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Quotes: Thursday practice

Posted Aug 14, 2014

Members of the Houston Texans spoke to the media on Thursday following morning practice.

Head Coach Bill O’Brien
RB Arian Foster
G/C Ben Jones
C Chris Myers
T Derek Newton
G Xavier Su’a-Filo
DE J.J. Watt

Head Coach Bill O’Brien
(on what he takes away from the increased intensity from the practices with Atlanta) “I thought it was good. The two days were very productive. Just like you said, when we went two-minute there we did about I think three or four different situations and that was good. You could see these guys are professional players, so any time you ratchet it up to a game winning situation both sides of the ball come out there and compete. Atlanta was a great team to work with. Coach (Mike) Smith was fantastic both days. We got a lot out of it.”

(on if the intense practices were what the team needed coming off the postseason loss) “Yeah, again, I believe we’re a better team than we were three days ago. Obviously, we want to go out there on Saturday and play well. But again, it is also the second preseason game, and I think having these two practice sessions against Atlanta really helped our team.”

(on wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Atlanta’s Josh Wilson getting into an apparent scuffle) “That was like, what was that? You know what I mean? I think there was a little bit of a head-butt, couple love taps and that was about it. No big deal.”

(on the play of WR  Anthony McClung) “He had a little bit of setback I think a week or so ago. Then he came back healthy and he’s got quickness. You know, he’s not very big, but seems to be an instinctive player and he works hard when he’s out there. He just kind of grinds it out. He puts his head down and goes to work. That’s good to see.”

(on why LT Duane Brown missed practice) “We just gave him the day off today. He’s been out there and we’ll do that every now and then with guys like him. We’ll give them the day off here and there.”

(on if he has a better feel whether Arian Foster, Andre Johnson or Brian Cushing will play on Saturday) “I think those guys are closer. Still don’t know whether they’ll play or not, but I do believe they’re closer to being full-time.”

(on if Case Keenum will get first team reps on Saturday) “No.”

(on how beneficial it is for Ryan Fitzpatrick to go against another team following the Arizona game) “That is a good point. To be able to get out there right away and go against another defense and not our defense like we’ve doing for 15 practices, now we go practice 15 and 16 against another team. That’s a good thing for everybody. I thought he came out and thought he had two good days.”

(on what he has learned from these two days that he would want to share with Denver for next week) “It is more of a home-team type of deal. So, you know, whoever’s home field it is kind of controls the practice, so to speak. Like here, I ran the situations and obviously, when we go to Denver that is Coach (John) Fox’s deal there. We’ve traded emails and phone calls with their staff and it is pretty well-organized. We’ll get there and clean up some of the rough edges. I know that they’re going to be a really good team to work with. They’ve got a great coaching staff and obviously, a great football team. It will be good to go against them.”

(on if he is looking forward to the climate change) “I think it is going to be good to get to another place, be in a hotel, have kind of a road-game mentality, kind of going away for the last kind of stretch of camp there is a good thing for the football team. Whatever the climate is, I don’t think that really matters. It’s more about being together as a team and continuing to work on the things we need to work on.”

(on if practicing with the team you’re about to play changes your thinking going into the game) “No, not really. It’s preseason. We’re just going to keep doing basically where we are in our installation. Basically, our installation is over and now we want to work on some things in the game, maybe some things we worked on practice and maybe some things we worked on in a walk through. Again, it’s not like you’re practicing versus a team and playing them in the regular season during the week. Again, we’ll just do what we have to do on Saturday to improve as a team.”

(on how he sees the kicking situation playing out) “Well, I believe it’s wide open. I see it as wide open. I think both guys have kicked well at times and both guys probably wish they had a few kicks back. Both guys have competed. It’s helped both guys. I think Shane (Lechler) has done a good job of mentoring those two guys and I know that Liggy (Special Teams Coordinator Bob Ligashesky) has done a good job at coaching them. It’s a wide open deal there.”

(on how the team will handle who calls challenges during the season) “There are certain things that can be challenged and certain things that can’t be challenged. Number one is the officials in this league do a great job of telling you when you ask, ‘Hey can I challenge that?’ That’s number one. Number two is we have someone upstairs, Jimmy Bernhardt, that helps me with those types of things to. It’s communication with him and then obviously, with the officials on whether you can challenge the play or not. That’s how we’ll handle it going forward.”

