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Houston Texans

Texans Transcripts: August 23


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on if he's ready to name a starting quarterback) "I think, thinking about walking down here, I saw a lot of good things on the film but as it relates to that position, really any position, I try the best I can to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team on the timetable that I'm comfortable with. If you went through every position with me and I'm just being straight up with you, if you went through every position with me, there are certain positions that basically, hey, I know who it's going to be to start the game on September 13. Obviously 99 (J.J. Watt) is going to start the game at the defensive end spot on September 13, as an example. Most of the decisions because of the roster that we have and what we're trying to build here, we're trying to build a competitive team, we're trying to build a team filled with a bunch of good guys that love to practice and then go out there and play hard and compete every week. Most of the decisions, again, are decisions that I'm going to make in the best interest of the team and also decisions that are going to be made on a timetable that I'm comfortable with, whatever position it is. When I looked at all the positions, I thought that there was some good and some bad. I thought that at the specific quarterback position, there were some things that we still need to clean up but I think everybody on offense has to play better. Everybody on offense has to coach better. I thought our line had some moments last night where they played well, some moments where they didn't play so well. I thought that we're playing a lot of different types of receivers, so we got guys doing different things. Some guys get 10 plays, some guys get 30 plays, so it's hard to get into a rhythm. We got to play better at that position. Running backs have to play better. Tight ends have to play better. We have to coach better. That's kind of how I saw the offense. But there were some decent things. Again, like I said last night, it's the second preseason game. We'll build from it and we'll have a good week of practice and get ready for New Orleans this week."

(on if he knows who will start against New Orleans) "No, I don't. At quarterback, you mean? No, I don't."

(on what he likes about each quarterback) "I can say that all three of them have the quality of intelligence that I like. All three of them are very coachable. All three of them have the ability to throw the ball accurately. All three of them love football, have a passion for football and want to get better every single day at football. They're good in the locker room. They're good guys. They understand the pace that we want to play at. Again, one guy will start. When I'm comfortable about making that decision, I'll make it. Again, it's all about what's best for the 2015 team. I'm still thinking about things, at every position, like I said, and when I'm comfortable to make a decision on any position, obviously quarterback is a high-profile position, I'll make sure I let you know."

(on if he expects a similar rotation with the quarterbacks against New Orleans) "I don't know yet. All we did today was review the tape. There were 168 snaps, gradable snaps in the tape, offense, defense, special teams, so we reviewed the tape. We talked about all the players, how they played in the game, how they've been up to this point in training camp. We talked about our practice schedule for tomorrow, practice schedule for Tuesday, meeting schedule, things like that. So that's really as far as we've gotten today."

(on what the key factor will be in his decision to pick a starting quarterback) "Again, it'll come back to consistency, it'll come back to game management, it'll come back to situational football, who's been the most consistent. It's something that we're studying, we're really evaluating, again really at every position, the awareness of what's going on in the game, how they handle different situations. It's like I said when I first walked in here, I'm always going to try to make the best decision in the best interest of the team that points us towards winning and when I'm comfortable to make a decision at any position, I'm going to make the decision. That'll be the way I always coach here."

(on CB Charles James II) "Charles James, he did, thoughts-wise, he showed up last night, special teams, he shows up a little bit every week. He downed a couple punts inside the five, I thought Shane (Lechler) punted the ball well, Jumal Rolle is another guy that did some decent things on special teams. That's a very competitive position. It comes down to, at the end of the day, a couple weeks from now how many corners you expect to keep. One of the reasons why you would potentially keep a certain corner definitely has something to do with special teams. Charles is a great guy, he's a passionate guy and he's really fighting hard to make this team."

(on whether giving up sacks last night was on the quarterbacks or the offensive line) "Little bit of both. I thought we struggled to block (Shaquil) Barrett, 48. I thought there were some times where the quarterback held onto the ball too long. They have to have a silent alarm. I thought there were some times where we just got beat one-on-one, maybe there was an A-gap pressure that we didn't pick up very well. So it was a little bit of everything that you just mentioned."

