Head Coach Bill O’Brien
HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
How did you come through last night health wise?
“I would say it was better than in years past but there’s still some bumps and bruises. We got back late, so I’d say the final injury report is not totally done yet. I’ll have a better update for you tomorrow.”
What do you like about the no-huddle offense and what do you think it can do when you’re having protection issues?
“I don’t think it’s a real big deal. I understand the question. We did some of that last night but it’s kind of what we do. We do it every day. It’s just basically a huddle on the ball. I think there’s parts of it that we have to execute better. There’s parts of it that were pretty well executed, but it’s just kind of what we do.”
What did you like and not like about what QB Tom Savage and QB Deshaun Watson did last night?
“I thought both of those guys had their moments where they were really playing well. I think there’s things that we need to correct as an offense, not just them. I think there’s things that, communication-wise, we have to get together with the line and the receivers and the backs and make sure we’re all on the same page. To me, it was a typical first preseason game. There was some good, some not so good, a lot to build on, some things that we better make sure that we correct because if we don’t get them corrected now, they’re going to keep coming up and eventually they bite you. But I thought both guys had their moments.”
What did you think about the pass protection on the first two series?
“I thought the protection on a couple of them – maybe we let a little bit of penetration there, but there were others where guys got to get open, the ball’s got to come out a little bit quicker. I wouldn’t say that it was just all the protection. It was kind of everybody was involved in those first two series of not quite getting it done. Every position.”
How did you think the communication was between you, Quarterbacks Coach Sean Ryan and the quarterbacks?
“Good. We worked together last year and I’ve been doing this since OTAs as far as how we run practice and sending the play in to the quarterback. We’ve been using the coach-to-quarterback system for a long time now, so I think that part of it was fairly seamless.”
After looking at the tape, what did you think about what you got from RB Alfred Blue, RB D’Onta Foreman and RB Akeem Hunt?
“Those guys – we only got Lamar (Miller) a few reps in there. We tried to get him out of there pretty quickly, so those other guys had a lot of opportunities. I thought Alfred did a nice job on the drives that he had. He ran hard, saw the cut, had a nice touchdown run. D’Onta did some good things. I thought Alfred did some good things on special teams, too. D’Onta did some decent things on special teams. Akeem Hunt went in there and did a few things for us. I think there’s a lot of talent in that backfield. I really do. I think there’s some guys that really work hard and have unique skillsets. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.”
What are a couple of things that really stood out when watching QB Deshaun Watson on tape?
“Something that’s impressed me from really the time that I’ve met him is just his overall poise. I think he’s a very poised guy, he plays the game in a calm way. Obviously nothing’s too big for him. He’s been in big games. For his first NFL game – I’m sure he was slightly nervous but it didn’t show. Now, with that being said, there’s a lot to build on. I mean, there’s a lot to correct. He knows that. I’d say he was about 50-50 on some of the schemes that we run, right or wrong. He was right 50 percent of the time, wrong 50 percent of the time, and that’s to be expected with a rookie. But I think his overall poise and demeanor and the way that he sees the game has always been something that’s pretty impressive to me, and it’s the same for Tom (Savage). I think, Tom – they have different skillsets. They play the game in different ways. I thought Tom played the game pretty resiliently, too, last night. He came back from a couple tough series as an offense and was able on the third series to lead us to a touchdown. Both guys had their moments.”
How did you think C Nick Martin and CB Kevin Johnson did in their return to a football gamer?
“Good. Nick (Martin) played probably a little more relative to Kevin (Johnson) – he played more than Kevin. Nick’s a good player. It’s good to have him back in there. It’s good to have Greg Mancz back. We’ve got some depth on the inside there. I think, Kevin, he played I think one or two series. Had some good plays, probably had some plays he wants to have back, but that’s to be expected. Kevin’s going to be fine. Work out the kinks and he’ll be better next week.”
Even though C Nick Martin is relatively a rookie, are there some things he does well?
“Yeah. He’s a smart guy. He leads by example but when he talks, people listen because he’s running the show up front with the communication. Very smart guy. Obviously comes from a really strong football family. Football’s in his blood. Knows how to play, knows how to operate, knows how to do things right off the field. He’s just a very, very good teammate. Great guy to have on the team.”
How did ILB Zach Cunningham do and will ILB Benardrick McKinney be back this week?
“McKinney will be back. He’s supposed to be out there at practice tomorrow. I thought, for a first NFL outing, I thought Zach did some nice things. Defensively, I thought he played physical. Couple things we can improve on, just like everybody else. Special teams, made some plays. I was pleased with how Zach played.”
How is WR Braxton Miller?
“I think he’s fine. Like I said, we got in late so some of those guys are in there now. But I don’t think it’s life-threatening with Braxton.”
How much do you want to see ILB Zach Cunningham in coverage and how well did he do?
“He was in coverage, yeah. He had a couple one-on-ones with the back where they completed the pass but he made the tackle right on the spot. Even on special teams, relative to playing in space and having to get guys down on the ground, had a couple tackles there. I thought he did a good job. Now, he’s got to build on it. It’s just one game, one preseason game, but I thought he had a pretty good first outing.”
What have you seen from TE C.J. Fiedorowicz as he continues to develop?
“C.J.’s a good player. He’s a tough guy. He had a really good year for us last year. He’s trying to build on that this year. He comes to work every day. I know he doesn’t always feel great because of what we ask him to do. He plays a very physical game but he’s out here every day, working. He’s a big part of what we do.”
Do you see tight end as a position of strength?
“I think so. I really do. I like the tight ends that we have. With C.J. (Fiedorowicz) and Griff (Ryan Griffin) and then Stephen Anderson, who’s coming back to practice – he’ll be back out there tomorrow. He’s done some good things for us, too. I like some of these young guys. (Evan) Baylis does some good things. I know he had the fumble but he’s a guy that’s going to be good to work with. RaShaun (Allen), too. I think it’s a good group of guys.”