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2015 Houston Texans Rookie Minicamp: Bill O'Brien Meets With The Media

Just days after fulfilling their dreams and making it to the NFL, the rookie class of the Houston Texans finally took part in their first practice as a team. Head coach Bill O'Brien met with the media to discuss the importance of this weekend's indoctrination.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien kicked off this year’s rookie minicamp with yet another press conference, and he gave some good insight about how he and the rest of the organization are approaching this weekend. You can see the full press conference here.

On the purpose of rookie minicamps…

"When we talk to the rookies, the first thing we talk about is that basically since the end of the college season they’ve been somewhat of a man without a country, meaning that they hired an agent, the agent maybe placed them in a workout facility, they were kind of making sure that they were taking care of their own skillset as it relates to the combine – those types of drills – and the senior bowl. So the first thing they need to do is to realize that they are back to being part of a team and what it means to be a Houston Texan. So we talk to them a lot about that.

And then as it relates to specifically this weekend, they’re really here to learn our system. To learn how we do things, to get on our program – this is the way we meet, this is the way we walk through, and this is the way we practice. Really they don’t have time do anything other than that, and the first thing they need to do is basically make the team and learn their role, and then create some value for themselves on this team…but making sure that they know that they are part of a team. They are not on a field trip to Houston, they are here to be the best football player they can be."

On getting the rookies back into "football shape"…

"There’s a big difference between training for the 40 yard dash, or the broad jump, or the vertical leap. All those things are important in the process of getting to this place. They were part of the process of how they ended up in the NFL and specifically with the Houston Texans, but at the end of the day those things don’t really relate to the tempo at which we practice so I think our staff, our training staff, and our strength staff, we really work together to monitor these guys and evaluate these guys to see what type of condition they’re in. The worst thing that can happen, and it always happens because it’s inevitable, that a young man pulls a hamstring or a calf muscle or some soft tissue and he ends up being out for two or three weeks and now they’re behind the 8-ball – and they’re already behind. We’ve got guys who have already been here for a year and change in the program, so they are trying to catch up to them and if they get an injury because they are out of shape, part of that is on us. We’ve got to do a good job making sure that we push them, that we get a good tempo, that we get a good look at the plays and the way that the players play within those plays, but also making sure that we get a look at their conditioning level."

On what the coaches are looking for this weekend…

"This is an evaluation weekend. It’s a really good opportunity for us as a coaching staff to watch these guys perform in the drills and the schemes that we’re going to ask them to be in, meaning what is their fit? How do they move? What is their athletic ability? What is their ability to take the information from the meeting to the walk through and then obviously to practice to really understand what we’re trying to do? How well do they learn? That will help us maybe figure out how to teach them better or teach them in different ways."

On expectations for Jaelen Strong as a rookie…

"We have high expectations for the guys that we’ve drafted, especially for those first three draft picks. We certainly have high expectations for those guys, but each guy is a little bit different in how they’ll take the information and be able to perform on the field. We’re not looking for a Pro Bowl player on the first day of practice. We just want guys that are going to work hard, be dependable, practice hard, be consistent, and if we can do that with all these guys then we’ll have a good rookie class if they perform in that way, and Jaelen is no different. And you’re right; the receiver class from last year is a heck of a class. A lot of those guys went out there and performed really well whether it was Beckham or Sammy Watkins or whoever. I don’t think we’re looking for that on the first day from Strong but we have high expectations for all these guys, especially those first three guys that we drafted."

Beyond the quotes above, O’Brien also talked about the potential versatility of fifth round pick Keith Mumphery, the biggest joys of being a coach, and how the organization will help this year’s crop of rookies adjust to life in the NFL. Day Two of minicamp starts bright and early Saturday morning. Keep checking in regularly on BRB for news and updates as they come in.