Head Coach Bill O'Brien
RB Tyler Ervin
C Nick Martin
WR Wendall Williams
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
How has rookie minicamp been going?
“Yeah, it’s been a good start. They’re getting acclimated to how we do things, how we meet, how we walkthrough, how we practice, but we’ve got a good group of guys that are eager to learn and like to compete so that’s a good foundation.”
Seems like they improved some today, talk about their progress.
“Little bit better. I wouldn’t say we’re quite ready for a game, but it was definitely a step forward from yesterday. It looks like they studied last night and they have a better understanding of where the practice field is, how to get there, the tempo that we want to practice at, things like that.”
How important are camps like this?
“Very, very important, it’s a chance for us to talk to these guys about our philosophy on the way we do things. It’s a chance for us to evaluate them. It’s a chance for guys to come in here that maybe weren’t drafted or tryout guys to really start to make a name for themselves. I think there’s a lot of different things that you get accomplished in these things. It’s great for the coaches, for us to be back out on the grass coaching, get back into the swing of things in that regard. It’s important.”
What are your thoughts on WR Wendall Williams?
“We have a lot of guys out here that can run. We’ve got some guys at all different positions, relative to the positions they play, they all can run. Wendall is in that category. We’ve got a long way to go with all these guys but a lot of guys that can run out here.”
What are your points of emphasis for special teams and will that be one of the best shots for rookies to make the roster?
“I would say that special teams is the main way that most of the skill players, young skill players, can make the team. That’s probably the main way. Last year if you look at our 53-man roster, at the end of the year we had 18 guys on that roster that were undrafted in their careers, 18 guys, and a number of those guys I would tell you made our team based on special teams. That’s something that we really emphasize. We have three special teams meetings per day during this camp. Larry (Izzo) in the first team meeting, he speaks to the whole team about the importance of special teams. He talked to these guys today about a guy like Steve Tasker who when he came out he was a 14th round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills and ended up probably being one of the greatest special teams players of all time. Special teams is very, very important.”
How have C Nick Martin and RB Tyler Ervin done with learning the offense?
“Yeah, I mean these guys are all - again I’m not going to get into going up and down the roster of how each guy is doing. I think they’re all working hard, they’re all learning, they’re all trying to get into the swing of things as to how we do things, and we’ve got an eager group. You can tell that they studied their playbooks last night. We ran basically the same plays today that we ran yesterday, so they all seem to learn from their mistakes and everybody’s coming along pretty well.”
What is your message to the players about making the most of this opportunity, because NFL careers are short and they only get so many opportunities?
“Yeah, that’s what I tell them. One of the things that we talk about is being able to take advantage of every opportunity that you’re given. When the rest of the guys get here on Monday, these guys will see where their opportunities get less and less, because now there will be 90 guys here. Every single opportunity that they get, in a drill, in a team period, in a seven-on-seven, whatever it is, they’ve got to take full advantage of it.”
RB Tyler Ervin
How did it feel to be out there today?
“It’s exciting to be out here once again. I’m happy. Everybody’s out here working hard, and I think we got a little better today.”
Do these practices feel more physical than college even though you’re not in pads?
“Just coming out here and competing, that’s what it’s all about. Coach always says to come out and put your best foot forward and compete, so I just try to come out here and do that every day.”
How comfortable do you feel catching the ball in space?
“I’m comfortable, honestly whatever coach asks me to do, whatever position, I’m just trying to come in here and play a role.”
How do you feel about playing in this kind of heat?
“It’s not too bad. I’ve been out here a few times so I’m starting to get the hang of it, get used to it, definitely got to hydrate.”
What does it mean to have family so close to here?
“It’s awesome, family is a huge part to my life so hopefully they can come out and make a lot of games this year.”
What was it like when they heard you got drafted?
“It was just a special moment for everybody. I’m just happy to be part of the organization and looking forward to what’s going to happen next.”
What’s something about being here that is different than what you expected?
“Like you mentioned, just the pace, getting back into the swing of things. The coaches have high demands, so I think if we all just come out here and keep working hard we’ll get used to it and get things rolling.”
It looks like some of the drills they had you were getting hit with pads a little bit.
“Yeah, that’s all part of competing, so hopefully when we get the shoulder pads on we’ll get a little more thudding going on.”
C Nick Martin
What have you thought about workouts so far?
“It’s been great. Obviously just out here working really hard. It’s our first opportunity to show what we have and playing football again.”
What’s it been like trying to adapt to the Texans system?
“It’s been good. A lot of work, a lot of meetings, but that’s football. That’s why we do it. That’s why we love it.”
How much advice have you already gotten from your brother, Cowboys C Zack Martin?
“We talked before this. I honestly don’t have too much time to talk to him right now. I’m working a lot. But yeah, any questions that I have, I obviously talk to him about it.”
Do you prefer playing center or guard?
“I played more center in the past, but whatever I can do to help the team, that’s what I’m going to do.”
As a center, how do you handle learning the offense quickly?
“I study, meet with coach, walkthrough’s. There’s a lot of opportunities. Really at the end of the day, it’s a job and it falls on you to study and keep up with that.”
What’s going to be most important working with a new quarterback?
“You want to snap, that’s one of the biggest things, as much as possible. Especially at the start. Just get a feel for each other and then just kind of hang out off the field and really get to know each other.”
What type of impressions are you trying to make on the Texans?
“Honestly, just come out here and try to work as much as possible and really be the best teammate I can be with the new teammates we have.”
What’s it like blocking for RB Tyler Ervin?
“I actually trained with him, so I got to know him a little well. But it’s awesome. Like I said, we’re just out here working.”
What type of running back do you think he is?
“Honestly, I haven’t really seen him play too much. I know he’s a hard worker. Like I said, I’ve trained with him so I’ve seen him work.”
WR Wendall Williams
What has this weekend been like for you?
“It’s been great for me. It’s been a dream of mine to come and play in the NFL. To be a Texan is a great thing as well just because they have a great organization and great coaches. It’s something I’m loving to be a part of right now.”
Has this been overwhelming at all for you?
“The transition from college to the NFL is a big difference. I try not to think about being overwhelmed. I just try to take it one day at a time, second, minute, hour, you know? I’m not trying to think of later on in the day. I want to take it one step at a time.”
What have you thought about the interest in your journey and story?
“It’s a blessing. I appreciate everybody who looks for my stories or for stories on me and who ask me questions about my story. It means a lot to me, actually. It shows me that I’ve been through some ups and downs and its paying off for me right now.”
Have you had an ‘oh wow’ moment out here that shows you finally made it?
“Every day I wake up and look across the street at that stadium from the hotel, I get the ‘oh wow’ moment.”
Is there anything specific you are comfortable with in your game so far?
“Right now, I’m loving special teams. I mean, that’s a given for me. But at the same time, I’m just trying to work hard, be a good teammate and do what I need to do to get on the field.”
Can you tell us a little bit about your transition from college to the NFL?
“It’s been a big step, I can tell you that. I’ve been working hard to get to where I’m at. I’m given an opportunity and I’m just trying to run with it.”