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Texans Transcripts: Monday media session


Head Coach Bill O'Brien**
(on if he has put more thought into a change at quarterback) "We've thought about a lot of things. Schematically, position changes, things like that. It's not anything that we've come to a decision on at this point. We're going back in there at 3:30, we're going to keep talking, we're going to keep watching tape, we're going to meet with the guys tomorrow, we're going to continue to practice, try to get better at the things we need to get better at. It is what it is right now."

(on what he's seen from QB Ryan Mallett) "I think he's a guy that works extremely hard in practice, which is totally different than in the game, but in practice he seems to have good command of what we're doing and he's come in here with good knowledge of the offense. You know, he's been in this system for a while now and he knows the system. He's worked extremely hard in practice."

(on an update to RB Arian Foster's status) "No. Nothing new."

(on if he was able to speak with OLB Jadeveon Clowney about social media use) "He and I, we tweeted back and forth last night. I went on Spacebook, he went on Twitter. We were on different, like—I mean, I don't know. This guy wants to play football. He's trying to get better to get back on the field. I'm not going down this Twitter road. I don't even know what that is, really, to be honest with you. Instagram, my kid was trying to talk to me about it last night. Like, 'this is what Instagram is, daddy'. I don't know. We're moving on from that. We're moving on."

(on if he has an update on CBs Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson) "I don't. I think that those guys, when I say that I mean that, they will definitely be day to day. They'll be guys that we have to check in with every day, especially with the nature of what their injuries are. We'll just kind of see how they are tomorrow and the next day. I think the bye is coming at a good time for things like that. Hopefully they'll be healed up."

(on if RB Arian Foster is day-to-day) "No doubt about it. No doubt about it."

(on if RB Arian Foster and CB Kareem Jackson had MRIs) "No."

(on if CB Kareem Jackson has knee ligament or cartilage issues) "No. I didn't say anything about a knee."

(on an announcement that CB Kareem Jackson had a knee injury) "I don't know who announced that. I didn't announce that."

(on an announcement in the press box that CB Kareem Jackson had a knee injury) "I heard he had a toothache. I have to get on the same page with Kap (Geoff Kaplan), but I didn't announce the knee. You didn't hear that one from me. I didn't hear that one. I don't know. Day- to-day."

(on if CB Kareem Jackson has a knee) "Does he have a knee? He has two knees. Not that I know of."

(on what the injury to CB Kareem Jackson is) "It's day-to-day, whatever it is. It's always day to day. Come on, man. It's been nine months now. You know the drill."

(on CB Cary Williams saying WR Andre Johnson didn't look like the same guy as he was used to and what he's seen from Johnson) "I see great effort, great focus. I mean, if you're asking me to comment on Cary Williams, I have no comment on that. I don't even know what he's talking about. All I know is what I see every day is great focus, great effort, great teammate. A guy that is going out there every day and trying to get better and help his teammates get better, and that's what I see every day."

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick being last in the league on third down) "Again, it's just a matter of hard work and getting back into a better rhythm in practice, understanding the reads better just overall. I just think it's everything that he's going to do. He's going to work extremely hard to play at a more consistent level like all of the players need and all of the coaches have to coach at a more consistent level. We all- we're 4-5. It's like the old saying goes. You are what you're record says you are. 4-5 is a mediocre record and it's a sign of an inconsistent team, and so like what I told the team this morning. There is a lot of football left. There are seven games left. You can look through the history of this league. Teams that were 5-5, 4-5 at this time, and certain teams went one direction and other teams went another direction. We've got to find a way to go in the right direction. It's all about us, including that position, become more consistent."

(on the potential of a late season push affecting the decision to make a quarterback change or not) "I think we're at a point now, nine games in, where we have to look at all of our personnel, all of our schemes and try to do what's best for the team, at any position. It doesn't really matter what position it is, we have to just really take this bye week, players and coaches, to really individually think about what we can do better to make our team better, to make our unit better. As a coaching staff, we always have to look at what's best for the team and make that decision that's best for the team no matter what position it is."

(on if CB Darryl Morris will be able to play) "I think he will. I think he was close last week. He actually practiced a couple of times, but I mean you talk about a tough kid. He tried to go out there and practice and he was having trouble transitioning off of—his was an ankle. He has two ankles and one of them was hurt. He was having trouble transitioning off of one of them and I think he'll be closer to playing, especially with the bye week."

