Texans Transcripts: December 10

HEAD COACH BIILL O'BRIEN

What's the challenge for QB Deshaun Watson when playing in cold weather games? How do you prepare him for those games?

"We're going to practice outside. Our weather right now is not like it is in New York or Philly, but it's not great here right now, so I think that's good. Then we'll just do things during practice to kind of help show him what the elements might be like to the best of our ability. At the end of the day, it's about everybody basically understanding what their jobs are and going out and doing their jobs to the best of their ability."

Will you emphasize ball security this week?

"Sure, yeah, all that kind of stuff."

Are you worried about giving up several big plays in the passing game over the last six quarters?

"I think the big thing is, when you look at the tape, on those particular plays we have not combined coverage and rush, whether it's the rush not getting home or the coverage a little too loose. We just have to continue to work at that and clean those things up relative to who we're playing. I don't really get worried about anything. I just make sure that our guys understand where we can improve, and that's what we need to do this week."

Were you pleased with the performance of the tight ends in yesterday's game?

"Yeah, I thought (Ryan) Griff(in) obviously had a good game yesterday. Jordan Thomas made a big fourth-down catch. Jordan Akins did some real nice things, had a big play early in the game to kind of spark us on that first touchdown drive. Those guys are talented. Relative to how we operate offensively, sometimes they don't get the opportunities because of how we try to do things, especially in the passing game, but yesterday they were able to get the ball in the passing game and it really helped us."

Is TE Jordan Akins someone that can play wide receiver in emergency situations?

"Jordan's a very versatile guy. There's no doubt about that. Obviously, he's a tight end, but you saw him yesterday – he lined up out wide, he lines up in the slot, he lines up in the backfield. Very smart guy, can do a lot of different things."

What's the process of implementing halftime adjustments? Do you consult with your staff at the beginning of halftime?

"I talk to Romeo (Crennel) and Brad (Seely) right away when I get in. Sometimes you don't even need to do that because you already know – you've already talked before halftime if there's a TV timeout, some things we need to cover. You're always trying to kind of use the time as wisely as you possibly can. Then at halftime when we come in, go right away to meet with the offensive staff. RAC's (Romeo Crennel) with the defense, and then we give our adjustments to the guys in each unit. Brad's walking around giving adjustments to the special teams players, and then we go out. You have about eight minutes to get that done. So, you have to be thinking about that in the second quarter, if you have time to do that. Write your notes down, make sure you get all of these things covered. Came out in the second half yesterday and had a 17-play drive to start the half offensively. We did some good things at halftime. Our players understood, but it just wasn't enough."

After the game, CB Johnathan Joseph said a loss can be a good thing because a team can learn a lot from a loss. Do you agree with that?

"We'll meet with the players tomorrow, and I think I understand what J-Jo's saying. I think that no one wants to lose. It's a bottom-line business, but when you lose a game like that – we've lost four games this year by a touchdown or less. That's the NFL. These games are very, very tight. If there's six-to-eight plays in a game that are critical plays – special teams, offense and defense – and you don't make those plays – maybe you didn't coach them correctly or maybe you don't execute those plays correctly – then you're probably going to lose the game. That's the fine line that we have to flip the script on now. We have to now turn the page to the Jets, understand what they do and make sure that we're coaching and executing at the highest level because it's going to be a real challenge up there in New York."

What's the challenge for QB Deshaun Watson when playing in cold weather games? How do you prepare him for those games?

"We're going to practice outside. Our weather right now is not like it is in New York or Philly, but it's not great here right now. So, I think that's good. Then we'll just do things during practice to kind of help show him what the elements might be like to the best of our ability. At the end of the day, it's about everybody basically understanding what their jobs are and going out and doing their jobs to the best of their ability."

Will you emphasize ball security this week?

"Sure, yeah, all that kind of stuff."

Are you worried about giving up several big plays in the passing game over the last six quarters?

"I think the big thing is, when you look at the tape, on those particular plays we have not combined coverage and rush. Whether it's the rush not getting home or the coverage a little too loose. We just have to continue to work at that and clean those things up relative to who we're playing. I don't really get worried about anything. I just make sure that our guys understand where we can improve, and that's what we need to do this week."

Were you pleased with the performance of the tight ends in yesterday's game?

"Yeah, I thought (Ryan) Griff(in) obviously had a good game yesterday. Jordan Thomas made a big fourth-down catch. Jordan Akins did some real nice things, had a big play early in the game to kind of spark us on that first touchdown drive. Those guys are talented. Relative to how we operate offensively, sometimes they don't get the opportunities because of how we try to do things, especially in the passing game, but yesterday they were able to get the ball in the passing game and it really helped us."

Is TE Jordan Akins someone that can play wide receiver in emergency situations?

"Jordan's a very versatile guy. There's no doubt about that. Obviously, he's a tight end, but you saw him yesterday – he lined up out wide, he lines up in the slot, he lines up in the backfield – very smart guy, can do a lot of different things."

