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Houston Texans

Transcripts: 11-1-2021 Press Conferences 


What was it like getting activated and playing?

"It felt good. I was ready for the opportunity. I always stay ready. The guys in my room, the tight ends, AB (Andy Bischoff), always preach to me to stay ready. The opportunity arose and I was just ready for it."

Can you take us through your touchdown?

"That play we ran it was actually a look that we got from earlier in the game that we saw. (Jordan) Akins was wide open when we ran it. TK (Tim Kelly) called me in and I ran the route and touchdown."

At what point did you feel you were ready for your opportunity?

"Just getting more repetition, getting more opportunities in practice, getting the ball. Just getting comfortable with everything. I feel like once I was comfortable with the play book and the game speed, I was going to be ready for the opportunity."

How do you feel about your blocking?

"Blocking is different in the league. Blocking is all about a will. You have to have a will and a fight to want to block. A lot of guys, I'm not saying on my team, but a lot of guys throughout the league don't have that will to block. A lot of guys want to be a one dynamic type of guy, a receiver or a blocker. I pride myself on being a good blocker. Blocking guys like Charles Omenihu and (Jordan) Jenkins and just all the guys on our team, it's helped me a lot."

Is there an area you've seen yourself grow from training camp to now?

"I would say just my maturity off the field, getting into a routine, learning how to be a pro, a true pro at this. The NFL is not an easy business, especially as a rookie. Just learning the ins and outs of the league. I think that's helped me a lot."

Who's helped you with that?

"The guys in my room. (Jordan) Akins and Pharaoh Brown and (Antony) Auclair. They've all helped me a lot, and my tight end coach AB (Andy Bischoff).

What's that routine looking like for you?

"Just waking up early. Being on top of my hydration. It's different. It's not different, it's all kind of the same basis. We have different start times, so it kind of just depends."

When you hear TE Antony Auclair say you're developing into a complete tight end, how does that make you feel as a rookie that's continuing to develop?

"That's my goal. I don't want to be a guy that has to just come in on third down or has a specific play to get the ball or come in and just be a blocker. I want to be a complete tight end. I want to be a guy where they can put me out wide on first down and then second down, I can come block on the end. That's always what a tight end wants to be. I feel like in my opinion. Every tight end should want to be a whole dynamic tight end."

How is the tight end used here compared to other systems you've been a part of?

"We are moved all around. In college and in high school, I was in a position where the 'Y' tight end was always moving around. That's the same thing with our offense. We start out wide, we be in the slot, in the back field. We play everywhere in this offense."

How did you feel after the touchdown? Did you keep the ball?

"I kept the ball and my jersey. When I scored, I almost threw up. It was crazy. I was so excited like I didn't even know how to feel. It was one of those feelings where I kind of, I don't know. Everything just got blurry. I just wanted to throw up. It was kind of a weird feeling. But once I got to the sideline and all the guys were congratulating me, it was a great feeling."

Did you keep it together?

"Yeah, I had to gather myself. It was hard. I almost threw up, legit. It was like, 'Oh my gosh.'

What is the comradery like with the rest of the rookies on this team?

"We're all very close. The rookie class that we have is very close because I feel like we all feel like we're sleepers. Guys have their own opinions on the draft process and stuff. But we feel like we're all sleepers. We're trying to just help this team, grow and just continue to be guys that can help the team. That's really it, but our rookie class is very close."


What did you see from the Rams running game?

"They had good execution, we didn't. It's nothing really I can say that can make things change for us. It was just poor execution on our part."

How do you feel it went playing with the club on your hand?

"Obviously, it's not the same as playing with both my hands, but you've got to do what you've got to do. I've got to get used to playing with it. First game with it, but it wasn't the best feeling to have, playing with a club, but you've got to do what you've got to do."

Does this defense have less variety than other defenses you've played in?

"Everything is different. Every team is different, every coordinator is different. I think that we've just got to trust everything that's in the defense, and everybody take care of their responsibility. You can make a bunch of excuses about why things went a certain way, but if you don't go out there and execute, then you simply can't stop anything. I feel like we just have to trust the process, trust the defense and just go out there and take care of our job. Like I said, I'm not going to make an excuse about what happened. I think as a defensive leader, we all just need to pay attention to our fundamentals and just execute."

What have you noticed that the defense needs to work on?

"I think defensively – I can't talk for offensively – but defensively, I think we can play together better. Eliminate some of the explosives, because you see flashes here and there of us being a good defense, making a good play, getting off the field, and then there will just be a big explosives. Those are things that get you beat in the NFL. It just goes down to, like I said, fundamentals and execution. I think once we get that and eliminate the big plays, we'll be fine."

What can you do at practice to fix that?

"Just fine tuning everything. Just go over plays that we feel like we need a little bit of fine tuning on, and game situations. Put yourself in that situation of, 'Alright, this big play happened, now how are we going to attack it?' Sharpen up some of our angles, things like that. That's pretty much all you can do."

As players, do you talk about the NFL trade deadline? Do you think it's a distraction?

"Nah, you only can control what you can control. We've got enough to worry about during the season, as far as what we're doing, what we have in front of us. So, there's no sense of adding extra stress or adding extra worry to something that may or may not happen. A lot of guys really don't talk about it. We just can control what we can control, and that's what we have in this room right now. Whatever happens, happens. You always cross that bridge once you get there, but not too many guys talk about that."

What is the message that is sent to you when the team is granting players opportunities to go play for other teams that are winning?

"The grass isn't much greener on the other side. You don't know the outcome if you get traded to a team. You don't particularly know the outcome in that situation. You've just got to enjoy where you are. You've got to take advantage of where you are, because you can go to a different team and your situation could be completely different. Your circumstances could be not what you want. So, you've got to enjoy where you are, and you've got to take care of your business where you are. You can't worry about if a winning team wants you, or things like that. You've got to be where you are."

How would you compare the mood of this team right now to some of those Browns teams you were on?

"I think guys are still in it, just like when I was in Cleveland. It's the National Football League. You don't have time to feel sorry for yourself. You don't have time to hang your head. At the end of the day, you're still blessed to play this game, to be in this position to go out there and compete. We're all competitors, so we're going to go out on the field. Not only are you playing for your team, but you're also playing for yourself and your pride, and your résumé. God is still in it, and then we're playing football. This is our job."

Does it add any more pressure to win against Miami since they are in a similar position?

"We see where they are. They had some struggles on their own, and every team has a struggle that they're dealing with, even the winning team. They have things that they want to do better, or they want to accomplish more. To be honest, I look at each Sunday an opportunity to get better, whether we're going against a team that's undefeated or we're going against a team that's sitting there with the same record as us. I approach each game as 'any given Sunday'. A lot of teams in the league are quite similar. It's a fine line between winning and losing in the league. I know all you guys know this, that anything can happen on a Sunday. I've seen upsets happen, I've seen different things. I just approach that game going into it saying, 'Hey, it's a winnable game. It's a time to get better.' I expect that out of my teammates, as well."

Do you have any idea when your club will come off?

"No idea, no idea."

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