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Quotes: Day 2 of Training Camp

Posted Jul 27, 2014

Read what head coach Bill O'Brien and the Texans said to the media after Sunday morning's training camp practice.

Head Coach Bill O’Brien
T Tyson Clabo
OLB Quentin Groves
CB Johnathan Joseph
QB Case Keenum
FS Shiloh Keo
WR Travis Labhart
C Chris Myers
WR DeVier Posey
DE J.J. Watt

Head Coach Bill O’Brien
(on how the second day of practice compared to day one) “I thought the execution was slightly better. We’re still a long way from where we need to be, but the guys are really taking the coaching and they’re trying to get better. The intensity is good. The tempo is decent, not near where it needs to be or where it is going to be, but it was overall a better day than yesterday, which is what you are looking for, improvement every day.”

(on if Arian Foster is OK) “Is Arian (Foster) OK? As far as I know.”

(on he and the coaching staff evaluate the drills and operate on a daily basis) “We are extremely detailed. Just like every staff in the league. We watch every bit. We watch quarterback-center exchange. We film that. We watch every drill. The drills that we are behind on watching we try to catch up on the next day. Maybe we move a meeting around so we can get it all watched, but we watch every bit of practice to evaluate.”

(on the speed and style of the training camp sessions so far) “We like to play at a fast tempo overall. We believe in controlling the tempo. Obviously, offensively is what I am talking about. I think early in training camp when you are installing, it’s not a review because a lot of these plays have been run obviously in the spring, but you’re still in an installation mode. So you’re huddling, you’re going to the ball, you’re calling the play in the huddle and you’re going to the football. Hopefully by practice six, seven and eight, that process speeds up to the point where now you’re in no huddle and then your huddling and your back and forth and controlling the tempo on offense. I just think we’re a long way away from where we are going to be as far as tempo is concerned.”

(on the loud music at practice) “You know, I just really believe in that. Obviously, places that I have been we did it. I felt like it did a few things. It forced communication with the players. The coaches aren’t out there on Sundays telling you what you alignment is, what call you should make and who the ‘Mike’ is. You’re out there as a player on your own. You’ve got to figure it out in communication with your teammates so that you crank the music it forces communication among teammates. Then they get to know each other’s body language and how they do a signal or how they do this or how they do that. I think that is good. And then obviously, I just see, I believe a difference in the enthusiasm and the tempo of practice when you crank the practice. Not to say that they always like my music selections, but they seem to like when the music is going.”

(on the outside linebackers, Quentin Groves and Lawrence Sidbury, added to the team today) “We just always are looking at each position to make it the most competitive position we can.”

(on the quarterback reps leading in the first preseason game will be determined) “It’s predetermined basically in the first three or four practices. Fitzy (Ryan Fitzpatrick) will get the bulk of the reps, and then right now Case (Keenum) is getting the second most and Tommy (Tom Savage) gets quote en quote the third most. But basically Tommy probably gets a lot of reps on his own because we do a two-spot drill there in the beginning of practice and we’ll do more of those as practice where he gets his own reps and Case comes over and gets some of those reps to. So it balances itself out, and then we determine who is ahead of who after a few practices. However many practices we think we need to determine who the backup quarterback is going to be. We’ll take our time with that. You know, right now it is Ryan, it’s Case and then it’s Tom.”

(on Alan Bonner and Cody White not being at practice) “We’re still in evaluation on that. They both went down with something yesterday and at some point in time we’ll let you know, but they’re still getting checked out by our medical people.”

(on if he noticed Lacoltan Bester intensity at practice) “No. But, you know, I’m not trying to be, I just didn’t notice that with him. I like Lacoltan. I think he works extremely hard. I haven’t seen really anyone really jump out. I think we’re working hard as a team. Everyone is trying to learn the system and execute. We’re trying to hold ourselves, each other, coaching staff, players, we’re all in it together and we’re trying to hold each other to a high standard. I wouldn’t say anyone has jumped out or not jumped out or jumped in or whatever. I just know that we’re out there working and trying to get better every day.”

