Skip to main content

Transcripts: 8-5-2021 Training Camp Press Conferences


Opening Statement

"Let me catch my breath. We just finished with a two-minute drill. Although it is the Texans playing each other, if I was on the offensive side of the ball, I'd have felt like we lost the game today. But I do realize that was the Texans on the other side of the ball and that was our defense, so I'm feeling better about it right now."

Do you have any update on QB Deshaun Watson?

"No, no update at all. As we've said from the start, everyday Nick (Caserio) and I sit down, and we talk about what we want to do in practice and how we want to do things. We don't talk about personnel situations or contracts or injuries publicly. We keep that in house, and things are the same."

CB Bradley Roby won't be available for the first game. What do you think of him as a player?

"Bradley has been a quality player in this league. I've gone against him previously at his previous team that he had, and he's a quality player. He's doing everything that we want him to do. That group that he's with right now is a group that has a lot of depth. And I'll tell you, it's good to see that back there. Although he won't be ready to play that first game because of the suspension, we got guys that right now step right in there, and we just keep moving."

What can you tell us about DB Jonathan Owens as a football player? What kind of offseason has he had?

"I'll tell you, one thing he does, he plays with a lot of energy. I mean all the time. Speaking of him, when I was at another place coaching, he was in college and he was there, and he used to clean up my room when I was with the Kansas City Chiefs when he was a player up there. So I don't remember him then, but he's told me the story about him cleaning up my room. All I told him was, 'Listen, it wasn't so messy that you talked about me about that.' He said, 'Coach, if it was, I would have told you right now.' The point is he's doing a great job of picking up this system. He's doing a heck of a job. He flies around. He does exactly what you want done from that position. Again, as I said before, that position, there's a lot of depth there, and nothing makes you better than competition, and we have great competition at that position."

Has he offered to clean up your room again?

"He has not offered to clean up my room again."

Would you allow that?

"Yes, I would because he did a nice job."

What is your relationship with General Manager Nick Caserio like and how often do you all talk?

"Every day. We talk every day. We talk every night. We leave home at night talking to each other. We come back in the morning, we're talking to each other. We have a plan. We're on the same page. We have the same idea of how this thing should go and how it should be run. It's been really, really good. I'll tell you what, the big thing is, when you look at the players that we've got out here that Nick and his staff has brought in, it's the kind of players that we feel like we need to be able to go where we need to go. They're quality guys. They're really good guys. They're the kind of guys that we feel like we need to do to be able to go where we need to go, and it's been really good."

Do you appreciate General Manager Nick Caserio's interest in coaching because he's more involved than most general managers?

"Well, you've got to know he was a coach at one time, and if you remember way back when, my first interaction with Nick (Caserio) was at the NFL Combine. He had just got moved to coaching wide receivers. I used to run the wide receiver drills at the Combine. I can remember I always knew all the coaches that were there helping. All of a sudden, I saw this one guy back there, and he was just kind of looking at everything. If you see Nick in practice right now, he's got that sheet of paper he's always writing down with all of our players and stuff on it. I saw him sitting back there, was really just kind of doing it, and I went up to him, introduced myself to him. I knew who he was, but I knew he had just got introduced. I said, 'Look, come on up here, this is what we want to do. I want you to get involved with this.' At that point right there, that coaching has never left him."

It was a good thing you were nice to him.

"It was a really good thing I was nice to him. I was the only guy at that point that went and talked to him."

How is LB Kevin Pierre-Louis feeling?

"He's fine. He's doing fine. It was just a precautionary thing with him, so he's fine."

Can you talk about rookie WR Nico Collins and rookie TE Brevin Jordan?

"I'll tell you what, those two rookies we've got right there are the kind of guys, when Nick (Caserio) drafted those guys to come here, we knew they had the kind of talent at their particular positions to be able to be quality players here. Here's the thing about them right now, they're rookies. And there's a lot of time out here on this field they look like rookies, they act like rookies and they play like rookies. But at this point in training camp, we don't have rookies, we don't have veterans, we have Texans. And they have to understand that, and they're actually doing a heck of a job of getting to the point where, 'Hey listen, you're not a rookie here, you're a Texan. This is how we do things, and this is how you've got to do things.' And they're starting to respond very well to that, both of those guys."

Can you speak about DL Shaq Lawson?

"I spent a couple of years with Shaq in Buffalo. I know Shaq. Shaq's come in. We got him from the Dolphins. We know Shaq's had some good pass rushing ability in the past, and he's brought it here. Again, I'm going to go back. That group that Shaq is with right now, that's a quality group. I look over there sometimes and look at that defensive line and our defensive ends, I think I've got a whole football team over there. But that's a really good group, and he's fitting in very well with that group."

