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Quotes: Texans at Vikings

Posted Sep 2, 2011

The Texans lost to the Minnesota Vikings 28-0 at Mall of America Field on Thursday night in their preseason finale. Here are the postgame quotes from both teams.

The Texans lost to the Minnesota Vikings 28-0 at Mall of America Field on Thursday night in their preseason finale. Here are the postgame quotes from both teams.
 
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM HOUSTON TEXANS

Head coach Gary Kubiak
WR Dorin Dickerson
WR Trindon Holliday
QB Matt Leinart
CB Brice McCain
RB Chris Ogbonnaya
 
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on his thoughts on the game) “We played hard but we just played pretty sloppy. We turned the ball over on offense and had over a 100 yards in penalties and obviously lost contain on defense. If those things are happening you’re not going to win in this league. Looking at the big picture it’s been a good training camp and we got a lot of film to go look at. On the plane these guys have got a lot of tough decisions to make but we did give everybody a good chance to play so that is the most important.”
 
(on WR Bryant Johnson) “We just gave him a few days and obviously he went in and made a few plays. I think he had three or four catches, but he can help us. He’s a veteran player and he’s been successful in this league. I think we’ve been missing that throughout camp with so many young receivers. We’ll go back to see how he played, but I think he should be able to help us.”
 
(on if he liked what he saw from WR/KR Trindon Holliday) “He did a few good things. He had a few not so good things, too, but he’s a very talented young man. I was very impressed with Matt Leinart. I thought Matt Leinart played very good, and that was important. I have to go back and we’ll watch on the plane. I got everybody involved and we’ll see how they did.”
 
(on if the Texans were pretty healthy coming out of this game) “Yes we’re very lucky. Tonight we got out healthy.”
 
(on being healthy throughout training camp) “It’s been good, and I think every coach in the NFL is concerned about what you were getting once a camp started, but our guys obviously did the work and they were all seasoned without us. We held up pretty good in camp and worked in some extreme heat down in Houston. Now sitting here six weeks later, I think we’re in pretty good shape physically. That’s very important, and we should be full go when we open up next week.”
 
WR Dorin Dickerson
(on if he maybe put too much pressure on himself) “Not really. I try to go in the situation as open-minded as possible and keep working on my skills as a receiver, and I still am having a hard transition to receiver. I’m not trying to make excuses, I just feel more comfortable as a wide receiver.”
 
(on if he feels that the shortened offseason hurt him without having OTAs) “You can look back and say that; you can say that it hurt me or could have helped me. But we don’t know that. My situation was that I had to come in and be a producer for this team, and obviously I haven’t done this yet. I need to find a way to do that.”
 
(on how tough it is to be on the bubble and knowing that so much was hinging on every play tonight) “It is crazy. Every single day in camp is just like tonight. I felt that every day was so crucial during camp that I had to perform well, I had to do this, and I couldn’t mess up or anything. That’s a part of the game, though. That’s the NFL. That’s why we call it the National Football League. That’s why we’re called professionals.”
 
(on if he’ll sleep well tonight) “Yeah, I’m going to sleep tonight. If this door shuts, another one will open. I just have to be positive about the situation. “
 
WR Trindon Holliday
(on if he thinks he made the team) “I think I did a pretty nice job coming out these last couple (days). I just came out and tried to show the coaches that I can make this team.”
 
(on if it was tough and if he was rusty) “No it wasn’t tough. It was just coming out and knowing what to do.”
 
(on getting hurt last year in the preseason and if one game is enough) “I hope it’s enough. I just came out tonight and tried to prove to the coaches that they should give me a chance to make this team.”
 
(on what he did right and wrong) “I felt like being able to go out and catch the punts and show the coaches that I was able to do it. I think the only thing that I did wrong was with the last punt I kind of muffed it, but then I picked it up.”
 
(on if he will sleep well the next couple of nights) “I’m just gonna go home and try to relax. I’m just gonna be positive and wait to see what happens.”
 
QB Matt Leinart
(on having penalties seemingly every time the Texans broke a big play) “Yeah, there was a lot of penalties. I thought we moved the ball well. Pretty much every drive, we hurt ourselves. You just can’t do that in football. If you hurt yourself, defenses are too good and they will take advantage. We executed fairly well; it’s just the penalties, and that’s something you have to clean up, and we can’t afford to do that.”
 