(on what goes on from the end of the morning practice until the afternoon practice) “What we do is we take a little break here, grab some lunch, work out, whatever as coaches. Then we go upstairs and we watch the tape from the morning practice. It usually takes between two and a half to three hours to do that. Then we go to a basically a special teams meeting in the afternoon. Offensive and defensive meeting in the afternoon and then we go to a walk through either on the field or in the bubble. And that is basically an hour and a half or an hour and 45 minutes divided up between the first portion of it being special teams. Its corrections from the morning practice and then looking ahead to the next practice or the next two practices, and then that is the same thing with the offense and defense. We correct some things that have to be fixed. We talk a lot about fixing problem within a game. You’ve got to fix problems in the game. You can’t wait until halftime or Monday to fix something that came up in the game. We’ve got to fix those problems either on the practice field or in the walkthrough, and then move on to the next practice.”

(on fixing problems on the go, specifically a running back dropping passes) “We do those. I don’t know if you see the drill where we do there in the middle of practice where we call it a turnover tackling type drill where they have to catch, they get hit simultaneously and then they have to force the tackler to miss, the tackler has got to take the proper angle, those types of things. We make them do extra work on the jugs machine, extra work with the quarterbacks and all kinds of drills. At the end of the day, they have to catch the football. They have to intercept the football when it is there for them. Ultimately, it is up to the player to get better at that. But we as coaches try to do everything we can to help them improve.”

(on the young draft picks acclimating to training camp) “I think you’d probably have to ask them. I think so far it has been OK. I think the guys came back in shape. All the guys, all the rookie guys that ran the conditioning test passed it. I feel like they did what we asked them to do in that regard. We feel like it is a good class, a good bunch of guys and fun guys to coach, but it’s a big jump. It’s not easy. Nothing against anything in college, but when you go from, say you’re Xavier Su’a-Filo, and you go from blocking whoever you were blocking in the Pac-12 to six short months later you’re blocking J.J. Watt. That is a little bit different ball game, so I think they are adjusting as good as they can. They just have to keep trying to get better every single day.”

(on what you want to see from the guys in full pads) “Yes, tomorrow we will be in full pads. I just want to see these guys come out and compete. I want to see these guys do a good job with contact speed. I want to see these guys make sure that they take the meeting to the walk through and then ultimately for all of us, we’re all here to produce on the field and win. That is what we are here for. Hopefully, those guys go out there and get better from where they were today.”

(on whether they will go live tomorrow) “You’ll probably be at practice? Yeah. You’ll find out then.”

(on the heat of practice and if it affects practice) “I coached at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Altitude? What are you, a geography major? I mean, it is Texas. It is hot, whatever. These guys are doing fine. We’re not expecting an Alaskan cold front to come in wiping through here. We’re out there and we’re going. We’re practicing. We go out there every day with the mission of getting better. We don’t really worry about things we can’t control. We can do nothing about the weather. All we can control is what we do and what we know and how we produce on the field and how hard we play and what type of condition we’re in. How hard we’re studying and working and all those things. With all due respect to the question, that is not anything that we think about.”

(on if the heat of practice helps players get into better shape) “I mean, I think there are 31 other teams that are getting in shape. I think it is hot everywhere right now. That is what it’s all about. Everybody is working hard to be ready for their first game.”

(on if he chooses the musical playlist at practice) “Yeah, for the most part I do. Sometimes I’ll ask the guys. It’s a big thing because I love music and the players love music. My thing is all we do is that we try to make sure that it is respectful music and that everyone gets a little taste of each other’s music or whichever ones they like. We just try to crank it loud and the guys seem to enjoy it. They make fun of me a lot because of my selections, but it’s all in good humor. It’s fun.”

(on guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Johnathan Joseph and how much of bringing them back to speed is determined before or during practice) “I would say that any, especially the rookies, I would say especially the rookies, they are on a need-to-know basis. We just let them go and Kap (Geoff Kaplan) and I discuss it, and that is how it goes.”

(on veterans like Tyson Clabo and Akeem Dent coming in and if they have different expectations coming in) “I think you have to treat them brand new in the fact that they are brand new to the way we do things. But I do also believe that there is respect level for what they’ve done in the league. I do think that you want to make sure that they understand what you’re doing but you also want to when they’re here after a few weeks, a couple weeks or three weeks, that, you know, maybe they have something they’ve seen in places where they’ve been that is good too. For right now, it just like they are brand new and we’re just making sure they know how we do things.”

