the players and the coaches are on the same page with how you would handle the situation, I think that's what you're trying to get out of it. I think we had a good day today with that."
How do you balance corrections from the previous game with installations for the next game?
"Good question. When we got back from San Francisco, they had the day off. The very next day – the days are running together for me but I believe that was Tuesday – we had a big, what we would call, 'correction and pick-it periods.' Meaning, let's get out here and correct the things that are going to carry over from that game for the rest of the season, possibly. We have to fix the problem right now. Also, let's get some things done that we need to get done for New Orleans, or even early season opponents. We've had a good day of that, and then today we kind of got back to Houston on Houston. Did some things situationally and things like that. Then, obviously, tomorrow the Saints will be here for a great practice. Hopefully we can get outside. I don't know. The weather is a little iffy but hopefully we can be outside."
How important is it for the guys trying to make the team to practice against the Saints and play well in the game?
"Very important. Look, I told the team today, for the rookies, the second-year guys, the third-year guys, this week is very, very important. You have a really good football team coming in here. Good players, great coaching staff, great quarterback. You've got a real opportunity to go out there and practice well and show us something."
What have you seen from WR Josh Lenz?
"He made a lot of plays in the game. He made a lot of plays in the game, and he's playing injured, too. He's a tough guy. He's doing a lot of good things. He's definitely in the conversation, no question about it. He's a good guy, he's smart, like I said, tough, and made some plays in the game on Sunday."
OLB JADEVEON CLOWNEY
How is it being back out at practice this week?
"It's great. I missed it."
How much do you take mental reps even when you're not practicing?
"All the time. I watched the practice in San Francisco when they were gone. I watch all the practices and put myself in the situations. I try to put myself in certain calls and see where I line up. Always mental reps. They help just as much as being out there."
How important is taking mental reps?
"It's very important, knowing things can be up and down. You have to get a lot of mental reps. There are a lot of guys out here right now trying to get reps also. You try to put yourself in their situations when they are out there, too. Mental reps are important."
How does your knee feel?
"My knee feels fine. I feel okay."
Were you experiencing soreness?
"Yeah, that's it. I'm good to go. I'm back out here with the team and ready to go."
Does it get frustrating when you can't practice and play?
"Yeah, all the time. You come back, you train hard in the offseason then all of a sudden, boom, something happens and you're done. You have to take a step back, ramp it back up and keep going."
How much have you grown within the Texans system since you've been here?
"This group taught me a lot about growing and just coming professional. Just learning from these guys. I learned more football here than I think I've ever learned in my life. I'm still young, still growing and still learning. I learn something new every day here."
Do you still feel comfortable rushing the passer after dropping some weight this summer?
"Oh yeah, I feel fine. No problems."
How much do you think your speed and quickness is an advantage for you?
"Always. Speed and quickness are probably the best advantages you can have in this game. Everybody is strong and everybody is smart. You have to be quick with your speed. Everything moves fast. That's a big thing. When you're going against bigger and stronger guys, you have to use your quickness and speed against them."
How has the weight loss effected your game?
"I feel great. It takes some of the pressure off my knee and keeps me on the field. I feel great. I have no problems right now."
How much are you looking forward to getting game reps?
"I'm looking forward to it a lot. I'm just ready to go, ready for the Saints to come in and go against them and get better. That's what it's all about, taking it one day at a time. That's what camp is for, to get better. We're ramping it up and getting closer to the season. I'm just looking forward to playing."
How tough is it to be patient as you work your way through the preseason?
"I'm just going off what they want me to do. I have to do what they want me to do. If they wanted me to play, I would have played last game. They wanted me to take my time and recover and do everything the right way and take the right steps, so I can make it through. I'm trying to get 16 games in this year. That's the goal. We're headed in the right direction."
TE C.J. FIEDOROWICZ
How ready are you to finally get ready in front of the home fans?
"Yeah, being out in San Francisco wasn't really the atmosphere we're used to here in Houston. We're excited. We have great fans. We saw a little taste of it at training camp when they came out to the practices. I think everybody's excited."