(on how he values a quarterback’s command in the pocket over making the perfect pass at this point) “Again, these guys can’t be hit, you know. The quarterbacks for both teams we weren’t going to hit them, both teams knew that. Some of the rushes that came free those guys did a great job peeling off so we could keep the play alive. Now when the pocket is clean and those guys throw the ball, we have to evaluate that. Clean pocket, how accurate was the pass, did it go to the right guy or did he make the right read. When the pocket is not clean, then you take into account that was the case and how that affected the throw. We’re very conscious whether it is a clean throw or something where a guy came free and had to sidestep it. That is part of the evaluation, too.”

(on what he is looking for in the preseason regarding no-huddle) “We didn’t run any no huddle in the last game other than the two-minute drill. I would say that would be the same for the rest of the preseason. We’ve worked on it a lot in practice. Mike Smith was good enough, he said, ‘Let’s do this.’ He was the one that kind of brought it back in the spring when we were talk about, ‘Hey, can we get some no huddle going.’ I was all for that because that is a part of what we do. We worked on it today, which was good. We had two-minute, we had no-huddle in the regular part of the game, so I think we’re getting good work at it this training camp.”

(on balancing the win now versus the long-term process) “Again, I don’t know anything about contending for that or contending for--What we need to do as a football team is make sure that we go out there every day with the intention of getting better. Getting better as a team, getting better situationally, getting better individually, getting better as a unit, fixing mistakes that we’ve been making. We don’t talk about things like that. We focus on the things that we can control every single day to be at our best when Sept. 7 rolls around. That is the way we look at it.”

(on developing quarterbacks and knowing somebody is ‘ready’) “I think it is different for each individual that you coach at that position. I can give you many, many examples of guys all the way back to where I was in college. George Godsey, our quarterback coach, I think as a staff at Georgia Tech we knew he was ready in his junior year when he came back in fantastic shape and won the conditioning test and was ready to go right from the start. Had no, didn’t have to review anything from spring practice. He was going. Then you can go to Matt McGloin, who you could tell right away when I got to Penn State that Matt McGloin was ready to take over and he was working at it and be the starter. Then there was (Christian) Hackenberg last year who in a two-minute drill in preseason camp, I knew he was ready to be the quarterback. So I think it is different for every guy, you know, obviously, game situations in the NFL help. A guy goes out there in the preseason, how does he do in a game situation? You have to take into account what the situation of the game was. Who was in the game with him? How did injuries occur? Who was surrounding him? Things like that. There is different ways to evaluate for that for each guy that you coach. No two guys are the same when it comes to figuring out who’s ready and when they’re ready.”

RB Arian Foster
(on how he feels getting back out on the practice field) “Good.”

(on how he feels about his role in the offense) “I feel good about it.”

(on if he considered retiring after last season) “I’m just out here trying to be the best teammate I can be, man.”

(on if he meant what he said to Hannah Storm about considering retirement) “Every day you just work hard. You’ve got to be the best teammate you can be out here.”

(on how much it helps his team to play against another team) “A lot. It helps a lot.”

(on how practicing against another team helps his team) “It just helps very much with everything.”

(on when he hopes to see game action) “As soon as possible.”

(on what he expects out of himself this year) “Great football and being a good teammate.”

(on what he thought of the DQ Strong campaign) “It’s awesome. Awesome.”

(on how he felt going through practice) “I felt good. I felt really good.”

(on what he took away from practicing against the Falcons) “A lot of hard work. Good work out here.”

(on why he has decided not to be cooperative with media) “I’m just trying to be the best teammate I can be and that’s part of it.”

(on if he ever gave serious thought to retirement) “I’m working hard out here every day, and I’m going to continue to do that.”

(on if he feels that creating a distraction is the same as being a good teammate) “I get paid to play football and that’s what I’m going to continue to do and work hard at it.”

(on if he knew he is required by his contract to talk to media) “That’s why I’m here today.”

(on if he would like to play Saturday) “I’m just going to keep working hard and whatever happens after that is going to transpire.”

(on how far away he is from being 100 percent physically) “Yeah, just got to keep working hard out here and I’m going to continue to do that.”

G/C Ben Jones
(on feelings behind seeing the league come together behind David Quessenberry) “Yeah, we know it’s a greater cause than just football. This guy’s fighting for his life, he’s going out there every day and fighting for it. We’re just coming out here and doing our job and enjoying just coming out here and playing football. He’s got to survive, he’s surviving every day trying to beat this disease and we’re just out here playing football.”