T Tyson Clabo
(on avoiding another season like last season) “Like I said, we’re not looking back. This is where I wanted to be and it’s where I’m at.”

(on what J.J. Watt was like when he played against him) “Long.”

(on why this team was enticing) “Like I said, I’ve been down here before, played down here several times. The atmosphere here for home games is tremendous. I just like the city. I sat down with Coach O’Brien and really enjoyed our time together. I knew Coach Dunn. I know they have a lot of talent on the roster. It was an easy decision.”

(on the depth at offensive line) “Yeah, but we have a long way to go. We have a lot of work to do. When I watched myself yesterday it looked like I hadn’t played football in 7 months. And I anticipate that every day I need to get a little bit better and so we all have that same—looking through the same set of eyes. We all know that we have a lot of improvement to do to get ready for the opening.”

(on where he played in Europe) “Hamburg.”

(on if he picked up any German) “No, very little and it was a long time ago so I forgot it all.”

OLB Quentin Groves
(on if the coaching staff was a deciding factor in him signing) “It is. (Mike) Vrabel is probably one of the best 3-4 outsides to play the game. To pick his brain and to ask him questions is a plus. And Romeo (Crennel) had probably one of the greatest defenses to ever play with the New England Patriots. So it’s exciting. I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down with Romeo and just talk football yet, but I’m anticipating that change to do that. They have great minds—they are great minds. I’m thankful for the opportunity to come in and learn.”

(on if putting the pads on is the same with a different team) “It is. Once you put those pads on—it’s even the same in underwear, you can only do so much—but when the pads are on and you go click clack and people start and you can’t hide anymore, you know what I mean? So we’ll see what everybody’s about. I’m gonna be a little rusty. I haven’t had the pads on in probably over six or seven months because I ended the season on IR. So it’s gonna be exciting, you know, to see how people move, see how people hit, see how people get a couple ‘ooh’s’, a couple ‘ah’s’ out of the crowd so it’s always exciting when the pads go on.”

(on his fit with the team) “I think I fit in pretty nice. I think I fit in pretty well, special teams-wise and outside linebacker. Some of this stuff is going to carry over and all you have to do is learn the terminology. By the grace of the most high I think I’m smart enough to do that and learn that so I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

(on his comfort level with what the team is doing) “I do, I do. Like I said, it’s pretty much the same thing I’ve been doing for the past 3 or 4 years. It’s just learning the terminology; just learn what it means to talk differently like this defense. Once you get those words out you pretty much know it.”

(on if practice was more difficult after having taken time off) “No, because one thing I did was I stayed in shape. I kept practicing football and studying football, and football is football. Cover-3 is cover-3, cover-2 is cover-2, and cover-1 is cover-1. You just have to figure out how you fit in that piece of the puzzle. And then, like I said, the code words. It was pretty good. I got around, moved around, hopefully looked pretty good. You’ve just got to keep building, you know. I was a bit rusty in some areas and in some areas I felt I excelled.”

(on how much he knew about the coaching changes in Houston) “I knew about the Bill O’Brien change. I knew about Romeo Crennel being the defensive coordinator. I was surprised I didn’t know (Mike) Vrabel was the outside linebacker—I mean the linebackers coach, so I didn’t know that. But I pretty much know it’s the Patriots of the South. I think that’s kind of why I jumped at the bit because to get that type of coaching they had over there, to get that winning pedigree, I’ve longed for that. Not to say I haven’t had winning coaching but when you’re around a winner and you can feel the winner and the intensity that he brings. I was thankful for it and that’s what kind of sparked the decision.”

CB Johnathan Joseph
(on how Bill O’Brien goes about his business) “It’s strict business, man. It’s all about going in and putting the hard work in and eliminating the distractions outside of football. The moment he hits the practice field and the game field it’s all about football. He just wants to see you take what you learn in the classroom and take it out to the practice field and progress.”

