HEAD COACH BIILL O'BRIEN
When you talked to S Kareem Jackson about transitioning to safety, what was that conversation like?
"Basically, (I) try to keep conversations between myself and the players just that way, but what I'll say to you about that is he's a great teammate with a versatile skillset and he'll do whatever he can do to help the team win. He's always been that way for the five years that I've been here. I think the way he was brought up playing at Alabama, I think that all points toward a guy that's going to do whatever it takes to help us win."
What is it about S Kareem Jackson's skillset that made you think he would play so well at safety?
"He's a very smart guy. Very smart guy. He's got really good ball skills, he can play zone coverage, man coverage, he's a very good tackler. He just does a lot of things pretty well."
How much does S Kareem Jackson's experience factor into him making a seamless transition from cornerback at safety?
"The fact that he's played a lot of football for us was a big deal, is always – I think most of you have been around me for a while – I don't think there's any substitute for experience. His ability to know our defense and play in different spots throughout the years definitely helps."
Does S Kareem Jackson have to prepare differently during the week depending on what position he's playing on Sunday?
"Well, it's big. There's a lot that goes into playing different positions. I would also put Tyrann Mathieu in this category. Those guys play multiple positions. They play on the outside of the defense, they play on the inside of the defense. It's a lot different. There's a lot of different communication. So, I would say that there's a lot of preparation. I'm not saying that it's any more than another position, but it definitely is a ton of preparation."
What do you think has been the key to being successful in the redzone the last few weeks?
"I don't know. I think the guys – we've worked hard at it. I think the guys have executed really well what we've tried to do. I will say I do know that we've cut down on mistakes. I don't think we've had penalties. That was really killing us before. I think if you have negative plays – sacks, penalties, tackles for loss, that's going to kill you down there. I think we've avoided that for the most part the last couple of weeks, so hopefully we can continue that. Against Denver, just getting it into the red area is going to be a big challenge."
Do you feel like the general continuity along the offensive line recently has contributed to the success the past couple games?
"I think there is definitely something to be said about continuity. I think it's important that you have as much continuity as you can on the offensive line because there's so much communication that takes place, but basically it's been the same six, seven guys. – which, to me, is still decent continuity. I think the fact that you have a guy like Greg Mancz that's basically like a sixth man, that can go in there and fill in at different positions on the inside, really helps. Very smart guy. Those guys work together all the time. Zach Fulton, really smart guy, can play a bunch of different positions. So, I think it's definitely improved because of their hard work and their intelligence."
Do you like how the rookie tight ends have responded to being depended on?
"I think that Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins have improved every week. I think if they can continue to have – I really just believe that it's such an improvement league. I think if you can really put your mind to the fact that if you can really try to get better every single day, that you're going to end up being pretty good. I think those two guys – Timmy Kelly's done a really good job with them. They're taking it one day at a time, they're improving and hopefully that continues because, obviously, we're going to need them down the stretch."
Do you have a sense of where the guys are that were injured last week?
"I think we're getting closer to where maybe we have a healthier team but I think a lot of these are going to be game-time decisions."
Do you think WR Keke Coutee has made enough progress to possibly play on Sunday?
"I think he has a chance. I think that's something we'll probably have to – what is it, Friday, we'll probably have to think about possibly working him out tomorrow before the game to kind of see where he's at."
You mentioned that TE Jordan Thomas still needs to work on his blocking after transitioning from wide receiver.
"It's definitely improved, but I would say that about any young tight end, regardless of whether they moved or not. When you go from blocking – really, they didn't do a lot of that in college, so now you're going from that offense to where now we're asking you to block the edge of some of the guys we have to face in practice and then obviously on Sundays. I think he works really hard to get better and it's really improved. Like I said, hopefully, they can continue that attitude of, 'Hey, look, I'm going to really try to get better every day.' That's going to go a long way for them."
WR DEMARYIUS THOMAS
How much has your experience helped you assimilate to your new situation?
"Big, big. That's one of the things that helped me out a lot. Of course the guys, D-Hop (DeAndre Hopkins), Deshaun (Watson), (Brandon) Weeden, a lot of guys have helped me out, also."
What has stood out to you about the Texans locker room?
"Everybody gets along. It's like a family. When you've got a family and everybody can stick together, that's when you win. I just want to be a part of it and try to make it back."
What's it like to have Offensive/Special Teams Assistant Wes Welker as a coach?
"It's good. Another familiar face is always a good thing when you go to other places and make change. So, having him around also helps, too."
When you win one Super Bowl, how much does it make you want to get another one?
"A lot. After going the first time and getting whooped and then going a second time and winning, the experience of winning is totally different. The goal is to try to get it and it isn't easy at all. You've got the guys in here, you've got the guys around this team, the thing is sticking together, staying healthy and knowing it's going to be a fight every week."
Have you had any contact with your former teammates in Denver this week?
"I talked to a couple of guys, yeah. I spoke to a couple of guys."
Are you excited to play against your old team on Sunday?
"Yeah, I am. It'll be fun. I'm used to practicing against them but now I get to play against them. So, I'm going to look forward to it and I'm going to do whatever I have to do to help my squad get the W."
Will you put a little extra juice behind your performance in this game against your former team?
"I don't know if there's such thing as extra juice. I put all my juice out every week."