HOUSTON TEXANS vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12/25/17)
HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN (Transcribed by Chloe Delclos)
Could you start off talking about the game in general?
“Yeah, just not a good day. Not much to say. Not a good day.”
Can you talk about RB Alfred Blue and the running game? Why do you think you guys ran the ball so much better against this great defense?
“We probably should have run it almost every down. Probably should have, looking back on it. I don’t know how many times we ran it, but probably should have done it a lot more than we did. But, he did a good job. He ran hard. He ran hard. Since he’s been back healthy, he’s been running hard. I thought that the line did a good job.”
What did you think when QB T.J. Yates went out to be evaluated for a concussion and came back in and then QB Taylor Heinicke went out with a concussion? What is it like having to work your quarterbacks when you don’t know who is going to be in there?
“That’s what happens. It’s what you do. You just go to the next guy. I don’t understand what you mean ‘What is it like?’ It’s ‘Hey, here’s the plays we’re going to run with you,’ and then that guy’s cleared.”
What did you have to adjust or limit when QB Taylor Heinicke went in?
“Nothing. Nothing. He knew everything. He was good to go with everything. He’s a smart guy. He just got hit.”
You guys only hit Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger one time. Could you talk about the protection?
“They did a good job. They did a great job protecting him and we just had a hard time getting pressure.”
What about your coverage down the field? They made some great plays, but you guys had a lot of balls completed down the field against you.
“Yeah, they have great players. They did a good job and went up and got the ball and I thought we were in decent position, but they made the plays. So, I think our guys played hard, but they made the play.”
ILB Zach Cunningham led the team in tackles and he made some plays on coverage, too. Could you talk about him?
“He’s had a good year. He’s an active player. He’s a very good athlete. He’s a great guy. He’s had a real good year.”
Can you talk about G David Quessenberry, his first NFL game and you naming him a team captain?
“What else can you say about that guy? That guy was in tough shape not too long ago, and for him to come back and play in an NFL game is an incredible thing if you ask me. So, I thought it was appropriate to make him a captain. I just let Lech (Shane Lechler) go out there to do the talking because Quess (David Quessenberry) hadn’t been out there. So, I let Lech out there to do the talking.”
The early goal-line series, to go for it on fourth-and-goal shotgun, can you go through the thought process on that call?
“Yeah, I thought it was going to be a touchdown type game. I didn’t think we could kick field goals and win a game like (that), so I went for it on fourth down.”
Just specifically the decision to pass versus run …
“We got stuffed on the run. The run – we ran on the ball, we got stuffed. So, yeah, I guess we could’ve run it. If that would’ve worked you would have asked me ‘Why did that work?’ It’s a decision we make. You make a split second decision, you try to make the best decision for the team.”
Did you get a chance to see WR DeAndre Hopkins’ catch on the big board?
“Yes. It was incredible. Great catch. He did an unbelievable job. He tipped it to himself and did a great job.”
You guys have lost five straight…
How tough is this for you and the team right now?
“It’s brutal. Not good. (It’s) been a tough year.”
RB ALFRED BLUE (Transcribed by Greg Maiola)
What was working in the running game?
“Just the little things. I think the O-line was in sync. They were giving us a lane to run through, so it made our job real easy out there.”
What worked on your career-high 48-yard run today?
“It was a just a double team play that the line, they moved the down lineman and gave me the crease and I back-doored it and went around (DeAndre) Hopkins’ block.”
Is this the type of game where you could tell you would have to slug it out with their defense?
“Yeah, we knew they had a great (running) back in Le’Veon (Bell), so we knew they were going to try to run, so we knew we had to try to establish the run and get it going and I think it started working out. Lamar (Miller) started gashing them and then when I got in, it was just a continuous thing. We stayed on it and just kept pounding it down their throat.”
ILB BRIAN CUSHING (Transcribed by Nicholas Williamson)
What were the problems in the game today?
