TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on the status of QB
Sore. We’ll know more tomorrow. Shoulder, obviously, on the play and MRI when we get back and see exactly where he is at.
(on what QB Jake Locker was supposed to do on the play he was injured on)
No. It was just a play he likes. On that, it’s was five-man-protection. They brought six … he could have made a quicker decision to get the ball out of his hands before he has a chance to get hit.”
(on if QB Jake Locker’s shoulder came out again)
It’s sore. We just don’t know to what level that’s the part, we just don’t know to what level. We don’t know where it’s at.
(on does it make sense to shut QB Jake Locker down for a little bit)
I think we need to find out exactly what happened and then we’ll make the decision on what’s best. Obviously, we’ll always do what’s best for the player, especially for a quarterback. So yeah, we’ll evaluate that when we get more information tomorrow.
(on the team’s problems early in the game)
We made it hard. It was 14-7 at half. Which for the way things were going in the first half, we had some opportunities we felt we had with that. The offense, we looked like we were going to move the ball a little bit. Some penalties hurt us in the first half .We were in the house at halftime, 14-7, getting the ball first on a road game against a good football. We felt we were in a good position coming out in the third quarter to make our move.
(on if he felt that the team beat themselves more than the Texans)
We gave big plays so we didn’t play smart in areas. It was 14-7 and we get the interception for a touchdown. It was 14-7, and then it made it 21-7. And like you said we had the punt return. We had a great return there and then we lose 50 yards of offensive field position because of a penalty there. There is no doubt that we helped them. They returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Obviously you can’t do those things against good football teams. We knew to beat them, we couldn’t do that and we didn’t. So yes, we made it a lot harder than it needed to be in this game.
(on how upset he is with RT
Well, I didn’t see them, so yeah. I’d be upset with anybody having any penalties. Obviously he has to be smarter than that, even if he’s the second guy. He’s obviously always an aggressive guy, we like that about Dave. He’s just got to be smarter not to be the guy caught doing whatever he was supposedly doing on the plays that he had.
(on if the team struggled with protection and what were some of the problems up front)
I don’t know. It’s hard for me to tell you that. Like I said, the first time in the first sack, no one blocked the guy. So that’s a freebie. As far as I think one other one he got beat on, someone got beat on the one right before the half. Other than that, late in the game, hold the ball trying to make plays. I don’t know that we had the protection problems to be honest with you.
(on what he saw from running back
I thought Chris, right from the beginning, ran well. We were able to steady him. The game wasn’t really out of hand, 14-7 at the half. We really stayed with the run game. Other than that one run we had on the stretch where we got all flanked and we needed to try and cut it back quick, someone got beat inside so again, we tried to make a play. We had the one negative run. I thought he ran pretty hard. He had opportunities, and unfortunately it’s a game that got out of hand for us at the end.
(on what he tells the team after today being 1-3)
There’s nothing. Were 1-3 and it’s our own doing. We’re in this together. We’ve got a long season to go. 12 games is a lot of football to be played. A lot can happen and we get to decide how it ends. We get to write the ending of the story. We’ll see how that goes. We go to Minnesota next week and see if we’ll have a great week and play better.
(on if RB Chris Johnson performance gives the team something positive to build as the season progresses)
I think in any game to look for, the law says that’s the most important thing. We didn’t play well enough to win today, so we need to look at what we need do better there. But yeah, you need to look at things right from the beginning, we ran the ball pretty well. It wasn’t like, well, you ran the ball because you were behind. No, we ran well in the first snap. We had some goods runs. We were pushing the line of scrimmage pretty well as far as having room to run. So that is encouraging, that is something that is obviously a positive for us going forward. Defense, we’ve got off the field for a while they had a stop and run and did a good job. In the second half we turned the ball over too many times and put the defense in short fields and they started making plays, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.
(on if WR
No, we knew yesterday that it wasn’t worth trying to work him to push him into this game. We thought we’d have a better chance waiting till next Sunday.
(on if the team had any other injured players today)
“Besides (QB) Jake (Locker), (LB) Patrick (Bailey) barely got his hand; hope to see about that after an MRI. He came back, played with a club on his hand on special teams. I don’t know if there is anyone else. I’m sure there will be some guys tomorrow, nothing major.
(on if QB Jake Locker had a thumb injury in addition to his shoulder)
From all I know, it’s just a shoulder.
TITANS LB AKEEM AYERS
(on losing to the Texans)
They just made more plays than us in the second half. The game was still close, we didn’t get turnovers and they got turnovers, and they scored on us twice, and fumbles. They just made more plays in the second half and as a defense that’s something that we needed to do.
(on turnovers and penalties)
Especially when playing against a good team, we don’t have a lot of room for error, we don’t have a lot of room to make mistakes. Every time we made a mistake, they capitalized on them. That kind of put us behind in the second half and we pretty much had our back against the wall the entire second half trying to fight back off of big plays that they made.
(on why Tennessee lost)
Yes, we made a lot of mistakes especially in the first half. Defensively we came out pretty slow, and the put up 14 quick points. After that, after everything slowed down, we played a good defense from there on out. So, I think we should have come out a little bit faster on defense and there might have been a different outcome.
(on blowout losses)
I don’t know. It’s not so much of a blowout game, much closer than what the score indicated. You know you’re watching a film, you know, it should have been a much closer game toward the end. The game should have come out to the last couple plays and it didn’t.
TITANS S JORDAN BABINEAUX
(on the turning point of the game)
There was one play; we had that kick return and had the ball down at the plus-30 and suffered a 40-yard penalty. Then they had the interception for a touchdown. That was the turning point. We were driving and in position to put points on the board. That definitely was the turning point.
(on the defense being on the field a lot in the second half)
For the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job. The difference in the ball game without a doubt – they won the turnover ratio and they won the field position. That usually results in a win.
(on if this team is fragile right now)
We have a job to do. We owe it to each other to perform and we owe it to each other to be prepared and anything less than that would be less than a pro.
