HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
What do you hope to get out of WR Keke Coutee if he's able to play?
"Keke has come in here as a rookie and has really learned the system very well. Just unfortunately has been dealing with an injury. Now he's back so we'll see what we get, but so far, relative to learning and being able to understand the offense, it's been good."
Do you script your first 10-15 plays to start each game or just a few and then feel it out?
"I think there's always some type of an idea of how you want to open a game and then you have to see how you're being played. What are they doing against you? You have to adjust very quickly. The last game, we drove the ball down the field. The problem is the red area. It's not moving the ball. The ball has been moved. I think there's been probably close to however many yards of offense, but yards don't mean anything if you don't score touchdowns. The problem is the red area. I think we have the sixth-most trips into the red area, but we're last in the league in red area percentage or right down there, 31st or 32nd, penalties, tackles for losses, sacks. That's been our biggest issue. It's not the fact that we can't get the ball into the red area. Last year at this time, we were very high in the red area with Deshaun (Watson) as our quarterback. We've got to do a better job in the red area. That's coaching and playing. We've all got to do a better job. That's been a big emphasis for us."
Is the lack of success in the red area a result of a lack of focus or execution in short-field situations?
"It's both. Again, it's coaching, it's lack of focus. The guys have been better this week, but that's where we have to make major improvements. Third down has been an issue at times, but third down, at times, has been way better than the red are. Red area has not been good at all on offense and we've got to improve there because we've been in there but we have not been able to score touchdowns, and that's been bad. One touchdown per game over the last three games would've really helped us, right? But, we're kicking field goals and that's not good."
How much did losing T Seantrel Henderson in the first game affect the offensive line as a whole?
"Look, any time you get injuries that's a bad deal, but everybody deals with injuries in this league. Everybody does. Like you guys always hear, everybody in the league says, 'Next man up.' Next man up has to do a good job. Losing Seantrel, especially the second series of the opening game, that was a tough deal, but the next guy needs to step up and continue – whoever that guy is – and has to play well."
DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney said he was fully ready to participate in training camp and preseason but you guys held him back. What's your perspective on that?
"We just did what we felt was best for Jadeveon Clowney. We communicated with him, and I think we're all on the same page. That's my perspective on it."
Has CB Shareece Wright's catch up time been good?
"Yeah, good pro, good learner, he's been around the game for a while, tough guy, good teammate. So far, you can just tell he's – I'm glad he's a part of our team and I think his role will continue to increase as he learns the defense and special teams and things that we're doing. But, yeah, it's been good to have him here."
Did you feel this week of practice has put you in a better situation for the game on Sunday?
"We'll find out. We'll find out. I think we practiced well, but I think we've practiced well leading up to other games. It's all about going out there and executing and coaching well and guys going out there, flying around and making plays. That's what it's about. We've had good practice weeks but we haven't won. So, we've got to get going here."
How much of the struggles so far are the result of the team not totally clicking mentally yet?
"I think that's a big part of it. We talk about that a lot, but talk is cheap. We've got to go out there and do it. I think that everybody's got to take the field with confidence and everybody's got to take the field with great energy. Everybody wants to start fast. To me it's really sustaining energy throughout the game. Then, again, going back to your original question about openers and things like that, it's also complementary football. We don't complement each other yet, and we've got to start doing that. That's a big part. People ask me about that all the time. That's huge. Offense goes down there, gets a touchdown, it'd be great for the defense to go out there and get a stop. Defense gets a big stop, big sack, turnover, we have to turn that into points. Special teams makes a big play, Buddy Howell tackles a guy inside the 10-yard line – that's hard to do. We've got to take advantage of that, get a stop and then get the ball in good field position and score. That's complementary football. We haven't really done that very much. When we've done it, it's been really good, but obviously not enough."