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Bill O'Brien Speaks On Hoyer and Mallett: "We're All On A Short Leash"

The Texans finally named a starting quarterback this morning, and not everybody is happy about the results. See how Bill O'Brien addressed the media in the wake of the decision to back Brian Hoyer over Ryan Mallett.

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Bill O’Brien met with the media today and officially named Brian Hoyer as the starting quarterback for the Texans in 2015. Here is the best of what the Texans' head coach had to say in a lengthy and very honest press conference.

On the decision to name Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback:

"We have put a lot of thought into this quarterback position, from OTAs to the point right now where we are, about two preseason games, all those practices, everything in training camp. We spoke to the quarterbacks this morning around 7:40, spoke to the team around 8:00, and we told the group – the quarterbacks first – and then the team that we are going to name Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback for our team right now.

I talked to you guys yesterday about the fact that this is the third game of the preseason where we want to try and get into more of a regular season routine here and treat it as such, as a regular season game, and so I felt like it was very important to give Brian the chance to run our offense all week, you know, knowing that he’s the starter going into this game. Now this game will be treated the same way schematically. We aren’t going to go into this game and show everything that we’ve been working on for the last six months, but we’ll give him a chance to start the game and play with the offense for a while in this game.

This was a very tough decision, but that’s why Bob McNair pays me what he pays me to make tough decisions as far as who’s playing on the field. It was a very tough decision, and a lot of people are going to ask me ‘was it a true competition’ and there’s absolutely no doubt about the fact that it was a true competition. Both guys competed from day one, they both have a lot of respect for each other. They’re both good teammates, they’re both good in the locker room, smart guys, they’re both good quarterbacks. In the end I thought that Brian showed me the most consistency, the most composure in certain situations, the experience in our system, all those different things go into the fact that I think he’s ready to be our starter."

On Ryan Mallett:

"I have a ton of respect for Ryan Mallett. I believe in him as a player. I believe in Ryan Mallett as a player. Last year we played four quarterbacks, and I use that as an example with him because I told him, I said you have to prepare every single week like you’re the starting quarterback. You have to be ready to play at a moment’s notice. I believe that he understands that, and I’m sure he doesn’t agree with the decision but I can tell you that he’s a professional football player and he’ll handle himself in such a way that we all expect from him."

On Brian Hoyer potentially being on a "short leash":

"I know one of the questions coming from you guys is ‘is Brian Hoyer on a short leash?’ Now the way I would answer that is basically I think we’re all on a short leash. I’m on a short leash. It’s a league based on winning. You have to win. It’s a results-oriented league. I wouldn’t necessarily use the term ‘short leash’ or anything like that, but Brian knows he’s got to go in there every day and earn it every day, play well in the games, and then go from there. They all understand that this is a results-oriented business and that’s the way it is every day in here. That’s the way the NFL is set up and that’s the way we treat it here in the building every single day. Some people may ask me do I think Brian Hoyer is the long-term solution at quarterback for this organization, what I’ll say to you is this - we all need to give Brian Hoyer a chance. He’s got an opportunity here. He’s got an opportunity to go in there as a starter and make the most of his opportunity. Like I’ve said in the past, I believe in him. I believe in his ability to run our offense efficiently. I believe in his experience in our offense. I think he’s shown in the past that he can be a successful starting quarterback, and so that’s what we know going into today and that’s basically why I wanted you guys to come here at 1:30. Sorry it was kind of a last minute deal but I just wanted to be able to talk to you guys about it and you know answer any questions that you may have."

On if there was a deadline for the coaching staff to make the decision:

"I think it was more about the process, Mark. We didn’t target any specific date. Yesterday was the players’ day off, so the players weren’t here yesterday and obviously as a coaching staff we were in here early and late into the night. So again I made the decision and I think it is a decision that’s in the best interest of the team at this point of time, but it wasn’t a specific date that we targeted, it was just, you know, it’s time to name a starter. We feel like we have enough information to do that, and to let Brian do it, and let’s go out there and try and be as good as we can offensively."

On what Brian Hoyer’s appeal is as a starter:

"I think he’s a smart guy. He really has a good work ethic, he works extremely hard, he wants to be good, he has a passion for the game, and he’s got a really good understanding of our system. He’s got a lot of energy, a lot of bounce to his step, and he’s good in the huddle. He’s got good huddle command, he understands how to manage the game. We have to see that now. You know we have to see that on the field but I believe that he does and I think that he’s done a good job on a consistent basis throughout the time that he has been here."

On if Brian Hoyer benefits from having experienced failure before:

"I think football is an interesting deal. I think that football really teaches you a lot about getting knocked down and being able to pick yourself back up. I think that’s a big part of the National Football League, if you look at some of the best players personally that I’ve ever coached, there’s guys here, you know, Michael Mohamed. If you look at Mike Mohamed, linebacker for us, how many times has he been released from a team, and I would tell you right now that Michael Mohamed is an important guy on our football team. He’s a good special teams player and a good sub linebacker. You know first and second down, so these type of guys that have been through a lot of different things and been down and picked themselves back up. That’s a part of their mental toughness, that’s a good thing."

On if he is relieved now that the decision has been made:

"No, it doesn’t change anything for me. I just approach every day, I try to have a good work ethic, and I really try every single day to make the best decision for this team. I really believe in this group of guys. I know that we have to make some decisions here in a couple of weeks but the group that’s in that locker room right now has put a lot of time and a lot of work into it. They’re a great group to work with, so I just try and match that work ethic every day and try to do the best I can to make sure the players know that we’re working hard to put them in good position to win."

As a side note, O’Brien also mentioned that Jadeveon Clowney will not play in this week’s preseason game against the Saints, but he will continue to practice.

What did you think of the head ball coach’s words on Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett? Have your minds been put at ease, or is the world still going to end in a fireball of interceptions and disappointment? Sound off in the comments below and tell us what you think.

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