(on D.J. Swearinger’s growth from year one to year two) “A lot. A Guy like D.J. shows tremendous upside potential but he’s another one of those players; second year, we’re looking for him to make strides and I think he’s done a great job just coming out here and trying to get better each and every day.”

(on what different things the new coaching staff brings) “You can’t really look at it much different because everyone’s going to want to run certain things a certain type of way. It’s for you as a player to adjust and go with the flow and try to get better and make the situation better. Obviously this is a new coaching staff so they’re just trying to get us better and just learn what they want to learn from a defensive standpoint, offense and special teams.”

(on John Butler, his defensive backs coach) “Always a great guy and great coach. He’s just out here trying to push us and trying to get us better each and every day, help us learn from our mistakes and just better our technique.”

(on his timeframe for being ready for the season) “The season’s a month, month and a half away so right now it’s about trying to get better each and every day in practice. You know, I can’t look ahead up until the season, I just gotta try to better myself day by day and once the season gets here just be ready for it.”

QB Case Keenum
(on how camp has gone so far) “It’s going well.  Never as good as you want, but never as bad as it seems after you watch it on film. You are learning every day, you have to make some mistakes to learn from them, but you just try not to not to make the same mistake twice, move on and learn. You have to learn the new receivers out there, guys who have gotten better and seeing how we react to different defenses and getting better.”

(on if he feels like a veteran) “As far as feeling like a vet, I try to come out here and enjoy every day like it’s my first day and could be my last day. You just never know, but it feels good.”

(on what he’s had to learn with the new offense) “There are a lot of things I’ve had to learn. New verbiage, new coaches and how they react.  There is a lot of good stuff and I’m learning every day.  It’s been good.”

(on what he learned about himself during the 2-14 season last year) “I learned you have to go out every day and attack each day and forget about the last, successful or not, learn from it and move on.  I took a lot away from last year and that is just one of them.”

FS Shiloh Keo
(on coverages and adjustments) “We’re playing all kinds of coverages out there right now, but we have certain adjustments and we’re just trying to do our job and when we do our job, plays are made. It was a good day for the defensive backs today, but we still got a lot of work to do.

(on differences in calls and techniques this year) “Yeah, there are some calls that are completely different than what we were running in the previous years since I’ve been here, but there are some similarities too. There is a little carry over, but it’s just getting those different techniques down and getting them memorized and focused in and just continue to work and progress on those and I think we should be alright.”

WR Travis Labhart
(on trying to make the team out of training camp and catching extra balls after practice) “This opportunity comes around once in a lifetime. As being a rookie, you learn from veterans. You see Andre (Johnson), he’s been here 12 years, 13 years, I don’t know how long he has been in the league, but he’s catching jugs after practice. You just have to wait your turn. For me, I want to make the most of this opportunity. If it means sticking around 30 extra minutes catching passes and trying to figure out what I need to work on. If it’s not catching passes maybe it is working on routes or timing with quarterbacks. So I mean there are a lot of things. There is more than just catching. Just for me, I just want to make the most of this opportunity. So, whatever, hard work or whatever extra things I need to put in is what I am going to do right now.”

(on his ability to get open when the ball is going to be delivered) “I mean, that is just a lot of watching guys in front of you. Mike Thomas, a lot of the guys, Andre (Johnson), DeAndre (Hopkins), Keshawn (Martin), you know, just a lot of good veteran leadership has allowed me to see what they’ve done and then put it in play for me. Just, you know, get open. I think that has been the biggest thing for me. Just watching those veterans and seeing how they get open. For me, translate it and do the same.”

C Chris Myers
(on how the first two days of practice has gone) “It seems like a little bit of an introduction to the start of camp, but it doesn’t really start until tomorrow until you put the big boy pads on.  For the most part we are out here taking care of each other.  We have the foams on, it’s a nice little slow introduction to get your legs under you and to be able to get the offense and the defense going and then tomorrow hit at full speed.”

(on if he looks forward to hitting with full pads on) “You do.  It’s been so long since the end of the season and to be able to put them all back on again, to get those kinks out, to get the rust out, and you slowly progress from there.  It’s pretty exciting around tomorrow morning.”