“We’re not getting off the field, we’re not getting turnovers, and we’re not playing well enough. When you play against a very good playoff team like that, you have to bring your best game. We didn’t today.”
What is it like to have that happen in your backyard today?
“It’s horrible. It’s horrible. It’s a terrible feeling, and it’s beyond embarrassing.”
What makes the Steelers so tough and what sets them apart?
“I can only speak really for the defense. They have a very smart quarterback, it all starts with him. He’s very tough, smart and savvy. The guy has played for a long time. He can make all of the throws, he can diagnose pressure, coverage, and he’s got unbelievable playmakers to get the ball to. On top of that, they have a very solid line. They’re just a very good time. They played well. They did a very good job today and we clearly didn’t.”
How tough was this loss?
“Every loss is a tough game, especially the situation we’re in right now trying to get a win. For us to come out and not be able to get a win on Christmas Day in our home stadium is tough.”
Even though you’re upset you all lost, can you appreciate people saying that is one of the best touchdown catches of all time?
“I work on my craft a lot. I try to perfect it. I’m a perfectionist. I’m just going out there making plays whenever my number is called. Hopefully I can give them more excitement and more catches in the future like that.”
What did you think about G David Quessenberry getting back out there and playing in an NFL game?
“That’s awesome. Everybody in this locker room feeds off of his energy. What he went through to come out and still be able to come and be part of this team everyday like nothing happened to him, everybody feeds off of his energy, honestly. I don’t know if he knows it, but everybody in this locker room looks up to him.”
CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH (Transcribed by Greg Maiola)
What do you think of Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins?
“He’s the best receiver in the league. I’ve seen him get better and better. I remember he came in as a rookie and he was real raw as a receiver and every year he’s worked on his craft and he’s continued to get better and formed himself into the top receiver in the league. So for us, we see those routine plays every day in practice because he works in practice and it carries over to the game.”
How tough is the losing streak and what do you want to see next week?
“A ‘W.’ A win. Finish the season strong. You finish on a win, you look back at your season, at least you can look that you finished with a high note, with a ‘W.’ Obviously we’ve got to go up there and prepare. Indy’s going to come in here, I mean, we’re going to go up there (to Indianapolis). They’re going to be a tough divisional opponent. We can’t take them lightly at all. We definitely got to prepare all week and go up there and try to get this ‘W.’”
Can you give us an idea of how special this was?
“I don’t know if I could. It was everything I dreamed of when I was going through my treatments. Getting out there and playing a full-speed game today was exactly how I had hoped it to be.”
What did it mean to you that you were a team captain?
“That surprised me. That was really cool. I didn’t expect that. When he told the team that, everyone was really excited for me and I was, too.”
It looked like a lot of your teammates were coming up to you. What were they saying to you and how much does their support mean to you?
“Man, it was teammates, it was coaches, trainers and everybody in the organization that’s been here for my journey came up to me. They’re my friends. They really mean a lot to me, and it was good to feel that love.”
“I want to start by saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ We view it as an honor to have an opportunity to play this game in front of our nation on a day like today. Thankfully, we were able to get the job done. A lot of good effort. We’ve got to compliment Steeler Nation. We really felt their support in a road environment today. A significant day for us – our last regular season road game, finishing 7-1, getting our 12th win, securing a ticket to the second round – all very positive things. But, it’s just the culmination of being singularly focused on the next opportunity. With all of those things being said, we are going to get singularly focused on our opportunity next week, AFC North football to finish it off versus the Cleveland Browns, and then go from there. That will be our mentality. A lot of good effort. Nothing significant from an injury standpoint to mention. Really appreciate the efforts of the men. We were able to get some guys back that helped us in a significant way – guys like Joe Haden and Marcus Gilbert. For that, we’re thankful.”
It was a dominant effort all the way around, but how important was the interception by CB Artie Burns in the end zone when it was 10-0?
