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Quotes: Bill O'Brien on Sunday

Posted Aug 10, 2014

Read what head coach Bill O'Brien said to the media during Sunday afternoon's press conference.

Head Coach Bill O’Brien

(on what disappoints him the most about last night’s game) “We just met as a staff. We watched it on the plane back and then we watched it again this morning and in any game like this, when you walk off the field you feel like there are so many things that went wrong, and obviously there were a lot of negatives out there as far as penalties and turnovers and not being able to get off the field on third down but just like anything else, when you watch the tape there’s also some good things. That’s not me trying to put a positive spin on them. What I’m telling you is it’s never acceptable to go out there and play like that and lose like that, but in looking at the tape there were some positive things for our team. I thought certain guys played decently. I believe that, even at the end of the half—the first half—that two minute drive that we had, you know, we were driving the ball well there. It was a good moment of situational football until, obviously, we threw the interception, which we can’t do that, but I thought there were some positive things. We were backed up in our own end; we got a couple first downs on a couple drives so that was good but obviously we have to play a whole lot better.”

 

(on how he can help limit the penalties) “You have to show it to them, so we’ll meet tomorrow at eight. We’ll push practice back a little bit. We’ll get together tomorrow morning at eight o’clock and we’ll show them, you know, kind of the good, the bad, and the ugly and that’s part of it. You have to show it to them and teach them what they did wrong and hopefully they learn from their mistakes and they can go out on the practice field and correct it.”

 

(on what positives he saw in the game) “I think at every position there were some positive plays. I believe at the defensive line position, you know, I think at the beginning of the game J.J. Watt did a nice job on the sack and first run of the game he spiked inside and had a nice play. I thought Clowney did some decent things. Brooks Reed did some decent things. (Jeff) Tarpinian, Mike Mohamed. In the secondary I felt like D.J. (Swearinger) did some things on special teams and on defense. I believe we’ve got to get off the field on third down, you know, we had them there, it was third and nine and we gave up a big play there and I think that kept the drive going the first drive of the game. Offensively, I think our first team offensive line did a decent job all night of knowing their assignments and playing well, for the most part. It wasn’t always perfect. I felt like some of the young players on our team played pretty well for their first time out. You know, I mentioned (Jadeveon) Clowney. First time out for (Alfred) Blue did some decent things. (C.J.) Fiedorowicz did some decent things. (Xavier) Su’a-Filo did some decent things. Dre Hal had a couple nice plays. Hey, look, they all had their bad moments too, like we all did. But I thought there were some positives in those regards.”

 

(on Tom Savage’s health) “He’s OK. Yeah. After the game they go through a whole concussion test protocol and they felt like he would have been able to, if the game had continued there, he would have been able to go back into the game.”

 

(on rethinking the quarterback rotation) “I think you’re always thinking about what you can do to make the team better. So any time you have a chance to review things and regroup a little bit on a day off like it is today, as a head coach, you’re always thinking about things that can make the team better, whether that’s a change in the depth chart, a change in a scheme, a change of a position of a player, whatever it may be. We’ll continue to discuss that today.”

 

(on Andre Brown’s lack of action last night) “You know, we only ran 48 plays in the game and that’s not an excuse, that’s a terrible offensive performance. But we only ran 48 plays so we had it mapped out where Jonathan Grimes was going to start the game and we were going to go to Blue and Dennis Johnson, and that’s kind of where it was and Andre didn’t end up getting into the game.”

 

(on things that can be done differently as a Head Coach that will help team improve) “No question, it starts with me. I’ve got to do a lot of things better. We’ve got to call better plays, we have to set up practice maybe a little better, we’ve got to make sure we’re doing things that suit our player’s skillsets better, we’ve got to do a better job of meeting with the players, I’ve got to do a better job of teaching the players about something asked, about penalties. Obviously, what I’m doing didn’t work because we had thirteen penalties. I think we had six in a row – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before in my life. Delay of game to the start of the half, that’s on me. That’s ridiculous, we can’t do that. So, I believe as much as it’s a cliché, ‘the buck stops here’.  You’ve got to always look in the mirror and say, ‘What can you do better?’ So I’m going to work hard today and every day to get better myself.”

 

(on getting a feel for QB’s Case Keenum and Tom Savage from first preseason game) “I think you get a feel any time a guy plays in a game but, certainly you would have liked to have more plays, no question about it. I think it was mid-way through the second quarter, we only had eight plays, so we felt like it was important to keep getting Ryan (Fitzpatrick) some more reps there. You come out of the game, and you have a feel for guys, how they did in the game, regardless of how many plays they had in the game, how they reacted, how they performed in those situations that they were in there. You always get a better feel for them than what you did in the practice field.”

