OLB Bryan Braman
(on his thoughts on doing away with kickoffs)
"I appreciate (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) trying to look out for the safety and the health of the players, but guys like me would be out of a job. So I don't really find that too amusing at all. But this actually is the first that I've heard about it, so yeah, I don't like the sounds of that at all."
(on if he thinks that too many guys are getting hurt on kickoffs)
"It's definitely been talked about. But if you think about it, we're not playing volleyball or baseball, it's a pretty violent sport. I believe injuries are part of the game, and they have been from the beginning. I'm pretty sure that everybody who comes into playing football is well-informed on the risks that they take with their safety and they go out there and do it anyways. I don't see what it will do other than just change the game."
(on K Shayne Graham's comment on them trying to take the 'foot' out of 'football.")
"I like that, that was good. It doesn't seem like it would need to happen. Football is football. Let us go out and play. And I respect the fact that (Roger Goodell) is trying to make it as safe as possible, it's a violent game, and it's big guys and we like to go out there and be violent. Taking all that out of the game doesn't seem like it makes very much sense."
(on if anyone enjoys kickoffs more than him)
"I like to think that I enjoy them the most. I mean, I love my job and I definitely have a lot of fun going down there and doing that. I'm going to say no, I don't think anyone likes kickoffs more than I do."
RB Arian Foster
(on the challenge of facing the Patriots)
"The challenge is it's a really good challenge. New England is a tough team. We're really looking forward to the challenge, big stage on Monday night and it's going to be a tough game."
(on WR Andre Johnson calling it the biggest game in team history)
"I'd say it's a really big game and if (WR) Andre (Johnson) says it's the biggest game in team history then that's exactly what it is."
(on playing on the Monday night stage)
"Anytime you have a chance to play on a big stage, I think you have to come through. It shows the character of the team the bigger the stage the better you play. That's a sign of a really good football team."
(on how he feels today)
"I am feeling good, really well-rested. Had a good practice, as well as the other guys, so just looking forward to tomorrow."
K Shayne Graham
(on the opportunity of playing the New England Patriots and formerly playing for them)
"You look at what they've done, obviously that speaks for itself. We're excited about it, because we know we're being given the opportunity to prove ourselves and to be looked at as a really good team in this league. I played for them in 2010 and had success with them when I played with them and I look forward to being back there on that field."
(on having pressure on every kick in the NFL)
"Every kick, there really isn't a difference between the last kick and the first kick. You might make or miss any of those. And that first kick of the game could end up making the biggest differences as that last kick in the game. You don't put the importance on them any more than another, you just treat every kick the same. That's how you become more successful in this league and have a career is when you treat every kick like it's a game winning field goal."
(on if he would want the opportunity to make a game-winning field goal against New England)
"Obviously I would love to have that. I think anyone who plays this game wants to be in that situation. Especially this year, I got a chance to make one. But I had a chance – I could have closed a couple before that. I think it would be good for me and this team. If that's what it came down to, I would love to be able to have that opportunity. But I think we would all like to see the game not be very close, but yet, if that's how you win, that's how you win."
(on the possibility of there being no more kickoffs in the league)
"I don't know how much 'foot' you can take out of 'football.' I really don't know what to say because, I mean I heard about it, and when you hear about it – how do you take something out of the game that's been such a tradition for so long? But yet, I guess it's all about the injury concern. They tried moving the ball up, they're getting a lot of touchbacks. Maybe fans would like to see more returns, but in order to have those returns, you have to have those violent collisions coming in. Who knows? Those collisions happen on punts, too. Those collisions happen on crossing routes. Those collisions happen every time a fullback takes on a linebacker on a lead block. It happens all the time. You can try to eliminate it. I don't really know what to say, as far as the validity of that rule change or if it will even pass. I don't know how that's voted on, how the competition committee, if players have a say in it, or coaches, I really don't know. I know a lot of special teams coaches would probably want to keep the kickoffs in there because it's more of their chance of a challenge and teaching and coaching a game."
(on kickoffs being a chance to set the tone)
"It's a big tone setter. That opening kickoff of the game does a lot for momentum sometimes."
