Bill O’Brien addressed the national media from the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Questions ranged from the recent coaching changes to player injury updates and even a question about his former colleague Brian Flores, now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. O’Brien answered all but the contract-related questions, leaving those to General Manager Brian Gaine who will have his press conference on Thursday at the Combine.
Here are five key takeaways from O’Brien’s Wednesday press conference:
- In their five seasons together, the Texans and Jadeveon Clowney have had “a good experience.” The 2014 No. 1 overall pick is at the end of his rookie contract and coming off three consecutive Pro Bowl nods. While O’Brien did not elaborate on his contract situation, he did say the Texans were “in the middle of it” and that it does take a long time.
- Deshaun Watson has been working hard this offseason and O’Brien expects Year 3 to be another year of improvement. Running back D’Onta Foreman, also entering his third season, has a lot to prove. Foreman may have taken longer than expected in his return from the 2017 Achilles injury, but a healthy offseason should get him closer to his pre-injury self.
- Tim Kelly “earned the opportunity” to be named offensive coordinator. Kelly, who coached with O’Brien at Penn State, worked his way from quality control to tight ends coach to offensive coordinator during his tenure in Houston. He took on several additional responsibilities as an assistant coach, some of which O’Brien discussed.
- Wide receivers Will Fuller V and Keke Coutee are in the midst of working their way back from injuries. Fuller, coming off an ACL surgery, has been in Houston for his rehab. O’Brien did not give a timetable for Fuller’s return, but was optimistic. Meanwhile, the Texans have to figure out how to keep Coutee from those recurring hamstring issues.
- The Texans staff is in Indianapolis evaluating prospects ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. O’Brien was asked about making improvements to the offensive line.
“I think we need to make improvement everywhere, so I don’t concentrate on one position," O'Brien said. "I think, like I’ve always said to you guys in Houston, it starts with me. I think we have to work on becoming better coaches, how we can communicate better with the players and then I think we look at every position. We look at it individually. We look at it as a position, we look at it as a unit and we figure out where improvements need to be made but I think that everybody can improve.”
The NFL Scouting Combine continues at Lucas Oil Stadium through Monday, March 4.
Check out the best shots of WR DeAndre Hopkins from the 2018 season.