Houston Texans Transcripts**
Head Coach Bill O'Brien and Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
OTA #8 – Tuesday, June 10, 2014
(Transcribed by Seth Medvin)
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(statement on David Quessenberry) "I just wanted to make a quick statement on David Quessenberry. Over the last few days we learned of David Quessenberry's diagnosis with lymphoma. We just want everyone to know, most especially David Quessenberry and his family, that we are very much in his corner. One thing that stood out to me personally and our coaching staff, we've been over there to visit him, is what an impressive young man this guy is. He is a guy that wanted his team to know right away; his teammates to know that he was going to fight this thing and he was going to beat it. We're all behind him. We know that he is going to do that. He is at the best medical facility, cancer facility, for what he has over there at MD Anderson, and they've been great with him. Just again, from our staff and our team to David and his family, we're all in his corner. We look forward to the day that he beats it and returns to the Houston Texans."
Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel
(opening statement) "I had an opportunity to talk to Coach O'Brien about taking the job down here. After visiting with him, I liked what he was about. I think he is a football guy and enjoys football. He enjoys coaching the team. I was excited about that and thought this was a good situation. I think it is good ownership, good organization and good general manager. A lot of positives, and good players too. I looked at the record from last year; all of the games were close games. I know being in the league as long as I have, there is a thin line between winning and losing. I felt that this was a good situation, could be a good situation. Of course everyone thinks when you are 2-14 that you are no good. Your record is what it is, but from what I saw on tape, I saw guys hustling, I saw guys giving effort and guys being in the game in the fourth quarter. That indicated to me that maybe they weren't that far away. We have a challenge of coming in, trying to win games and quote 'turning things around.' I think it is a
The Texans hit the fields at Houston Methodist Training Center for the eighth day of Organized Training Activities.
good challenge. I think we are up to it and are working hard at it. The players are working hard at it trying to learn a new system. I think we're making progress at that. We're not where we need to be and we'll continue to work to get where we need to be, but that's part of the process and that's part of football- particularly when you are a new staff coming in and changing things up and doing things differently. On the defensive side there are some good players. Some of them are coming off of injuries. Some of them are learning new positions. So far, everyone has been working very hard and everyone has been paying attention in the media room. I have no complaints about their effort and with what they are doing. We are going to continue the rest of this week and go into minicamp next week and then we'll get some time off and get back in for training camp. I think that is when we really find out what we have. Like I've said in the past, everyone looks good in shorts. We've been in shorts so everyone can look good shorts. You've got to put the pads on because this is a contact game and a physical game. We've got to find out what the guys can do with pads on. Then I think we'll know what we have and exactly what we are working with at that time."
(on hearing the news about David Quessenberry) "I tell you, we are all disappointed that he has to deal with that issue. We also know that this is part of life and you have to deal with it. I think the thing that we have to do for him is to be as supportive as we can because I know that it is a tough thing that he has to go through. If we can be supportive and give him encouragement, then that can help the battle that he has to fight. We've talked to him about fighting that battle, being strong and doing everything he can to get back on the football field."
(on if he noticed anything different David Quessenberry) "I'm new, so I didn't really know. He was just out there and trying to work. I know Coach O'Brien that everything was up to par with him, and it turned out it wasn't'. We just try to encourage him now with the things that he has to deal with."
(on working with a player like J.J. Watt) "He's pretty good, I believe. That is one of the things that I've noticed about him. He's pretty good. He's a pleasure to work with because he gives you everything he's got all of the time. From a coaching standpoint, that is what you want from a player. You want the player to give you everything he has. We tell the guys to do your best and then you let the chips fall where they may. His best is pretty good."
(on the nose tackle position in the 3-4 defense) "To play the 3-4 defense, you have to be good down the middle. That starts with the nose. Hopefully you can get a guy that commands double teams because if he commands double teams, then someone is going to be free. We tell them that you have to command the double team and then beat the double team at the line of scrimmage to get somebody free because if you get double teamed and get knocked five yards back, chances are someone is not going to be free and there is going to be a big hole in the defense. Nose is critical. He has to be able to win one-on-one, force the double team and then not get killed on the double team. Then that allows the linebackers behind him to be good. It allows the free safety down the middle of the field to be good. Therefore, it allows you to be good down the middle. Because of the way we play the technique, generally we've had bigger guys to be along that front. Then we try to put the more athletic guys on the edge of the defense to let them make plays there."
(on what he's seen from Jadeveon Clowney) "I think he is coming along fine. He is studious. He is studying and he's trying to learn the system. He is making that transition a little bit, but it doesn't seem to slow him down or hinder him. He's still a rookie and I tell everyone, rookies are making rookie mistakes. That is what they do. Until he can get settled and feel confident in all of his assignments, and then he can become reactive, then I think he will show better at that time. Right now his head is spinning just like all of the rookies. Their heads are spinning because we've thrown a lot at them. They are working at it and they make their mistakes and learn. They come back the next day, try to improve and don't make the same mistakes again."
(on a timetable for Jadeveon Clowney's development) "There is no real timetable. Everyone learns differently. Everyone goes at a different rate. We're going to teach him as hard as we can and if he studies as hard as he can, then it will be sooner rather than later. We all know that we are going to play games in the fall, so we would like for him to be ready by then for sure. We'll just keep working with him and he's making progress."
(on Brian Cushing and his missing time while recovering from injury) "He seems to be pretty sharp at picking things up. He's been in the meetings. He's got some terminology and he can make some calls and things like that. I don't think the meetings can replace being on the field and getting it first-hand. Things happen pretty quick out there on the field. You have to be able to get used to the tempo of the field. When you're not out there, you can't get used to that tempo. He's going to pick it up, I can tell already. We've got to get him out there so he can see and react already."
