Your local football czar, Bill O’Brien, spoke to the media yesterday. Topics such as coming back from a loss, Mike D’Antoni, what happened to the Texans’ run defense, and more were addressed. Without further ado, here are the highlights.
What is the key for players and coaches to bounce back from a loss?
“I don’t know. I think you learn a lot in the first game, especially this one. Obviously there were some good things in the game – obviously not enough, but there were a lot of things to build on. But at the end of the day when you look at the game, there were 20 missed tackles, too much inconsistency on offense. Special teams was OK. We need to really just have a great week. One day at a time. We need to have a great day today and have a great Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and be ready to go.”
Missed tackles have been an issue since... forever? Anthony Weaver has his work cut out for him.
What has happened to the run defense over the last 10 games and what can you do to fix it?
“I think we just need to do – everybody just needs to do their job better. I think that every offense is different so with what the Chiefs were doing is different than what the Ravens are going to do but it still comes down to playing your gap and doing what the call dictates you to do, and then you’ve got to make the tackle. We missed too many tackles. We missed 20 tackles in the game. The Chiefs missed tackles too but not as many as we did. In the end we have to tackle better, we have to play our gap better and we just need to do a more consistent, better job at defending the run.”
Boilerplate stuff here, folks.
How is RB Duke Johnson doing and if he won’t be available what do you think about your depth off the practice squad?
“Duke is day to day. Duke’s a tough guy. He’ll see how it feels today and then you have like an extra day or so because of the Thursday game, so that’s a good thing. We’ll see how he’s doing as the week progresses. We feel good about the depth we have. We have some other guys there that could step up if Duke couldn’t go.”
ALL ABOARD THE SCOTTIE PHILLIPS TRAIN!
What are your thoughts on the development of OLB Jacob Martin?
“Jacob plays hard. He’s got good pass rush ability. He has a really quick first step. The best part about Jacob is the type of person that he is and how hard he plays. He plays fast. He plays every play relentlessly. He just gives great effort on every play and because of that he improves. He gets better and better within our system and I’m glad we have him.”
Jacob Martin is a fastball personified. Once he starts picking up more techniques, he’ll only become more dangerous.
Do you think the nature of the offseason will have an impact on how quickly the league adjusts to the Ravens given their style of play and that teams didn’t get a full offseason to prepare for that sort of style?
“These offenses are very unique, in many ways like our offense. The Ravens offense is very different than the Chiefs. There’s absolutely no comparison to what they do. They just use different personnel. They run totally different types of plays. Lamar (Jackson) is an excellent player. (Mark) Ingram the back, Hollywood (Marquise) Brown, the tight ends. They’ve got a lot of weapons. Good offensive line. Like I said, we’re going to have to have a great week. Our scout team is going to have to do a great job of giving a really good look and we’re going to really have to play a very disciplined game. We weren’t disciplined enough on defense on Thursday night. We have to be more disciplined and play a more disciplined game.”
The Chiefs and Ravens offenses are incredibly unique, in a good way. I wouldn’t say the same for ours. Bill O’Brien sure doesn’t have any lack of optimism, though.
Do you think that QB Deshaun Watson needs more time with his new wide receivers or do changes need to be made in the offense?
“No, it’s only one game. We moved the ball. We moved the ball, too little too late. We need to have a good week of practice and just keep trying to get better.”
Randall Cobb would beg to differ.
Do you anticipate DT P.J. Hall getting more playing time against the Ravens?
“P.J. did some good things. He did, he did. Let’s see how it goes this week. Different scheme. But yeah, P.J. definitely showed up on Thursday night and made a few plays. That were good to see. So, let’s see if we can build on that this week in practice and just keep going.”
After losing Timmy Jernigan for whatever reason, P.J. Hall becoming a solid contributor would be a sneakily good signing from the offseason. His hit on Clyde Edwards-Helaire in garbage time last week sure was pretty.
Your defense did not give up many big plays against the Chiefs. What do you have to do to limit big plays by the Ravens?
“The thing about it is, you’re right, we didn’t give up big pass plays but we gave up 160 yards rushing. I think they had the ball for 19 minutes in the first half and some of that has to do with the offense, too. We’ve got to stay on the field too on offense. It’ll be a different plan. It’s a totally different offense. You saw yesterday where they’re able to run the ball. Lamar (Jackson) is just, he’s really good at running the football. He can throw the ball. He threw a deep shot to ‘Hollywood’ (Marquise) Brown. We’re just going to have to do a good job of making sure, like I said, that we get the call, we execute the call, everybody does their job, everybody knows where their key players are. We’re just going to have to do as good a job as we can. They’ve got a really good offense and we’re going have to obviously play better than we did against the Chiefs. But it’ll be a different type of plan.”
Houston’s run defense will absolutely have to be better if the Texans are to have a snowball’s chance in Houston of being competitive against the Ravens on Sunday. We’ll see if BOB and Anthony Weaver can make the adjustments necessary.
What does it mean to lose a coach like Mike D’Antoni in Houston?
“It’s tough. It’s tough. I don’t know everything that was going on there. I don’t know anything about that organization, but I do know that Mike D’Antoni is a great coach. I’m actually friends with him. I’m friends with Jeff Van Gundy and I respect Jeff Van Gundy’s opinion on basketball. I remember Jeff telling me one time that Mike D’Antoni is one of the smartest basketball coaches he’s ever met. It’s tough. I think he was 100 games over .500. I don’t know. In this day and age, it is what it is. You have to win. If you don’t win a championship, then it is what it is. But Mike’s a great guy. He’s a great person. He used to come visit us up in Greenbrier when we practiced in Greenbrier. He has a place up there. Just a really good guy. His wife’s really nice, so all the best to him and I’m sure he’ll have a job here in a heartbeat.”
IF YOU DON’T WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP, IT IS WHAT IT IS. Bookmarking this for 2022.
What did you think about RB David Johnson’s performance on Thursday night?
“He’s a good player. He’s a very good player. He’s a good runner. He’s good in the passing game. I think there’s a lot of things that he probably feels like, ‘You know what? I can do this better and that better.’ He really hadn’t played in a long time, just like a lot of guys. He’s a good player. He’s big. He’s strong. He’s a great guy. Awesome guy to coach, always looking to get better. So yeah, we’re glad we have him.”
I’m inclined to give David Johnson props for his performance on Thursday against the Chiefs. He looked sharp early on and came into camp looking like he was chiseled out of marble. Hopefully he can stay healthy and the offense can open up a bit more for him.
How do you feel about WR Brandin Cooks moving forward?
“Definitely feel better about where we are from that standpoint of where he was injury-wise and again, I think it’s something we’ll monitor throughout the week. But I feel like he’s on the upswing. He’ll be able to practice more and things like that.”
The link to the full transcript can be found here. All in all, there wasn’t anything too controversial. The Texans have their work cut out for them against the Ravens on Sunday at 3:25 P.M. CDT. We’re on to Baltimore!