Transcripts: 7-29-2021 Training Camp Press Conferences


Can you tell me about your philosophy with running the ball?

"Well the thing is with all the successful teams I've been around, even way back when I was with Andy Reid early in Philadelphia, is that having a run game is so important for your team and to be able to establish exactly who you are, clock management, clock control, those kind of things. And I believe that you have to be able to do that and you have to be able to do that when they know you're going to do that. That's going to be our philosophy here and we have tried to make that work."

What are your thoughts about RB Phillip Lindsay?

"You know Phillip has had some success in this league and when we brought him in, we knew what he was all about. As a matter a fact, he should up a few times today on some runs and did the same thing yesterday. And we are glad to have him here."

What do you see in OL Justin Britt?

"Well he's a veteran, he's been there, done that and I'll tell you something he's a warrior. Everything starts with him snapping the ball and getting that thing back and then that thing trickles down outside with those guys. He's been excellent for us and he is a consummate pro and it's great to have him with this crew we got right now. Him and Laremy (Tunsil) because those guys have been around and they've been there and they've done that and for the young guys they are great mentors for them."

When RB Phillip Lindsay is on, what makes him special?

"You know what, he's quick, he can run. He's a guy that's not very big but knows how to play football. He is a football player. The fact that -- the success that he's had before we got him right here, we know what he's capable of doing and you know he fits what we want to try to do here."

I see you consulting the roster at some points. How are you getting to work these guys and what steps are you taking to get to know them a little bit better than a number and a face?

"I'm using that cheat sheet you saw me using out there. Our scouting department has everybody on this sheet. We don't have names on jerseys right now, so I just see people running around and I'm not really sure from the back of the jersey who it is with the numbers because I don't know all the numbers yet. But I am starting to now get a really good feel for who is what because certain guys show up and when they show up and they show up over and over again, you kind of get their names."

It doesn't help that they keep on switching jersey numbers

"The point is they are football players to me. Doesn't Matter for me who it is, but I know when they are showing up and showing up a bunch and we are talking about who they are, there's a pretty good chance that those guys are doing exactly what we need to do to be able to make this football team."

What we have seen in QB Deshaun Watson the first two days, should we expect to see the rest of camp?

"You know, again, as we said before, it's a daily deal and there's no change from yesterday."

Could you talk about DL Jordan Jenkins and what he brings to your defense?

"He's a heck of a player. The thing about him is he knows how to play the game. We talk all the time about guys at positions like guys play a safety, he's a DB, you know, but we first and foremost what we look at those guys at, their football players first and he is a football player who just happens to be the position that he plays."

As you interact with your players, it looks like there's arms around players. How will you encourage but also demand has head coach here?

"That's easy when they do something really good, I let them know they do it really good and when it's not done the right way we let them know it's not done the right way and they understand that. Here the thing about coaching those guys, those guys want to do the right thing and they want to be good and the only way to do that is it to the right things. In training camp, that's where you learn to do that and here, because it's all about ball. They go to bed at night, they wake up in the morning, it's all football right now, nothing else it's all football. So the thing that we want to make sure that they are doing is they are getting better every day. We don't want them making the same mistake twice over and over again. That's what we're getting right now out of them and today, the one thing from a training camp standpoint that I feel good about what we are doing right now is yesterday in practice, we had a couple of balls on the ground and very disappointing and then now, the flipside of that was defense has something to do with that ball being on the ground a couple of times but today we only had one ball on the ground which is too many but there was improvement from yesterday and as a coach and a staff, that's encouraging to see that. Part of that has to do with our defense flying around and take the ball away and doing those kind of things and there has to be an alert up for our offensive guys when they have that ball in hand because there's nothing more important for the offense than protecting the football."

What are you seeing from your rookies from a coaching standpoint?

"Well, rookies are rookies. First of all, they don't know what they don't know. That's the first thing. They can think they know. The thing about this is we have a good conglomeration of players who have been around and done it and there's guys around here that know how to play and practice and do things the right way and we encourage guys, watch those guys and see how it's done because they don't know. As they do that and go through training camp and learn how to be a pro then they become better."

You've had a small sample so far, what have you found out about yourself as the head coach and top dog?

"When I found out about myself is there's a whole lot about this I don't understand and know yet but I'm learning on the run and I'm getting it. The beauty of that whole thing is, I've got a great staff. I've got some great guys on our staff that has been there and done what I'm doing right now, talking about Lovie (Smith) and Romeo (Crennel) and I lean on them, I lean on everybody, the whole coaching staff that I've got. These guys on this staff right here has been to the mountain top. Some guys right here knows what it's like to get there and get it done and I feel confident and encouraged to know that I've got those guys on this staff and a good staff to lean on."