(on if he stays in touch with David Quessenberry and if he will tell him about today’s events) “Oh definitely, Quessenberry, we’re staying connected with him. Chris Myers is definitely our leader on the o-line and we reach out to Quessenberry almost every day, somebody on the o-line, T.J. (Yates) from the other team, he’s one of our great friends and he’s definitely been a big part of this, helping out with the Falcons’ o-line. Quessenberry, he’s just a dear friend and we wish he was out here with us.”

C Chris Myers
(on the outpouring of support on DQ Strong day) “Yeah, it’s kind of been overwhelming a little bit. I talked to David yesterday and tried to let him know kind of what was going to happen today, with the proclamation for DQ Day, and he’s overwhelmed and rightfully so. For the whole city of Houston to come out and be able to show their support for DQ and our brothers from Atlanta, the Falcons, come out and show their support as well, it means a lot and he’s battling his butt off right now, he’s a strong individual character all around. So, we’re all behind him one hundred percent.”

(on what it meant to have former Texan and current Atlanta Falcon T.J. Yates involved in DQ Strong Day) “For T.J. to step up and be able to kind of get the offensive line from Atlanta to come in here and get their own shirts, it’s a hats off to them. I really want to thank Running Game Clothing to be able to come with a design and to be able to spread it across the league. We’ve got a couple other teams in the works right now. Obviously Coach Pagano up in Indy did it too as well, so thanks to Running Game Clothing for that.”

(on if he ever takes a step back and admires what he has helped create) “You take a step back and you realize how important life really is and you’re playing football, we’re playing right here on the practice field in front of NRG Stadium and you realize how lucky you are. He’s back in California grinding away with his treatment so as much as we can do, every single day I told him, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to help you out and support you as much as possible.’”

(on the presentation of the proclamation) “The City of Houston kind of dedicated today ‘Texans for DQ Day,’ and it’s pretty incredible what a city can do. It wasn’t just us as ballplayers, it was the entire city and organization, and all the fans being able to get behind this and gain some traction and obviously it got to the mayor’s office and they wanted to be able to make it official so it speaks a lot for DQ.”

(on if he told Quessenberry about what today is) “Yeah. I spoke to him yesterday and he’s just overwhelmed. Obviously he’s dealing with what he needs to deal with right now, and we’re out here practicing, and that’s what I said before. It makes you count your blessings for what you have and for us to be able to do this in honor of him. As long as he’s out there fighting away we’re going to be fighting for him.”

(on what is says about David Quessenberry that he’s watching film of practice) “That was pretty impressive when I heard that he was asking to download more film and up to date stuff to keep him—his mental aspect of the game right, so hats off to DQ. DQ, that’s awesome bro. You’re doing your work while you’re at home. That’s awesome.”

T Derek Newton
(on what it means to see people wearing DQ (David Quessenberry) shirts at practice today) “Oh man it’s great, great support behind DQ. In a situation like his, it’s tough, so when you’ve got everybody coming out here and supporting him, that gives him a lot of motivation, it lets him know that everybody is behind him, never give up and to fight, and everybody’s with him.”

(on some of the Falcons’ players wearing DQ shirts) “It’s great, you never want to be alone in this situation, so when you’ve got so many organizations, coaches, and fans doing it throughout the league, its great man, love the support.”

(on how the past two days have gone) “These two days have been great. He (Coach O’Brien) gave us the opportunity to go against another team in practice, being able to correct some things from last week and get better this week.”

(on looking forward to game against Atlanta) “Yeah, it’s behind us, we’re just taking it one game at a time. We came in this week with our mind on Atlanta and that’s what we did, just moving forward.”

G Xavier Su’a-Filo
(on benefits of practicing against Atlanta) “I think the opportunity to go against another team, a quality opponent like Atlanta not just in a game, but in practice, gives you the opportunity to work on your craft. I think with their different weapons, different guys like (Jonathan) Babineaux, Tyson Jackson, and Osi Umenyiora, they’re bringing a different repertoire of moves in the pass rush and the run game, it’s great for someone like me.”

(on what to focus on when moving around positions on the offensive line) “I just think I need to be conscious of the details. Playing center is a little bit different than playing guard and vice-versa with tackle, but the coaches asked me to learn it all, so happily I’ll do it. Granted, it’s not going to be perfect, but every single day I try to learn something new.”

(on if understanding the concepts of the offense, helps in knowing it entirely) “Not necessarily, I think once you understand the concepts, the scheme, why we do the plays, and then getting better at the details of those, that’s when you start to get it. I still have a long ways to go.”

(on confidence being bolstered by being tried out at multiple positions) “It gives me the physical reps that help me out from a mental standpoint and vice-versa, so I think going over it in the offices and meetings and then actually coming over here and doing it, really helps me a lot.”

