What is your philosophy on QB Deshaun Watson running the ball? Will it be more, less or the same as before?
"With Deshaun, obviously his unique skillset, as a play caller and trying to figure out what plays to run, it kind of puts us in a great situation because he excels in so many areas. Not only is he a threat to throw the ball but he's a threat with the ball in his hand. So, yeah, we're going to continue to try to find different ways to put the defense in conflict and put him in a position to make plays."
How much does the injury factor play into what you do with QB Deshaun Watson running the ball?
"We obviously – his health, we want to make sure that comes first and foremost. We never want to put him in a position where he's taking excessive shots. We're always concerned about protecting him and making sure we keep him as clean as possible, even in situations where he may have the ball in his hand."
With the tight end group, how much do you feel you have the flexibility of having one or two on the field in a lot of your different sets?
"All of those guys really present different types of skillsets and really matchup problems for opponents and their defenses, whether it's a linebacker or a defensive back that's going to try to cover them. Again, having the ability to play one or two or three or four of those guys on the field at the same time really allows us to be creative. Again, trying to put people in different spots in order to maximize the different matchups that may come up."
Has C/G Zach Fulton had a good training camp and what have you seen from him with his health and how he is playing?
"Zach came in in really good shape. He's had a very, very good camp. Very consistent. He's out there every day and he's grinding. He's playing hard, he's being physical. He's doing all the things that we expect of him playing that guard position. He's come in and done a great job really getting to build the relationship between him and Nick (Martin) and him and Tytus (Howard). It's been really fun to watch that whole group come together as a unit as opposed to just the individuals. I think that they're progressing and they're doing a good job."
Being from Chicago and seeing the Bears on the schedule, how cool will it be to go to Chicago and call the plays in your home city?
"Personally, that's one when the schedule came out where you're definitely looking forward to see when we'd be up there. It'll be nice and cold in December so hopefully we'll be able to get some snow. It's going to be a really cool opportunity. I'm definitely excited to go up there. It'll be a little bit different now obviously with the restrictions as to who we're going to be able to see pregame and all that, but I know everybody back home will be watching and it'll be a good opportunity. It'll be fun."
How have you seen Head Coach and General Manager Bill O'Brien evolve in your time working for him and what does it mean to you for him to turn over the play calling to you?
"I'm very thankful for the opportunity. I know, like you said, not only is it something he really enjoyed doing but it's something he's very good at. I'm very thankful he's allowing me the opportunity to call plays. I'm incredibly excited for the opportunity. As far as his growth if you will, every single year when we come in, he's finding different ways to really put the team in a situation that's really going to help us win. Some people will have set, rigid practice schedules that they don't waiver from or a set playbook they don't waver from. I really believe that's not the case. Coach (O'Brien) is always going to do whatever he can to maximize the talent of the guys he has in the locker room and to make sure that he's doing what's right for the team. First and foremost, everything that Coach (O'Brien) does and everything he has done for the past – it's been nine years. That's been a long time when you think about it. But it's been nine years, and every meeting that we have or unit meeting, squad meeting, staff meeting, you always leave the room knowing that he's doing everything he can to put the team in the best position to win. He's, as a person, obviously someone that I look up to. I've known him for a long time. Him and his family have been great for not only myself but my wife, my two little girls. I don't have enough great things to say about Coach, and again, I'm very thankful for the opportunity."
Have you ever seen Head Coach and General Manager Bill O'Brien mellow from the way he used to be when you first started working here?
"Mellow, that's an interesting word choice. I overheard Coach (Anthony) Weaver a second ago talk about you guys really get to see one side of Coach (O'Brien) and that's the super intense, ultracompetitive side that you'll see every Sunday or Thursday night or whenever that game comes up. That side of it doesn't change. He's, again, as a person, I don't have enough good things to say about him. I don't necessarily think I'd ever say soft, but he's not a thousand miles an hour, super competitive, ultra-intense all the time. But again, it's been a real honor working with him the past nine years and looking forward to continuing that."
How beneficial is it having T Laremy Tunsil here at the beginning of training camp and does he have some input on what he sees on the field and being able to relay that to you?
"Any time you've got a player of Laremy's talent level, a great player who has produced in this league for a long time, you're always going to listen to things that he sees, whether it's a matchup issue or schematically, because they've played at such a high level for such a long time. Absolutely, we listen to Laremy when he comes in and talks to us. As far as having him here for the entirety of camp, it really provides him an opportunity to learn the system if you will, the ins and outs of everything. Not just knowing what to do but knowing why we do it. Because of that, it's going to allow him to play at a higher level. It's going to eliminate the thinking before a play and it's just going to allow him to go out there and do what he does really well, which is playing left tackle for the Texans."
Head Coach and General Manager Bill O'Brien said QB Deshaun Watson probably spends more time with you and Assistant Quarterbacks Coach T.J. Yates this year. Can you explain how T.J.'s perspective is different from yours and Deshaun's and what that adds to the meeting room?
"So, I'll point out the obvious here and I don't think T.J. will get upset at this, but obviously there is a different skill level when you talk about Deshaun and T.J. When that happens, if you're not necessarily as talented or as skilled as another player you have to make sure that you really are paying attention to the details in order to have the level of success that T.J. had in this league. Because he really had to focus and train and really milk every ounce of ability that he had to reach that level, T.J. has been able to come in there and really dissect that position in terms of the amount of detail that he would go into a game plan with in terms of his preparation, comparing the different styles in the ways that they prepare. It's been really great to have him in there. Again, from my standpoint obviously being a defensive lineman and not really having that experience, it's been great to hear from T.J. like hey, can you really see this? I know I can see this when I'm watching tape, when I'm watching film, but when you're out there and there's however many people screaming, can you really see that this guys is aligned six inches further inside than he is when he's doing something else. Having him in there has been really good and I'm looking forward to the room continuing to grow as we go on here."