There was no change between QB Deshuan Watson yesterday and today, what could make that change?

"There's no change, we're just going day-to-day."

In these early days of camp, what is the most important thing you are looking for from your team?

"Consistency. Consistency every day. As I mentioned earlier about the balls being on the ground is that it was on the ground twice yesterday and only once today which is too many. That's encouraging and that's consistent. That's what I'm looking for, not just in protecting the ball but in doing the right things with the defense."

Do you see QB Deshaun Watson's work load changing if at all?

"Again we're just going day-to-day with that."

David, you've been an offensive coach for a while. Can you assess the talent and depth at running back and wide receiver?

"We've got numbers there for sure and as far as being able to decide where they are right now and where we are in camp with them, I think in another week or so we'll be able to determine more about that once we get the pads on right now because you don't find out, like I said early yesterday we are in that ramp-up period right now and we're trying to get through this and make sure everybody is healthy and getting through once we put the pads on. But it's a good group. Got good numbers there, good experience there, guys that have been there and played well in this league and looking forward to seeing what happens when we get the pads on, and that's what training camp is for."

Can you talk about the offensive line?

"I tell you what, good group there with Justin (McCray) and Laremy (Tunsil) coming back and been there before and done that, their experience is invaluable for us right there. We are happy with where we are at with them. Today I was so encouraged when we were doing our run period today, camp, we've been talking about finishing and finishing and finishing and we had a couple of finishes in our run period today that really fired me up just to let you know that they are in the right direction and that comes from those veteran guys that we got."


What do you bring as far as an edge and intensity?

"Well, I've been out of football since October 2019 and ever since I hurt my knee I've been itching to get back and sitting out last year just wasn't for me. I'm not ready to be done. I wasn't ready to retire and be done it. It was great family time, forever thankful for that but I wasn't ready to be done. I'm hungry, enthusiastic and happy to be here. You know, we've got a really good group of guys not only in the five you see out there consistently, but throughout the group, the whole room and we hold each other accountable and coming ready to work. I'm happy to be a part of them and I'm going to do what I can to keep us going."

How do you feel about the talent level on the offensive line?

"Yeah, I think you look at LT (Laremy Tunsil) , he's obviously a generational offensive line player and you go down the line, the whole room, like I said, brings something to the table that's special. You know, I'm not perfect, no one's perfect. But like I said, we come to work ready to get after it and we're going to do what we can to take the team where we want it to go."

The time away, did that change your attitude towards camp? This is obviously hot and it's a grind and a long way to go. Is your approach the same?

"I try to approach it the same way but I'm a human, so repetitive stuff might, you know, have been like, all right, let's just get through it, let's get to the season. But being here somewhere new, get to go work with (James) Campen and all these guys, getting to work with Tyrod (Taylor), new quarterback, new running backs, it's rejuvenated my love and my enthusiasm for the game."

You touched on it some but what's it like now with the Texans?

"Every day I'm running into new obstacles and new challenges. I'm light years ahead of where I was in the spring with the playbook, my confidence level has sky rocked. Me and Tyrod (Taylor) are working together and bouncing off each other, I'm able to communicate with the guys up front and honestly it's like I never felt and I've felt the best I've felt in numerous years. I'm ready to come to work tomorrow, the next day, I'm ready to go to Green Bay and start the season at home. So I'm just ready."

How do you feel about running the ball?

"We should definitely run the ball. Throw the ball but we should definitely run the ball. We have the backs for it, (Mark) Ingram, D.J. (David Johnson), Phil (Phillip Lindsay) , you have (Rex) Burkhead, you've got Scotty (Phillips) - we got so many it's hard to remember them all but we need to use them all. It's going to be a tough decision whenever it comes down to it, not only in there but every position, we have so many good players. You control the game by running the ball, control the clock, set the tone. We want to run the ball. We have the group to do it and that's my mindset that I'm going to bring."

Thoughts on Head Coach David Culley?

"Coach Culley is a great coach. He definitely makes it easy to come to work."

What's it like working with QB Tyrod Taylor?

