GENERAL MANAGER NICK CASERIO
"Before we get to football, just a couple of quick comments. I'd say since the last time we talked, even going back to when we talked before training camp, we talked about the fragility of life and things that happened. We talked about Coach (Greg) Knapp and his situation at that time. And unfortunately, just reflecting quickly on Floyd Reese, who I would say probably Mark (Berman) and John (McClain) are probably closest to him or know him the best and the impact he had on the area and on the Houston community, the Houston Oiler franchise and what he did for the organization. I was fortunately able to have a personal relationship with Floyd in New England. He was an invaluable resource, a mentor, a friend. Quite frankly, taught me a lot in a short period of time. How to act with grace, how to act with humility, never had a bad day, always had a good attitude. And his experience, I would say, as I transitioned roles was certainly something that having that voice or that presence right down the hall was certainly valuable and appreciated. I know not everybody knew Floyd, not everybody had a relationship with Floyd, but I think his impact on the Houston community and the Houston area spoke volumes. Whenever you lose a life or lose somebody, it's always good to reflect on the good that they did that they provided. Secondly, I think as we look at some of the recent events, those people who have been displaced and impacted and affected by the hurricane in Louisiana, I'm sure all of you have some friends here in Louisiana. We have some folks on our staff who have been affected by that. It kind of puts everything in perspective. I know I wasn't here for it, but the city of Houston experienced something similar, and I think it's a reminder for all of us that each day is a blessing and an opportunity for us to be appreciative of what we have. Really, there's no bad days. Some days are better than others, but there are no bad days. So, I think it's important to remember to send our thoughts and prayers to the state of Louisiana and the folks that are affected. I know there are a number of Houstonians who are doing their part to help as best they can. On the football side of things, where we are. It's been about a month since we've had the opportunity to speak in training camp. And at that time, we didn't really know a lot or have a lot of information. When we started training camp, we wanted to accomplish some things as a team. When you look back at what we were trying to accomplish, it's A: try to put a philosophy and a foundation in place. Teach our players a coaching philosophy and teach them a system, give them an opportunity to learn the system, have as much competition as possible on the team. And establish a culture and a foundation of what we're trying to do and the things we believe in. And for the most part, on the health standpoint, try to stay healthy. I would say those three to four things, as we started training camp, were things that we were going to try to accomplish and were at the forefront. I would say for the most part we were able to do that. Again, it's never easy to reduce the roster, to cut down the roster. There's always, after the fact, you go back and look at it and say, 'Ok, what could have happened? How was this decision made?' There's probably eight to 10 players who weren't on the 53-man roster who very easily could have made the team. So again, I think a lot of it is just roster management and resource allocation. In the end, we're all going to do what we feel is best for our team at the time. I would say this will be a very fluid process. The team building process isn't going to stop because we have 53 players on the roster. That's the reality of it. I think you all have been around long enough here to see that's probably not going to be the case. But we'll try to make smart decisions, we'll try to make good decisions as we go. The last thing, I know we talked about this at the start of training camp, as it pertains to Deshaun's (Watson) situation. What I would say about that is really no different than what we talked about at the beginning of training camp. Each day, we're going to make the decision that we feel is best. I would say it's a one step process. Deshaun's been here every day, he's been in training camp every day. He's been in the building, he's been in meetings, he's been around his teammates. And again, we're going to take it one day at a time. I'm not going to get into a lot of speculation about what has happened, what didn't happen. It's a waste of everybody's time quite frankly. I think there's more important things to talk about. We're going to take it one day at a time, we're going to do what we feel is best for our team and organization. I would say there is no finite answer, there's no definitive answer here at this point, and that's how we're going to handle it."
The decision to put QB Deshaun Watson you made on the roster, did you have any other thoughts rather than the one you made?
"I'm not going to get into speculation about what could or could not have happened. Each day, we take information, we process it, and then we go about our business and try to make the right decision, and the best decision at the time. That's what we did, he's on the roster, he's on our team. And what does that mean moving forward? Again, that's a one day at a time, I would say, proposition and endeavor, and that's how we're going to handle it."
If Deshaun came to you and wanted to play, would he be able to play for the Texans this year?
"I respect the question. I'm not going to get into a lot of speculation. I think any conversations that we have with the players, we'll keep that between ourselves. I've had multiple conversations with Deshaun in training camp. Like I said, his attitude has been good, he hasn't been a problem, he hasn't been a disruption. So, we're going to take it one day at a time."
