HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
Overall, how was it to practice against the 49ers?
“It was good. It’s always good to get against another team. Chip (Kelly) was great. Very good team to work with, work against. Very professional. We had a ton of snaps – special teams, offense, defense, a lot of situations. I thought it was a really good day for both teams.”
What were you happiest with?
“I don’t think one thing stood out to me. I think, overall, we had a lot of good work in the running game, had some really good situational work, good passing game work. Special teams, we worked punt, punt return. We got a lot accomplished today, and I thought that was good.”
Did anything not go as well as you hoped?
“There’s always things. Obviously, in the passing game you wish you were 100 percent completions and on defense, not give up any big plays, things like that. But I think, overall, that’s practice. That’s what happens at training camp. You’re going to win some and lose some, but I think overall we had a good, competitive day.”
How important is it to go up against another team and see a style you don’t normally see?
“No question. It’s important when you can go against a different team and you can see different schemes, different skill sets, different types of players. You’ve been used to going against each other for 12 practices, however long it’s been. Now you go in here and you switch it up, different tempo. Obviously, Chip (Kelly), how fast he runs their offense, that was good for our defense to see. Some of the things we were able to give their defense, some two-back formations, some things maybe they don’t see a lot of. I thought both sides really got a lot accomplished.”
How far back do you go with 49ers Head Coach Chip Kelly?
“Mid-90s. I know he was at Johns Hopkins, I was at Brown. Then he was at New Hampshire. That’s where we really first met. There were a lot of mutual friends on both staffs. We used to talk football a lot together, things like that. He’s a great coach. Very, very bright guy, has a very quick mind, good sense of humor, great relationships with his players, and he really understands the game. Any time you can pair up with a team like that, you’re going to get a lot of work done because there’s a lot of ideas, a lot of creativity that goes into planning that practice. It was really good.”
49ers Head Coach Chip Kelly says you and him are “kindred spirits”
“He’s older than me, so he knows bigger words than I do. We both grew up in the northeast, so we have a lot in common that way. We believe in a similar type of football, smart players and guys who love the game. We both have really good coaching staffs. He’s got guys like Jerry Azzinaro on his staff and Curtis Modkins, who I’ve worked with in the past. Obviously our staff is a very strong staff with the guys we have. We believe in similar things when it comes to football.”
Can you talk about the progress of DE Devon Still?
“He’s had a good training camp. He’s really made progress every single day. He’s a guy that doesn’t say much, but he brings a great work ethic to the field every day. I’ve seen him get better and better every day.”
What do you expect out of your defensive line group?
“Look, those guys need to be able to take on blocks, get off blocks and make plays. They need to do a good job in the passing game of putting pressure up the middle on the quarterback. They need to do their jobs. They need to make sure that they’re doing their job day-in and day-out, play-in and play-out. Those are the type of guys we have. We really have a bunch of lunch pail guys up front. With J.J. (Watt) out right now, a lot of those guys are getting a lot of opportunities to play a lot of football and that’s a good thing.”
What have you seen from TE Stephen Anderson and RB Tyler Ervin?
“Both those guys, for rookies, have made a lot of progress. It’s not easy to come into this league as a rookie at a skill position, F tight end, running back and edge-type of player like Tyler is. It’s hard to adapt. It’s different. There’s a lot more man coverage. Obviously, the skill set is a lot better than college. The schemes are harder to learn. Both those guys are smart and they’ve done a good job of adapting. The key for them is to stay healthy so they can be out here every day so they can get better every day. If you get a hamstring or a quad or something like that and you have to miss two or three weeks, a lot of times you take a step back and that’s tough for a rookie. Hopefully, they can stay healthy and be out here all the time.”
Can you give us an update on OLB Jadeveon Clowney and C Nick Martin?
“Yeah, JD is back at home. He’s got a little soreness in the knee, nothing serious. But I felt like it was something where we give him a few days here, be with our trainers back in Houston, and be ready to go for next week when we get back and New Orleans comes to town. Get some good practice sessions in there. Nick is dealing with a little back issue. We wanted to leave him home, too. Not sit on a plane for a few hours and be able to stay in Houston and rehab. I think both of those guys will be back next week.”
Are you concerned about OLB Jadeveon Clowney or C Nick Martin?
“I’m not concerned, I really am not. I think that’s football. You deal with it. Neither one of these things are life-threatening injuries. I think they’ll be fine and ready to play next week.”
How much do you plan to play starters on Sunday vs. the 49ers?
“I don’t know. We try to think about that and put thought into that. They won’t play the whole game, but they’re going to play. They need to, especially offensively, be out there. There’s a lot of new parts offensively. Let’s see how they play in the game. Depending on how they play, that might have a lot to do with how long they play.”
Are you concerned with playing QB Brock Osweiler behind an offensive line that is dealing with multiple injuries?
“I think that’s what you determine as the game goes on. I think that our guys who are in there on the offensive line have really battled hard. Those guys, with the opportunities that they’ve had because of the fact Duane (Brown), (Derek) Newton have been out and Nick (Martin) being out. I think those guys have gotten better. Now, on Sunday if they’re having trouble blocking them, then we have to take that into account. I thought those guys held their own today and we’ll see how the game goes.”
WR DEANDRE HOPKINS
How much does it help practicing against other teams as opposed to your own?