 

(on frustrations due to the lack of opportunities in game to evaluate the kicker) “Yeah, I mean it is frustrating that you can’t have a situation where a guy can at least kick a PAT. Again, we have to do a better job of making sure we score some points, or put them in positions where they can kick field goals, or wherever it may be to have a battle, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

 

(on how to approach the team after the loss in the meeting before Monday’s practice) “I still feel good about this group of guys, there’s no question about it. I really enjoy coaching this group of guys. Every single day, I enjoy being around these guys. First thing I’m going to do tomorrow morning is tell them the things I need to do better, and then we’re going to point out some things that we can all do better, and then we’re going to point out some positives and say, ‘Hey, this was really good, if we can continue to do these things, we’re going to be in good shape’. At the end of the day, it’s one game. The sun, I believe rose today. I missed mass this morning, which I probably should have gone to mass. My mom will be mad at me, but I know the sun came up. We didn’t play well and believe me, I understand the questions. Sure, people out there are disappointed in what they saw last night, but we’re working hard to fix it and we’re going to continue to work hard to get these guys on the same page with us and go out there and win some games.”

 

(on the Cardinal’s offensive success owed to team playing base defense and playing with a lack of execution) “I think it’s a little bit of both, especially your first preseason game, you’re not going to go out there with your total package of plays for that opponent. There’s not a lot of game planning that goes on for the first game, but at the same time, you’ve got to go out there and be able to execute your base calls better than what we did last night, so it’s a little bit of both. Give the Cardinals credit, they came out and they drove the ball pretty well, especially on third down, they kept the drives alive and were able to finish drives.  We didn’t do that offensively, so our defense was on the field for 83 plays, some of that was their own fault, some of it was our offense’s inability to convert on third down. That’s something we’re going to talk about tomorrow morning, which is complementary football. We’ve got to play off of each other a lot better than what we did last night.”

 

(on if it is good to go against another team before playing the next game) “I think anytime you have a chance to practice against such a quality opponent like the Atlanta Falcons it is going to be good for our team. They’ll get here on Wednesday. We’ll do a lot of things against each other situationally: First, second, third down, red area, two minute and backed up. We’ll have a lot of different things to work on. I know Mike Smith, I’ve got a lot of respect for him, he’s going to be great to work with. Our players will get better. Our team will get better from practicing with the Falcons.”

 

(on what type of planning goes into planning the practices) “A lot, yeah. A matter of fact, when I leave here I’m going to give Mike (Smith) a call and I’ve just got a few questions for him to make sure we’re on the same page, but it’s been great. We’ve had four or five phone conversations since setting up these practices. But yeah, a lot goes into it. You know, kind of trading emails back and forth about practice schedules and how they do things and how we do things. It will be good. I believe the fans will enjoy it and it will be a good setup.”

 

(on an update to the players that have not been practicing) “I feel better about the injury report where we’re at. Not to go into detail with every guy, but I think all those guys, with the exception of Cody White and Alan Bonner obviously, all those guys are closer to getting back on the field.”

 

(on if Arian Foster and Andre Johnson will play next week) “There is a shot. Yep, there is a shot.”

 

(on if Brian Cushing will play against Atlanta) “He may do some things this week, but I would say that he probably would not play in the Atlanta game.”

 

(on the development of Whitney Mercilus) “I think he’s working hard. I think he’s a guy that is taking the coaching from Mike Vrabel and trying to do what we’re asking him to do, and he’s just has to continue to improve.”

 

(on what he has seen from Alfred Blue) “Good teammate, hardworking guy, football smart, three-down back- he’s got to continue to improve catching the football- but good runner, good vision, good on special teams, understands football, asks good questions. I see some good things from Alfred.”

 

(on Alfred Blue putting an emphasis on improving his blocking) “It is getting better. That’s probably an area where, like, you’re right, you have to really, you know, get these guys from college up to speed on how to protect the blitzing linebacker or blitzing safety. It’s a different deal than it is in college. I think it is getting better. It is not as consistent as we want it to be with Alfred, but he is working at it and it’ll continue to improve with him.”

 

(on what he saw from Alfred Blue last night against Arizona that impressed him) “I feel good about his progression. I thought he went in there last night and had a tackle on the kickoff team, did a nice job on special teams. I thought he had a couple nice runs. Ran kind of a poor route on a third down play, but you know, that is something we can improve on. I felt good about the way he played.”

 

(on the play of the first team offensive line) “Yeah, I felt like the first five went out there: Chris Myers, Duane Brown, Ben Jones, Derek Newton. Those guys, they went out there and played pretty well. I feel like those guys did their job. We showed flashes of being able to run the ball consistently and things like that. Pass protection was decent. You know, again, it is a work in progress with the two’s. They’ve got to continue to improve and get better. But I thought that the young guy, Xavier Su’a-Filo, went in there and did some decent things. Played left tackle, played guard, and you know, was OK. Had his moments that weren’t great, but overall I thought he did some decent things. So I think there is a lot to work with there and if we can get guys back healthy, you know, like Brandon Brooks and Will Yeatman and guys like that, I think that will make it an even better position.”

 

(on if the team is still managing Jadeveon Clowney health wise) “Yeah, I think he, I don’t know last night he played upwards of 20 plays I think. I thought that was good. But we’ll always, any guy that is coming off of surgery, offseason surgery early in training camp, which we’re still early in training camp, it’s only the first game, we’ll always look to manage that guy.”

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