Transcripts: 12-6-2021 Press Conferences 

HEAD COACH DAVID CULLEY

Have you decided who is going to be the starting quarterback against Seattle?

"No, we are still evaluating it."

When will you make that decision?

"This week. Later on in the week."

What will be the main thing you for in that decision?

"After we keep evaluating what we are doing and just see where we need to go and what gives us the best chance to win. We'll make it based off of that. It will be later on in the week"

Is this a difficult decision for you to make after previously saying QB Tyrod Taylor will be the starting quarterback?

"No not when you are looking at the way we've been playing, how our offense has been playing. Obviously, the job of our quarterback is to score points and get us in the endzone and we haven't done that very well and we are going to see what we can do to get that corrected. That's why we are doing the evaluation right now."

What did you think about QB Davis Mills after he went in yesterday?

"I thought he did a good job. I thought he made one bad throw yesterday, the one throw that could have been intercepted that Chris Conley did a good job of breaking up. But other than that I thought he did a good job. He handled things well. Had a couple of alerts that he didn't hit on the run game that we needed to go other way, and he went the other way with it. But that's common when he hasn't been practicing and taking those reps. But I thought he did a good job and I thought he threw the ball well."

What happened with the two throws that QB Davis Mills did not make?

"There was just a miscommunication. It was a miscommunication. They came up in press coverage. He thought the guy was going to do one thing and the receiver did another thing. It was simply a miscommunication with him and the receiver being on the same page, and the receiver was right in that particular situation."

What is it going to take to get other wide receivers besides WR Brandin Cooks involved?

"Well, it was one of those games where we tried to get other guys involved but we just weren't able to do it. We missed a couple of throws yesterday that Ty (Tyrod Taylor) and the receivers should have been pitch and catch with that we didn't get. We had an illegal formation that we had a big play down the field that end up bringing the ball back. There were throws to them that we just didn't connect. We hit and miss with those throws."

How do you plan to divvy up the quarterback reps on Wednesday on practice?

"Whoever our starter will be, will be taking those reps."

So, you will know by Wednesday who the starting quarterback will be?

"I'm hoping that way."

How is QB Tyrod Taylor's wrist feeling today?

"He's getting an MRI. They are still evaluating it. We will just see how it is. We don't really have the results right now." 

Is it his non-throwing wrist?

"Yes, it's the left arm."

Will the decision by Wednesday be a film review, team study thing?

"Well team study and what gives us the best chance to win, moving forward with the team we are playing and how we've been offensively and what we feel like after we sit down today and tomorrow and see exactly what we need to do, where we need to go to make the decision."

Do you talk to General Manager Nick Caserio when you make the decision to put QB Davis Mills in against the Colts?

"No, I made the decision myself."

Since it was QB Tyrod Taylor's non-throwing hand, what were the aspects of handling the ball you were worried about him being incapable of doing?

"He couldn't grip the ball when the ball was snapped to him. He had trouble gripping the ball. His hand was swelling up so that was why."

Have you had a conversation with the quarterbacks about this yet?

"I haven't had a conversation at all right now."

Does QB Tyrod Taylor's mobility play into a decision like this, especially when a quarterback is getting blitzed and pressured?

"Well, it plays more so in when you are throwing the football. Obviously you need to get the ball out quick when those kind of things are happening. I really feel like Davis (Mills), when we he was playing earlier, did a good job of doing that. Yesterday when he came into the game you probably saw that more blitzes started coming. He did a good job of getting the ball off, and he also did a good job of using his feet to keep plays alive and actually got us a couple of first downs. It is important to be able to have that mobility. I think he (Davis Mills) doesn't have Tyrod's mobility, but he has enough mobility to move around."

When you are talking about QB Tyrod Taylor gripping the ball, are you talking about taking the snap?

"Yes, exactly right."

Will it be a medical or football decision for QB Tyrod Taylor?

"It will be a football decision."

So, you think QB Tyrod Taylor will be healthy enough to play?

