As always, below are some of the more intriguing quotes from today's post-practice training camp session. If you're interested in the full transcript, click here to see the entire exchange on the team's official site.
(on his reaction to having fans at practice today) "It’s good. It helps us because we’re in the dog days of summer right now. Having everybody out here kind of gets the juices going a little bit, gets everybody moving around. I appreciate them coming out. It seems like it gets bigger every year. That’s a good thing for our team, but we appreciate them."
(on NT Daniel Muir flashing in practice so far) "Yeah, he really has. He’s done a good job. He’s a load. We play a lot of shade and we’re a zone football team, and he’s tough to reach. He’s doing some good stuff out here. I think (DE David) Hunter has done some really good stuff. It’s nice to have, to pick up a guy that late in the process and see him playing like this."
(on QB Case Keenum throwing a good deep ball so far in camp) "Yeah, he’s having a really good camp. I’d be interested to see, he’s going to play a lot in the preseason. I’ve got to play him and (QB) T.J. (Yates) a great deal. I think, to make sure we’re doing the things Case does well, but he’s adapted and becoming a fine player. So it will be interesting to see how far he’s come."
(on RB Deji Karim and what he brings) "He’s looked really good on special teams. He’s physical; picking up blitzes yesterday was excellent. We need to continue. He needs to work in our run schemes and what we do. But he’s proven to be an effective player in this league and I think special teams will be a big part of it."
(on the battle at right tackle between T’s Derek Newton and Brennan Williams) "I think Newton’s really stepped his game up. He’s doing well. He’s a full participant player right now. Brennan is not. He’s about half the time in practice. He’s battling some things physically, but I think Newton’s really taken a step forward."
(on if there were any injuries in practice today) "We got a little nicked up today. (ILB Evan) Frierson’s got a shoulder. (T) Duane Brown got his ankle a little bit, but he did finish practice. (WR Jeff) Maehl’s got a little hamstring. That’s where we’re at right now."
(on making adjustments) "I don’t know if I’ll make any. I think the biggest thing is getting back healthy and playing the game the way I know how to, which is fast, physical, and relentless."
(on being back and being 100 percent) "Yeah, I mean I’ve put in enough days where the whole trusting it thing kind of went out the window a long time ago. I’ve had it a lot of different reps and experience on it. There’s no worrisome feeling that I have about it."
(on if he thinks it’s odd for him to fly so under the radar as a Pro Bowler) "Oh that’s alright. You know, there are a lot of young guys on this team trying to make a name for themselves. A lot of other players that are much bigger names than mine. I’m just trying to do my work and get ready for the season and contribute the way I have the past seven years so that’s alright with me. I’m just working and I like to work like that."
(on what it’s like having the fans out at practice) the fans are great. It’s good to have the 5th day of camp and it’s kind of getting to the dog days and to have some more energy from them is great. The support has been amazing as the years have gone by and it just continues to get stronger. Game days are awesome here and you just get a little warm up from the fans. It’s pretty nice"
(on if he gets pumped up from the fans being there) "You know, we try to work hard every day but that energy definitely helps, we’ve got some more fans, some more spectators obviously. You get more oh’s and ah’s when you make plays but then also if you don’t make a play people see that too, definitely a little more pressure."
(on if he’ll play differently because it is a contract year)" It is a contract year. It just means that I’m going to come out and do what I always do. Keep working hard and always try to get better. I’m thinking if I get a little more yardage I’m going to help this team. And if I help this team and we get to the Super Bowl then I’ll cash in."
Kubes (this time after the afternoon session)
(on if there are any injury updates) "From the morning, (ILB Evan) Frierson’s got a shoulder that’s probably going to miss a few days. (T) Brennan Williams is going to get an MRI. His knee swelled up on him a little bit again, so we’re taking a look at that. That’s where he’s at this afternoon. Other than that, we’ll find out where we’re at in the morning."