What do you have planned for wide receiver?
"When you look at the construction of the roster, you have to look at where is your depth. Is your depth on the roster, is your depth off the roster? I would say, certain positions we probably have a little bit more depth on the roster versus off the roster. Other positions, some of our depth is off the roster. We're going to look at everything. We're not going to rule anything out. Will we have five receivers tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not. Will we have five receivers for the Jacksonville game? Probably, probably not. Could be more, could be less. You have to look at how many can you carry on the roster, where is your depth off the roster. Then, really, you have to look at what happens on game day. How many players can you actually take to the game? You can only take 'x' amount of players, so certain positions are going to have more than others. Where we are today, probably we're not going to be here two weeks from now. Again, we'll look at all options, and we'll look at all of the information. If there's an opportunity for us to improve that position somewhere on the team that makes sense, then we'll go ahead and do it."
What went into the decision to cut WR Keke Coutee?
"There's a myriad of things that always goes into the decision-making process. We thought in the end that was the right decision for our team. Keke worked hard, he's a good kid. He's made some plays for the organization. We can't keep everybody on the team. We have to take everything into consideration, and there's always a myriad of things. It's never one particular thing, but, in the end, we made the decision to release him off the roster. And that's where we are."
Deshaun hasn't practiced in weeks. Is he electing not to practice or do you want to avoid the guarantee?
"I'm not going to get into a commentary about an individual's status or his situation Again, we're going to take it one day at a time, and then we'll handle it accordingly."
With cutting Coutee and the five remaining players there, are you looking for more options or where are you with that?
"I would say again, how are you going to play offensively, what's the role for that particular player. Maybe it's a different type of concept or a different type of player. Maybe it's a non-traditional player or position inside the formation. Again, when you look at inside-the-formation players, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Sometimes it's a receiver, sometimes it's a tight end, sometimes it's a running back. So how you going to deploy your assets, what's the formation look like, what does the defense do on the other side of the ball because that dictates maybe what you want to do, how you want to attack the defense. When you go through the League, and I'm sure you all have looked at this, 65, 70 percent of it has become kind of substituted defense and substituted offense, if you will. So more 11-personnel type teams versus nickel defense, so if you're going to be a big three receiver team, then maybe that position has more relevance. Maybe if you're not going to be as much of an 11-personnel type team, then maybe it's not as important. I'm not saying one way or another what we're going to be, but you have to look at – a lot of that is game plan driven and dictated by what the other team is doing. If this set of personnel is going to give them more problems, then maybe you want to play the game that way. It's about mixing and matching, it's about what you're going to ask that player to do relative to the particular role. Regardless of who that is, where it probably factors the most is probably on third down, potentially, right? I wouldn't say as much in the red area. The red area is kind of an entity in and of itself. Because the red area, it's closed space, tighter space. I would say the run game is involved in the red area. The force happens quicker, the safeties are lower, everything happens a little bit quicker. So, whoever that player is, what are you going to do with that player, when are you going to use him and what's the overall construction of what you're doing offensively."
With your roster being fluid, are you comfortable going in with two quarterbacks or is that a fluid situation?
"It's week to week. Again, where is your depth on the team? Is it on the roster, or is it off the roster? So, then each week, you can bring 'x' number of players to the game. With the roster construction, it's similar to last year. So, we're looking at it as really 65 to 70 players each week that are available. Not necessarily that they're all going to play, but you have the ability to bring two players from your practice squad each week, so maybe you gain an extra player from that particular group. So, each week, that could be a little bit different. And what are your needs for the game, and what does the game plan consist of, and what are you trying to accomplish? I think that is going to be a big part of the discussion. When you look at the League in totality, some teams have three quarterbacks on the roster, some teams have two quarterbacks and one or two on the practice squad, or however they're going to do it. Maybe that player who's off the roster might actually get to the games. As we approach it, what we've talked about as a staff, what David (Culley) and I have talked about, look at the roster in totality and making sure our players understand you're essentially available to play every Sunday and you have to prepare accordingly. It's not well these guys are on the practice squad, let's throw these guys in dumpster fire like they have no relevance. They actually are as important as the players that are on the roster. So philosophically, that's our mindset, and I think if our players understand that and our staff understand that, then we can attack the week accordingly and understanding that we have essentially everybody accessible on a weekly basis that could potentially play in the game."
What do you think about the way the defense played in the preseason?