“It’s a big play. If we’re going to be great, we have to be stingy even when we give up some yards. We gave up some yards today, particularly in terms of rushing. We just didn’t want (No.) 10 (DeAndre Hopkins) to get us. You need plays like that. He provided it. Big football play.”
What does it mean to have the extra week off and time to get players ready to make this post-season push?
“We’re not really thinking about that right now. I understand what it means because I’ve been in this business a long time, but we’re getting ready for the Cleveland Browns.”
As a coach, what is it like to get contributions from guys like C/G B.J. Finney and WR Justin Hunter?
“It’s really the sign of a world championship-caliber group. You’ve got to have guys that are capable of delivering. We live by words such as, ‘The standard is the standard,’ and so it’s not just words. But those guys make it reality. B.J. Finney coming in and starting and playing well for us, but that’s not the first time that’s happened. It is good to get some contributions from guys like (Justin) Hunter and others. Stevan Ridley working for us today. That’s all part of it. We are going to be defined by the contributions of those type men moving forward.”
Was it difficult not having LB James Harrison here as part of this team and moving forward?
“It’s just life in football. Sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions. Obviously we had to take Marcus Gilbert off the suspension list, so sometimes tough decisions are part of it. It’s just life.”
Is the decision on LB James Harrison a permanent one? Might he come back?
“I’m not speculating guys. I don’t even know if he was claimed or not. Today, I think, was the claim on that. I’m not going to give any speculation.”
CB Joe Haden was matched up on Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins for most of the game. How do you think he did, especially in his first game back?
“He did a great job. That’s one of the reasons why we were really excited about acquiring Joe Haden. Because he is capable of doing those things. We’ve seen him do those things against us in stadiums. Travelling with A.B. (Antonio Brown). Good to have one of those type guys in our group. Glad to have him with us. He did a great job today.”
What did it feel like to have so many Steeler fans out here today? Did it almost feel like a home game?
“It’s not new to us, but we don’t take it for granted. We really appreciate the support of Steeler Nation, particularly when we travel. You just can’t say enough about it. I can’t tell you that I was surprised once I got in stadium, because I felt it on the drive to the stadium. It was great to see those Terrible Towels out in passenger seats and cars and so forth when you are driving to a stadium.”
Is this a good Christmas present getting that first round bye?
“Of course. Yes. It’s definitely something we look forward to. It was a goal we had at the beginning of the season, so it always kind of feels good when you accomplish a goal. Obviously we have more goals to come.”
How much does this mean to you guys that you just came in and took care of business?
“It meant a lot. I mean, you have to give credit to those guys, they have great players over there. Jadeveon Clowney was kind of a headache to kind of prepare for because he’s a special player. You know (DeAndre) Hopkins, he still made a great catch, so he’s a special player also. You got to give a lot of those guys credit. I just think we were on our P’s and Q’s today and we played a good game and we really just made plays more when we needed to more than they did.”
How impressed were you with the way the offense didn’t skip a beat even though you lost one of the best offensive players in the NFL in WR Antonio Brown?
“It felt good. You know it just kind of shows how much weapons we actually have in our offense. Our defense played great, you know, they gave us a lot of short field positions and turnovers, allowing us to capitalize on the short field. So, got to give our defense a lot of credit and you know guys are making plays on the outside. Guys like JuJu (Smith-Schuster) and Martavis (Bryant) and, you know, Eli (Rogers), our tight ends, all of them – Jesse (James), Vance (McDonald) and X-Man (Xavier Grimble). Everybody played well. Ben (Roethlisberger) made the plays when he needed to. I made some plays on third down when I needed to, so it was literally a total team effort, and I’m glad we got the job done.”
It’s a tough assignment coming back after five weeks off to go against that guy (WR DeAndre Hopkins) isn’t it?
“Yeah, I mean it was a good matchup and I felt good. The coaches asked me two days ago if I was willing to fight him and I was like ‘If y’all want me do it, I’m willing and ready for the challenge,’ so it’s something I’m used to doing. I’ve been doing it my whole career. It was solid to go out there and have a pretty good game.”