(on injuries at guard) “Injuries happen in camp and you don’t expect them to happen, but you know it’s a possibility especially on the offensive line.  I’ve dealt with that throughout my career here and there has been a smooth transition at guard all throughout training camp.  If you want to consider it an unfortunate thing with injuries especially with what happened with Cody (White) yesterday, prayers are up for him.  You don’t ever want that to happen to anybody, but it opens up opportunity for other people, myself eight years ago I stepped in to a certain role because of an injury so it’s just an opportunity for other people to step up and play well.”

(on what he knows about Tyson Clabo) “Actually me and Tyson, my rookie year, were in training camp together out in Denver so we knew each other 10 years ago and obviously I followed his career while he was down in Atlanta.  He’s just one of those wily vets that has started a lot of games in the NFL for a long time, so to be able to have him here with his experience and veteran leadership helps out big time.”

(on if his responsibilities are different in the new offense) “Obviously the new offense is brand new for everybody in general, but for the offensive line and especially the center and the quarterback there is a lot of communication that has to go on identifying defenses, identifying the Mike linebacker and being able to get everyone on the same page is the biggest key.”

(on how different the offense is from last year) “It’s just different in general. It’s different for everybody; every single person is going through the same thing so we are going through it together.”

WR DeVier Posey
(on his roles and responsibilities in new offense) “I don’t know. I feel like it’s probably the same, which is get open, catch the ball, and make sure I block and get lined up. Like a receiver, just consistency, just making sure that you’re winning all of the time, being a guy that is winning more than you are losing, and getting open more than you are getting covered. I think that’s the job for all of the receivers and my job personally.”

(on difference of the offense compared to the past few years) “Of course it’s different, just the approach and the way they view the game. It’s great for our team and great for match-ups and I just like the way we prepare for everything.”

(on having Andre Johnson at training camp and if he was worried about him missing time) “I wasn’t worried too much. Andre had to handle himself and whatever he went through. We were here working and making sure we were getting our parts in, so when he got in and needed help, we can help him. We are excited; he’s our leader. Anytime a guy like myself can be in the room with a hall of famer and just feed off of all of the stuff he does and see the way he runs his routes is a positive thing for everybody in the room.”

(on wide receiver vs. defensive back rivalry)  “It’s just a part of the game, we love that. We have to get each other ready to go against the other DBs in the league and we all understand that we can’t go easy on each other. It might take some pushing, but when we get inside the stadium, we’re going to eat lunch together, we’re going to laugh, we’re going to joke, we’re going to look at twitter and talk about all of the stuff going on, and talk about some more football. That’s just how we play, that’s how we approach it, and that’s how we get each other better.”

(on putting the pads on Monday from a receiver’s standpoint) “It’s just a part of the game. I like the pads; that’s how the game is played. It’s not in shorts and t-shirts, so I am looking forward to putting the helmet on and getting some smacking going on.”

(on being fully healthy) “I was just dealing with the present. Last year, I had a deal that was on my plate and soaked up each moment and just learned from each opportunity that I had. This year I just tried to take the same approach with being physically healthy, so I’m just trying to soak in each month and each opportunity to get better for myself and work on my game. I just kind of created a new habit for myself; it’s kind of beautiful just to be in the moment and just enjoy getting better each day.”

(on feeling like a different receiver) “No, I don’t feel like I’m a different receiver, I just kind of feel like I’m healthy and I can do all of the things I used to do: cut, get out, run, and open up. It feels good and I just want to hone in on those skills and get better.”

(on Andre Johnson’s impact on the team after only two days) “A guy like that, he’s done it so many times. He has more pro routes than anybody in the room. Just for him to get out here and dust everything off is easy. We’re learning and we’re all helping each other and it’s just good to have our leader back.”

(on Andre Johnson counting on teammates as much as they count on him) “Yeah, definitely. But, that’s part of being a team and being good teammates, just making sure we’re all prepared. If something goes wrong, being able to look to the guy next to you and know he can help you, that’s what it’s all about and that’s the culture we’re trying to create here.”