"We'll know later on in the week."

Do you think QB Tyrod Taylor came back to early from the hamstring injury?

"No, the hamstring is no issue at al. He's been healthy."

What did you think about OL Justin Britt and LB Christian Kirksey's first game back?

"I thought they played well. Obviously, it was good having Justin back. He does a nice job up there of directing things with our guards, making calls. Our quarterbacks obviously have a real good comfort level with him. I thought Christian played really good considering he'd been out for a while."

Do you expect OL Laremy Tunsil to return this week?

"I don't know if he will return this week. Again, we are taking it day by day with him."

Does OL Laremy Tunsil make the decision to come back or the doctors?

"It's a combination of things."

QB Tyrod Taylor has a reputation for taking care of the ball. What do you think has been different this season?

"I wish I could answer that. I'm not really sure. That hasn't been his MO. I don't really have an answer for that. I'm not really sure. It's just that those aren't things that he has done through his history, it's happened. Yesterday, the very first play of the game was one of those situations where in the past he would have ran the ball, but he threw it and it was a bad decision."

Are there any other aspects of QB Tyrod Taylor's game that hasn't matched up with your expectations of how you thought he was going to play?

"No. My only expectation I had of him was him taking care of the football and when he's done that through his career, he's been a good quarterback. That hasn't happened the last few ball games."

When you are trying to get something going with the offense, what are the differences between the two quarterbacks?

"Well we've had Davis (Mills) for those games that he's already started and we kind of adjusted when we had him as a quarterback and Tyrod (Taylor) got hurt. We'll go back and look at those things he did well, and we will adjust it to him. Some of the things we had in for Tyrod, we won't have in for him because of the mobility in the run game."

How much of the re-evaluation will go into the coaching staff especially with Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly as the play caller?

"I have no problem at all with Tim calling the plays or any of the guys on our staff."

Are you surprised that the offense regressed after QB Davis Mills played his best game against New England?

"I wasn't surprised so much as that day, with the way they played us and the way he played, and the way things went that day, he made good decisions. There wasn't a lot of pressure on him. They played a defense where they didn't blitz a bunch and he was able to execute. He did things and I thought that day he played well enough for us to win that ball game. Obviously, he's a rookie. So, when you get a rookie in there just like yesterday, they blitzed us more when he went in the game than when we Tyrod (Taylor) was in." 

Is there anyone else on the staff who could do play calling?

"No, I'm just staying I'm happy with all the guys on the staff and the job they are doing."

DB TREMON SMITH

How did it feel to get the contract extension?

"It feels good. It's been something I have been working on my whole career, just to get an extension. You know these past three years I've been on three different teams so to be somewhere back to back in two years is a good feeling and brought out confidence in me."

What was that process like in the middle of the season?

"I was still just focused on the games we have coming up and the practices, just focused on the little things. I was talking to my agent here and there, but I wasn't getting too involved. It was more of my agent doing the talking and all that. I was just focused on what game we had the next week."

Did General Manager Nick Caserio ever approach you about it?

"Yeah, in a way. We have our talks here and there. For the most part, I was just worried about our next opponent and going on and getting our next win."

In the kick return game, what are some of the things you felt you've done better?

"Just trusting these guys. I know we got a group of 10 people out there, me being 11, willing to block and go all out that way to give me a crease. I was telling them the other night, 'I trust in y'all a lot and if you give me a crease, I am going to hit it full speed. I am back here going full speed for y'all guys."

How hard is it for a defense when you have to stay on the field for 42 minutes?

"Of course it's tough but we still could have been better in our gap schemes, just staying in our gaps, doing the little things. I feel like we still could have held them off a couple of points but going forward we will be alright."

How does it feel to be the first in-season extension?

"It feels good. I just want to make sure I bring the same energy, coming in to work hard every day. I felt like that showed off and that was why I was one of the first ones to extend. I just want to come in and work hard every day."

What do you see in the future of this team?