What does this do for you confidence, you personally getting back into the groove of things?
“I mean I felt good. I mean the thing was last week for the Patriots game, I just knew I wasn’t ready to go. I knew I couldn’t move and cut and jump like I needed to and that extra week of practice on Monday and Tuesday going into the indoor facility and running and jumping, doing all the ability box jumps and everything, it just got me all the way right confidently and I was ready to go out there and play. I wasn’t going to have any limitations when I cut. I had perfect confidence, so I was ready to go.”
Talk about the touchdown catch by WR DeAndre Hopkins, tipped it from one hand to another?
“It was the same thing. I mean I saw it coming. He’s just such a good player. I’m not gonna say he was kind of holding me in the back a little bit if you watch it, but at the end of the day, he just made a great play, tapped it with the one hand as I’m trying to pull down his other arm. He was able to tap both feet in. It was just an amazing catch. At the end of the day, he’s one of the best receivers in the league, so he’s going to get his but I made sure I got mine.”
DE CAMERON HEYWARD (Transcribed by Carrington Gilbert)
Obvious question, it’s pretty big to get the first-round bye and second seat?
“You know how critical a bye is, less wear and tear on our bodies, but we have another game before then. No matter what the records are, AFC North football is going to be tough. To pick up the bye and clinch it, is huge for our team. Hopefully, we can get AB (Antonio Brown) back by then.”
When the other team has been struggling, how do you get the intensity and focus to come out defensively and win?
“As a defense, there are positives and negatives we can take from the game. We knew if we get the ball back to our offense they can score with anybody. So, the more chances they are going to have success. Against a team like that, that has a good defense, but struggles sometimes on the offensive side of the ball, you want to get them into a situation where they have to have points. Get that defense tired. So, everybody has to work hand and hand in a game like that, but they are a hard fighting team. They don’t just bow down for anybody. It’s a good win.”
Were you guys surprised that LB James Harrison was released?
“Pretty surprised. James (Harrison) is a heck of a teammate. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, how this goes I don’t know. I’m not a general manager, I can’t really answer that. James is a heck of a teammate and you just don’t know when your time is going to be called. So, you stay ready and you just keep playing. Hopefully, we can bring him back in the future.”
Do you feel more responsibility now to take over a leadership role in anyway?
“I always feel responsible for it. It’s not going to change the way I play. James (Harrison) is a leader, we have a lot of leaders on this team and on this defense. So, collectively we just have to continue to keep leading. James has taught a lot of younger guys. He’s been a rock, a guy that we can rely on, a guy who has experienced a lot. Now, William Gay’s that guy. But we continue to keep growing as a defense. “
A couple more sacks, a forced fumble from you, how would you evaluate your season?
“It’s open-ended. There’s still a lot to be proven. Still a lot to go get. Ask me that after the season.”
How much is there motivation after a Pro Bowl snub, being healthy this time of year, what are the things that are your motivators right now?
“All of the above. Just keep stirring the pot. Doesn’t matter what it is, I’m going to find some motivation. Whether it’s a Pro Bowl snub, clinching a bye. We still have AFC North football to play, playoffs. If you’re not motivated at this time, you’re in the wrong sport.”
To get CB Joe Haden back in the fold in the secondary, do you feel defensively that this team is getting healthy at the right time and jelling at the right time?
“Yeah, that’s part of the recipe to being a Super Bowl Champion. I know we have a lot of football to be played, but getting healthy, getting hot. Now, we just got to go out there and do what we are supposed to do. Getting a guy like Joe (Haden) is huge. He brings experience, not playoffs, but to get a guy that’s been around this league, been a Pro Bowl player, a guy you can rely on in critical situations is going to be huge for us. I told him before the game ‘Welcome Back’ and he was like, ‘I know, I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.’ So, I think it was a nice Christmas present for him."
How important was it to get a visit from LB Ryan Shazier?
