Head Coach Bill O’Brien
HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
What did you think about what OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney said about Jaguars QB Blake Bortles?
“I didn’t really – I just heard about that. Look, Blake played a good game, did a good job. I think in the locker room things are said. It’s a locker room. Blake did a real good job yesterday. He’s had a real good season.”
Do you have an update on C Nick Martin?
Is there a chance that QB Tom Savage can miss the rest of the season?
“Yes, there’s a chance.”
Is QB Tom Savage just waiting to see if he can get out of concussion protocol?
How is he doing?
“OK. I don’t know.”
Because of yesterday’s loss, there have been more stories about your job and that you may quit or walk away.
“I will never quit as the head football coach of the Houston Texans. Ever.”
Why do you think those stories have been written the last couple of years?
“No idea. No idea. Why do you think they happen? Neither do I.”
How much does the speculation bother you?
“All I’m worried about is this team. All I’m worried about is this team and this coaching staff. That’s really all I really care about.”
Does it make your job harder when all this stuff keeps swirling around?
“Not really. I’m in there grinding, watching tape. I have to come in here and answer the questions, and like I said, I’ll never resign as the head football coach of the Houston Texans. So, that’s basically where that’s at, and I don’t know where these – I didn’t even read the story, I was told about it a little bit. So, I’m not sure where they come from. I think probably the best thing to do would be to ask the person who wrote it. Wouldn’t that be the smartest thing to do? To ask the person who wrote it where they get their info.”
“Well, what is your source? I don’t know where those things come from.”
How is your relationship with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Rick Smith right now?
Does it bother you that you have to come in here and keep answering these questions?
“No, I mean, this is part of my job to do this. I don’t see it any other way. Part of my job is to come in here, I think it’s five days a week, and talk to you guys.”
Last week you said you definitely want to be back next year. Do you still want to be back?
“Like I said, I will never resign as the head football coach of the Houston Texans.”
But would you like to be back?
“Like I said, you asked me, it’s going back to your first question, you said, ‘You could quit.’ I’m not a quitter. I was raised in a family that believed in family, faith, education and never quit. So, I never will.”
How hopeful are you that as the season plays out that you’ll get an extension to be here longer?
“That’s up to Bob (McNair). That’s not up to me. I don’t get into the hopeful. I don’t get into that. That’s up to one guy. I have no control over that.”
What can you do to improve this week?
“Just got to go back to work. It’s actually a little bit longer relative to a normal week because the game’s on Monday. But, we just have to go back to work on Wednesday and figure it out.”
So, you don’t have anything definitive yet on C Nick Martin?
“I don’t have anything definitive. It’s an ankle injury, but relative to time out and all those things, I don’t know that yet. As soon as I do, I’ll try to get you that information as soon as I do.”
Has anything changed as you guys prepare this week and do you approach this week differently?
“I think the schedule will change a little bit because it’s Christmas on Monday, obviously we’re playing on Monday. So, we’ll work Wednesday through Saturday. We’ll give the players Christmas Eve off so that they can spend that time with their families and then we’ll come back to the stadium on Monday morning and have meetings and get ready to go.”
When watching the tape, what was the one thing you were most disappointed in yesterday?
“Like I said after the game, I think we just didn’t, offensively couldn’t convert on third down. I thought we gave up a lot of X-plays, meaning big pass plays on defense. Just didn’t have a good combination of rush and coverage. And then special teams gave up some punt returns, had penalties like you pointed out, you’re right about that. They did a great job and we did not do a good job.”
I think this is the first time that you haven’t been in a playoff race since you came to the NFL. What’s it like coaching in this situation?
“I think it’s football, like I said yesterday. I think that when you’re a coach, I think that if you think you’re going to go through your whole career as a football coach, especially as a head coach, and never experience a year like this – I think if you look through the history of all the coaching staffs in this league that have been successful, I don’t think you can point to one staff and say, ‘That staff was always going to Super Bowls.’ So, I think you go through this and you learn from it and you try to do better the next time.”
Have you learned anything so far?
“Oh yeah. There’s a lot of – you’re always learning about yourself in these situations. What you can do better, how you can coach better, how you can game plan better. You’re always learning about yourself.”
Does the approach for the last two games, being out of the race, different than when you’re in the race?
“No. This is pro football. Look, you’re not in the playoff race, clearly, but this is professional football and you show up to work and you put the time in, you prepare, you practice and then you go out and be as competitive as you can possibly be.”