"We've made some plays. We've turned the ball over. We've attacked the football. I think side of the ball has played with a lot of effort. We have a lot of people around the ball. What you want to do is see a continuation of whatever you're doing well, hopefully that translates and carries over into the regular season. When you look at where you are as a team just generally speaking, there's some things that you could argue, we're doing ok, and there's some other areas where we aren't doing as well. So, can we maintain our strengths? And can we get the areas maybe where we're deficient and make some improvements in those areas? The first four weeks, preseason, and then the first four weeks of the regular season are going to be about improvement and the ability to maybe get some things fixed. This way you give yourself a chance once you get to week five or six."
As you've rebuilt the team the way you wanted to, what's your stance on taking on dead money charges with players?
"Again, you have to look at everything in totality, everything that comes along with it. From where we started in back in February to where we are now, we're in a lot better position. I think we're in the middle of the League in terms of cap space that's available. When we started in February, I would say we were 40th of 32 or whatever it was. We've had to make some changes, and I think that's a very fluid situation as well. Because whatever money you have available now, you have to earmark for injured/reserve, practice squad. Let's just say the number is 20, it's really not 20. It's probably 8 to 10 you have to allocate for that, so really leaves you 10. Then let's think about, do we want to use that this year, do we want to carry it over into next year? Then you start to think about how many players do we have under contract right now? What is that cap situation look like currently and understanding that could change. If you look at it in two-year windows or two-year increments, that's probably the appropriate way to do it, and understand whatever you do in one year is going to affect what happens the next year. Again, you try to look at it in totality, and you try to allocate resources as best you can and mitigate your risk and your downside, understanding that there's sometimes going to be a cost of doing business and that just comes with the territory. And try to make good decisions and understanding that maybe it doesn't go the way you hope and then we just have to move forward, and just be cognizant of what's ahead. So, we're trying to balance short-term, ok let's get ready for Jacksonville, where are we right now, and also thinking about maybe there's some things we want to look forward to. We have a lot of players who are under contract for next year. Obviously, we're either going to have to do something with those players or there's going to be another group of players next year. Don't want to really talk about next year, but you're always kind of looking at both areas, short-term and longer-term."
Since Deshaun is on the roster, do you envision that he could play for you this year?
"I'm not going to comment about what's going to happen, who's going to play, who's going to do what. So I'll say he's on the roster today, and we're going to take it one day at a time."
At the beginning of training camp you talked about a lot of competition, now that we are through training camp, how do you feel you have built this roster has played out as well as that competition?
"It's probably gone about how we had hoped. We understood when we signed as many players that we did that we weren't going to be able to keep all of them. That's just the process of numbers. I think the players took ownership. They realized it was a competitive situation, they didn't take anything for granted. I think we were able to get the best out of the players. They had the right mindset, the right approach. I think our players have done a great job this training camp of staying focused and controlling the things they could control, trying to improve as players, understanding that there's players next to them and in the meeting room who they are competing against. The attitude, the approach. You all have talked to some of our players throughout the course of training camp whether it's KG (Kamu Grugier-Hill), Mark Ingram, guys who are new to the team and also guys who were existing from the team. They held each other accountable, and I think they pushed each other. And they realized that it's not friendly competition, but they're competing with the guy next to them for a job. I think that overall mindset has permeated the building and permeated the team. They understand this isn't easy. We have to make difficult choices and difficult decisions, and there's relationships that are established along the way between those players. They also realize, a lot of them have been in the League a long time, this is the cost of doing business. If they don't have an opportunity here, they're going to have an opportunity somewhere else. Quite frankly, there are some players who aren't here that we released that very easily could be back in the building here at some point. So just we tried to do the right thing, we tried to be honest with them along the way and just treat them the right way and give them the opportunity. They can agree or disagree with the decision. For the most part, everybody understands, but I'd say our players did a really good job of handling the situation and handling training camp."
How would you describe your approach of using draft picks as trade capital?