What's the process of implementing halftime adjustments? Do you consult with your staff at the beginning of halftime?

"(I) talk to Romeo (Crennel) and Brad (Seely) right away when I get in. Sometimes you don't even need to do that because you already know, you've already talked before halftime if there's a TV timeout, some things we're trying to cover. You're always trying to kind of use the time as wisely as you possibly can. Then at halftime when we come in, go right away to meet with the offensive staff. RAC's (Romeo Crennel) with the defense, and then we give our adjustments to the guys in each unit. Brad's (Seely) walking around giving adjustments to the special teams players, and then we go out. You have about eight minutes to get that done. So, you have to be thinking about that in the second quarter, if you have time to do that. Write your notes down, make sure you get all of these things covered. Came out in the second half yesterday and had a 17-play drive to start the half offensively. We did some good things at halftime. Our players understood, but it just wasn't enough."

After the game, CB Johnathan Joseph said a loss can be a good thing because a team can learn a lot from a loss. Do you agree with that?

"We'll meet with the players tomorrow, and I think I understand what J-Jo's saying. I think that no one wants to lose. It's a bottom-line business, but when you lose a game like that – we've lost four games this year by a touchdown or less. That's the NFL. These games are very, very tight. If there's six-to-eight plays in a game that are critical plays – special teams, offense and defense – and you don't make those plays – maybe you didn't coach them correctly or maybe you don't execute those plays correctly – then you're probably going to lose the game. That's the fine line that we have to flip the script on now. We have to now turn the page to the Jets, understand what they do and make sure that we're coaching and executing at the highest level because it's going to be a real challenge up there in New York."

Can you talk about DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney's penalty late in the game?

"Look, he's an aggressive player, and you never want to take away that aggressiveness. In that situation, he made a mistake. I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you that. Andrew (Luck) did a good job on that play. They did a good job, Frank (Reich) did a good job of getting their guys coached up on – look, there was a sense there that maybe they were going to run the football from our defensive players, from JD there. JD's a very aggressive player, he's made a lot of plays for us, we're not going to – we didn't lose the game because of that. We lost the game because we had four or five three-and-outs, we gave up 199 yards passing to one receiver, we didn't play our best game on special teams. Give the Colts a bunch of credit. They did a better job than us. I think that's really more what it came down to."

What's the difference between the games where you've been able to stop Colts WR T.Y. Hilton compared to this past game?

"I think it's that answer in the beginning that I gave you. I think in the past when we've had the combination of putting pressure on Andrew (Luck) where maybe he's got to get rid of the ball a little bit quicker, or maybe we've been able to bang T.Y. at the line of scrimmage. Different coaches, different schemes. Frank's (Reich) in there, they move them all around, very difficult to locate him. Sometimes he's out wide, sometimes he's in the slot, sometimes he's at number three, sometimes they put him in the backfield and motion him out, you have to locate him. So, look, he's a great player. I mean, he is a great player. He's got great speed, awesome route runner, very precise route runner. He and Andrew have a great chemistry and they did a good job yesterday."

Was the Colts run defense the best you've seen in a while?

"Yeah, they did a good job. We had trouble blocking the movement. We just did not perform as good as we had been performing up front and I think I've got to do a better job trying to mix it up a little bit more for our guys. So, it's a combination of coaching and playing, and hopefully we can improve this week."

Is there a difference between playing on the usual Monday, Thursday, Sunday compared to playing on Saturday this week?

"It's a shorter week, and now you're in the middle of December, so there's nothing more important than the health of your team. You've got to do a good job of making sure that these guys are rested and energized for the Saturday game. I think it's a great opportunity for us to go on the road. I think there's only another one or two other games on that day being playing in the NFL. It's a big day and it's a big challenge. The Jets, I've been watching them now all morning, last night. I don't care what anybody's record is, that's the thing. These guys – if you watch, let's just say Jamal Adams. Jamal Adams, in my opinion, is just a great safety. I mean, he can run, he can hit, he can cover, he is all over the field. Leonard Williams up front, Sam Darnold, you let him escape, you let him start making plays, you're going to be in a bind. You got to stop the run. So, it's a big challenge, but I know our guys are excited for it and we've got to have a good week here."

How does QB Sam Darnold compare to the other first-round quarterbacks you've faced so far?

"They're all different in their skillset, but there are some common themes. When you think about it, it's kind of the way that college football, high school football's being played now. These guys are very good in the pocket, they're able to deliver the ball, they're very accurate, they're smart. They really understand their own offenses and they do a good job, but then they're all able to extend plays, each in a different way. Because of their athleticism, that's really when – they're dangerous in the pocket, they're very dangerous when they get out of the pocket. They start running around, it's hard to plaster guys, keep guys disciplined enough to stay in coverage and now they can either run or they can throw it down field for big plays. They're all athletic and they all can extend plays, and that can be a challenge."

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