Head Coach Doug Marrone

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: Injuries?

A: Scott Berchtold: Did Not Participate in Practice: [Marcus] Easley with the knee, Randell Johnson with the knee and Chris Williams with a back. Limited Participation: [Keith] Rivers with a groin, [Da’Norris] Searcy with an ankle and [Marquise] Goodwin win an illness. Full Participation: Sammy [Watkins] with ribs, EJ Manuel with abdominal and [Robert] Woods with the ankle.

Q: Is the injury with EJ new?

A: Well, he came in and he had some soreness and since he’s a high-profile player, you’ve got to put him down [on the injury report]. It’s more for that.

Q: How long will Marcus Easley be out?

A: He’s out for this week and we’ll look at him week-to-week.

Q: How about Randell Johnson?

A: I think we’re just watching him. I’m not ready to give him a label yet.

Q: What do you recall form your initial conversations with Ryan Fitzpatrick upon your hiring here?

A: Nathanial [Hackett] had been with him before and we were excited to come here and were excited that he was here. Obviously, through Nathanial I’ve heard a lot about Fitz. I was excited. I think he’s a good guy and a good pro, but I really didn’t spend enough time with him to really comment on anything more.

Q: Does it add a little edge to this game to go down there and play against him?

A: Not for me. Maybe a player that has a relationship with him or things like that. It’s kind of like the situation I’m in, going down and facing a guy that you know very well. It just becomes very competitive.

Q: What about your relationship with Bill O’Brien?

A: We have a great relationship through the year, except for this week. And I’m sure he’d say the same.

Q: What’s your general philosophy on EJ Manuel running the ball?

A: We’re okay with it. Are there a certain amount of touches? A lot of that is dictated by what we’re seeing. We don’t have a problem, as long as we’re running smart, which I have thought we’ve been able to do.

Q: How do you think he’s done with that?

A: Good. He’s been good with the reads. He’s done a nice job.

Q: How much has running out of bounds been coached into him based on what happened in Cleveland?

A: It’s been a coaching point.

Q: Have you been satisfied with the decision-making process?

A: Absolutely, yes.

Q: Do you think the offensive was too conservative on Sunday?

A: I just think that we didn’t make plays. You can throw the ball underneath and make plays as well as you can throw the ball over the top and make plays, so I wouldn’t say that. Are there some factors that go into the weather? There are. It’s easier to take more shots when you have the lead than when you’re behind.

Q: What do you think of J.J. Watt?

A: He’s a Defensive Player of the Year. He’s really outstanding, can really cause a lot of problems for anyone that he faces. The thing that’s impressive is the positions [he can play]. He can play inside and be disruptive, he can play outside as an end and be disruptive. On PATs and field goals he’s disruptive, so whenever he’s on the field. He makes plays in both run and pass.

Q: Do you expect Cordy [Glenn] to take most of the responsibility for stopping J.J.?

A: I think they do a very good job moving him around, so you can’t really get a scheme and scheme it up to say, ‘Okay, every time we line up like this, he’s going to be here.’ I think everyone is going to have to pull their share. Everyone is going to piece of him somewhere along the line. The thing is, if you commit too many people to making sure you’ve got him in control, they have good enough players around him that they’ll make the plays and you won’t be as productive or efficient as you should be.

Q: Are you concerned with your protection issues carrying over from last week?

A: I think it goes back to the same thing. In close games and games you have the lead, you’ll see that teams really don’t give up as much, in terms of sacks and pressures. Two situations I get concerned about: One: When everyone in the stadium know you have to throw it. That’s a very difficult situation. Two: You get behind the chains and you’re either trying to get half the distance back or you’re trying to get the full first down. Once you make anyone one-dimensional or you know what they’re doing, it sways a little bit of the advantage to the other side.

Q: Is it almost impossible to prevent J.J. Watt from batting down balls?

A: The only way is you stay on him, you press him. Those are the things that we have talked about from the beginning of this game that people say. There’s no doubt about it, he has a great knack and timing for getting his hands up. He has a knack for putting his hand in the window. He’s one of the better players that I’ve seen, if not the best, at doing that.

Q: How does the role he plays with the Texans defense compare to Mario Williams in your defense?

A: Well, they’re two different types of players. One player will go inside, where Mario doesn’t go inside that much. It depends on the situation. I think both players have had success. They’ve both been disruptive at times. I think they’re both good football players and ones that you have to pay attention to.

