Texans Transcripts: August 31

HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN

Opening Statement

"So, we're still working through a lot of logistical things relative to the roster, so, not too much to report right now. We have until tomorrow afternoon, obviously, to get down to what we need to get down to. There's obviously a 53-man roster, 10-man practice squad. So, we're working toward that right now."

Would you mind talking about P Shane Lechler?

"Yeah, no doubt. These are very tough days. Obviously, tougher on the players than they are on the coaches and the general managers, but they're very tough days. Especially when it involves a player like Shane Lechler. Shane Lechler's one of the best pros I've ever been around, and if you look back at kind of who I've been around, I've been around some good pros, and he's one of the best. He was a great leader here, was a captain. In my opinion, he's a Hall of Fame punter. So, we had a good talk this morning and we decided to head in that direction. We always try to do what's best for the team. We try to make decisions in the best interest of the team but sometimes those decisions are very difficult. Shane's a Texas legend. He's a guy who grew up in this state, comes from a coaches' family, I have a great deal of respect for Shane and wish him the best."

How did P Shane Lechler handle the talk?

"Like a pro. He's a professional football player, been doing it for a long time and he handled it just like a professional."

Can you talk about G David Quessenberry's journey and the bigger battles he's won?

"There's a big difference between football and life. You know what I mean? He's overcome a really horrific form of cancer. To come back and actually play professional football, that's incredible. So, his story will always be legendary here in Houston. David is really an awesome human being."

What are your thoughts on WR Braxton Miller?

"Yeah, we're still working through some things. I don't know what's being instagrammed out there, tweeted out there, whatever – I'm not sure how that all works. But, we're still working through some things, Braxton's an improved player, no doubt about it and we'll see what happens."

Did P Trevor Daniel impress you from the beginning or was it gradual?

"Look, he's a young guy, strong leg, good demeanor and we'll see how it goes."

P Shane Lechler taught P Trevor Daniel the ropes and made him better, what does that say about Shane?

"Oh yeah, he's a great guy. I mean, you can't say enough about the type of person Shane Lechler is. He competed and he was a great mentor to not just guys like Trevor, but really every young player in the locker room. So, great, great mentor."

P Trevor Daniel was frustrated last night and thought he might have blown it.

"I was frustrated too. We only scored 14 points. So, welcome to the club, Trevor."

Do you have confidence in P Trevor Daniel as a holder?

"Look, at the end of the day we have different guys that can do different things and we'll have to see how it all goes."

Do you have a lot of people calling you about trades?

"I would say that Brian (Gaine) deals more with that. I deal with maybe some coaches that maybe call, but Brian's more dealing with that. Most of those are conversations (where) there's a lot of talk and not a lot of action, you know what I mean? So, we'll see how it all goes. But, yeah, there's 31 other teams doing exactly the same thing we're doing right now, waiting to see what happens with different things and a lot of logistical processes that have to go on. That's what we're all working through right now."

With some of the quality players that are being cut, what does that say about the growth of your team?

"I think it's a competitive roster. These are tough decisions. You have to get down to 53. You can't – like, every guy can't make the team, and so you try to do the best you can to pick the best 53 relative to what you think you need to win games. Now, understand it's just the 53 on September whatever day it is today. It doesn't mean it's going to be the same 53 on – even on September 9th or September 16th. We believe in a competitive roster and keeping it competitive. So, everybody here – coaches, players – everybody has to show up every day, ready to go."

Is it tougher to beat out a legend or replace a legend?

"I don't know. I have no idea on that question. I have no idea."

You're not worried about the pressure P Trevor Daniel is under?

"I mean, it's the National Football League. That's a part of the deal. We're all here to produce and to try to perform, and that's what we're trying to do."

Can you talk about the process between you and General Manager Brian Gaine during this phase?

"We met after the game last night. We meet every day, like three or four times a day. Every day since the day he's gotten here. Met last night, met this morning at 6 a.m. A lot of discussions, a lot of different scenarios. Still meeting. As soon as I leave here, I'm going back up there to talk to him, see what we think about this, that and the other, and just try to do the best we can to make decisions in the best interest of the team."

Do you think you want to carry RB D'Onta Foreman or put him on PUP?

"We'll see how it goes. That's one of the things we're going to talk about when we go back upstairs. We'll see how it goes. I know you guys want all of those answers right now, but that takes time and we don't have a deadline today. So, we have time to think those things through, and we're still talking about all of those things."

Is there a timeline where you want to be done with all of the cuts?

"No. As long as we're done by whatever the league deadline is – which I think is three o'clock central time tomorrow. That's what we abide by. It's not like, 'Hey, we have to be done by noon', you know what I mean, tomorrow or today or whatever it is. So, that's not the way we operate."

When you're building your practice squad, is that something you or General Manager Brian Gaine might communicate to them?

"Good question. Yeah, no question. You're going to communicate with certain guys that, 'Hey look, if you clear waivers, we'd like to have you on the practice squad.' That's a very, very important part of the team, the 10-man practice squad that is not a scout team. Those are guys that we think may eventually be able to help us – some sooner rather than later. But, guys that we think could get called up and help us. So, that's a big part of our discussions right now, with each other and with the players."

Are you giving the players the weekend off?

"Yeah, they're gone now today. They'll be off Saturday, Sunday and we'll work Monday through Friday next week, and then travel on Saturday. So, we'll work Monday through Friday – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and travel up to New England on Saturday."

Do you get excited for the regular season now that training camp is over?

"I'm excited every day, really. It's a very challenging job. I love it. I love working with the staff, the personnel people, obviously the players. Tough day today and tomorrow because you have to maybe tell some guys some bad news, but that's part of the job. It's what you sign up for. It's the most difficult part of the job because these guys have worked so hard for you. But, I'm excited for the season."

Is this season going to be your toughest roster cut to get to 53?

"They're all tough. For me, they're all tough. We ask these guys to do a lot. We run a very demanding program. We ask these guys to do a lot, both in the meeting room, in the weight room, in the training room, on the practice field, obviously. These guys put a lot of time in and a lot hard work. Every one of them is hard."

Do you emotionally attached to some players or do you try not to because of days like this?

"I think that's a great question. That's just who I am. I really do, I understand that this is part of my job and part of Brian's (Gaine) job to make these decisions, but I definitely – when guys lay it on the line for you out on the field and they've made plays for you in games and they've helped you in the locker room and they've done everything you've asked them to do – that's who I am. I get attached to those players. It's difficult when at some point in time you decide that maybe you're moving on from that player. That's a difficult decision because of that."

In regards to the new sports performance staff, are you happy with where the overall health of the team is?

"They've done a good job. These players have bought into what they're doing in the weight room. They worked out today. They'll work out Monday, Tuesday. I think the players, if you ask them, they're probably the ones to ask, but players feel pretty good and the guys that are rehabbing are on the right track and we'll see what happens."

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