"Some of that is the cost of doing business. So how do you get a player on your team? You have to balance what does the opportunity cost of getting that player on a team, how can we do it? Like anything, it's a risk analysis. If we make this decision, this could potentially impact this other decision. I'd say using late round picks potentially to acquire players, to get them in your building, I think it's something we're never going to shy away from. Then it's like do you value the draft pick when you give away sixth and seventh round picks. I would say, we don't look at it that way, we look at it from the standpoint of this is the cost it would take to get that player here. Do we feel that makes sense? If it does, we go ahead and do it. If it doesn't, it' doesn't. However we have to get players in the building, however we have to get players on the team, so whether it's waiver wire, whether it's a free agent signing, whether it's a trade, whether it's a flip of picks. I think there was a handful of trades that were done over the weekend. A lot of them were flip of picks, so then really, you're just moving within slots. I think sometimes people get too caught up in, 'Oh, they gave up a draft pick.' Ok, that's fair. Everybody has an opinion on that, but if that's what it costs to get a player in the building, and if you feel, after a risk analysis, that it makes sense to do. I mean, we're not going to be afraid to do things. You're going to miss a hundred percent of the shots you don't take. For every decision you make, could it affect another decision? Well, that's ok, we just have to be comfortable with it. And I would say this, from David to ownership, they're supportive of that endeavor. So as long as we explain why we're doing this and here's how we can get this player on the team or here's why it makes sense to do, then we go ahead and make a decision. You live with it, one way or another."
About half of the players on the roster are in the final year of their contract, so how do you approach that building cap space when looking at the future long-term?
"Our philosophy is always be flexible and be adaptable. Sometimes people have a hard and fast rule like, 'Ok, if we don't do this by September 1, we're not going to talk to you.' I think we're going to be a little bit more open minded. I'd say some players and agents are more open than others. Sometimes players want to focus on football, that's ok. Whatever we feel like makes the most sense. We're going to have very organic discussions and be authentic about it, and tell them our intentions. And some are willing to engage, others aren't willing to engage. No problem. Whether it's now, whether it's October, whether it's November, whether it's in February, whether it's March, whenever those conversations seem to make sense and take place, we're not going to be afraid to have those. That's just more philosophically what we believe in. Other people don't approach it that way. To each his own. Every team has a different way of operating and the philosophies that relate to that."
You currently have five running backs on the roster. What makes you optimistic that this group can produce to the level you're expecting?
"Again, I think is about where is your depth, how do you carry your depth. One thing that you have to factor in is when you release a player off the roster and you put them on a waiver wire, you're exposing them and you may or may not be able to get that player back. I wouldn't say that's always the case of why you keep a player on the roster. I would say other players earned the opportunity to be on the roster with their performance. You're looking at both the short term and maybe thinking about a year from now. What does that look like? Understanding it is all very fluid, I would say we have a lot of numbers on paper. We can't put five running backs on the field unless we're going to run the wishbone like Oklahoma did. We're not going to do that. Everyone thinks we are, but we're not. You can only take so many to a game, so it's about how you keep your depth on the roster, do you carry it off the roster, do you put it on the practice squad. That's probably more the thought process than we want 26 running backs on the team."
When do you expect WR Anthony Miller back?
"He's making progress. I think he's day-to-day. At some point, we'll probably have a little bit more information, be able to make a decision. But I would expect him to play at some point this season. I think that's fair.'
What are your expectations for this team, this roster in your first season?
"I'll probably put my foot in my mouth for saying this, but it's not as much outcome-oriented as process-oriented, and that's what we're trying to do and build. What we're trying to do is create a foundational culture where we have players who are tough-minded, who are selfless, who are going to work hard every day, and they're going to compete their ass off. That's what we're trying to do. How does that manifest itself on a field on Sunday? That's going to be about execution and how we play. I think the attitude and the effort of our team has been good. We've executed at sometimes better than others. Ultimately, wins and losses are dictated by how you plan on Sunday, and there are certain things in the game that you're going to have to try to make sure that you handle. Whether it's don't turn the ball over, limit the penalties, play good in the kicking game, play good situationally, third down in the red area and short yardage and goal line – in the end, that's going to ultimately dictate if we win or lose the game. Since 2017, looking over a five-year period, when we didn't turn the ball over, the teams won almost 80 percent of the games. If you just don't turn the ball over and don't give it to them, you enhance your ability to potentially win the game. Again, it's can we go out there and execute? Can we make enough plays to win? Each week, it's going to be different. There's going to be a challenge every week, every team we play is going to present its own set of challenges. We're either going to be good enough and handle them, or we're not. Not to make it oversimplified, but as we approach it, I think that's the thought process, and I think that's the mindset of our team and our players. It's just try to go out there, try to improve each day, try to work hard. If we can make some incremental improvements in some of the areas where right now, we're maybe deficient, maybe that gives us a better opportunity once we get on the field on Sundays."
