HOUSTON TEXANS vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11/5/17)
What are your thoughts on the adjustments made and how QB Tom Savage played?
“It got better as the game went along, but it wasn’t good enough. We have to coach, we have to play better.”
In terms of how QB Tom Savage did at the end of the game, do you think he started to knock off some rust?
“Yeah, I mean, we got a drive there at the end and we got enough opportunities and just couldn’t put it in. We called every below red area play we had and just couldn’t get it done. So, we have to go back to the drawing board.”
What did you see on CB Kareem Jackson’s play where it was questioned whether he tagged Colts WR T.Y. Hilton or not?
“Nobody touched him.”
How disappointing is it to be 3-5 after everything this team had been building over the last few weeks?
“It’s definitely disappointing, but we have eight games left and we have to get back to work tomorrow.”
You put T Julién Davenport in a lot today at tackle, can you talk about that?
“I think he’s ready to play and Clarky (Chris Clark) was a little banged up, so we gave (Julién) Davenport the opportunity, and we’ll see how it went on film, but that’s something that we wanted to do and, like I said, we’ll see how it went. We have to look at the film before we make a judgment on how it went.”
Can you talk about the running game performance?
“We just didn’t run the ball well enough. I’m always going to try to establish the run. If you think you’re going to throw it 60 times a game, I mean, you have no shot. So, you always have to try to stay balanced, and our defense kept us in the game. They did a good job. Special teams did a good job. But, it just was just not very good offensively.”
How tough is it to stop Colts WR T.Y. Hilton’s speed?
“Yeah, he’s a great player, got great speed. He’s a go-to guy. He’s made a lot of plays for a lot of years for them. He’s a great player.”
What do you think were the general offensive struggles today?
“I don’t know. We’re just going to have to look at the tape. I don’t really know. It’s just a combination of a lot of things. The ball’s got to come out. We have to coach better. Everybody’s got to do a better job.”
What have you seen from OLB Lamarr Houston?
“He’s done a good job since he’s gotten here. He’s a fun guy, a great guy to coach. (He) practices hard, prepares hard and he made several nice plays today. He’s been a good addition to our team. No doubt about it.”
Do you feel that QB Tom Savage can improve on his sense of urgency?
“Yeah, we had one timeout left in the game, so there’s no doubt, everybody’s got to be faster, get the call in as fast as we can and we have to get lined up faster. But, again, like I always say, I have to coach better. It starts with me and goes from there. But, in that situation, you’re saving that timeout for a key fourth-down call. That’s what you’re saving the timeout for, so I really don’t want to hear any B.S. about clock management. I really don’t want to hear it this week. He (Tom Savage) tried to do the best he could. We got lined up as fast as we could. We’ve practiced two minute every week and we just didn’t get it done.”
OLB/DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY (Transcribed by Stephanie Weaver)
What are your thoughts on the game?
“We continued to fight the whole game on both sides of the ball. Just didn’t get the outcome we wanted.”
Did you feel like you needed to come up with another score on defense to win the game?
“I feel like that every week, no matter who we’ve got. I feel like we need to make turnovers and come up with scores on defense to put ourselves in better situations to win games. Today we caused just one, so we need to do better.”
In general, how do you feel like you guys played today?
“Could have done better. Gave up, what 20 points? Enough to win. That’s all there was. We didn’t win so we didn’t play too good. When we play good, we win games. They don’t care about nobody playing good. You’re losing. So like I said, we’ve got to get to work. Get back Monday, tomorrow. Get ready to go. Study the film, learn from it, and get ready for the Rams.”
How would you describe what you guys did on the last two series other than when you didn’t score?
“Well, it showed we can move the ball. We just have to do it more consistent, come out and start fresh and not wait until late to pick things up.”
How would you describe the touchdown drive the way you guys went straight down the field (and scored)?
“That’s why we practice. Drive the ball downfield and end up with a touchdown. We just have to do it more often and guys have to focus more including myself.”
