The Texans took part in their fourth organized team activity (OTA) on Monday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Bill O'Brien met with the media, and the following is a transcript of his interaction.
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on the intensity of practice) "I thought the intensity was good. Those guys compete every day. Like I said, over the past week there, we've thrown a lot at them. Today was another example of that. All of the different situations that we worked today and things like that, the guys are competing and practicing with good intensity."
(on the structure of practice) "We just regrouped and we thought we could stay on the same installation schedule we had planned for going into the spring. We felt like the guys were picking it up pretty well, especially the veteran players, and that the rookies were going to need to catch up, which
is really the case all over the NFL. We feel like we are on the right track. That is why we decided to stick with the plan of where we were at today."
(on learning how to limit penalties) "When you are talking to the team, you have to communicate to them the importance of being a disciplined football team. For instance, line of scrimmage penalties, you can't tolerate them. False starts, aligning incorrectly, defensive offsides and things like that, we can't tolerate those. What we'll start to do here is next week is we'll bring officials in to referee these practices. That will be something that shows more emphasis on playing smart and playing disciplined. So far what I have seen is that the guys are understanding how we want to play and that we want to stay away from those things. Nothing is perfect, but it looks like they are trying to play disciplined football."
(on the practice installation schedule) "We have an installation schedule. So week one was basically first and second down. This week is different situations including first and second downs, third down, being backed up and red area. We'll work different protections now. Five man protections against all of the different blitzes that our defense will throw at the offense. The following week, next week we will get more into red area, two minute offense and four minute offense. Then the mandatory camp at the end in the third week in June, we'll try to put it all together. We try to stay on an installation schedule based on field position, situational football or whatever it might be. There is kind of a theme to every single day."
(on the running back group) "I feel good about those guys. They are practicing hard. I feel that the guys are picking up the system and they are doing what we are asking them to do."
(on undrafted rookies standing out) "I wouldn't say one guy stood out over another. I think that is a very important part of the process. I do believe what it looks like to me with that group of guys that are undrafted is that we have brought in a group of guys that have decent skill sets, they seem to be good teammates and they seem to be hard workers. At the end of the day it doesn't matter where you were drafted. What matters is what you do when you get there. I think those guys all have an opportunity, just like every other rookie on this team."
(on the importance of a slot receiver and where they play) "One of the things that you try to do is have guys that can play multiple roles. In that position, you're looking for more of an inside guy. That is where most of his value to the offense is. He can also do some things on the outside. I think we've got some guys there, I'm not going to get into individual names, that have practiced in the slot and are doing a decent job. There are also guys that can do some things on the outside. To me, that position has come along pretty well."
(on Jadeveon Clowney and Tom Savage missing time last week for the Rookie Premiere) "I would say they are behind. They are behind, but it's not their fault. They are behind because of what we covered last week when they were not here. That's not their fault. It was something they were mandated to go to. Hopefully, they got a lot out of it and now they're back and have to catch up."
(on catching players up after missing time) "You can keep them out on the field and do things out on the field. You can do things in the meeting room to help catch them up, which is certainly something that we'll have to do. Then they have to do things on their own. They have to figure out on their own how they will get caught up on what they missed."
(on if he knew George Godsey would become a coach when he was coaching him at Georgia Tech) "When I coached George Godsey I was in to coaching him, I wasn't really thinking about his future. I was trying to do the best job for Georgia Tech and the offense. You could tell that in the time there that he was a bright guy, he really understood the game and was a guy that always expressed to us and me that he wanted to coach. I knew that was something he was really interested to do. I don't think he got a shot with an NFL team. Some NFL teams worked him out on campus and then he played in the Arena League for a little bit. Then he started coaching at Central Florida. That was where he was in the beginning and now he is here. It is good to have him here. He is a very valuable member of the staff."
(on Louis Nix missing time) "I think has something wrong with him but I'm not sure what it is. There is something there. I think he'll be fine. I don't think it is life threatening."
(on the versatility of the tight end group) "All of those guys have the ability and the skill set to play multiple roles in our offense. No question about it. We have guys there that play primarily attached to the formation. We have guys that play in the backfield and attached to the formation. Some guys play attached and detached from the formation. All of those guys will contribute in some shape or form on special teams, or at least they are trying to. Those guys are very important guys to the team, just like any other position. Those guys have multiple roles."
(on Brian Cushing participating as much as he can) "Brian Cushing is a team guy. He is a team first guy. He wants to win. He is getting a lot of mental reps. There is not much that he can do about what ails him. He'll be back for training camp. He's out there every day. He's one of the leaders of our football team. He's played a lot of football and played well for this organization. He's out there taking mental reps and helping the younger guys."
(on the battle for return positions on special teams) "There are many candidates for those jobs. We'll continue to evaluate those guys out here in OTAs when we are in no pads and then obviously when we are in the preseason is where we really have to get a true evaluation of the guys that are back there. Who is going to return punts, who is going to be the kickoff return guys and who is going to be the emergency guys in case something were to happen to one of the starters. That is an ongoing evaluation."