Do you know what a catch is?
“I saw the game (New England at Pittsburgh) last night. That’s the rule, though, in the NFL. Now that’s not the rule in college or high school, but you have to survive the ground. That’s the rule. They determined that Jesse (James), that his catch didn’t survive the ground.”
Do you think that’s a good rule?
“Again, I don’t think it really matters what I think. I definitely don’t think it really matters what I think, but I do think that if it’s a catch in the backyard, in high school, in college and then all of a sudden you get to the NFL and it’s not a catch, there’s something that we have to look at there. I don’t think it’s going back. I don’t think it will be reversed back to what it used to be. It doesn’t really matter about my opinion on it.”
We care about your opinion.
“You know I love talking football with you guys. The other stuff, I can’t stand talking about but the football, I love talking with you. We understand the rule, we know what a catch is. You look at DeAndre Hopkins, it’s clear that we understand the rule with some of the catches that he has to make and how he has to control (the ball). Look at the touchdown catch he had yesterday. What an incredible catch. I mean, in a brutal, terrible game for us, that was a great catch that he got his hand underneath and controlled it. That catch survived the ground and it was a full-out dive for the catch. I know the Steelers know the rule. I know they do, but that’s the rule. It’s tough.”
Have you guys ever lost a catch on that rule?
“That’s a good question. No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I’d have to go back and check that for you.”
How did T Julién Davenport do out there?
“He did OK. He’s young. He’s been injured. He’s going to be good. He’s a great kid, very focused guy. He did OK. It was some good, some not so good, and he was blocking on some real good guys. So, I think it’ll be a good experience for him.”
Do you see T Julién Davenport playing again if G Jeff Allen can’t go?
“Oh yeah, Jules will be involved.”
What do you want to see out of your team this week?
“We’ve got to play better. It’s not a matter of effort. I just went through the tape. I looked at it real close. These guys are playing hard, it’s just a matter of execution and better play-calls and just trying to do a better job. I just want them to continue to be who they are, which they’re tough, they’re competitive guys and they have a lot of pride. I just want them to continue to play hard.”
Do you think WR DeAndre Hopkins deserves to be in the Pro Bowl and be named First-Team All-Pro?
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. This guy, the type of year he’s had with different quarterbacks, the catches that he’s made, I mean. just look at his third-down production. The touchdown catch, I believe, was third down. It’s third-and-10. Just his third-down production relative to all the other catches he makes, I think he’s the best receiver in the league. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s got great ability on the sideline, he’s such a great competitor on Sundays, he wants the ball, he wants the ball thrown to him. There’s no doubt that I think he should be whatever that is. I think the Pro Bowl is, whatever that is. The All-Pro team, the All-22 team, that’s the one that I look at and that’s the one he should be on, no doubt about it.”
Is WR DeAndre Hopkins playing better than any time since you’ve been here?
“I mean, he’s played well for us. I guess I would say that yeah, it’s probably hard to imagine, but he gets better and better every year. There’s no doubt about that. So, yeah, I guess maybe the answer is yes, but he’s played at a very high level for us.”
What do you think about some postseason honors for OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney?
“This guy, he’s playing hard, he’s banged up, he’s making a lot of plays for us. He’s an impactful player, he’s become a leader. So, yeah, there’s no doubt that I think he should be up for whatever those awards are.”
Are any of the players in the concussion protocol last week out of the protocol today?
“I would know better about that on Wednesday. I don’t know enough right now to tell you right now. I would know better about that on Wednesday.”
What was the reason for not finishing strong yesterday and going forward, is there anything you think you can learn from this game?
“There’s really not too much you can build off of, other than the fact that I do know that our guys, just from watching the tape, that our guys played very hard the whole game. But there’s nothing to really build off of that type of game. Look, I don’t know. It was all three phases. We just didn’t play a good game at all. So, whether it was finishing strong – we didn’t start well, we didn’t finish, we didn’t do anything well. That would be the answer to that.”
Why do you think the running game has struggled?
“We just tried different schemes. Sometimes maybe we’ve got to look at other schemes. Sometimes it’s technique. We just got to try to do a better job.”
Did you get a chance to talk to former Georgia Tech Head Football Coach George O’Leary?
“No. I heard he was there and I came out there and he had gone upstairs. So, no, I didn’t see him.”