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Houston Texans

Transcripts: 9-8-2021 Press Conferences 


Can you talk about the decision to trade DB Bradley Roby?

"It's still ongoing. It's not official yet. There have been talks, talks are still going on and it is not official."

What are your thoughts on adding WR Danny Amendola to the team?

"You know Danny has been a quality player in this league for a long time. I happened to have Danny back in Philadelphia a while back, I know what he's all about. He fits the mold. We've had Anthony Miller, who's been our slot guy who's been hurt, and we wanted to make sure we had some depth and another guy to be able to play that position if Anthony's not able to play. And Danny fits that mold."

If the DB Bradley Roby trade deal does go through, what does that do to your depth at secondary in that group?

"Bradley was not going to play this game anyway. The guys we are playing with right now are the guys we are going with. We are comfortable with those guys. Basically, we've been going with those guys all training camp, and we feel comfortable with that. We brought in some other guys who hopefully will give us some depth at that position also."

When Nick Caserio spoke to the media last week, he talked about viewing success as being process-oriented versus results-oriented. How do you get the players to buy in to that perspective?

"Players don't ever look at it like that. Players always look at it as if everything is now. Every time we go out to play a game, they're going out to win. They feel like the guys we are playing with right now are good enough to do that with, and that's how they see it. They don't look at it from the big picture as sometimes maybe you do from an administrative standpoint or that kind of thing. They look at it as if they're going to play. They're going out to try to win the game, and they look at it and they see it that way."

As a coach, how do you balance those two things?

"We only think the one way, and the one way is that every time we go out to play, we're going out to win. And we feel like the guys we are going out there to play with are good enough to win with. We approach it that way. It's never brought up. It's never even an issue."

How do you respond to questions from players about things like trading Roby?

"Again, we feel like when we make those decisions, we feel like we make the decision that's best for the football team. We feel like looking at the big picture. Looking at where we are right now, if this thing goes through, then we feel like it was the best thing that we needed to do for our football team."

How optimistic are you about OL Marcus Cannon being available this week with Charlie Heck out?

"Charlie will not be back this week. Marcus, we'll see this week how he's doing. We're hoping he's going to be able to play."

You and Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer have taken very different paths to the NFL and think very differently. What do you think about what he has done so far as the head coach in Jacksonville?

"Obviously, he's been one of the best coaches in the history of college football through his career. I've kind of followed him through his career from when he first started, even back in Bowling Green, back in Utah. Happened to spend four years with one of his players, Alex Smith, in Kansas City. I know the kind of coach he is, got a lot of respect for him. Again, he went about it his way, and the way it went for me was completely different from his. We're both here, and I'm hoping to go out and whip his butt this week."

Will QB Deshaun Watson be on the inactive list?

"He will not play this week."

When do you think Amendola will be available to play?

"We're not really sure yet. It all depends on Anthony Miller. If Anthony is healthy this week, then Anthony hopefully will play this week."

Sunday will be the second time you and Urban Meyer will be on opposite sidelines. Do you remember from the first time?

"I've never really coached against him, per se, in college, but it's just the fact that when he was coaching in college, I happened to be a part of a staff who had one of his players, Alex Smith, when he was there. But I do know about him. As a matter of fact, I know some of our players on the team will get mad about me about this, especially the Michigan guys, but I've kind of been an Ohio State fan going way back."

There was a game in 1990 when you were at UTEP, and he was at Colorado State. Do you remember that game?

"I don't remember that. That's way, way back, but I do remember being at UTEP. And I know it was a long time ago. I'm trying to think – I can't remember if we won or we lost."

Urban won that game.

"He won? Ok. He's won a whole bunch, so that's not surprising."

When you look at DJ Chark and their wide receivers, what do you think of their offense?

"Chark's been a Pro Bowl-caliber player in this league before. He hasn't played at all this preseason, but that's always a challenge. I feel like what we do with the guys we've got back there in the secondary, they'll hold their own. We respect who they are, we respect those guys, and we're just going to play the game the way it unfolds."

There are a couple of players who recently joined the team. How close are they to contributing on Sunday and what do they need to do to get there?

"This will be the first day we get them out there, so we'll just see. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes."

Why is DL Charles Omenihu third on the depth chart?

"The depth chart came out of our media thing. That depth chart is not what I would call an update. I know this, Charles Omenihu will be playing in this ball game and will be playing a bunch. I don't think that's a big deal."

What do you think of his performance this preseason?

"It's been excellent. I'm very happy with were Charles has been. Plus, that whole defensive line. There's eight or nine guys right there who will play in this ball game."

