Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Texans Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
Texans LT Duane Brown
Texans RB Arian Foster
Texans WR Andre Johnson
Texans QB T.J. Yates
Houston Texans Open Locker Room
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis Conference Call
Bengals QB Andy Dalton Conference Call
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
(Transcribed by Harriet Dao, Maddy Foxx and Brett Maikowski)
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
OLB Connor Barwin
G Mike Brisiel
LT Duane Brown
RB Arian Foster
WR Andre Johnson
FS Danieal Manning
C Chris Myers
SS Glover Quin
ILB DeMeco Ryans
DE J.J Watt
T Eric Winston
QB T.J. Yates
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis
Bengals QB Andy Dalton
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on the injuries) "First off, guys that did not practice today, (Derek) Newton did not practice, (Troy) Nolan did not practice, (Bryan) Braman, Jason Allen. T.J. (Yates) was fine, took a full load in practice today, looked very good. (Mike) Brisiel was back practicing. Let's see who else. (Sherrick) McManis was back practicing today and Johnathan Joseph was limited, has a sore ankle and did individual stuff and then we kind of pulled him later in practice, so he was limited. That's where we ended up today."
(on QB T.J. Yates) "He looked good. He practiced well and took his full arsenal of reps. At the same time, we are getting Jake (Delhomme) reps and that's kind of been part of the routine the last three weeks. But he was fine. He did everything he would be asked to do any other Wednesday during the season."
(on CB Johnathan Joseph's ankle injury) "We thought rest last week would do him some good. He came out today and was moving around fine going into the individual. Got a little sore on him and he changed his tape a couple times and was still sore, so after the first period, we pulled him. I think it's more of a precaution than anything. My expectation is that he's back on the field tomorrow, but we'll see."
(on G Mike Brisiel's status for Saturday) "I would love to think that he and (Antoine) Caldwell went at it 60-40, 70-30, somewhere in there if Mike's able to come back and play that much, but I'll have to watch him practice. I would say today that Mike probably took about half the reps of practice. But that's an amazing recovery. Danieal (Manning) did the same thing. We'll see how he comes out of each day, but we sure hope he's ready to go."
(on if G Mike Brisiel will start on Saturday if he's healthy) "Yeah, Mike's played very well for us, been the starter all year long and there would be no reason for him not to go back there if he can handle it."
(on if the offensive line was starting to play better last week) "Yeah, I thought so. We can go to each spot the last month and we just haven't been consistent as a football team. They're part of that too. We've been a little inconsistent in protecting our quarterback, but I did like the way we played early in the game last week or throughout the first half. We miss Mike (Brisiel). Gump's (Antoine Caldwell) played a lot of football. Caldwell's played a lot of football, but we did miss Mike. Mike's a big part of what we're doing and hopefully we get him back."
(on if the offensive line is the best unit on the team) "I think they obviously have been consistent for this team for a while. I think that's two years in a row until Mike (Brisiel) got hurt, if I'm right, that I don't know if we've had a lineman miss any time at all. We've been very fortunate from that standpoint and them playing that many snaps together is what has made them better each and every week."
(on the intensity in practice) "Really like it, very, very focused today. I kind of went back to my Week 1 schedule as far as how we do things time-wise. We probably needed as much time in the meeting room this week as anything, so we've added some there. Our focus was very good. We're pretty fresh because most of our starters played somewhere between 25 and 30 plays. Even though it's a two-day window that we've went from game-time to back to the field, we've moved around pretty good."
(on how much QB T.J. Yates has grown since his first game) "It's been a great deal. The biggest thing is to watch us give him a game plan Wednesday morning, watch him go from a meeting at 11 o'clock to the field at 12 o'clock and perform that game plan and that's hard to do. It takes a good night for a guy to study, but a good veteran player can usually do that pretty quick. He's starting to show signs of doing that. He practiced very well today. His preparation's been excellent. He's got a lot of guys helping him, but his preparation is very good."
(on WR Andre Johnson) "He looked real good. He looked like himself today. He took a big load at practice. He feels himself getting stronger and obviously upbeat and excited about his opportunity this weekend. He looked good."
