Texans Transcripts: August 18

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Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on if he saw some of the corrections they were looking to make from the game) "Yes, the guys, we worked very hard yesterday on the practice from yesterday and then the film from the game on Saturday. I saw a lot of improvement today, very competitive practice today, tough practice. This is kind of the toughest part of camp because it's about halfway through and guys really did a good job today of digging down and finding their competitive level."

(on how the goal line and red zone offenses looked today compared to the game) "It's like, do I like it? I don't think any of us are ever satisfied. We always want both sides to be better. Really I know it gets boring, I say this a lot, but it's a progress league. We have to get better every day in every facet."

(on NT Chris Neild) "Chris Neild, yeah he's a tough kid, 3-4 nose guard coming in here, gives good effort, good kid."

(on what DE Tevita Finau has been able to do since he got here) "Tough guy, good teammate, really works hard, defensive end, versatile, could probably play a little bit of nose too, battling for a spot. Tough kid."

(on building the offensive line) "Yeah, we have to continue to develop that, that second team, and third team offensive line. You know versatility is key, tackles that can play guard, guards that can play center, vice versa, tackles that can play some tight end, you saw that a little bit today. So that's one of our philosophies is those guys being as diverse as they can in their skill set. We're continuing to try to develop that."

(on punt returns and what WR Chandler Worthy has been able to do) "Chandler Worthy, yeah, Worthy, yeah, he did some decent things. It's tough when you're a rookie and you go out there for the first time and return punts and you get pro football players running at you. It's a little bit different than in college, but I thought he got used to the speed of the game and he showed flashes of doing some good things and he's got to do it again this week."

(on what he values when he is evaluating running backs) "Ball security, assignments, correct alignments, no penalties, good vision in the running game, assignment perfect in the passing game as far as protections. A very important part of our offense is the running backs being able to protect. So we're looking for a lot of different things. Some of them have roles on special teams so we're looking how they perform on the different units they're on in special teams, so there's just a million things and I just gave you a few of them."

(on T Jeff Adams being smart, them both coming from the Ivy Leagues, and evaluating Adams' play) "Yeah, Brown and Columbia. No, he's done well, he's come in here and like you said, he's a smart guy, he's a great teammate, he stayed here all offseason and worked hard. He really worked on the things we asked him to work on. He comes out here and he gives great effort every day. He's out here every day, which if you're out here every day and you're getting all those reps, you're bound to get better with your ethic and that's what he has. So he can play guard, he can play tackle, he did that last year for us. He's been a good guy to have around here."

(on if CB Charles James has surprised him at all) "No, nothing Charles James does surprises me. Very competitive guy, loves the game, has a great passion for the game, just had another nice play out there today, interception, so he's battling for a spot. It's not easy, that corner position is very competitive, but he's gone out here every day and competed well."

(on how S Andre Hal is coming along) "Good, he does a good job. He's smart, competitive, type of guy we're looking for as far as a teammate. Really understands his role, can play corner, can play safety, special teams guy, I think he's turned into one of the leaders of our team, one of those young leaders, doing a good job."

(on this being the time of year where Texans fans plan their travels on the road, what he would say to them) "You know, one of the things we noticed right away as a coaching staff was the fan base here is, in my opinion, the best in the league. We have a great fan base, the home games are loud, they show up early, great tailgates, all those things, but then when we go on the road, I remember when we went to Cleveland, they're all there, and when you win on the road, and all your fans come up to the front row behind your bench and the home fans leave, that's just a great feeling for our players. I think we really appreciate our fans and we know how important they are to us, to our organization, and we love them when they travel with us on the road."

(on OLB John Simon) "That's probably one of his best strengths is his playing strength, his ability to take his weight room strength out to the field. He's able to do those things, and he's improved on other things. I think he's a better pass rusher now than we was, he sets the edge better in our defense. This was a little bit new to him relative to what he had done in college, and I think he's really worked hard like you said in the weight room, he's a very strong player."

(on CB Darryl Morris) "Darryl I thought did some decent things in the game. Similar to the way I talked about Charles James, it's a very competitive position, and Darryl tackled well, I thought he did some good things in coverage and he's a very competitive guy, has a great passion for the game, loves to play, good guy to have around here."

(on saying he was able to see less thinking with the offensive line, if he sees that from the secondary as well) "We have smart players in the secondary, they really do. They get along well, they communicate well, there's no doubt that those guys are ahead of where they were at this time last year. They know the system, they know the different language that each other's using to get lined up and to make the adjustment, so I think you see improvement definitely with the communication back there."