After the departure of DB Bradley Roby, will you all continue to shop some of the seasoned veterans around?

"I don't think we're shopping anybody. I think what happens is people make calls, people try to get their team better, we try to get our team better. People have different conversations, and sometimes things come up that may work for both of you. And if it does, then you make a deal. As far as shopping, we're not shopping anybody."

What the status of K Ka'imi Fairbairn?

"He will not kick this week."

Who will be your kicker?

"We're not sure yet. We'll find out this week."

So, did his injury turn out to be worse than a pulled muscle?

"It looks like it. He's not ready this week."


How smooth is the offense operating under QB Tyrod Taylor?

"I think we've been doing a great job. I think he's been doing a great job leading the offense throughout this camp. We're back at practice after having a couple days off, things went smooth today. Obviously, there's always things to fix, but he leads the group in a great way."

How much do you think it will help this season to be able to run the ball in the red zone?

"Any time you can run the ball in the red zone, it's a great thing. I think it would be huge if that opportunity presents itself."

What's it like having WR Danny Amendola join the team?

"It's awesome. You talk about a guy who's obviously been playing this game for a long time, the energy that he brings. The mentality, the heart that he plays with. Definitely excited to play with him again, [we] played together a couple years ago, and glad to be back in the same room with him again."

Do you have any memories from playing with WR Danny Amendola?

"We don't have time for that just yet. We on a mission right now. He just got here, we'll let him settle in and get his feet wet, and then we can talk about those someday."

What matchup challenges do the Jacksonville Jaguars present?

"You're talking about a team that's very talented roster. I think Urban [Meyer] and those guys have drafted well. You got a lot of guys that were there last year. A very talented team, so we look forward to the matchup. They got great corners, a great defense, so look forward to that."

In what ways do you expect the offense to be different this season?

"I'm not sure, to be honest. That's a question for Tim Kelly, who's calling he plays."

What was your reaction when you heard that DB Bradley Roby was going to be traded?

"You know, to be honest with you, I didn't know until going out there [to practice]. As you know, you're talking to a guy who's been traded multiple times. It's the business. But the guy [Roby] is a great player, and I think he's going to have success over there in New Orleans. You wish him the best of luck, for sure."

As a player, how do you balance trying to win games in the present with what the team is building for in the future?

"That's a great question for Nick [Caserio] and his staff. That's above my pay grade. I'm just here to do my job the best that I can to help my team win, and all that other stuff I let take care of itself."

Is it hard to maintain focus in the locker room when the team makes moves that are more beneficial for the future?

"No, it's not hard to stay focused at all. We're playing this game, we all know it's a business. We just got to focus on doing our job, and those type of things, those decision we got to leave in the hands of the organization and Nick [Caserio] and his staff. We got to continue to focus on the task at hand."

What does WR Danny Amendola add to this offense?

"First and foremost, you think of a guy like Danny playing in multiple different offenses, how smart he is. He's always seeming to be in the right place at the right time. The way that he sees defenses I think is going to be great. I look forward to how we're going to use him."

Do you anticipate being covered differently because of the differences in this year's roster?

"I'm not sure. I mean, if they decide to do that, great. We got a lot of great guys on this team that can make plays, catch balls and run great routes. So whatever it is, I'll be there to do my job to help this team win."

What has impressed you about WR Anthony Miller?

"The guy is quick. As quick as two cats, that's for sure. He's a playmaker. He's shown that over his career, even in Chicago. You see the same thing out there in practice when he is out there. I love his game and to have him in the room as well."


How confident do you feel with OL Marcus Cannon coming in and playing right tackle? Will you be playing left guard?

"I feel very comfortable with Marcus coming in and playing right tackle, he has played a lot of football in this league. He is an older vet and we can all learn from him. I feel very comfortable playing left guard." 

How comfortable do you feel at the left guard position?

"I feel very comfortable. I feel that I can do pretty good. I feel like the team wouldn't put me at a position if they didn't think that. So I feel comfortable going into the first game."

As someone who's had to play after an injury, how would you describe OL Marcus Cannon's ability to come in an play right away?

"It just lets you know the type of player he is, very smart. He came back in, he never complained about what he had to do. He knew what was going to happen, how much he had to play, and he came into every practice ready to get better every day. So that just makes the group better as a whole and I think it's going to be very positive for this weekend."

Have you been vaccinated?

"I'm vaccinated, I am fully vaccinated. But I think when it comes to getting vaccinated it's a personal choice, so whatever guys decide to get vaccinated or not, it's their own choice. I just personally decided to get it myself, but I don't look at it no type of way."