Q: Ryan Fitzpatrick told us that he tries to force it too much. What’s your evaluation of him?

A: I look at it the same way. 2-1. That’s where he is and he’s done a very, very good job of managing the game. Mistakes happen and he’s the player that’ll learn from his mistakes, just like everybody else in this league. He’s a good quarterback. He can move around, extend plays. Everyone here knows that he can throw it. We have our work cut out for us and it’ll be a challenge.

Q: Can you talk about the challenge your secondary faces with Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins?

A: They’ve got a couple, but those are the two guys that have really done well for them. Hopkins is a big-play, big shot guy. Johnson has been around for a long time. He’s really good at running inside, running around, [he’s] a fearless type of player. Those two players do a good job with Foster, the deep back. And then [Alfred] Blue has really shown that he can run the ball well. They’ve run the ball quite well, so the balance of trying to make sure you can get them one-dimensional will be in our favor, but it’s going to be very difficult to do.

Q: They’ve given up 5.2 yards per rush. Is the plan to run the ball against them?

A: It’s going to be important, but the one thing when you look at them defensively, situationally, they’ve done a very good job.. You look at third down and they’re number one in the league. Sometimes you look at the numbers and you say, ‘Oh, okay.’ Then you look at the situations and they’ve done a very good job in the situations.

Q: What is the plan for Chris Williams this week?

A: We’re going to see how it goes and we’re hoping tomorrow to get him out there and see where he’s at. Then seeing how it progresses all the way to Sunday. Cyril Richardson and Kraig Urbik, obviously, we’ll work in a little bit.

Q: How have you assessed Preston Brown’s play this year? If Keith Rivers does come back, how does his role change?

A: I think we can get some different packages. I really do. I think that Preston’s role is a guy that has to know all three positions for us moving him around. I think that we have to do a good job, in the same way we’re doing with other positions on the team, of making sure people are coming in and going out and staying fresh.

Q: Has there been any thought of cross training Cyrus Kouandjio at guard?

A: We talk about cross-training some, but we’re more thinking about cross training tackle-to-tackle. It’s much more difficult for anyone to go from an outside player to an inside player. It’s easier, not to say that it’s not difficult, to go from the inside to the outside. Any one of our inside guys can go outside. There’s a little bit more space. Everything happens quite quick, quick fast inside and sometimes the length and the build of how you are can affect your play on the inside.

Q: So the focus for him is on tackle?

A: Tackle. And I’ll tell you what; he’s really gotten a lot better. He really has.

Q: Who gets the first crack at replacing Easley at gunner?

A: We’ll look at a couple of guys. I think the way we left off in the last game; those two guys played. Ron [Brooks] did a nice job out there, so Ron would be the guy that replaced him and he’ll be out there with Duke [Williams]. We’ll see how it goes during the week. Ron has done a nice job for us this year on teams.

Q: Given Corey Graham’s play, do you look to get him more playing time this week?

A: Who starts the game first is always a tough thing for me. Can he go out there on the field first? Yes, but, like I said before, we feel that we have three guys that can start. He’s a cross training guy for us, meaning that he’s cross training with the secondary at the safety position. We’ve got to be careful because he also plays teams for us. Like I said, in a perfect world, thought it was a little bit off last week, if it’s 33.3 percent then that’s exactly what we’re looking for.

Q: Are you trying to get him an equal number of snaps or increase his playing time?

A: The goal is to get an equal number of snaps, knowing that it can go higher or lower in each game.

Q: How do you address the comparisons that will come out between Ryan Fitzpatrick and EJ Manuel?

A: I don’t know if I have to address that really because I wasn’t here.

Q: You did play a role?

A: No. I didn’t. Sorry.

Q: Was there any consideration of going to Kyle Orton on Sunday?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: How much do you look forward to seeing how your team responds after the loss.

A: We’re excited to go play a game. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes, we’ve got to keep getting better. We’ve gone out there focused, practice and ready to go. That’s what we’re going to have to do to beat this team on the road.

QB EJ Manuel

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: Have you had any dealings at all with Ryan Fitzpatrick?

A: I’ve gotten text messages from him through Coach Hackett or Eric Wood wishing me well here, but I’ve never met him. Obviously, I’ll meet him on Sunday.

Q: Do you play into any of the fun that we will play into with the fact that you’re playing the guy that you succeeded?

