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Texans Interim Head Coach Romeo Crennel: Sunday, October 11, 2020

Q. Could you talk about what it means to get the win and the performance of the defense with those two drives that started in your end?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "That was huge. The win was huge. You know, particularly the way that we started the season, not winning a game out of four, and then being able to come here at home and play a tough game, hang in there. All phases made a contribution to the victory, and then we had several players who stepped up and did very well. The quarterback played well. The receivers played well. The runners were able to run. The line blocked defensively. I think we were under 100 yards rushing for the first time this season and got some turnovers, which we hadn't been getting. So all of those things combined help us win the game."

Q. What about those two drives in which they started in your end and did not score?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "Well, I think we got a turnover on one of them, but that's huge when you can hold a team down and keep them from driving the ball and scoring, particularly when the game is a close game, because this is a game of momentum. And if they were able to drive it and score, then the momentum shifts to them. But then when we make the stop, the momentum shifts to us. The guys on the defense and the offense, as well, because they appreciate the stop. So I thought both sides complemented each other in those areas."

Q. Your thoughts on WR Brandin Cooks? Until today, he and Deshaun hadn't really gotten into a consistent rhythm. And talk about how the game plan worked today with Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly being able to open some things up?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "The reason he's here is because he has ability and has produced in this league, and so today we were able to see what he can do. You know, in the past four games or whatever, I know Deshaun has said sometimes when he made his read, Cooks wasn't there, but today Cooks was there and they connected. And then once they started connecting, you keep feeding him, and he had a great game in production and helped us win."

Q. What are your thoughts on how Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach Tim Kelly did today now that he's the play caller and what he was able to do? What was the strategy? What were you attempting to do today offensively?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "Well, win for one. That's the main thing, we wanted to win. But then offensively, we wanted to try to run the ball a little bit and then use the passing game. And the running game complements the passing game, so if you can gain some yards on the ground – I mean, you don't have to be a juggernaut on the ground – but if you can gain some yards then that opens up the passing game a little bit. So I think that that worked well today."

Q. What was the mood in that locker room? What was it like walking into the locker room after you got your first win of the season?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "The players were really excited about winning the game. It was our first win this year, and so they were really excited about it. I think they felt good about the way they played the game and the situations that came up in the game that they were able to fight through and make plays and make stops, and so they felt really good about those things. And so as a result they felt really good about the win. You know, I told them that they were better than the record showed going into the game, and I think that they believed that to a degree, and then they won the game, so now they might believe everything I tell them."

Q. Could you see that energy and that different attitude that you said you wanted to see going into this game?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "Yeah, I saw the fight during the course of the game. I didn't see anybody going to the tank when things went wrong, they said, 'let's go, let's pick it up,' and then boom, that's what they did. They picked it up and they fought all the way to the end."

Q. It's been a while since you've been a head coach; what was it like for you to be back down there and be in charge of things for the first time in a while?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "I think for me it was easy because the guys were playing good, offensively and defensively and special teams. The coordinators were making good calls. The coordinators had their guys ready to play, and the execution was good. You know, I know (Brandin) Cooks and the defense, but Ka'imi (Fairbairn), he made some kicks that helped us. And so the whole team as a group, I think they played very well."

Q. You said you can't make a whole bunch of changes in one week. Were there things that you did that you think helped these guys loosen up for this week?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "Well, I think maybe my personality, you know. I do smile some. I can joke with them a little bit. I think that and the change – anytime there's a change, attitudes change just a little, and so that we were able to win the game, and I think that that helped. If we had lost the game, it would be a different story, but because we won the game, I think that everyone wants to say what did I do. Well, the players are the ones who did it, and that's what I've been telling them all week, that they have the ability to do it, and you try to show them evidence that they can do it, and then now they have to go out and perform, and they did a good job today."

Q. After the first series your run defense was great. Was it as simple as being disciplined and playing your gaps?

ROMEO CRENNEL: "After that first series, I think what happened is we settled in. We settled down and started playing better run defense. I know on one play there was a cut. We had a pressure on, and the cut back got in between the pressure and the guy stunting inside and they were able to gain some yards. But once we settled it down, we were able to slow that running game down, and then what that does is that helps the pass rush when they have to start throwing, and the guys can kind of pin their ears back. So I think that that was it."

Q. Tell us about that fourth down call, why you went for it to get the touchdown instead of kicking a field goal. You mentioned Fairbairn had been kicking well and he had.

ROMEO CRENNEL: "Well, I'll tell you what, that was a great move on his part to get the touchdown. All I was trying to do was get the first down because it was a two-score game. And the field goal, even though it would have put points on the board, potentially it might not have made a difference if they had gone down and scored. And so I wanted to try to get that done and kind of put it out of reach and make it much tougher for them to have a chance to come back."