(on training camp) “I thought it was good overall. There was a lot of great effort, there was a lot of great work. I thought we just played hard. Everyone played hard, both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, we have to make a lot of cuts for tomorrow and go with the final roster. It was a great camp for everyone. Everyone busted their butt in the heat and worked their tails off, and it showed. We had a great preseason, games and practice, and it’s just fun to be a part of this team.”
 
(on WR Bryant Johnson looking like he picked up things quickly) “Yeah. You know, Bryant is a great receiver. I was with him for a few years in Arizona my rookie year through my first three years in the league. He’s just a great receiver, veteran guy, he’s been around the league. He’s been a part of a lot of offenses, and he just signed a couple days ago and he had a big game tonight. We expect big things out of him.”
 
(on what he thinks of his performance tonight) “I thought we did well. Penalties killed us, but overall we moved the ball pretty efficiently. We did well in the passing game and running game. Some of our receivers stepped up and had big games, which is always fun to see. Penalties will hurt you, whether preseason or not. I thought we had a good game overall. We tried hard, and we worked our butts off all camp and we finished the preseason not really how you like it, but we had a great preseason overall.”
 
(on how he would grade his overall preseason performance) “Well, there is still a lot to work on. Overall, I think I got better each and every week. That just has to continue. I have to continue to work hard and be ready to play whenever my number is called. I feel good, just got to keep working.”
 
CB Brice McCain
(on being one of the only guys who seems like he’s going to be a rotation player for the team actually playing tonight) “Yeah, I was expecting to play, unless they tell me otherwise. I wanted to take advantage of my opportunity to play today so I could put some good stuff on film.”
 
(on if he  feels he’s earned the spot as a starting nickel corner) “I did a good job for starting nickel, but I’ll probably get better. I think I’ve done everything I can to improve as a player and we’ll go from here.”
 
(on how different the atmosphere is in the secondary) “It’s way different because the people we have back here bring a lot of confidence to the booth and it rubs off on everyone else, I think the two who came here and the coaches. They’ve brought a lot of swagger to the team and made the secondary want to be better. Like Coach says, everyone rubs off on everybody. You see one guy doing good, you wanna do good. We’re competing, but we’re one whole group, as a whole group we will be a good secondary.”
 
(on if Colts QB Peyton Manning’s availability is on his mind at all) “No, not at all. We’ll play against anybody on Sunday. It doesn’t matter who it is, you have to bring your ‘A’ game and be ready.”
 
RB Chris Ogbonnaya
(on how the work tonight felt against the Vikings) “It felt fine. I’m just trying to do something on tape that I will be proud of. Last game of the preseason, you know you don’t want to leave anything that you’re going to regret.”
 
(on how he feels about his chances of making this team) “You just gotta stay positive. It’s not up to me. It’s up to the coaches; it’s up to the GM. I hope I can stick around, and I just wanted to leave everything out on the field.”
 
(on if making this team is like putting together an audition tape not only for the Texans but for the rest of this league) “Absolutely, because you never know how things are going to shake out. This is my third year and I’ve been released before so you know, it’s important for everybody and it’s important to show that you can play in this league, not just for one team. Hopefully it will work out, and we’ll see what happens.”
 
(on if he will be disappointed if it’s practice squad again) “I don’t know. I think I’ll leave that up to the coaches. But with the way I’ve worked, I would hope that’s not the case, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”


POSTGAME QUOTES FROM MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Head coach Leslie Frazier
RB Adrian Peterson
QB Christian Ponder
TE Kyle Rudolph
S Jamarca Sanford

Head coach Leslie Frazier
(opening statement) “It was good to end the preseason on a positive note in front of our home fans. I am so glad that we didn’t have to fly back to Minnesota. Glad that we were at home. Our guys really fed off the energy of the crowd and now, probably the real tough part of this job begins. With such a great effort by so many tonight, it’s going to make it tough for our staff to finalize that 53-man roster, which is a good problem to have. Just excited about the way our guys came out and fought. You realize that they were fighting for jobs, they performed extremely well.”

(on how many questions realistically were there on that 53-man roster decision) “There were a number of positions coming into this game that we had questions about. We’ll sit down, and I was talking to Rick Spielman earlier about just that fact, we’re going to have some strong discussions tomorrow at certain positions and we’ve got to be able to make some good decisions and I realize that there may be some good football players that may not make our team, but there are some good football players that will. Just excited about the fact that the guys competed the way they did at some of the key positions.

(on how much the salary cap position figures into cuts they will make) “We’re fortunate here in Minnesota where the Wilf family is going to do whatever is necessary for us to be competitive and salary-cap wise, we’re in good shape. We’re in better shape than people realize. We don’t have to make any decision on our roster based on our cap.”

