(on why the Raiders’ defense were able to stop the Texans in the second quarter, but not in the third)
I just thought we were playing with a little bit more to us. Particularly in the third quarter you’re talking about. They came out and moved the ball and did with it what they wanted to. We got a score on offense and it seemed to kind of ignite our football team a little bit and we got a couple stops. The bottom line is when you give up that kind of rushing yardage and you can’t keep the quarterback clean it’s tough to win in this league. They’re a good team. That is a really good football team. We were good enough to win that football game. We just did not get it done on the line of scrimmage.
(on how the team seemed to battle until the end unlike in past years)
Their character, the attitude, the want-to and all that of this team is different than it’s been in the past. That’s a good thing. There was an opportunity when they could have just blown the thing open. But we fight, we tend to sometimes need something emotionally to do that in terms of some big play on the field, whether that’s a score on offense or a turnover on defense. You can’t be like that. You have to be consistent and be able to go out there and throw your best shot every snap. We just didn’t do that and it shows. We turn it over three times and you get the ball run on you like that, it’s going to be tough.
(on whether or not the defense let up so many rushing yards was due to scheme or will)
Well, every man’s gotta look himself in the mirror, and you have to go out and make plays. But there is no finger-pointing. It’s still the fourth game of the season. We took one on the chin and it’s very disappointing the fashion that it happened. I would feel better about it if they threw the ball on us. It’s demoralizing when a team can run the ball at will. We didn’t stop it. We didn’t stop the run and there is no excuse for that.
(on whether or not missing John Henderson in the middle was a factor to not stopping the run)
We could use all the help that we can get, but the guys that are out there you ask them to play. We didn’t do our jobs today. We gotta go back to the film room and evaluate what went wrong. There are no excuses being made. We got our butt kicked and that’s what it was.
(on if he has any ideas on how the Raiders defense can improve)
You can’t lay that out there … it’s a production business – it ain’t high school. We never seemed to stop the bleeding. We didn’t have an answer for anything.
The offense tried to get us back in the game, and we let them rally off another big run.
You’re not going to win many games in this league playing defense the way that we played.
Look at our front line. … I would take our front line over most teams in the league. I don’t know … Change gonna come.
(on if the game was a case of Houston having too many weapons)
No, we just didn’t handle our business. At the end of the day, they’re a zone scheme, and we go against a zone team every day. We get the reps in practice. They made some adjustments in their scheme, but, at the end of the day, we got to stop it. It doesn’t got nothing to do with anything they did. It’s all us.
(on if this game was another example of one big play hurting the overall performance)
Stop, stop, stop, big pop. Coach puts extra tackling drills in, we put the work in. We just got to transfer what we do on the practice field out here. It ain’t like, I don’t think anybody is laying down. You just got to bring what you do on the practice field out here on the playing field. It’s as simple as that. They threw in a little counter play, but we saw that. You just got to execute.
(on being able to take comfort in knowing that the Texans have one of the better offenses in the NFL)
I understand they’re one of the better offenses, but we got to do our part. OK, they got a good offense, but 250? Come on. We can’t give up 250 on the ground. You can’t win that way, especially when they don’t got the attack with the man outside [WR Andre Johnson]. We just got to go back to the drawing board. Whatever we’re doing, we need to make some adjustments in it, tweak something, because we’re not executing right now.
(on how tough his hamstring injury is for him after playing so well this season)
Yeah, it’s real hard to be watching because you want to be out there helping them fight. Those guys are fighting hard out there. I just want to be out there doing (what I can).
(on how he pulled his hamstring)
Just the excitement, I was trying to go for another gear and I just pulled up. I tried to get out first because I didn’t want to pull it too fast.
(on the Texans’ front seven)
They have a good front seven. Those guys are good getting off blocks and making plays. For the most part, we were doing a pretty good job running the ball.
(on his performance despite the loss)
It was nice to get involved in the passing game like that today. Bruce and I were on the same page. We felt pretty good out there that way, but any time you lose it sucks. I want to have a great day when we win.