Can you give us your evaluation of QB Davis Mills? And are you interested in Cam Newton?
"I'd say like most players, there's been some good plays, there's been some bad plays. I think everybody has them whether you're a rookie or a ten-year veteran. The most important thing for many players is just consistency and being able to perform your job at a consistent level play after play. Everybody's going to have some bad plays, and I think as long as we're improving, as long as making some progress, I think that's the most important thing. The players who are on the team, they're here for a reason. We're pleased with their progress. Is it perfect? No, not every play, but as long as we're moving in the right direction, and they're making improvements and taking the coaching, that's the most important thing. To your second question, again, we're always going to look at what's out there alternative-wise. If there's a player who we feel makes sense four our team, we'll consider it. If there's not, then we won't. Whether it's now, whether it's two weeks from now, whether it's a month from now, we'll just try to make a smart decision about players who come on our team."
You said you'd be open-minded about players in the last years of their contracts. Can you give general thoughts about your approach to DB Justin Reid?
"We look at everybody's situation, we take it one day at a time. I think that's a case-by-case basis. Every situation is different. We're never going to comment publicly on any of those discussions or what's going to take place. Justin's a good player, he's been a good player here for a number of years now, so got to take everything in totality and just try to make the decision that makes sense for our team both now and in the future."
You had a plan for what you wanted to achieve in training camp, can you talk about how this camp went as a part of this process?
"David and I talk about the team every day. We talk about roster decisions every day, and we kind of look at and evaluate everything every day. So, I think from where we started to where we are now, I think we've made some progress as a team and as an organization. There's a lot of cool things going on behind the scenes in the building. Our players have embraced being here. You've talked to a lot of players, I think KG (Kamu Gruiger-Hill) made a comment the other day about how much he loved being here. It's just a credit to what the players have done and what we're trying to do to support those players and facilitate their growth and development and give them an environment that is conducive to where they can maximize their performance on a day-to-day basis. Whether that's resource allocation, providing resources in the building, whatever we need to do to help them be successful, that's our job and that's what we're here to do. I think David and the staff have done a great job up to this point. It's going to come down to what happens on Sundays. I'm not ignorant, we're not immune to that, but I think for where we are right now, I think everybody feels good about where we are, we're excited about the start of the season here in a couple of weeks and about the opportunity that is in front of us. We're making progress. I'd say we've got a long way to go, we have a lot of work in front of us, and nothing's going to happen overnight. We're going to take it one day at a time, try to work as hard as we can, as best we can on a day-to-day basis, and we'll see where we end up as we move forward."
WR BRANDIN COOKS
How would you describe your goals going into the season and your outlook on the team?
"The biggest thing that I think about is just the camp that we had and just how hard we worked as a team. That work that we put in this fall and this training camp, I think at the end of the day we just got to continue to build and going into Week 1 we just know the three things that we want to bring to the table come practice: that's energy, effort and execution. So that's what we're hoping to do come Week 1."
How has that been so far?
"I think it's been great coming throughout the preseason, having some good games. Obviously we didn't close off on that last one, but I think just every single day we build off something, and any time you can do that in camp I think you're sitting in a good place."
What do you think about the separation between the last preseason game and first regular season game?
"I think it's huge because you can get back to some of the fundamental things and you're not necessarily thinking about prepping for a team or whatever the case may be. You can get back to the little things and the little details and focus on us. So, I think it's huge in that standpoint, and just as far as the time away I think it's huge mentally as well, knowing that you're getting ready to go into the long haul."
How do you feel the offense is coming together?
"I think it's coming along well."
There's a metric they track with receivers, it's average separation over expectation and you're near the top of that list. What makes you so special at creating that separation?
"That's a good question. I watch film around the league of other receivers and just watching opponents, but at the end of the day we got a good receivers coach, we got great schemes, so I trust that and I trust myself. I kind of try to build off that and I continue to get better."
Is there anything that you did growing up to help with that?
"No, just work. Just hard work."
Speaking of trust, what is it like with QB Tyrod Taylor and the chemistry you guys have built and the camaraderie?
"I think it's been huge for all of us, all us pass catchers. Not just the receivers but the tight ends and running backs. Like I said, the camp that we had, how many practices we've been out there, we continued to show that trust and that camaraderie out there, and that chemistry every single day. That's all you can do."
What's been your thoughts about the offense? It seems like this team is focused a little bit more on the run game for this upcoming season.
