Head Coach Bill O’Brien
HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN
Is there an update on WR Braxton Miller?
Is WR Braxton Miller good to go?
Have you followed Saints LB Michael Mauti’s surgery and comeback with the Saints?
“Michael Mauti? Oh yeah, sure. Very much. He’s a special guy. Very special guy to me. Was a captain of our ’12 team at Penn State. Came back from a lot. Came back from knee injuries, obviously colitis. He’s a captain of the Saints. I know Coach (Sean) Payton thinks very highly of him. He’s way more than a tough, good football player. He’s a great person.”
Are you still able to do what you want to do offensively with only one tight end?
“Every week’s different. That’s a tough question to answer because it’s a game plan-type deal. Yeah, we have a game plan for Pittsburgh.”
How do you think RB Alfred Blue has helped?
“Good. He’s running hard, had a good week of practice so far, we have another one tomorrow. He looks good out there, yeah. We’re glad to have him back. Been good on special teams, too.”
What can WR Braxton Miller do to help you out offensively?
“Absolutely. He can play inside, he can play outside, he can help us on special teams, he’s got really good athletic ability, fast, good quickness, good size, good hands. He’s gotten a lot better at wide receiver over time and he can definitely help us.”
What are your thoughts on your special teams unit and what you’re going to try to do in the last few weeks?
“We have to improve, we have to cut down on penalties. It’s been inconsistent. It’s been good at times but when it’s been bad, it’s been penalties, it’s been some missed assignments and it has to be more consistent against Pittsburgh.”
What do you think about the year P Shane Lechler’s had?
“Look, I think the guy is a Hall of Fame punter. I think that he proved it again this year based on the way he’s changed his game in the latter stages of his career. He did a good job for us.”
Do you have a favorite Christmas memory or something that stands out?
“I love Christmas. You can only imagine how much I love Christmas. No, I do. It’s a great time with the family. I don’t have one specific memory. I grew up with two older brothers, my parents. We always had great Christmases, great food. The exchanging of gifts is not something that I really totally enjoy. It’s kind of, I don’t know. I think it’s more about what Christmas is about, if you know what I mean, and being together with your family and the spiritual side of Christmas. But no, I have a lot of great memories of Christmas.”
Is it hard for you to enjoy Christmas when there’s a game?
“Yeah, I would say so. There’s no doubt. The players will be off Christmas Eve, the coaches will be off Christmas Eve. We’ll enjoy time with our family, but you have the Pittsburgh Steelers coming in here so, to be honest with you, you got them on your mind. But you have to spend time with your family and have as good a Christmas as you can have. I love Christmas but it is hard with the game on Christmas. I’ve never played on Christmas before. I’ve played on Thanksgiving, but that’s a whole different ballgame. Christmas Day game, you’re thinking about the game, no doubt about it. ”
Do you keep up with Steelers Offensive Line Coach Mike Munchak?
“Yeah, not recently but yeah, we interact at the Special Olympics of Houston. He played at Penn State and so I got to know him when I was at Penn State. He’s a great guy, tough guy. Obviously a great former Oiler, Hall of Famer. Doing a heck of a job coaching that offensive line. Yeah, I know Mike very well.”
You don’t put a lot of thought into Christmas, it just happened during the season, right?
“Yeah, that’s the thing that’s tough about Christmas. My wife Colleen handles Christmas. I’ll have to tell you guys next week but we have a big present coming into our home that I was just informed about last night. I can’t say now because then everybody would know at home and I would be in a lot of trouble. So, this will be an interesting Christmas in the O’Brien household and thankfully I get to come here and go coach a game, if you know what I mean. You’ll find out what I mean next week.”