T Jeff Adams
(on if he had ever played guard before this season) "I have a couple of times with previous teams as a scout team player, but for the most part it is a new experience for me. It is a great opportunity and I am just trying to make the most of it."

(on if it makes it different being 6-7 on the inside against shorter defensive tackles) "It just means you have to bend your knees more. I may be taller but I have longer arms so I get a chance to get my hands on them quicker and I am working on that every single day, playing low and getting my hands on them fast."

(on if he felt like it slowed down for him last year after being released by the Tennessee Titans and picked up by the Houston Texans) "Not during the season. Not until after the season. I have been cut four or five times now and last year was my first year on an active roster. When you get cut, you are just playing catch up the whole time and when I got here, I wanted to learn the offense as fast as I could and get out there and play against the best every day. I have the opportunity to do that against (DE) J.J. (Watt) and just work on improving my game."

(on what it means to him to have coaches like Bill O'Brien and Mike Devlin that have faith in him to give him this opportunity) "You couldn't ask for better coaches. Coach O'Brien is a hell of a guy and I love playing for him. He gives everyone an opportunity to make this team and it goes out there, you prove it every day, you put the work in, and you grind it out. Coach Devlin is a heck of an offensive line coach and I love the stuff that he is teaching. It has really helped us out as a group to improve our play and we have come a long way from where we were last year."

(on if they are prepared if somebody on the offensive line gets hurt) "Absolutely. If someone goes down, we expect the next guy to step up and there not to be a drop off. We work every day to improve. Guys go out there and work at tackle or guard, guys are going guard or center too. It really provides a lot of versatility for guys and depth."

TE Garrett Graham
(on the rookie tight ends) "They are athletes for sure. Khari (Lee) and Mike (McFarland) have done some great things, and (Anthony) Denham also. They are big, they are athletic, so we are looking forward to watching them play. We expect a lot out of them but I am sure they will produce."

(on if there is any difference being the oldest tight end in the group) "Yeah C.J. (Fiedorowicz) calls me old man sometimes. I am still in my twenties I can't be that old, right?"

(on if it is nice to be ahead of where they were at this point last year on offense) "It is nice to be ahead of the game with where we were last year. I think that shows every day in practice of what we have installed and how far we have come. It is good to see and we have got to keep building on it."

(on what the players feel like in the locker room about the three quarterbacks) "We feel very confident. Whoever is in there, they are controlling the huddle. They are the general at the line of scrimmage, they are pointing everything out, so we feel very confident in what they do and how they hold themselves."

(on if it is difficult to develop chemistry or timing with the quarterbacks being rotated) "No, not at all, that's what we do in practice so we are used to that. For me at least, it is not difficult at all."

(on if it is easier to tell one of the quarterbacks that he is open) "I feel like I can tell them all that. We are good enough buddies to tell them all that but I feel like they are both doing a pretty good job."

QB Brian Hoyer
(on seeing the offense flow during the San Francisco 49ers game) "Yeah, I think like I just said here when you go into that first preseason game, especially against a team with new coaches, you're not really sure what you might see and I think the good thing about this offensive system is, you know, they put us through the ringer on everything and you go over the reads for every coverage, for every possible scenario and then when you get out there, it's just a matter of remembering those and executing. So, I think as an offense, we saw some stuff that we weren't really expecting, but we adjusted on the fly and we were able to move the ball."

(on what he got from being on the bench during some of the 49ers game) "Yeah, I think for me it's my first game here. It's good to see how everything works, how everything works on the sideline, which for me, very similar to what I was used to in New England, but to get out there and do it for the first time, get to the sideline, go over the pictures, talk about what's coming up, those types of things. So, I think that first preseason game, it's good to get all those types of things out of the way, so now going forward, you know how everything flows."

(on how he will approach not starting at quarterback this week) "No, I approach it the same way. You know, for me, I try to approach every day the same way and just come out and try to get better. So when I go out and play, whenever that might be on Saturday, it's go out and play the best I can. You know, see what the defense is doing, react, get the offense going, get them in the right play and go from there."

Take a look at photos from Astros shortstop Carlos Correa's visit to #TexansCamp.

(on what he wants to work on) "I think just being more consistent. I think that's the one thing he (Head Coach Bill O'Brien) stresses to the team, but also the quarterbacks and come out, you know, because really the offense can't function if the quarterback doesn't, so for us there's a lot of responsibility on our shoulders and we've got to come out here every day and be consistent. We can't be up and down. You kind of got to be the steady, the steady line right there for the entire offense. And that's the one thing that really I focus on, on a day to day basis is coming out and just being as consistent as I can be."