(on QB Christian Ponder’s performance, particularly when he used his legs when he felt pressure in the pocket) “We were teasing him on the sideline. He showed some shades of Adrian (Peterson) out there a couple of times, but he did a great job. He had strong command of our offense. He was able to make some plays with his legs as well as his arm. He made some good throws for us as well. I just like the way he showed command and the way he took control of the huddle and really got us some good plays when the opportunity was presented and just real poised in every sense of the word. I think we have some hope in Christian.”

(on if Ponder has solidified himself as the number two quarterback “We’re going to sit down tomorrow and that’ll be one of the things that we talk about as well, exactly what the rotation will be and who is two, who is three as we get ready for San Diego.”

(on how much Ponder helped himself tonight) “I thought he did a good job, but you want to look at the entire body of work but he did a good job in this ball game and he’s done a good job throughout the preseason.”

(on if fear comes in when he takes off and runs) “You don’t want him out there too often but you got to let him play. He has the athletic ability to make plays out of the pocket. He’s shown that throughout his time with us and even in college as well so you don’t want to take that away from him but in our league when you’re starting quarterback is on the run, it does make you hold your breath sometimes.”

(on if there were times when he thought he was bailing too soon) “He was reacting to what he saw. There were times where he felt he needed to get out of the pocket and you got to let him be instinctive and learn from watching the video tape but I’m sure he’ll look at it on some occasions and say ‘Maybe I could have stayed in there a little bit longer’ but you’ve got to trust your instincts at that position and he did.”

(on Ponder sliding forward) “He’ll probably have to learn how to slide for sure. There were a couple of times where you would have liked for him do a little bit of a baseball slide but he’ll get that, that will come.”

(on if they have a strong safety) “I think we do and we’ll talk about it tomorrow, but one of those guys is going to line up against San Diego, I guarantee.”

(on if he’s going to say which one) “We’re going to talk about it tomorrow.”

(on if he has made a decision on Jasper Brinkley) “We haven’t made a decision. That’s one of the things we’ll have to discuss as well as we’re trying to finalize our 53, just make a determination on what’s best for him and what’s best for our football team.”

(on if WRs Greg Camarillo and Devin Aromashodu have the inside track on the final receiver spots) “Not necessarily. We have good competition for that fourth and fifth spot. We have to make a determination about which guy can help us not only at receiver but help us on special teams as well. Both of those guys have done a good job but so has Juaquin Iglesias and even Jaymar (Johnson) at times so we have to sit down and talk about that.”

(on why Remi Ayodele was the only starter to play) “Just wanted to get him some more reps in a football game. It would probably be good for him because he is probably the newest guy to our starting lineup who has never been with us, Erin (Henderson) has. Just thought it would be a good idea to let him get a few snaps and I think it will be a plus for us.”

(on if Anthony Herrera won the right guard job) “Yeah, we wanted him to get some snaps, more so for his conditioning than anything so that he would continue to get a comfort level being a starter in our league.”

(on Adrian Awasom having a pretty good game and if he has liked what he’s seen from him) “I do. He’s shown up. He’s done some good things, rushing the pass and tonight he really stepped it up and he needed to and it was good for our team that he did.”

(on his assessment of Everson Griffen at the linebacker role) “I thought he did some good things. At times, he looked like he was a little bit out of place, but that was to be expected. More often than not, he was where he needed to be and he made some plays for us. He had a nice breakup on a little end-route on a tight end. He looked comfortable, so I think there is a possibility for him as a backup linebacker.” 

(on what he found out about RB Caleb King) “We wanted to find out. We’ve only had him a few days, and we wanted to find out what he could and couldn’t do. I think he showed that he has a chance, so we will evaluate him tomorrow as well.”

(on if it’s hard to evaluate King with only seeing him for such a limited amount of time) “He was in a tough spot, being a guy that declared late and went through the supplemental draft, but that’s the situation that he was in; the situation that we’re in and so we will have to discuss him at length tomorrow and make a decision over the weekend.”

(on if Ponder playing a little bit more in this game helps the evaluation process) “I think so, in our case. You know we have some spots that are really up for grabs. We needed this time and this game, so I’m glad that this a fourth preseason game. We really needed it so we could make some big decisions about our roster.”

(on having a lot of guys scratched in this game and if besides Jasper Brinkley anyone is in danger of missing the San Diego game) “I don’t think so. Everybody should be ready to go for that San Diego game. I don’t think there is another guy that we would hold out based on injury.”