What made you decide to get vaccinated?

"Just doing what I thought was best for me and my family. No particular reason, just that simple. Me being there to my family in the best position to stay safe, that's it." 

How much does it mean for an offensive lineman to be able to run the ball more and when you get closer to the goal line you could be better at running the ball compared to last season?

"I think it just gives us a chance to be more physical, let us know that our coaches believe in us and think we can dominate up front to be able to run the ball and not pass the ball all the time. It's just good to know we have a head coach and an offensive coordinator who are behind us and fully support us as a group."

Are there other technical aspects of moving inside on the offensive line that excite you?

"Yeah, you get a chance to be a lot more physical, you get a chance to not block anybody, the tackle has a blocker. With the defensive end on him, I can go chip him and stuff like that. It's a lot of fun playing inside, I really like it."

Some tackles don't like going inside because they don't make as much money, has that occurred to you?

"No that has not occurred to me. I think you can make a lot of money in this league at any position, so the opportunity to go inside and actually be good at it, I'm up for the challenge. I think I can do that and I think no matter what happens and if you do what you are supposed to do, you can get money any way it goes."

Why do you think you adjusted so well to moving inside?

"When I was first drafted, I played inside my first game against the Jags, I went through that whole training camp at left guard. I think that by me doing that, it helped me for this time for when I moved back inside, I was just remembering the stuff that I went through and what I did to get better every day and I just attacked that. My coach, he played guard, he helped me out and I got other guys who switch positions and talk to me about what I can do to adjust to the change. I just took all that home and I am liking it."

How did you get the sense for being related that the team wanted to run the ball more in your move from tackle to inside?

"I just feel like it gave us the opportunity to, like Coach [Culley] said, we want to put the best five on the field and I can play tackle and guard. So I felt like that by me moving inside it gave us the best opportunity to put the best five on the field and give the team the best chance to win."

What does it mean to have OL Laremy Tunsil back?

"It feels good. I mean everybody knows what type of player Laremy is. We don't have to talk about it, it just feels good to have the whole group in that are going to play majority of the snaps together. So, to get that comradery together, being at practice with him every day because I know he was out with COVID, I just feel good and I know we got something special cooking for this season."

Are there any guys that you studied when you made that move?

"To be honest, I haven't really watched too many guards because I don't like to watch too many different players. I will watch some guys just to see how they do things, but I really like to learn and do stuff my own way because I think every player is different, everybody moves different, they see things different. But if I was to look at a couple clips of some guards it would be Quenton Nelson, I think he's a really good player, Brandon Scherff, he came in as a tackle and moved to guard. So those would be two guys I would probably look at."

What are some guys on the Jaguars that jump out to you on the scouting report?

"I just think the whole defensive line, you know you can't take any of those guys for granted. You know you got K'Lavon Chaisson, he is a defensive end. I played against him last year, he is pretty twitchy. Everybody know they got Josh Allen, he was in my draft class. He has been a pretty good player since he got into the league. They got a couple of new guys up front. I just think as a whole we have to come out every play with the mentality to dominate because you can't take these guys for granted. I think they have a better front this year and we are practicing to have a dog fight up front."

Do you have fun pulling at the guard position?

"Oh yeah it is pretty fun. Get to hit guys while you are running so I think it's pretty fun."


Can you talk about the Jaguars as far as the matchup with you guys offensively going against them?

"I think it's a great matchup for Week 1. Obviously new players on their end, new coach as well, but a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. Like every week, it's going to boil down to us executing in all three phases, and we had a chance to get out on the field today and work on our game plan, as well as the last couple days and even at the end of last week. Like I said, each week is going to boil down to executing and who does it the best, and we're finetuning that throughout this week so we're ready on Sunday."

Giving the changes on the offense live, what challenges are presented to you guys as an offense trying to make those adjustments for the game coming up?

"I don't think it presents any challenges. Coach Culley has done a great job. Coach Kelly has done a great job as well of instilling in us that you have to be ready at any given point. Obviously Marcus Cannon is a veteran that has played a long time in this league, a lot of experience. Of course we'd love to have Charlie (Heck) out there, but it's the next-man-up mentality. We don't put our head down, we continue to keep moving forward, and we'll be happy when we get Charlie back. But I know Marcus is excited for the opportunity that presents in front of him this week, and I'm looking forward as well to having him out there on the field."

What do you expect from yourself and what do you expect from this team starting Sunday?

