clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bill O'Brien Press Conference: Ryan Mallett's Debut

Bill O'Brien took to the podium today to express his thoughts on the start of a new era in the Texans offense. Read on for more from Houston's head honcho.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Did somebody say up-tempo offense? Because Bill O'Brien clearly loves him some up-tempo offense. The pace of the Texans' attack against the Browns, as well as its effectiveness under Houston's new signal caller, was brought up several times today at O'Brien's weekly Monday presser. Beyond that, the Chin Dynasty addressed everything from why he did not make the switch from Ryan Fitzpatrick sooner, to Alfred Blue's big time numbers, to the offensive line punishing the Browns defense. For those with the time to watch the whole press conference, you can view it on the Mothership later today. For the rest of you, take a look at some of the highlights below.

On why he did not switch to Mallett sooner…

"I knew that question was coming, but I didn’t know it would be the first one…we always try to make decisions that are best for the team and as we went through the beginning part of the season – the first half of the season – we tried to evaluate game to game and week to week each guy’s performance and the team’s performance and the unit’s performance and we did what we did. We felt like those were the best decisions for the team and so after the Philadelphia game we came into a bye week there, and we really had a chance to sit down and figure out what our team needed and what was best for our team, and one of the things we felt we needed was a quarterback change, so that’s what we did."

On if Mallett’s development played a role in being given the starting role…

"A lot of it had to do with that. A lot of it had to do with what we had seen from the time he was traded to us to that point, meaning when he got here how was he with his command of the offense and how much had he grown as a professional football player, how much had he grown in his knowledge of the offense. Yesterday he did a good job, he did a solid job, but he made mistakes. It was one game, and there was a lot of things we need to clean up with a lot of players including him but it was a good start for him."

On what he liked in Ryan Mallett’s debut…

"I thought that his, kind of like what I was saying before, what I had seen in practice I saw in the game. The huddle command, the ability to get us into the right play at the line of scrimmage, his poise on the sideline, his communication with his teammates on the sideline.  I thought he was decisive for the most part in the passing game. I had him down for two poor decisions, and when you throw the ball thirty times and you only have two poor decisions, that’s not bad for a first start.  So those were the things that I had seen in practice and they were good to see in the game."

On Mallett quickening the pace of the offense…

"That’s one thing that I had seen in practice. He understood the rhythm that we wanted to play in. He had performed that well in practice, so when we continually saw that week to week we knew that he was a guy that when he got into the game he would know how we wanted to play – up tempo, huddle tempo, in between tempo – he has a good grasp on those things."

On Alfred Blue’s breakout game…

"I mean, he had 36 carries and had 156 yards. He had plenty of chances to get over 100 yards. I mean, we gave him the ball 36 times. He did a good job, I mean, don’t get me wrong, but I mean I don’t think he’s headed for Canton quite yet. He did a good job. We knew that when we drafted him we felt like we had a guy that was a smart player, a tough player, a really good team mate, a guy that could fill a lot of different roles. Obviously, he can play running back.  He’s been good on special teams for us. He’s our personal protector, and it’s very difficult to come in as a rookie and be our personal protector. You have to bark out the signals, you have to understand the looks, things like that. He’s done a really good job with those things, and then yesterday he did a really good job running the football but he knows, like I told him today, that you’re only as good as your next game. How are you going to perform in your next game?  That’s the most important game."

On the offensive line’s performance…

"They probably played their best game of the year. They blocked well. They protected well. There was good communication. Of course there were certain plays that they all wished they could have back, maybe a bad snap here, a holding call here, or a poor landmark here, but we’ve got to fix some of these things moving forward. But overall I thought those guys played a whale of a game."

On Mallett not celebrating the win and moving on to the Bengals

"I think he realizes, and again I think a lot of it has to do with how he’s been trained over the years, he knows that he just went out and played a solid game against a good Cleveland team, and he knows that as soon as that game is over you have to start thinking about Cincinnati. Cincinnati is a really good football team, they had a great win yesterday over New Orleans, so I’m sure he was already starting to watch their tape on the plane ride home from Cleveland after he reviewed the Cleveland game where he watched that and then moved on to Cincinnati on his own. That is some of the things that we see that we like about him."

On Mallett making good pre-snap reads…

"That’s part of it. He does a good job of understanding when we’re going fast. He tries to take a pre-snap picture of what he sees and he can process that pretty well. He did a lot of that in college with Bobby Petrino at Arkansas, and then obviously in New England he did a lot of that in practice. Coming here, we’re trying to get our offense into a better rhythm and he helped us do that yesterday.

Arm strength, it’s that, but it’s also the timing and the placement of the ball, and overall that was pretty good yesterday. On the one play on 4th and 3 to Andre, he rifled that ball and it was a little bit inside, but Andre made a great catch on that play so the receivers – Andre, Hopkins, and DJ – they all had a decent day catching the ball for him for the most part."