A: I’ve thought about it a little bit, but not really. I think it’s more important that we go out here and play well because it’s a huge game for us to finish this quarter 3-1. I think I will be focused more on the game than that matchup because I’m not playing Ryan; I’m playing his defense.

Q: You were listed as having abdominal soreness. What went into that?

A: I’m fine. I think anytime you bring something to the trainer they have to put it up there, but I’m good to go.

Q: As a quarterback what do you have to be most aware of with JJ Watt? Is it him killing you or him batting the ball down?

A: Well I think as a quarterback you don’t really look at the line per say, it is more so communicating with the O-line and trying to keep his hands down as much as possible if he does bring his hands up. That’s when they can get inside of him and try to mess him up and try to knock his wind or something. I know that’s one of the things he does great, either getting his hands on balls or trying to get his hands in the way and changing your throwing motion or your throwing angle.

Q: He makes the window smaller then…

A: No question. It’s pretty much like putting a defender right there but his hands are there instead. I don’t think it will be too much of an issue.

Q: What have you seen from film review from the first three games of when you have run the ball either by design or when things have broken down?

A: Well compared to last year I think it’s much better. I’ve been really working after hours to make sure my cardio is good and make sure my feet are still moving fast and quick. I think my decision-making has been better as far as knowing when to get down, knowing when to get out of bounds, knowing when to head out of bounds instead of trying to get extra yardage. And then obviously taking care of the ball and that’s a huge thing. It’s something I’m still trying to work on in the pocket because I’m a long legged guy, so when I want to get out and run sometimes the second hand will come off the ball but in the pocket you want to keep two hands on it at all times.

Q: I know a lot has been made of the hit you took in Cleveland last year and the injury, and it has been a coaching point of teaching you to get out of bounds. How much has that play shaped your philosophy on running with the ball now?

A: It kind of gave me some wisdom because as a quarterback it is not my job to come out trying to get 100 yards rushing, if I do that’s awesome because it will help our offense, but at the same time Coach Hackett just wants 4 or 5 yards. If things break down and you take off get 4 or 5 and get out of bounds or slide and then move on to the next play. We want C.J. (Spiller) and those guys to be the big time ball carriers.

Q: Having looked at Sunday’s game on film now, what do you take out of the film to try to move on and improve?

A: Well our sense of urgency has to pick up especially in that last I would say the whole fourth quarter. I don’t think any of us were satisfied with it as a team or as an offense. I think our urgency wasn’t where it needed to be understanding that were still down two scores at a point before the safety. And obviously I can’t do that, I have to have my awareness at 110% and know that you can’t step back into the end zone to try to throw it away. Those are the things I try to learn from. I think the biggest thing was just that sense of urgency. Getting guys on the ball, whether we’re doing a vertical route just getting guys back to the ball and getting another play called and ran.

Q: From an accuracy standpoint do you take anything from last Sunday’s game?

A: I think the accuracy thing, it’s not that I was inaccurate I think it was also being on the same page with my wide receiver. I know the one, the huge miss to (Robert) Woods that could’ve been a touchdown. You look at that on the film and it’s one of those things that your just like ah, gosh. But at the same time you learn from it and you understand that you have to be like a hair more patient in the pocket because I saw it come open and I saw it almost before it happened and I think that’s where my sense of urgency was too fast. Instead of just allowing it to happen and letting Woody come out of his break and looking for the ball and then placing it on him. It’s a tough pill to swallow but you learn from it. I think it’s something I can use constructively for the future.

Q: Is there a balance between sense of urgency and not pressing too hard because you know how important it is come back from that loss this week?

A: No question. I think if we just go out there and simply execute, I think a lot of the mishaps from last week were from not executing or not being into the details of everything. I think that’s where some of my inaccuracies came from.  I never put blame on somebody else, I always feel like I can do something to give a guy an opportunity to make a play with the ball. So if I am inaccurate it’s just simply getting on the same page and just being patient because I can make those throws, I’ve done it plenty of times out here on the practice field and out here on the field so I think it’s just a matter of relaxing and letting it happen.

Q: Is this new running philosophy something you aren’t used to from your days at Florida State?

A: My running? No, I don’t think so. If you pull up some clips from FSU, I had some good runs. I know the play in the pocket when I made a couple of guys miss and then threw the ball to (Scott) Chandler, that was something I did a couple of times in college as well. I think it’s just a matter of my body, I feel great. My cardio feels really good and I think it’s just a matter of having a mindset to make plays.

Q: I meant more along the lines of the decisions on when to get out of bounds or get down?