What do you think will be the key to getting back on track next week?
“Just coming out and having a good practice. We know we’re going up against a good team in Los Angeles not sure how much they won by today, but I know it was a lot. So, we just have to come out fast against those guys.”
What’s the mentality of the team right now with half the season left?
“We have to fight. We have to come back in, fix the mistakes we made and we have to do it in a hurry. At the end of the day, Monday is a new week. We have to start up and get back to it.”
Did you feel like you guys played well except for a few big plays?
“I felt like we played solid. I have to go back and watch the tape. We let 13 (T.Y. Hilton) get over our head, and that’s why we lost the game.”
What do you think about the job that Eddie Pleasant did for the defense today?
“Eddie (Pleasant) is a great player. I expect that out of Eddie every time he’s out on the field. He can make a great play for us, so I wasn’t surprised at all. Like I said, we can keep fighting, be in the position to make plays, and execute those plays.”
At the halfway point in the season, where do you feel like this team will go?
“We just have to stick together. We all know football. We lost some tough games to some tough teams, some real close games. But at the end of the day, we just have to stick together. No matter who’s out, who’s playing, who’s hurt, we all just have to stick together and come back to work on Monday.”
How difficult was it to get up for this game after the losses the team had this week?
“We don’t pay attention to stuff like that. This is an NFL football game. If you can’t get up for a game, and you’re a player, you’re in the wrong business. At the end of the day, a lot of players they want to come watch are not out there, but we’re not done. That doesn’t really affect players that are in here when it comes to getting hyped for a game. This is an NFL football team, if you can’t get hyped for an NFL game, you’re in the wrong business.”
Did you feel there was more pressure to put points on the board today?
“We just felt like we had to go out there and do our thing. We believe in Tom (Savage). We didn’t come out with the W, but he’s our quarterback, an NFL quarterback. At the end of the day, we want him to do the same thing everyone else is doing. So no, we didn’t feel that way.”
QB TOM SAVAGE
How difficult was it after not playing the past few weeks to get back into a rhythm?
“I don’t know if it was difficult. I just didn’t make the throws to win the game.”
Can you go over the last drive and if you were confident you were all starting to click?
“I don’t think confidence was never an issue and never will be an issue for me. We were moving the ball. We went down there. Obviously, you don’t want to be in the fourth-down situation. I could probably do a better job of stepping up in the pocket instead of taking a strip sack. Ultimately I was going to 10 (DeAndre Hopkins). It’s just frustrating.”
How difficult was it to get some life going after so many incompletions?
“It’s the most frustrating part of it is the fact that there’s nothing they were doing that we weren’t prepared for. The coaches did a great job coaching us up. It’s probably the most frustrating game of my life. It’s just one of those deals that I just wasn’t making the throws and guys were open. I’m not going to give you the politically correct answer and say like blah blah blah we can get better. No, I have to make the throws. I played like crap. That’s what it is.”
Where is the team at midway through the season?
“The team and where they’re at mentally is not an issue. It never will be here, that is the kind of culture that we have. It’s just about holding yourself accountable and knowing when you need to pick it up. I need to pick it up.”
Can you explain your throws that were out of bounds or when you missed receivers?
“Listen the throws out of bounds, that’s frustrating for a quarterback, because you know you can make the throw. There are times where it’s my guy, no guy type of throw and throwing to ‘Hop’ (DeAndre Hopkins) high and away from the safety. Just got to keep the ball in bounds and know I’m going to make plays. It’s not my game, never has been my game, of chucking the ball five yards out of bounds. That’s where the frustration comes from, because I know I’m better than that.”
Did it feel like the pace could have been picked up in the fourth quarter on the last drive or was it a more situational issue?
“Yeah, I think it was more of a situational thing. I think ultimately, you want to finish the game with a touchdown and not give them any opportunities to score or do anything like that. I think clock management was good. Listen, it was fourth down, two seconds to left. Just got to find a way to win it.”
