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Texans Quotes: September 26


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on if RB Arian Foster and P Shane Lechler are still game-time decisions) "Yeah, I would say so. Definitely. We'll have to work those guys out Sunday before the game."

(on if there is something that he's seen that makes him think P Shane Lechler is ready to play) "I don't want to go down that road."

(on if he's paying more attention to the punter position than usual) "Yes."

(on the run defense and the progress they've made this week) "I think we're improved. We worked hard on it. We spent a lot of time on it on Wednesday and then went pads on Thursday. I thought that yesterday's practice was a good practice. I think they understand the assignments. Again, this a very challenging team to go against as far as the running backs that they have and the offensive line that they have. But I believe we've improved this week."

(on how different RB Arian Foster is different this week then he was last week at practice) "It was about the same. It was about the same."

(on if he calls the offensive and defensive line of the Bills the strength of their team) "One of the strengths. You start with the defense. I think their defensive line is very, very stout. Good defensive line. Linebackers, we're very familiar with Brandon Spikes. He's a heck of a linebacker. (Stephon) Gilmore at corner; (Leodis) McKelvin at the other corner, (Corey) Graham, I mean those guys are good players. They're a strong team. Offensively, their line is a good line, like you said. Two really good backs, good receivers including a number one draft pick. Like I've said all week, it's a big challenge for us."

(on if WR Damaris Johnson is starting to grasp the defense) "It's getting better every week. It's hard to come in here and just kind of get it all at once because of the nature of the business. We got him off the wire and he came in. It's definitely improving and getting better every week."

(on if he feels WR Damaris Johnson has felt overwhelmed with the different places he's been playing) "No. I think he handles it really well. No. He's a smart guy, real hard worker, very serious guy and he really wants to do well. When he makes a mistake, just like all of us, he's hard on himself on that. He's working extremely hard to get comfortable with the offense."

(on the still photos versus tablets on the sideline) "This year the NFL started using what they call the surface tablets. I have a surface tablet for my own video that I can take home with me and things like that. I can watch tape on the plane or at home. Things like that. The surface tablet on game day is basically a reflective picture of the previous series taken from cameras up top or in the end zone. Both teams have that available to them. Every team has that. But you can also choose to have pictures printed out, still photo pictures, of the same thing. That technology has been around for a while, for a long time."

(on how still photos are printed on the sideline) "They print it out. It's just like a printer. It's just black and white. Whereas the surface is color."

(on if he looks that the photos after every play) "After every series. It's between series. I use the pictures because I'm not sitting on the bench, so as the head coach I'm paying attention to what's going on on the field. In between plays I'm looking at the previous series offensively or defensively and just noting some things. Hey this was cover-two, hey they blitzed us here, hey this was third down and they played man; General thoughts. I like to write on the pictures whereas most of the assistants use the surface tablet because they're sitting with their player and able to use it as a film device."

(on if there was an offensive coordinator would they use the photos or the surface tablet) "I don't know that. I don't know that. I think it's always important for the guys that coordinate the offense, and this may change as time goes on, but one of the things I always felt was important in my own mind is your eyeball to eyeball with the quarterback. And that you spent all week with this quarterback in the meeting room and on the practice field that you want to look that guy on the sideline and see how he's doing. I think that's something that is something that I have a strong belief in. That's kind of why it is set up the way we have it here."

(on relaying plays and communication on the sideline) "We basically like I said all week, I'm the final decider on the play call, the final play caller. But I'm able to talk to him (George Godsey) throughout because I have basically two buttons. When we go over to defense I can switch over to button B and talk to Romeo Crennel or the defensive staff. When we go to offense, I can switch over to button A and talk to George or the offensive staff. I also can talk to Bob Ligashesky. You have to be a little bit of a multitasker."

(on what the offensive coaches upstairs provide) "They're looking, it depends on what side of the ball, but basically you have a guy upstairs. The offensive coaches are looking at front. One guy is looking at the front, the blitzes; things that involve the front. The other guy is looking at coverages; things that involve coverage. How does the coverage affect the front? And the one thing you have to do a good job of upstairs offensively or defensively is you can't be a fan of the game. You can't watch the ball. You've got to watch what your assignment is. When you first go up there, 20 something years ago when I started coaching, I was in the press box a lot. When you're 21, 22 years old and you've been playing and you love football and all of a sudden you're cheering, great play! Great run! The guy that's been coaching 30 years longer than you is like hey buddy, wake up. Watch what you're supposed to watch. That's what important for those guys. They can't be fans of the game. They have to watch their assignment. The guys that we have doing that do a good job."

