Head Coach Bill O’Brien
RB Alfred Blue
OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney
RB D’Onta Foreman
HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
When you have a practice after a game, is that when you try to correct the mistakes you talk about?
“We corrected some things. We had a long film session last night and got a lot of things corrected. Today was more about coming out here and doing some of that, but also moving ahead with installation, where we are, so that’s kind of what today was about.”
How did ILB Benardrick McKinney and CB Treston Decoud look back at practice today?
“Like world-beaters. Fantastic.”
If you had to pick one thing that you’re looking for from your offense that you really want to see this season, what would it be? Is that too hard, to pick just one thing?
“More points. More points.”
How do you get to that?
“That’s between me and the players, but more points would be the goal.”
Do ILB Benardrick McKinney and ILB Brian Cushing mentor young linebackers like ILB Zach Cunningham?
“We have good leaders. Those guys do a good job of mentoring. We’ve got guys on this team that have played a long time and I think they’re very good mentors. The guys that you mentioned, but also obviously J.J. (Watt), Brian Cushing, Chris Clark on offense, those guys do a good job.”
What have you seen from WR Dres Anderson? How much does it help when a guy comes from a football family like he does?
“He does some good things. He’s coming along. I thought he did some decent things in the game, but he’s got to keep learning what we do. He does some good things.”
Are you getting good competition in the backfield, pushing RB Lamar Miller and some of the guys against each other, like RB D’Onta Foreman?
“There’s a lot competition back there. They’re divided up into different styles of play, but there’s a lot of competition back there.”
How do you find playing time when you have six guys at a position, like at running back?
“That’s easy. You just kind of rotate every couple of series or by personnel or whatever it is. It’s not too hard to find playing time for, really, everybody. I think basically everybody played in the game on Wednesday. So, it’s not too hard to do that.”
What do you like about what RB D’Onta Foreman did for you?
“(D’Onta) Foreman is a good, young back. He’s got good size. He did some good things the other night. He’s just got to keep coming. He’s got to keep improving every day. Try to get better every day.”
After QB Deshaun Watson played in his first game, do you see any difference in him now that he’s got that under his belt?
“No, I haven’t seen – I really have seen the same guy every single day since he’s been here. He’s got a great demeanor. He’s got a great way about him. I just see the same guy every day. I don’t see a different guy. I think that’s what’s one of the things that is a good, positive trait that he has.”
Have you seen something from QB Deshaun Watson that he’s always ready for whatever practice brings, whatever you throw at him or ask of him?
“That’s the way you have to be here because we put the scripts away about a week ago, so you really don’t know what you’re going to see, especially defensively. You don’t know really, maybe exactly what’s going to be called offensively. There’s a menu of plays, but like I said, we put the scripts away so you have to be ready for anything. Situationally, too.”
How nice is it to have guys with positional flexibility?
“I think you have to do that. I think everybody does that, though. You know what I mean? With their best players. I don’t think there’s any team in the league that lines up their top players at the same position on every snap. You know what I mean? I think there’s some bread and butter things that you do, but I think that you have to move guys around, otherwise – the coaching staffs are too good. The coaching staffs in this league are so good that they’re just going to pick up on any type of big-time tendency that you would have in that way.”
What does DE Christian Covington do well?
“First of all, he’s a great guy. He’s a hardworking guy. Comes every day to work. He really understands our defense. He’s one of the more improved guys over the last few years that we’ve had him. He just is a tough guy that basically brings his lunch pail to work every day.”
You have the New England Patriots coming in next week and you’ve done that before with other teams. How important is that and what do you look to get out of it?
“Any time you have a team like the Patriots coming in it’s a good thing for your team because they’re the defending World Champions. They have a good football team. We’re familiar with them, obviously. We’ve played them a few times in the past couple of years. So, it’s going to be a good test for us. They’re well-coached, good coaching staff, great coaching staff, great players. So, it’ll be a good test for our guys.”
Do things change much for you week-to-week? When you get through the first preseason game, do you change things you’re looking for? How does it change week-to-week?
“Like I was saying to the other question, number one is we don’t use really scripts anymore. We just have, basically, situational-type periods. ‘Hey, this is first-, second-, third-down, this is two minute, this is redzone, this is more third-down in this case right here.’ So, and then you just basically say to Mike Vrabel, ‘Hey, look, these are the personnel groups we’re going to be in,’ and he tells me what they’re going to do personnel-wise and then you go try to call the game. I think that’s what is fun about our practices at this point now, is it’s not just robotically scripted. So, the big thing is you’re still kind of installing plays, but most of the installation is done and now it’s really just making the players aware of each situation.”