(on if QB T.J. Yates has been limited at all with his shoulder injury) "No, he did everything today. As a matter of fact, it was an excellent practice today, practiced very well."
(on the turnover difference in the first half of the season compared to the second half) "Well the good part is I think we ended up in the top five or six in the League, so that's why we're getting the chance to play this weekend. The big picture has been good. The last five weeks have been disappointing. I think last week was zero. We cancelled each other out. The key to our team has been winning turnover battles, protecting the football, those type of things and if we're ever going to get back to it, this would be a nice time to do it. We emphasized that at practice, trying to work really hard on it and hopefully we can get back to getting that done."
(on how important the opening drive was last week) "It was important for the team, the fast starts that we've been getting off to throughout the course of the year. We looked like ourselves there from an energy standpoint and those type of things, but bottom line is you got to play four quarters. That was something we could build upon."
(on ILB Brian Cushing being voted as the team MVP) "I wasn't surprised. He's been a leader all year long and statistically what he's done has been tremendous. If you throw away the statistics, what he's done for our defense has been exceptional. There's no doubt from a player's standpoint. I think we've had a lot of guys that have had some great years, but he's really stood out in our room all year long."
(on what the difference has been for ILB Brian Cushing from last year to this year) "To me, it's practice. Certain players, when they miss a lot of time, it's hard to go out there and transfer it. It's difficult. Cush is one of those guys when he practices well, he plays well and most great players are that way. So, his health, being there every day at practice with (linebackers coach) Reggie (Herring) and (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) I think has transferred into him playing extremely well."
(on defensive coordinator Wade Phillips calling ILB Brian Cushing a 'holy phenom') "He's been that way for us. I don't know what that is, but he's been that way for us. He's been exceptional. He's been all over the field. About the only thing that hasn't come Cush's way are the turnovers, those type of things. When you have those, you get even more credit, but I think they're going to come. He's worked extremely hard. He's been a leader. He's calling defenses and stuff. That's something he hasn't done in the past. He's really grown as a player a great deal."
(on what the crowd noise can do to an opposing team) "It's huge. They've got to operate offensively with our crowd type of thing. It's a big boost for us as a football team. It's just something we need to use to our advantage. Obviously, this place will be rocking. We know that. It's been excellent all year long and I'm sure it'll be even better this weekend."
(on the most important piece of advice for QB T.J. Yates) "Oh, I just want him to play - just go out and play the game. I want him to be aggressive. He's very well prepared. He knows what he's doing. I think we all understand the magnitude of the game, but you got to be willing to go cut it loose, and I want our whole team to be there right now, not just T.J."
(on CB Jason Allen's status for this weekend) "We'll see. He's had back spasms. He did some jogging around the field today. Obviously, he wouldn't be ready to go today, but we got a long way to go. There are some things they can do to help him out, so hopefully he's out there doing something tomorrow."
(on overcoming the team's lack of playoff experience) "I don't know that answer. I mean, I've been asked so many times. It is what it is. From that standpoint, as far as our players, maybe that's a good thing that they don't have a lot of things to pull from. It's just go play it like any other game. They know that the result - the biggest factor -you can move on. If you don't play well, you're not moving on, you're going home. They all understand that, but this is the Houston Texans' first taste of a playoff game. We've got some guys that are helping them out, and there's a lot of great information being passed along from Antonio Smith and Danieal Manning. Watching Danieal Manning practice today and watching him prepare - if you're his teammate, you know there was something different about it today. You just ask those guys to lead the way, and we got a lot of good players that need to jump in there and go with them, so we'll find out."
(on the team's confidence in him due to his playoff experience) "I hope they look at our staff and pull from everybody. (Defensive coordinator) Wade's (Phillips) been in a lot of big football games, (offensive coordinator) Rico (Rick Dennison), guys have been in a lot of playoff games, have been around those type of things. They got to look to everybody, and like I said, there's a lot of information to be passed along this week, whether it's from me, coaches, players who've played in playoff games, but the bottom line is we're going to play with the same ball, we're going play on the same fields. That was my message to them this morning, 'Hey, whatever you did during the season, you did a hell of a job. You make sure you're doing the same thing this week as we prepare for Saturday.'"
Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on the offensive line playing like they were earlier in the season last week) "Obviously we missed a part of the five with Mike (Brisiel) being down and hopefully he will be back full force this week. He practiced today. They've just done a nice job because you keep the cohesiveness. All five are working together and that's important. You have to know what the guy next to you is going to do at all times. You have to be able to communicate quickly and I think they've done a nice job. It's just a matter of keep doing the little things. There was a couple of times where we didn't quite do all the little things we needed to, but they got focused and they're a very dedicated group. They study hard and they work hard."
(on the adjustments made with the quarterback situation) "There's a little bit. Mostly with cadence but through practice and just working with them, I think we're fine. Obviously T.J. (Yates) has worked hard too so I think we will be good."
(on how much WR Andre Johnson's presence affects what the team does offensively) "Well, it makes us smile a little bit more if that helps you out. As much of a presence that he is, a great football player, we'll still do things within the structure of our offense, but knowing what he can do out at wide out and how he can press, he can create some problems for people one on one certainly. That may change their coverage and may do some things, but we don't know. He's been off for awhile so it's just great to have him back. He doesn't say anything. He just works hard. Having a guy out there work that hard and do everything you tell him is great for the team to see that as a leader by example for sure."
(on what impresses him most about QB T.J. Yates) "I think his resilience. He's tougher than nails. If something that doesn't come right away for him he keeps working at it, you know, you never have to correct him about the same thing twice. If you do it one time then he understands. He studies very hard. He's taken the example that Matt (Schaub) and the other Matt (Leinart) have done before him and he knows how well you have to be prepared to play the game and I think that's the thing is he really, really prepares well."
(on whether there was any question as to how QB T.J. Yates would respond when he became the starter) "No, we kind of saw that through our study of him in college. When he was in some adverse situations he handled them really well and really responded. I think we had a pretty good indication that he was going to do that."
(on Head Coach Gary Kubiak's comment that G Mike Brisiel may be able to play about sixty or seventy percent of the snaps in Saturday's game) "Well anytime you have guys that have played a lot of football like Mike and is a solid player like Mike, it's not that Antoine (Caldwell) isn't, it's just the more people you have ready to play and have played a lot of snaps, the better off. It would be great if they rotated and keep the fresh guy in. Whatever he can give us we are looking forward to it."
(on whether the switching of G Antoine Caldwell and G Mike Brisiel will alternate the chemistry of the offensive line) "No, we do that at practice so much and those guys are all trained by the same guy, (offensive line coach) John (Benton) does a great job with them. They're next to two solid guys in Eric (Winston) and Chris (Myers). Chris keeps them all on the same page, so we don't have any doubt. Just like the past couple of weeks, we will be ok."
(on what can be said about G Mike Brisiel's toughness regarding his injury) "I think it says a lot about him. I mean, he played a doggone half a game with that thing. He's always shown to be very resilient and very tough and he doesn't say much, he just keeps working."
(on having depth in the offensive line) "Well, we'll just see need to see how the game plays out. Certainly it helps to have all of them in the arrow in the quiver I guess you would say and if that works out, it works. If we keep fresh guys out we are great. We will just see how it plays out, see what our match-ups are and see how each guy is doing."
(on the offense looking different with QB T.J. Yates against a zone as opposed to a man to man against the Bengals) "They play a lot of defense. They play a lot of good defense too, so they can do a little bit of everything. They've got corners that can cover. They're good up front. They're really good upfront. They can bring you blitzes. They can play zone. There's a lot of things they can do and hopefully we have enough to cover that or defeat that. We've got to be ready for everything, because they've done a little bit of everything in every realm of the game, so with all the defenses they play we have to have enough fire power to get after it."
(on taking advantage of the Bengals thinking the Texans would be limited with QB T.J. Yates in the last game) "Well, to a certain extent. It took every minute of that game to win that thing, because they are a good football team. We don't know how they're going to play us, but whatever it is we have to be able to match it."