September 28, 2011 - Transcripts

Houston Texans Transcripts
Houston Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Houston Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
Houston Texans Open Locker Room
Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin Conference Call
Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger Conference Call
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
(Transcribed by Brett Maikowski, Zac Emmons and Evan Koch)
Houston Head Coach Gary Kubiak
Houston Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
T Duane Brown
FB James Casey
NT Shaun Cody
ILB Brian Cushing
RB Arian Foster
WR Andre Johnson
CB Johnathan Joseph
NT Earl Mitchell
FS Troy Nolan
RB Chris Ogbonnaya
ILB DeMeco Ryans
DE J.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin Conference Call
Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger Conference Call
Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(on RB Arian Foster’s health) “He’s fine. Like I said, he should be okay heading into the rest of the season now hopefully. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. He’s chomping at the bit and ready to go, took his full load and we’re okay.”
(on the importance of getting RB Arian Foster back) “Well, it’s very important. He’s a hell of a player. We’ve been missing him in situations in-game, but Ben (Tate) has done a hell of a job too. He’s a key player to this football team that we’ve almost played a month without. I know it’s still a long road back. Like I said, it doesn’t just go from nothing to everything. I think Arian’s played 30, 33 snaps and our other starters have played over 300 this year, so we got to bring him along the right way too.”
(on the health of all the guys that got hurt on Sunday) “They’re all good today. I changed practice a little bit because had I left it the way we did it last week, those guys would’ve missed and we couldn’t have them missing. We went a little longer and it was more on teaching today, but those guys were all able to practice and hopefully we’ll be okay tomorrow to go full-go.”
(on if the Steelers’ offensive line is the weak point of their team) “I don’t know. I see a good football team. They got some guys nicked. Everybody in the League’s battling some place, somewhere with nicked players and I know they got the tackle nicked last week, so that’s part of something we all got to battle right now. But I see a quarterback back there running around making plays like he always does for his team. They got great team speed and they’re making really big plays in the pass game, so we got our hands full.”
(on WR Mike Wallace) “Great speed, but he makes all the tough plays, too. Right now he’s, if not the leading receiver in football, which I think he may be behind (Wes) Welker or something like that. Hell of a player and you better be on your toes all day because he’s making huge plays.”
(on the problems SS Troy Polamalu presents to an offense) “Well they’ve got two defensive MVPs on that defense with him and (James) Harrison. They’re an excellent defensive team. They always have been; very well coached. They present a lot of problems for you, so you have to get a lot of reps in the week of the game and you got to do everything you can to stay out of negative football plays. One of the great football players this game’s seen in a long time, no doubt.”
(on RB Derrick Ward’s health) “He did not practice today. I think he’ll be close at the end of the week. We’ll see.”
(on how he plans to exploit the issues on the Steelers’ offensive line) “Well defensively, it’s not like you say, ‘Well we’re going to go after the guard or the tackle.’ You got to play defense, so we’re going to run our defense. We got to get better pressure on the quarterback than we did last week, however that is. Defensively, it’s a little bit different as you approach it because people are going to have different blocking schemes, different things going on. It’s not like a corner being out there by himself. Offensive lines work together. We just got to play good as a group and play better than we did last week.”
(on why QB Ben Roethlisberger is so tough to contain) “Well he’s hard to bring down in the pocket. A lot of people will blitz him and stuff and you get there and he throws you down, keeps playing and makes a big play. He’s a tough guy to tackle. You got to make sure you almost treat him like a back, back there. That’s how hard he is to tackle. Even though you got your hands on him, his arm is very, very strong. He’s probably as good an off-schedule player as I’ve seen in this League since my old roommate, so he’s a hell of a player.”
(on where the communication to the players got lost on wanting to cover receivers closer) “Well, I don’t know if it’s a matter of communication or just trusting yourself. We did it earlier in the game. We were more aggressive and they started spreading us out and throwing it a great deal. Then we had them backed up on the eight and we just didn’t play with the same aggression. You may give up a big play, but get up there and challenge the slant, challenge the short route. That’s confidence and believing no matter whether you’re up 16-10 or 33-32, you got to play with confidence, so I think that’s more of what we’re talking about here.”
(on if guys are less confident because of last season) “You have to ask players. I think they go from week to week and it’s a new game. This is a new year. They’ve been very, very good. We were very very good for the majority of that football game and just needed to be better at the end, so I don’t think so.”
(on how the team becomes tougher going up against a tough Steelers team) “Well, you lineup and play them, number one. You get your opportunities to play them. You’re right. They’ve earned all the respect they get in this league and they’re two plays away from being the world champions last year, so got a lot of respect for what they do and how they do it. We got to line up and man up and play as good as we can play. We got to prepare to do that and have a good week of work and go back as a football team. It’ll take everybody we got. We’ll have to play better than we played last week. We did some good things last week, but it’ll have to be better to be this group.”