(on if it is tough to keep coverage with little pressure on QB Matt Schaub)
You know for the most part, besides the first two drives, I thought we did a good job in diffusing their attack. They didn’t throw the ball deep on us. They didn’t catch us deep. But they had success on the first and second down. With this team, if they’re able to get third-and 2-to-6, they’re pretty good.
(on losing the turnover battle on the road against a good team)
That’s exactly what the separation was, and what’s going to determine the outcome of the game. You win the turnover ratio and you win the field position, you have a really good chance to win the game.
(on if the team felt like itself today)
I think we put ourselves in bad positions. We didn’t help ourselves. We have to be real critical of tomorrow’s film and find ways to put ourselves in better positions to be more technically sound when the situation arises where we’re in a vulnerable situation or a penalty-type situation – to be smart.
TITANS S MICHAEL GRIFFIN
(on what the problem was losing today)
The answer’s there. We just need to nip it in the bud. It’s within, but the answer is there.
(on if the team needs soul searching)
I don’t think it is soul searching. We’ve got talent. There are a lot of the same players from last year. It’s just on Sunday’s we’re not showing up and things of that nature. Again, we got another loss; three losses in the AFC as of right now and one in the division. I can only guarantee 12 more games.
TITANS QB MATT HASSELBECK
(on if there was a huge swing of momentum after the punt return and interception)
Yeah, for sure. Probably the story of the game will be turnovers, then their defense scoring points, and the penalties that cost us not only momentum but big yards. It’s frustrating because I feel like we’re not that far away, but we didn’t play great. We had turnovers and I was a part of three of them. It’s frustrating because I know we are capable of a lot more, but they were just clearly a lot better than us today.
(on what happened with the pass to TE
Not a great throw, bad throw. It’s on me. I didn’t realize he was in on the play. I thought it was (TE)
(on if players need to fight more for the ball punt returned for a touchdown)
Yeah. The two plays I’m most upset about are the first interception to Taylor and my fumble. Those are the plays that I’m replaying in my head over and over. I could have for sure done something different to help our team win the game today and I didn’t.
(on how he is adjusting to his role as backup quarterback)
It’s different, but that’s the role. You got to be ready to go. You’ve got to know the plan. You don’t get the reps, so what? No one cares. You’ve got to be ready to go. You’ve got to be ready to play well. I think it’s harder being the two than the one at times, but that’s the job and you’ve got to be ready to go. You’re expected to play well.
(on what he thought of the protection)
I thought protection as pretty good. We weren’t 100 percent with our assignments in the passing game, which can cause sacks and then people want to point fingers at the line or the backs, and it’s not on them. It’s the guys in the passing game. The seven on seven guys, just do you’re assignment and then the ball will get out quicker.
(on his though process now that he may be starting while QB Jake Locker heals)
I don’t really know. I was definitely in the thought process in the game that, ‘Hey, under no circumstances are you allowed to get hurt,’ because I don’t know what happens after that. I don’t know if I handled that as well. I don’t know if I stepped into some throws that I needed to step into, stuff like that. In terms of what happens tomorrow or the next day, I have no idea. He’s a tough kid, I’m sure he’ll be okay. My mindset in the game is a certain way.
(on T Dave Stewart’s loss of composure with DE J.J. Watt)
I don’t know. I didn’t see it. I love [the officials], I’m glad they’re back. I mean, it was chippy all day on both sides. I saw people punch (David Stewart) in the face, and there was no handkerchief. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say. I guess his reputation got him.
(on if WR
Yeah. There was a flag thrown that got picked up. That’s what we were upset about.
(on what the flag was for)
That’s the thing, they never discussed it. They never took it to (Referee) Carl (Cheffers), so that’s what we were upset about. Whatever they decide is for them to decide. It’s their job. It’s not our job. But, we were disappointed that they didn’t let Carl know about the second flag.
(on if he changed the way he played because he knew there was no other backup)
No. I think that in terms of (QB) Jake (Locker’s) injury the only thing I was concerned about was our team today handling the situation right. For example, on the interception, you’re so frustrated, you’re so angry, you want to go make the tackle, and I would have if I had the opportunity but at the same time I knew, hey, the team needs you to finish this game.
(on the Texans being 4-0 and the Titans being 1-3)
Well, they’re good. They’re good. I don’t think we can worry too much about them today. We’ve got to worry about us. We’re 1-3. It’s not the end of the world. I started a year 2-2 and went to the Super Bowl, and won 11 in a row, really 12 in a row if we would have tried to win the last game. It meant nothing, so we rested everybody. 1-3 is not the end of the world, but we’ve got to get a lot better, and I’m going to try to get better. That’s kind of what we all need to do.
(on if they were feeling good up until the third quarter)
Not really, because we knew how many mistakes we made. Our sideline, at least offensively, we knew how many mistakes we made and you can’t make mistakes like we were making against Houston. They’re really good. They’re really talented. We’ve got a ton of respect for them. We know what kind of effort it takes to beat these guys and not doing what we were supposed to do was a little frustrating. But, again, at halftime it 14-7 and we’re getting the ball, we felt like we were in it, and they blew it wide open.
(on if everyone wonders where RB Chris Johnson’s vision has been until this game)
No. We ran the ball well, and I thought that the first run of the game that he had, he hit it hard and kind of fired our sidelines up and when are sidelines get fired up, our coaches get excited about it, get confidence in it, and we stuck to it. Seriously, we called the same two plays to the right and the same two plays to the left in each personnel grouping. We didn’t do anything tricky. We just said we’re going to keep doing it. He ran hard. He ran well. Unfortunately, we got really behind and we went to kind of a two-minute offense just because of the score. Then we ran it at the end. We were still fighting a little bit, but it was going to be tough to come back, and we ran it there too. I think that’s something that we can do on third down that will help us on third down also, help our pass protection, help everybody. There’s definitely some good in that today.
TITANS RB CHRIS JOHNSON
(on if he took any consolation that he finally figured out where the run game has been)
Yeah, it was a pretty good game, running the ball or whatever. I feel like my offensive line went out there and did it a great job from the first snap. Just getting up on guys (and) pushing those guys back. Recreating the line of scrimmage and just giving me somewhere to run. Like I’ve been saying all year, I’m going to be as good as my offensive line. They (the Texans) had a great game today and that’s why I feel like the running game did well.