“There’s guys out there competing for a job just like we are, and it’s great. It sharpens everything up. The things that you do and the things that you do in the film room and on the field, you have to play together when you’re out here going against other competition other than yourself.”
How do you think your quarterbacks fared?
“Great. Those guys did good. They led us down the field just about every chance we got, besides the last drive that we had. But other than that everything was good.”
Does practicing in Houston’s weather give you an advantage out here?
“For sure. I don’t think I even sweated today. I could tell by how our guys are out here running around, it’s different. We train in some of the hottest weather in America, so when we come out here it’s like a vacation.”
How important is it to have the team out here being together around the clock?
“It’s very important, especially for this group. We’re a tight group. Even when we have a little bit of time to do stuff we’re trying to hang out with each other, just to build that chemistry off the field, because it’ll relate when it comes out here to gameday.”
How important is playing time in this first preseason game even though you have a few more weeks to get ready?
“I go against good competition every day. I go against Pro Bowl DBs, so every day is great competition to me. But that first preseason game, I’m not sure how much I’ll play but I’m excited to see what we put on the field.”
What are you hoping to get out of the first preseason game?
“Just a complete (game) for however long I play, however long we play. No mistakes. If we can go out there and play mistake-free football then that’ll help us moving forward.”
Last year you all had a feud with Washington’s DBs during the joint practice, was it different out here today?
“This is football. This isn’t ballerina. There’s always going to be some trash talking and junk talking going on in the game of football.”
QB BROCK OSWEILER
How was today’s joint practice with San Francisco?
“It was awesome. Yeah, today was a ton of fun just to come out here and see a different opponent line up across from you, see a different defensive scheme. The biggest thing is I think is it really tests your knowledge of the offense. These are looks that we weren’t necessarily prepared for and you’re having to adjust on the fly and you’re having to stick to the rules that the coaches have taught us within the system. I thought it was a really good test for us, but it was also a great way to get some work. I thought the energy was high, the enthusiasm was high, guys were flying around making plays and having fun so today was a success.”
What was your highlight of the day?
“My highlight? Wow, hard to pinpoint that. But like I said, just coming out here as a team. Coming out here, coming together, building the chemistry on the road. We’re all staying in the same hotel and just to come out here as a team and compete against someone else and like I said, test our knowledge of this scheme and it was great. I saw a lot of different guys offensively and defensively making plays today.”
How is the intensity different now that you are practicing against someone else?
“Yeah, the intensity cranked up a little bit as you would expect. We’re getting that much closer to a game and just to line up against a different opponent, I think your juices get flowing in a little bit different way than when it’s your teammate across from you. I thought today was a great success, it was a ton of fun and we got a lot accomplished out here as a team.”
San Francisco had a hard time covering WR DeAndre Hopkins today.
“Yeah, you know, that’s Hop. Hop’s going to come out and no matter who’s lined up across from him or for that matter if no one’s lined up across from him. He’s going to come out here and compete, work his tail off and he’s really going to try to make as many plays as he possibly can and that’s why you love him. He has a burning fire inside of him and he wants to be great but he works to be great every single day.”
How do you think the offensive line did today?
“Shoot, I thought the line did great today. Really except until the two minute period, we had one little hiccup. I’m going to put that one on my shoulders, I need to be better with my communication at the line of scrimmage but outside of that, man, I thought the offensive line did a tremendous job. They were opening up big holes for all of the backs, they kept me protected all day. I know I wasn’t live out there but you can tell when the pressures going to be there and when it’s not and our offensive line did a hell of a job today.”
Do you know how many reps you’re going to get on Sunday?
“I have no idea.”
Have you notice that TE Stephen Anderson has a knack for getting open?
“I have. Since day one, really going all the way back to the spring. Stephen’s a very talented football player, he’s a smart football player. He’s just like (WR DeAndre) Hop(kins). He’s like everybody in this locker room. Everybody wants to be great and everyone’s working to be great every day. Stephen comes out here and he works his tail off whether it’s rain, shine. It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s always working to get better and once again that’s what we saw today with Stephen. He came out here, he worked hard, he got open, he made some plays and he’s constantly improving which is always great to see.”
Do you have a specific goal you want to accomplish on Sunday?
“I wouldn’t say just one specific goal. Obviously in that first preseason game you want to protect the football, you want to get some quick completions, you want to get into a rhythm. Obviously you want your communication, especially in this system, to be on point because the majority of it comes from the quarterback. Identifying the front, then making the MIKE (linebacker) point, getting our receivers aligned, getting our backs set up in pass protection. So obviously we want some clean communication. We want to protect the football and obviously if we can put some points on the board early, that’d be great.”
How do you think WR Will Fuller V practiced today?
“You know, I thought Will did a great job today and it’s not just Will. I thought our entire offense came out here focused. It was like we were re-energized a little bit. I think everyone caught a really good nap on that flight out here yesterday and we came out with great energy and everybody was very focused and they worked hard and we had a great practice.”
What’s it like to get a break from the heat in Texas?
“You know, it’s hard not to like this weather. This is something else out here.”
Where do you think you stand with your decision-making ability based on the offensive line?
Well, I think Sunday will be a better test for that, but I feel very comfortable in this system. I think Coach (George) Godsey and Coach (Bill) O’Brien have done a tremendous job of getting me prepared thus far. Now it’s just time to take the coaching I’ve received going all the way back to April and implement it on game day.”