(on how the team battled back from 17 down)
We didn’t have a good third quarter, so it was nice we battled back like that. We were in a position that we could go down and tie, but we didn’t do it, so as nice as it is that we battled back, it doesn’t mean anything now.
(on having hope as a team at 1-3)
I feel like were a good team. We weren’t the better team today, give them credit they played well. These are games we gotta win. We have to have the mentality to come out and fight these guys and win in the second half. We didn’t do that.
(on his injured shoulder being a problem during the game)
Yeah, it was hurting man. Especially on the blocking plays, it was hard for me to really block guys early in game. I guess they knew that my shoulder was hurting. They went out there right away, you know, and blocked in the run game.
(on if he doubted playing due to his shoulder prior to the game)
Yeah, it was doubtful, but shoot man, I wanted to be out there with the team and I wish I coulda’ played better today.
(on if the shoulder was a factor on the last Raiders play where the pass deflected off of his hands)
Nah man, it just, they hit again and it reaggravated it, but it wasn’t a factor.
(on the team battling back from 17 down)
Oh man, that shows that we got a lot of heart on this team, you know, a lot of guys have got a lot of fight in them. We just gotta’ come out and start faster. I feel we was still able to win that game and the cards just fell the way they fell, but I think we’ll bounce back. We have a real good leadership staff and a lot of good guys on this team that really want to win, so I think we’ll be fine.
(on what happened when he was pulled into the locker room during the game)
I think, at that point, I think they just wanted to check me out real quick and be able to take my shoulder pads off and examine, I mean, I kept saying, I’m all right, you know. But that’s what they have to do, that’s their job, the trainers and the doctors, they do a good job with that. Our defense had the ball so I knew I had some time, so I just went back there, they checked me out, and I told ‘em I was good to go and just came back.
(on what was in pain after the monster hit he took after scrambling out of the pocket)
Just, the whole body. I don’t know. [laughing]
(on how difficult it is to play quarterback with so much pressure)
It’s tough, they have a good defense, they’ve got a good front seven. They fly around. It was a great game for us. It was a tough game, and it’s tough, some plays I just got to get the ball out of my hand, a couple of those plays, I was about to throw it away, then I’d take a hand off and then, you know, those are tough plays, and those are where we’ve got to be detailed. We’ve got to be more detailed. We’ve got to study that film. See why it happened, see what’d happen if it’s my fault, that’s the thing, that’s what this is about, is just learning. Learning and growing from it so next time it doesn’t happen. I love the way our guys are fighting and playing, and just two weeks in a row, playing hard and tough, but we always had those quarters where we just stutter a little bit. And you can’t do that against good football team.s This team’s a good football team and if you give them some breathing room they’re going to take advantage of it.
(on improvement in the red zone)
That was our focus coming in, was when we get in the red zone, let’s put touchdowns on the board. I think we did a pretty good job of that today. There was that one possession, right after I threw Zach a touchdown, and we went right back down the field and Seabass kicked a field goal, I’m a little disappointed on that because we had some plays there. Any time you get that close you gotta get in the end zone. We kept battling, it was a hard fought game. We did a good job in the red zone today. We did better, and that’s what our focus is on, to get better week in and week out, things will happen. This is still early in the season, I mean we haven’t even played a division game yet. So we’re still focused and we know what we want.
(on his fumbles being a result of not seeing defender)
On those fumbles I’ve just got to protect the football. Whatever it takes, just protect the football. Even if I was about to just throw it away, I just gotta’ be able to feel that and just get down and hold on to that ball and whatever happens I gotta protect the football.
(on if he thought he got outside the tackle box on the grounding penalty)
Yeah, I thought so, you know, I think it happened so quick, the ref thought there’s no way he got out that fast. I don’t know, I mean that’s the ref’s call, the ref’s decision. I felt like I got it out. I was throwing toward Johnnie Lee, he was in that vicinity. Of course after the play, Johnnie Lee is going to be a lot further down field. That was a tough one, they got us there, and that was a key point in the game. Push us back a little further but we still have a couple of plays where we could have got it.