(on coaching with Mike Vrabel) "Probably as special as it was when I had a chance to coach Mike Vrabel. Mike is one of those studious guys. He's a competitive guy. He's a hard worker. He coaches that way as well. He is like the player who played for me. It feels good to have him on my side."
(on if he ever thought Mike Vrabel would be coaching) "You never really know. You know that the guys is sharp and has a good football mind, but I know that in the past players weren't crazy about going into coaching. Now, more players want to get into coaching a little bit. Sometimes their experience makes the difference in whether they stick or stay. Some of them give it a try and then decide they don't like it. Some of them get to a good situation, things go good and they like it, and then they are committed to it. Mike is committed to coaching. He's a good coach and will be a good coach."
(on returning to the game) "Like I said, when you look at the defense, the organization and you look at the people, I think with myself that I am at the stage in my career where people are important. We all want to win, but if you've got good people and you can work with good people, that make the job easier in my mind. I just felt that this situation was a good situation. I felt that the people were good people and that would enjoy working with them. That made it easier for me to come and give it a shot."
(on position battles at right end and safety) "I feel pretty decent about them. We've got competitive guys. One, I've got Kendrick Lewis that I had in Kansas City, so I know what he is about. We've got Chris Clemmons, who we picked up. He's a good guy and has good experience. He's been playing in this league. I kind of value experience a little bit. So those two guys help me at that spot. As far as the line goes, I really didn't know about the line because we lost guys in free agency. The guys that have been here haven't played that much. So far, I'm impressed with what I see and I think they are going to be pretty competitive."
(on what he's seen from Louis Nix III) "Well, he got himself banged up early and so his knee was an issue. He hasn't as much of an opportunity. I can tell he is a sharp guy and a guy with wits about him. His head is spinning as well. I think as soon as that knee gets well -he's a big, strong, physical player and he has played the nose position, and so he knows how to play it- I think that will all bode well for him."
(on familiarity with former players he has coached now with the team) "I think it is important. One, they know what I am looking for and they can tell the players here about me, what I am looking for and what the defensive scheme requires. Players sometimes when they talk to another player, they will listen a little bit better than maybe when the coach tells him. I think that it is helpful to have a couple guys like that. Take Mike Vrabel, he's a guy that has played the defensive line, linebacker, outside backer and inside backer, he can talk to these guys, coach them and tell them about a lot of things about playing in this scheme that will benefit them."
(on using J.J. Watt in the current defensive system) "I see putting J.J. on the field and letting him make the plays that he's been making because I have not seen a defense yet that did not use playmakers. If you've got a playmaker, you're going to use the playmaker. J.J. is a playmaker. You'll find out that you have to be flexible and you have to adapt in the NFL from game to game, week to week and sometimes day to day. We'll do what we need to do to put the best football players on the field and to play with them."
(on building the defense starting with the line) "Sure, I still believe that. Like I say, you've got to have those big, strong and physical guys on the inside to make the inside of the defense good and then you can put those athletic guys on the edge and let them flash a little bit. They're not allowed if the guys inside don't do their jobs. We've got to be good on the inside."
(on what he has seen from D.J. Swearinger) "I like D.J. He's a competitive guy. I like the fact that he is competitive. I like the fact that he can cover tight ends. Everyone once in a while we'll throw him on a wide receiver. He covers backs out of the backfield. It looks like he is pretty aggressive and wants to mix it up as far as being in the box sometimes. I think he brings a lot to the able."
(on whether he sees Brooks Reed as primarily an inside linebacker) "Not totally. We're giving him a look on the inside. I think what that does is that increases our flexibility that if you can go inside and get it done inside, I know that he can get it done outside because he played outside last year. Now I feel like I can put him at either spot depending on what the needs are. He's a value to us."
(on what he's seen from Whitney Mercilus) "He's playing at the outside linebacker spot right now. I'm one of those guys that I feel that guys have to earn their position. (Jadeveon) Clowney, I know he is the number one (pick), but he has to earn his spot in my eyes. He is trying to learn and if he learns, then chances are he will get playing time. If he doesn't learn, then he probably won't get as much playing time. That is where Mercilus, he's going to be there and he's going to play. If it's Brooks (Reed), Brooks is going to play. I still feel like I can go out there and line up. Now with Clowney and his ability, if he comes along, then Brooks having the ability to go inside just makes us better I believe."
(on Jadeveon Clowney playing primarily at outside linebacker) "I think at this point that is what we are looking at, a transition of a rush end trying to become a linebacker. Only time will tell if he can make that transition or not. One, he has really good athletic ability. He has size, speed and I think he has deceptive strength. He's got the tools. Now the thing is the dropping in pass coverage, the route recognition and all of those kind of things that you know, you just don't learn them overnight. You've got to get reps at them."
(on his previous relationship with Bill O'Brien) "I really didn't have a relationship with him. I didn't know him at all. That is why I wanted to sit down and talk to him. After talking to him, I felt that he was a football guy. Football was important to him and winning was important to him. That is where he was going to put his efforts. I think that is what I was looking for, someone where football was important and he is going to give everything he's got to the team. I felt that I wanted to be a part of it."
(on his reputation in the coaching world) "I'm just one guy. There are a lot of coaches in the NFL. They all work very hard. They all put in time. Like I told you, there is a thin line between winning and losing and a thin line between being good and bad. I've been fortunate in my career and I'm blessed, and I appreciate that, but I can give me a dollar and a half with that and buy a cup of coffee. That is just the way this business is. It is what have you done for me lately, and I haven't done anything lately. I've got to work to try and get something done."
(on how he has changed as a coach from his early years) "I don't yell and scream as much as I used to. When I was younger, I yelled and screamed more."