"I like what we coach and preach here. I feel like once we do turn it around, we will be headed in the right direction and instead of losing, we will be winning a lot."

What are the signs you see right now that it's coming?

"We just trust in the process. We got a bunch of guys over here just trusting the process, coming in each day and working hard. That's what is starts with and being more discipled."

What do you think it will take to turn it around?

"I mean we can sit here and talk about this and that but once we go out there and start clicking on all cylinders, it's going to take special teams, offense and defense to start winning games. So, once we click on all cylinders, we will be fine." 

What do you think about playing Russell Wilson and the Seahawks this week?

"We know what we are looking forward to. Russell Wilson is one of the top quarterbacks and then they got Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf. We just have to eliminate the big plays and just keep everything in front of us and make our tackles."

What does it take for a matchup against DK Metcalf?

"Just doing the little things. It's all going to boil down to technique. So, we just have to make sure our technique is right, and we'll be fine. We can handle those guys pretty good."

Now having a little stability with being here another here, how do you live like that?

"I don't have to adapt next year. I am coming in with the same group of guys, whether it is a new group of guys I am coming in with the same coaching staff. That feels good. Like I said, it's a confidence builder to be going into the same scheme next year. I'm just really looking forward going into the same scheme and realizing that I was here last year too."

OL LANE TAYLOR

Can you take us through your time here with the Texans?

"It's been a long road. Last year I tore my ACL Week 1, so it was tough to watch the season. Fortunate to sign here in the offseason, and really grinded my way back. I had a cleanup this summer just to clean up a little cartilage. Just battled my way back to get back right, and I feel good and healthy now. I'm very fortunate to be playing again."

What was the point in the season that you felt like you were ready to go?

"I feel like I've been building since Week 1 of the season, just staying sharp and staying on top of my craft. Over the weeks, just got more and more prepared for the season."

Do you think that you and OL Tytus Howard are starting to build some more chemistry?

"Yeah, I think so. Each week we're going to build together. We're always picking each other's brains to see what we're thinking. He's a good player, talented, and he has a lot of experience himself. That's a nice little cushion to have."

Did you anticipate when you signed here that it would be a slower process to get onto the active roster?

"I think it would've been a little quicker if I didn't have a scope in the summer. I would've been primed and ready to go for training camp, but it kind of is what it is. Things happen, so I just kind of worked through it and battled through it and came back."

Were you expecting to have the scope procedure over the summer?

"No, it was very unexpected. It just happened. It kind of popped up really one day, so just had to take care of it."

How great is it to have Offensive Line Coach James Campen here as someone you previously worked with in Green Bay?

"It's awesome having a familiar person like (James) Campen in the room. He knows me better than anyone. He knows what level I need to play at and I trust him a lot. I'm very blessed to have him as my coach."

What are you seeing from Offensive Line Coach James Campen that's helped the offensive line, especially with the way OL Tytus Howard has been moving around?

"Honestly, I got to sit back and kind of observe for a little bit, and I think this is some of the best coaching he's done as a leader and as a coach. We've had moving parts on the offensive line every single week, and to be able to transition guys from guard to tackle and stuff, he's done a great job at it."

How did you find out about the scope procedure that you needed over the summer?

"Couldn't really squat or run one day, so I knew something was wrong. Right when we got done with our mandatory or voluntary OTAs."

How did the coaching staff approach you to tell you that you would start the Jets game?

"They just kind of mixed me in to see how I did at practice, and it kind of just developed over the week and I became the starter. I just wanted to take full advantage of it."

How important is it for offensive linemen to have the same quarterback all the time?

"You just have to deal with whatever you have. Sometimes you have a Hall of Fame guy that's going to be there for 20-whatever years. I think he (Aaron Rodgers) is like 60 years old now. But for the most part, the quarterbacks were all in the same system, so we all know what we're thinking, how the play should be ran, timing. I think all the quarterbacks do a good job of having the same type of rhythm and snap count and cadence so we all can really get together."

How does offensive line continuity help with the run game?

