August 1, 2011 - PM Practic...

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August 01, 2011

August 1, 2011 - PM Practice

  • Monday, August 1, 2011 - Afternoon Practice

Houston Texans Transcripts

Afternoon Training Camp

Monday, August 1, 2011

(Transcribed by Jeremy Joseph, Brittany McCray and Brett Maikowski)


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
CB Brandon Harris
DE Antonio Smith


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on how exciting it is to see OLB Mario Williams playing a new position) "Obviously we've only been out here for one day, but I think it's more exciting for Mario (Williams) than anybody. It's a change in his career, not necessarily the position he's playing but the technique he's fixing to go play the position with. (Linebackers coach) Reggie (Herring) and (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) are experts at that. That's what they've been doing and teaching and can sit there and say, 'Hey Mario, look at the guys we've had that have been pretty successful.' It's exciting to watch."

(on if the change to linebacker will bring OLB Mario Williams to the next level) "You're right. A lot of ways, rushing the passer defensively is what it's all about. This allows him a lot of freedom to do that on a regular basis. I think he's got great people working with him from a technique standpoint and are expanding his pass-rush repertoire. It'll be fun to watch it happen."

(on how exciting it is to get on the field after all the changes on defense) "I told them yesterday, I don't know if they're happy to see us, but we sure were happy to see them. This is what we do for a living, being around our players and coach. It's just been a long, hard, difficult offseason, but we're back. Like I told the players last night, it's not so much the time we lost; it's what we do with the time we have. We got off to a good start today. I think guys looked pretty good, so we're just gradually getting them back to where they can handle it outside for a couple hours."

(on the energy level of the team) "Your afternoon practices are strictly walk-throughs and they're so fired up to get going here. We've got a process we're going to work through. We're going to get about 10 guys back on Thursday morning that are key guys on this team, so we'll be at full speed before the weekend is out."

(on if he thinks training camp is long enough to get the new 3-4 defense implemented) "That has always been the thought process. Obviously, we missed time and all that, but with (defensive coordinator) Wade (Phillips) being here and what we're fixing to go do and the fact that he's done it very quickly in some places all played into this process. He's confident and that's all that matters. He's been doing it for a long time and he feels confident that if we take it slowly and work into it, we'll be able to get it done. To come out here one day today and watch him practice without an offseason was pretty impressive."

(on his first impressions on DE J.J. Watt) "The thing I noticed is in college, he (J.J. Watt) just made a lot of plays, knocked balls down, when they needed a big play, he made the play, big sack, blocked field goals. He comes out here and today I think he knocked two balls down in a drill. He's an effort player and (assistant head coach/defensive line) Bill (Kollar) works wonders with guys like that. He's been asked to do a lot, but that's why we brought him here."

(on how tough it will be on DE J.J. Watt being thrust into a primary role quickly) "It's tough on any rookie, but that's what we brought him here to do and he's a very mature young man and if today's any indication, he's going to be just fine."


Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips
(on if he feels that he can implement the new 3-4 defense in a few weeks) "I told the players there's no excuse for it. We've got to work hard. We made a lot of mistakes today, but we'll correct those tomorrow. It's going to take a lot of work and a lot of effort. The players are dedicated to getting it done and ready for the season and we are too."

(on if he feels like things are run differently now) "We do things the way we've done them. They've been successful and it's a successful system as long as you have real good players that are dedicated. That's what we have."

(on if the biggest difference in OLB Mario Williams' new position is the footwork) "That's what I work on with everybody, not just Mario (Williams). We emphasize fundamentals. We emphasize efficiency of motion to move better. We try to help our players any way we can."

(on how tough it will be with a lot of rookies and missed time during the offseason) "We used to not have an offseason when I first started. I've been through it when you just saw them for training camp. You've got to implement the system. I think we played five rookies when I was in New Orleans that started for us. You've got to get them ready whatever year they are, whatever team it is, you've got to get them ready for the season. That's our job."

