Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
WR Will Fuller V
WR Braxton Miller
Head Coach Bill O'Brien
Can you start off just talking about today and how it went?
"Yeah, good first day. These guys are a hardworking group. They have no idea yet what it means to practice the way we practice. It's not their fault. They're just out here for the first day. But we're off to a good start as far as teaching them the way that we do things and I think we're excited about this group."
With teams like the Miami Dolphins deciding to stay off the field during Rookie Minicamp, how important do you think it is to be out on the field?
"I don't think about what Miami does or any other team does. I think about what's best for the Houston Texans. I really just try to, along with our coaching staff, try to do what's best for our team."
What did you think about WR Braxton Miller today?
"All these guys are out here for the first time. I think that they all came out – their understanding of the type of conditioning level, the type of shape they have to be in, this is their first voyage into that. This is a different deal, the pace of practice, the way that we meet, we walkthrough, we practice. So I'm excited about the whole group."
Can you tell which players are from bigger college programs just by the way they act and play?
"I think when you watch tape, you really can tell about how well they're coached in different programs. But I could say that about Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, but I could also say that about some of the smaller schools that we look at, too. How much respect we have for what these college coaches do and how they train them. I think as far as your question, when each guy comes into the building, we are evaluating every thing they do for every second they are here. How they carry themselves, how they communicate with their teammates, how they meet, how they walkthrough, how they practice, so everybody gets evaluated in those terms."
Did you send videos to undrafted rookies about the coaching staff?
"Not that I know of. Not me. I didn't send out any videos. I'm sure there's some Hard Knocks clips on YouTube that they could probably watch and get a good grasp."
What is your message to your rookies?
"Well, the initial message really is about putting the team first and thinking about what you can do for the team to create your own role. We put them in a role, but how do they embrace that role? How do they create value for themselves on the team? We really talk about, they've gone from – again, not their fault – but after their college season getting ready for an individual deal like the Combine and all the different Pro Days. Now, they've got to become a part of a team. On Monday, we'll enter in the other 60 guys that are here. There are a lot of great veteran players here so they are going to have to understand they are taking a backseat now to all these guys because they are way ahead of them. What are you going to do to help the team get better, help yourself get better? But in the end, putting the team first is the big thing."
How much are you throwing at them at this stage and are you more patient right now?
"I definitely think we are patient, but I do think we throw a lot at them. We want to see how they – how do they learn, what type of questions do they ask, how fast they can pick things up. I think that's part of the early evaluation, but we're definitely patient with them. Now, if we come out here in the fifth or sixth OTA and they are making the same mistakes that they made today, then that's probably not real good. But as far as today and tomorrow, it's just about teaching them our system and seeing how well they pick things up."
Did anything in particular stand out to you today?
Does the fact you and Offensive Coordinator George Godsey saw Patriots WR Julian Edelman transition from quarterback to wide receiver help you with WR Braxton Miller?
"We have experience with those types of players, so yeah that was part of the evaluation probably. But I don't know if it was strictly Julian to Braxton. I don't think we compare players like that. But conceptually, we try to look at players that did different things in college that we might have them do here, but how does that translate to what we're going to have him do? I think conceptually in a broad view of things, we do look at it that way."
What is the challenge about going from Day 1 to Day 2 for the rookies?
"I would say – can they correct the mistakes that they made? Can they prepare their bodies better for what's going to happen tomorrow? It'll be the same deal tomorrow, same exact schedule. How do they come out here? Did they hydrate enough? Did they learn from maybe cramping up a little bit? No cramps tomorrow. How did they learn the system? Can they line up better than they lined up today? Those types of things."
What is the challenge as coaches with so many changes on offense?
"I think every year is a challenge. I really do. I think every single year is a challenge. Every year is different. I think it's a challenge to coach the guys that have been in our system for two years because they know it really well. How are we keeping their minds fresh with some of the things were doing? Every year is a challenge. The one thing I tell the coaches all the time is take nothing for granted. Let's go back to the beginning. Let's start again. Let's evaluate these guys' skill sets. See how they fit. See all the different things we can do with these guys relative to what we've done in the past. We don't force the offense on the player. We try to fit the players' skillset into some of the things that we do and see how that works. That's what we're doing right now. That's just the start of it today."
What did you see out of WR Will Fulller in the return game today?
"We had Tyler Ervin, Fuller, Braxton (Miller), a couple DBs were out there. We had about six guys out there catching punts, helping us with our drill, but also evaluating how they were catching some punts. I think they are doing it right now, too."
Does WR Will Fuller's speed stand out to you?
"I think he's a little tired today. So maybe you didn't see quite the speed today because it's hot and it's his first time out here. I think all of them were – got a little bit winded today. But I do believe that we have some guys that can run. I think the better shape that they're in tomorrow, the more you'll see that."
What did you see out of QB Chuckie Keeton today?
"Chuckie did a good job today. He got in there and called the plays. A smart kid. He was able to break the huddle and deliver the ball. I was really happy to see what Chuckie was able to do today."
WR Will Fuller V
How was the first day?