“We always look forward to it after games. Especially seeing Ryan (Shazier), it’s nicer when we can deliver a ‘W’ to him. I talk to Ryan (Shazier) a couple times each week. Just checking on him, but Ryan (Shazier) is still a part of this defense. He’s still a part of this team. We just get to deliver that ‘W’ when we go home. We have to continue to do that. I don’t know if he’s going to be at our next game, but we love seeing Ryan (Shazier).”
How important is it to get a chance to play in the playoffs this year?
“I’m ready to go. If we had to play another game right now after this game, I think we could. But, I’m going to take the rest when we get it. I know we got one more game, but this is the time everybody waits for. This is the time when dreams are made and dreams are broken. So, we will see you in the playoffs.”
QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER (Transcribed by Nicholas Williamson, Hannah Pietsch and Raj Sheth)
How important is this first-round bye knowing you’re going to have a week off going into the second-round of the playoffs?
“It’s nice for all of the guys who are banged up, AB (Antonio Brown) especially, and of us who have little nicks, bumps and bruises this time of year. To get that time really helps.”
Historically, when you went to the Super Bowl, you had a bye as well correct?
“Well that’s neither here nor there, it’s about getting ready to go. We still have another week to get ourselves ready, and then obviously a bye and we’ll see what happens from there.”
What does TE Vance (McDonald) bring back to the offense?
“It was fun getting him involved, especially early getting him back into the flow. I think he felt it, he kind of got himself going. There is probably more there, but he’s coming back after a while, too, so we’ve got to kind of ease him back in in a way. It was fun spreading the ball around to everybody today. I’m really proud of the way they stepped up. I know everyone was thinking out AB (Antonio Brown) not being out there and trying to fill those shoes, but you can’t fill those shoes. I just tried to tell them don’t try to fill them, be the best you can be. I thought everybody did a great job at that tonight.”
How does it feel to join Mel Blunt, Mike Webster, Donnie Shell and Hines Ward as the only to play 200 games with Pittsburgh?
“I’ve really been around for a long time. (It’s) humbling. Those names and all the other greats to play this game, to be with one team, to put the black and gold on every week for as many years as I have, for the fans and my teammates, and the many, many teammates I’ve played with before, I’ve been blessed. The Lord has blessed me to be able to play this long. I’ve had some great lines that have helped me along the way too. To have that DMR patch on my jersey, especially at number 200, and to win it, that’s always neat. I just can’t say enough about the blessing I’ve been given.”
You are the last of the two Super Bowl players. Did you give that any thought at all this weekend?
“You guys just keeping bringing up these old things. Yeah, it’s been a while. It would be nice to get back there. There’s a lot of guys on this team who deserve to have an opportunity to play in that game. But it’s not going to be handed to us. It’s not going to be given. We’ve got a long way to go. We need to prepare and get ready for, as Coach calls it, the single-elimination tournament.”
Did you reflect on that at all when linebacker James Harrison was released?
“I think it was more just hard to lose – we’ve lost a lot of teammates along the way. They just keep either retiring or whatever happens. It’s tough. Close friend, obviously. The guy, we’ve played together a long time. It is hard to lose it, and I guess that does make me the oldest guy on the team now.”
Looking up in the stands and seeing all the Terrible Towels, how did that feel?
“Awesome. I’d say surprising, but I’m not surprised because that’s Steeler Nation. They come out and support us wherever we are. That’s why we’ve got the best fans in the world. And I’m glad we could put on a pretty good show for them and get the win.”
With James Harrison gone, how does that make DE Cameron Heyward an even greater presence for the defensive leadership?
“Cam’s (Heyward) been here for us for a while, been a captain. Cam’s a vocal guy. James (Harrison) was never a vocal guy. James did it on the field. Play in and play out, in the weight room, and things like that. I don’t think it changes much in terms of what Cam is doing. Cam is an awesome leader and an awesome captain for us. He just has to keep doing what he’s doing and performing on the field like he’s been doing.”