A: Not really. I think even in college you know when to get out of bounds or slide. You might take more chances in college because the talent level isn’t as high as it is in the NFL but I understand in the NFL if you try to run against these guys, linebackers, defensive ends they can fly too so you might as well get out of bounds instead of trying to take on a guys like that.

Q: You said Coach Hackett is okay with you picking up two or five, but they brought you in partly because of your athleticism. So do you think that’s an aspect of something you can do more of?

A: I think if I was more so concerned about running the ball then as far as passing the ball it wouldn’t be where it needs to be or it wouldn’t grow to where it needs to continue to grow too. I think as long as I continue to focus on making sure my reads are correct. When plays break down, that’s something where I always feel like I can make a play after that. If the pocket breaks down I feel like I can go out and get 10 yards. I don’t think I need to go; you can’t go into a game as a quarterback and say I want to take off on this play.  Because then you try to do that and it’s the wrong decision. You just kind of have to let it happen in the flow of the game.

Q: The two minute warning it looked like you guys were right at the line. Is that an example that you just got to be a little more aware there?

A: Yeah, no question. Either get our mike declarations and our calls up at the line, get it going faster and just get the ball snapped.

Q: Do you feel a little urgency to bounce back this week in a sense that a bad home game and a bad road game after a good start would be a big step back?

A: I think it’s extremely important to go out and win. I think as a team we started to have the confidence that going into each game we had the chance to win. We definitely feel like we’re a winning type team and we have the talent to win. I think that’s all it is, just go out here and focusing on Houston.

Q: Would you like to take more chances on offense?

A: I try to do whatever Nathaniel (Hackett) calls. If the shots are there take them, but other than that don’t try to force anything because when you start forcing stuff that’s when you will have some issues. So just stay within the offense and stay within what we’re doing.

CB Stephon Gilmore

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: Can you talk about the challenge that their wide receivers will bring in terms of Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins on the outside?

A: Just like any other receivers in the league; you have to compete with them.  You have to get your hands on them and fight with them down the field.  Have to go get the ball when the ball is in the air.

Q: You talked on Monday that you want to look at the film, go back and see what needs to be corrected.  In your mind, where is there room for improvement?  For yourself?

A:  For me, I think I didn’t tackle well last game.  A couple cracks in places and just communication on the back end, we just all have to be on the same page.  Once we’re all on the same page, we’ll be good.

Q: I know you only played with (Ryan) Fitzpatrick for one year, but is there any advantages you guys could pull from knowing some tendencies and stuff from seeing day in and day out a couple years ago?

A: Well the film speaks for itself.  He’s got a cannon.  Obviously we know that.  He’ll try to force some balls to people.  Get it in there.  We just have to take advantage of our opportunities when they come.  

RB Fred Jackson

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: What’s it going to be like for you to be on the other sideline from Ryan Fitzpatrick?

A: It will be a lot of fun. We’ve been talking for two or three weeks now. I’ve talked to him everyday this week. It will be a lot of fun. I told him I hope he has the game of his life, but we still kick his butt. It will be a lot of fun to see him out there competing. We talked and joked about how it will be hard to sit on the sideline and look at film and make adjustments or look at the pictures and make adjustment because we’ll want to watch each other play. I wish him the best, hopefully we can go down there and beat him and get a W.

Q: He admitted that sometimes he tries to do too much and I said he’s never going to learn but he’s kind of old, he’s never going to change…

A: Not at all. That’s him, he’s a competitor and he likes to give his guys chances to win. He’s going to continue to do that and it’s on us to know that going against him. He’s going to do everything he can to give his guys an opportunity to make a play on the ball. I know that he will go out there and I’m sure he’s going to be extra motivated against us, so it will be fun to see what he does.

Q: Was it hard to see him go?

A: He said it and I said it. He was definitely my favorite teammate to play with, it was always that way and he’s still a good friend.. We still talk to each other and like I said we’ve talked to each other probably six or seven times already this week. We understand that that’s part of the game, but we are always going to be friends outside of this.

WR Sammy Watkins

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: How cool will the matchup be this week with you and DeAndre being both Clemson guys?

A: It’s great.  I can’t wait to see him play. It’s great just to see both of us fighting for a win.  Can’t wait to go out there and compete.

Q: Did he kind of give you some council?  He was a first round pick, just like you.  Did you kind of feel him out on what the draft process was like and what you can expect?

