Texans Quotes: December 3

Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on if he expects DE J.J. Watt to play on Sunday) "Yes."

(on if he gave DE J.J. Watt the day off again today) "Whatever you guys want to write. He's fine."

(on what it means to him to playing meaningful games as a coach late in the season) "Well, it meant something last year in Houston in December and it means something now. It's where you want to be. Do you go out there and wish you were 11-0, certainly, but in the end what we are is, we are in a playoff race, but we have to make sure that we take care of the task at hand, which is each opponent. We can never ever look past anything. We've got to just focus on today. I thought we had a good practice today. Tomorrow, it will be an earlier practice because there is a Player's Association meeting. We have to have a good meeting, good practice and then go up to Buffalo and play a very difficult team and that's the whole key is to focus on the task at hand."

(on if finishing the season 4-1 helps last year gives the team any confidence this year) "I think every year is different and every team is different. I think those of us that were here last year know that as the team played last year, the more they played together the better they got. I think that is what you are seeing with our team right now and the key is, again like I have probably said about a thousand times, we have to – the key is to try to keep it going."

(on the phrase 'it's not what you do in September or October, but what you do in November and December' and why it pans out that way) "In my experience, I'll just give you my opinion, I think the identity of your team- you have to know what your team is by Thanksgiving. Once you hit Thanksgiving, if you don't know what your team is then you are going to have a problem. But if you have an idea of what your team is, your players know what the team is, you as a coach know what the team is, then you have a chance to win and if you are in position, hopefully, you have put yourself in position in September and October and early November to be able to know the identity of your team and be in position to go out and do something, then you are in a good position. We are in a good position. Now, what do we do with that position?"

(on if it helps that you know more about the opponents at this time of year) "Yeah, I mean there is a lot to that, there is a lot more film on everybody. But as it relates to the Buffalo Bills, we have no idea of what we are going to see as far as scheme. I mean they do so many different things and they do it well on both sides of the ball and on special teams, so we are going to have to go up to Buffalo and really be sharp and focused to have any chance of winning the game."

(on what he means by knowing the identity of your team) "I just mean, basically, running the football, stopping the run, playing good on special teams, not turning it over, not committing penalties, playing smart situational football, that is what I mean."

(on if there is a major difference in how you motivate your team at the NFL level as opposed to the college level) "Oh yeah, totally different. I mean there is no comparison, absolutely none."

(on Texans Offensive Line Coach Mike Devlin previously spending a lot of time with Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan and how much can he help) "I would say that was more of a help when we were playing the New York Jets, because he could help with the skills set of the players that we were playing against. As it relates to Buffalo, other than what we are trying to do against Buffalo, I haven't had any conversations with him about anything other than that."

Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
(on if he had the chance to watch Bills CB Ronald Darby) "I really haven't looked at him. I take all my time looking at the opponent."

(on what he saw from Bills CB Ronald Darby coming out of college) "I thought he was a good talent. Both guys that you mentioned before, (Chiefs CB Marcus Peters and Bills CB Ronald Darby) they were good talents. I know Marcus particularly, some people said that he was like a shutdown type corner because he had good feet, he could cover man-to-man, so probably, without me having seen him, they probably are good corners. Playing in this league as a rookie, that means you got something to you. Our guy (CB Kevin Johnson), I like our guy and we go to war with him."

(on playing meaningful games in December) "I think the mentality of everyone involved is a different mentality, because you know you are playing for something and everyone puts more energy, more effort into preparation for the upcoming game. When you can put yourself in that position, it's pretty good because they know that just around the corner, if they keep doing what they are doing, it can lead to something big. The teams that I have been on that have been in this situation, they rally together, they pull together, they do extra work, they are more focused and they play hard during the game."

(on how important is it to play great defense in December) "I think it's important to play great defense all of the time, but particularly when you are in the hunt. When you play good defense, I think it's a combination of things, from the team aspect, you play complementary football. If you can play good defense, than that helps the offense, which allows them to play better, which then also helps the defense and the special teams. I think that is what our team has been doing lately, all facets have been making a contribution and all of them have been playing well. When you can execute and hold the points down, then that allows your offense to do some things that maybe they wouldn't have done otherwise or if you get behind offensively, now, you start pressing, whereas if you are not behind, you really don't have to press you can go ahead and use your game plan. I think being able to play good defense helps the offense as well as helps the defense."

(on what it means to you specific as a coach to play meaningful games in December) "It's the same thing. We coach and we want our guys to do good, so that is much of the satisfaction is watching your guys play at a high level, perform, execute to give you the chance to win the game, so you take a lot of pride in that."

(on the Bills having multiple players like WR Sammy Watkins and RB LeSean McCoy that can make long yardage plays) "The quarterback (QB Tyrod Taylor), you have to add him in there because he does throw the ball down the field on those explosive passes, but both of those guys are talents. (LeSean) McCoy is a tremendous talent, as far as a runner goes he has some quickness, he has got some speed, he can makes guys miss in space and he is dangerous. Everybody has to rally to the ball and everybody has to pin him in to keep him from having some of those explosive plays."

