Houston Texans Transcripts**
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
OTA #7 – Monday, June 9, 2014
(Transcribed by Charles Hampton, Evan Koch and Amy Palcic)
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
(on if the installation schedule is on track) "Well we have two weeks left. We have this week and next week. We are on schedule. We're probably a little bit ahead of schedule on certain things like two-minute, and maybe behind schedule on a couple things like the red area, so we've got to get caught up there. We are definitely on schedule with special teams. Now when I say 'on schedule' I'm not saying it's anywhere close to where it needs to be, but install wise, the guys when they come to training camp they won't be hearing things for the first time. I think the coaching staff has done a good job of that and the guys have done a really good job of coming back to work every week and obviously studying from the previous week."
(on football operations getting the rookie contracts done quickly) "Well, we have a really good front office, as you guys know, led by Rick Smith. Chris Olsen does a great job with the contracts. Those guys work efficiently and they work well together. They communicate well and I would expect nothing less from those guys."
The Houston Texans practiced Monday at the Houston Methodist Training Center as part of Organized Training Activities.
(on how he sees the fullback position fitting in to the offense) "I think anytime you're in the draft and you have a situation where you can help your team personnel-wise on offense by drafting a fullback like Prosch, and we also have Toben Opurum here too. I think that helps your football team. Training camp will be the true test for a fullback. It will help the toughness of your football team, it helps on special teams. A two-back running game is always a good thing. I think anytime you can line up in 21 personnel and run the football, and play action, it is a good thing."
(on his impression of Jadeveon Clowney transitioning to linebacker) "He's really worked hard. That position has worked extremely hard just like all the positions. I think he's a guy that's come in here and really put in extra time so far. He needs to keep doing it. He's put in extra time in the training room to work on his flexibility. He's put in extra time on the practice field. He's being coached very well by Mike Vrabel and Romeo Crennel. I would say the same for all of those guys. Whitney (Mercilus) has gotten better every week. (Ricky) Sapp had a good week last week and looked like he had a decent day today. I think there are some young guys, (Jason) Ankrah from Nebraska looked like he's been doing some good things. I think we are on the right track there, I think the whole linebacker position is on the right track."
(on if they teach the outside linebacker position to Jadeveon Clowney all at once or pieces at a time) "I think you teach it by package, so first thing you teach is how to play the Sam position, or the right outside linebacker, left outside linebacker position in the 3-4.You start with that. That's what Romeo (Crennel) always does and I like that. There is a foundation there. Then you move from there to the next package, which was nickel and then then next package, which was dime. Sometimes he moves around. He's not always playing outside backer. Sometimes he's an end. Sometimes he's a three-technique. Sometimes he's a nose. I think you do it by package so he can in his own mind, along with all the players that do those things, they can segment in their mind and understand the importance of each package. It's not just Jadeveon. It's every player on our team—offense, defense—really has to learn it by personnel, by package. Again, it goes back to the versatility of the player. That's what we're trying to teach all these guys, to be versatile. The more you can do is better for the team."
The Texans practiced Thursday morning as part of their OTAs.
(on the role of the Director of Football Research) "Jimmy Bernhardt is our Director of Football Research. He's a very knowledgeable guy. He coached me in college. He's a guy that helps us with situational football, which includes two-minute, red area, four-minute, third down, on both sides of the ball and on specials teams. He's very involved in the rules. The rules in the NFL are updated or changed every year and so he's involved with that. He's our liaison with the officials. We'll have officials here tomorrow and Friday, so he'll be a guy that speaks with them along with myself obviously. On gameday, he'll be upstairs. He'll be watching tendencies and being aware of what situation we're in, time management, all these different things. So he does a little bit of everything and he's been a big help to me. He came with me to Penn State and he's here with me and done a great job."
(on if he will take four quarterbacks to training camp and how hard it is to divide reps to four guys) "Anytime you have four, I don't think it's easy to divide the reps. I think you can really only give three guys reps in a practice, which is basically what we've been doing. I know that's probably not the easiest for those guys, but three out of four have been getting reps. I'm not sure. We haven't really talked about the roster yet, as it relates to training camp. Again, it goes back to everything that we do will be in the best interest of the team. These quarterbacks though, I just have to tell you and everybody, the fans especially, these guys have worked extremely hard. They've all had really good moments. They're very competitive. They've been in this building seven days a week, studying on their own, studying with myself, studying with George mostly—George Godsey. They've gone out and really competed and really tried to help the team and have improved every week. It's a very competitive situation."
(on if the NFL has been in to visit with the team and discuss the new schedule and what he wants his locker room environment to be like) "I think the (NFL) is coming in during the mandatory minicamp next week, I believe, one of those days there. So they haven't been in yet. We're looking forward to them coming in because we had a lot of discussions about that, not myself, I sat and observed and listened at the owner's meeting and listened to what veteran coaches had to say. It was really, in my opinion, the best part of the owner's meeting was listening all the different issues and things all the great head coaches in this league think about when they think about respect in the locker room. I believe that we have a very respectful locker room. We have a bunch of good guys here, high-character guys. Guys that care about each other. You can see that in the way they practice, the way they take care of each other in practice. You can see that when you walk through the locker room. I meet with a group of guys every couple of weeks and talk to them about those things. I think we have a very respectful culture here and we just need to keep that going and keep the communication between the coaching staff and the players very much alive, which we will. I think that's what it's all about. It's about communication, respect for each other, respect coach to player, player to player, player to coach and I believe that's what we have here right now."
(on if that group of veteran players he meets with is a veterans committee) "I wouldn't call (that). Its different groups. I pick different groups of guys. It's not one group. One day, like you said, it might be a group of veterans that have played a lot of football in this league. Another day it might be a group of rookies. I'm working on that, continuing to meet with different groups on the team and talk to them. I speak to the team every day, which I think is important. I talk to them about the theme of the day and things that are important for that day. I believe our coaches do a great job every single day. We're very in-tune to that and our players are, too. To be honest with you, from the time we've arrived here, it's been really a neat experience to get to know these players and see what they're all about."
(on what he is evaluating the offensive and defensive lines on in OTAs after saying that the real test for them is during training camp) "I think the one of many things that we do now is their assignments, how well are they picking up what they're being taught. Their technique. How are they improving on their technique? It's difficult to evaluate an offensive and a defensive lineman when they're in no pads because obviously there's so much contact on every single play when they get their pads on. These guys have done an excellent job of taking care of each other, really have practiced like pros on both sides of the ball up front offensively and defensively. But those are some things you look for: The mental part of the game, the improvement and technique, the effort, the communication. Those are things you're looking for."