(on if he heard the fans chanting his name)
Yeah, I hear them chanting my name (laughs). A couple of times, are they booing me now, though? You know when you stutter a little on offense. But our fans are great, that place is going nuts. We appreciate all the fans that go out and see us play, and that was a tough, tough game. We have to get those victories for ‘em, and we will, and we’re confident in that, and we’ve just gotta keep working, keep getting better and really watch this film and know we gotta make those plays, and that’s always what’s tough. It was tough last week, it’s going to be tough this week watching the film again. But we need to just learn from it and move on.
(on if he had enough time to look for wideouts)
Yeah, I had some time, I mean, I’ve just gotta make the plays, whatever I gotta do to make the plays, like I said, our guys fought hard today, there’s some things we need to clean up. If you don’t win, there are definitely things you can clean up. We’re going to do that, and we’re going to keep fighting, like I said it’s early, we’ve got San Diego next week, our first division game, so we’re going to be excited for that. Like I said, we haven’t played a division game yet, so this season is still early and we knew what we want.
(on what coaches say to him after taking big hits on scrambles)
They kind of tell me to get down. It’s just my nature to get all I can. A couple of times I’ve got to be smarter than that and get down, and a couple of times it just happened so fast you’re just stuck in between and you’ve just got to take the hit. I’ve got to be smarter than that and protect my body. During the game I’m not thinking about that. I know one was on the third down I just want to make sure I’m past the first down marker.
(on whether or not it seems they are always playing from behind)
We’re trying to win games and we have to be able to help out the offense in those situations. They’re running the ball and passing the ball well and we’re not holding up our end of the bargain sometimes. That can affect anyone. Guys are not happy about that at all.
(on if they could have carried over their second quarter performance to the third quarter)
No. We knew what we were getting ready to go against. It was stressed the whole week, about the zone blocking scheme, a great running scheme. And they have the boot off of that. And they came in and did exactly what it was. It was just a matter of us being able to stop them more consistently. We didn’t do that. We played well in spurts today. The rest of the time, they had their way with us.
(on if Andre Johnson signaled to the defense that they’d have to focus more on the run)
When we found out he wasn’t playing, that should have been a moment that we said, `OK, let’s key in on the run.’ After a while, we started to do that. It was `Whatever we’re going to do, let’s load up the box and stop the run.
(on if he thought the defense had a letdown after finding out Andre Johnson was out of the game)
No, no, no. Because he was my assignment, so it didn’t matter to anyone else. So there was no let-up at all.
(on if he’s confident that this team won’t begin thinking, ‘here we go again.’)
Yeah, I’m confident because we’re in games more than we were in the past. Plus, there are so many new players that they don’t know what `Here we go again’ means.’ I think we’ll be fine.
(on his reaction to Cable attributing the game being lost in the trenches)
We just, we have to get better. We come in tomorrow and we watch the film and we figure out what we can do but at the same time we take a lot of the things that we did well and we build off of that. We move forward. We can’t think about what just happened. I mean, it sucks right now but come Monday at 10, I guess it’s on to…San Diego.
(on the difference between this team being able to rally from behind compared to past years)
That’s years past . This is the 2010 version of the Raiders. We’re not worried about what we would have done last year, two years ago or whatever. We’re playing for right now and those types of things, for me personally, don’t enter into my head. I can vouch for the 53 other guys on this team that we’re not thinking about that. We’re thinking about going out there and winning and whipping somebody’s ass.
Miscellaneous Texans’ quotes on the Raiders
Matt Schaub on their success running the bootleg on the Raiders
Against that group, they have a great secondary, they’re very fast, some good cover people, and their front is as good as anybody’s in the business. Just dropping back and trying to throw 50 times against them is tough to do, so (we used) misdirection, bootleg, play-action, crossing routes, where we could get some guys lost in coverage.
Troy Nolan (two interceptions) on Bruce Gradkowski
He’s a great quarterback. The man never quits. Obviously he’s starting, so he’s doing things right out there. He’s a battler and competitor.
Nolan on being surprised that Gradkowski came back after the big hit
He’s got to get down on those. He can’t be taking those kinds of hits. But he’s a gutsy player. He’s that type of player. You’ve just got to live with it.