HEAD COACH CHUCK PAGANO (Transcribed by Hannah Pietsch and Christiana Johns)
“No injuries to report. Obviously a great win, much needed. To say the least, it was a hard-fought battle. Two teams desperate to get a win. Texans played their butt off. Our guys fought until the end. We talked at length about finishing and playing 60 minutes. That was obviously the theme for the past several weeks. But these guys have worked their tails off for the last two weeks. We came up short two weeks ago, and they found a way to get it done today. Obviously, a huge play at the end of the game, big plays made by the quarterback and T.Y. (Hilton). (Jacoby) Brissett was good. The kicking game was good. We had a couple plays here and there. Obviously, you don’t want to give up a sack fumble for a score at the half. Had things going pretty good. We’ve got to look at that and get that fixed. We had T.Y. (Hilton) on a double move, and he’s wide open. Again, you’ve got to execute, and everybody’s got to be on the same page and you’ve got to get it blocked up. We’ll work on that. It was a good play call and great execution by T.Y., we just didn’t execute from a protection standpoint upfront. We’ll get that fixed. But again really, really proud of this football team, proud of the coaches. Guys did a great job. They kept their head down, and they kept working. Blocked out all the stuff they needed to block out. Our vets came through, and again it came down to every last second to get that win.”
The defense has been solid the past two weeks. Is there anything you can pinpoint on why you all are able to get it going now?
“Again, guys are preparing, putting good plans together. Young guys are growing up and gaining confidence. Our veteran guys are playing well. Our ability to stop the run – had a couple here and there, but nothing major. We forced people in to third down. I don’t know what we finished. I guess it was 4 of 14 on third downs. Again, credit Coach (Ted) Monachino and the defensive staff and those players. Again, the young guys are coming through. Guys like Nate Hairston and Pierre Desir going in there. It was great having (Rashaan) Melvin back. Those guys competed their tails off. That’s all we ask them to do. That’s what we talked about at halftime is we’ve got to close. We’ve got to finish, we’ve got to close the thing out. They did a tremendous job as a football team today.”
Will CB Vontae Davis be back active next week?
Did Vontae Davis re-aggravate his groin?
“It’s a coach’s decision.”
There are a lot of conflicting versions out there.
“It’s a coach’s decision.”
Is Vontae Davis healthy?
“It’s a coach’s decision.”
How much of the defensive game plan changed when you found out on late Thursday about Texans QB Deshaun Watson’s injury? I’m sure much of your plan was already in place.
“Things obviously that we had up to try to defend a guy like Deshaun (Watson) as best as you can. Spy things, assign somebody to him, someone around the line of scrimmage so that he can’t scramble and extend plays. All those kind of things – the read option stuff. Guys went in, and they did a great job. Again credit Ted (Monachino) and that defensive staff – as soon as the news broke, just like they did, we got in there, the coaches got in there, and we burned the midnight oil and figured out OK, what do we need to keep, what stuff works, what can we take away, what can we add in the short period of time. We only had a couple of days. The worst thing we could have done was go throw a lot of things at these guys and paralyze them, so to speak, from a mental standpoint.”
You guys kept QB Tom Savage and the offense under wraps for most of the game. What did they do differently in those last two minutes of the game, and what did you do to get them on fourth down?
“They started making some plays. You get in those situations, and it’s hard. You credit them. You credit Tom (Savage) and the offense, and they’ve got a great play caller over there in the head football coach. They’re able to execute. They’ve got a player in (DeAndre) Hopkins that made a great play. And our guys battled against them. I don’t think 15 (Will Fuller V) – you know what? He’s not going to wreck the game. Can’t let 10 (DeAndre Hopkins) wreck the game. You don’t want to have 90 (OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney) wreck the game. It’s everybody’s philosophy. It’s what you’re trying to do. These guys ain’t going to wreck the game. And they made plays down the stretch, but we made one more. And it was enough to get the job done. Get a great job but Jabaal (Sheard) and a better job by Barkevious (Mingo) getting on the ball and getting down and understanding the situation of football.”