(on if he feels like his team is developing an identity) I don’t know. I feel like I know my guys. Identity-wise, I don’t know. That’ll be developed over the course of 16 weeks. For two games and three quarters, we had a nice identity and it wasn’t very good the last quarter, so we got to go change it this week.”
(on if how the team bounces back from a loss will show him their identity) “Yeah, that’s part of this business, being able to bounce back from a bad play, a bad quarter, losing a game, being tough enough when you win to be just as good the next week. That’s why they call this league a marathon. I know that’s kind of boring, but that’s the truth. It’s a tough league.”
(on RB Arian Foster’s gift as a runner) “Vision, big body, always falling forward. He plays block for three, he gets five. He’s just got a knack for that. Hopefully he’s back full strength here.”
(on how it helps in the red zone to have RB Arian Foster) “Just what I just said. If you got to play block for two, he’ll find a way to get three or four. He’s always been that way and he’s tough to tackle down there and make somebody tackle him three times. He’s usually pretty successful down there. He was a big difference last year, but yet we can play a lot better down there too. It’s not all about just Arian.”
Houston Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison
(on the great players on the Pittsburgh Steelers defense) “Well, they have two MVPs and a lot of really good players, too. It’s a really great defense; they’ve done it for a long time. (Pittsburgh defensive coordinator ) Coach (Dick) LeBeau does a great job organizing them. We’re going to grind away and see if we can find a seam here and there, a crack here and there.”
(on RB Arian Foster helping the offense in the red zone) “Arian’s (Foster) a great player. He obviously got all those yards (last year) and we’re hoping he’ll do the same thing (this year). Certainly, consistency in the run game; we’ve kind of been up and down a little bit and we know throughout last year that’s what he did very well. That’ll help us out in that regard.”
(on if he can game plan for a player like Pittsburgh S Troy Polamalu) “You can kind of block people when they’re there and then they’re not. He does a lot of different things. We’re trying to do what we do best and because they do so much, pretty much stay on our side of the ball and hopefully we can make some plays with our guys.”
(on if the fact that the Texans did so well on offense against the Saints at certain points makes their performance that much more frustrating) “Yeah, we executed throughout the field. We just didn’t execute when we really needed to a couple times and that’s just one of those things, a consistency thing. Obviously, when you do so well moving the ball up and down, you want to make sure you do well when it’s time to score. We’re focusing on that.”
(on overcoming mistakes on offense at the start of the game at New Orleans) “Sure. Good players make things happen. We had a good team and they’re a really good team and they played at home and we just didn’t get it done at the end.”
(on if the Texans are just scratching the surface with what they can do with FB James Casey) “Yeah. He had a great game, moving around, catching the ball. We’ll continue to experiment with things and use him in that regard, but he still does what we need him to as a fullback, too.”
(on playing against a unit led by Pittsburgh Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau) “We’ve got a great deal of respect for him, obviously. He’s been around. He’s done it for a long time. He’s got a lot of great defenses and this is one of them. Like I said, we’re expecting him to give us a lot of different things and trying to stay on our side of the ball and get our players the ball when they can make something happen.”
(on how disruptive NT Casey Hampton is for the Steelers) “He’s a really good player, obviously. He’s big, square, takes up a lot of room, keeps everybody off backwards. He’s one of the very good players that they have besides the two MVPs.”
(on taking advantage on offense at home against the Steelers) “I think very week is an opportunity to win. We could have taken advantage of last week but we didn’t get it done. Whether we’re on the road or at home, it’s an opportunity to execute and perform and shine and hopefully we’ll get to that point.”
(on RB Chris Ogbonnaya) “Chris (Ogbonnaya) is a very consistent player. He’s a tough player, he’s a bigger guy. Hopefully we’ll see what goes on with our rotation but he knows what we’re doing and he had a lot of carries in preseason. He knows what we want done; he’s good at protections. He’ll contribute if and when the chance comes.”  
T Duane Brown
(on the red zone problems) “Coach Kube (Gary Kubiak) made that a point of emphasis Monday when we came in. We tried to make sure we got that handled coming into the season and it was obvious that we couldn’t get it done on Sunday, so just a bigger point of emphasis this week. We know that Pittsburgh has a great defense, so if we get down in the red zone, we got to finish those drives out. Three points is not going to get it done. We got to get seven points when we get down there. We’ll get it done this week.”
(on having RB Arian Foster back this week) “That’s awesome, man. Last year, leading rusher in the League, he brings a lot to the table. While we’re grateful for the backs that we do have, we definitely want to get him back full speed and get him out there with us.”
(on what makes RB Arian Foster so good in the red zone) “I think that one thing you just can’t coach is vision. He has great vision and he makes one cut and he has deceptive speed and power. He gets downhill and it’s hard for guys to tackle him.”