"I just think the more time you can get together and the more you can talk, the more you can work through things, because sometimes you really don't know until you get the live bullets. Even me and (Justin) Britt were just talking 10 minutes ago about it. Once a play that you don't really like happens, you can kind of clean that up and then going forward, it never happens with your buddy again."

DB TAVIERRE THOMAS

Can you take us through the fumble you forced from Jonathan Taylor?

"I was just in the right place at the right time. I made a tackle on him, tried to get the ball out and my pads on the ball."

How hard is it for a defense when you are on the field for over 41 minutes?

"We're here to play defense, and it doesn't matter when we're out there or how long we're out there. Our goal is to stop the opposing team from scoring, so that's what we're trying to do. When the offense is going, when they're clicking, they're clicking. When they're not, they're not. Whenever we're on the field we're just trying to make them not score the ball."

When the offense isn't playing well, does it make it harder for the defense to sustain its level of play?

"No, not for me, and I don't think for the other guys either. We just go out and try to do our job. We don't (get) mad, it's just like sudden changes for us. So, we go out there and just try to get off the field as fast as possible."

Where have you seen your personal progression in working in the slot?

"I feel like I'm getting better each and every week. Just got to keep on doing the little things and being around the ball. As long as I do that, Lovie (Smith) is going to keep me around the ball. So, as long as I'm doing my job then the plays will come to me. But we've just got to find a way to get wins."

Can you talk about what it's going to be like playing against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks?

"They're pretty good. Well, they're really good. Just got to do your job and the plays will come to you. When the plays come to you, make a play. That's about it."

What is the spirit and the mood in the locker room right now?

"The spirits are still high. Everybody is just trying to do their job and get the win. We've been falling short on doing that, but I feel like if we just continue doing our jobs and just staying positive, it will turn around."

When you signed a two-year deal, what about this team made you want to be a part of it long term?

"I'd seen they were trying to turn it around, and I wanted to be a part of it. So, that's what went into my decision. Happy we got Tre (Tremon Smith) back for another year. Happy to be playing with him, that's my guy. (We) want to just turn this around and just win. Just want to win."

What are you seeing that makes you believe it can be turned around, and what needs to happen in order for the team to start winning?

"The locker room's just got to stay together. Everybody's got to stay together and don't just get to dividing or whatnot. Everybody's just got to continue doing their job and sticking with each other, and it'll turn around because it happened with me in Cleveland. If we can do it there, we can do it anywhere. We can do it here."

Was your patience tested in Cleveland? How does a locker room handle that?

"It all starts with the locker room. If your locker room's together and everybody's trusting their teammates to make plays, and you know you've got to make the play because your teammate is going to be looking at you like, 'Man, you've got to make that play.' You just continue to want to be better for the team, then it'll all turn around. That's the main goal, just sticking together, playing hard, just continue to fight like (Brandin) Cooks said, and just go out there and keep on doing what we can do to try to get a win soon."

When did WR Brandin Cooks say to 'keep fighting'?

"After the game yesterday. You don't want (anyone) saying you quit, and that was the message for us from him. It's to always go out and fight and just keep fighting and keep fighting, and it'll turn. That's what we're going to do. He's one of the leaders and we all look up to him. Well, I do, so I can just continue to do my job and hopefully the other guys continue doing their job, and well turn this thing around."

WR Brandin Cooks gave up his body trying to gain a first down on fourth-and-15. Did you see that play?

"Yeah. That's the type of guy he is. He's just going to do whatever to try to help us win. He's just going to do his job, and that's why guys like me look up to him."

How do you fight to make a play when you know it may not have an immediate impact on winning a game?

"Well, for me, I have a kid, so I don't want to put bad things on film no matter what the score is. I go out and just do as best as I can for the team, and then my family and the name on the back of my jersey. Guys continue to do that, you can't worry about all that outside noise and all that type of stuff. You've just got to keep on going and then your 'why.' You've got to play for your 'why.' You don't want to put bad things on film because everyone is watching."

Advertising