Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rick Smith
Draft Press Conference
Friday, May 9, 2014
(on the versatility of the defense now) "Again, versatility is a key word in this process led by Rick (Smith). This is something, in every position, that we look for in all of our players. Defensively, there's no question that we feel like in these first two nights of the draft that we've come out with versatile players and same thing on offense. We're both, not to speak for Rick, we're very excited about the new additions to our organizations."
(on how they feel the draft is going so far) "Big picture, it's going well. It really is. I know that there's an obvious need we haven't addressed yet, but really, when you look at the players that we've added to our football team and where we've gotten them, we feel like we've really gotten some really good players, number one. We've gotten bigger, we've gotten stronger, we've gotten tougher, and we've added versatility as we just talked about. We've gotten good value, which is something that's very important to us as you know."
(on if this is what was envisioned leading up to the draft) "It is. It is from a standpoint that we made a move here to go back into the third round to pick up a big nose tackle who is a really good scheme fit for us in the defense that we're going to play and we had him rated high, so for us to have an opportunity to do that and go back and get him; you put him with JD (Jadeveon Clowney) and on the offensive side we were able to get one of the most versatile players in the draft, in our opinion, just a tough player from UCLA, Xavier (Su'a-Filo), his versatility from a standpoint that I watched this guy this year play left guard, right guard, left tackle. This guy played all over the place. To add him, that's a significant amount of value in our opinion and in the tight end (C.J. Fiedorowicz). We want to be a physical team that runs the football and you've got to be able to do that. We talked yesterday about our confidence in JD being able to set the edge in the run game, and that's something that he was going to have to do and we feel confident that he can do it. Conversely, when you talk about offensive football, you need to be able to block the edge if you're going to run the ball effectively and we feel like this young man has the chance to help us to do that."
(on the workout that he went through with C.J. Fiedorowicz at Iowa and what he liked about it) "Well we went there, John Perry and myself went there and Paul Dunn was there also and we did, we put him through various drills and really similar drills to what we do with all those types of tight ends. We see him as a Y tight end and he did, he had a good day that day. He was a really good guy to talk to. You could tell he was a team guy. I think anybody that plays for Kirk Ferentz has to be a team guy; he runs that type of program. And again, in the meeting room with him, he could explain what they were doing there at Iowa when we watched film and then obviously when we watched tape of him last year, we saw a guy that got better and better as the year went on. Again, we came back and reported that back to Rick (Smith) and we were fortunate enough to be able to draft him where we did and we're excited about him."
(on how adding Su'a-Filo to the mix adds versatility to the line and how he will affect David Quessenberry's status) "What we're looking for up front, Rick (Smith) just said it, are versatile guys. We're looking for guards that can help us at tackle, tackles that can go inside and tackles that can maybe sometimes play tight end in certain situations for us, centers that can play guard. We think that Xavier can play for us at guard. He'll come in and battle for that position. Rookies come in to these situations and it's very tough because it's a big jump from college football to pro football, but we'll start coaching him up in the rookie minicamp this weekend. We'll start him off there at guard and let him compete for that position and then we'll see how that goes. But like Rick said, he's a valuable guy because of his versatility. Now, how it affects anyone else on the offensive line, we'll let that play out and see how it goes. In these three days of our minicamp leading up to the draft, we saw some really good things with the guys that are here right now, guys that have played football here, guys that maybe were rookies last year like Quess (Quessenberry) and they had a good three days. Any rookie coming into this situation, no matter what position they play, it's a competitive situation and they're going to have to come in and work very hard to get caught up."
(on if the Texans planned on staying with the 33rd to get Xavier Su'a-Filo) "Well, we talked about it. We got together pretty early this morning to talk through all the various scenarios and different opportunities that we thought might come up. When you look at the opportunity to move back, you look at your board and you look at the players that you feel really good about and the number of guys on the board at that pick that you feel really good about, and that will help you determine how far you can move back or not. We entertained some thoughts and had some conversations with some teams, but at the end of the day we felt good about that pick there and that's why we stayed there and took him."
(on if the staff thinks they can still get a valuable quarterback in remaining rounds) "Yeah, I do. Again, we have talked about this before from the standpoint that we have done a lot of work on the quarterbacks throughout the process because it is a position—we'd like to be able to draft quarterbacks and develop young quarterbacks, and that is certainly something that we want to do, but we will always do that obviously with corresponding value, and so if there is an opportunity for us to do that tomorrow, then we will certainly entertain that."
(on if there are any remaining quarterbacks that stand-out to them) "Yeah and even if there was, I wouldn't tell you that; that's not real smart for me to do right now. I think there are still some good quarterbacks on the board, that's correct."