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Quotes: Jason Hatcher (8.9.14)

Defensive End Jason Hatcher

On being able to practice:

"I'm really excited, man. It seems like it's been forever since I've been on the field, so the day I was actually able to do some stuff – not, you know, taking reps right now, but just kind of working my way through individuals and taking it day by day.

On his plan after being cleared:

"Just individuals for the first week and next week I'll take some live reps and see how I respond from there. From then on, I'll just work my way back in and [I'm] looking forward to trying to play in that third preseason game to kind of knock some rust off and get ready for the Texans."

On the last thing to come along for him in the rehab process:

"I think it was more so just the mental part of it, just to say, you know, 'My knee is good' and go out there and just playing on it as hard as I can. So once I did that, I was able to get over it mentally."

On how he dealt with the frustration of rehabbing:

"I just fed off my teammates, man. From the looks of it, we're going to have a great defense and that's what's very exciting to me. That kind of motivated me to work hard just to be an integral part of that group, man. It's a special group of guys and they work hard and they want to win and I'm very happy to be a part of it."

On his strength returning from the injury:

"Yeah, my explosion is kind of there, but it's one of those things that I've got to work through, you know, getting a 300-pound human being laying on me and see how I respond from there. So it's one of those things I've got to work through. That's why they're kind of progressing me along, so next week I'll get some game reps, like I said, and I'll see how I feel to have a human being laying on me and see how I respond from there."

On what stood out about the defensive linemen from the first preseason game:

"Just the hustle, man. That's the one thing we put our emphasis on. You can make a mistake, but never take a play off. Finish every play. Those guys really hustled to the ball and that was very motivating to me to get back and just, like I said, be a part of that group. They play hard every down and I think we looked good for the first game. But it's the preseason. We have got to see how we respond to when teams start game planning against us."

On what he can bring to the defense:

"Just my wisdom as a vet and just getting after the quarterback, just making the quarterback uncomfortable. That's one of the things, that's one of the reasons why they brought me here so I just have got to continue to just get after the quarterback."

On how glad he is to have elected to go ahead and go through with the surgery before the season:

"I'm very glad. It was one of those things that we sit down and discuss – whether I wanted to manage it every game. After every game I've got to you know do a lot of rehab to get it back right, and it was just… the bad outweighed the good. So I just went ahead and had the procedure done. And I'm very happy the way it's responding so I've got a little way to go. I'm very happy where I'm at right now."

On if getting surgery was a tough decision:

"Yeah, you know just a new guy just getting signed, it was a big deal. Just you being a human, you're kind of like. 'I'm just getting here, you know? What [are] my teammates going to think? What [are] the GM and owner going to think?' So it was one of things that was a hard decision to make but I'm very happy I did it."

On how much pride does he take in hustling on screens and moving laterally:

"Yeah, I take pride in that. If you look at film on every D-line in the league, there's not many guys running 30 yards down the field making plays. A lot of those guys look at the screens like it's foreign to them, so I take pride in getting to the football and making plays down the field."

On what it will be like to play against his former team:

"Oh man, it's going to be a little strange, but it's going to be very, very, very exciting because it's a new team and, like I said, I'm looking forward to playing with these guys. I played against these guys and they just – they don't stop. So it's going to be a good game Monday night, but that's not where my focus is at right now. I'm just focusing on one day at a time, getting back on the field and playing this third preseason game to get ready for the Texans."

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