(on how CB Andre Hal played) "I'll tell you what. He competes. He's a smart player. He's a young player. He's going to lean every time out there things that he can do better. He competes on special teams, made a couple plays there. He made some plays on defense, gave up some plays. I'm sure there are some plays that he wishes he had back. Competitive kid, a lot of fun to coach and I think he'll get better and better with more experience."

(on how impresses he was with the defensive players that filled in for injured players yesterday) "Dre (Andre Hal) is one of those guys. Jumal Rolle went in there and played a lot, had two interceptions. Those guys really have tried to step up. The linebackers in place of Brian Cushing, you know, (Mike) Mohamed, (Justin) Tuggle, John Simon has come in there and played a lot of football. Those guys have really stepped up and made some plays. Are there things that they could do better? Certainly, but with more experience and the more they play they'll get better and better. I thought the two guys, yesterday, on defense that really played a whale of a game were obviously (J.J.) Watt—J.J. disrupts so many plays during the game—and then I thought Whitney Mercilus played a really good football game yesterday."

(on what the team does from controlling the frustration) "I think any time you lose, it's hard. Losing is never acceptable. We don't accept losing. It's very hard. It doesn't sit with you very well. It's hard to sleep. It affects everything. Losing affects everything. It affects your drive home. It affects your walk into work. It affects everything. The frustration is that there are things that we can do coaching wise, like schematically. Could we have come up with a better scheme on third down, both sides of the ball? The players are frustrated. Maybe if I didn't jump offside, maybe that play would have worked. Maybe if I had made the right read there that play would have worked. Maybe if I had been in the right gap I would have been in a better position to tackle. The guys are great guys. They're very hard on themselves and they know that this game in the NFL is very, very close. All these games are close. I tell them all the time. It's an 8-8 league. It's a league that is set up for parity. It's an 8-8 league and so it's the teams that make the least amount of mistakes that are going to win. That is what our team has to get better at understanding and doing."

(on if he is surprised there has been this much inconsistency this long into the season) "I would never use the word surprised. You can't be surprised when you're in this profession. You have to be adaptable. You have to be ready for anything. You don't really ever use that word. You use the word of frustration in some ways. You use the word, the phrase maybe of 'What can we do better?' We talk a lot about as a coaching staff with our players that we're really all in it together. There is no finger pointing. It's not like one guy's fault. You guys keep asking about the quarterback position, which is good. That's fine, but at the end of the day you can't point to one position and say, 'Man, it's all on this guy or that guy.' It's everybody offensively kind of coming together and understanding how we communicate, how the play needs to be executed and then what we're looking for to execute that play against. That's kind of our offense. We've got to do it in a better rhythm and when we do, when we have and it's come together, it looks pretty good. It's just not been near enough. We have to figure out over this bye week how we get it more consistent and do it more."

(on what makes him think QB Ryan Fitzpatrick can still change) "I think every year is different. I don't think it matters how many years you've been into your career. I don't think that matters. I mean, I've been coaching for 20-something years and every day is different for me. I'm trying to figure out something new every day. I think as a player every year is different. His system that he's playing in is different. He's always going to look to improve certain things. John (McClain) talked about third downs; we've all got to get better at third downs. Footwork, throwing mechanics, the guy works really hard. It's not from a lack of work ethic. I think every year is different. It doesn't matter if you've been doing it for one year or six months or 10 years. You're always looking to get better."

(on if quarterbacks can get change habits when they've been playing for a long time) "There are certain things that you can maybe get into a habit on, which maybe those things fall under that. You're not really going to change his throwing mechanics as much as maybe you're going to maybe change what he's looking at so he can be more accurate with the pass, things like that. But yeah, you're not going to really change a guy once he's 29, 30 years old, change how he throws the ball. But what I'm saying is that it's a new system, and he's learning about it every day and he's trying to get better and better within that system every day."

(on QB Tom Savage's progression) "I think he had a good week last week. He's a young player. He's working really hard. He studies a lot. He gets a lot of reps on the scout team. He's working out in the weight room quite a bit, trying to change his body that way. Get stronger and get more durable and things like that is something that he's going to need throughout his career. I think he's a young player getting better every day."