(on if he felt different in this game compared to the past three games)
I think I had 10 or 11 carries in the first half. It’s always good to get in your groove and keep playing. Playing running back you have to keep getting the ball in your hands or whatever, later on in the game. Even after we came out at the halftime it was still 14-7, it was still right there and their defense just made a couple big plays and you look up and it’s 21-7, 28-7, so of course you’ve got to start running and passing the ball to try to get back in the game. But I feel we took a step today.
(on if he got dinged or hit late in the first half on a play)
Yeah, I got hit later on the pass. But I think I was down on the ground and he hit me on top of my helmet or whatever, but they didn’t call the flag.
(on if he thinks the Texans got away with some stuff today)
I feel like the only one that I can really comment on is the one that was on me. I didn’t see too much on the interception return. I was busy trying to make the tackle or whatever, so I didn’t really know what happened.
(on how tough of a spot the Titans have put themselves in at 1-3)
(We put ourselves in a) very tough spot. We’re at 1-3 and it’s very hard to come out of that hole in the NFL today because you’ve got so many good teams out there or whatever. So that’s a situation that we have to keep working at and try to go on a winning streak.
(on how much it hurt to lose QB Jake Locker early in the game)
I really can’t say that it really hurt, because I feel like we’ve got two starting quarterbacks or whatever. Matt (Hasselbeck), he’s a good guy. He’s a starter. He comes in there and we don’t have to lose a step, we don’t have to change our play book or anything like that. I feel like they both can do the same things. I feel like he stepped in there and he did a good job.
(on if the Titans beat themselves or if the Texans beat them)
You can look at it both ways. If you go back from when they played the Miami game, I think the score was 3-0 or something like that, and the Houston defense came out and had like three turnovers and back- to-back drives. So they’re a great defense. It’s a situation where we’ve got to execute our plays and not let them get turnovers.
(on how concerned he was with the running game)
I’m very concerned, just the type of player that I am. No matter what’s going on, no matter what the situation, I want to go out there every game and be the best player I can be. It’s a situation that we know we have a good offense and we just to have execute the plays and things like that. I think today helped us to take a step. I wouldn’t just say we ultimately solved the problem, but I feel like we took a good step and hopefully we continue to get better.
TITANS QB JAKE LOCKER
(on what happened on the play when he was injured)
It was a five man protection and they brought a blitz that I didn’t see, covered both our routes on the backside, and the guy got to me.
(on if he saw him at the snap)
No, I didn’t see him. I would have done something about it if I had seen him.
(on how his shoulder feels now compared to the first time he injured it)
It was sore after the first time too, so I’ll get an MRI tomorrow and have a better idea tomorrow.
(on if his thumb is injured as well)
No, it’s just the shoulder.
(on if his shoulder is separated)
Like I said, we’ll have it checked out tomorrow and have a better idea.
(on what happened on that play exactly)
Five man protection. They blitzed from the right. They disguised it really well. I didn’t see it. Covered our routes on the back side, and got hit.
(on if he may have to sit out to let his shoulder heal)
I don’t know any of that at this time. We’ll know a lot more tomorrow after I have the opportunity to get an MRI and have the doctors look at it.
(on if the Titans are making it tough on themselves with the slow starts)
Anybody can see that. You never want to start behind the ball and we have frequently this year.
(on how nice it will be if the Titans can keep Chris Johnson running like today)
That was the one bright spot for us. We were able to really establish a running game. We thought he ran really well and thought the line played really good up front opening holes for him. It was something that was really good for our offense.
(on if it was frustrating to have to leave the game early with an injury)
It was the toughest part of playing any game in my opinion. You have to stand on the sideline and watch your team compete and you want to be out there with them.
(on if his shoulder will be an issue this season)
Again, I really don’t know what to expect from it until we get a chance to look at it. I’m going to do everything in my power to be on the field.
(on if he had X-rays done at Reliant Stadium)
Yeah, we had X-rays. I haven’t talked to the doctors about what they thought of the X-rays. I think they are going to put it all together and let me know tomorrow.
(on if he injured his shoulder the same way as before)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t have any doubt that it had happened again.
TITANS CB JASON McCOURTY
(on penalties and turnovers)
We had a few penalties, especially on special teams and put our offense in bad predicaments. We went in to halftime and came out in the second half and didn’t make enough plays. When you’re playing a good team, they’re going to take advantage of it. We just have to see what good came out of this game and correct the bad.
(on keeping it a one score game in the 3rd quarter)
We still made mistakes and could have been in a better position. Playing a good football team, we knew we had to keep fighting it but coming down the stretch they just made a few more plays than us.
(on being 1-3)
We are where we are and we are who we are at this point in the season and all we can do from here on is continue to progress and continue to get better. The season’s not going to stop for us and no one is going to feel sorry for us. Minnesota doesn’t care what our record is. They want to win the next one and so do we.
(on beating themselves)
I’m not going to take any credit away from the teams we’ve played. This is us; we go out there and play the games. We made the mistakes and haven’t made the plays so our record is definitely a reflection of us and now all we can do is improve and move on.
(on the team being fragile at this point in the season)
I don’t think there’s any time to be fragile. A lot of us have played a lot of years and I’m pretty sure guys have had bad starts and you’ve been in a hole and all you can do is fight your way out of it. If you stop fighting it’s only going to get worse. I think this team is resilient and we’ll continue to fight and continue to get better.
TEXANS HEAD COACH GARY KUBIAK
(on being 4-0 for the first time in franchise history)
It feels good. It’s been a good September for our football team. We played pretty solid football. When you look at it from the standpoint of turnovers, getting the ball, protecting the ball, those types of things that they give you a chance to be good every week. It’s been a really good month and it was a tough deal today. We started very fast, very explosive as a team. They come back and got in the game there. We were struggling a little bit defensively. We make a big, big play then it got us going again. I’m really proud of our team and how they’re playing. We just have to stay focused and keep working.