(on if the football IQ is pretty high among the defense) "I think it's pretty strong. We've got a lot of smart guys. I've always said smart guys get better and smart guys get better quicker, so I think that's going to help us."

(on if this team is hungrier than most) "I do sense a sense of urgency with the team and I think that's a good thing, but there's a lot of excitement the first day. We want to continue that. That's our job to keep going like that and keep that enthusiasm every play, every practice and every game."

(on how long it takes to play instinctively) "Part of the process is to get them to learn the defense quickly and learn their assignments. There are a lot of techniques involved and we've got to keep working on those things, footwork, how you move within the defense. The assignments are first and that's what we're trying to implement right now."


CB Brandon Harris
(on being a coach's son) "You have help. You have a lot of help. Growing up, my dad, he always taught me how to read offenses. All my life I was an offensive player, so coming out with him and just being around him and seeing him create plays; when he created the plays, he always liked to look at it from a defensive standpoint and know who can stop them and who can fit which holes. Just learning it that way, when I got here, obviously it's a whole different level, nothing I've ever experienced before, but just having that background, it helped me catch on pretty quickly."

(on thinking he has a chance to make the team due to a Houston's struggles in pass defense last season) "Statistically on paper, they didn't have a good year, but when I got here and I came here over the summer and worked with those guys at Rice, I thought, 'Man, these guys are good.' They were pretty good. I just worked with them from that point and they taught me a lot of things since I've been here. It's been enjoyable working with them and them helping me grow and just watching them grow also, because we're all still learning. We're a very young secondary. It's been exciting."

(on guys from Miami already being here) "It's lovely. You walk in the locker room and everybody's wearing their (University of Miami) t-shirt and the UM logo. It's just to represent that and represent where you come from, it's great. The guys here at Houston, they appreciate it."

(on looking forward to playing football in Texas) "I've been hearing so much about Texas football from the high school level to college. Luckily enough I got the opportunity to play here in Houston. It's going to be great. I've gotten nothing but supportive messages from fans and everything. I'm excited."

(on his impression of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the defense) "It's different. Obviously, I've never played in a 3-4 from high school through college and here, and I like it. I think Coach Phillips, he has a good handle on the defense and he knows it fits this program, it fits this football team. He's putting guys in the right position. You see him making some changes and it's just one day of practice and a walk-through. It's been great. When we looked at it on tape earlier, we see some exciting things."


DE Antonio Smith
(on learning a new defense) "We've got a lot to learn with a new defense and a little bit of time to do it, but everybody is excited to learn and excited for putting the best foot forward into making this defense the best defense it could be."

(on the toughest part in learning the defense in a short time) "It's just understanding the (play)book; this is new for all of us. None of us have played in the system, if I'm correct, so the terminology is totally different than what I've had in all my eight years of football. So I think the main thing is getting the defense down to where you can run it correctly and then as we progress, we can get better and better at it."

(on how he wants to react in the 3-4 defense) "You get out there and you can go fast, but if you don't know what you're doing and why you're going fast, it just looks like you don't know what you're doing out there; everybody is not on the same page. Right now, with the way coach is approaching, is we're learning the basics first. First, when he came in, we learned all the terminology he wants us to call it what he calls it and he wants us to run it how it he runs it, not the way some of us have run it along the way.

(on DE J.J. Watt) "He looks good, a big strong, strapping young buck. It's going to be a lot of hazing going on. He can carry a lot of pads on that back. We can gather about 20 stacks of pads on him."

(on OLB Mario Williams' transition to outside linebacker from defensive end) "He going to be alright. I'm not worried about Mario (Williams). All he's going to do is be rushing all the time, so I'm not worried about him one bit. I think Mario is going to pick up on it; he's just rushing the edge and dropping sometimes. That's his game. His rushing the outside rusher is going to be second nature to him and we're not going to have any problems with it."


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