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Texans Transcripts: October 10

HEAD COACH BILL O’BRIEN

Opening Statement

“So, just on the roster, we promoted Mike Tyson to the active roster, we signed cornerback Robert Jackson and tight end Jerell Adams to the practice squad and we had to place Kayvon Webster on injured reserve. So, that’s that.”

Can you give us an updated on QB Deshaun Watson?

“Everybody’s working hard to get ready for the Bills and other than that, I’ll let the injury report speak for itself.”

What can he do to better protect himself?

“Some of it is coaching, some of it’s some decisions, and again, like I said the other day, two of the plays where he took a hit where he was trying to score touchdowns. So, very competitive guy and does a great job of moving. Sometimes the ball can come out a little bit quicker, sometimes the play can be better, but we’re all working hard to improve every area of the offense.”

Do you feel like QB Deshaun Watson has a chance to play on Sunday?

“Oh, yeah.”

Do you think the beating that QB Deshaun Watson took helped you get your point across to him?

“It’s something that I say all the time, I think that there’s no substitute for experience. I don’t think you can substitute – you can teach, you can coach, you can practice, you can do all kinds of things, but at the end of the day, the experience that you gain from live action in a regular season, live game, you can’t replace that.”

What do you think of Bills QB Josh Allen as a young guy with a lot of tools?

“Yeah, lot of tools, you got it right. Very strong arm, very smart guy, he’s got great enthusiasm about him, he’s really good with his feet, just because he’s a big guy doesn’t mean he can’t move. He can move. He’s making a lot of plays with his feet, as well as his arm, can make all the throws, very, very dangerous guy and a young player. So, a guy that you don’t really have a lot of tape on, relative to pro football, so it’s a big challenge for us.”

When you saw WR DeAndre Hopkins make that great run, were you thinking about the next play or did you have a chance to see what an extraordinary play it was?

“You’re absolutely right, you’re thinking about how you’re going to handle that situation after the ball where he spun twice and then we were in field goal range. ‘What are you going to do next?’ We felt at that point we were really in field goal range that we could run the football and try to get the ball a little bit close, but make sure that we got the ball in the right area of the field for Ka’imi (Fairbairn).”

When you saw WR DeAndre Hopkins run on film, what did you think?

“He’s a much improved player. He’s a great player. One of the things that he’s done is he’s really worked hard over the five years that we’ve had him at running after the catch, and he’s really done a good job of that. I think in the past couple games we’ve had close to 300 yards of yards after catch, and he has a lot of those. The only thing I ever talk to him about is taking care of the ball. But, he’s done a great job, on that play in particular, just has a tremendous will to win and did a great job on that play.”

What sets Bills RB LeSean McCoy apart?

“Man, it’s a long list that makes him good. He’s very fast, very quick, elusive, great vision, three-down back, can do it all, not only in the running game, but in the passing game. He’s a great player.”

Did you see improvement in the WR Keke Coutee’s first game to his second?

“Definitely. Yeah, definitely. I think it’s the same answer I would give to the question about Deshaun (Watson). I think there’s no substitute for that experience. And when you’re hardworking guys like those two guys are, you’re definitely going to get better because you’re going to work at the things that you need to improve on and you’re never satisfied. I think that’s what makes Keke a really good young player, that he takes a very serious approach to his daily routine and he definitely is getting better and better.”

How do you think S Justin Reid has performed?

“Very good. Another guy in that same category of a young player that really takes his job very seriously, approaches his daily routine in a very business-like manner and he’s really improved a lot. He does a lot for us. He’s involved heavily in special teams and obviously, on defense – made a big play in the game the other night. So, really doing a good job.”

What does it take to build a solid redzone offense?

“You have to be good in practice, you have to do a great job of practice. If it’s the running game, you definitely have to be very good at understanding what type of defense you’re running against and how you want to run it. You really have to cover people up in the running game. Negative plays down there kill you, penalties kill you, sacks kill you, TFLs kill you. In the passing game, guys have to move quickly, they have to get open quickly and decisions need to be made quickly. I think, when you look at our red area, those things are way too inconsistent and really not very good. So, that’s an area where we’re going to work hard this week to improve. That’s all we can do. is really just work hard to improve it.”