(on if he was going to make change when he would make a change) "What change are we talking about?"

(on if he was going to make a change at quarterback when we would make the change) "I haven't said anything about a change at quarterback, so that's just a speculative question that I'm not going to answer. If I change the left guard, like any position you're talking about, I'm not going down that road of changing any position."

(on the timeline of when he would make a positional change relative to the upcoming game) "On any position, if I made any position change, I wouldn't wait until the day before the game to make the change."

(on why he thinks OLB Whitney Mercilus is playing so much better lately) "I think when you get that many reps and you play that much and you do that much in practice, like this guy takes scout team reps. You work as hard as he's worked, I think he's a good example for younger players on our team. He is really in here early, he stays late, he practices hard, he's always lifting weights, stretching out, finding ways to get better and I think with the more experience you get, especially in our system, the better you're going to play with that type of work ethic, and I think that's what you're seeing from Whitney."

(on if there is one thing he can hang his hat on coming out of the bye week) "This team plays very hard. This team plays very, very hard. This team will play hard. This team will play hard for 60 minutes or however long the game lasts. This team is going to play extremely hard, and I'm proud of that."

(on WR Andre Johnson sounding very frustrated with his role in the offense) "We're all frustrated. We all want to get better, so I'm sure he's frustrated. He wants to catch more passes. We want him to catch more passes, but hopefully we're all in it together and we all just continue to get better."

T Duane Brown
(on what it takes to win close games) "Just focus. Focus, penalties, turnovers, just being mentally into the game. It's never a lack of effort or a lack of want to. It just comes down to focus on details of the plays or details of your technique. That's just what it comes down to for us most of the time."

(on if the bye week is coming at a good time) "Yeah, the bye week, I mean this is a long season. We've been working hard since August. A lot of us have been working since April or May. It's definitely a good time to get away and just reevaluate yourself, reevaluate the team and what we need to do to be more successful. The bye week is always good and I think it comes at the midway point, so it's really good to us for us to get rid of the game some and kind of relax our minds and refocus when it's time to."

(on what he thinks of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's play this year) "I think he's been playing well. I think we haven't made it easy for him at all. I got a chance to watch the game and I mean it's tough to make the throws you want to make when you have guys in your face. Those guys brought some good blitzes that kind of took him off of his spot some. It's just our job to continue to try to protect him the best that we can. I think our offense is really built around our run game and we weren't able to run the ball effectively. When we're able to run the ball consistently, it elevates his play and gives us a better chance to win. I think it's always a total team effort. This game of football is a total team effort, so you can't ever pinpoint position or one player and criticize them too much. I don't think he deserves as much criticism or harsh criticism that he's getting."

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
(on what he saw from the game offensively) "I've looked at it. We'll look at is as squad with the coaches here in a little bit. We had some opportunities out there and I didn't do a good enough job of executing and getting the ball to our guys on the outside."

(on the tight ends not being involved in the passing game) "I think it's a week-to-week deal. We touched on it a little bit last week or maybe the week before just about having guys like Andre (Johnson) and DeAndre (Hopkins) and Arian (Foster), guys that you really want to get involved, get as many touches as you can, as many opportunities as you can. I missed one to Garrett (Graham) yesterday. I think it's more a matter of that. Just trying to get those guys on the outside involved."

(on if it was a lack of execution or something the Eagles were doing yesterday) "I think it was both. You have to give them credit. They did a good job defensively with some of the stuff that they did with their scheme and obviously they have good players over there as well. There was a lack of execution on our part as well that I think we left a lot of plays out there."

(on how he evaluates himself over the season) "We'll take a few days here, having the bye, today and the next few days to kind of reevaluate what's going on, the things that have gone well for us this year and the things that haven't, and try to find some answers as to why. So I think maybe we'll be able to answer that thing a little bit better on Wednesday or next week from taking a look at all of the film and slowing it down and figuring out common themes in terms of success and why we're having success and the lack of execution and why it's happening."

(on Bill O'Brien saying all positions will be evaluated and if anything has been said to him) "No. I think that's, especially sitting at 4-5, all teams are going to do that, look for a way to get better during the bye week. Like I just said, I think they'll evaluate everything. For me, I've got to go back and do a self-evaluation and look at all the plays that we've made and the plays that we've left out there and figure it out. That's what the next few days will be for is kind of having some of those discussions and talks and trying to get to the bottom if it and figuring things out."