(on looking forward to being settled in to one role) “Yeah, wherever the coaches have me, wherever they need me.  Honestly, I’m more than willing to play, whether it’s in that one role or being able to do it all. I’m just trying to be as useful for the team as I can and earn my role.”

(on if  practicing against the Falcons is helping with learning progression) “Yeah, I would say so, a little bit every single day. Going against different opponents, different team, different defensive coordinator, it helps me out as a young guy to notice different things.”

DE J.J. Watt
(on how practice has been with the Atlanta Falcons) “I think it’s been good. It’s been great competition. I think there’s a lot of tape to learn from (on) both sides of the ball, both teams. I think it’s been a very beneficial experience.”

(on what he’s seen from Atlanta Falcons T Jake Matthews) “He’s got good potential. Obviously, he’s a young guy. He comes from great pedigree and I think that he’s going to be a pretty good player down the line.”

(on what he’s seen from the Atlanta Falcons the past couple days) “I think we’ve had some good practices. I think there’s been some good hitting out here. I think there’s been good competition. I think that overall it’s been very beneficial for both teams.”

(on if his team has grown over the last two days) “I think that we’ve done a good job. Anytime you get to see another team, another scheme, different players, it gives you a chance just to hone in your skills a little bit. It tests you and it gives you some new competition. So it’s always a good opportunity.”

(on if he’s starting to see the potential with him and OLB Jadeveon Clowney on defense) “I feel like I get asked that just about every day. We go out there and we practice. I’m not sure if he was on the field today, so today there wasn’t any of that. We’ll see. Like I’ve always said, once you get into games and you get down the road a little bit longer, then we’ll really know.”

(on if there are advantages to practicing against another team) “Yeah, like I said, when you see different faces in a different scheme it just gives you a little bit different look and makes  you focus in a little bit more on your craft and it gives you a fresh perspective. That’s always a good thing.”

(on what is different for him from last year to this year) “You learn from mistakes you made last year. You learn from mistakes you made every day. It’s a day-to-day process. It’s not really year-to-year. You can’t look so big picture. You have to look day-to-day: What did I do yesterday that I can improve on today? What did I do well yesterday I need to continue? What did I do last rep that I need to do better next rep? All little things that every single day—there’s always something to work for. No player goes out on the football field and wins every single rep. You need to make sure that every rep you learn from.”

(on if he likes throwing different moves against rookies) “I like throwing moves against anybody to see how they can handle them. It doesn’t much matter to me who I go up against. I enjoy competition and I enjoy a chance to get better.”

(on if he had met Atlanta Falcons T Jake Matthews before practicing against him) “No, I have not.”

(on if Texans OL David Quessenberry enters his mind when he sees all of the Texans for DQ shirts) “Obviously DQ is on our mind on a daily basis. That’s one of our teammates fighting a much bigger battle than any fight we’re fighting on the field. We’re extremely proud of him for how hard he’s fighting. Our thoughts are with him at all times. It’s really cool to see other teams—I mean, I saw (Indianapolis Colts head coach) Chuck Pagano the other day (wearing an Indianapolis for DQ shirt), I think that’s one of the classiest moves I’ve seen from another team’s head coach. I saw the Atlanta shirts T.J. (Yates) had. It’s really cool to see other teams—you know we’re rivals on the field but when you’re fighting a battle like that, we’re all on the same team. It’s pretty cool to see that.”

(on the 2014 Adidas Volleyball Tournament in Pearland, Texas donating all proceeds to the J.J. Watt Foundation) “I come from Wisconsin. I’ve never seen a volleyball tournament like the one they’re putting on down in Pearland. I’m so grateful and so thankful that they’re willing to donate to my foundation. When they said how much it was going to be, I stepped back and said, ‘Are you sure this is just a high school volleyball tournament?’ It’s unbelievable. For me to be able to come out here and work at my craft and focus on football, and for them to be raising money for the charity at the same time, it’s unbelievable. I’m so thankful, I’m so grateful. Anytime I talk about my charity, I have to thank my mom because she does so much work for it and I’m so grateful for that.”

(on his tailgate event for the Wisconsin-LSU game at NRG Stadium on August 30) “It’s sold out so I don’t want to get people excited when they can’t come. It’s going to be pretty cool. The one thing I’m excited about is that Badger fans are coming down here, coming down to my new home and I get a chance to show them what Houston is all about, what Texas is all about. We’re going to give them a little taste of Texas food and hopefully give them a good football game. It’ll be a lot of fun.”

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