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Bill O'Brien Press Conference: On Brandon Brooks, J.J. Watt, Statistical Analysis, Computer Literacy, And More

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With his team in playoff contention entering the final week of the 2014 regular season, the Houston Texans' head coach met with the media yesterday. This is equal parts informative and hilarious.

He's an Ivy Leaguer.
He's an Ivy Leaguer.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien met with the media for his weekly press conference yesterday afternoon in the wake of Sunday's shocking upset of the Ravens. As usual, OB did not disappoint. You can read the full transcript of the presser, along with what Jared Crick and Kareem Jackson had to say, by clicking here. I have pulled a few of O'Brien's more informative and/or amusing quotes out for your immediate review below.

(on still being in the playoff picture) "These guys have put a lot of work into this season, and certainly as we look back on the season there is obviously plays and play calls and things like that that we all wish we could have back, but right now we are in the hunt, like you said. But basically, the most important thing about this week is the Jacksonville Jaguars and that we are very, very focused on them. Our guys really should not look at their record at all. It’s a very tough football team in all three phases, and so our guys need to be very, very focused this week on the task at hand, which is trying to win the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars."

(on what stood out to him about QB Case Keenum yesterday) "He’s a good leader. I mean, he is a good leader. He’s a poised guy. I gave him a lot of credit all week and obviously after the game of, I don’t think that’s an easy thing to walk into a locker room, even though you’ve been in that locker room before, but you haven’t been there for four months. It’s a different team. A lot of things have happened during the year. And you have to walk in there and you’re the starting quarterback and you have to earn back your teammates’ respect, which I think he already had. But I think coming in there and having the recollection of our schemes that he did, was really good. When he got into the huddle, he did a good job. Now he’s got to do it again this week. You’re only as good as your next game. You know what I mean? He’s got to do it again this week, but I give him a lot of credit for the way he carried himself last week."

(on his thoughts of DE J.J. Watt deserving the MVP award) "Believe me, I understand the question, but I could care less about the MVP. I really could. I know that he could care less about it, too. I think it’s about the team. I think that when you look at J.J. Watt, he is a great football player. He affects the game on every single play. Whether it’s a run at him or run away from him, a quarterback sack, a batted ball, a quarterback pressure, that’s what I’ll say about J.J. Watt. As far as MVP and co-MVP and this MVP and that MVP, I think if you look at the history of MVPs in any professional sport, does that always equal the championship team? I’m not sure that that does. Meaning, does the championship team have the MVP of the league? I don’t know. You’d have to check that out. I think it’s all about the team and I think he would be the first to tell you that."

(on how G Brandon Brooks is doing) "He’s doing better. I think that’s going to be day-to-day. I think that’s going to be day-to-day. He’s a tough guy. He was kind of bent in an awkward direction yesterday. He’ll get treatment. He’ll work hard to get back out on the field."

(on how T Derek Newton played after moving inside to right guard when Brandon Brooks went down and how T Tyson Clabo played at right guard) "I give Newt (Derek Newton) a lot of credit. To be able to go from right tackle and move into guard, that’s a whole different position. That’s a whole different world. Playing guard compared to playing tackle is just, we’d have to be here all day to describe the differences there. So I give him a lot of credit. He didn’t really get a lot of reps at that during the week, but he went in there and did a very commendable job. And the Clabes (Tyson Clabo) came in and he fought hard and he did a decent job, too."

(on if he uses analytics in his game planning) "I get asked that a lot. I know I’m a Brown graduate, but I don’t really know what that means. Do I use a computer?"

(on if he uses statistical analytics in game planning and play calling) "No question. No question. The thing is now with the way that the video is set up, everything is on computers. So really you can almost overthink yourself a lot because you can break the game down into so many different areas. Like I’m watching Jacksonville right now and if you just look at, for instance, Jacksonville’s third down, you can look at it in about five or six different ways based on the personnel, the front, the coverage, the blitz. So you’ve got to be careful there, but we definitely in all three phases use, I guess the word be analytics, to figure out what the tendencies are, what our calls may be in those situations. But at the end of the day it’s football and you just have to put your player in the best position to go make plays."

(on how much attention he pays attention to what percentage of time a certain play or play type works) "I think we look at that a lot. When we call the plays in all three phases, we usually side more with changing things up. We call it spinning the dial. But I also think that there are times when repeat calls are pretty good. Hey, this has worked. Let’s go back to it. There is a fine line there, but I do repeat calls, no question about it."

(on if the game plan or tool box of plays expands this week with another week of practice with QB Case Keenum) "As far like expanding or having less plays or things like that, there is really basically the same amount of plays every week. We have a menu in our offensive staff room that really adds up to 90 plays. So you have first- and second-down plays, third-down plays, red area, goal line, two-minute, four-minute, short yardage, all the different areas, and we try to stay to that 90-play limit, so to speak. We feel like we can’t get all those plays practiced if we go to 120. That was something that I thought in New England we did a good job of and we’ve tried to do a good job of that this year here. Sometimes it’s less, but it’s really never more. It’s really just those plays. These are the plays we’re going with and we’ve got to do a good job of practicing them and then executing them on game day."

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