What do you hope to get out of tomorrow's joint practice with the New Orleans Saints?
"Just hitting other bodies. Seeing where we're at, seeing how we matching up with other teams in the NFL."
What did you see from QB Brock Osweiler today?
"He looked good I thought. He's seeing the field, seeing the defense. He's confident in the huddle when he's coming into the huddle every time so I think that's huge and I think every week he's going to grow more and more."
You and QB Brock Osweiler seem to have good chemistry.
"Yeah, if I've got a question I have no problem going up to him and asking him what I've got to do on a route or a block. He's a good leader, easy to talk to."
C NICK MARTIN
When people call you one of the 'nasty guys' on this team, what does that mean to you?
"I think you have to finish every play, that's what it means to me. It's a mentality. It's really a mental thing and I also learned that when you watch guys like Duane (Brown) on film, you see that, you want to be like that and you want to emulate that."
Was your time off due to injury more of a precautionary measure?
"Yeah, obviously it was tough watching everyone but you have to take mental reps and stay ahead because when you get thrown back into the mix you have to perform. It's our job."
How excited are you to be able to come back and play this week?
"Very excited. It's tough being out watching when you know what your brothers are going through, fighting every day. But being back in the mix, I'm excited to be back on the field."
You received some extra reps with QB Brock Osweiler yesterday, developing that chemistry with him is important.
"The cohesiveness between a quarterback and center, the whole offensive line, it's huge. You have to take every rep."
How much have you grown since you started camp?
"I just try to get a little better each day. That's all you can control. Coach (Mike) Devlin, the offensive line coach, helps tremendously. Obviously, all the older guys, playing next to Jeff (Allen), X (Xavier Su'a-Filo) helps a lot and you just try to learn from those guys."
Has it been tougher mentally or physically?
"I would say mentally. Obviously, the game is faster, everyone's good. We're lucky because we go against our defense, we go against the best every day so it's going to make you better. But, obviously it's mentally tough."
What are some things you're focusing on that you feel like you need to improve upon or is it generally everything?
"It really is everything, but you have to hone in on one or two things each day, whether it's the install and just knowing your job, I think that comes first and foremost, and then obviously down to the nitty-gritty and the technique."
WR CECIL SHORTS III
How impressed are you with the rookie wide receivers?
"I'm very impressed. This is a complex offense and they're coming in and doing a good job of taking it in, understanding what's going on for the most part. Everybody has ups and downs and a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part they're doing a good job. I'm impressed with them."
What has surprised you about QB Brock Osweiler in training camp?
"I think we've been with Brock for a while now, so I don't see too many things surprising. He's very consistent in what he does. To me, his leadership is unreal. The way he handles the offense is - he owns the offense, owns the offensive team. His leadership is the biggest thing, I keep saying it over again, that stands out to me. Obviously he has talent. He can throw accurate, all that stuff, makes the right decision. We've been working with him since, I don't know, whenever we went to Arizona. You all knew when we went to Arizona. So, nothing is too surprising. It's the consistency from what I see."
Do you like practicing with another team?
"Yes. It gets you some time away from each other. You get tired of getting beat up on each other. You see the same guys every day from April until now. It gets old. You know what they're doing. They know what you're doing, so it's good to go against some fresh talent, fresh meat. It will be a good challenge for us because they're a good team. They're a good team and a hungry team coming in."
How much preseason work do you need to put in to be ready for the regular season?
"I'm willing to play as much as I can. Whatever coach has me play, I trust him. I want to play as much as I can. I just like playing football at the end of the day."
How much does it help to practice different situations with another team?
"It's good to see how different teams do different stuff in different situations, to go against a more realistic look. Because going against the same look, our defense, there are certain things they do in certain situations. Going against a different look, a different team, a different mindset it will be cool. It will be a good test for us."
Is practicing against another team better than the preseason game?
"That's a good question. I'm not sure. To me, it could be the same. You're going to practice how you play. What they do here and in the preseason game, if it's a different look or whatever the case may be, it will be a good look for us to go against because you never know what you're going to see in the regular season."