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December 15, 2017

Houston Texans Transcripts (12/15)

Head Coach Bill O’Brien
RB Lamar Miller 
Do you expect WR DeAndre Hopkins and OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney to play on Sunday?
“Yes, I do.”
How do you balance playing ILB Brian Cushing with guys like ILB Dylan Cole and ILB Zach Cunningham?
“Two totally different positions. Brian’s playing more on the outside now and it doesn’t affect Zach or Dylan’s playing time at all.”
Even when you’re talking about how you scheme it?
“Right. It doesn’t affect it in that way. Zach Cunningham’s role has not changed at all and neither has Dylan’s. Dylan missed a lot of time with an injury, came back, though, and he’s playing pretty well, too, in addition to all the special teams duties they both have. So, that doesn’t affect it at all. Brian’s more playing on the edge of the defense than he is on the inside.”
Is G Jeff Allen set to go on Sunday?
“It’s trending toward him being able to go, yes.”
How proud are you of the effort your team has put forth this season?
“I’m proud of this team. This is football. Some years just don’t go as well as other years. It’s the way the ball bounces. Obviously I always talk to you guys about having to coach better, having to improve that area, but as far as these guys playing and playing hard and being united in that way, that’s the identity of our team. Any team that I would ever want to be associated (with) would play that way, play hard, play tough. At times it just hasn’t been good enough but that’s not from lack of effort.”
What do you think about the job that ILB Zach Cunningham has done this year?
“Good. He’s had a good year. For a rookie linebacker, I think he’s done a good job. It’s been something that I think he’s gotten better and better. I think he’s very serious about it. He studies, he prepares and we’re real happy with where he’s at right now.”
Has ILB Zach Cunningham shown a lot from when you first got a hold of him to where he is now?
“Absolutely. Yeah, he’s gotten better and better. He’s physical. He can run. He’s good on special teams. He’s got a really good future in this league.”
RB Lamar Miller was talking about how he’s a little disappointed that his yards per carry are down this year. What have you seen from him?
“I would say we’re all disappointed in where our running game is right now. We’ve tried every scheme there is and it just hasn’t been good enough lately. So, relative to Lamar (Miller), he keeps running. He runs hard. He does what we ask him to do. Hopefully we can make some yards in the running game against Jacksonville.”
How do you think it’s gone with you taking over the playcalling and having you focus more on the offense and having Assistant Head Coach/Defense Romeo Crennel and Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel focus on defense?
“I wouldn’t describe it that way. I have been a lot more involved in the offense, but I’m still – I coach all three phases. If you were around every single day in our meetings and stuff, I start every day with a three-phase presentation to the team, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. So, I don’t really look at it that way. I’m not going to talk about where we are offensively. We’re just concentrating on Jacksonville. We’re 4-9, so we’re not as good as we were last year, obviously. So, as a team, we have to figure out how to get better and hopefully we can get better this weekend.”
Do you consider QB T.J. Yates, from a technical standpoint, pretty sound in his footwork, his execution, his play action and things like that? Are those the things he does well?
“Yeah, I think he does those things well. I think he does. I think he’s got good footwork. I think he’s an accurate guy. He takes a lot of pride in the details of the position. Yes, I definitely think he’s a good, technical quarterback.”  
How can the team improve in the running game?
“I think we just have to be decisive as running backs. We just got to get north and south and just try to keep getting positive yards.”
What do you attribute the lack of long runs to?
“They’ve been tough. I think it’s like my lowest yards per carry (average) I’ve had in my career. I’m just trying to keep getting better every day and just try to improve. Hopefully I finish strong these last three games.”
What do you attribute your success in the passing game to?
“The quarterback. They’re just getting the ball to the open player. I just try to make a play when my number is called.”
Do you know you haven’t had a dropped pass in the two seasons you’ve been here?
“Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s a good stat but it is what it is.”
How do you feel at this point of the season?
“I feel good. I think the coaches have been doing a great job of taking care of me in practice and giving me the ball in the game. I think they’ve just been doing a good job overall of just keeping me healthy. I’ve been doing a great job of just taking care of my body in the training room, getting massages and stuff.”
How tough is it to run against the Jaguars linebackers?
“I think, overall, I think they have a good D-line. They have good linebackers as well, so their front seven is pretty good and I think us as an offense, we’ve just got to get movement and us as running backs, once we see the crease, we’ve just got to take advantage of it and get positive yards.”  
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