(on if he’s happy the team didn’t let up after starting 3-0)
Like I told you guys, these guys have been all business. We probably had our best practice Friday that we’ve had all year long. We were talking in our meeting last night and that came up. I have players talk all the time in meetings and they said, ‘hey, you know we’re ready to play. Everybody watched practice Friday.’ When they’re talking like that, and they’re focusing like that then it gives you a chance to be successful. We just have to stay on each other and move on to the next month and keep working.
(on making any adjustments at halftime)
We went to our no huddle offense. First off, the first series of the second half, we were backed up I think on our six or something. But then we went to our no huddle for the next two drives, I think we had a couple scores there so we got our tempo going with our muddle huddle, even though we had a lead I think that helped us. So we were trying to pick up the tempo there. But, we really played great defense, I think, the whole second half, except for those yards at the end when we’re sitting there in a prevent mode. I thought the defensive play in the second was what got us going, the big play.
(on DE J.J. Watt’s play)
I keep my fingers crossed. This is incredible. What kind of a record? Multiple sacks four games in a row or something? That is hard to do in this league. But when you watch this young man prepare. It was interesting yesterday – we got through with our practice and I was going to stick around and watch Rice and Houston so I had some time on my hands. So I go in the workout room, the weight room, to get me a little exercise in, and he is in there for at least an hour lifting weights. He is special. He works to be special and hopefully we can keep in healthy and keep going.
(on the play of DE Antonio Smith)
Antonio’s been playing really well. I think Antonio is on to probably his best year as a pro. He’s had a great training camp; he has not missed a day. Antonio really feeds off those young guys, and energy. Antonio is an emotional player, so I think a guy like (DE) J.J. (Watt) has really helped Antonio get going. And obviously we are balanced up front, so people can’t pay too much attention to just one guy. Antonio is part of that balance.
(on if he sees what opposing offenses are doing to deal with DE J.J. Watt)
I think I’ve mentioned this a couple times, I just think we’re such a balanced defensive football team. We have two good edge players, we have two good inside players, and if you want to go three-wides on us and those types of things we go to nickel, we move guys around. So it’s not like we have one player that everybody is going to turn to, and chip to and double and that type of stuff. We are pretty balance group in what we do.
(on the focus being about the Texans, and not the opponent)
The good teams I’ve been around, that is the way they focus, because they don’t get concerned about who the play, where they play, they get concerned about how they play. And it’s a hard thing to get to take over on our team, but our guys are really into that right now. They know that if they play good football we’re going to have an excellent chance to win week in and week out and they’re really hard on each other and pushing each other. We’ll see over a period of time but it’s a good start.
(on DE J.J. Watt working out on Saturday)
No doubt. I don’t exercise very long.
(on making big plays on defense, especially with DE J.J. Watt)
It just seems like when they’re needs to be a big play, or tipped ball or big sack, and boy it seems like every ball that hits the ground bounces to J.J. right now. I thought he was going to go score on the one he got. But, good things happen to players that play hard and those types of things. He’s just on a roll right now and a lot of things are coming his way and he’s helping everybody else be darn good players too, and that’s the most important thing.
(on how it lifts the whole team when the defense is flying around)
Anytime you get 14 points from someplace else other than your offense that’s exceptional. I think those are our first points of the year, if I’m right, those two touchdowns defensively. Last year we scored, I want to say we scored in like the six or seven range when the year was all said and done. It just makes you that much tougher to beat as a football team. We’re not out there thinking that we have to get the ball all the time, we expect to make some plays and score some points on the defensive side, and the special teams side also.
(on CB Kareem Jackson’s play today)
This season, but the last three weeks, he’s been exceptional. VJ (Defensive Backs Coach Vance Joseph) has done a great job with him as a coach. His confidence level is very high. And I think J. Joe’s (CB Jonathan Joseph) presence on our team and the way he goes about this business and what he does has shown K-Jack this is what it’s all about. K-Jack has just really grown up as a player and a person as well.
(on G Andre Caldwell’s injury)
We don’t know. He got rolled up pretty good is my understanding. Of course I don’t see during the game, but he got rolled up pretty good. He came into the game with a sore ankle, so (C/G) Ben (Jones) played the rest of the way. He’s been battling the nicks actually the last week or so. So we’ll see where we’re at. We’ve got an extra day this week so hopefully we get him back.
(on the play of C/G Ben Jones)
It’s hard for me to say. I have to go back and look. I can think of a couple things I know he can do better. I remember third-and-four, where he got beat on a play we had. He’s a young player and we just have to keep pushing forward. He’s going to get a ton of play time and how far he comes, and how far (T Derek) Newton comes, all those things are associated with what we’ll be when it’s all said and done.
(on if he’s worried about the run defense, especially after Titans RB Chris Johnson’s breakout game today)
They had a lot of yards at the end of the game too. I don’t know statistically how it comes out. You also have to go back and look at what took place before that last drive when they were running all the draws and we were in that situation. One of the good things is we have had some leads. If we’ve got some leads and people are going to commit to running the football it’s a good thing for our team. You have to look at how the game is going, what you’re trying to do to win, and all I know is we are playing darn good defense. There are always some things you can do better, and obviously that is one of them. We could run the ball better, too. I didn’t like the way we ran today.
(on comparing the Texans this season to the successful Denver teams he’s been a part of in the past)
I think all teams are different, but the one thing I do know is that the great teams I’ve been around the pressure comes from within. They’re really hard on themselves. This football team is really hard on themselves, in how it practices and how it does things. They won’t let you come in this meeting room half stepping or go on that field and not prepare the right way. That is a great thing for a coach because you have great leadership in what’s going on. This team knows how to push itself.
(on not being happy with the run game today)
I’m not. We’re bouncing the ball a lot. And I don’t know if we’re bouncing the ball for the right reasons, I have to go back and look at it. Or if we are making the wrong cut. But we have way too many balls going sideways on the field. We need to get the ball downhill. We’ll be hard on ourselves and take a look at that. We stayed pretty committed to it today. I’m sitting here peaking at it (the game stats), we still ran the ball 31 times, but we did not get much out of it, we averaged 3.1 or 2 yards a carry and that’s not good enough for us.
