Texans Transcripts: August 11


What do you look for in a kick or punt returner?

"Well, first of all, their ability to secure the ball. I think ball security is the No. 1 thing in this league. I think the takeaway/turnover margin really goes a long way to determining winning and losing. I think for a returner, they've got to be able to field the ball, make good decisions back there and then, obviously, you have to be able to make a play. You have to be able to make one guy miss, you have to be instinctive, have good vision, but the big thing is to be able to field the football."

How are the players feeling two days removed from the first preseason game?

"The usual, but nothing major. I think guys are doing well, trying to take care of their bodies. It's good to be back in Houston. New cafeteria, new team meeting room, new weight room, training room has been expanded. Really can't thank Bob McNair enough and Cal McNair for what they've done to help us improve the facility. So, I think guys are liking that. They're in there and I think we're doing OK right now relative to injuries."

What type of evaluation can you do along the offensive and defensive lines when there aren't pads at practice and how critical are the joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers next week?

"That's a great question. I think the big thing in these practices is, obviously, assignments. Let's make sure they know up front with the shells on, let's make sure they know what the call is, who's setting with them, who's helping them, who are they combo-ing with, all of those different things. Then you're looking for technique. You can really evaluate technique in these practices, especially coming back to Houston. A little bit hotter than The Greenbrier. How many guys are able to mentally, on every single play, be able to use the proper technique and do it down in and down out on a practice like this. So, there's a lot to evaluate there, but it's definitely different than if they had pads on."

WR Braxton Miller had three receptions on three targets in the game.

"Braxton's done some good things. I think the thing with Braxton is always going to be health, staying healthy. It's going to be what does he do for us on special teams, but he's made a lot of improvements at receiver and it's a real battle at that position."

What's the biggest way you've seen QB Deshaun Watson grow?

"A lot of different ways. I think, mainly, is the knowledge of our offense, really good understanding of defense. I think there's areas where he and I need to grow together, like in the red area. We're a little bit behind there but we have to work together on that and see if we can execute better down there, but I think there's a lot of areas where he's gotten better and better and he'll only get better and better because he works at it and the experience he gets will really help him."

How is the offensive line coming along, and what have you seen from G Senio Kelemete?

"Definitely coming together. At this point in camp, we've got a long way to go, but I like the way they work together. There's good chemistry. I think there's guys that really take pride in what they're trying to do, learning our system and using the proper techniques. Kelemete's been a good leader for us. Tough guy, works hard, out here every day. So, he's been a good addition."


How do you feel a couple days after the game?

"I feel good. Didn't really play too long, so it was decent."

Is it kind of nice to say that you just played in a game, and you feel fine?

"Yeah, like I said, I just played five snaps, handed the ball off, threw one pass. So, it wasn't too bad. Good to just go out there for a couple plays and then watch everyone else perform."

How much have you grown from when you first got here?

"Just really as a person as a whole and then just the knowledge of the game. Just being able to understand the offense, understand what the defense is doing and just play faster, just go out there and play and not overthink things."

How have you guys continued to work on misdirection throughout the offseason up to now?

"I mean, OB (Bill O'Brien) and the staff do a great job of just kind of switching things up, putting different looks for the defense to kind of think about to try to get them in a bind and put us in the right position. So, everything we do on offense, every misdirection, every indicator that we have, is for a reason – to see what the defense is in and make sure we're in the right play."

Do you feel like that helps them take advantage of your strengths and mobility?

"I guess you could say that. Like I said before, kind of just put us in the right position so our guys can – whoever's touching the ball can make plays and get in open space and play fast."

What was it like to be back in front of the fans in Houston?

"It's always great to come back home and be in front of our fans and have them support us and show love and we can put on a show for them. So, I'm glad that we're back in Houston and getting football going again."

Does playing in this atmosphere add a little spark?

"Always. The climate it – of course it's hot and muggy but at the end of the day we have to come out here and play football and perform and just focus on our task. So, it's always good to have the fans around and show love. They give us energy and high hopes for this season."

What does have TE Jordan Akins potentially provide for you?

"It gives us an extra weapon on the field. We can go into a game with two tight ends, one tight end, and we have a lot of guys that can perform and go out there and run routes and make plays. So, he did a good job the other night of doing his job right and capitalized when his opportunity was there."

What have you seen from the offensive line so far?

"Guys just building chemistry, working hard each and every day, never complaining. They make mistakes, but at the end of the day they correct those mistakes and don't make it twice, just like everyone else on the offense. Just guys that love to play football. They have a passion about going in each and every day and putting in the work, and passionate about winning."

When you see all of the weapons you have on offense, do you get excited about the possibilities for this season?

"Always. I mean, the potential is there, but we've got to transfer that potential to the field and go put in the work each and every day, try to get one percent better, just trust the process and take it one day at a time. We can't look forward to the future. We've got to put in the work because we can't just walk on the field and make it happen."

Are you looking forward to the joint practices against the San Francisco 49ers?

"Yeah, it's a great opportunity for us to see different looks, go against a different team and just try to learn and see where we're at. It's going to be a great test for us. The 49ers are a great team, and it's going to be a good challenge. So, we're looking forward to it."

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