DE J.J. Watt
(on putting the pads on tomorrow) “I feel like training camp ramps up a little bit when the pads come on. Being a defensive lineman, that excites me quite a bit, obviously. But that’s football. You play the game with pads on. You hit with pads on. You get a chance to really go out there and improve your craft when you play with pads on. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

(on the tempo of training camp through the first two days) “I think the tempo has been great. I think the guys have been working hard. I think we’ve been running through some things. Obviously, you’re going to have your share of mistakes. It’s early in camp. Guys are going to be working through some things but what I like is everybody’s attitude, everybody’s intensity and the way that we’re attacking practices is really good.”

(on some of things he’s looking to improve on this year) “It’s little things. First of all, with a new defense, I want to make sure that I understand it fully because you can’t play to your full potential if you don’t understand the defense and you don’t have all of the intricacies down. That’s probably the biggest thing right now; I want to get all the little things within the defense down so that I can go out there and let it loose.”

(on the challenge of knowing what everyone else around him is doing in addition to his own assignment) “I think that’s always good when you know that. When you can understand the full concept of a defense of a team it helps you understand your role better. Everybody needs to have a role and everybody’s role needs to be fulfilled. When you do that, that’s when you truly have success. I think we’ve been doing a good job and I think guys have been doing a really good job. Does that mean maybe staying in your playbook a little bit longer? Does that mean maybe watching a little bit extra film? Yeah. But we’re professional football players and that’s what we’ll do.”

(on what he thinks about the concepts of this defense) “I like playing in this defense. RAC’s (Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel) a smart coach. He’s been around for a long time. Football is football. I like to go out there and play football.”

(on how the defense is adjusting to having music at practice) “I like the music. It makes it loud. It makes communication a little bit tougher, which is good because on game day, communication is difficult. So it’s good to have a little bit of music out here to make you think, to make you really focus in on the calls and it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of a beat every now and then.”

(on how his leadership role has changed this season) “First and foremost, I’m always trying to lead by example. I’m going to go out here and try to do things the right way, try and show the guys that I’m all-in. Obviously, with a lot of the young guys, I’m a little bit older now—I’m 25, so I’m a little bit older—I’m trying to help them as much as I can. I’m telling them little tips, just some of the little things: how to be a pro off the field, how to take care of your body, how to take care of your business. And then on the field, little tricks, little tips that I’ve learned through my few years. (I’m) doing as much as I can. Just getting in guys’ ears and letting them know what they can do to be a better player.”

(on now being one of the most experienced defensive players on the team) “I know, man. I’m like an old man now. But it’s definitely a little bit different role than in the past but I enjoy it. I thoroughly enjoy it and I thoroughly enjoy being able to help some of the young guys out. It’s cool to have a guy come up and ask, ‘How can I learn? How can I get better? What can I do?’ Just little things, sitting in the cafeteria, ‘What should I do training-wise? How should I eat?’ That stuff is really neat to be able to talk about because that means guys are interested. That means guys are trying to get better and trying to improve and that’s what you love.”

(on how his relationship with the fans continues to grow) “I mean, they’re the absolute best. I can’t thank them enough. It’s such a humbling experience to walk across that bridge every day and to hear them yell and to go through practice and hear them cheer for the littlest things; I mean, doing a drill, jogging, walking, getting a drink of water. They cheer for everything and I thoroughly love it. I enjoy it so much and that’s why I try and spend as much time with them as I can. Because, like I’ve always said, some day it will not be like this. So I’m very, very thankful and I’m very fortunate and I love this city and I love the people here. I hope I stay here for a long, long time.”

(on how engaged and hands-on Head Coach Bill O’Brien is) “He does a great job. He’s very energetic. But he’s also very smart. He’s knowledgeable of every position. He knows what everybody is supposed to do. So when he coaches you, he’s coaching you legitimately and it’s great. When your head coach works hard, it makes you want to work hard for your head coach. That’s always a good thing. He’s put together a great staff and he’s got the players on the right track. It’s enjoyable. It’s fun to come to practice. It’s fun to work. Like I’ve said, training camp is the best time of the year to improve. Every single day you can improve on some technique, on some fundamental. There’s no time of year like it. Every single day you can get better and that’s why I love it.”

 

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