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September 04, 2015

Houston Texans Transcripts (9/4): Head Coach Bill O'Brien

Houston Texans Transcripts
Friday, September 04, 2015
(Transcribed by Omar Majzoub)
Head Coach Bill O’Brien
Head Coach Bill O’Brien
(opening statement) “We’re in the process of still trying to get this roster down to 53. It’s a difficult process. We have until tomorrow afternoon to do that. So, I’m going to wait until those announcements are officially announced before I comment on those things. I just will say this again, I said this last week when we were getting the roster to 75, it’s a very difficult process. It’s a bunch of guys, you start out with 90 guys and they work extremely hard. They give you everything they’ve got in the weight room, on the practice field, and in the film room. When you call them into your office and they meet with both myself and Rick Smith, I think we just try to be upfront and honest with them and tell them, ‘look, here’s what you did well and here’s what you need to work on’ and then go from there. It’s a difficult process. Obviously, more difficult on the player than it is on us. But, it’s a tough, tough day for everybody and we appreciate everybody’s efforts that has been trying to make this team.”
(on QB Tom Savage) “He definitely did something to his shoulder. I wouldn’t call it anything that would require surgery, but I do think that he’ll miss some significant time. We’re still in the process of meeting with our medical team. He’s meeting with our doctors and we’re kind of, probably doing a couple of MRI’s and things like that to try to see exactly where it’s at and how long he’ll miss. So I don’t have any definitive details on that other than it’s a shoulder.”
(on if the team will look at adding other quarterbacks) “I think it’s a discussion that we’re having, whether to go out and possibly get a third quarterback or maybe have a quarterback on the practice squad, something like that. That’s something that we’re talking about right now. We haven’t made a final decision on that.”
(on if he knows which players he would like to have back on the practice squad) “We have a pretty good feeling on that.  I think that’s a credit to the roster. That we’ve – and I say we, we’re all in this thing together. We’ve put this roster together and what you want on your practice squad is you want guys that eventually can play for you. You want guys that are on that practice squad that you think have a future with the Houston Texans. Hopefully, they clear waivers and you can get them to the practice squad. That’s the key. A lot of those guys have put some good plays on film. They may not clear waivers. If they don’t, that’s the risk we take, but hopefully we can have a really strong practice squad. We feel like we can.”
(on the offensive and defensive line play) “I think it was a struggle last night. I think that, and this is not an excuse, I think that we didn’t put a lot into this game plan. We really started working on Kansas City and we even did some work on our second game, Carolina, last week. We did some work on Dallas, but these guys were in a tough position. What I did like is they competed. They competed very hard. We turned the ball over twice, which isn’t good. That led to points and that’s not good. We’ve got to do a better job with all those guys of taking care of the ball. But I thought they played hard and they played smart for the most part, so I was glad to see that.”
(on T Chris Clark) “I thought he - for only having been here about two days, especially on the practice field, and having to go out there and know what to do. We kept it fairly simple, but it’s a different language for him and I thought he did a good job. He acclimated himself pretty well. Look, he had some plays that I’m sure he wishes he could have back, but overall, for only having been here a couple days, he did a pretty decent job.”
(on if he will target players on waivers from other teams) “I don’t think we look at it necessarily by position. Again, that’s probably more of a question for Rick Smith, but I think we look at the best available football player out there and how does that guy fit your roster. You’re always striving to have the most competitive roster you can have. I just told that to the team in the team meeting. As we get this thing down to 53, those guys in that meeting room, they realize that they’ve got to come here and earn it every day. They’ve got to work extremely hard because there’s a lot of guys out there that can play, that are good football players, and that’s just the nature of the business. But I wouldn’t say that we look at it by position, it’s more about, ‘okay, who’s the best player out there and how can he help us?’”
(on QB Tom Savage bouncing back from two turnovers last night) “I thought he did well. In that instance, I thought that he responded pretty well. I think those were some tough plays. The one was a - probably, I put that one on me. It was a bad play call there on our own two-yard line, you know, trying to call a three-step, quick out. The guy flew out and made a great play and took it back, but he responded after that. Then he got strip-sacked, but he had the two minute drive at the end of the half. There were some good things that he did. He tried to get us into the right plays. He’s a tough kid. He took some hits last night, obviously. I thought that he responded every time out. He got knocked down, picked himself back up. I thought he took a step in the right direction mentally that way.”
(on if he has made a decision on strong safety yet) “You’re right, the preseason has concluded, but the competition never ends. I think that’s a competitive battle. It will be a competitive battle every week. I believe that all the guys at those positions understand that. The guys that practice the best are the ones that are going to play the most in the games.”
(on starting to prepare for Kansas City last week) “We feel like we’re a little bit ahead, yeah. We certainly feel like we’ve got a little jump on at least the normal down game plan, you know, first and second down. But we still have a lot of work to do. We haven’t been in pads in a while, so we’ll get back in pads on Monday and work on the running game, things like that. But we feel like we’ve got some things installed that we can use in the game, so we’ll be a little bit of a review early in the week and then we’ll build it up as the week goes.”