TEXANS QB MATT SCHAUB
(on how Schaub feels being 4-0)
I feel great, to end the month of September 4-0 is great for our team and organization. But, there are a lot of things that we can correct from this game, but we are fortunate and happy to be 4-0.
(on how Head Coach Gary (Kubiak) sees this team “policing itself” as far as staying focused and in the moment)
Absolutely, there is enough veteran leadership on this team, and there are enough guys who have played enough football to understand how important each and every week is. We only get so many chances to go out and improve ourselves and go out and play and we can’t let anything pass up without giving it our best shot. We sense things aren’t going quite right, or we’re not executing or playing to our standard, we find a way as a group to put pressure on ourselves to go out and get that done. That showed today. We had a rough second quarter getting things going after a fast start and our defense made some plays to keep us in in the third quarter in a small window there. We got a turnover for a touchdown, we got another turnover and offensively we were able to put some points on the board. It’s just us playing through that adversity.
(on going to the no-huddle and if it helped in the 2nd half)
I think it did, it just helps our tempo. It helps us stay locked in on what we’re doing and not start moving too slow and getting in and out of the huddle. The huddle gets us going and gets the tempo going and gets the receivers in the game and it also wears down the defense.
(on being able to pass to 7 or 8 different receivers, and having many weapons)
We’ve got a ton of weapons, and you can see that. Whether it’s our wide outs or tight ends. (FB) James (Casey) at fullback and our halfbacks make plays as well for us. It really is pick your poison as a defense, who do you want to lock-in to try and take away? Well we’ve got some other guys that can make some plays.
(on what James (Casey) brings)
James (FB) has really done a great job for us going back to last year, in the run game he is doing a great job for the halfbacks and for our pass game. He just creates so many mismatches because teams just don’t know where he is going to line up, whether he is going to be in the back field or a tight end or a wide receiver, he gives us a lot of versatility.
(on if he ever sees (DE) JJ Watt and the defensive stretch he is having)
It is pretty remarkable but that’s the result of a lot of guys on that side of the ball playing well around him. Teams can’t really try to double-team him and create a lot of problems for him. Our group as a whole is really feeding off one another and it just so happens that JJ (Watt) is in on a lot of those plays. It is fun to watch a lot of those guys. Rarely during the game do I get a chance to sit back and watch them. But, that is something on the off day that I try to take a look at to see what they’re doing over there.
(on the defense putting up 14 points today)
It’s a nice luxury to have. When you see them create those turnovers, and you get ready for the possession when you’re going to find your home and everything and you see them creating lanes, and Kareem (Jackson) running it in for a touchdown and D-man (Danieal Manning) finding his way to the end zone, it just creates such a lift for us and gets points to where they create them and we don’t have to go out there and do work.
(on the Titans doing more to slow down the run)
Well, that’s a good group we face. We always have battles against them and they’re pretty stout up front. They’re physical and their corners are decent tacklers, so it helps in their two-deep zones. Whether they were sitting back in their coverage, they were coming down and bringing some pressure. We just got to be good to try and find those lanes and create plays in our pass game.
(on the second quarter when Titans were trying to stagnate, no panic?)
There really wasn’t, we just know if we just execute our stuff, we missed on a couple third-and-shorts that usually are automatic for us, we need to find a way to go back and get those, stay on the field and not put our defense back there if we can convert those. We started with a decent third down conversion rate, but early on we were struggling a little bit, and we need to find a way to go get those tough yards and stay on the field.
(on Gary Kubiak not being happy about the running game)
I don’t know sitting here, I need to go back and watch it when we get in tomorrow. But, that is just something we work through. We’re going to continue to grind it out and stay true to the course because everything feeds off that with our play pass and our action game so were just going to stick with it and find those lanes and just keep working with it.
(On the team talking about being in unfamiliar territory)
No, we don’t talk about that, we just go out and play and find a way to go out there and find a victory on Sunday that’s all that we care about, and that’s all that we worry about.
(On if it is an advantage or disadvantage of having a three game lead in their division)
It is what it is, we are just going to play the games as they come. We’re going to find a way to be 1-0 each week. We can’t start looking at the standings and this and that, it is too early in the season. We have played four games and we are fortunate enough to be 4-0, we just have to find a way next week to be five.
(On where the team is and how much better it can be)
Each week the amount of ball we play, our team has a high level of maturity about it because we understand the position we are in, and we are hungry to keep going and climbing that mountain. If we just keep putting pressure on ourselves in practice through the week, and stay on top of our game plan and what we’re trying to get done on Sunday, then the game is going to come easy to us and we will be able to execute at a high level.
TEXANS RB ARIAN FOSTER
(on the Titan’s defense)
I think their defense has very solid linebackers. This is the NFL and you are going to get everybody’s best when you have that target on your back.
(on how impressed he is with how the defense is playing)
I’m very impressed. Those guys never cease to amaze me with what they are doing week in and week out. They are the best defense in football.
(on the consistency of the offense in terms of points scored)
We just go out and try to execute the best we can. I don’t try to worry about points being scored. If you are doing what you are supposed to then the points will come.
(on the 4-0 start to the season)
It doesn’t mean anything because it could all go downhill really fast. It doesn’t matter. It helps, but it doesn’t matter. We are all happy, but we need to keep pushing as a team. It’s nice, but what matters are the wins. We have those and we need to keep on pushing.
TEXANS LT DUANE BROWN
(on if this was an easy victory)
They made some adjustments. They got back into the game a little bit. We came out slow in the second half but we picked it back up, got the fire back behind us and we closed it out. I wouldn’t call it easy, but it was a total team effort. Our offense made plays, defense put up 14 points and the great field position we had to work with caused it to get out of hand.
