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Bill O'Brien Press Conference (12/01/14): Watt's Greatness, Hopkins' Emergence, And More

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Want to get all caught up on what the head coach of the Houston Texans thinks about his big win over the Titans last weekend? Read on for more.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien seemed to be in a chipper mood this afternoon as he took to the podium for his weekly Monday press conference. O’Brien reviewed everything from DeAndre Hopkins’ development from a rookie to a true professional, to J.J. Watt’s unparalleled ridiculousness, to Jadeveon Clowney's terrible string of bad luck throughout his rookie year. For those unable to watch the presser live, here is the full transcript from start to finish.

On saying yesterday that the key is to ‘do it again’ and what they need to do to keep winning…

"That’s right. I think it comes down to consistency. I think it’s really important—it’s vitally important to go out there and have a great week of practice and I think that’s what we did last week. When you look at our practice week, there was a lot of energy. Guys were really detailed and focused. That’s what we have to do this week again. Not to say that in the games that we lost that we haven’t been that way in practice, but we have to go out there and have a great week of practice in all three phases and I think that will help our consistency."

On NT Ryan Pickett saying that this team needs to string wins together…

"I think when you’ve got a guy like Pick saying that, who’s played a lot of football in this league, he understands that. He’s been around a lot of winning teams. He knows how to win. That’s important. It’s important to understand how that game felt and how did we arrive to the point where we went out there and played a complete game like that. We arrived there because we had good meetings, good practices, good walk-throughs. Our leadership guys, they did a great job throughout the week. Again, it’s important to do it again this week."

On what he will be working on with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to make sure that he continues to improve…

"I think the big thing is that we have to really study Jacksonville. Just having watched a lot of Jacksonville this morning already, I don’t care what their record is. I really don’t. It’s not coach-speak; it’s the truth. This team is a talented team, well-coached. I have a lot of respect for Gus Bradley and the way he coaches, the energy that he brings to their team. They’re playing very hard. They were down 21 to the New York Giants and came back and won the game late in the game. They have got a really good rookie quarterback in Blake Bortles. Shoelaces (Dennard Robinson) is doing a great job as a running back for them. They’ve got a lot of talented players. Their front four on defense—front seven on defense--is very, very good. This is a very big challenge for us."

On what it’s like to finally get a complete game from his team…

"Again, I think it felt good to see the team go out there and play really complementary football in all three phases. You can look at our special teams and how a good punt led to a good defensive stand, which then led to a touchdown on offense. You can really use examples of that to show the team that, hey, this is what we’re talking about. This is how we need to play consistently. We need to do this on a consistent basis. If we do, then we’ll win games, but if we don’t, we’re going to win one close and lose one close. I think our guys understand that and I believe that our guys will come back to work on Wednesday with a lot of energy and detail and focus and that’s what it’s going to have to be to win this game."

On QB Blake Bortles and what stood out to him about Bortles during the draft process…

"When we were studying him in the draft, the one thing that stood out to me was when I met him. He was an outstanding young man and obviously I’m very close with the guys that coached him in college. They had great things to say about him. He was a stand-up guy. He told us things like, ‘Look, I don’t know that, but I’ll study it and I’ll learn it.’ He said, ‘I do know that,’ and ‘I’m confident in that.’ He was just a real honest kid and he’s a talented player. As far as draft and all that, with all due respect, the draft is long over. We’re 12 games into this season. We thought that he was a good football player and an even better kid."

On if giving up one sack the last three games is more the quarterback play or the offensive line play…

"I think the offensive line has really played well. I give those guys a lot of credit. We have, especially me, I’ve been hard on those guys. They’ve really done a good job of run blocking better. Pass protection has been better. They take a lot of pride in it. They’re a great bunch of guys. They work extremely hard in practice. Part of it is the fact that their quarterback are seeing things a little bit better in the games that we’ve won, getting rid of the ball faster like you said, but it’s also—part of it is the offensive line is playing better."

On if he ever scratches his head from what DE J.J. Watt can do on both sides of the ball…

"I really don’t scratch my head too often. I just know from being around him now for almost a year that this guy is one of the hardest working guys that I’ve ever been around, one of the most talented. He’s a relentless player, and he’s a guy that can do a lot of different things. He can obviously do a lot of things on defense at different positions. He’s got great ball skills, so that’s why we move him around and use him a little bit on offense. Because it’s not a circus show; it’s what is best for our team. We feel like one of the things that is best for our team is when we get down in there close, we’ve got a guy over here that’s got 6-foot-7 frame, physical player, got really good hands. He’s instinctive. He’s smart. He’s had tight end experience in his past in his college career. So why not use him when the play calls for that, when the time calls for that?  We have a lot of weapons down there. He’s come up big for us and it’s been good to see."

