Quintin Demps Finally Gaining Respect
Quintin Demps has had an interception in four straight games and, with 22 tackles and 6 pass deflections to go along with it, he landed AFC Defensive Player of the Month honors for December.
“He’s playing at a high level. He means a lot to our defense, he means a lot to the backend. He’s done a really good job of tackling,” O’Brien said of the veteran safety. “He’s made a lot of plays on the football obviously with his interceptions, but he’s made other plays. He’s done a really good job of blitzing when we’ve asked him to do that. He’s just a good, solid football player. He’s a leader back there, he was a captain for us last week, and he’s had a good year for us.”
Demps is not taking this award for granted and is happy to be recognized for his play.
“It was good. It’s a great feeling, man,” Demps explained. “It’s the road less traveled, being a journeyman. Been on one-year deals the last five years, so to get an award like that, it definitely means a lot to me.”
Demps continued, “I’m just on a mission, man. I’ve just been on a mission since last offseason to get some respect in this league for sure and win some ballgames.”
On the season, Demps has 55 total tackles with 6 interceptions and 9 pass deflections in only 13 games.
Bill O’Brien Wants to get Another Playoff Win for the Organization
As the youngest franchise in the NFL and with only two playoff wins to their credit, head coach Bill O’Brien is focused on putting the organization's third victory and his first in the books for the Houston Texans.
“It’s important,” said O’Brien of winning on Saturday. “Playoffs are a great opportunity for everybody. Great opportunity for the organization. We know that the city is excited about it. We know that it’s going to be an electric atmosphere on Saturday afternoon. We’re all looking forward to it. We’re all motivated to win the game. We know that it’s a very tough opponent. We know it’s going to be a battle.”
O’Brien has accomplished plenty as the head coach his first three seasons, having marked the first time in franchise history that the team has finished with a winning record three years in a row. Now, O’Brien wants more for his team.
“But winning a playoff game is a great accomplishment,” O’Brien commented. “I’ve been around a few of them and it’s a great feeling. It’s a lot different than a regular season win. There’s a lot more on the line. It’s an exciting time.”
Connor Cook is a Mystery
The rookie from Michigan State is set for the first start of his career and it just so happens to be occurring during the playoffs for Connor Cook. His coach, Jack Del Rio, called Cook “unflappable” due to the way he handles himself on the field. His former coach Mark Dantonio seems to share that sentiment.
"First of all, Connor has got a huge upside. He's played on a big stage. He was the Rose Bowl MVP when he was a sophomore. He was the MVP in the Big 10 Championship Game, just things of that nature," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio told NFL Network earlier in the week. "He's been in the spotlight. I know it's an elevated level of play and it's all relative, but he's played on a big stage and he's had a lot of anxiety, big-game jitters, and things like that, and he's played very well in those games. That's going to serve him as well as anything as he takes this opportunity and has an opportunity to play this weekend."
"He's got a big arm. He can throw you open. He's a big guy, as they all probably are in that league, he's 6’4" plus, probably 230. But he's got a live arm. I think he prepares very well. He was very particular in terms of everything," Dantonio said. "He wanted to be right. Good at overcoming mistakes, that's as big as anything. He threw an interception and bounced back from that, and continued to play on through it. I don't think he's going to be intimidated by the scope of the game. That hasn't been a problem for him when he was here. I expect him to play very well."
The Texans are leaving no stones unturned preparing for Cook.
“I think you have to look, number one, at the Raiders. What do they do? What have they been doing all year? I think you have to study some of his tape from Michigan State and some of his preseason tape," explained O’Brien on studying Cook. “Then what he did in the Denver game. You have to look at those things and you really can’t leave any stoned unturned when it’s this time of the year, but at the end of the day, it’s really studying the Raiders offense and what they do and how they’re going to do it now with Connor back there. That’s important. That’s probably the most important thing.”
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel gave his thoughts on studying to play on the opposing side of Cook.
“Well you can go back and you can look at preseason. You can go back and look at him in college and you can still tell a little bit about him. That he’s got some running ability. He throws a pretty good ball. The thing that you don’t know in the NFL is how he’s going to react to NFL-type pressure and so we’ll find out.”
It is clear the Texans will have their work cut out for them due to the lack of film on Cook. The Texans, over the past two seasons under O’Brien, have put together solid game plans with unknown quarterbacks but now the unknowns of Cook are a slight concern in the most important game so far in the 2016 season.
Marquette King Has Laser Focus
Raiders punter Marquette King said he had laser focus for the upcoming playoff game. It was a picture of a green laser.
Here are the incidents from the Texans game in Mexico City.
So King had some fun with it.
Related Stories: Texans 2017 Opponents Revealed | Texans Notes vs. the Titans + Raiders Coming to Houston | Vince Wilfork Considering Retirement | Brock Osweiler Named the Texans Starter | Quintin Demps Names AFC Defensive Player of the Month | Brock Osweiler Gets a Second Chance | Brandon Weeden Named the Backup | Texans Get Their Rematch with the Raiders | Romeo Crennel is Not Worried about Pressure | Youth In the Trenches Proving Their Worth for the Texans