(on if they looked at Broncos OLB Shaquil Barrett when evaluating players around the NFL) "Like you just said, we look at everybody, and so yeah, he was definitely a guy that, we look at everybody though, but he played a good game last night."

(on positions where he is unsure who will start) "I think, not necessarily the starter, it's more about the roster and the different roles that the different guys will have on the team. It's not necessarily who's going to start. When you talk about starters at a lot of positions, it really sometimes it depends on how we start the game, what package we start in, is it nickel, is it dime, is it base defense, is it 11 personnel, 21, 12 – so it's more about the competition at wide receiver, the competition at corner, the competition at inside linebacker, the competition at outside linebacker, the competition at safety. Not necessarily the starter, but again, those are positions where the guys are really competing hard and there will be some decisions because at the end of the day, you can only keep 53 guys. That decision is down the road and we're not there yet, but there is a lot of competition at those spots."

(on G Xavier Su'a-Filo's heath) "Su'a-Filo is definitely day-to-day. Hopefully he can get back at some point this week, but right now I would say no."

(on if OLB Jadeveon Clowney will do more in practice this week) "We'll do a little bit more with him in practice. I've been pleased with the way he has reacted and practiced with the plan that we've had for him so far. He's eager to get out there. One of the good signs with him is that he'll come up to us and say, 'Can I do more? I'd like to be in that drill,' because he sees the competition and he'd like to be in more, but we have to stick to the medical plan. I'm definitely pleased with how he's approached it so far."

(on if he thinks OLB Jadeveon Clowney has matured since his rookie year) "I think the second year is big with a lot of guys. I think the rookie year can be tough especially when you go through a lot of injuries. Pro football is a lot different, just learning how to get around the city of Houston, live here, all those different things. Plus play pro football. It's a big adjustment for certain guys. I think JD, all those things kind of hovered over him last year. He had three injuries – sports hernia, concussion and the knee and I think he's really had a good offseason to the point where, yeah, he has turned the corner. I wouldn't even talk about it being maturity or anything, I think it's more about, 'Ok, I went through some tough times and I've really come a long way since those tough times and I think I can really be a good player for this team.' and I think he has come a long way in that regard."

View the best game photos from the Texans-Broncos game Saturday night at NRG Stadium.

(on his son, Jack, celebrating his 13th birthday) "I didn't see the videoboard message, but my son turned 13 yesterday. Those of you that know anything about my son, Jack, that is a big birthday and that was a great day. Too bad we just couldn't win the game. Every birthday for Jack is a good day. That puts a lot of things in perspective for me and our family and it was a good day."

(on whether the play when CB A.J. Bouye got beat last night was a fault of the safety) "No, no. That was not. That was him. He's just got to play a little bit better technique. We've got to get a little bit more pass rush. A.J. has had a good camp. He's had a good camp. He's a really improved player. He's really competed hard and that particular play was a play that he'll play better the next time, no doubt about it."

(on OLB Kourtnei Brown fighting to make the team, just like CB Charles James) "Same thing. Same thing. Kourtnei Brown went out there yesterday and, obviously, intercepted a pass, took it back for a touchdown, made some plays in the running game, rushed the passer decently at times, did some things on special teams. So, similar deal there. He's a hardworking guy. He's out there every day. He's coached hard by Mike (Vrabel) and I think he's really improved."

(on RB Jonathan Grimes) "Yeah, he's really been a good guy for us to coach. He really is a smart guy. He really embraces his role as a guy that plays a certain role in the backfield. With Arian (Foster) out, his role has increased in the backfield and I thought he did some nice things yesterday in the game at running back. He's been a good, core special teams player for us. He's a guy on our team that is a good fit for what we're trying to do. Really bright guy and good football player."

(on if he liked what he saw from RB Chris Polk) "I did. I did. I thought he had a pretty good game. He showed a little bit of juice in the running game. There's some certain things, like all the players, that they need to work on to get better, but I thought that he did some decent things in the running game and he caught the ball well too."