(on reacting to the defense in a game situation) "Yeah, I think for me, this is my seventh year I've played in a lot of, obviously started a lot of games over the past couple years, but also played in a lot of preseason games, so you kind of have a mentality going in just to be alert for everything. You don't really have a game plan, you don't know what they're going to do, so you really go back to your base rules and try to react."

(on if he feels that he's working with a veteran group of players) "Oh yeah, for sure. These guys are great, man. I'm so happy to be a part of this organization and this team and work with those guys. For me, I was so anxious all day last Saturday. I just wanted to get out there and play with these guys on a field, in a stadium for the first time. So, it was good to get out there and obviously have success on that first drive."

(on DE J.J. Watt blowing up RB Alfred Blue) "I was right there. Yeah, I handed the ball off. I wasn't exactly sure who hit him. I just saw the ball pop out and then I didn't know if anyone noticed it. I was going to try to run over there and scoop it and lay in the end zone, but they got there before me."

(on being nervous last week and how he feels now) "Well, I don't think it was nerves, it's more anxiousness. I don't ever want to call it nervousness like I know I'm going to go out there and execute and play. It's just the anxiousness of, especially a night game. You wait around all day to go out there and play and for me, my first time with these guys, I wanted to go out there and prove to these guys that I can play and execute. So, once I got on the field, I was ready to go."

(on working with the wide receivers) "It's been great. I think the good thing about the situation that we're going through right now is everybody is getting to work with everybody, so it doesn't matter if it's Nate (Washington), (DeAndre) Hopkins, Cecil (Shorts III), EZ (Nwachukwu), (Alan) Bonner, Damaris (Johnson). We've worked with all of them, so you have a good chemistry and I think the one good thing that we do is, we allow for freedom of speech. You go into these meetings and you talk with your receivers. Hey, if you see this, kind of run it like this or, you know, we're on the same page and even if you don't get out here and run it on the field, we're always, constantly talking to those guys, so they know what we expect out of them and they run the routes and we know what to expect from them."

(on throwing to WR DeAndre Hopkins) "Well, I mean you just know he has a wide radius to catch the ball. I mean, you put it close to him and chances are he's going to come down with it, so it's great to have a guy like that, but you look at, you know, Cecil (Shorts III) making the play across the middle. It was a great catch, great run. Nate (Washington) had a great catch over here today. They've all had great plays, so I have a lot of confidence in all of those guys."

(on his thoughts after watching the game tape) "Yeah, I think there's always room for improvement. I mean, for us when the first group was in there, we could have definitely done better on first and second down. We had some third-and-long scenarios. We were able to overcome that with some third down conversions and then, so there's always room for improvement. Even the things that you do well, you want to do better. There's always room for improvement, no matter what you do. So you get back in there, watch the film and then come out here the next day and try to get better with those things."

(on who WR DeAndre Hopkins reminds him of) "Yeah, not to compare him to players. I just think, the thing about Hop is he comes out here, he works extremely hard, he has great hands. The one thing that stands out about him to me is his body control. I mean, he's able to really maneuver his body in the air while the ball is in the air and also kind of box the guy out and know where he's going to put his hands, know where his body is. So I think for him, his body control is really good."

(on talking to Astros SS Carlos Correa at practice today) "It was just great to meet another guy, another sports figure in this city who is having a great year. I loved playing baseball growing up. It was my first love, so I follow it wherever. The Cleveland Indians, I'm from there, or the city that I'm living in so to see the year that he's having is amazing. So hopefully those guys keep it going and take it to the playoffs."

(on having Offensive Coordinator George Godsey on the sideline and whether it's helpful) "Yeah, for sure. You come back to the sideline, get immediate feedback. It's very, I guess I want to say comforting. You come over to the sideline and there's the guy who's calling the plays, who is seeing it, you guys are getting on the same page, so yeah, I really do like that."

(on if Offensive Coordinator George Godsey shows emotion to him on the sideline) "No, it's very business-like. During a game, there's no room for emotion really. You got to come over, there's not a lot of time, you come over, obviously I only played the first series, but in a normal game, you go out, you play, you play your drive, you come back. You really only have a few minutes, give or take, how long it is going to be before you get back out on the field, so you try to go over those plays you just had and kind of figure out a game plan for the next drive. So, having that guy on the sideline and not having to talk on the phone, whatever it might be is definitely convenient."

QB Ryan Mallett
(on what he would like to improve on after the first preseason game) "Just staying efficient. We played pretty decent when our units were in there. Try to get the tempo going a little bit and stay efficient and move the ball."