Was there a more concerted effort than normal to get the ball to WR T.Y. Hilton today?
“We try to every week. Every week we try.”
How about the touchdown T.Y. Hilton he scored?
“That was a great heads up play. Great instincts. Great instincts. To evade that guy and have the wherewithal and instincts to bounce up and run it in, that’s great football.”
What was it like around your offices Thursday and Friday when you got the news about QB Deshaun Watson’s injury? How long were defensive coaches working?
“They did what they had to do. Just to make sure we went back and reviewed the clips Tom (Savage) played, reviewed every snap on the flight. You put that on the reel and you shoot it out to the players on the iPads and figure out. You assign T.J. (Green) to get on the line and cut up some of those guys and push that stuff to the iPads and when you go back and look at the things that they’ve done – to the first game of the year and back to the Cincinnati game last year – hold all of their snaps and do as good of a job as you can to prepare.”
Do you notice T.Y. Hilton more focused today after recent struggles?
“Yeah, that’s what you do. Because it’s going to be hard. It’s a great player. It’s like (DeAndre) Hopkins. Guys are going to do what they have to do to make sure you don’t wreck the game. It’s hard. You can become frustrated. A great player, they want the ball. He’s a guy that wants the football. We’re doing everything we can to get that ball to our playmakers. We’ve got to be balanced. We’ve got to have a good form on the ball. We’ve got to be able to run the football. If you can control the clock – I don’t know what time of possession, a little over 30 minutes – you know if you win the time possession, you win the turnover battle, when it comes down to the last play as it turned out to be, you just keep working. Keep your head down and just keep working. And we did that.”
Can you talk about PK Adam Vinatieri – who moved into second all-time to score – and his contribution?
“A 53-yarder, right? To win the game? When it comes down to six points, that’s huge. Because if you kick a field goal it goes into overtime, right? He’s the G.O.A.T. He’ll go down as probably the greatest of all time. He was tied for second on points, and now he’s chasing the other Anderson. Future first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s fun to watch. I’m glad I have a front row seat.”
QB JACOBY BRISSETT (Transcribed by Evan Dunbar)
Is there a weight that you lifted off of this locker room’s shoulders after getting a win?
“You know, you’ve got to go out there and enjoy this one. It was a tough fought game. We knew it was going to be tough coming into this one. It’s just one though. We’ve got to string them along, and we’ve got to go back to work.”
Can you describe the growth that you and Colts WR T.Y. Hilton have had in the last five or six weeks you have been together?
“It’s funny, because last week everybody was saying the total opposite. We’re just as an offense getting better. A lot of the plays that he made today, a lot of people helped create those plays. He did a great job with the ball in his hands. On the touchdown, did a great job of going to get that one. But, I think we’re progressing as an offense. A lot more players are making plays. A lot more players are involved in the plan to create a lot of opportunities for him (Hilton) and a lot of other guys.”
Fourth-and-goal there inside the 10 for the Texans, what’s going through your mind?
“I hate that. It’s not one of my favorite moments of the game. That’s why, like Schotty (Brian Schottenheimer) says, ‘You’re not in until you’re in.’ With our defense’s back against the wall, they came out and made a great play. We’ve just got to try to avoid those situations, but we know that when we get to those moments we can make those plays.”
During the national broadcast, the cameras caught you running over to WR T.Y. Hilton and giving him a big hug. What was that moment like, and what did you say to him?
“I honestly didn’t say anything. You know, he knew what I was thinking. We came to play today. They came out and gave us a couple punches and made the game close, but for the most part it was just pure excitement. He was the next guy I saw. When I got into the locker room I gave a lot more hugs out.”
Do you just take it as important every week that WR T.Y. Hilton needs to get the ball?