(on signing LB Joe Mays and the corresponding roster move that will be made) "No, we’re in the process. We’re going up to talk about that right now. Obviously, we’ve got to find a roster spot for Joe. We’ll get that done here in the next meeting."
(on the status of OLB Whitney Mercilus and if he’s day-to-day) "Yeah. Whitney’s got a mild hamstring. We’ll be smart as we finish up the week."
(on how the running backs have played) "We’ve got a good group of young guys. The young kid from Arkansas (RB Dennis Johnson) has really stood out. He’s done some good stuff, special teams wise too. Then, (RB Cierre) Wood’s got some talent. He’s got the ability to catch the ball as well as run it. What are the other ones? The kid we got from Indianapolis (RB Deji Karim) has done some real good stuff. He’s a real physical player, picks up blitzes well. And then (RB Ray) Graham. The biggest thing is they’re all getting opportunities. They’re four young players getting a ton of opportunities. (RB) Ben Tate, being the only guy who’s stepped on an NFL field. We’ll take a hard look at all of them. They’ll have an excellent chance to make our football team. Probably what they do for (ST Coach) Joe Marciano will have a lot to do with it."
(on if he’s ever seen a rookie carry himself the way S D.J. Swearinger does) "No, I can’t really say that I have. So confident. Boy, just makes plays every day. That’s a good thing for us. With our situation with (FS) Ed (Reed), for us to be able to get this young man, that was big for our team. He’s another one—he and (WR) DeAndre (Hopkins) handle themselves extremely well. It’ll be interesting to see when we get going here and start playing some games if it all looks the same."
(on the reason for FS Shiloh Keo starting right now) "Well, Shiloh lines up as the one. We’ll work in our dime, but, believe me as much as we play dime, there’s plenty to go around. Last year, we actually ran our dime more than we ran our base defense. You never know how you’re going to get played, but Keo’s having a great camp. He’s a much better player now than he was last year. That’s important to the team."
(on how T David Quessenberry has been asked to move to guard) "I just told him to try to be versatile. I know he played a lot of tackle in college and they have been asking him to move down to guard, but he’s been adapting well. He is picking it up and I just told him ‘the more you can do the more value you have to the team. You never know what’s going to happen and what position you might have to end up playing, but just be prepared.’ He’s definitely taken the steps to do so."
(on if he sees some of himself in T David Quessenberry) "Yeah, I’ll tell you, I like his demeanor. A lot of rookies come in and they don’t have that intensity as an offensive lineman. They don’t have that ‘nasty’ as an offensive lineman, but he definitely has it. I saw it early on in OTAs and that’s something that I can relate to."
(on how difficult it was for him to have to sit out last year because of his injury) "It was very disappointing. It was a tough break for me but at the same time the biggest thing for me was to try to take that time to prepare and get ready for a big year the next year and I feel like that’s what I’ve done. I’ve done well so far since I’ve been here and hopefully that’ll carry over into the season."
(on how he spent the year) "I spent the year here. I did all of my rehab during the season. Went to all the meetings and tried to stay as involved in the team as I could and once I was released by the doctors I kind of started kicking a little bit around here. Once the season was over, I went back to school, finished up my degree, trained up there with some of my buddies back in College Station. Before I knew it, it was OTAs and I was back at it so it was a long year sitting around waiting but I’m very excited for this opportunity."
(and how he gets ready for a pressure kick mentally) "Just like I said, I have a routine. I go through it when I get out on the field to where whenever it comes time for me to get out on the field I don’t have any thinking. It’s just kind of like a golfer approaching the tee-box. Everybody’s got their own routine. Stick to that, and have a positive attitude and hopefully everything works out."
(on the battle for Texas between the Cowboys and Texans) "You know, we’re the Texans and we’re proud to be the Texans. This is the state of Texas so not everybody is a cowboy, but everybody is a Texan. Everybody is more than welcome to come on board the bandwagon, there is plenty of room and we would love to have you. We play extremely hard every single day and we’re proud of the product we put on the field, so we love our fans and we appreciate all of them."