(on if kickoffs are more violent now than ever)
"I think what you end up seeing, is you see guys who are faster, guys who are more muscular, stronger, you know. With people learning more about health and nutrition, guys are able to be bigger, faster and stronger. Guys are learning more about physical conditioning than they did 20, 30 years ago. You had big guys back then, you had fast guys. But the guys today, the average fan doesn't understand just how big and strong and fast these guys are. And when you see it every day, you're amazed at how just the routine play can be so violent. And the more and more these guys get bigger and faster, the more violent the game is going to be with certain hits. They eliminated the large wedge on kickoff returns and now it's only two guys can be together, you can't have more than that. They've tried ways to eliminate the big collisions, but I think they're going to be there no matter what."
(on the two sides of the violence in the league)
"It's a double-edged sword. You have the guys who are like, 'Let the guys hit." You even think that the league, look at the commercials for NFL football, they show some of the biggest hits, but yet we get fined for hitting too hard, helmet-to-helmet hits. And those have been a part of the game for a long time. And yeah, we want to eliminate anything where anyone can get hurt, but then it becomes, how do you take away that hard-nosed violence of the game that we've been taught since we first put on a football helmet and then turn that into you're being punished for hitting too hard. It's really hard because you don't want people getting hurt. But we're also taught to hit hard. I've heard so many different arguments on this, but it's tricky. No matter what, there's something that you can have a hard time with either way."
(on if he would come down against or for the abolishment of kickoffs)
"I really don't know. I enjoy kicking. I enjoy kicking. So whatever more I can do for my job, I enjoy it. Players play, coaches coach, and other people make these decisions that I'm not a part of. I'll handle what's given to me. That's all I can do."
CB Johnathan Joseph
(on how he feels)
"I'm good to go. I'm good to go. I practiced yesterday and today, felt fine, so I'm good to go."
(on if he's starting on Monday)
"Yeah, no doubt about it."
(on facing the Patriots' offense and their pace)
"It's an up-tempo offense. They get on the line fast. (QB) Tom (Brady) obviously makes a lot of checks at the line of scrimmage. For us, it's just about staying calm and just being focused and paying attention to the small things. It's not the big picture in that particular situation because you can't get focused on him making all the checks and lose focus of what the particular coverage is and things you're responsible for. For us, it's just staying focused and focused on the defense that's being called."
(on how excited he is to play on Monday)
"Words can't describe it just because I'm just happy to be back out on the field with my teammates and running around again. Acting like a little kid out there yesterday, couldn't stop talking through the warm-up line and guys kind of giving me crap about it a little bit like, 'You can tell he's back out here because you hear him talking.'"
CB Stanford Routt
(on what this defense is like from the inside)
"It's great. It's got playmakers on all three levels. Pass rush, linebackers and especially in the secondary. So it's going to be real fun to be a part of it."
(on what he thinks about the opportunity to be a part of this team)
"It's great. Be able to play in my home state. Playing for a team that's winning and on its way to the playoffs. Like I said, we'll just have to see what happens, but I'm happy."
(on if he has heard from a lot of Houston fans)
"Yeah, I heard from some of them, so it's going to be real fun.
(on how he fits in with this defense)
"I think I fit in real well. They play a lot of man coverage, mix it up a lot. The corners are aggressive and play with a lot of confidence, so I think it's going to be a good fit for me."
DE Antonio Smith
(on getting guys healthy back on defense)
"We got most of our parts back. There is still a couple banged up and missing. It's going to be fun. It's going to be fun to have all those faces back and be able to go out there and let it all hang out."
(on how they can keep up with the fast-paced Patriots offense)
"Play football, in every game we play in some way shape or form, the teams have tried to speed up the offense. We're used to that. We're used to a team trying to get us tired, trying to slow our rush down, and playing a quick tempo, quick pace type of offensive game. It's nothing that we haven't seen before."
(on if the Patriots fast pace makes it harder to get to QB Tom Brady)
"No, it's the same. It's going to get you more tired. You've just got to fight through that. It gets you a little winded. Sometimes it can work against the offense, too, because you're doing that quick-paced offense. It takes one big play and it can mess it up, slow it down."
(on how much fun it is playing with DE J.J. Watt and their success)
"We just have fun out there. We enjoy playing with each other. Bulls on Parade is the best defense ever to be on, to have this many characters, for us all to enjoy playing with each other and joking with each other, it's just finding cool things to do like make letterman jackets. Like who does that, you know?"