A: Yeah, he gave me great advice throughout my whole career.  He really just told me everything is football.  You can go out there and make plays.  You definitely can be a great receiver at this level and he really just gave me so much confidence coming in.

Q: What about going into this week, not letting the disappointment of one loss becoming two losses? You have to bounce back. 

A: When you’re playing at this level, you have to forget about the losses.  Of course you played against a great team and we didn’t play our best football but now it’s time to move on and turn our focus to the Texans.

DT Kyle Williams

Wednesday September 24th 2014

Q: We all know Fitz and we all know what he can do but Ryan, on the conference call, also acknowledged the fact that he does have a tendency to force passes to try to challenge which can lead to mistakes which is what happened in the Giants game.  Can you put him into that position?

A: Well, hopefully we can get some pressure on him and do some things and make him try to force some things or get rid of the ball but that’s every quarterback if we can make him get around and do different things but that’s obviously our goal but that’s our goal every week if we can do it.

Q:  He was good at getting the ball out quickly when he was here.  Does he still look like he’s doing that?  Getting it out pretty fast? 

A: Yeah, he does a good job.  He knows, for the most part, what the defense is trying to do.  What they’re doing.  He can get rid of the ball.  We’ve already seen that really in two of our games this year: Chicago and San Diego.  Veteran quarterbacks that know where they’re going with the ball and they get rid of it quickly so like I said, we have to win on first and second down and keep them behind the chains and make him hold the ball a little bit longer.

Q: What’s your relationship been like with him, if at all, since he left?

A: I still text with Fitz.  Fitz is one of my all-time favorite teammates.  I love the guy.  He’s a great teammate.  Good family man.  Love his family so I have a great relationship with him and I think that’s what’s most guys would say that were here with him.    

DE Mario Williams

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: It’s been two plus years since you’ve signed.  Do you still feel like you have to play up to your 100 million dollar reputation?

A: I’m not worried about that reputation.  I just feel like I need to step up and play to where am being held responsible for the other fifty-two other guys on the field.  That’s all I’m worried about stepping into.
Q: How do you expect to be received in Houston?

A: I don’t know.  I don’t really care.  I don’t understand why that’s a topic of discussion.  I mean I’m playing football, man.

Q: I know but as a team that you played for, for a handful of seasons, is there nostalgia for you?

A: No.  At the end of the day, the guy on the other side of the ball this Sunday.  I’m not worried about it and no, that’s not something I’m worried about.

WR Mike Williams

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: Are you guys trying to find a rhythm since you never really found a rhythm last week?

A: Yeah, you always want to have a rhythm the whole game but anything can really turn off your rhythm, which were penalties for us. I don’t try to blame it on one thing but that is the one thing we saw in film, penalties, it killed us. It put us in long situations and we’re not built to survive those penalties. We have to try to stay out of those situations so that we can stay in a rhythm.

Q: How important is it bounce back after the first loss of the season?

A: I actually forgot about it, you just reminded me about the loss. I’m actually focused on the Texans right now and seeing how their DB’s do it, and of course 99 over there, he’s a beast.  We’re focused on them right now, we still 2-1 in this quarter, we’re taking them 4 games as a quarter and we’re 2-1 in this quarter right now.  Hopefully we end the quarter 3-1.

C Eric Wood

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Q: Is there any particular technique you will use to deal with the batting of the balls?

A: You can anticipate him jumping but he’s so quick and so long a lot of times he’s going to jump. You just kind of have to make him pay for it and hope he doesn’t do it the next time but even then you see guys knock him down but he still bats the pass. It’s a valuable asset of his game.

Q: Eric will it be special for you to see Fitz on the other side of the field again?

A: Yeah, it’s always good to see close friends. This week we will obviously be competing against each other and I’ll be rooting against him. Always good to see Fitz, I read he had a lot of good things to say about Buffalo which doesn’t surprise me; he really enjoyed his time here. I really got a kick out of him saying he’s going to have to convince his kids to root for the Texans this week. That’s the type of dude he is.

Q: What was the center/quarterback relationship like with Fitz over the four years that he was here?

A: It was good. Fitz is a likeable guy. I’m sure a lot of you guys liked him too. But that’s in the past now and I’m sure he’s got a good relationship with Myers down there.

Q: What’s your relationship been with him since he left the team?

A: We stay in contact. Text messages, phone calls every now and then. There’s not a lot of ball being talked just talked more about how his family is doing and what not.

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