FB James Casey
(on what the team has talked about after what happened on Sunday) “We’re all just disappointed that we couldn’t get the job done in New Orleans, but you can’t let the one loss affect your next game. We got to be honest with ourselves, know what we didn’t get done and make sure we get that fixed. When it gets to crunch time, we got to make sure we’re making those plays. Every game’s going to be tough like that. I think a lot of people are hearing about last year and we got to make sure it’s not the same as it was last year. We got to bounce back. We’ve got a really tough task, tough game with Pittsburgh, an elite AFC team. It’s a good challenge for us and I think we’re all glad that we’re playing a tough team like that.”
(on how much last week got them ready for Pittsburgh’s defense) “Last week, it gets us a little bit ready because it gets us used to the backs, used to picking up blitzing linebackers and secondary players, but this is a different defense. They run a 3-4. We’re kind of bouncing back, going 4-3, 3-4, 4-3, 3-4, so it’s a little bit different because they got the two really good outside linebackers that rush most of the time, so it will change a little bit of the stuff that we do protection-wise. It’s another team that we got to be ready because they’re going to be blitzing and we got to make sure our running backs and myself is ready to pick it up. You’ve always got to be on guard when you play teams like that because you know (Troy) Polamalu could come anytime from anywhere.”
(on staying level headed after the loss even though he made a lot of plays) “Absolutely, it’s a lot different when you make some plays and people around the city start recognizing you when you’re going just doing whatever, going to get something to eat or whatever. It’s a little different, but yeah, it’s bittersweet because we lost, so it’s hard to enjoy too much of it. I wish it would’ve came with a win. I had kind of a breakout game. I wish it would’ve came with a win, but we didn’t get it done. I feel like I did a good job. I got some opportunities, took advantage of some of them and hopefully there will be more to come and just continue to make plays and make even better plays and help us get wins because it’s all for nothing if you don’t get a W. Of course, the old cliché thing, I would much rather have zero catches if we could have won the game.”
NT Shaun Cody
(on Pittsburgh SS Troy Polamalu)  “He’s a stud.  Troy (Polamalu) works hard every day, practices hard.  He’s a very intellectual player.  He knows when he can gamble and when he can’t, so he’s a stud of a player.”
(on how difficult Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is to tackle)  “I mean, he’s probably the best in the League at escaping plays and then making plays happen, not just getting out of a sack, but then making a 20-, 25-yard pass happen, so it’s definitely something that we have to deal with and address as a defense.”
(on whether he feels like the team has to pressure Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger this week)  “Oh, yeah.  That’s one of our keys to victory, like we talked about, is being able to get him down and corral him and not let him make those big plays.”
ILB Brian Cushing
(on how the Texans can put four good quarters together) “There’s no question about that.  You go back and watch the game film, and it’s 26-17 with 10 minutes left in the game.  It’s extremely frustrating.  The way you play four quarters is you correct those mistakes that you made in the fourth quarter, so we went back and we looked at the little things.  We’re going to iron out the small details and we’re going to play a full game.”
(on whether last week’s loss is still on his mind)  “There’s negatives and positives that come out of it.  There’s definitely no question about the frustration that comes away with losing that ballgame, but at the same time, you look at how good of a team the Saints are and how you played them through three quarters.  You’ve just got to finish out that fourth.  I think it says something about our defense and the way we’ve been playing, but like I said, it really is nothing if you don’t play the full game.”
(on how difficult Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is to tackle)  “Absolutely.  He’s a big quarterback who makes a lot of plays that aren’t even drawn up just by being a playmaker and just a guy who shows up on Sunday. There’s no question about it.  He makes a lot of good plays, a lot of smart plays, but at the same time, he makes a lot of plays that are broken plays out of him just making a smart move or just something out of the ordinary and extend the play or get a first down or a touchdown.”
(on the mindset when trying to tackle Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger)  “Really, just attack him. Attack him as if he almost isn’t a quarterback when you’re going to tackle him and tackle him as if he’s a running back or a bigger guy. As far as linebackers, we’ll be attacking him the same because we feel one-on-one we can take him down, but watching film, he definitely breaks a lot of tackles and makes more plays than the ordinary quarterback.”
(on using last week’s loss as motivation for this week’s game)  “It is. I definitely think we’re eager to play and eager to get back out there; there’s no question about that.  The guys are hungry and we’re just looking forward to the next matchup.”
RB Arian Foster
(on being healthy again and back for the season) “That’s what it looks like. That’s what it feels like, so good to be back out there.”
(on how excited he is to get back out there) “Yeah, I’m eager. I haven’t played football this year that much. I’m excited to get the opportunity to do so.”
(on QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson being excited to have him back) “Well if Andre (Johnson) an