"I'm just doing what I'm asked and whatever that scheme is, whatever we go out there and run, I'll just try to do the job the best way I can and let everything else handle itself."
With the running game, could play action be a big emphasis?
"I mean, any time you can run the ball well it opens up everything. I'm hoping we've got a great run game and I think we've been working hard at that just like we've been working hard at throwing the ball as well."
In what ways have guys like you and WR Chris Conley been mentors and helped out a guy like WR Nico Collins?
"That relationship has been great. That whole room, we all listen to one another but for a young guy like Nico coming into his game, leaning on some of us veterans has been huge. We just try to give him a little bit here and let him just be who he is and not overwhelm him with information."
What do you like best about the way the team is playing in the preseason and what is something you've seen as you've got into camp?
"I think just how we play for one another. I know that's so cliché, but just receivers blocking downfield, running backs blocking in the pass game. I'm speaking from an offensive standpoint. And from a defensive standpoint how guys are trusting the scheme, doing their job and creating turnovers. It's been huge just playing together and playing for one another, and you see that every single day, not just in the preseason games but also in practice."
It seems all Associate Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith talks about is the turnovers. Do you guys hear it on offense?
"Yeah, because on the offensive side we're hearing ball security. So, it all goes hand-in-hand."
As it stands now, the wide receiver group is a little narrow and it might change by next week or so, but do you get a sense that the way the offense works this year is different than offenses you've been a part of before?
"I don't pay attention to those things, the numbers. You've got to continue to trust Nick (Caserio) to continue to do a great job of building this team the way that he sees fit. But the way that we go to work and the guys that we do have, at the end of the day we've just got to do what we've got to do to keep it moving and just let everything else worry about itself."
When we were talking to General Manager Nick Caserio about the season, he said it would be a little more process-oriented as opposed to results-oriented. How do you view that in terms of the object of the team and the importance of getting the process done?
"I mean that's huge. Trusting the process is going to be a huge thing. And that's always in this game. So when he says that, as a player you love to hear that because you know it may take a while for some things throughout camp to really sort itself out. We've just got to continue to trust that and trust that the organization is going to continue to do the best by us, and as players just continue to show up and go to work."
RB SCOTTIE PHILLIPS
What has it been like for you as you make this team?
"I'm just grateful to be here with this group of guys, to be grinding it out and just grateful to be here honestly."
Was it stressful?
"It was. It was a long 25 hours, talking to my agent and like I said just grateful to here."
After you talked to your agent who was the next person you called?
"I really didn't call anybody, everybody was calling me. So, I was just accepting the calls."
What do you think you showed in training camp and in the preseason to go undrafted to make this team?
"I feel like I am a back that can do a lot of good things. I can catch the ball, I can run it well and like you said I'm very confident in my abilities and for me it was just trusting the process and trusting the coaches and taking advantage of every opportunity I got."
Who all called you?
"My mom, my dad, old coaches, friends, it was a bucket list. Just a whole bunch of people."
How did you find out?
"Actually, my fiancé found out before me. I don't know she found out, but she is the one who told me."
Did you celebrate in any kind of way?
"No, I plan on doing it this weekend with my family. Go back home and celebrate a little bit."
Who has been the number one vet in the running back group that you have been leaning on the most? We talked to RB David Johnson and RB Mark Ingram II said he was a big fan of you the other day.
"It's hard to put a number on it but pretty much all the guys have been in my corner just giving me guidance, just keeping my head on straight, giving me props when I do good and keeping my head straight when I make a mistake and just move onto the next play so pretty much all of them."
How would you describe your running style?
"I would say I'm a one cut down hood back. I can make some guys miss. That's how I would describe myself."
In a deep running back room, what is your expectation on a game day where you will fit in?
"Just staying ready whenever my number is called. Preparing like I'm a starter and just staying ready."
What's that moment like when your fiancé lets you know you made the team?
"I just wanted to know how she figured it out, she still hasn't told me. It was just surprising."
What did you do this offseason that got you to where you are today?
"I was a guy who just stayed around here, stayed around the strength coaches, training here and just being a familiar face around here. Jus trusting the strength staff and just putting my head down and keep working."
When you hear Head Coach David Culley talking about wanting to run the ball more and running back by committee, how do you internalize that when it will come to your role on a Sunday?
"Like I said I prepare like a starter and just be ready when my number is called. We got five running backs so I'm just going to keep pressing forward and stay ready."