Some of your teammates said the week sort of slogged on, just a long week off the Patriots game and with Christmas. You all came out pretty fast – did you feel the same way about the week?
“It was just a weird week. The timing, the game being on Monday, and everyone knowing about Christmas, and preparing yourself for Christmas. Those of us with kids and family in town. You Pittsburgh guys know how much family means to me, and so it is kind of hard to think about a game when you’ve got Christmas before and little kids and the excitement and all that. We got to do Christmas yesterday morning, so still got to do it. Just glad that we could bring another present to Steeler Nation today.”
Speaking of family and little kids JuJu (Smith-Schuster) said that you guys are his family now. He doesn’t have any family in Pittsburgh and just to be around you guys and celebrate what you guys have done this season, what all has he brought in your opinion?
“Well I agree with JuJu (Smith-Schuster0. I spoke to the team before the game and said ‘Hey, those of you guys who know how much family means to me on Christmas I want to be with my family. If I can’t I want to be with you because you guys are my family as well. There’s no one else other than my wife and kids I’d rather be with besides you guys.’ So, for JuJu to say that I think that just is a sentiment around the team. We’re all so close andwe love each other and care for each other and just care. Ryan Shazier was on FaceTime in the locker room, just all that comradery makes us want to play for each other and win for each other. That’s why I’m proud to be a Steeler and part of this team.”
Speaking of linebacker Ryan Shazier, did you get a chance to visit with him when he visited the Rooney Complex the other day?
“No, he came in just after I had left. I talk to Ryan (Shazier) quite a bit, every other day or so. Just excited for the progress he’s been making.”
How good is that for you to get back in and get involved right away?
“Truly is awesome, man, to get off the couch and be back in the locker room. So, for me I’m just trying to better myself each and every day and knock the rust off and come in here and just find a role whatever this team may need. That’s really my main focus right now just week-to-week and do whatever they ask of me.”
I bet it’s also nice being on a such a pretty good team right now? You secured a first-round bye and you guys have shown another dominant performance on offense.
“Absolutely. This team, I’ve been keeping up with them all year; they’re rolling in the right direction. They’ve got all the key pieces, it’s a close group. It’s a good football team that I was able to join. So, for me, I just have to get with these guys and try to get the feel and find my role whatever that may be. But, these guys are heading in the right direction. So I’m just excited to be a part and excited they gave me the call to come in.”
LB T.J. WATT (Transcribed by Raj Sheth)
How much do you wish that your brother Texans DE J.J. Watt could’ve been on the other side of the field?
“More than anything, I think just for his health, I wish he was out there just to be a dominant force for them. But, I know he’ll come back bigger, faster and stronger.”
Seeing how your brother Texans DE J.J. Watt has had to battle back from injuries, does that teach you anything about how to do that going forward?
“Oh yeah, we’ve all been through injuries. I think all three of us has been through injuries. So, we all know what everyone’s going through at that time (and) we’re able to help each other.”
I know your brother Texans DE J.J. Watt wasn’t out there, but how nice was it to come down here and spend some time with him and play the Texans?
“It was very nice. I’ve obviously been here a few times for a few games, so it’s a familiar place for me and I know a couple of the guys that were there from training with my brother and stuff. So, it was just really nice to spend some time with my family.”
QB T.J. YATES (Transcribed by Stephanie Weaver)
Could you talk about getting hit, concussion protocol and then going back out?
“The referee thought that I got hit in the head and pulled me out of the game. (I) went off the field, passed the protocol in the tent, and it was at halftime so I went into the training room and passed all the tests and came back out in the second half.”
Is it a good thing that the referee did that?
“Yeah, I appreciate his cautiousness. It’s a very sensitive subject right now. The fact that it took so long, the whole process took about 30 minutes for me to get back out there, that was a little frustrating for me, but I’d rather them be more cautious than not. But, at the same time, taking players off the field when they’re fine is frustrating to players. But, it’s kind of a double-edged sword. Eventually the process of the whole concussion protocol will get better and better. It’s just a very hot topic right now. He felt that I got hit in the head and that I needed to come out.”