(on how he would feel if Bill O'Brien came to him and said the team would switch to QB Ryan Mallett) "I don't live in the hypothetical world there."

(on if he is concerned that RB Arian Foster will be out for an extended period) "I don't know what's going on there. I think we're fortunate to have the bye, but I have no idea in terms of his status."

WR DeAndre Hopkins
(on the locker room) "It's all positive vibes in the locker room. Nobody has their head down. It's the NFL, so it's a long season."

(on his production in yesterday's game) "My team lost, so my production really doesn't matter. It doesn't say DeAndre Hopkins won."

(on how much tougher it is going into the bye with a loss) "We've got a lot of leaders on this team. They're going to keep everybody's emotions up. Nobody is going to get down in this locker room. We know we have a good team and we know we have a long season to go. We're not hanging our heads on this loss."

(on how the team feels about having a lot of games left to play) "We still feel like we're in it. Like I said, it's a long season. We've got a lot of games to play. We're not going to hang our heads on this loss. We're going to look up. We've got Cleveland after the bye week. That's what we're going to focus on now."

(on having four more division games and a game against Indianapolis) "We're not looking ahead to that. We're just focusing on our next game, which is Cleveland right now."

(on his plans for the bye week) "Not sure yet. Might go home and hang out with my family a little bit."

(on how important it is to get good work done with the bye week coming up) "It's always good to have that bye week. Couldn't come at a better time, really at the halfway point for us. It's good. Guys get away and get some rest and come back focused."

(on how beneficial it is to have a bye in Week 9 or 10) "This is only my second season, so I can't really speak about that, the advantages or disadvantages of a bye week."

(on the play of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) "Ryan is a hard worker, he's going to go out and give it his all. He's a hard-fighting guy. Fourth quarter, you saw he was out there running for the extra yard, you know, giving up his body to get the first down. A lot of people they don't really see the little stuff. All they see is the big picture, incompletions. He's going to go out and give it his all, no matter what."

(on the grade he'd give the offense through the first nine games) "No comment."

(on his confidence in QB Ryan Mallett) "No comment."

WR Andre Johnson
(on if he felt he was wasted in yesterday's game) "No comment."

(on if he felt like he was a decoy in yesterday's game) "No comment."

(on Eagles CB Cary Williams discussing his play yesterday) "That's the way it's supposed to be. Trying to help the team win. I can only do what I can do. I can't control everything else. I only can control what I can. That's it. I can't block, I can't cover guys, I can't throw the ball. All I can do is run routes and try to get open and catch the ball."

(on if he's been open and not getting the ball) "I don't know. You watch the games right?"

(on how frustrating things are this season) "It's frustrating because you know your talents, but it is what it is."

(on if he sees a light at the end of a tunnel) "I don't know. We'll see."

(on if he will address his frustration with Coach O'Brien) "I don't really think there is much to talk about."

(on if he would welcome a change at quarterback) "That's out of my control. Coach is going to do what's best for the team. That's their decision. I don't have nothing to do with that."

(on if there were discussions with the team or his representation to seek a trade) "Not to my knowledge."

(on if he's ever been as down as he is right now) "I'm good. I'm living life. I'm not down."

(on how he would describe his emotions right now) "Trying to help the team win."

(on how close the team is to making a playoff run) "We've got to become more consistent. We've got to become consistent as a group. It's not just one side of the ball. We have to become consistent as a whole team."

(on what it's like to have someone question his effort) "Maybe they see something that I don't see, somebody else don't see.

(on if it bothers him that someone would say he's not into the game) "I mean, I'm out there playing, so I don't know. Like I said, maybe other people see something that maybe some other people don't see."

(on how tough the current team situation is right now) "We're 4-5. We have seven games left. Still a lot of games to be played, so I wouldn't say that I'm going to walk around with head hung or anything like that. Trying to do whatever I can to help the team win."

(on if he thinks the team should be better right now) "Yeah. I think we should be better. We haven't been better."

(on what would get excited about this team right now) "Winning."

(on what he's doing on his time off) "Get far away from here."

(on if he's going back to Miami) "Ain't no telling."

(on if getting away during bye this season is different than in the past) "I just need to go like and island or something."

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