(on how the team started off fast today)
Starting off fast was a huge point of emphasis the last couple of days. It’s a divisional game, we are at home and traditionally the Titans play real physical and we expected that. We got the ball to (WR) Andre (Johnson) the first couple of plays. (QB) Matt (Schaub) did a great job getting the ball down field. The running backs did a great job finding the holes and I think that took the wind out of them.
TEXANS FB JAMES CASEY
(on the Titans defense)
Both of the linebackers came for him (TE Owen Daniels) and I came underneath. When Owen starts playing well, they start giving him attention. You can’t cover everybody. When I first knew I had a good chance to get the ball on the 11-yard line I was hoping I would get the chance to score.
(on his role as a receiving fullback)
I like to think so. It makes us very versatile and flexible offensively. We can line up in different formations and we can do those types of routes out of the backfield, which a traditional fullback can’t do. It’s just more things a defense has to worry about. You never know how things are going to go. We have different game plans every week. With every team we are playing, you never know what they are going to give you. They can’t take away everything and we have a quarterback that can get you the ball.
(on the consistency of the offense in terms of points scored)
It feels great. I was talking to (TE) Owen (Daniels) on the sideline saying that it’s pretty cool that we can be up that big at the end of the game and rest some guys. It is great when you get to the end of the game and you’re up that big. It doesn’t happen very often in the NFL.
TEXANS ILB BRIAN CUSHING
(on the two interceptions for touchdowns today)
The first pick-six was great and the second one obviously was huge too, and kind of put the game away.
(on DE J.J. Watt’s play)
Yeah, I mean he’s playing great. It’s like every time you turn around he’s making a big tackle or sack. But I think collectively the defense is just playing great. There’s no question what he’s doing, but I think you have to look at the big picture, and all the guys are.
(on seeing CB Kareem Jackson having a big day)
I think Kareem has is progressively getting better and better and having bigger games. Towards the end of last year, and he’s played real solid this year. Today was probably one of the better, if not best games of his career. The kid’s got it. He’s a fighter. He’s a tough kid who’s never complained. He’s been through hell. Literally, he’s been through hell with all the stuff he has heard over the last few years. And just the way he’s responded, I think it’s huge. It just proves what kind of kid he is.
(on the Texans having fun and playing well)
I think it’s a lot of guys that enjoy playing football, and it’s a pretty young group. I think that the mentality around here has changed. Winning is more important than anything else, and having fun while we’re doing it.
TEXANS TE OWEN DANIELS
(on how different it is around the locker room than previous years)
I think it’s night and day. Everything we’ve been through the previous six years has kind of I think put us in the position we’re in now. We’ve been humbled a lot. We don’t take anything for granted. We’re working every day. Coach (Gary) Kubiak is keeping us focused on doing that. It’s a lot different now, but it’s the way we want it to be right now.
(on his touchdown reception)
I think everyone tried to tackle me twice. I got through all of them. (QB Matt Schaub) did a great job of obviously reading the defense and getting the ball to me. I made the catch. I was able to shed the defender and find my way in the end zone. I was determined to get in there. It was nice to get those opportunities to catch and run and see what you can do with it.
(on the confidence of the offense)
I still don’t think we’re really satisfied with what we’ve done on a game to game basis on the offensive side of the ball. We set a high standard for ourselves and we want to be able to run the ball at will. We got to be doing that a little bit better than we have been. It’s something we need to be doing down the line when it comes down to playing some pretty darn good teams in a close amount of games. We’re working on it. We’re trying to get better. I think today we did a great job keeping (QB) Matt (Schaub) upright and keeping him clean so another step in the right direction for that.
(on the challenging upcoming schedule)
There are no easy ones. Even today for a while there it was struggle for us to getting going. We’re looking forward to next week, next Monday night and getting a little extra day of rest so it’ll be helpful for us after this 4-0 start. We’re still looking at it one game at a game. It’s a good reminder of what we have in front of us and just going to go back to work.
TEXANS CB KAREEM JACKSON
(on the success of the defense)
It’s all the work we put in weekly. Coming in, we knew what we were going to see, and we went out and made some plays today.
(on his interception play)
Every kid growing up dreams of finishing with a high step into the end-zone, as my first pick six I had to pull it off.
(on what his teammates said to him after the game)
From year one to now, it’s been a progression. My thing is just get better every season. I just wanted to come out and prove my ability to the guys in this locker room.
(on if he feels he is getting more confident on the field)
Definitely, from year one to now it’s all about progression as a player. When you have seen different things for so long, you start to get accustomed. We talk a lot about things that we are going to see in the game. I think it’s just being accustomed and comfortable.
(on what the interception play meant to his career)
It’s all about having that confidence out there. I have always had confidence in myself from year one. I just wanted to come in and be accountable. Every year I want to progress as a player, be accountable, and help my team win.
TEXANS WR ANDRE JOHNSON
(on if he’s wrapped his arms around the team’s success this season)
I knew before camp started that we had a good football team. It was just up to us to put it all together. So far, we’ve been doing that. It’s not just one guy going out and doing something. It’s a team effort. Our defense went out and scored 14 points today. We can score in every phase of the game, offense, defense, special teams. It’s a collective effort. It could be me one week, Owen (Daniels) another week, Kevin (Walter) one week, Arian (Foster) and Ben (Tate) another week so we have a lot of weapons and we make great use of them.
(on the defensive backs returning interceptions for touchdowns)
It’s fun to see, especially for a guy like Kareem (Jackson). He took a lot of criticism and stuff when he first got here. To see him do that and see how much he’s grown as a player, I was very excited to see him do that.
(on CB Kareem Jackson’s scamper into the end zone)
He’ll probably be on prime time tonight for that. The only thing he didn’t do was hold the ball up. I was very excited for him when I saw him pick if off, I just kind of took off running. I was hoping that he scored.
(on how much fun it was to watch the Texans defense)
It’s a lot of fun, something different. We got to see a glimpse of it last year, but I think this year they’re taking it to a whole another level. It’s fun to watch. To be on the sideline, knowing the other team is going to have a hard time trying to score points and we get after the quarterback. I think the fans do a great job also of making it loud when we’re here at home. Everybody is doing their part.