Did you see QB Taylor Heinicke go off into protocol?
“I did see that. I don’t know what his situation was with him. I didn’t even see the hit honestly. All I knew was I was cleared so I was going back in the game, and then I saw him going into the tent and obviously they didn’t pass him.”
What did you think of WR DeAndre Hopkins’s touchdown catch?
“Pretty unbelievable. For him to gain possession and get two feet down with a guy traffic underneath him and secure it with one hand, kind of tip it to himself, the guy just never ceases to amaze anybody.”
What happened to the passing game?
“I wasn’t very sharp to start the game off and that kind of stalled us. The running game was going great. I was off to begin with and playing against a team like that, you can’t get behind, and it didn’t get much better after that. We ended up getting a score later in the game, but I’ve just got to be a lot better.”
Could you talk about the series where you got down to the 6-yard line and then threw an interception on the fourth down?
“Yeah, we did a good job getting down there. Obviously, it was a poor throw on the interception to Will (Fuller V), and the one to Braxton (Miller), I just kind of put too much on it. (I) had him open. It was a great spot to go with the ball. I’ve just got to hit him. Definitely a missed opportunity there because that could have changed up the landscape of the game. I don’t know the exact score at that point, but we were within range there if we’d have scored there. So, hat really hurt us. They went down and scored after that. It was a big 14 point swing there.”
Is it frustrating for you and the offense to not be more productive in the last few games?
“Absolutely, it’s extremely frustrating. Obviously, the run game was a lot better today and the pass game was pretty terrible. We’ve just got to figure it out. We’ve got one week left. Just got to go out there and try to find a way to get a win and go out there and perform.”
How important would it be to win the last game of the season, break the losing streak and avoid last place in the division?
“It would be huge. End the season on somewhat of a high note. I know everybody around here hates losing, and it’s not fun. Nobody is having fun right now because of the losing. We’ve just got to do whatever we can to go get a win.”
Do the changes to the offensive line change the way you do anything and does that have anything to do with running the ball well against the Steelers?
“As far as protection changes what we do up front when guys are changing out so much there’s a couple tweaks we do here and there, but we stick to our base rules and our base game plan and just go out there and do what we normally do. Some things might flip sides or protection might change here and there with a chip or a slam or you get a little bit of extra help. As far as why the run game worked so effectively today, we had a good plan going in. (Alfred) Blue and Lamar (Miller) did a good job finding the holes and breaking some big ones.”
What was the plan for the run game?
“We had a couple good looks that we liked against their front as far as running scheme. We knew they’re obviously a very, very good defense, one of the best in the league, but we did a good job opening up some holes and those guys did a good job working together up front to get the run game going.”
How did you feel about the way RB Alfred Blue played today?
“He’s been running really, really hard ever since he’s been back these past couple weeks. You saw it at the end of the Jaguars game last week. He’s got something about him right now that he’s running hard. He’s running with some passion.”
With all of these injuries, can you still beat the Indianapolis Colts?
“I think so, yeah.”
What is it going to take to play better on offense and put some more points up to help the defense?
“We obviously have to score more points. We have to start faster. The last two games, we haven’t started fast at all, and it kind of just puts us in a lull and not getting points until the third and fourth quarter is not going to cut it against anybody in this league. It doesn’t matter who it is. We’ve got to do a better job on offense, scoring early just to change the momentum of the game.”
What was it like seeing G David Quessenberry in the huddle today?
“Yeah, that was really cool. That’s obviously the one bright spot you can take away from today. That guy has been through absolutely so much for years and years to get back on the field. He never doubted himself. He never quit. He showed a lot of faith in himself, and obviously, the Texans organization showed a lot of faith in him and gave him the time to come back from the cancer. That’s not just like coming back from a normal injury, so it took a lot of faith on both sides, and I couldn’t be happier for David (Quessenberry).”