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2014 Houston Texans OTAs: Quotes From Day 8 -- "J.J. Is A Playmaker"

Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel spent most of the time up at the podium yesterday. Read some of his juicier quotes here, including his thoughts on how to use J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney's progress.

Words from Romeo accompany this picture.
Words from Romeo accompany this picture.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the news of David Quessenberry's lymphoma diagnosis was another day of Houston Texans OTAs is now in the books. Romeo Crennel took to the podium to field questions from the media. Here's the video if you'd rather watch. Also watch him take media roll call here.

Here are some of his quotes for your immediate reaction:

J.J. Watt

(on working with a player like J.J. Watt)

"He’s pretty good, I believe. That is one of the things that I’ve noticed about him. He’s pretty good. He’s a pleasure to work with because he gives you everything he’s got all of the time. From a coaching standpoint, that is what you want from a player. You want the player to give you everything he has. We tell the guys to do your best and then you let the chips fall where they may. His best is pretty good."

(on using J.J. Watt in the current defensive system)

"I see putting J.J. on the field and letting him make the plays that he’s been making because I have not seen a defense yet that did not use playmakers. If you’ve got a playmaker, you’re going to use the playmaker. J.J. is a playmaker. You’ll find out that you have to be flexible and you have to adapt in the NFL from game to game, week to week and sometimes day to day. We’ll do what we need to do to put the best football players on the field and to play with them."

Louis Nix and the NT spot

(on the nose tackle position in the 3-4 defense)

"To play the 3-4 defense, you have to be good down the middle. That starts with the nose. Hopefully you can get a guy that commands double teams because if he commands double teams, then someone is going to be free. We tell them that you have to command the double team and then beat the double team at the line of scrimmage to get somebody free because if you get double teamed and get knocked five yards back, chances are someone is not going to be free and there is going to be a big hole in the defense.

"Nose is critical. He has to be able to win one-on-one, force the double team and then not get killed on the double team. Then that allows the linebackers behind him to be good. It allows the free safety down the middle of the field to be good. Therefore, it allows you to be good down the middle. Because of the way we play the technique, generally we’ve had bigger guys to be along that front. Then we try to put the more athletic guys on the edge of the defense to let them make plays there."

(on what he’s seen from Louis Nix III)

"Well, he got himself banged up early and so his knee was an issue. He hasn’t as much of an opportunity. I can tell he is a sharp guy and a guy with wits about him. His head is spinning as well. I think as soon as that knee gets well -he’s a big, strong, physical player and he has played the nose position, and so he knows how to play it- I think that will all bode well for him."

(on building the defense starting with the line)

"Sure, I still believe that. Like I say, you’ve got to have those big, strong and physical guys on the inside to make the inside of the defense good and then you can put those athletic guys on the edge and let them flash a little bit. They’re not allowed if the guys inside don’t do their jobs. We’ve got to be good on the inside."

Jadeveon Clowney

(on what he’s seen from Jadeveon Clowney)

"I think he is coming along fine. He is studious. He is studying and he’s trying to learn the system. He is making that transition a little bit, but it doesn’t seem to slow him down or hinder him. He’s still a rookie and I tell everyone, rookies are making rookie mistakes. That is what they do. Until he can get settled and feel confident in all of his assignments, and then he can become reactive, then I think he will show better at that time. Right now his head is spinning just like all of the rookies. Their heads are spinning because we’ve thrown a lot at them. They are working at it and they make their mistakes and learn. They come back the next day, try to improve and don’t make the same mistakes again."

(on a timetable for Jadeveon Clowney’s development)

"There is no real timetable. Everyone learns differently. Everyone goes at a different rate. We’re going to teach him as hard as we can and if he studies as hard as he can, then it will be sooner rather than later. We all know that we are going to play games in the fall, so we would like for him to be ready by then for sure. We’ll just keep working with him and he’s making progress."

(on Jadeveon Clowney playing primarily at outside linebacker)

"I think at this point that is what we are looking at, a transition of a rush end trying to become a linebacker. Only time will tell if he can make that transition or not. One, he has really good athletic ability. He has size, speed and I think he has deceptive strength. He’s got the tools. Now the thing is the dropping in pass coverage, the route recognition and all of those kind of things that you know, you just don’t learn them overnight. You’ve got to get reps at them."

Read the rest of Crennel's presser here. He goes on to talk about specific players like Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus and D.J. Swearinger. Also on how he's adjusted to returning to the league.

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