What do you make of Buffalo’s defense?

“Buffalo, let’s start with the defensive line, we’ve been playing – I’ve been coaching against Kyle Williams for a long time. He’s one of the better inside tackles that we’ve ever coached against. He’s a heart and soul guy, does a great job, plays every snap 100 miles an hour. Jerry Hughes is having an unbelievable year, very explosive player off the edge. Linebacker-wise, they’re doing a really good job – Lorenzo Alexander, the rookie out of Virginia Tech (Tremaine Edmunds), I mean they’re really – (Matt) Milano – they’re very active. And the secondary, Tre’Davious White, really good corner, the safeties, (Micah) Hyde and (Jordan) Poyer, really talented guys. So, it’s a big challenge for us. They’re playing really well. They’re doing a great job of taking the ball away, too. Sean (McDermott) does a great job of coaching that, and those guys are taking it to the field.”

When you went back and watched the tape, was that one of T Kendall Lamm’s best games?

“I thought that Kendall played well, yeah. Kendall’s a solid guy. He takes a good approach every day to what we’re trying to do and I did, I thought he played a very solid game.”

Do you feel like when you’re moving the ball the rest of the offense will fix itself?

“The field is divided up into different areas, and so, when you get it into that tight area, you have to do a better job. You’re not going to be able to kick field goals and sustain a winning level, no matter how good your defense is playing. It’s a league where you’ve got to score touchdowns. If you look at the yardage and the points right now, that’s where we’re not matching up with the rest of the league. We’re up there in a lot of statistical categories but it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t score touchdowns, and that’s an area where we have to improve.”

Do you feel like you have enough cornerback depth and can you tell us about S Mike Tyson?

“Look, I think every team in this league’s dealing with injuries. We’re dealing with it, especially at the corner position, but there’s some guys back there that are versatile that have done a good job for us, whether it’s Kareem (Jackson), or Shareece Wright or some of the guys that we’ve had to put in there. But, Mike Tyson has done a really job coming in here, he’s really taking a good, professional approach to working on the scout team. We feel like he’s a guy that deserves the right to be up there and have a chance to play for us.”

What is like to have a change of pace with RB Alfred Blue and how far out until we see RB D’Onta Foreman again?

“I’m not sure on Foreman. I think he’s doing well (but) not sure on him. But, Blue did a nice job. He’s always come through for us in those type of games and played well. He did a real good job in the passing game. So, it’s really good to have him.”

Moving forward, would it be nice to start the same offensive line two games in a row and maybe more?

“Yeah, I think continuity is important up there. So, I think that that’s always good. You don’t want to be mixing and matching the whole year, that’s for sure. You want five guys that are playing together, communicating together. I think that’s important.”

WR DEANDRE HOPKINS

When you went back and watched your play in overtime, what did you think?

“I was just surprised 90 (Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence) didn’t take my head off. He was coming pretty fast.”

Do you spin instinctively or do you have to think about it?

“Just instinctively. All it takes is a glance sometimes for you to know where someone is. Playing football for so long, you kind of anticipate the hit like that.”

What’s the best comment you’ve heard about the play in overtime?

“A lot, a lot. A lot. People asking if I was dizzy.”

Were you dizzy after the overtime play?

“Yeah, I was after the play. No, but it was definitely worth it.”

Is that play in overtime the best play you’ve made in your NFL career?

“I think so because I set my team up for the win.”

Were you confident you had the ball secured on the play in overtime?

“Yeah, I knew it was secure. Especially after I fumbled before, I kind of relaxed and I knew I wasn’t going to let that happen again.”

Why do you think the offense has moved the ball so well but struggled to find the end zone? Do you think that’s strange?