(on the many weapons on offense)
We have a lot of weapons. We have a lot of guys that can make plays. We just let teams pick their poison. I think the biggest thing about us is just going out and executing plays. We’ve been doing a good job with that. That’s something we try to stay focused on.
(on if there is an unprecedented level of confidence in this locker room)
I think we know what type of team we have. We’re just taking advantage of it. We’re not going to let an opportunity pass us by. I think that’s just the biggest thing. We have great teammates, and everybody is on the same page. Everybody is thinking the same thing. Everybody is feeling the same way. When we’re in meetings the night before the game, everybody is just feeling the same way and we all have each other’s back. The biggest thing is just not going out there and letting your teammates down. That’s something that we stress going 1-0 every week and that’s the attitude we’ve had. That’s how we approach it.
(on if he’s seen a better defensive player than DE J.J. Watt this season)
Right now what he’s doing, no. He’s on the course to do some real damage. He’s been doing a lot of damage over these past four games. It just shows the work he puts in. When he got injured, I went up to him and I’m like ‘How you feeling?’ He’s like ‘I’ll be ready week one’. He was ready to go. It’s been showing. He’s playing his butt off. He’s a beast out there. We expect to hear his name called at least four or five times a game or out there tipping balls or doing something crazy. It doesn’t surprise me what he’s doing.
(on if he’s surprised by the team’s success so far this season)
We just don’t talk about it. Like I said, I think last year was a big learning lesson, big stepping stone for this organization. After everything we have been through, all the injuries we suffered, I think it was just like ‘hey man we can get this done if we’re all dedicated to what we need to be dedicated to.’ When we came back in guys had a new attitude. Guys were just ready to go, and like I said, we’re all on the same page and just taking it one week at a time.
(on how fun it will be to take the 4-0 record to New York next week)
It’s fun. It’ll be a big challenge. They’re a very good defensive football team. It adds a little pressure because it’s prime time. It’s Monday night. Everybody’s watching. We’ll be ready. We’ll respond.
(on the Jets losing 34-0 today)
That doesn’t mean anything. Any week anybody can be beat. We know that. Like I said, we just take it one week at a time.
TEXANS CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH
(on CB Kareem Jackson’s play)
Absolutely, first the criticism is undeserved. He’s been playing a year and a half on the league’s number one defense. He’s made tremendous strides this year, and like I said, the next step for him was getting his hands to the football and making plays. Today was a prime example. The first three games he got his hands on some balls as well.
(on what it’s like having safeties Danieal Manning and Glover Quin on the team)
You feel comfortable because they have the range to get over top of you and help. At the same time, they help stack the box against the run as well. It’s hard to give a comparison just because I know those guys skill set by practicing with them each and every day. They do the same footwork that the corners do. But if I had to pick, I would say those two safeties are playing better than any other safeties in the league right now as a comparison. It’s a great feeling because those guys are the quarterback for the defense. They give everybody in the secondary help and are talking to us. It’s big to have guys like that behind you. They are pretty much the same player. Manning came in the league as a corner during his time in Chicago. Glover Quin did the same thing and they both are now playing safety full time.
TEXANS S DANIEAL MANNING
(on his interception)
We needed the big score right there, and the momentum had already changed with the pick but I wanted to get in.
(on how much that changed the game)
It changes a ton. Those guys were never able to get back in the game from that point. Early they were going right with us, but it changed.
(on the block from CB Johnathan Joseph)
I didn’t see him until the last minute. I tried to switch hands and stiff arm him, but (CB) Johnathan (Joseph) laid him out.
(on how happy he is for CB Kareem Jackson)
He’s been through a lot, but the guy is resilient and bounced back. His rookie year, coming in changing the whole defense, he did well and now he’s showing that he can definitely be one of the top corners in this league, and rightfully so. I hate to say long overdue, that won’t do him any justice. I feel like it was just the time he peaked.
(on how good it feels to be 4-0)
It feels great. Again, we haven’t won really anything yet. Winning our four games, setting ourselves up for later on. Right now, it’s just continue to stay focused, continue to practice the way we practice, it’s the small things that’s going to keep us number one.
TEXANS S GLOVER QUIN
(on how much his sack set the tone)
It definitely set the tone. It’s a big play for us. They’re backed up and it’s third down, so now they got the punter in the end zone, our offense gets good field position. Definitely spring boarded us a little bit to keep it up the rest of the game.
(on if he thinks he’s surprising players with his power)
It just comes from our coaching staff, our players, the way we work in practice, that’s our mentality. Obviously what you do in practice carries over to the game so we emphasize it all week and we just had to come out and get some today.
(on when he sees the defense score touchdowns)
Man that’s big. You don’t go into the game expecting your defense to score two touchdowns but anytime you can do that you’re probably going to win most games so we have to do that and get a big conference win.
(on DE J.J. Watt saying that he and SS Danieal Manning are playing better than any other pair of safeties in the league)
We talk about it all the time. We want to be considered a top safety pair in the league. We just go out every day and work in practice. We communicate in practice. We sit together in meetings and talk about what we see, what we want to try to do this week, and we come out on Sunday and try to execute it. We’ve been able to get off to a good start.
TEXANS OLB BROOKS REED
(on getting complacent)
Coach (Kubiak) does a great job of preparing us to win. A lot of guys have bought in to the coaching and we believe in what he says.
(on giving up 140 rushing yards)
(RB) Chris Johnson just had one of those days. A little was inflated towards the end of the game. We had a lot of special teams guys in there playing defense, so it was a little inflated. We got into a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the game. They schemed us a little bit, but we made some adjustments at the half. That’s going to happen. Every team has different plays that we haven’t seen, it’s just whether or not we can adjust to it fast enough.
