Texans Transcripts: September 17

HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN

Now that you've had a chance to watch the tape with QB Deshaun Watson, what did you think of the last play?

"I actually haven't watched the tape yet with Deshaun. We'll watch it at 12:30, but I think we have to call a better play there. I think we have to call a better play, put him in a better situation. Tennessee did a good job on that play. I think we have to do a better job of designing that play."

Did you get a further explanation about the taunting penalty called on the Texans bench?

"Not too much information on that, just that (Luke) Stocker caught it on the sideline and went out of bounds and he was bumped and there were words exchanged. That's the only info I've gotten on that to this point. So, they called taunting on (Jadeveon) Clowney."

Was the penalty a retaliation call?

"I don't know. I'm not sure the details of it."

Were you surprised the taunting call was made?

"No, I mean, that's a big emphasis. The taunting rule is a big emphasis. It is what it is. That's a good crew. Pete Morelli does a good job. They saw it, they called it."

How important is it to eliminate penalties going forward?

"That's probably the biggest thing. We have to eliminate those things. We have to coach it better, we've got to practice better. That's probably the biggest thing that we can need to improve on, that we have too many mistakes in all three phases. It starts with me, like it always does. We're going to work hard starting today to try to get that better."

Were you impressed with WR Will Fuller V's performance in his first game?

"Yeah, he did a good job. He had a very good game. It's good to have him back. I think we targeted him eight times and he caught eight passes. Good route runner. It's going to be important to have him out there. He's a very good player."

From a health standpoint, do you feel like DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney will be able to go this week?

"I don't know. I don't really know."

What makes Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. a good receiver?

"There's a lot of things he does well. He's a very strong player, great speed and quickness, so he has the combination. He has excellent hands, really good route runner. He can play inside, he can play outside. You're going to have to really understand where he's at, where he's located on every play. He's a great player."

Does it help your defense going up against WR DeAndre Hopkins every day in practice and do you see similarities between Hopkins and Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.?

"I would say Hop, (Will) Fuller (V), those guys, it's good any time you have some good receivers it helps prepare you for an opponent, no doubt about it. I don't know how similar they are. I think they're a little bit different just by body types and different things that they can do, but it definitely helps when you have good players your defense can go against."

Why do you think the success of the running game hasn't translated to wins?

"I think that's a good point and we're trying to work hard to figure it out. In the end, I have to call better plays in certain situations. Got to do a better job of getting them in the right situation to help them execute better. But you're right, I think we're leading the league in rushing right now, which is a good thing, but it's not good to be 0-2, obviously. So, we have to figure it out. We understand that but I do like the way we're running the ball. I think I can help it with certain play calls moving forward."

What happened in the third quarter that got the offense going compared to the first two quarters?

"I think it's the running game. I think the running game really helped. We started to really move the ball on the ground. I think our backs are really playing well. Lamar (Miller) and (Alfred) Blue are really doing a good job and our line is run blocking pretty will with the tight ends. So, there was some good execution going on there and we really need to try to keep it going. We really need to continue to be consistent with it because it's going to help us."

With a rookie like T Martinas Rankin, does he learn things in a game that can't be learned at practice?

"No doubt. There's no substitute for experience. There were times yesterday where he really did a good job. He was blocking on an island, blocking (Derrick) Morgan, (Brian) Orakpo and he really did a nice job. Then there's other times where it's got to get better, and he knows that. He's a really mature guy. It's hard to play left tackle in this league. He'll continue to improve. He's a very hardworking guy."

What did you see on the fake punt the Titans ran?

"That was a bad play call. I felt like, studying that during the week, we felt like they would handle that differently. We showed them a certain look and we felt like it would be handled differently, and they did a good job. They handled it differently than we thought and that's a mistake on my part."

What did you think of OLB Duke Ejiofor's performance yesterday?

"I thought he did some good things. Really had a plan in the pass rush and did a nice job in the running game. I think he had about 12 plays. He needs to probably play more. He did a nice job and I was really happy to see that. He's another guy kind of similar to what I'm saying about (Martinas) Rankin, very mature guy, smart guy, works hard, prepares daily to try to go out there and be better. Worked hard to get back from his injury and did some decent things yesterday."

How can adversity early in the year help over the course of the 16-game season?

"Look, it's not good to be where we are right now, don't get me wrong, but it is a long season and we haven't played a home game yet. We haven't played well but we've been in it in the end and we've got to finish these games better. We've been in it in the fourth quarter. Give credit to both teams that have beat us. They've done a good job. We realize we have to do a lot better. We have to play more consistently, we have to practice better, we've got to coach better, we understand that, but we also know there's a lot ball left to be played. We've got to get going here but we're very positive about some of the things we're doing. We just have to be more consistent in how we're doing it."

Do you feel like the attitude you've seen from the team is what you're looking for?