"Oh, it's great so far. He's a good player, good guy. A good leader. Someone who also he went through -- I feel like he's had the short end of the stick the last few years in his career and he's hungry. I think we have a team full of hungry guys. I think they brought in a lot of really good players and pieced together a really good roster and it's up to us to come out here and compete, hold each other accountable, control what we can control and just be ready to go."

Does QB Tyrod Taylor have that chip on his shoulder?

"Ask him. I can see it the way he leads practice, the way he comes into the huddle every play, but ask him. He'll tell you."

Do you still believe you are one of the best centers in the league?

"I feel like I've been doubted my whole career just because I bounce around, I feel like I'm overlooked. I don't care about Pro Bowl. I think that's a popularity contest. I'm just here to win. I'm just here to play for my kids, have fun, be here for Tytus (Howard), be here for LT (Laremy Tunsil), be here for all the dudes, be here for Max (Scharping), (Justin) McCray, everybody."

Do you expect to be taking more snaps with QB Deshaun Watson?

"I know I'm going to play center, and you know, I can't really see who is behind me. So I'm going to grab the ball and snap it when they say go."


How are you today?

"Not as bad as yesterday. Feel a lot better today. I used to come down here in the summers growing up when my dad was stationed in California, Alaska and Washington. We'd always drive down or fly down for the summer growing up, out in the countryside. I never really went inside the city until I moved out here, until I signed out here really. All of my family is on the outskirts – a couple of them are in Missouri City, Richmond, Beaumont – all over now."

What is it like for you to be here?

"Honestly, it's a great feeling. I've seen my parents more this year than I have probably in the last two or three years combined because they are only 20 minutes from the stadium, 26 minutes from where my apartment is. It's a blessing for me to have them be able to come out and watch a game for once and not have to get on four, five-hour flight and go all the way up to New York, all the way out to Cali or something like that. It'll be a blessing for me to have my grandparents at one of the games this year, if not a couple of them."

How much did your dad's background in the military impact you?

"It definitely instilled my work ethic and the way I am towards superiors, people in charge and everything like that. Because growing up if things weren't done a certain way, you were getting reprimanded for it, and I'm all for getting whooped. If I ever got out of line, my dad pulled out that belt, and you got back in line really quick. That military upbringing, it instills character in a lot of people. It's an upbringing I'd want for everybody."

Can you talk about the pass rush and what your role is in that?

"I'm a big-time power guy. I like to set-up a lot of my counters and a lot of my stuff off power rushes. That's just the type of guy I am, the type of guy I've been for a while. I feel like me and JG (Jonathan Greenard) growing up under Todd Grant, we like to set a lot of rushes up the same way. I'm just going to try to out-work a lot of guys and use my strength to set up all my counter moves."

Do you hope to get back to the player you were before your injury?

"Most definitely. Now it's getting the rust off, like these last two days, I'm out there just trying to feel my way around because last time I had on pads and got after it, was probably December 9. Now it's about getting the rust out and getting back comfortable. I did a couple long arms, and it felt pretty nice. Just about getting the rust off now."

You worked a lot this offseason with your offensive line teammates, do you think that helped you all form a camaraderie?

"Yeah, because a lot of stuff we used to do over the summer, we got to see how each other rushes, what moves they use to set up another one, so when we are all out there at the same time, we already have that second thought. We already know how they are going to rush so you can cater your rush to theirs, or give them the freedom to do that and you counter off of that. It helped out a lot, because we spent a lot of time together in the summer."

Head Coach David Culley has talked a lot about the tone he has tried to set. Can you speak to that?

"Coach Culley is a guy I respect a lot. From day one, they haven't switched up. It wasn't one thing to get me here, and now that you're here it's a totally different thing. Coach Culley has been the same guy from front to now. He's all about character, all about having the right attitude and making sure guys stay the same and keep working. He's holding everybody accountable and not letting guys just BS around. While you're here, you're going to get after it, and there's just no ifs, ands or buts about it. You're going to get after it and have fun doing it."

What was the worst Todd Grantham ever yelled at you?

"There was a time we were playing South Carolina. It was against Conner Shaw. I had to take the quarterback, went for the dive, Connor Shaw ran it back about 30, 40 yards. TG might have said two or three words that weren't curse words. It was a very intense session, long-two-minute session. Broke a clipboard too."


Talk about the running game for us, what you expect?

"We have a bunch of great veterans in that room right now, great leaders and we're pushing each other. And it's great to be able to learn from them. Everybody's different in that room, and they have done a lot throughout their career. So for now, you know, you guys want a big story about competition, but it's really a brotherhood in there. They are a great bunch of dudes. We're all married, we've all got kids, so we are on the same kind of page. So when we get in these meetings with Coach DB (Danny Barrett) and everything, we're teaching each other and learning from each other and having each other's back, and that's what it's all about."