On if he ever wants to pull DE J.J. Watt back a little bit to make sure he stays where he needs to be on defense…

"No. Never. I never think about pulling J.J. back."

On the continuing competition at backup quarterback…

"I think we have to compete there. I think the competition there and at other positions have really helped our football team. I believe that if you go all the way back to training camp and you look at the competition at kicker, I think that helped Randy Bullock. I think the competition at the corner spots since Kareem (Jackson) has been out opposite J-Joe (Johnathan Joseph) has helped those guys. Those guys have played better. I think the competition at safety has helped those guys play better. The competition at quarterback for the number two quarterback spot has to continue and again it’s also with Fitzy (Ryan Fitzpatrick). Hey Fitz, you’ve got to go out there and practice well, and he knows that. That’s a big part of it, too. At that number two spot, those guys, that’s going to help (Tom) Savage. Thaddeus (Lewis) has played a lot of football in this league, but Savage has not, and that’s going to help him knowing that he has to go out there every day and prove himself on the practice field. That’s a big part of what we’re trying to establish here."

On if he still feels good about the chances of CB Kareem Jackson playing this week…

"I do. In all seriousness, I do believe it’s day-to-day, but I feel better about his chances of playing this week than I did at this time last week."

On his conversations with WR DeAndre Hopkins about being a pro…

"Well, we had a lot of discussions. I know Stan Hixon has had a lot of talks with him. George Godsey, myself. It just hasn’t been me. I will tell you what, I give him (Hopkins) all the credit. He has sat there. First of all, he has got a Hall of Fame receiver that he can watch practice every day. How Andre Johnson handles himself with the media, in the locker room, in the weight room, all those things. You have a guy right there up here that you can watch and learn from. I give Hop a lot of credit because he has gone out there and made himself a better player because of his own work ethic. I mean, he is the last one off the field many times getting extra balls thrown to him from the quarterback or from the JUGS machine or whatever it is. He is out there trying to perfect the top of his routes and doing little things every single day, really that we are out there, to try to make himself better. I give most of the credit for that to DeAndre himself. He is a good player."

On the maturation process that starts rookie year…

"It’s huge. I think that when you make the jump from college to the professional ranks, it’s a big jump. I think Andre Johnson said it best yesterday after the game. I heard what he said about that fact right there. He said when you come to this league, it’s a job. It’s not a 9-to-5 job. It’s a job where you have to be here most days at 6:30 in the morning and you have to stay as long as you need to stay to get it right. Whether it’s route running as a receiver or coverage skills as a corner or whatever the position entails, it’s a 12-hour a day job. These guys really have to understand when they come out of college that it’s totally different. I always tell them, ‘It’s not your fault. You just don’t know yet. If you watch the veteran players around you, that really understand what it means to be a pro, you’re going to learn the most from them and then maybe once in a while listen to your coaches. We have a pretty good idea too that you’ll learn and you’ll learn fast.’ I think our rookie class is really working hard to do that."

On how G Xavier Su’a-Filo played against the Titans

"I thought he played okay. I did. I think there are some things that he can improve upon. I’m sure he would be the first to tell you that. I like his toughness. I thought that he played, physically, the way that we asked him to play. The more that you play at that position, the better you are going to get. Just probably like any position for any young player. The more experience you get, the more improvement you will see. I think it was important to get him in there a lot. I was glad that we were able to do that. I think he will improve with the more he plays."

On OLB Jadeveon Clowney’s status…

"I’m not sure about his playing status for this week, but I do want to say that this guy has worked extremely hard to recover from injures. I want to be real clear about this with him as it relates to us here and the Houston Texans. We think very highly of him. We know that he is going to be a really good player. He has been unlucky. I don’t really care what anybody thinks about what I say in that realm of being unlucky or lucky. I’m just telling you he has had a sports hernia, a concussion, and now he is dealing with a knee injury. Those things are not easy in your rookie year. He is in there working extremely hard to get better. He is definitely day-to-day. We will have to see how he feels. We will take him out there and run and see if he can cut and do some of the things that really make him the player that he is. He will be honest with us. He is a good kid. He is a good teammate and he is working hard to get back on the field."

On TV cameras capturing an exchange between him and T Duane Brown and Brown saying that it was a basic football conversation…

"I don’t even know what you’re talking about, to be honest with you. I really don’t."

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