TEXANS DE ANTONIO SMITH
(on the success of the defense)
It was beautiful man. We came out hot and excited. Everybody was excited. For a little bit there we kind of got complacent, but we got reignited. Once we got reignited everybody started making plays. That’s the most beautiful way to play football. To have everybody on the highlight film, that is when you know you have a great defense. (SS Danieal) Manning and (CB Kareem) Jackson getting interceptions, I think that everybody forgot that Manning is a returner. There was no way he was running out of bounds. At first I was like get down, but he went for the touchdown. Even at the end of the game when you know you are up, to have that much focus to intercept the ball and take it to the house, it just shows how hungry this defense is.
(on his sack)
It was about time. Everybody was eating today, and (DE) J.J. Watt was phenomenal. Everybody getting on the highlight film just makes me happy.
(on DE J.J. Watt’s performance this season)
I’ve seen guys dominating in my years. I was around back in the day when (Warren) Sapp was dominating, but for me to have him on my team, no I have never up close and personal have seen the type and start of a year that J.J. is having. We all feed off of him. It becomes a friendly competition where everybody this week was getting on the highlight film. Everybody was like we are all going to get on the highlight tape. J.J. is not going to take over the highlight tape this week. But, he did it again.
(on giving up over 140 yards rushing to Titan’s RB Chris Johnson)
We need to play the run better, especially at the end of the game. The end of the game was where they picked up a lot of those yards. We let a couple runs go early in the game. They kind of added to that yardage. I said earlier this week that you don’t want to be the team that unleashes a beast. Everybody can keep beating on somebody only so long before they break out. He has not lost a step. He has not lost any of his skill. He still had it, and you saw that tonight. We just have to focus in on not being complacent.
TEXANS DE J.J. WATT
(on if he has ever had a stretch like the one he is having now where he is making an impact in every game)
I would say no. I’m just having fun.
(on how often he is double teamed and how often he is helped)
I don’t know, but I would say about the same amount as everybody else in the league. I don’t think I’m getting special attention and I don’t think that they can give me special attention because of all the other players we have on our team. If you want to double team me, then you got (OLB) Connor Barwin, (OLB) Brooks Reed and (DE) Antonio Smith to deal with so it creates a lot of trouble and I think I need to give a lot of credit to those guys because they keep blockers off of me.
(on how much fun it is to be in a game where the defense scored 14 points and are all over the place)
I said it earlier but it feels like we’re little kids in the backyard. We’re just having fun. We got DBs (defensive backs) taking them to the house and (DE) Antonio Smith getting a sack and forcing a fumble. It’s just so much fun to go out and play with these guys because we literally don’t care who gets the credit. We just want to make plays and have fun and I think that’s why we’re so successful.
(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak’s comment about running into him working out in the weight room after Saturday’s practice and if this is something he does every week)
Yep, every Saturday after practice I go in there and work out. There are a couple of other guys that do that too. It’s just something I do to get a little pumped.
(on if he is getting uncomfortable with all of the publicity he’s been getting)
No, it means I’m playing good. If they don’t want to talk to me, that means I’m stinking it up so I don’t want that. I hope it continues.
(on if his teammates are giving him a hard time because of his celebrity status)
I mean, there has been a little nagging but I try to spread the love as much as I can because they deserve it too. I understand that it’s not just me, it’s a whole team so it’s definitely not just one guy.
(on his thoughts about being the first guy since Carolina Panthers DE Kevin Greene to have at least a sack and a half in the first four games back in 1998)
I think it’s a great achievement and it’s great to be in the same category. It’s also motivation to keep it going and try to do it every game for the whole year. I’m just going to take it one game at a time and try to keep having success. I’m definitely not going to give up that’s for sure.
(on if he feels he could possibly play any better than he has in these first four games)
Yeah, a lot better. When I watch the film, there are a lot of things I can correct and a lot of things that I watch and want to improve on every single game. I’m just working on improving little things every week so hopefully by the end of the year I’m playing my best football yet. But I’m not playing my best football yet. I’m obviously not going to sit here and tell you that I’m not having fun and playing good ball because I know that but I’d be lying if I said I was playing my best ball.
(on the goal of forcing a three-and-out)
Yeah, that’s the goal. Three and out or turnover, that is our goal every time we step out on the field. Obviously, we had some success with that today but we gave up some rushing yards, so we want to get that corrected. Like I said, it is truly enjoyable and fun to go out there and play with these guys and Coach (Wade) Phillips puts us in a great position.
(on Coach Wade Phillips talking about the Hall of Fame and if it affected his motivation)
Of course, I want to make him look good; I want to make him look right and I am not going to do that by getting no sacks, so I need to get out there and play my tail off. He instilled that confidence in me. He showed me that he believes in me and I want to go out there and make the world believers. I think that a lot of people looked at him funny for that comment but if I go out there and do what he asked me to do and play the position he asked me to play every single week then I think that I have a shot at it, but obviously it is extremely early on in my career so I am not going to go ahead and say anything like that now. I’m just having fun. I am just a kid out here having some fun playing a game.
(on people saying he is the leading candidate for ‘Defensive Player of the Year’)
It’s a goal. It’s a goal. There are lots of bigger goals out there though. But it’s an honor that people are putting me in that category, but it is early. It’s week four and we’ve got a long way to go. I am really excited about what is ahead and excited about the opportunities.
(on if the bigger goal is the Super Bowl)
That’s one of them. That’s the biggest goal. That’s one of them, there are still other ones.
(on giving up over 100 yards to Titans RB Chris Johnson)
It’s frustrating. We’re not happy we gave up those yards. We just need to hone some things up. We are going to go in and watch the film and get it corrected that is always our number one priority. To have not stopped the run there was frustrating but we made a lot of great plays moving forward from today.
(on how the game changed with Titans QB Jake Locker getting injured)
It didn’t change a whole lot. We knew that Jake Locker was a bit more of a runner and when (QB Matt) Hasselbeck came in we didn’t have to worry as much about the run, the quarterback run, but Matt Hasselback is still a great quarterback in this league and he has been doing it for a long time so we knew he was still very capable and we had to go out there and play cause he wasn’t going to lay down for us that’s for sure.
(on having the officials back)
It’s nice. It’s nice.
(on if he said anything to the officials)
I said, ‘Welcome back.’ That’s all I said. ‘Welcome back.’