"I expect obviously for myself to go out and play winning football, and I think the same for the team. I think the expectation is the same: winning football is the standard. We set that standard from day one with the work that we put in day-in and day-out. Like I said, it's going to boil down to executing and doing that at a high level."

What is it like having WR Danny Amendola added to this offense and what does he bring?

"It's good to always have veteran leadership in the wide receiver room. He's played a lot of snaps and he's definitely familiar with our offense as well, too. Just to see him out on the field running around today making plays, you can definitely still see the explosiveness. Looking forward to being able to continue to keep gelling with him and using him and having him make plays for our offense."

Any sigh of relief when Head Coach David Culley named you the starting quarterback on Monday?

"I've said this from day one – when I say day one, not just here, like from my first time stepping into an NFL locker room – that I always prepare like a starter, because as unique as the quarterback position is, you're literally one play away and that mindset has to be that. You're not the best person you can be or the best player you can be for the team if you don't have that mentality. So I'm definitely thankful for the opportunity and grateful for it, but the mindset doesn't change."

Did he tell you that formally at some point?

"Everyone found out when they were supposed to find out."

What is this week like for you personally since you get to go into the game knowing you are the starter for the first time in a couple of years in the regular season?

"It's exciting. Actually, I started last year (in the) first game versus Cincinnati, but yeah, it's exciting to get back into the swing of things and get the preseason out of the way, get back into a regular routine. It's fun, and just to see the energy around the locker room, guys are excited. It's our first time being able to play in a regular season game with each other, going out and making plays as a group. That's in all three phases and I'm just looking forward to it. Of course you don't want to get the emotions up too high early in the week. There's still work to be done, but on Sunday we'll be ready to roll. I'm not just speaking for myself, but speaking for the team."

What would it mean to be able to run the ball better than they did last year inside the five-yard line?

"I think running the ball, whether it's in the red zone or on third down, it's definitely important for us and for our success this year. Yes, the goal is always to be better than you were the previous year, obviously. But like I said, it's going to help us throughout this year if we can run the ball at wherever we are on the field. Just to have that mentality and trusting the guys up front that we can do that in any situation."

Do you like to run?

"Yeah, I like to run."

General Manager Nick Caserio has been open about how it's a process-oriented season and has made some transactions. What is the message to you guys in the locker room?

"I would say over my years in the NFL, you kind of learn to control what you can control, and that's in the locker room as well, too. Some of the things are above you. You have to trust management, trust the coaches that they're doing the things that they need to do to make our team the best that it can (be). We rely on that leadership. Like I said, some of those moves are above us, and as players we just have to focus on going out, doing our job the best we can and executing. You can't necessarily worry about, ultimately things that are out of your control."

From a leadership standpoint, what have you seen from WR Brandin Cooks on and off the field?

"He's a great guy to talk to, on the field, off the field. But just from a leadership standpoint, I would say that he has taken all the younger guys under his wing. He's played at a high level in this league for a long time. He shares that knowledge with those guys and brings them along. Anything he can do to help them progress their game, he's all for."

What helps you the most when focusing on what you can control? Whenever you guys are in the same boat together, what helps you focus on that?

"I would say just keeping the goal the same. As a team, obviously we want to win. Week-in and week-out you want to win. You want to win the day, you want to go out and be the best person that you can every day. Like I said, to put your focus on something that you can't control, whether it's trades or anything that's outside factors, that just takes your focus away from what you're here to do, and that's to help win games. That's where the focus has to be. Things happen across this league. Things happen in the building that necessarily might be over your head, but you can't let it take your focus away from playing the game."

How would you rate your competitors in OL Justin Britt and OL Marcus Cannon getting to the stadium first in the morning?

"They do a great job. We go back and forth."

Who won this morning?

"You should ask Britt when you see him."

Do you feel like this might be your best opportunity here in Houston since your days in Buffalo?

"I'm definitely looking forward to this opportunity. I think that everything that has happened in my career up to this point has prepared me for this moment. I'm having fun, playing with a peace of mind and just looking forward to going out and making plays and helping our team win. Like I said, just grateful for the opportunity."

What do you think of TE Pharaoh Brown as a player and how do you envision the tight ends playing in this offense this year?

"He's a very dynamic player. I actually met Pharaoh back in '18, we were together on the Cleveland team and we've been in contact since then. Being able to get a chance to play with him again is definitely something that I look forward to. He's physical in the blocking game and he's a big target in the passing game. Definitely looking forward to using him this year. We're going to need him, for sure. He just brings the right attitude and plays the game the right way."

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