"It was good. Just trying to get acclimated."
What did you think about the first day working in the new system?
"It's a lot faster out here but I'm going to get the grasp of it."
How does feel to be here after putting in all the work?
"It feels real good but it's time to get some work in now. I'm finally out here, so I'm excited to get some work in."
How did it feel to show the coaches what you can do today?
"It feels good. I'm just going to do my job. They put me in the right place, so I'm just happy the quarterback threw it my way."
What's it like working with the coaching staff?
"It's great. I love everybody here."
Do you feel any extra pressure being the first-round draft pick?
"No, not at all. Everybody has a job to do. Everyone is going to come in and work hard, so that's what I'm going to do here, come in, work hard and wherever that takes me, that's where I'm going to go."
You spent some time fielding punts. What are some things you're working on?
"Just getting comfortable fielding punts. I practiced it before but there are a lot of things I can get better at, so that's why I'm out there practicing catching punts."
A lot was made about how fast this draft class is. How does it feel putting everyone together on the same field?
"It feels good. It's good to get with some of the guys you heard about in college. But we all have a lot of room to improve to live up to our standards and play faster."
What do you want to show out there this minicamp?
"Just that I'm going to work hard, come in and learn the playbook as fast as possible and do everything fast."
You have a past experience with Head Coach Bill O'Brien. What was it like working with him again?
"I wouldn't say it really felt like anything. Everything was moving so fast my first day. It felt good to just get out here on the field. It's been a while."
What things are you working on to create chemistry with the quarterbacks and your other teammates?
"Just doing everything fast, not taking any plays off so we can get in a good rhythm."
How do you feel about your performance today?
"A lot of room to improve. I've got to get acclimated."
How did it feel to catch that one long touchdown today?
"It feels pretty good, I guess. But like I said, a lot of room to improve."
How much different does an NFL practice feel compared to a college practice?
"A lot different. I was a lot more comfortable with my system in college. I felt like the game was a lot slower in college. Right now, I've got a lot of catching up to do. The vets have been playing for countless number of years, so I've got a lot of catching up to do."
Are you getting situated in Houston?
"We are staying in a hotel right now, so wherever they need me to be I'm going to be there."
How much time did you spend fielding punts in college?
"I always practiced it. I didn't get in to the game too much, but every practice I was fielding punts."
What will it be like going up against the veterans on this team in press coverage?
"It's real important with the vets. They know what they are doing and they know how to get in to your chest. It's just taking coaching well and using your technique to the best of your ability."
What is one thing that is different today from what you expected?
"Just how fast it was. That's about it. It's really fast. High intensity."
When you came out here today, did you just put everything you've accomplished in the past behind you?
"It always feels good to get back on the field especially at the highest level. It definitely felt good to get out here."
Did you do a double take when you saw Nick Martin in the locker room today?
"I wouldn't say so. I saw him all at Notre Dame, but it's great to have him here. We'll have some fun."
WR Braxton Miller
Talk about your relationship with University of Houston Head Coach Tom Herman.
"Oh yeah, my man Tom, he's good people. From 2012 to 2014, we've had a good relationship."
Herman talks about you being one of the most explosive players he's ever been around, what do you think about that?
"I just want to enhance my game, help the Houston Texans. That's why Coach Bill O'Brien drafted me and I just want to be the best player I can be for the Houston Texans."
What did you think about the first rookie minicamp today?
"Oh man, I love it, it's football. I'm just happy to be here and just enhance my game, help the guys that are on the team."
When you say enhance your game, what exactly are you talking about?
"You know, just being consistent and make sure I come out here and work hard, don't leave any regrets."
Do you feel comfortable at wide receiver now? Does it feel like home to you?
"Yeah, just playing football feels like home. I just want to keep perfecting my craft and learning from the guys, the vets, just come out here with an open mind that I've got to get better every day."
What did it feel like walking onto an NFL practice field for the first time?
"It's a blessing, just coming out here on an NFL practice field, one of the best places, I can't be more grateful."
How different is an NFL practice from a college practice?
"Coach Bill (O'Brien), he knows how to get it. He works his players and that's how we get in shape and how once it comes game time, we're in good condition. We just want to play hard every day we can."
How acclimated do you feel to play in the heat out here?
"Yeah, it's something different coming from Ohio. You've just got to hydrate, stretch and do extra stuff, cold tank and just see the trainers."
How special is it to be in this situation at this level?
"It's a blessing, absolutely a blessing and playing for the Houston Texans is a blessing. I thank every coach that's on this staff for taking me in."
How much do you know about the offensive system here, do you like it and do you think you'll fit in?
"Absolutely, just making plays, just being a playmaker, just every chance I get when I touch the ball, just make a difference when I touch the ball, be a playmaker."
Do you have a preference for where you're going to be?
"I'm just happy to be out here. I'm happy to be out here catching balls, running around and being coached by the best."
What do you think about working in the return game?
"Whatever coach needs me to do, I'm going to do."
How familiar are you with the Houston area?
"Not familiar, but it's my new home."