Ryan Fitzpatrick: "Texans are in the top 5 for a reason"

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Q: WR Stevie Johnson was just talking about J.J. Watt and how you might have to make some adjustments on how you throw things because he bats so many balls down along with getting to the quarterback. He talked about the kinds of things you have to do to counteract the kind of player he is at all levels.

A: I think in general they are a top five defense and he is one of the guys that makes them great. Very good player. He has the deflected balls, he has the sacks, makes a lot of plays in the run game and gets a lot of pressure on the quarterback. He is a guy that we will be aware of. That being said, it is not like I am going to change my arm angle when I throw or anything. You cannot do any of that.

A lot of times, if a defensive linemen bats it down, he bats it down. The one thing is if you are getting a lot of batted balls, you hope that there is not a lot of pressure and they are sitting waiting back trying to trying to jump and bat them. They do a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback so it will be a big challenge for us. Not only up front, but the guys on the back end. They have some good players. Jonathan Joseph I played with in Cincinnati for a few years and they have done a good job. They are in the top five for a reason. It will be a good challenge for us.

Q: Could part of the plan be to get you out of the pocket and get you moving a little bit just so they cannot get that pressure on you?

A: I cannot tell you all our secrets. (Laughs) We are who we are. This game, they are obviously a great defense, but this game offensively we are just trying to continue to improve and continue to find that consistency that we have been missing the first half.

Q: Could you talk about the running game and do you think that those guys are starting to find a groove with getting both of them going and you are able to keep them in the game?

A: I think we have had a great plan all along. The problem was the beginning of the year, Fred (Jackson) goes down. Then C.J. (Spiller) goes down and there was some injury stuff. With them both healthy, obviously those are two guys we need to get them their touches during a game. Sometimes it is going to be handing it off. Sometimes it is going to be through the screen game, through the empty sets or the pass game and stuff like that. Obviously a very important part of our offense. For them to now both be healthy, out there and we can rely on both of them in the game, we have been able to do some of the stuff we set out to do all along.

Q: You get some offensive linemen back too. Does that help you establish the physical side of the game?

A: Yeah, I think the last few weeks we have done a good job and it has kind of been patchwork just putting guys in there and trying to move guys around. Be able to get (Kraig) Urbik back and we will see with Cordy (Glenn) and all of that. It will be good for us because (Chad) Rinehart got hurt and will not be able to be available. Getting some depth there and getting our starters back will be big for us.

Q: Do you think the leadership of the team will be tested the next couple of weeks?

A: I think so. This is one of those things where we are 3-4, not where we want to be and not what we expected. Coming out of a bye, I think we had a nice couple days of extra work and now we have got maybe the best team in the league that we are coming out to face and then next week with the Patriots. It is going to be a real test to see who we are. This a great opponent for us because they are the best. If we want to get there we have to be able to beat teams like this on the road.

Q: There is probably not a fan out there looking at these two games and not thinking this is your season. Do you ever think about what these two games mean?

A: I will feed you the line of one game at a time and all that. 3-6 obviously the chances go way down. These next few games for us are huge. They all are, but especially going out, being on the road and facing tough opponents. These are going to be games that really kind of set us up for the rest of the season good or bad.

Q: Is there anything exotic about their defense, aside from them just being good at everything?

A:  They run some games and they blitz. They do a lot of blitzing and that is not just on third down. First and second down they will bring a lot of pressure. I think they are just a very solid, sound defense. They are going to get pressure, they are going to get in your face and they are going to bat some balls down but they cover well in the back end too. It will be, like I said, a real good challenge for us to go out there. We will have to beat man-to-man coverage. We will have to run the ball against some bad boxes and that stuff, but it is stuff that we have shown we can do in the past. We just have to go out there and be consistent with it.

Q: Johnson was saying he likes the matchup against their defensive backs. Do you agree?

A: I hope he would say that. As a receiver when you are getting man-to-man you have to think and believe that you can beat the guy across from you. I have a ton of faith in our guys. Stevie is one of the best in terms of getting off press and playing against that man-to-man stuff. That is something he has shown over the years. We like those matchups. I am sure if you talk to the Texans, they probably like those matchups too. It will be good to see how it comes out.

Q: You look at the schedule and this your third straight team that you are playing that is well-rested and the Patriots are coming off of a bye next week. Is there something to that?

A: I do not know. It is something I was aware of, but I do not know. I guess that is something for you to write about. We have no control over any of that

Q: How much is there too that, in your case coming off a bye and the rest, is it sort of like swimming against an undertow for a stretch of games where you have teams with extra rest?

A: If you look at us--having a bye week, getting people back healthy and being able to scheme against them a little bit more, I think there is an advantage to that. Obviously they have the same advantage so it washes out. It is just part of it. It is part of the game. You cannot sit there and worry about those things. Our advantage this week is less than it would be because they are coming off of the bye too.

Q: With the new CBA and only being able to practice once a week on the bye, how is that different from what it used to be when you could have regular practices throughout that week?

A: I think it differs from team-to-team and player-to-player on what the actual thought is on that. I think allowing players rest, to be able to heal, recover and not being out there having three or four practices—I think is a good thing. Getting the extra rest, with the season being as long as it is, getting that extra rest and know that you are not going to be on the field doing all of those different things, I think that the players really like that. That being said, the coaches did not take much time off. They are in there scheming and luckily we got a great day of work on Monday to really go out there and try to execute our plan. We get really a day and a half extra to go out there and work on some things that we would not be able to usually.

Q: Can you feel the difference physically? I am sure you have had some aches and pains after seven weeks of the season. Can you feel the difference in your body right now?

A: I am as healthy as I have ever been right now, Knock on wood wherever it is. I think if you ask a lot of guys in the locker room it is a huge difference, especially with some of the guys up front that we had banged up. Being able to have that extra week to not miss an extra game but still be able to come back and play. I know it is a huge thing for those guys that bang on every play to have that week off.

Q: In terms of your game such as your mindset or you focus is there anything you tried to retool over the bye week? A: During the bye week I like to step away for a few days and spend some time with my family. Recharge the batteries a little bit maybe mentally more than anything. For me and it is what I preached coming into the season, but something I really need to do is just play consistent. I think if I play consistent and we are consistent as an offense, then we will just continue to improve.

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