“It’s football. I wouldn’t say it’s strange – just football. We’ve got to find ways to execute when we get down in the end zone and we’re supposed to score. Like you said, our yards, we’re a top offense in the NFL, but it doesn’t show once we get to the redzone. That’s something that we have a long season to work on.”

The bevy of total yards of offense has to be a reminder of how explosive this offense is.

“Of course, of course. This offense is definitely explosive. We’ve got Keke (Coutee), Will (Fuller V), Lamar (Miller) and (Alfred) Blue. This is one of the most explosive offenses out there.”

Do you think WR Keke Coutee took a step forward in his second game?

“Oh yeah, I do. He had a drop in the first game, but you could tell his awareness was at an all-time high this week in everything he did.”

What does it mean to you to be able to invite the kids from Sabine Pass High School to the game on Sunday?

“It was a tragic accident that happened to them and they lost a lot of stuff. Being in high school, playing high school football, I know how that is when you lose and how important it is to be back on the football field.”

What are your thoughts on Bills CB Tre’Davious White?

“He’s a good corner. He’s a young guy, he’s made plays for his team, won some games. It’s another week, another challenge.”

How do you practice yards after the catch?

“Training. You train hard, just do stuff long distance, train your body differently than I did before. Worked on different muscles in the offseason, a lot of beach workouts and really just wanting to make a play, honestly, that’s really what it comes down to, just trying to make a play.”

Do you have a favorite catch from your career?

“The best catch that never counted, that was my favorite catch. I would say that’s my favorite catch against the Giants, personally.”

Do you have any doubt QB Deshaun Watson will play on Sunday against the Bills?

“No, not at all. He’s one of the toughest guys on this team. He plays quarterback so sometimes he can’t defend himself, but no, no doubt in my mind at all.”

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QB DESHAUN WATSON

Can you give us an update on how you’re feeling and how you were feeling after the game until now?

“I feel good. I feel great. We got the W. Able to celebrate with my teammates and my family. Another day in the office just recovering from the game and get ready for Buffalo.”

Was Sunday as sore as you’ve been in your NFL career?

“I’ve been sore plenty of times. It’s part of the game, able to take some shots and just regroup and keep moving forward.”

Do you expect to play on Sunday against the Bills?

“For sure.”

Did you learn any lessons about better protecting yourself on Sunday?

“Yeah, I guess so. It’s a fine line between trying to – I guess it’s the situation of the game – because it was early on in the game where we had those two opportunities to get in and I was trying to make it in, but if you put that same situation in overtime and it’s 4th-and-1 and we need a touchdown and the ball is in my hands, you’re going to kind of want me to get in that end zone. It’s a fine line. You’ve got to pick your spots and pick your situations, but those guys did a good job of being stingy and not letting me in. They just took me out.”

What are your thoughts on Bills DE Jerry Hughes?

“It’s a guy with a high motor, very athletic, loves to use his skills and his technique of spin moves, up-and-unders and using his speed and sometimes bull-rushing. He’s a guy that, of course, that we want to keep an eye on, but we know our O-line is up for the test and we’re looking forward for the challenge.”

Did you notice a difference in T Julién Davenport at left tackle than when at right tackle?

“For me, it’s the same guy. Really just his confidence is back up. He has a lot of confidence in himself. We keep encouraging him each and every week, each and every practice to continue to work on his craft and get better. I feel like he can play both sides. He’s a guy that’s very, very multiple and wherever we put him, he’s going to be able to come up for the challenge.”

Were you impressed with WR DeAndre Hopkins long catch and run in overtime against the Cowboys?

“I’m always impressed with the things he does. I mean, he’s a talented guy. Of course, I’ve been watching him since I was getting recruited at Clemson. He just continues to get better each and every year, but that’s something that he really expects of himself and I expect him to do the same thing. Just give him the opportunity to make a play and he’s going to make that play, and that’s what he did Sunday night.”

What were you think on the play when you saw WR DeAndre Hopkins spinning past defenders in overtime?