(on if he has a different mindset starting the next preseason game) "I'm going to attack the game the same way I always do. Try to keep the offense moving, keep us out of bad situations, move the ball, get first downs and just go from there."

(on what he learned Saturday during the first preseason game) "I mean, it's my job. I've been doing it for a while now. It's kind of like- just learn every game, see something new, take it, put it in your memory bank, and save it for later."

(on what specifically he wants to get better at) "Maybe going 11-for-11 instead of 10-for-11."

(on the offensive line struggling at the goal line) "Yeah, the first game you see where you're at, see what you need to work on. Obviously, we got stuffed seven times in a row, which is a credit to their defense, but we had our opportunities to score. We just have to clean up little things and get better this week."

(on it being a difficult part of camp) "Yeah, it's the middle part of camp. It's hot. This is where the mentally tough teams decide what they want to be this year."

(on getting starting reps in before his start on Saturday) "I was with the two's today, so it's kind of like- it doesn't mix and match well, but we're just doing what we've been doing all of camp."

(on if sharing reps with the first team bothers him) "No, you get the feel for every guy at the receiver position. You kind of get the feel for the guys up front, so you kind of know what's going on with everybody."

(on having fun at camp) "This is our job. It's playing football. If you can't have fun doing this, there's got to be something wrong with you. I mean, I love this. If this is going to be my job for the next eight years, I'm all for it."

(on what he hopes to improve on) "It's the same thing OB (Head Coach Bill O'Brien) says. It's just little things. We have to get better, get more consistent, be efficient, move the ball, get first downs, score points, not just field goals. It's all those little things."

(on getting familiar with different receivers) "It's just studying the film every day, watching practice, watching one-on-one's, watch anything you can to know what kind of subtle movements they're going to have or what they're going to do when they're breaking so you know when to throw the ball. If it's a timing route, you got to be on time."

(on constantly communicating with the receivers) "Yeah, our offense, communication is a big part of that. I mean, in the lunch room, 'Hey on this, you're going to do this.' Even in the meetings, I might reach back to Hop (WR DeAndre Hopkins), who sits behind me, and say something while we're watching film. It's constant communication."

(on TE C.J. Fiedorowicz's growth) "C.J. is doing great. He's a student of the game. He's getting better from where he was last year. He wants to be a better player and you can see it, it shows. I think he's having a good camp so we just expect him to produce."

(on what stood out to him on film from Saturday) "We didn't do anything outstanding. We just have to go out there, work and get better. There's a lot of little things we didn't do well. We're more focused on that."

(on how much he will game plan for Denver versus how much he will work on specific things) "It's kind of both. I'll watch the film and see what they've been doing, what they did the last game, so I got an idea what they're going to do this game. Other than that, go out there, follow your rules, do what we've been taught from OTAs, to camp, to going into preseason."

NT Louis Nix III
(on having NT Vince Wilfork as a mentor) "It is good. You just try to get any pointers you can from a vet and try to help better your game. He obviously is one of the top at his position and I just want to learn as much as I can."

(on what it means to him that NT Vince Wilfork is willing to share his knowledge) "I love it to be honest. Regardless of what happens at the end of the day, it is always a great opportunity to get pointers from somebody that has done it and that still can do it. I feel great about it, me and the guys on the team."

(on if NT Vince Wilfork knows about the nicknames he has) "Yeah, we call him OG, big Vince, big dog, he doesn't mind."

(on what he thinks about his performance against the 49ers) "I think in general it is just a lot to work on regardless if you did well or not you can always get better and I am just trying to progress in that direction."

(on the difference between this season and last season) "Yeah, being on the sideline not being able to do anything sucks. I am just happy that I got an opportunity to come out here. Like (Head Coach Bill) O'Brien wants us to do, he wants us to compete and get better, and I try to do that on a daily basis. Just trying to perfect my technique. Obviously I am human and I'm not perfect, but you strive for perfection. I try to do that out here."

(on specifically what he wants to show Head Coach Bill O'Brien before training camp is over) "Just show him that I am trying to get better and do the best I can. It is a process. A lot of expectations. He points out things he wants individual guys or the whole team to do and I want to keep hitting those milestones as it goes."

(on what NT Vince Wilfork has told him) "He comes out every day and teaches us the little things. He helps us with our technique and after practice we do little drills together just to help us stop the run and use our hands. Stuff like that."

(on if he is anxious to show what he can do now that he is healthy) "Of course, but I still have a long way to go. I have been out of football a long time so I have to get myself back in gear and I still have a lot to learn. All that time off the field, you know, I missed a lot so I have to hurry up and gain it back and do the best I can to stay healthy and stay on the field as much as possible."

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