(on the progression of OLB Jadeveon Clowney) "He is making some progress, but he is still a rookie. He hasn't practiced enough and he hasn't played enough yet."

(on when will OLB Jadeveon Clowney be able to take that rookie label off) "Next year, if he stays healthy."

(on moving players around and if OLB Jadeveon Clowney has made the adjustment mentally to play other positions) "I think, as he says, he's getting deeper into the system, he is beginning to understand it better, that allows us to move people around. He is making adjustments as far as that goes. Now, is he perfect? No. He is not perfect, but he knows enough that if he has to be inside, he can go inside, if he has to be outside, he can go outside."

(on if there is anything specific that you have done that has made the defense play better) "No, the defense really hasn't changed. We put the defenses in and some of the defenses that I called earlier in the year, I am calling later in the year. I think overall as a unit, we are executing better as a unit. Everybody understands where everybody is supposed to be, they trust that the guy next to him is going to do his job, so that allows me to do my job. That is what I think it is."

(on if he has ever had a unit that has changed so dramatically) "Well, sure. I mean, 2002 (in New England), after the Super Bowl, and everybody expected us to be a juggernaut on defense and we were not. We had to go back to the drawing board and settle down and then work it back up again. That kind of happens sometimes."

(on how to keep a team focused playing together) "You have to keep preaching to them that you have to do your job first and this is where you are supposed to be and this is where your teammate is going to be and just keep talking about it. Then, basically taking it one game at a time, one day at a time and not look at the big picture and not be too concerned about the bad shot that you hit before, let's concentrate on the next one. If you can do that, you can have a better shot and then see if you can get another good shot."

(on the improved communication in the secondary and who makes the play calls) "Everybody has to talk, that is one of the things about communication, I tell them all of the time, it's a two way street, somebody has to give a call and somebody has to get a call. It involves all of them. Generally, your linebacker, he makes the calls, but he talks to the linemen and then you got a lineman who is also in charge of making calls to the linemen and then the DBs, usually it's a safety because he is kind of in the middle and he can communicate to the corners, but our corners have to make calls also, within their group or whoever they are working with. Everybody has to talk and everybody has to communicate and once they talk about that trust and understanding the system, then things begin to operate the way you want them to operate."

OLB Jadeveon Clowney
(on the key to success this weekend against the Bills) "As always, stopping the run. We got to stop the run on every team we play, so we got to stop the run."

(on facing a talented running back group) "Every group that we go against has a good quarterback and a good running back, we just got to come in there, do our game plan, stop the run, and contain the quarterback."

(on facing Bills G Richie Incognito and if he's worried about his reputation) "No, I'm not. I'm playing football. Just going in to play my game and try to help the team win."

(on his development the last few weeks) "Last year, I didn't play this long. I was out of here. I'm trying to stay away from that rookie wall, as people say too. I'm having fun. We're out here winning games. I'm just taking advice from the coaches and learning the game plan. Trying to execute it every day at practice and try to execute in games week-by-week."

(on if he likes the way the coaches are using him) "Oh yeah, I like it. It's a part of the game plan. It's working. We're winning games. That's what matters."

(on if he moved around a lot at South Carolina) "Yeah, I did."

(on if it's exciting to play on a team that's in the thick of the playoff hunt) "It's very exciting, just to be a part of this team. It's a group of grinders in here. We have a good time together, so I'm just having fun and playing football."

(on tackling the Bills players in the open field) "They're very elusive. We're going to have to rally to the ball. Try and get 11 guys to the ball. We preach every game about trying to get everybody to the ball and a lot of guys on the tackle. We got to worry about guys getting loose and breaking tackles. Try to just gang tackle."

NT Vince Wilfork
(on the Bills offense) "Very explosive. They hit you from all areas. We've got to do a real good job up front and understand that we're all at a point of attack dealing with a back like this and a quarterback. We got our hands full this week on the road."

(on Bills QB Tyrod Taylor) "They've been putting up some points and been moving the ball pretty well. Now that (Sammy) Watkins and the receiving core, they're healthy and everything now. They have a good offensive line that's been playing well together. We're going to get everything we can handle Sunday, so we understand that. We just have to continue to do what we do best and prepare well. Hopefully, that's good enough on Sunday."

(on Head Coach Bill O'Brien saying the team needs to stay focused for this game) "Anytime that you're playing a game, especially going on the road, you have to be sharp. We can't afford too many mistakes on the road because once you get that crowd going, it's going to be a long day. I understand that, playing those guys for the last 11 years. They're always tough. The crowd is always tough, but it's a fun crowd. They're football, that's what they're all about is football. We just have to go there with the mindset of walking away with the W and then we'll see what happens on Sunday."

(on playing meaningful games in December) "Every football game is meaningful, so this is no different than any of the other games we played this year. We have to do everything in our will power to be at our best, that's the thing, to be able to execute at a high-level and execute well. If we do that, we'll be okay."

(on what he tells the younger players about these meaningful games) "You have to play your best football. You have to prepare well. You have to elevate your game to the highest level at this point in the season. I think everybody's been doing a pretty good job. We have to continue to do that if we're going to be successful."

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