(on how quickly can he get the information from the coaches in the booth) "Very quickly. One of the things that's important, let's rewind a little bit too, is this is an interesting conversation. When we first started as a staff together way back in January and we'd work on the draft in the morning and work on the playbook in the afternoon, one of the things that we came together on was our language. How do we call coverages? How do we call fronts? It's like a whole different language. This is cover-six, this is cover-eight, this is blitz zero, this is blitz one, this is zero out slot formation, this is half personnel, this is regular personnel; so we had to come together on the language so that when we're communicating during the game we're speaking the same language. If they're speaking some other language that they had from a previous staff, it does us no good."

(on if there was a dress rehearsal with the coaches or if the first preseason game was the dress rehearsal) "I would say the preseason is the dress rehearsal, but we would do things during training camp to help us. Like one of the thing that we definitely do is most of the plays in practice are somewhat scripted. So we used the coach to quarterback system so that George (Godsey) can relay the play into the quarterback so that they can hear it in the helmet. That's one thing that we will do, but as far as like the upstairs-downstairs, we started that in preseason. That's kind of one of the things, especially for a new staff, that's what the preseason is all about."

(on if he sees the communication process with coaches evolving) "Yes. No question. Even when I started coaching in 92 or 93, we would write things down and chart it by hand. There were no pictures or anything like that. That was in college. And then when I got to the pros, it was just these still black and white pictures, which were just wide shots. They weren't end zone shots. Now it's become not only the surface tablets, but you get two views. You get a sideline shot and you get an end zone shot of each play. That's pretty good, too. It's evolving all the time."

(on if the sideline photos come from in-house photographers) "Yes."

(on the possibility of positioning the cameras wherever he sees fit) "Right. Basically, there are rules on that though. There are rules on that. How many guys you can have filming the game. Where they can be., those types of things."

(on if he felt he needed to talk to Ryan Fitzpatrick about his confidence) "I talk to these guys every single day. I mean, I try to talk to, you know, it's impossible to talk to every single player every day, but I certainly try to talk to a lot of players every day, and he's one of them. Yes, so I communicate with these guys quite a bit during the week."

(on if the team responded the way he wanted them to this week) "There is no doubt about that. This is a really good group of guys. These guys practice hard, they play hard, they compete, they listen attentively in the meetings. I just really, like I've said this, I think our coaching staff; I speak for our coaching staff saying that we really enjoy coaching these guys. And it's one game and it was the third game of the season. We didn't play very well and we didn't coach very well. We need to do better on Sunday, but it's a long season."

RB Alfred Blue
(on if he thinks improving in his pass blocking can occur week-to-week) "I would say you can improve week-to-week. You've just got to learn from your mistakes and you've just got to be real focused in there. Come third down, you know they're about to bring the house. You've just got to be more detailed and confident in knowing who you've got out there."

(on wanting to improve running more patiently) "It's just something that you have to train your mind. When you get the ball, you can't just be in a hurry. You have to train your mind. Even though you might see a hole, we call it false day light. You just have to train your mind and let the play develop. It's just something that you have to tell yourself before you get the ball. Be patient, be patient and don't rush it. It'll come."

(on how difficult it is to remain patient) "Right. Like I said, you see that false day light, you see a hole and as soon as you take that cut and go into that hole, linebacker meets you, d-line sheds. It's just something you learn from week-to-week and over the years of playing. You've just got to better yourself at doing it."

(if he thought as a rookie he'd start a game this early in his career) "No. Actually, I didn't. It was just something that I found out the day of the game that I was going to start, Arian (Foster) was out. It was just something like, you've just got to be ready when your number is called and take advantage of the opportunity."

(on how much did his extended playing time the previous week help him going forward) "I think it helped me a lot. I got my feet wet. I started, so it raises the confidence level. If I did have to go back out there and start, I'd be more relaxed. I wouldn't have the butterflies that I had in the Giants game."

OLB Brooks Reed
(on how he feels he is gelled within the defensive system) "Good. I'm finally getting the hang of it and trying to do what he's expecting his outside linebackers to do in the system. As an outside linebacker, you have to be able to do a little bit of everything. You have to execute the plays quickly in a loud environment. It's tough, but when you do it right it feels good."

(on the offensive speed of the Buffalo Bills) "Probably the quickest backfield in the NFL. We've got to be sound on the edges. We have to contain and make sure that we force these guys up inside and not bounce runs to make our corners make tackles."

(on what he meant when he said he felt the defense over communicated) "Same things, you know, adjustments, when you see motion because the plays can flip the defense. Just making sure everybody is one the same page. When it's loud and some guys aren't sure what the formation is and someone motions over, you tell the guy just to make sure he knows. It's kind of everyone's responsibility. If he doesn't get the call, it's my fault because I didn't tell him."

(on how much he has to worry about the Bills turning short passes into long gains) "I'm sure they're up there at the top of the league in making big plays. That's something that's also a concern. Something we've got to expect when we get into the red zone area and stop them."

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