(on if Lorenzo Booker is coming back) “Yeah, he should be ready to practice this week. From what I’ve been told, there should be no residual effects from that last ballgame.”

(on the change in kickoffs and K Ryan Longwell kicking them pretty deep) “Well, we were asking him what kind of Gatorade he had before the game; he was booming that ball. Hopefully, that’s something for the future that will be there. He has a done a great job throughout the preseason of getting us some good hangtime. There are times we are going to want him to kick it deep enough where the opponent will be unable to return it.”

(on the odds of CB Brandon Burton making the 53-man roster) “I think he did some good things throughout this preseason and we will sit down and discuss him as well and try and make a determination who are the best 53, but I think he showed well for himself.” 

(on the biggest thing he has to do to earn that spot) “Well, (he) has shown steady improvement all year long. The fact that you didn’t get to see him back in May or June, this time was so important for him. From July 31st to now so that we could get a better feel for what he can do at this level. He has gotten better every week and every practice.”

(on if when RB Chris Johnson gets his deal done in Tennessee if there is something in the back of his mind that feels like it’s a precursor to locking up Adrian Peterson long-term) “You know there are some other people in the organization that handle that one and I just like the fact that we can hand off to 28.”

(on if he has been told that DT Kevin Williams is going to be ready to go in Week 1) “Still don’t know. Hopefully, we will find out something one way or another this week. At this point, we haven’t heard anything.”

(on if he has determined anything about the strong safety position) “No, we’re going to sit down and talk at length this weekend about the strong safety position.”

(on if Fred Evans is going to be your number two if the game was tomorrow) “I don’t know, we’re going to talk a great deal about who is the next guy up if something were to happen.”

(on how much progress Ponder has made since day one) “Tremendous amount of progress. Just seeing him tonight in the huddle, the command that he showed. Compared to Aug. 1, when we had our first practice, he has come so far. That really makes us believe that he will continue to get better and better. He has come a long ways.”

(on if Cord Parks is alright) “Yes, he twisted his ankle but he should be fine.”

RB Adrian Peterson
(on if RB Chris Johnson is a baseline for him to start at) “I don’t look at it like that. I look at his contract and the things that they have put together for him and I look at whatever I need to get done for me. It’s going to be my own separate deal so I don’t think it has anything to do with his.”

(on if he knows where talks are right now) “No. I don’t focus on that.”

(on if now that Johnson’s contract is done if that gives a kick start for him) “I don’t think that his (deal) has anything to do with the process, or what’s going to happen with mine.”

(on Johnson getting $30 million guaranteed, $53 million overall) “No, I’m happy for him. He got 53, 30 guaranteed.”

(on if he gets clued in about how far an update has come or any talk with the Vikings at all) “No, not at all. I’m focused on playing football, and he (agent) is doing his job.”

(on what he thought when he first heard about Johnson’s new contract) “I was happy for him. I like watching him play. I was happy that he got a deal done.”

QB Christian Ponder
(on if he felt a little more comfortable as the game went on) “Yeah, I did. I think that is with anyone who gets out there, especially as a rookie. I got out and got my feet wet. Everything slowed down and I got comfortable as it went on. I thought it went pretty well.”

(on if he planned to use his feet as much as he did tonight) “Yeah, just go with the instincts and a couple of times I had to buy more time and a lot of running lanes were open so it worked out well.”

(on the reaction from the coaches and if there is any fear that he’ll get hurt) “No, they haven’t said anything. In college I always ran and now they were just telling me to use my feet, use my instincts and make plays and if I can save myself and get out of bounds or get down and slide. I slid a couple of times head first, which probably isn’t the best.”

(on if he thinks people underestimate his speed) “Yeah, I think they see I am white and they think I am slow (laughing). But no, I think so, I think that is definitely one of my positives is my feet and buying extra time and getting out of the pocket if something breaks down. It just happened to work really well tonight.”

(on what he saw on the touchdown to TE Kyle Rudolph) “Yeah, he was my second progression and I think a corner was on him and he just boxed him out so I threw it low and it was great. Obviously it was cool that he was my first touchdown pass and I was his first touchdown catch. It was great. It was good to get that under the belt.”

(on what he feels as far as the development stages and what he’s been able to accomplish in the first four games) “I thought the biggest positive and the main thing I am happy about is I progressed each week and got better each week and I thought it was good to end on a high note and we’ll see what happens for the rest of the season.  I thought I played well and I learned a lot.  That is the biggest thing when I went into this thing was to learn and to progress.”