(on if the last preseason game made his decision with the roster tougher) “I would say that would be the case. I think there some guys that went out there and played really well. I don’t want to get into who that was. I think you’ll probably see that reflected on the final 53. I think some guys really went out there and competed hard. Everybody played hard. Some guys really made some good plays in the game. It solidified, maybe, our belief in those guys or maybe it had an effect of a guy rising up, but it was – a few guys went out there and did a good job in that regard.”
(on WR Keshawn Martin) “This guy is a guy that when we got here, we weren’t sure exactly how he fit into our offense. He’s a very hardworking guy. He’s got really good hands. He’s a smart player. You don’t hear a lot from him. He really just goes out there every day and he works. He works very hard. He’s picked up our offense. He came back to our camp this year in really good shape. He’s moving well. He’s had a good camp. He’s had a good camp and I thought the last two games, he had the nice touchdown catch yesterday, last night, and he had a good game against New Orleans. He’s in the thick of it.”
(on if he expects T Duane Brown to play in Week 1) “I do.”
(on how soon he will start preparing for Kansas City) “Well, like I said, we started some Kansas City prep last week. We did probably three or four periods on Kansas City, primarily normal downs and things like that. We’ve already started, but we’ll get it really into our scouting report meetings and really dive into the situational aspect of it on Monday.”
(on who will return punts and kicks) “I would say it’s a work in progress. I think that we’ve got some guys that can return. I think that (Keith) Mumphery, even though the one got called back because I think we had six holding calls on the play, he got called back, but I thought he made a nice cut on that play and he got some nice yards on that play. He’s definitely a candidate to be a return guy. I think there’s some other guys there. Obviously, Quintin Demps can be a kickoff return guy for us. But we’ve got to really work on that this week and see eventually who it is. I don’t know if it will be the same guy every week. Again, it will go into that category of who practices the best and obviously who does the best job in the games.”
(on CB Charles James) “Charles James is in the thick of it. He’s had a good camp. We’re still in discussions about the roster. At that position, at the corner position and on special teams, he’s in the discussion.”
(on if other teams have been calling about acquiring players) “Again, that’s probably more of a question for Rick (Smith). I field calls from coaches sometimes, things like that. But he fields the calls from the general managers and the player personnel guys. I’ll say this, we have a very competitive roster with a number of players on our roster that a lot of other teams like.”
(on if positional coaches will defend certain players in their group) “We do. We have a lot of guys on our staff that feel very strongly about certain guys, yeah. But that’s the mark of a good staff. That’s the kind of staff you want. You want a passionate staff that has strong opinions. We don’t argue. I don’t think there’s very many players that we really totally disagree on. It might be a little bit of a difference here and there. We put together film. We watch a lot of tape. None of us have slept. We got back at 2:30 (a.m.) and we’ve been trying to grind it out here and figure this thing out. Put cut-ups together, put point-of-attack tapes together, things like that and try to come up with the best decision that’s in the best interest of the team that points towards winning. That’s what it’s all about. As long as were thinking about winning and putting the best team together that gets us into that frame of mind, then we’ll be in good shape.”
(on NT Christian Covington) “He’s had a good camp. He’s a good kid. He’s a very serious, hardworking kid. There’s things that he does well. We think that he’s an active pass rusher. We think that he’s gotten better in the 3-4 (defense). He’s versatile. He’s had a good camp.”
(on DE Jeoffrey Pagan’s versatility) “Pagan’s improved. He’s definitely improved. He was a little bit up and down at times, but I think – and he would tell you that, I think he would tell you that. But I think over the last two weeks, he’s gotten better. So yes, he’s in the discussion and we’ll go back, keep watching tape, keep figuring it out, and see if we can make the best decision for the team. But he’s done some decent things the last two weeks.”
(on how many plays OLB Jadeveon Clowney will play in Week 1) “I don’t know if I have a pitch count yet ready for him for the first game. But I think he’s come a long way. He’s been out there practicing. We’ve done a lot of things with him on the field that involve contact, that involve a lot of the moves that he’s going to have to make, whether it’s in the running game or dropping into pass coverage, which he’ll do some of that, or rushing the passer, obviously he’ll do some of that. I think he’s come a long way. I don’t know as far as how many plays or anything like that, but I do anticipate him playing in that game.”
(on if OLB Jadeveon Clownery will start) “Again, I don’t think we get into starters and things like that.  It depends on like Kansas City puts this personnel out on the field first then however we match that, that’s who starts the game. I don’t know if it really – it really comes under the category of the more you can do for the team, those will be the guys that are out there, the most versatile guys.”
(on if OLB Jadeveon Clowney coming off the bench would be due to his health) “No, not at all.”
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