We’ll get a link to the full transcript of the Q&A up as soon as we can find one. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of what Bill O’Brien had to say through the magic of Twitter.
Bill O'Brien on Brian Gaine pic.twitter.com/ASwEldV5q6— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Bill O'Brien on Brian Cushing pic.twitter.com/6CQdBHzjNm— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Bill O'Brien said he doesn't think any decision has been made about whether TE C.J. Fiedorowicz will retire after going on IR twice last season with concussions. “I know Brian [Gaine] and Chris [Olsen] will probably meet with his representative and him... https://t.co/FEYDiWLfsn— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) February 28, 2018
Bill O'Brien said Texans are upbeat about D'Onta Foreman recovery says perhaps a bit ahead of schedule from torn Achilles— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 28, 2018
Bill O’Brien thinks Deshaun Watson is ahead of schedule in his rehab. Doesn’t care that he’s rehabbing in Germany— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) February 28, 2018
Bill O’Brien wants to improve speed on defense and at skill positions. “But you have to be careful and make sure you’re not going just after speed.”— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) February 28, 2018
Like Jags coach Doug Marrone earlier today Bill O’Brien talked about how good the AFC South should be next season. “It should be unbelievably competitive and very, very tough.”— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) February 28, 2018
O’Brien on advice for Vrabel as a first time head coach “He’s in the division. I didn’t offer him advice! I think he’s going to do a real good job there.”— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) February 28, 2018
O’Brien on new senior defensive assistant/OLBs John Pagano “He’s coached in a lot of different systems and a lot of different players and with a lot of different coaches. We were excited to get him.”— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) February 28, 2018
These are the responses that stood out:
Can you talk about Senior Director of Sports Performance Luke Richesson’s role with the team?
Luke was a very important hire for us. Craig Fitzgerald did an awesome job for us and left to go to the University of Tennessee with Jeremy Pruitt, which was a great opportunity for Fitz. So, we had an opening and Brian (Gaine) and I sat down with Cal (McNair) and Bob (McNair) and we kind of revamped our thinking on that. We brought in a couple guys to interview – Luke being one of those guys – and he just did an unbelievable job in his interview, talking about not just strength and conditioning but nutrition and hydration and sleep patterns and all the different things that go into sports performance. We thought that he had a real good grasp of all of it. We liked the sounds when he talked to us about the staff that he was bringing in and wanted to bring in. We liked the sounds of those guys. He’s been here for maybe two weeks right now and he’s working, and the players that are back working out in Houston are there and they’re impressed with him. It’s going well.
Where is QB Deshaun Watson in his rehab and what do you think about him going to Germany?
In his rehab, I believe he’s ahead of schedule from what I see, what I hear. I think he’s doing real well. He’s been through this before, unfortunately. He knows what the rehab process is and I think he’s doing a real good job. Relative to him going to Germany, look, he’s a young man and he wants to explore the world and he has a chance to do it. Go for it.
What is it like working with General Manager Brian Gaine and what do you see of him as an evaluator and a teammate?
Brian (Gaine) and I, we worked together for three years in Houston and worked closely together during his three years there as the director of player personnel. We worked a lot together. We knew each other before that. We have a lot of the same philosophy as to how to build a football culture, a football team. We believe in the same things. We were kind of, in many ways, brought up the same way in football, especially in the NFL relative to Coach (Bill) Parcells and Coach (Bill) Belichick. So, there’s a lot of common language that we use and we talk all the time. We communicate really well. We’re both from the northeast, although he’s from New York City and I’m from Boston, which there are some – that’s another story for another time. He’s an easy guy to talk to. We don’t always agree on everything, but we agree quite a bit of the time as to how we see a player, how we want to set things up in the football program that we’re trying to put together. So, it’s been really good.
Can you talk about hiring Senior Defensive Assistant/Outside Linebackers Coach John Pagano and what you want him to do for you this year?
John is a guy that I’ve known for a long time, obviously known his brother Chuck (Pagano) and John comes from a football family. He’s coached in a lot of different systems. He’s coached a lot of different types of players. He’s coached a lot of different type of positions. He’s coached D-line, linebacker, secondary – he’s coached them all. He’s another guy that was very impressive in his interview when he sat down with me. Romeo (Crennel) was in there. I thought he did a really good job of teaching and communicating and being able to answer different situational type questions. I think we’re lucky to have John. I think he’s really going to bring a lot of knowledge and energy to our staff.
How do you evaluate the running back depth considering that RB D’Onta Foreman is coming off an injury?
D’Onta’s doing well. I mean, he’s in there every day. I know that’s not the easiest injury to come back from. Obviously, an Achilles is tough, but he’s doing everything they’re asking him to do and he looks like he’s on schedule, maybe even a little bit ahead of schedule. He’s positive about it. Look, our running back situation is something that has been very productive for us. D’Onta’s been productive, Lamar’s (Miller) been productive. We’ve gotten production out of Alfred Blue, so we feel good about it. But it’s just like every position on our team, we’re constantly talking about it, evaluating it and thinking about ways to improve it relative to maybe how we coach that position better or maybe it’s something else. That’s where it’s at with the running back position.
Was it tough saying goodbye to ILB Brian Cushing?
Yeah, no doubt. Those decisions are always really tough, especially when it’s a heart-and-soul guy, captain of your team. A guy that’s played so tough and competitively and with great energy for all the years that he played in Houston. But those are decisions that have to be made at certain points of guys’ careers. Brian will always be a Texan, no doubt about it.
Anything jump out at you?