Transcripts: Duke Johnson Press Conference (8-17-2020)

What is the mentality you have to be able to make the most of your touches?

"That's the biggest thing, especially with a split backfield, or in any case, just making the best out of any opportunity because you never know when you get your next one. In this league, if someone catches fire, you feed them the ball as much as possible. So when I have opportunities to make plays, I just try to make them."

How much did your mom's work ethic as a correctional officer set the standard for you when you were growing up?

"I think for me it was everything. I think looking back at the way I grew up and the way she worked, it kind of gave me a work ethic and kind of get me through anything. My mindset is always, if she made it through what she made it through, then I can make it through anything."

What do you like about the physical aspects of playing running back? Also, how important is it to play physically?

"I think it's an important aspect of being a running back no matter your size, skillset or your role. I think that in any given time for me, I have to pick up pass pro. I have to chip. I have to get fresh yards out of nothing. So I think my mindset when it comes to being physical is I get put in a box of being undersized or a smaller back or not as strong, or whatever the case may be. For me it's just going out there and showing them that I'm not what you think I am."

How do RB David Johnson's and your skillsets create conflict for defenses when you are on the field at the same time?

"So the biggest thing about this league is matchups. You try to pick a matchup that you think that you will win as an offense or you pick a matchup that you think you like as a defense. When it comes to me and David, we try to pick matchups and put us on the field at the same time to create conflict with linebackers or safeties or try to take advantage of our skillset that we both have. I think it's something that we can push and be good at if we work at it and just be consistent."

You were one of the first people to celebrate RB Buddy Howell's catch in practice today. What does it mean to be a veteran on the team?

"I think with being a veteran it comes with being in a leadership role even if you don't want to. In my case, I know Buddy from back in Miami, so we kind of have a different relationship. But I just kind of try to celebrate everyone and tell everyone that they're doing a good job and try to teach everyone and help everyone grow because when one individual grows it helps the team grow. I think part of myself being in this league for going on six years now, it's just something that I just keep trying to develop and trying to help the younger guys and even sometimes help the older guys with things that I've seen and things that I know on the field."

What has stood out to you about RB David Johnson on the field so far?

"Absolutely nothing. Everything I see from David, I kind of expect. We came out the same year, so I kind of knew what he was capable of. I watched him when he was in Arizona. I think what has surprised a lot of people is the way that he's able to move at the size he is and what a great receiver he is out of the backfield."

What are some things that you wanted to find out about QB Deshaun Watson before you got here and have now found out about him?

"There wasn't nothing really special in particular that I wanted to find out. But I think one of the biggest tings I found out last year was that we are never out of the game. He's going to find a way to make plays when we need them as the quarterback, as a receiver – it really doesn't matter. When his number is called as the quarterback, he's going to make the plays."

When you are out in space against a linebacker, what are your thoughts when in that position?

"I have to win that matchup. Without a doubt, without any hesitation, that's a matchup I have to win. There is no in between, no ifs, ands or buts about it."

Is there anything about the offense during this training camp that you were not able to catch up on last season after being traded to Houston?

"No, not really catch up or anything. More it was just kind of give the defense – last year I wasn't here during training camp. I was here, but I wasn't practicing. It was hard for me to really communicate with the defense about what I see as an offensive player and vice-versa. So my biggest thing this year is just trying to communicate more with the linebackers and the safeties when it comes to covering and blitzing and just the way I think as an offensive player."

How you view the opportunity to play football this season?

"We're blessed. We're just grateful for the opportunity. We have a long journey ahead, but we just try to take it one day at a time and move forward and hope for the best."

How much more comfortable are you in your second season with the Texans? Also, what are your expectations for yourself this season?

"I'm much more comfortable. It's kind of night and day for me. My expectations for myself is just make my plays whenever the opportunity presents itself. It really doesn't matter which game it is, the time on the clock – my biggest thing is just to make my plays."

How did you think you all performed in the situational drills today?

"I think we could have been better. I think it was a little back and forth, offense and defense. Where I'm an offensive player, so I always want to win the drill. I think that's very important. I think situational football is the biggest part of football because almost every snap is some form of situation. But the biggest ones will always be the ones we kind of worked on today – two minute, end of the game and end of the half, things of that sort. I think that every situation is important but I think the ones that we worked on were probably the most important."

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