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Texans Transcripts: August 20


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on an update with the quarterback situation) "Nothing. Those guys are doing a good job. They're out there competing and they're looking forward to Saturday night."

(on how he will balance playing QB Brian Hoyer and QB Ryan Mallett on Saturday) "It just kind of depends on how that goes. It's somewhat of a - get a feel for the rhythm of the game, the play count, the types of plays that are called, and things like that. I couldn't really answer that right now. Got to get into the game, see how it goes."

(on whether if he wants QB Tom Savage to play the entire second half on Saturday) "I think that Tom Savage has really developed pretty well. In the end, with guys like Tom that are in their second year and younger quarterbacks, you really never know until they get a chance in a game. So, like the more reps you can get them in the preseason, the more you can really understand what they're all about. And we think that he's really improved, so we will definitely play him a good amount of the time on Saturday."

(on how much the quarterback decision is decided outside of actual practices) "Absolutely. I mean it's all, it's not just out here. It's all of those things go into it. You know, how they interact in the meeting room, leadership in the locker room, just all those little things. And, like I've said from day one, these guys, they both have really good qualities. They both have the quality of leadership, they both have the quality of intelligence. So, it's an even battle. And like I said, we'll make a decision at some point. We'll go with one guy to start the season. That other guy needs to be ready to play. We played four quarterbacks last year, so you just never know but we can only play one at a time. So, we'll pick one eventually and go with that guy."

(on if he has the body of knowledge needed to choose a starting quarterback)"If I had the body of knowledge right now, I would probably make the decision. I need to see a little bit more and I want to give Ryan (Mallett) a chance to start a game, and put some more thought into it.  Then make a decision at some point whether it's next week or the week after. At some point, we'll make a decision."

(on if he is pleased with the progress through three weeks of practice) "Definitely. I think one of the things I was thinking about this morning is this was a big situational practice. I'm not sure if you guys could tell that, but we went through a lot of different situations. So in preparation for this practice this morning in the meetings we asked a lot of questions. The guys who were here last year, the veteran players, they could really answer those questions. Whereas last year they really, they didn't know the answers yet. So we have come a long way in our situational knowledge, our knowledge of each side of the ball, on our special teams schemes, what we are doing. I think we are farther along, but again the proof is in the pudding. It depends on obviously when we go out there and play September 13th how do we do, but we got a long way to go before then and I think we are on the right track."

(on if he will give certain veterans time off in the game Saturday) "Yeah we are going to look at that. I am not sure. We are going to talk about that tonight a little bit more as a staff, but yes. There will probably be a couple of guys that won't play in the game."

Linebackers Coach Mike Vrabel
(on his linebackers group) "Well I mean, I got a great group of guys. I think they love football. Brian (Cushing) is our leader, plays hard, plays his tail off, studies, it's important to him. He's a great teammate. Whitney (Mercilus) busts his butt every day. John Simon, Mike Mohamed, pretty much every guy we've got in there. So it starts at the top, it starts with Cush and it goes all the way down to the young guys we've got that are trying to fight for a spot here."

(on ILB Brian Cushing talking about how he has an authenticity because he played at such a high level) "Well I mean I think anytime a coach can show players a way to make them better, I think they're going to listen, they're going to buy in. So when they see results, I think they tend to listen a little bit, and if they don't see results, they're going to start blocking you out. Hopefully we can start seeing some results on the field and take the coaching from the field and the classroom onto the football field."

(on ILB Brian Cushing saying he thinks he could get back out there) "I don't, I don't. I'm 40 years old. I just turned 40, and if I could I still would, but I can't."

(on what it is about him that has allowed him to both play and teach at a high level) "You know, I think I was at the college level for a couple years and that helped. You don't have as much time in the meetings, so you have to get the material across maybe a little quicker, you've got to narrow it down. We don't want to do too much, we don't want to overload the players, but certainly we want to game plan each week, whatever gives us the best chance to win, and try to get it installed and try to teach, use different methods for each guy."

(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney saying he is the smarted coach he's ever been around) "Well he hasn't been around that many coaches. You know, I appreciate that from JD. He's out here working, and trying to back, get his confidence back, get out here on the practice field and start working him into the games."

(on how he sees OLB Jadeveon Clowney progressing) "To plan, he's got a schedule that we're trying to follow with the trainers and with his doctor. When they tell me he can do more, we'll put him in more."

(on what he's seen from OLB John Simon this year) "You know, John's continuing to learn our defense. He was a guy that I had at Ohio State, he plays his tail off, he plays hard, kind of in that Brooks Reed mold that he's continuing to get better, working on pass rush, continuing to work pass rush, work on his coverage, set the edge, and try to be physical for us."

(on OLB Jadeveon Clowney wanting to learn) "I think the one thing I've noticed is his attitude is better, his attitude is much better, and I know that last year he was frustrated because he got hurt. I mean you get hurt in this league as a young player, it's hard to handle. You've never really been injured, but everybody gets hurt in this sport, and I think he's starting to realize that he's going to have to play with a little bit of discomfort, he's going to be sore, for the rest of his career. That's how it goes in the National Football League. He's seeing those things and I think he's getting some advice from his teammates and good advice and is trying to come out here with a great attitude."

(on hand placement being an important part of playing linebacker) "I think if you're talented and you've got some length and you've got some power, I think if you play with great technique, you're going to be that much better. I try to teach the technique and then let them take it from there. They've got to figure out their own style, how they want to play. I don't have all the answers. I just give them my perspective, and then if they can go out there and get the job done using my technique or their technique, whoever technique, it doesn't really matter, but I just try to give them what I know and what I've watched guys do over the course of 20 years."

(on what point in his career he learned how important that was) "Probably my second or third year. I played against some guys in Pittsburgh, so I was lucky to practice against good players and tight ends in Pittsburgh and play with good linebackers there."

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