(on how he rates himself) “How do I rate myself? I thought I was good. You know we got in the red zone and we were two for two in the red zone and everything and handled those situations well, did pretty decent on third down.  Obviously there was still plays on the field that could  be made, but I am pretty pleased with myself.”

(on if it’s one of those things where he has to kind of tell himself to stay in the pocket, or if he just does whatever) “Yeah, I think just do whatever. You know, it worked well tonight obviously at some point I’m probably going to get myself in trouble breaking out of the pocket. Tonight worked well and I bought extra time, but it is just instincts.  Instincts took over and we found a way to score points.”

(on if it’s more comfortable on the rollouts right now) “Yeah, it is. Growing up that is always how I have been. I have always thrown the ball well on the run. I can still throw from the pocket, but when things break down, I think it is a big advantage that I have.”

(on how much further he is now compared to week 1) “A lot further along. Everything is slowing down a lot and I just feel more comfortable in my reads. I think each week has just been a progression and I have learned from each week. I think I am a lot farther along.”

(on diving head first on the first scramble and if they are telling him if he scrambles to slide) “No, you know actually coach (Bill) Musgrave said it is better to dive head first to get some extra yards. He brings up a good point, when you slide backwards you actually start exposing your chest and you expose yourself. I didn’t take any crazy shots and it went fine.”

(on who gets the ball from the first touchdown pass, him or Rudolph) “We talked about cutting it in half (laughing). I don’t think anyone got the ball. I didn’t get the ball and I don’t think he got the ball either. It is out there somewhere.”

TE Kyle Rudolph
(on if he and QB Christian Ponder hooked up for the first of many touchdowns to come) “Yeah, go figure his first touchdown throw is my first catch. So, hopefully we see it a lot more times to come.” 

(on if he had any idea that Ponder could run like that) “I have seen a little bit of it this preseason. With his escapability, he has an ability to make plays, whether it’s moving around in the pocket or taking off.” 

(on getting a lot of reps and if he feels that he has learned a lot) “I definitely feel like this preseason has been a big one for me. Coming off the injury last year, I missed a lot of games at the end of the season. To be able to come back in football shape and then, like you said, taking these valuable reps with the ‘ones’’ has been a great opportunity for me and I feel like I have made the most of it.” 

(on if he thinks he can put himself high enough on the radar that even when Visanthe Shiancoe comes back he is going to be in the mix) “I am going to do everything I can to create a role for myself and whatever that role is, run with it for the year and do everything I can to make this offense and make this team better.” 

(on how comfortable he feels with the plays, with the system right now) “I feel very comfortable with the plays. I had a lot of work this training camp at all of the positions.  This training camp, we ran a lot of multiple tight end sets, and being comfortable with all of those positions and the more you can do, the more opportunities you are going to have and the more the coaching staff will feel like we can put him anywhere and he will be fine.” 

(on Ponder looking his way when he breaks the pocket and if that is a rapport that they have developed) “You could say that. Everyone knows that we have a close friendship, and we have got closer the last couple of months. I definitely think that carries over to the field.” 

(on how he rates how he played tonight) “I feel comfortable with it. I feel like tonight was a great opportunity for us to come out here and have one last test run before the regular season. I felt like we did that.”

S Jamarca Sanford
(on how big of a difference training camp has been this year, fighting for a starting spot rather than to just make the team) “It’s a big difference. You approach every year with the same attitude of trying to make the team, but it’s a big difference when you feel you’re going to be here regardless. We still want to go out and make plays and compete, but it’s a big difference. You have a lot of weight on your shoulders your first year, because you really don’t know what the coaches are going to decide. Especially being a late-rounder like I was, you have to come out and leave it all out on the field.”

(on if he feels like he’s done enough during training camp in his quest to be a starter) “It’s not for me to answer. All I can do is go out and make plays and do what I can do. I can’t control what decision they (the coaching staff) make. Whatever decision they make, I’ll be happy with it.”

(on if there is some excitement on his part as he waits to find out) “Yes. I’m really looking forward to the regular season starting. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. But, like I said, I can’t control that. All I can control is to go out and make plays and do what they ask me to do.”

(on if he felt secure coming into today) “I feel like I always have work to do, like I always have room for improvement. That’s why we played today, to try to get better.”

(on how much of that attitude comes from being a seventh-round draft pick) “You always have that on your shoulders. That’s what I take the field with. I had a lot of doubters coming into this league, saying that I couldn’t play in this league. I always keep where I came from on my mind. Every day’s a grind, and that’s how I approach it.”

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