Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob McNair
Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Rick Smith
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
WR Will Fuller
Bob McNair: "Welcome. This is an exciting moment for us and we're delighted to have Will (Fuller) here with us. He's the guy that coach (Bill O'Brien) and Rick (Smith) had their eye on. He was our number pick, there wasn't any doubt about it. And I think they did a great job. I want to congratulate Rick and coach for working together because we talked about a lot of different receivers. There are some fine receivers out there and coach made it clear to us as to how he would use Will and you know we had a chance to talk about it, and debate it, and talk about the other fellows. He made it clear as to how Will could help us and how he would function. And so you know that makes it clear then for Rick to know what his challenge is and all he has to do then is figure out how to get him. He's done a great job of that as you know he moved up at the very end because there was a threat. And so I want to congratulate both of you, Bill and Rick, for working together and congratulate Will for great performances that you had at Notre Dame. Nice to have his family here and we look forward to seeing you quite a bit, too. So with that, I'll turn it over to Will."
Will Fuller: "I'm soft spoken, so I'm not going to say too much. I'm just looking forward to working with this team and becoming the best player I can be. And eventually, you know, winning games for us. I'm not going to say too much."
What has today been like for you?
Will Fuller: "It's been great meeting everyone. It's the first time seeing some of these guys. But it's been great. It's a dream come true. I'm happy to be here."
What do you expect from WR Will Fuller as a rookie?
Rick Smith: "I think the most important thing is just that he comes in and puts his head down and works. I think that we've got confidence that he will do that. Everything that we have researched about the young man and everything that we know about him indicates that's exactly what he'll do. If he does that, I told him today we're not asking him to be anything other than that which he is. So if he does that, if he is who he is, then that's enough for us. I think he'll help our team. I talked last night about his explosiveness and his speed and how that impacts our offense. And that's what we're looking for."
What are some of the things you want to do with WR Will Fuller this year?
Bill O'Brien: "We're excited to have him. I think Rick (Smith) said it all right there. We just sat downstairs, Rick and I, and spoke to Will about, 'hey, just come in here and work hard every day and try to get better every single day.' We've got a very good core group of leaders, veteran leaders in our locker room that are going to really welcome Will. There's a lot of great guys in there to learn from, namely (WR) DeAndre Hopkins at that position. So, we feel really good about the position and we just want Will to come in here and do what he did at Notre Dame, work hard every day, try to get better, and be a great teammate."
Can you talk us through the whirlwind of the last 12 hours and everything you have been through since getting drafted?
Will Fuller: "It's been a crazy last couple of hours. These last days, it's been amazing. It's everything I wanted since I was seven when I started playing football. Like I said before, it's a dream come true to play in the National Football League and just to play for the Houston organization. I'm looking forward to getting on that field and playing."
What excited you about adding WR Will Fuller to your offense?
Bill O'Brien: "I just want to really kind of expand on what Mr. (Bob) McNair said earlier. Not to speak for Rick (Smith), I'm not trying to speak for Rick, but I think one of the things that Rick and I have done this offseason is we've worked very hard together. We've watched a lot of tape together. We said yesterday, and Bob (McNair) may get mad at this, but we both need vacations here pretty soon."
Bob McNair: "We'll discuss that later."
Bill O'Brien: "Yeah, paid vacations. No, just kidding. But no, we've worked extremely hard together with - you know Rick and I, but also the scouting staff and the coaching staff. It takes a lot. It takes a while. In your first year, you're trying to get the lay of the land. Second year, getting a little bit better. Going into our third year together, I feel good about the way that we work together. When it comes to the receiver position, we feel like we have a diverse group of guys. We've got guys that have all different types of skill sets. Our expectations for Will are obviously high. Anytime you draft a guy in the first round, you have high expectations for him but what we want him to do is come in here every single day and work extremely hard to, like I said, be a good teammate, do what we ask him to do on offense and really just blend into our locker room. We've got a good group of core leaders in our locker room that are really going to guide the way for him."
What's your reaction to the Texans saying they traded up because they wanted you?
Will Fuller: "Great. It makes me just even want to work harder. I feel like I'm already one of the hardest working guys. Like they keep saying and keep repeating, it's important just to keep my head down and keep working and continue to get better. And wherever that leads me, that's where I want to go."
Can you describe your speed and when did you realize you were this fast?
Will Fuller: "When I started growing my hair. I think that's why I started to get a little faster. I wasn't too fast in high school. I don’t know. I can't explain my speed. I just run fast."
Can you explain how you feel right now?
Will Fuller: "I'm feeling great. There is no other way to explain that. Being in the situation I'm in, with Coach (Bill) O'Brien, and just knowing him from high school recruitment. I'm comfortable with him already."
What did you like about WR Will Fuller's background and personal character?
Bill O’Brien: "We do a lot of research. First of all, and I've said this a couple times already today, the scouts, the area scouts, the national scouts, obviously Rick (Smith), these guys do a ton of research on these guys. Because we're coaching during the season, so when the season ends that's when we begin the process of free agency and the draft. What I try to do on my own is to talk to the head coaches of these different players. When you talk to Brian Kelly who I have a lot of respect for, I've known him for a long time. I was up there last year at Notre Dame. I saw Will practice. I spoke at their clinic. Brian Kelly speaks very highly of this guy, his work ethic, showing up every day at practice, high football intelligence and all the things that they try to do with him there. That resonated with me. Then I'm familiar with his family just from the high school recruitment, like Will (Fuller) said. We couldn't hold on to him at Penn State, but we got familiar with his family. He comes from a great background and we're looking forward to working with him."
How quickly did you forgive him for changing his mind a few years ago?
Bill O'Brien: "Yeah, forgive and forget. One of the things I remember about him is when he drove from Philly to Penn State for that camp that everybody's talking about. I think he jumped out of the car and Fitzy (Craig Fitzgerald), our strength coach at the time who is here with us now, said 'hey, get on the starting line and run your 40.' I think he ran a 4.3 right out of the car driving from three and a half hours away, so we knew he could run. We said this would be a guy that we would like to have in our program. Like I said, going now and talking to the coaches at Notre Dame who spoke very highly of him, we're very, very excited about working with him."
Did you laugh at the irony of how this all played out since you are now playing for Bill O'Brien in the NFL? What was your first impression of him?
Will Fuller: "Not really. Coach O'Brien was always straightforward, especially when I was in high school. He wanted me to run routes, just the way he wanted me to run them. I remember when he gave me the scholarship offer, everything was straight forward and I really appreciate that from him."
How familiar are you with QB Brock Osweiler and are you excited about what you all can do on the field together?
Will Fuller: "When they called my name yesterday, he was one of the first ones to text me, so I'm looking forward to working with him.”