The Texans took part in their third Organized Team Activity (OTA) on Thursday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. After, head coach Bill O'Brien met with the media. The following is a transcript of his press conference.
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on the music playlist at practice today) "I think I have 350 songs on my iPod."
(on if he has a random button he presses for the playlist) "Pretty random. I just make sure it's clean."
(on his overall impressions of today) "Today, overall I would say these guys have worked extremely hard. They've been competitive. The guys have shown a really good commitment to try to learn what we're doing and I thought today was a good example of that. I really think as it relates to this week, I can see improvement throughout the three days. I thought overall it was a good week and a good way to end the week today."
(on how DeVier Posey is progressing in the offensive system) "He's doing a good job. He's a conscientious guy. He works hard at it. He studies. He asks good questions. Fun guy to coach because you know he's working at it trying to learn it."
(on if he thinks he's giving his players the right amount of information as they learn the new system) "Yes. We've thrown a lot of information, especially at the veterans, in I think this was the seventh or eighth week that we've been together. We've thrown a lot of info at these guys and to me they've picked it up as well as could be expected to this point. There's a lot of different nuances to the offense and there's really good questions and things that they're hearing for the first time because it's a new question. I've been pleased with the way they've studied it and picked it up, especially the guys that have been here."
(on how he evaluates players knowing that they may not know everything about the system they are in) "Well that's part of the evaluation. It's all part of the evaluation. There's a progression. So, you meet in the morning, you have a walk-through and then you go out and practice. So how does the guy take the information from the meeting to the walk-through to the practice and perform on the field. Because it's all of our jobs to go out there and perform every day and perform on the field, whether you're a coach or a player. The learning, the ability to perform on the field and produce on the field relative to your position is all part of the evaluation."
Thursday at the Houston Methodist Training Center, the Texans took part in their third day of Organized Team Activities (OTA).
(on at what point does he see the players getting to the point where they don't have to think so much and they are just able to do what is required in the new system) "That's an interesting question. I'm not sure what the answer is to that, whether it's next week or at training camp or maybe the last minicamp in June. I'm not sure. I know this, that the guys, like I've said before, have studied and they're asking really good questions. You can tell that they're putting time in. They're taking their iPads home over the weekends and working at it and you can tell that it's progressing in the right direction, which is all that you can really ask at this point of the year. Then hopefully, I would say by training camp, once we get back and we kind of do the installation all over again, hopefully guys at that point really have it down."
(on what he likes about iPads as a learning tool and how they change how a player learns) "I think there are a lot of different learning tools. First of all, walk-throughs are a really good learning tool. Obviously, meetings. I really believe in video, showing the guys tape of their own things that they do well, things that they need to improve on, schematic-type things on video. The iPads, to me, have been really good because in the past, at least the last time I was in the NFL, we had the big, thick playbook, especially as it relates to quarterbacks. So you'd see them lugging that big, thick playbook around. Now they're able to have all that information. George (Godsey) and Romeo (Crennel) and Ligs (Bob Ligashesky), they put all the information on the iPad the night before, two nights before of what's going in two days from that practice or the next day or whatever it is, so that the guys can get a jump on it. To me, that's been a really good tool to have here."
(on if he has higher expectations for how fast players learn with all the tools used to teach) "Our expectation level here in Houston is very high. This is a pro football team and these are pro football players. We're pro coaches. So our expectation level for these guys and for ourselves is very high."
(on what his expectation levels are for his quarterbacks in terms of learning the system) "I don't know. I think each guy learns at a different pace, no matter what position you play. Saying that, the quarterbacks have to really pick it up fairly quickly. They have got to get going. To me, what I've seen with especially the three guys that have been here with Ryan (Fitzpatrick), T.J. (Yates) and Case (Keenum), those guys have picked it up, for this point in time with where we're at, pretty well. Like I said before, like DeVier (Posey), they're asking good questions. They're obviously studying it the night before. They're able to go out there and lead the offense because they have the knowledge of the whole play. I've been pleased with their progress to this point."
(on Jared Crick) "Jared has really worked hard this offseason. He's been here every day. He's been here quite a bit on his own, working in the weight room and the film room. You can tell that he's a good team guy. Like Bill Kollar would say, 'He's grinding it out.' I would say that about all of those guys on the defensive line. They're working extremely hard. Like with all linemen, like I said yesterday, the true test comes when the pads go on. It's hard to make a total evaluation of a lineman when you're out there in just helmets. To this point, Jared and the rest of those guys have done exactly what we've asked him to do."
(on Jared Crick understanding the opportunity he has to take over a starting spot) "You would think that and hope that everybody understand the opportunity they have here. There are 85-plus guys out there today and to me, they all have an opportunity, every one of them. You'd have to ask them what they think about that opportunity but you're hoping that everybody understands the opportunity they have."
(on how he will evaluate his running backs) "Again, just like any other position, we evaluate it on a day-to-day basis based on how they are learning, how they're progressing with the offense, how they take that and apply it to produce on the field. To me, just like any other position, those guys are working hard. They're coachable and they seem to be progressing pretty well. Again, it's only three OTA practices. It's May 29th. We don't play the Redskins until September 7th, so we've got a little time. It seems like the positions are progressing nicely."
(on if there is a position group that is picking up the system faster than others) "No. Nope."
(on how you develop leadership on a young team) "I would say we have pretty good leadership on this football team on both sides of the ball. On special teams, Shane Lechler. Defensively: J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, Brooks Reed, Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, (D.J.) Swearinger. Offensively: Duane Brown, Chris Myers, (Arian) Foster. I think the quarterbacks—the three that have been here—have shown good leadership ability. Obviously, Andre Johnson when he decides to come back, I think we have good leadership on this football team."
(on what they do now as a coaching staff that this week of OTAs is over in preparation for next week) "I have to travel to Austin this afternoon for a Houston Texans function, so we'll pick it back up as a staff tomorrow. Sometime in the morning, we'll cover this tape that we just practiced; we'll cover this video tomorrow. Over the weekend, we will prepare for the following week, which we've already done a lot of work on that. But now, it's time to regroup after these three practices and see what we need. We need, let's say more two minute work; we just installed that today. Obviously, we haven't got to a lot of red area, being backed up, four-minute offense and a lot of situational type things. We have to take stock of where we're at. We have an inventory list of things that we have to get covered and I think we're in the right direction, but we have got to regroup this weekend and see where we are relative to next week."
(on he likes about D.J. Swearinger) "I think he's passionate about the game. I do believe he is a young player, but he practices hard. He's coachable. I believe he's a good teammate and I think he's a guy that really loves football. That's what I really like about D.J."