How does OL Charlie Heck look this year compared to what you saw from him last year?

"A big improvement. And that started in the off-season. He's gotten stronger. Charlie knew what he needed to do. He's done everything. The one thing about him, because his pedigree is pretty good, he's basically done everything you would want done to be able to improve from year one to year two, and we're starting to see that. And he's got to continue to do that."

Have you reminded General Manager Nick Caserio you were nice to him back in the day?

"I haven't yet, but I know at some point I'm going to have to remind him when things aren't right. But right now, everything is good."

What do you like most about the defense?

"The thing about them is a Lovie Smith defense have always been aggressive. They've always flew to the ball. It's been a defense that has created turnovers, and basically we're seeing that right now, especially in pads. I saw it when we were in shorts and shells, but now, I mean they're flying around. I can't tell you, every time we do a play, I see all kind of white shirts everywhere, and that's what you want to do with a defense is to see them around the ball. And they've done a great job of doing that."


How are you feeling as far as reading and seeing what the quarterbacks are doing?

"Just doing my job, man, doing what I'm learning to do, listen to what the coach is teaching me and just going out there on the field and applying it to the field and applying it each and every day. It's getting easier and easier by the day. It's only day 8, 7, one of those. We've got a lot more time to keep going until the first preseason."

You had a knack for intercepting passes going back to high school. The last couple years, you haven't been doing that as much. What do you think you have to do to get back to finishing and getting the ball back?

"Just getting back comfortable. Getting in my groove and being in that right system and just doing my job. That's going to play its part. I'll just keep going and keep working on it."

What do you think of this group? You've obviously been around the league. What do you think of this group in particularly that people like so much?

"I think we have a good group of guys here on this team specifically, and on the defensive side. I think the defense can be really great. We have a lot of pieces, a lot of good players. They brought in a lot of guys in free agency. I'm one of them, and I feel like, as long as we can kind of mesh what we know together as a defense and as an individual, I think we can have a great team this year."

What are your impressions of the slot receivers that you've been going against – WR Keke Coutee, WR Alex Erickson and WR Anthony Miller – in practice?

"I played against these guys a couple times -- Alex, Keke, and Anthony Miller. That's great that we've got him coming over from Chicago, great guy. All of them great players, man. They good at what they do. That's what they're here for, man. They all compete, and we're competing and just making each other better."

When you look at DB Bradley Roby, with the first game suspension, as a secondary and corners, what do feel like you guys got to do to make up for it?

"Next man in. That's why we have that depth here on our defense. That's why we brought more players in. It's the next man in. Next man step up, and then once Bradley is ready, Bradley is going to come back in and take off where he left off at."

What is it about WR Anthony Miller that makes him so good?

"He's a very shifty guy. He's really smart on how to play his leverage on any cornerback, any DB, and he knows how to get open. He got really good hands, and he knows what to do when he gets the ball in his hands. He's a really good guy."

Can you talk about Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith's defense, what you like about it?

"Traditional. He's definitely an old school guy. You can tell that by his demeanor and how he coaches. He likes the basic fundamentals. He teaches that every day to us. That's what you want to do as a player. You want to start from the basic and build from the ground up. I think that's what we're doing now, starting from the bottom and building up to where we want to be."

What have you learned about DB Justin Reid and DB Lonnie Johnson Jr. since you've been here?

"Justin (Reid) is a great guy to have on the back end. Very smart, talented, athletic guy as well. Justin is a guy that he's -- I wouldn't say signal caller, but he's making himself as that leader in the back end and making himself voiced. He's voicing his opinions as well. With Lonnie (Johnson Jr.), it's good to see Lonnie back out here. It's my first time actually seeing Lonnie play. I played against Justin before, but it's my first time seeing Lonnie play, and the way he's out here moving looks really good."


Are you glad to get Simone Biles back to Houston today?

"Yes, I can't wait to see her. She's coming in from the Today show, that she did earlier this morning. So I'll see her later."

What's the experience like for you?

"The experience for me, her going over?"

Just the whole thing. You were so far away.

"It was kind of tough. It was actually the longest that we've been apart since we first started dating and everything. I was just making sure I was there being an extra voice for her since she couldn't have family and everything there. Just kind of keeping her positive and keeping her motivated. When things kind of got tough, just being an extra voice for her, making sure everything stays positive."

How special for you was it that she ended on a high note with the bronze medal?

"I was so proud of her she was able to overcome mentally what was going on. She kind of altered her beam routine, but I was just happy for her that she ended up going out and getting a medal."

How proud are you of the awareness she was able to raise about mental health and how open she was?