“Honestly, score. I thought he was going to score, he was going to finish the game and close it out, but I saw the guys coming and he was just making a heck of a play and got us in field goal range in great field position. Just protect the ball whenever he was going down and that’s what he did.”

What can you do for the offense to improve in the red area?

“Execute. Negative plays, no sacks, no penalties and just trust what we see. Just kind of play a little faster. The field gets smaller, the holes kind of close up quicker and we just have to get on the same page. The offense, it could be one person that’s off page and it can ruin the whole play. Once we get on the same page and trust what OB (Bill O’Brien) and the coaching staff have planned up front, for us to get in the end zone and we’ll be just fine. Just kind of keep working, keep pushing and sooner or later it’s going to click.”

Last year, the offense connected on a lot of deep passes. Are defensed playing you differently this season?

“Just have a lot of guys that are playing deep. They respect our deep threat. They respect Will Fuller (V), they respect Hop (DeAndre Hopkins) and they always – if it’s one-high, two-high, but some type of form – they always have at least one guy deep that’s playing deep, playing over the top and that’s the thing. They want to make us earn those yards and be able to move down the field in 12 or 13 plays throughout. That should be in every defensive game plan. Never give up the big play, never let the ball go over your head. We respect that and we just try to find open holes in it.”

How has WR Keke Coutee gotten open?

“He has great instincts, great ability to make plays on the ball, strong hands and he’s just a guy with a high football IQ. So, whenever I see him one-on-one or in the zone coverage, I just kind of get the ball in his area just like Hop (DeAndre Hopkins)and all of the other receivers and he’s going to make the play. He’s a guy that’s kind of improving as we go and he’s only going to get better.”

What did you see in this team that made you think the team would rebound from an 0-3 start?

“Just belief, just faith. I know what this team is about. We know the work we put in. Sometimes, just like these last two weeks, overtime wins, it went our way. The first three weeks, it didn’t go our way. So, we just have to keep believing, keep pushing forward. That was just a situation where things just were not going our way, but now it is and we’ve got to keep it going.”

Why is it so important for you to remain confident at all times?

“I always keep it balanced. You never want to get too high, never want to get too low. You just want to stay right in the middle. That’s just my personality. I’m always calm through every situation. Might get heated here and there, but at the same time, I know everything’s going to be all right. Everything happens for a reason and just kind of trust my gut and my instincts and my preparation to kind of keep moving forward.”

Was the game plan against Dallas to get rid of the ball quicker?

“Somewhat, but at the same time, the O-line did a good job of holding the front and the receivers did a good job of getting into the routes. It was a lot of zone coverage, so the receivers found the holes in the coverage and I got the ball to them and let those guys make plays. We just try to continue to move that and continue to build on that each and every week.”

What are your thoughts on the Bills defense?

“They’re getting turnovers. Those guys are flying to the ball, playing very well, playing together. The chemistry looks real good and those guys are just trusting what the coaches are prepping them up for. They never quit. They’re always fighting to make the offense make a mistake and a lot of offenses do that, so we have to make sure that we contain that, focus on our job and do what we’ve got to do in this game plan.”

DE J.J. WATT

What do you see from the Bills young QB Josh Allen?

“He’s got a good arm, he’s athletic, he can run, he hurdled a guy. So, that.”

Did you have a chance to watch WR DeAndre Hopkins catch and run?

“Yeah, it was an incredible play. Obviously, won the game for us, it was impressive from the catch, the run, the spins. Gave me a bit of a heart attack with the ball security but it was unbelievable. It was awesome to watch. He’s a great player, so he made a huge play in a critical part of the game for us.”

Do you do anything differently when playing against a young quarterback?

“No. I mean, you try and confuse all the quarterbacks, try and get back there however you can and make it as tough for them as you can.”

What do you think about QB Deshaun Watson taking the beating that he is and getting right back in there?

