Houston Texans Transcripts: Bill O’Brien on the 2015 schedule

Head Coach Bill O’Brien Comments on the Texans 2015 Schedule
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
(Transcribed by Omar Majzoub)
(on what he looked at first when he received the schedule) “First game, you look at the first game. Kansas City is a very tough opponent and not an opponent that we’re real familiar with. They’re not, obviously, a division opponent and they’re not somebody that we play every year, so really I look at the first game. Basically from there, you’re looking at where the bye occurs, where some travel may occur. If you’re going from the East Coast to the West Coast. Actually, we don’t really travel to the West Coast on this schedule, so the travel doesn’t seem to be too bad. Right now, looking at the schedule, we’re all excited about it.”
(on the challenge of playing the Kansas City Chiefs and then three NFC South opponents in the first four games) “Absolutely. I mean, a big challenge for our football team. We met the other day and started the offseason program. We talked about this being the beginning of putting together a very solid, competitive 2015 team. Now that the schedule is out, now the players really have something to look at and strive for and motivate them to get going every single day. Not that they need that motivation, but when you have a schedule up there on the wall it really helps.”
(on having a bye week exactly halfway through the season) “I think when it comes in the middle of the season, it’s really almost perfect. I think that when its eight games in, that’s a time when your team probably needs a little bit of a rest from the normal bumps and bruises that happen in an NFL season. It’ll be good to get that rest there and then kick it into gear for the last half of the season.”
(on playing Thursday Night Football early in the season) “Hopefully, we’re not as beat up. You can never predict things that may come and you have to be flexible and be able to adapt to different injuries and whatever may happen during the year. Certainly, I think having a Thursday game earlier in the year as opposed to in December is probably a little bit better for us at this point.”
(on the two primetime games in 2015) “Every game is important. I mean, in this league, it’s not like baseball where you play 162 games. It’s not like basketball where you play 82 games. You have 16 one-game seasons, so every game is vitally important to the success of your season. I know that when you play a Monday night game, you play a Thursday night game, or if you play a Sunday night game, those games are very, very special in the fact that you’re really the only game on TV that night. The whole country is watching that game and I know our guys get really fired up to play those games.”
(on how his familiarity with the New England Patriots and if it can help in their matchup) “I don’t think it helps too much to be honest with you. I think every year is different. The Patriots will be a different team than they were last year. We’re a different team than we were last year. Certainly, the Patriots have changed quite a bit since I was there which was almost four years ago. I don’t think we get an advantage there. For us, it’s just a huge challenge to have the Super Bowl Champion coming in here in December for a home game right here in front of the Houston crowd. Hopefully, it’s a great football game and we’re going to do everything we can to win the game, but it’s a huge challenge for us.”
(on ending with three straight AFC South opponents) “Right and I think that’s really- when you end the season with your divisional opponents, that’s a great thing for us here in Houston. Home games, away games, but you’re ending the season with three top-notch division opponents. That’s really the way the season should end and we’ll be very excited for that.”
(on his message to fans) “I think the big thing is again, in my first year here in Houston, one of the things that stood out to me was our home crowd advantage. We have the best home crowd in the National Football League. I’ve been to every stadium. We’re loud. We’re into the game. We’re there early and we stay until the end. That’s really what we’re asking our fans to continue to do. Our players really appreciate the support. Our coaches appreciate the support. We know that we’re playing in front of the best crowd in the NFL and that means a lot to us.”
(on how much different this year’s schedule release day was compared to last years) “Totally different. I think last year at this time, there were so many different things going on with the release of the schedule, the offseason program, and getting ready for the draft. I think here now we’ve kind of established a foundation here in the first year and now it’s really a time for us to focus on that schedule during parts of the day when we’re not working with players, so we can divide the day up and have draft, and schedule, and really do a good job of making sure we’re prepared for the season.”