Scottie, you went undrafted does that put a chip on your shoulder?
"Oh definitely. I've always had a chip on my shoulder coming from high school I didn't have any offers, went JUCO and just being undrafted added a boulder on my shoulder I would say."
When you got your scholarship, was that the only school that offered or did you have some other offers?
"I had some other offers from JUCO colleges."
Why did you decide as an undrafted player to sign here?
"I felt like I had a great opportunity to come and play and it was close to home."
When you finally get a chance to run the ball, what does that do for you and your journey in what you want to become?
"I'm a person that just lives with the ball in my hands. When I get the ball in my hands, I just want to make a play."
RB Phillip Lindsay also went undrafted. Do you study guys like that went undrafted and were overlooked?
"I get that comparison all the time. I've watched a couple of games he played and just kind of studied him. I have that in the back of my mind with him being that player and having success and hopefully I have that same success."
Congrats on the pending fatherhood. Does that change your perspective at all on how you approach the job?
"Most definitely good to reveal that the same day I made the roster. It's a blessing and it's more motivation moving forward."
How did you reveal that?
"My wife posted on social media that we were having a baby."
Was that the first time you told anybody about that?
How long have you all known?
On social media it seemed like a lot of guys on the team were pretty excited for you, what kind of support were they giving you and how did you build your relationship with them?
"They just keep pushing me. They see me making plays during training camp and kept telling me to keep making plays and keep watching film and were in my corner this whole process."
WR ANDRE ROBERTS
How does it feel to get back out there after missing some of practice?
"It felt great. It felt good."
Did it feel like you knocked off any rust and do you feel like you're ready for the season?
"I'll be ready Week 1, for sure."
What were you working through?
"Just a little stuff going on, working through. I don't want to give away anything. Opponents attack those kinds of things, right?
Your first eight years you worked on your craft and all of a sudden you make three-straight pro bowls, you make first team All-Pro. What changed for you? What happened in that scenario?
"I started returning punts and kicks more. Early on in my career I played more receiver. I did a lot of punts in college, so it was not like I had never done it before, but just doing it more, seeing it more, seeing the blocks and just getting more comfortable with it."
What is it like for you when you have the ability to change the game with one play like that?
"I think everybody feels the same way about it. It just brings the team to life. It doesn't matter if we're winning by a lot or if we're losing. It just brings that extra, whatever it is our team needs to life and gives us some momentum."
Would you say you're 100% by Jacksonville?
What is the frustration like for a guy like you, to miss the time that you have over the course of three preseason games?
"There's no frustration. It's my 12th year, so I've played in the preseason and I've played a lot of games. So, there's no frustration there."
How much was the time more so about maintenance? We saw you out there working out a little bit. How much is it about maintaining?
"It's a little bit of that, a little bit of working through some things, but like I said, I'll be ready Week 1."
Going through the weeks leading up to this, what do you feel like is left to work on with the group coming back through training camp and the time you were away?
"We got some good work seeing some things through OTAs, and obviously I was there early in training camp so we got some work in there. But for me it's just spacing and timing with the guys we do have on the back end. We'll work that for the Jacksonville game next week more than what we've done just kind of working through our schemes, but that's pretty much it."
What makes you so good and so dominant when you're healthy and on your game as a return specialist?
"I think it's the corps, the corps group. We all understand what we're trying to do. They know I'm going to run hard and I think that makes them block a little bit harder. So, it's the group, all of us collectively doing our jobs."
You ran one back against these guys, didn't you?
"I did, back in 2016. It was a punt."
What is your memory of that play?
"Faked a little bit to the left, ran to the right, ran up the sideline. That was a fun game. I was in Detroit at the time."
After all the time that you've spent playing ball, are you still learning things? What are some of the things that you're still trying to learn?
"Absolutely still learning things. The game changes every year. The rules change and I'm definitely still learning things. It's little things here and there that can make my game better and I try to make those strides every year to stay up with everything."
Right now you're technically one-of-five wide receivers on the roster. Are you expecting to be involved offensively in kind of the first couple weeks?
"My role is to be the returner, I know that, and if they put me in there at wide receiver I'm going to do my job at the highest level that I can."
How important and how different do you feel the field position will be this year? How much have you studied years past and to where you all want it to be this year?
"I mean, field position has been huge in years past and it's going to be just as significant this year as it's ever been. I understand what kind of offense we're going to be and what defense we're going to be, so it's definitely going to be big for us and we'll try to control that."