“I mean, obviously, you don’t like to see him take it, but he always pops back up, he always finds a way to make more plays. So, hopefully he doesn’t take too many more of those. We’d like to see him take a lot less but he’s a competitor, he’s an athlete and he’s a great player.”

What do you think about how Steelers LB T.J. Watt is performing so far this year?

“He’s incredible. I love watching him play when I get a chance to. I’ve always known what he’s capable of and it’s fun for the rest of the league to be able to see it. He’s a great player. He works his ass off, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s pretty wild when you go and you look at the sack sheet and you see our names next to each other. We used to beat up on each other in backyard and now we get to see our names at the top of the NFL sack charts. So, it’s incredible and I’m lucky. I have two incredible brother and I’m very fortunate.”

Has competing against your brother made you more competitive?

“It’s also been competitive. It’s always been like that. This is just the first time in the league we’ve gotten a chance to both be healthy and do it the same time. But, no, we’re each other’s biggest fans. We each root for each other as much as we can, whenever we can. I want to see him get as many sacks as he can possibly get, just the same way he wants to see me. We compete and there’s definitely a little bit of underlying competition there, but at the end of the day, if he gets 500 sacks I’d be happy as hell. Obviously, it’s a little bit different when we’re playing against each other. I love my brothers and I want to see him succeed.”

What do you see from Bills RB LeSean McCoy?

“A very good running back. He’s quick, he’s explosive, he can make a big play at any point, you have to do your job at all times because if you give him any sort of crease at all and you let him out in the open field, he can really make you pay.”

Do you and Steelers LB T.J. Watt have any friendly wagers going?

“No, we don’t have any wagers or anything. It’s his birthday this week coming up, so I had to get him a birthday present. I sent him – I can’t tell you because it’s not his birthday yet. No, I can’t tell you. But, no. I think today he got his second AFC Player of the Week or whatever, but, I mean, I got the Player of the Month last month. So, I think that’s a little cooler.”

How did you find out that you and Steelers LB T.J. Watt were tied atop the league sack leaders?

“I didn’t know it until after our game. I obviously knew he had six going into our game, but I didn’t know how the rest of the league had done or who had what. But, I knew he had six sacks, so I knew I had to get at least one otherwise I couldn’t go back to my phone after that. Then, I missed the one, so I was really pissed off. Then, I was pretty happy. I was quite angry.”

You were aware that Steelers LB T.J. Watt had 6.0 sacks before your game started?

“Yeah, I knew he had six because I got to watch it. I got to watch almost all of his game because we played the night game.”

Have you seen any improvement or consistency in how the quarterback hit is being called?

“I don’t know. I think it’s obviously, different from game to game. He barely laid a hand on him and got called, and then, our ref did a good job. I obviously put a big hit on Dak (Prescott), but kept my eyes up and kept my weight off of him and that’s how, in my opinion, how it should be. I talked to the ref after and he said, ‘You kept your eyes up and you kept your weight off of him,’ which is exactly what I did. I don’t know, I’m sure it’s just a consistency thing. I was struck by his because that wasn’t very – nothing really rough about it.”

Is the defensive performance from Sunday representative of what you guys are capable of?

“I still don’t think we’ve reached what we’re capable of playing. I still think that when we look at the film, when we watch and we try and analyze what we can do better, I think there’s a lot of things that we can do better. I think we can still play a lot better but I do think that against a good offense, especially a good running offense like that, I think we did a good job, but I think we have a chance to be even better.”

How does NT D.J. Reader’s performance help you and DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney?

“It’s been great. To have a guy inside who knows his assignment, works extremely hard, knows his role, plays it very well, chases screens down, does all sorts of things, takes on double teams. Both him and Dunny (Brandon Dunn) had great games. I mean, Brandon Dunn’s the guys who’s been playing really well as well. So, to have guys like that who know their role, who accept their role, that they’re not going to get the big sacks, they’re not going to get the big numbers, but they do their job and they do it really well, you’re very fortunate to have those type of guys because you need them.”

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