“You know, it’s just however the games goes. He’s the type of guy that whether he gets 20 catches or one catch, as long as we’re out there doing our job, everybody’s happy. We’ve got to find ways to get more people involved, and I’ve got to do a better job of that. I think we’ve got to create a lot more plays. I think our offensive line has done a heck of a job giving us a lot of time to get those chunk plays and create opportunities down the field and in the run game, getting teams to respect our run game. So, we’ve got to continue with that formula.”
Is this the best this offense has played since you’ve been here?
“We played well today. We played well. We’ve got a lot more things to clean up that a lot of people didn’t see probably. But, it’s a step in the right direction.”
Can you take us through your second touchdown?
“It was a great ball by Jacoby (Brissett). I caught it man-to-man. They switched to pass me off to the safety, so I knew I had to just beat him to the other side. I caught it, and I was determined not to go down. I saw one-on-one with (Texans CB Kareem Jackson). Before I got to him, Chester (Rogers) made a great block, and Donte (Moncrief) was running with me in there. I cut back, and I kind of dove over (Jackson), so I knew he didn’t touch me. I was just hoping nobody else touched me, and I just got up and ran.”
Are you surprised nobody else touched you?
“I think they pretty much thought I was down.”
Did you know the defender was going low to try to bring you down?
“Yeah, when I cut back, I saw him slip, so I wanted to just jump over him and just keep going.”
Of all the touchdowns you’ve had, is that one of the craziest ones?
“Yeah, because Jack (Doyle) was behind me screaming, ‘Get up, get up. He ain’t touch you, he ain’t touch you.’”
What is about some of the best games of your career coming in NRG Stadium?
“I don’t know, it’s just crazy. I don’t know, maybe I just love playing here.”
Can you talk about your first touchdown?
“We knew (the Texans) were in quarters coverage, so we got Jack (Doyle) to track to the safety on the out-route, and it was just a foot-race with me and corner, and I don’t normally lose those.”
After a long couple of weeks, is this exactly what the team needed and you needed?
“Nobody remembers all the other stuff. November football is different. We just wanted to come out here and get a win to start off on the right foot.”
OLB JABAAL SHEARD (Transcribed by Cole Thompson)
With two seconds left and the game on the line, walk us through that final play?
“I just got there grinding man. Just fighting through. Our boys held up coverage and Tom (Savage) had to hold the ball and I eventually got there.”
What was it like to put the exclamation point on the game, just to finish this out and not have to come in here and talk about finishing in 60 minutes?
“I mean every win is big, man. I’m just happy to get a win, excited and ready to move on to Pittsburgh.”
Do you feel like this defense is playing its best ball this season?
“We got a lot of way to go. We can get a lot better. That’s what film’s for, that’s what practice is for.”
Where does that play rank in terms of your career?
“A win. I don’t know, man. I just count it as a win, man. Happy to get a win and ready for Pittsburgh.”
What was going through your head the final stand there with two seconds left, really the whole drive?
“Our defense played really well all game long, kept them out of the end zone the majority of the game. So, I think they came through for us, but it’s a pretty helpless feeling when you’re not out there doing anything. You are just standing on the sidelines hoping that it worked out. But, the defense did a really really, really nice job today and kept us in the game. Our offense gave us enough points to give us the lead and keep the lead. So, team win, and we’re happy to get it. They’re hard to come by.”
What was that celebration like near the 50 yard line after OLB Jabaal Sheard kind of saved the day?
“It was awesome. I think it was kind of a sigh of relief, you know, but hopefully we can build momentum on a victory like that. We’ve been in a couple games this year that have gone the other way at the end of the game, but hopefully this will catapult us into the mindset of being able to be in that situation and come out with a win.
Your late kick made them need a touchdown there because of that, it looked like the 5th pump was up about mid-flight there.
“Yeah, it felt good leaving my foot. I can kind of tell most of the time if it’s going to be good or not, but when you look up and confirm it going down the middle it’s a good feeling. So, I’m happy that that went through.”