RB ALFRED BLUE
How do you build on what you did in the preseason game?
Just pay attention to detail, focus on the little things and just try to get better each day. That’s what I always say.”
How is you relationship with RB D’Onta Foreman right now?
“Good. He’s a young guy coming in so he still has a lot to learn. Just coaching him up, try to lead him in the right direction, show him how to take care of his body, the right keys on offense, being more attentive to detail and stuff like that.”
What do you think is the biggest area the team needs to improve on offense?
“Consistency. Stay consistent. That’s the biggest thing. Penalties and stuff like that, mental mistakes and stuff like that, do better at that and just be consistent at what we do.”
Take us through your touchdown run and your philosophy in the redzone.
“It was just great blocking up front, made a great cut off the – Wendall (Williams) made a great block. So, from there, I saw the end zone and there was a safety in front of me. It was just the mindset of going in and not being denied.”
Are you still doing yoga?
“Yes. Pilates, yoga, you name it.”
Are you stronger?
“I would say I’m probably a little stronger. I think I’ve gotten a little stronger.”
How does that help?
“I think it’s helping a lot. I think it’s made me more explosive, it’s (helped) the range of motion in your hips and stuff (to) be able to make those cuts and stuff in the open field.”
Do you feel that the running backs group pushes each other?
“Yeah, there’s always friendly competition in the running backs room. We always joke around but when we’re out there on the field or in the game, we’re always encouraging each other to do well.”
OLB/DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY
What do you like about moving around so much?
“You said it. Really, we all just move around. I think we’ve got a great scheme going on, great coaching staff puts us in the right situations to make plays and moving around (to) help our defense.”
How much of who you are as a player is your attitude?
“Probably all of it. I play this game with attitude. I want to kick everybody’s – you finish that. Every day I come out here to work, go hard, try to get the best out of myself every day and when the game comes, it kind gets easy for me.”
You usually do all that with fun.
“Yeah, I have fun. That’s the only to get through, is having a good time. I don’t think it’s a job, I think it’s fun to me. I love football, so it’s all fun to me.”
You can flip that switch, though?
“Oh yeah. I get mad. I get nasty, too. I have a good time, though, with my teammates.”
What did you think of rookie RB D’Onta Foreman?
“I don’t play that side of the ball. What I’ve seen out of him, he’s a good runner. He can help the team and those guys handle that situation on that side of the ball.”
Coming off the season you had last year, does it feel different going into camp this year?
“I feel great. Last year, I was coming off an injury, really trying to get right coming off the injury. This year, I came in more confident, more healthy and that’s going to help me in the long run.”
Is there another level of confidence you have?
“Oh yeah. There’s another level of confidence. I think I have to step up for the team.”
Is there a different type of confidence you have coming in knowing that you’ve had success in the NFL?
“Oh, it’s a confidence builder, man. It really make me work harder to try to reach another level of my game, take it to another level. So this year, I’m really trying to build on last year and be a better player and help the team out more than I did the season before.
So we haven’t seen the best of you?
“I don’t think so. I think there’s a lot more in this tank. So, looking forward to the season. I come into work every day and I’m just going to keep getting better and better and have a great season this year, hopefully.”
What is that next step for you?
“Whatever, man. I just want to make more plays than I did last year. Whatever it leads to is just really, winning. Try to get to that Super Bowl like every year. I think that’s our goal, that’s a team goal. We come here to work every day and try to just get to that goal.”
Do you know how good you can be?
“I think I can be very good. It’s all about how much work I put in. I already have God-gifted talent, so the work has to take my game to another level and I see that and I’m just going to work every day.”
Do you still have that chip on your shoulder?
“Oh yeah. I keep it on my shoulder. I know where I was a couple years ago, how people talked about me, so every day I step on the field, I just take that and put it in the back of my head and grind and work through everything I got going on that day.”
Do you hear the things that people say about you?
“Oh yeah, that’s my mindset. That’s just been in the back of my head, what people said. So, every day I come out here, I’m going to get better. I don’t care what’s going on or how the weather is or how the day’s been, how my body feels, I just come here to work. When I’m on the field, just get the work in and then go about my business, play on and take care of myself.”
Is there anything in particular that somebody said about you that got to you the most?
