HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
What did you think of the work in today's practice?
"Good work. It's a good team to work with, very similar practice schedules. Kyle's (Shanahan) a great guy, very easy to work with and got a lot of good things done."
Tempers flared at the beginning.
"Yeah, it's ridiculous. Just have to move on."
Were you surprised there was a skirmish in practice?
"No. Nope. Just have to move on. Just have to move on."
What did you want to see from QB Deshaun Watson, and how did Watson do?
"I haven't watched the film yet but Deshaun comes out here every day and works really well. Training camp's really hard. You don't know what you're going to see. You have to apply your rules play-in and play-out. I think he does a great job of that. He thinks about the game, does a really good job at the line of scrimmage. I'm really happy he's our quarterback."
What are you seeing from your rookies in camp?
"They've got a long way to go. It's a good group. They work hard, they compete, but they're learning something new every day. This is pro football. There's about 80 reps out there today, special teams, (offense) and (defense), and it's not exactly 60 degrees out. They'll learn. We'll watch the film and keep trying to get better, but I like the group."
What are your thoughts on rookie S Justin Reid's progression through camp?
"I think it's the same thing, just trying to get better every day. I think if all of those rookies just take the approach that every day they're going to try to – kind of like the approach that Deshaun (Watson) takes – try to get one percent better every day, I think that's a good approach. I think Justin's a really mature guy who works hard. If he keeps that attitude, he'll get better every day."
What the latest news on DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney?
"He's fine. He'll be fine."
How do you get work done in a joint practice while trying to avoid player injuries?
"It's a real fine line. I mean, it's a fine line. You have to get your team ready for the callousness of the season, but at the same time, you've got to do a good job of monitoring reps and making sure guys are, in some way, shape or form, being taken care of, especially the veteran players – all of the players, really. But, your team has to be ready for a 16-game journey. So, it's something that we talk about all the time, whether it's Brian (Gaine) and I, Luke (Richesson) and I, (Geoff) Kap(lan), all of us meet on it daily and try to do the best job we can of getting our players ready to go."
How do you work with San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan to make sure the players don't injure each other?
"He's great to work with. We both preach, in practices like that, 'thud', no live tackling, just be in the proper position to make the tackle, to make the block. They do a good job of trying to strip the ball, so we're working on fundamentals there. I think guys really tried to stay on their feet. We both preach staying on your feet. Really good guy to work with."
How important was it to bring back RB Alfred Blue this season?
"I think it's real important. I think the running back position is all about availability. I think if you're available, you're dependable, but if you're never available, it's hard to depend on you. Blue has been an available player for us for most of his career here, same thing with Lamar (Miller). That's what we're looking for at running back, guys that are available that are going to be out there every day."
Is there a subconscious part of QB Deshaun Watson's recovery from his knee injury?
"That's probably a better question for him. I think that having gone through it before, unfortunately, obviously, but having gone through it before, he understood the rehab. I think he feels great about where he's at. You saw him out here, moving around, scrambling around, playing with a lot of confidence. I think he feels really good about where he's at, but that's just my observation. We don't talk about it a lot. We talk every day. We talk with the team every day, but I think he's ready to go. He will be ready to go for the season."
What do you think of San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo?
"Good player. Really quick release, good leader. I was mostly over on our offensive field, but accurate guy, really good guy, good person. It's what you're looking for at that position, just guys that are easy to coach, that want to be coached, that are obviously good players. It makes it a lot of fun to coach that position."
What are your thoughts on the progression of the offensive line?
"I think we're getting better. Those guys are playing together, really, for the first time, although now we're going into – if you include OTAs – you're talking about almost 30 practices where they've been able to be out there on the field together. So, I think the communication is getting better. We've got good guys up front that care about winning and care about doing the right thing, and that's half the battle. I think they're coming along just fine."
QB DESHAUN WATSON
How special is it to have kids out at practice from the Allen Parkway Boys and Girls club?
"It's always great. When I first met them, they said I was one – me and J.J. (Watt) were their best Texans players, so it's pretty cool to have some fans to come out and spend some time with and just show them how we work each and every day."
What were you trying to get out of today's joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers?
"Just find some new ways to get better. Seeing different looks, going against different competition, different guys that are showing different techniques and just try to improve as an offense and build our chemistry going against other guys."
How did you think you did in today's practice?
"It was pretty decent. There are a lot of things that we need to work on. Nothing was perfect but it was some good work, made some good decision and continuing to grow."
What was your take on the play that involved WR DeAndre Hopkins and 49ers DB Jimmie Ward?
"Just competition. That's all I'm really going to speak on that."
Were you surprised there was an altercation on the first play?
"I guess so. I guess it goes like that sometimes."
How do joint practices help you prepare to face different competition throughout the season?
"We just see different looks. Like I said before, each player has different techniques on the way they play and the way they line up, see things. So, it's just go to be able to go against another professional team and see what they've been practicing on and the different looks of what type of scheme they want to run."
Based on what you did today, what is something that you still think you need to work on the most?
"Just quicker decision making and just continuing to work on my accuracy. Those are two areas that you can always continue to build on and get better. Like I said before, no one's perfect. No one is going to be right on each and every time. So, just different looks and just different balls that I need to throw versus different coverages."
Do you know 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo at all?
"I've met him a couple times."
How do you assess 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo's skillset?
"He's a great professional quarterback. He's a quarterback for a great organization, for the great coach, Kyle (Shanahan), and being able to be successful like he's doing, is great."
How much more comfortable do you feel now in year two compared to where you were at this point last year?
"Just the knowledge of the game and knowledge of the system. So, I'm a lot more comfortable – light-years more than last year. I'm still learning and still growing and still putting the pieces together."