"Very proud. Just showing that there is times where you need to put yourself first, especially if it's a danger to your health, if you're going to go out there and kind of perform for everybody else, you know what I mean? I was so proud of her that she put herself first because she could have really got herself hurt if she's going out there and kind of don't know where she is in the air and how difficult everything she does. I was really proud of her and glad that she made that decision."

How has it been communicating with her?

"We kind of, it's a 14-hour time difference. In the mornings here, it would be night there. I would just kind of catch her before she would go to sleep and just try to give her motivational speeches to kind of keep her head up. She was kind of in a funk when everything wasn't going right. When you're used to everything going right for so long and all of a sudden you kind of hit a hiccup in your performance, she can kind of get down on herself and lose confidence. That was kind of one of the things I was just trying to make sure to keep her positive. It was hard for me to really understand what she was going through because I'm not on that stage and dealing with those pressures and everything. But I just tried to be as understanding as possible and just try to motivate her, man, keep her head right."

When you were watching the team final, what was going through your mind?

"Like I said, it was early in the morning, and my heart's beating. I was sick for her. I know her facial expressions. I could kind of read her lips to know what was going on and what she was telling her coach, and I kind of already knew what was going on before hand. So, I was just really hoping that she was kind of going to get over it and be able to go out there and perform. So, I was sick to my stomach just because she wasn't able to go out there. I know her teammates really wanted her out there, but she made the best decision for herself. I'm going to support whatever she does."

How hard for you to come out here on the field and have that in the back of your mind?

"When I get out here, I'm in football mode, man. It's those outside things. I kind of focus on this. This is my career, you know what I mean? Once I got done, I checked on her seeing how everything was. Kind of when I come out here, though, I try to focus and have tunnel vision on what I have to have going on. If you're not mentally all here when you're out there on that field, you can get yourself hurt. So just kind of try to stay focused and do my job first, and then whenever I get done, go and make sure she's fine."

What do you think of the outpouring of support from all over the world for Simone Biles?

"I loved it. I'm just glad it was people that understood kind of what she's going through and actually people went and did their research on the gymnast condition that they kind of go through when that happens. I was really glad for people to really give her that support and just keep her spirits up after she made her decision."

Simone Biles was always still very involved with the team and showed up to everything. Can you talk about what you know about her that made her do all of that?

"She loves the team. She loves her team's success. Those are her friends too. Obviously, she wants the best for them, and with her being down, it was chances for other people to go out there and have a chance at winning gold. So obviously she want to support her teammates. She trains with them. They all train together since they've been out there in Tokyo, so you build relationships with those people. You obviously want nothing but the best for them.

How do you feel your training camp has been going the first few days?

"I'm learning, learning the new system, new techniques, just the fundamentals and everything, getting better every day. I couldn't ask for anything better than to have a chance to compete and put my best foot forward to making this team."

When you make your case to the coaches, to the head coach, what are you telling them that I should be here for what reason?

"My athleticism, what I can do, my versatility, my effort, and just willingness to play anywhere they want. It doesn't really matter to me -- special teams, defense, anything they want. I just want to be that guy for them."

Can you tell us the story that Head Coach David Culley just told us about you cleaning his room when he was with the Chiefs?

"Yeah, I used to work on -- we used to clean out their dorm rooms so I could stay on campus for free so I could workout up at the school over the summer to put myself in the best position. Actually, it's crazy, man. I used to really have like butterflies going through those guys' rooms. Like oh, my God, they play in the NFL. That's kind of where I wanted to be. It's just crazy how things come back full circle. But I was definitely the guy in there folding up all their beds, kind of putting their shoes in order, just so I can be able to stay up at campus and stay up there for free. I wouldn't change anything about it, man. It really puts everything in perspective for me."

Was it the Chiefs' coaches?

"The coaches, the players, they all stayed in our freshman dorm rooms."

Where were you playing at the time?

"Missouri Western State."

Who had the dirtiest room?

"I'm not sure, man. I know they had shoes all over the place, clothes. We wouldn't really touch all that. We more so made sure the beds were made up, take the sheets out, put new sheets in there, and tidy up a little bit. It was a good experience. I was glad to be cleaning their rooms. I got to tell everybody I cleaned the Chiefs' rooms."

What year was that?

"I want to say it was 2016 summer."


What was it like for you to miss those games last season?

"It was an unfortunate situation, but I have a strong faith in God, and I always feel like every step of the way he's always put me in a position to where everything's going to work out on its own. Last year was a lot of things going on. It was a lot of things negative in the building. So I think it just pulled me away and gave me a big-picture view. I got to see how I did things wrong. I got to see how a lot of things work, and it just made me mature even more."

What was negative in the building?

"I don't want to speak on last year because that was last year. No one is here from last year. So I don't want to delve on that too much."

Can you share with us what happened in your situation beyond what you said?