(on the lack of downfield throws) "We've got to do a better job there. We've got to pump the ball down the field a little bit more. There were too many short passes and there were some things open down the field. Part of that was the rush, you know, sometimes not having time – not necessarily behind that first offensive line, but behind the second and third offensive lines, we've got to give them a little bit more time. That was part of the issue. But overall, yeah, we need to get the ball down the field a little bit more."

(on preseason games compared to joint practices) "I think that the preseason games are necessary. I'm not saying that they're not necessary, but there's a lot of different discussions and philosophies on how to approach the preseason games. Number one is, to me, we have some guys that we don't really play in the game. That's for a reason, we get them a lot of reps in practice, we want them to be healthy and some of those guys don't play. Some other guys we play 10 snaps. Some guys we play 30 snaps, 40 snaps, a little bit more. The games are not necessarily the deciding factor. They can be a factor in watching a player really show up when the lights go on, so to speak. Like a guy that can go into the game and say, 'Okay man, this guy really played well in practice and then it really showed up in the game.' Maybe a guy that's really fighting for a spot on the roster, but the games are not the be-all and the end-all in the preseason. The preseason games are about a lot of different guys playing, putting them in different situations. Really what's the big part of it for us is practice. How we practice, how we practice against each other, how we practiced against Washington. Ideally, if we could have done one more team, it would have been great, but we couldn't. It just didn't work out. Because I like to joint practices against two teams. I think that's really good, but again, a lot of the discussion in our staff meetings are based a lot on OTAs, meetings, training camp practices, situational football, and the games are part of it, but not the be-all and the end-all."

(on how the staff balances worrying about injuries in the preseason) "Yeah, it's hard. It's not an easy deal. You've got to really put a lot of thought into it. You communicate with the player. Some guys, they say, 'Look, I want to play.' They all want to play, but some guys just want to get in there and get their 10 snaps or whatever it is. As a coach, you have to be the decider. You've got to be the guy that makes the decision on whether certain guys play or not. That's what we do the first two weeks and then we'll decide as we head into this third game what we're going to do in this third game."

(on DE Jeoffrey Pagan) "I expect Pagan to be out there tomorrow. Yeah, I expect Pagan to be out there tomorrow. Jeoffrey and I had a couple good conversations last week. I would look for him to be out there tomorrow. Hopefully, at some point this week, but hopefully tomorrow."

(on if training camp is officially over) "No, I wouldn't say that. I think we're still in training camp mode, although we will definitely try to treat this week like a game week more so than the first two games. We'll do a little bit more on New Orleans than we did on Denver and San Francisco."

(on if the players are still at the hotel) "Yeah."

(on DT Christian Covington pushing NT Louis Nix for playing time) "Christian Covington has come in here and he's played well for a rookie. He's played very hard. He's a smart player. He's a hard worker. I wouldn't necessarily say he's exactly in competition with Louis. They kind of do some different things. That's part of the competition, but they're not in direct competition with each other. I think that Louis has improved. He's an improved player. I think Christian has come in here and for a rookie, he's done a pretty nice job."

(on if any of the backup offensive linemen have impressed him) "Some of these guys have played decently. I mentioned last week a couple guys. James Ferentz I think has played pretty well overall, pretty consistent. I think the young tackle, (Kendall) Lamm, has shown up and done some decent things for us. It would be good to get eventually, hopefully get Xavier (Su'a-Filo) back, get Xavier back from injury. Let's get him in there and get him a ton of reps, see if we can get him better. So yeah, I think there's some guys that are there that we just need to continue to work with."

(on if DE J.J. Watt will play this weekend) "Not sure yet. Like I said, we're going to keep talking about how we want to handle this game. Right now, we're kind of just through Monday. How we want to approach tomorrow and we talked a little bit about Tuesday."

(on CB Kevin Johnson) "Kevin Johnson, he's instinctive. There are always things that he can improve upon, but he's very competitive. He's got a passion for the game. He's smart, smart player. We play him in different spots. He's able to pick up what we're doing. We've been very happy with Kevin."

(on if he will move a corner to safety) "You never know on that, you never know. There are some guys at corner that have some ability to play safety, they have that skill set in them. I wouldn't say that that'll happen tomorrow, but you never know."

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