“Probably that I’m a bust. That one kind of gave me – like all right, let’s go to work. Let’s really, really go to work, get up off this couch, a couple years back. Just to prove to those guys – really, I wasn’t really proving to them – really didn’t want to let my family and everybody down, and my teammates. They already knew what I had in me. I came in camp, had a good camp early on before I got hurt and they were like, ‘Just get back healthy. We know what you can be and everything.’ They stuck with me and (I) just worked my tail off to get back.”
How good can you all be with you and DE J.J. Watt healthy this year?
“I think we can be very good. Our defense as a whole, we got good guys, good coaches. Like I said, they put us in the right situations to make plays. We all like it I think. The sky’s the limit for this defense.”
How special is it to prove doubters wrong?
“I honestly got a lot more to do. I think I’m just starting off. That was just really my rookie year to me, last year. I was just really getting rolling in this league and I think I can be even better than I was last year.”
RB D’ONTA FOREMAN
How good of a feeling was it to jump over that guy?
“It was a great feeling. I did it a couple of times in high school and college, so I felt comfortable when I did it. I don’t know. It was kind of normal.”
Was that something you planned or was it instinctual?
“It was all instinct. When I ran, I kind of felt like he was going to go low so I just jumped over him. Just kind of in the game.”
What does it mean to go out there in your first NFL game and have the kind of game you had?
“It felt really good to go out there and be able to run the ball and be able to pick up my assignments, my blitz pickups and stuff like that. I think I did well. But like I said before, I went against the twos and the threes so it’s like, it’s still – I played well against the people that were out there but I still haven’t really gotten in the flow of the real NFL. I’m still looking forward, still have a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to it.”
What was it like when you found an opening on that 41-yard run?
“It felt good to be able to open up and run in front of my teammates. My teammates were messing with me, telling me how fast I looked running down the sideline. They didn’t think I moved that well. It was fun, though. I felt comfortable, I felt good and I had a good time.”
Even though it was the preseason, did it feel like you hit a benchmark of playing in your first NFL game?
“Definitely. Just being able to be out there, it’s a blessing. It’s something I always dreamed of just to play in and NFL game – any NFL game, whether it’s the preseason or real game. I’m blessed. Like I said, as a kid it’s something I always dreamed of. So, for me to be able to go out there and play well, play a decent game, I was excited.”
What areas do you think you still need to improve upon?
“I would say everything. I can never be complacent. I can always get better in every aspect of the game. I did some things well but I feel like I can pick some of my holes better (and) I feel like I can protect the ball better. Sometimes I was kind of loose with that. Other than that I feel like there’s always things I can fix.”
What’s the dynamic like with RB Alfred Blue? Are you guys helping each other?
“Definitely. I saw him go in the game. He ran the ball really well so my first thing was what can I learn from him when he comes off the field? So, I asked him like, ‘What do you see out there? What are those guys doing? How are the linebackers flowing?’ Stuff like that. He was very open with me, told me everything he saw so when I went out there – ultimately I have to go out there and find out myself, but when you get pointers like that before you go in, it’s like you already know what to look for. So, when I got in I just jumped right into it and I was able to make some plays.”
What is the running backs room like?
“It’s great. Funny guys. Lot of funny guys. But it’s great. I learn from those guys every day and they teach me a lot. Great chemistry. I talk to those guys about everything. We’re always laughing and joking. They’re great guys.”
Has RB Lamar Miller been able to help you and teach you some things about being a pro?
“Definitely. I ask him questions all the time. They laugh at me sometimes but I always tell them there’s certain things I don’t know so I have to ask. But they’re always open with me. They’re always telling me the truth. Like I said, they’re great guys.”
Was there one question they laughed at you for asking?
“It was a question I asked before the game. I forgot exactly what it was but they were just laughing at me like, ‘Are you serious?’ But I didn’t know so I just had to ask.”
Did it feel normal when you were out there?
“I felt good. That’s what I’ll say. I’ll say I felt good. Like I said, I went against the twos and the threes so like I said, I can’t really get the real feel of what a real NFL game will be like going against ones and those guys. But with the competition I had out there, I felt like I played well. Like I said, there’s things I can get better at.”
Do you feel like you’re a No. 1?
“That’s for the coaches to decide. I’m just going out there every day, working hard and trying to be the best I can be.”
What does that game do for your confidence?
“It was good to be out there. I felt good, but like I said, it’s only one game. I have to be able to come out there and do that every game, day in and day out, even at practice. Practice is a big thing. Like I said, we’re in a competition with all the running backs. We have a lot of great guys in our room so you have to bring it every day.”