The team's official site is getting these post-practice transcripts up at lightning speed, and they should be commended for it. We're all dying for news out of Texans training camp, and the folks at houstontexans.com are delivering. As always, here are some of the highlights from today's quote library.
(on if there were any injuries in practice) "We had a couple of guys nicked up today. (OLB) Whitney (Mercilus) got a little hamstring strain that we don’t think is serious, so we’ve got to evaluate him. (DE) Delano Johnson had a little groin strain, so we’ll evaluate him this afternoon, but it was good. It was a hot day out there today. We were down a lot of bodies out there today. I gave some older guys a break, so really down some bodies, but I thought the young guys really stepped up and did some good things in practice. Now, we’re to the point where we’ll be out there full-time."
(on TE Garrett Graham’s status) "He’s fine. It’s just a process when you go through something like that. He’s back with the team. He rode the bike a little bit today. He’s holding his food down. He’s on his way back. He went through a lot. I’m hoping mid-week, end of the week, Garrett’s out here with the team. We’ll make sure he’s back right."
(on if he can talk about the potential of signing LB Joe Mays) "Obviously, you all know we’re talking to him. He’s out there. He’s free and we’ve got some things going on with our team that we think he might be interested in as a player from an opportunity (standpoint). (General Manager) Rick (Smith) has visited with him and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) has visited with him. I’m not sure what his timetable is, but obviously we’re always trying to get better with our team."
(on if he sees a difference in the way players are playing who aren’t used to the leg pads) "I think it’s going to be different for them. I don’t see a difference once it’s time to play, but the biggest thing they have to do is get settled with what they’re going to wear and make sure it is legal, so that (Director of Equipment Services) Jay (Brunetti), our equipment guy, has them ready to go on game day. It’s just something that we know is going to be very much enforced and players have got to handle it."
(on what’s going on with ILB Darryl Sharpton and if he’s getting closer to returning to practice) "Yeah, we actually gave Darryl an injection yesterday. He’s feeling much better. What’s today? Monday. I’m thinking probably around Wednesday we’ve got to make a decision on the path for him. Right now, obviously it’s a setback. It’s a disappointment for Darryl and for us, but we’ve got to give him every chance to get back onto the field. He had a great offseason. He was excellent, so hopefully we can get him back there."
(on how RTs Derek Newton and Brennan Williams looked today) "Well, Newton is almost a full-time participant right now (and) did some really good stuff today. Williams is about a part-time participant. I think they’re both doing some good things. I think Newton’s acting like he’s been around a few years now and that’s what I notice. Obviously, Williams is a younger kid that we’ve got to get to where he’s a full participant and see what he’s got."
(on more and more fans going to away games and how the team responds to that) "First off, it’s impressive. I know, since I’ve been here, there’s nothing better than getting off your bus at a hotel and seeing Texans hats and jerseys and fans and following us. It means a lot to us. You win a road game and they’re sitting there hanging out in the tunnel. That’s impressive. We’ve come a long way. Our fans have been excellent. Yes, it does mean a great deal to the team."
(on if he’s been assigned to carry anybody’s pads yet) "(WR) Andre Johnson. Yeah, I’ve been carrying his pads off the field for him."
(on what WR Andre Johnson has said to him) "He really doesn’t say too much to me, but he gives me that look sometimes when I do something wrong. I kind of know I didn’t do my assignment. He just kind of gives me that look like, ‘You could have did better.’"
(on LT Duane Brown saying the team got lazy at the end of last season) "I don’t know about lazy. I don’t like that term, but I can see where he’s coming from with that. We gotta fight through that. We put ourselves in that position for the first time and to use that as a building block going forward. Knowing how to handle that part of the season in the situation we were in, we will be better now going forward. We’ve moved on past it, we learned from it, we’ve talked about it over the offseason. We’re ready to get right back in that position and do better."
(on WR DeAndre Hopkins) "He’s looking good, he’s learning. He’s getting a ton of reps and a ton of opportunities in both the run and the pass and understanding the certain adjustments that our defense presents. How he runs routes, how he gets open, how certain guys play leverage on certain routes. He is learning and he’s getting opportunities. You can see that and he’s really progressed well."
(on possibly signing LB Joe Mays after the illegal hit last season) "We’re way past that. That was gone as soon as we walked off the field that day. It’s just a physical, hard-nosed game and he’s a physical player. It’s just part of football and I don’t fault him for that. We’re way past that, so he’s a good player and a good guy. It’s definitely water under the bridge."
(on what he likes about WR DeAndre Hopkins) "Just how he has been all ears. A rookie comes in and you just want him to listen, learn, and observe as much information as he can and work at it. When you ask him to do more, he’s willing to come out and get extra reps and catch extra balls so we can understand route adjustments and how certain things change when you think you have a certain coverage. His willingness to get better and do anything to help improve himself and help the team is what you want out of him."
(on picking FS Ed Reed’s brain) "Yeah we always talk with Ed. He’s coming in here with all his experience and all his years up in Baltimore. Now, he’s coming down here and getting put into Wade’s (Phillips) system. I’m sure his experience will help that side of the football and as we get going through camp, we are only a handful of days in, but there will be plenty of time for that."
(on joining the Houston Texans) "They’ve had great seasons. This is one of the three teams that I said I wanted to join so it was a blessing that I got that phone call."
(on who the other teams are that he wanted to join) "It was the Ravens and the Seahawks. I mean, not the Seahawks, but Jacksonville. I like the coach down in Jacksonville. The Ravens, you know, to follow the footsteps of my idol (Baltimore Ravens ILB) Ray Lewis and (FS) Ed (Reed) so those were just the team that I threw out there."
(on having on full pads and being charged up) "Most definitely, any time I wake up able to play football, it’s a blessing. I love this game. I’m passionate for this game and any time, like I said, when I can put these pads on and go at it it’s a blessing. I love it."
(on studying a lot of film) "Most definitely, and that’s something that I’ve been doing since high school, college and the more you know about this game whether its offense, defense or special teams, I think the better overall player you’ll be."