"Everything I said is what happened. It's unfortunate, you know, and it is what it is."

How tough will it be missing your first week?

"It will be tough, but they added that extra game on, so I'm still playing 16. It's unfortunate. We're playing against Urban Meyer, my college coach, so I'll miss being able to talk trash to him a little bit, but I'll see him again later in the year."

What do you think about the depth behind you, and the guys that will step up in your absence?

"I think a lot of guys are stepping up. I think we've gotten better in the position since last year. I think guys have matured and the scheme is a little better, also. I expect the guys to go out there and make turnovers and do our thing."

What are your battles like with WR Nico Collins?

"He's a Michigan guy, man, so I already don't like him. But I think he's going to be a good receiver. He's tall, big, uses his body well, can go up and get the ball. So I just want to keep motivating him and keep working with him and try to pick and choose where I can really go against him and see how he runs his routes and help him if possible. So I look forward to helping him mature."

What do you expect from yourself this season?

"I expect just better than last year, more turnovers. I expect to play all 16 games. I haven't played all 16 since I've been here in two years. So that's my goals, turnovers and playing every game."

What are the overall changes in this team? A big change in coaching staff, scheme, and all that.

"Coaching staff, scheme, players. In the NFL, it's my eighth year, so I'm starting to realize the turnover is so fast. I was just telling them there's only about five or six guys from the team that I came in here with. So now I'm kind of a veteran in the organization, so I kind of take that, and I kind of want to set the standard and just trying to bring the energy and the juice, man. Just bring everything I can to create a culture here."

Do you like the direction of the team?

"I do. I like the direction. It's positive. I feel like we're all on the same page. That's the first thing. You know, the first thing is about being on the same page, everyone working together. Right now people aren't saying positive things, but the season hasn't happened yet. No one's lined up yet. Everyone's All-American. Everyone is this and that. We've got to just go out there and do our thing, man. I'm positive for the season and I can't wait."

What sort of unique dynamic does it create having so many of those new guys here on one-year contracts? Is it like any other team you've been on?

"It's unique. No, it's not. But it's a very unique situation. The NFL is a very competitive business, one of the most competitive sports in the world. So it's just creating a competitive environment. One thing I know from Denver, when we won the Super Bowl a long time ago, but it was a very competitive environment on both sides of the ball. We were competing every day. If you're competing against the other guy across from you and the people in your room, the best comes out of you. For instance, I watched the hurdlers in the Olympics, both races, girls and boys set world records. Why? Because someone was right next to them giving it their all. I think that's just going to bring the best out of us."

If you could speak to Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer right now, what would you tell him?

"I'm proud of him, man, and I'm excited. Let's get it."

What's going to happen Week 1?

"Week 1, I don't know. I'm not a fortune teller. I know it's going to be interesting. They've got a rookie. He's a new coach. We've got a new coach. So it's going to be fun. I think I'll be watching at the house, and I'll be rooting for us, of course."

What receivers have impressed you out here?

"A lot of the receivers are good. We've got a lot of vet guys that play good ball. I'm impressed by (Brandin) Cooks, of course, and I really like Nico (Collins). I really like Nico. I think he can add to us. And I like the rookie tight end also. He's been showing some good stuff to me. So I think the guys we brought in, the young guys especially, will help us this year."

Tell us what you learned about yourself since last season.

"I just matured in certain ways. It's just about playing your role, not trying to do too much. Let everyone do their job. You can't do your job and someone else's job. You're supposed to do your job, and I think I kind of got carried away with trying to do too much last year. Now I'm just focused on me and my group of guys, and that's all I want to focus on."

When you look at the other defensive players on the field, who's impressing you so far?

"I think we all have been kind of doing our thing. I like Vernon (Hargreaves III). I think he's better than he was last year. T. Mitch (Terrance Mitchell) is competing. The young guys are doing good, also. So I think it's a solid group. It's competitive. It will be interesting to see in the preseason who stands out when the lights come on."

Do you think Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's going to change his coaching style?

"No. Urban is going to be Urban Meyer, and that's why he's a winner. He's won everywhere he went, and I don't think he's going to change for anyone. That's what I love about him."

Are you going to text Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer to get in his head?

"No, I'm not going to text him. I know he's already scheming me up already, so I don't need to add anything extra. But when we go on that field, I will for sure."

How much do you think all the turnover on the roster has helped keep the negativity in the past?

"It's a fresh start, man. It's a fresh start. The guys that we have brought back are all positive, good guys, and we can start from there. We can start a base and a culture from there because the base and the culture comes from the players. It's set by the coach, but the players have to carry it out and enforce it. I think the guys that have carried over and the new guys, we're going to buy in, and I think you've got to start from somewhere, and I think it's a good start."

Related Content