"I don't know. Off what we did last year, I don't know who would come in here with some other attitude. So, I'm not sure what that means, all I know is that these guys have played hard. They play very hard. They give really good effort. Sometimes, like I said, it's more about consistency. I believe that we as coaches, led by me, have to do a better job."

Why has the run blocking been better than the pass blocking, and how do you even it out?

"Yeah, it's definitely true that the run blocking, obviously, has been better. I think that there's somethings we can do schematically to help the pass blocking, but we have to improve in the pass blocking area, not just one-on-one, but some of the different things teams are doing against us. Our guys will work hard. We've got a good group up there and they'll work hard to get better. But, that's definitely an area we have to improve, pass protection."

Are you excited to have to chance to come home and play in front of the whole crowd?

"Yeah, it'll be good to be in front of the home crowd. Hopefully we have a great crowd. We know we're not off to great start, we know that people aren't happy about that, we get it, we understand the business that we're in, but it'll be good to play in front of this crowd. It's a great crowd. They give us a good home field advantage and we're going to need it on Sunday."

Is the ruling on the double pass by Titans QB Blaine Gabbert something you might want the NFL to look at after the season?

"Believe me, where we're sitting at right now, that's not something that I'm even thinking about. I totally understand the question but I think my concerns lay elsewhere right now."

What is the communication with you and QB Deshaun Watson on the field?

"It's coach-to-quarterback (communication system). I think the communication's been good. Some people may disagree with that but the communication's been good. I think there was one time yesterday where the headset went out, so that was a bit of an issue, but I think overall it's always coach-to-quarterback and then we have a backup plan if it goes out. But, in that case it went out late, so that's why I had to call that timeout that I called."

In regards to the trouble picking up blitzes, how much of that is on the offensive line and how much of that is on QB Deshaun Watson?

"It's definitely Deshaun recognizes it first and he gets them to where he wants them to go. He works with Nick (Martin) on that to really shore it up quickly and help ID so they're on the same page, but it's Deshaun who gets us to the people that he wants to get to. Blitz was, three or four times, definitely was a little bit of an issue. I think that's another area where we really have to improve because we have answers for that. We've got to really coach it better because the answers were there if you really study the film, the answers were there, but we've got to get these guys to recognize it faster. It really is all about coaching."

How do you get off to a faster start?

"Yeah, we felt like we got off to a decent start. Lamar (Miller) punched a run in there for three or four yards and then we hit Will (Fuller V) for a nine- or 10-yard gain and then we got a false start. First-and-15, those are long yardage situations that don't always lead to good drives. So, we've got to try to – and there's other examples of that early in the game where, whether it was a sack or a penalty or whatever. So, that's a big emphasis for us, is trying to get off to a fast start."

QB Deshaun Watson has thrown two similar interceptions downfield. How do you balance being aggressive and being smart?

"A couple of those interceptions, I think that he's trying to make a play, I'm trying to make a play, so we're trying to be aggressive there and it just hasn't worked out. Put the blame on me for that. We've got to do a better job timing those up better when those plays are called, but we're both just trying to make plays right there."

CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH

What are some of the things the team has learned in the first two games?

"We can't start slow. We can't put ourselves behind the eight ball to start games out. We've got to play complementary football, offense, defense, special teams. If we have a chance to make a play, we've got to make those plays. We've got to step up, get off the field, whatever it may be to win the game at the end of the day."

Do you think one win can be a wake-up call for this team?

"That's all you need. Sometimes, I wouldn't say us as a team, but you hear a lot of hype coming out of the preseason and things like that and then you have one or two games where it doesn't fall in your favor, sometimes it crumbles a little bit, but we're definitely standing tall in this locker room and we're moving on to next week. I think it's a division game that we lost this past week. A lot of that can be on us as players, also."

What are the challenges the Giants and specifically WR Odell Beckham Jr. present?

"We'll see. We'll watch film and study those guys, but right now it's more so about correcting the mistakes from last week and then when Wednesday gets here, whatever plan they have for the Giants – I start my homework tonight – but, as of today before we leave this building, we have to fix some things from the Titans."

T MARTINAS RANKIN

Left tackle is often thought of as the most difficult position on the field. How tough is it to add that to being a rookie?

"It's tough, but I have to continue to come in and be better. That's my No. 1 thing. That's all I can think about for the last 24 hours is be better tomorrow, be better today, continue to progress, continue to learn, continue to play my game."

Do you remember the first time you started in the SEC and how does that compare to now?

"It's nothing compared to this. The SEC is a tough league, but the NFL is tougher. I can't relate too far back. I just know that it made me grow up quick. At this point right now, I have to continue to grow up quick because being a rookie isn't an excuse to me. I have to adjust like everyone else."

Is the adjustment to run blocking in the NFL easier than pass blocking?

"It's tough regardless because the guys on the other side of the ball get paid just like we do. Regardless of it it's run blocking or pass blocking, we have to continue to just get better at certain techniques coming off the ball, and we're going to get better going forward."

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