What did you think of your practice today?

"I mean, I'm trying to get used to it just like anybody else. You know, I take it one day at a time. So for me, it's just like staying consistent. That's the name of this game. It doesn't matter if you do well tomorrow, do well today, but it's about the next day, the next day. I'm just looking forward to the next day doing what I can to stay healthy and doing what I can to help my team and pick Mark's (Ingram II) and all of their brains to make myself better and help them out as well."

How is the running back room?

"The running back room is versatile. I was talking the other day, the first time I seen Mark was when I was in elementary school. It's crazy because I used to watch him and watch his highlights and now I get to really pick his brain. Great dude. Rex (Burkhead) was in Nebraska. It was funny. So it's great to just get to meet all of them, David Johnson, all of them, and just learn from them. So we have a good time in that running back room. It's probably one of the best running back rooms I got to be around."

Have you told RB Mark Ingram the story about watching him in elementary school?

"Me and Mark, we're right next to each other, so we talk all the time. We are similar personality-wise, so we kind of click."

What did he say when you told him that story?

"He kind of shakes his head because he's more like, you know, for him, it went by fast. But it's great to have him here. It's fun."

Head Coach David Culley says he doesn't know a lot of the players very well yet, but he said that you had really shown up the first days of practice. How much does that matter?

"It does matter. It's not about me going out there and just showing up. I want to go out there and do my part, and I want to be a great teammate and I want to showcase my explosiveness and that's what I want to do. I'm doing this for my family. That's all that is in my mind. Other than that, I just want to continue to pick the brains of the great running backs in our room and just have a great bond because that's what it's about."

When you have a quarterback like QB Tyrod Taylor, how does that create more opportunities for the running backs?

"First of all, Tyrod is probably one of the greatest dudes in the locker room, and one of the greatest leaders I've ever seen has been Tyrod. He's had a little rough going the past couple years, but that man puts a lot into this. Just the fact that he can trust us, and he's trying to get us all involved. I feel great. It was a little different in Denver being with somebody that's young and coming to somebody that's been in the league this long. It's night and day. Tyrod is a great person, and he's going to do some great things."

From a strategy standpoint, the defense has to account for the quarterback running, how does that make life easier?

"For Tyrod (Taylor), he's going to keep you on balance because he can move, and he also can throw and he's consistent. And you guys going to see that throughout the time. I mean, the man's resume speaks for itself. You go back and watch his film, every year he's going to do something great. He's always on top every year. I'm excited for that."

What do you want to work on in camp?

"One thing I want to work on in camp is continue to work on my route running, catching and just being a more all-around person. And I think Coach Danny Barrett is going to do a great job of taking me to another level in my young career."

OL Justin Britt said he wanted to prove something. Do you feel that way too? Is there a chip on your shoulder?

I have a big chip on my shoulder. I definitely did. For me, I feel like I'm always being disrespected, you know. And for me, I'm going to go out there and I'm going to show it. In my head, I'm the baddest dude there is, period. I don't care who else is in the NFL or anything like that, you've still got to deal with me and that's just how I act. But it's not just about me. It's about our team. And that's all I care about. So as long as we're winning games and stuff like that, things will come. Accolades will come as time goes on, but it's about team. It's about winning."

You have a chip on your shoulder?

"You've got a bunch of us. Think about it, everybody come in here and, for some reason, they think we're the scumbucket. I don't know what they got going on in the media. Everybody has something to prove because there's some great dudes in there, and they are really talented and they played a lot of football. And we just want to get on the same page, and we're going to do that over time and put some games together and win a lot of games. That's our goal."

You said you're the baddest dude out there. Are you badder than RB Mark Ingram?

"Why are you guys trying to compare us? Mark Ingram's a bad dude, his resume speaks. David Johnson's a bad dude, Rex (Burkhead) is a bad dude, Scottie Phillips is a bad dude, Dontrell Hilliard is a bad dude, Buddy (Howell) is a bad dude. All of us are bad. It's a mindset every time you touch the ball."

Is it a distraction having QB Deshaun Watson being in the background?

"It's not weird to me. At the end of the day, I'm coming in here, I'm new. I know Deshaun, I know the type of person he is. He's a good dude. Whatever Deshaun got going on, that's between him and him."

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