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Houston Texans conference calls

Audio and transcripts from head coach Bill O'Brien and defensive end J.J. Watt's conference calls with local media

Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Can you talk about the challenges of preparing for a team that has had a change in coordinators and two weeks to prepare because of a bye?

"That's a big challenge for us. We're familiar with Dennis (Allen). He's a great coach. It will be a game where we will have to see how the game is being played and adjust during the game. Right now we're going off of film. We're trying to put a good game plan together. It will be a big challenge."

Do you go look at some of Dennis Allen's old film or is that too much going back to Denver and Oakland with different teams and different situations?

"We look at everything. We try to go back and leave no stone unturned. We look at all the film."

An area where the Saints defense has had success is on third down. Is there anything specifically that you have seen there that has caused this success?

"They're very good on third down. They have different looks all the time. It's never the same look two times in a row. It's a spin the bottle approach that involves a lot of pressure, a lot of man coverage. They drop back and rush three. It's always been their approach. It will be that way with Dennis (Allen). It's a challenge.

How was Brian Hoyer in practice today?

"He was good. He was back and he looked like the ball was coming out of his hand good. I thought we had a decent practice today."

He had some experience against the Saints in the preseason this year and had success as the Browns started in Week Two when they beat the Saints in 2014. Does it help at all in terms of familiarity?

"I think that anytime you've gone against a team before, a coach or whatever, there's something to be said with being familiar with the team. It's a different team and like I said earlier, you see how the game's being played. We're going to have to adjust in the game."

Did you ever overlap with Michael Mauti at all at Penn State?

"Yes. He was the captain of my first team there and really was such a meaningful part of holding it together. Yes, we overlapped."

He's had a bigger role the last two or three games because of injuries at linebacker. Does that make it difficult to figure out who's going to be in the front seven because of all the injuries at linebacker?

"They've had some injuries, but I think whoever's stepped in there and played for them has played decent for the. I really believe that. I think it's difficult, injuries or no injuries, they have some guys that are really flying around and play aggressive football in Cameron Jordan up front and (Kevin) Williams. They've got some guys you really have to deal with. It's a big challenge."

What have you seen from the Saints offense. For all the inconsistency on defense, they've been pretty steady after Drew Brees got back to health?

"I think as long as Sean Payton is calling the plays and Drew Brees is playing quarterback, they will be playing good on offense. They are in the top five of just about every important offensive category. We have a big challenge there. We've been playing well on defense, but this is a big, big challenge with the Saints offense."

What are your experiences with a team that is not only coming off a bye but has also made a very significant change? Do you talk about that with the coaching staff and players about the specific challenges that go along with that?

"I don't really have experience myself as a head coach (with these situations). I've been a head coach for four years, so I don't really have experience with this. It's a big challenge for us and I think like we said, we've done a good job in practice this week, we have a good gameplan, but we really have to do a good job in seeing how the game's being played."

Can you run into a trap of looking at too much when you don't know what to expect when there is a new coordinator?

"I don't think you can ever look at too much. I think you have to study and prepare and try to leave no stone unturned to help your players try to figure it out."

Have you noticed any type of trend where teams make a midseason change and it may not be sustainable but it seems like they are coming out strong in the next game, maybe stronger than they had been previously?

"I've definitely seen that. We've seen that this year when we went up against the Miami Dolphins and with the head coach being changed and they came out there and beat us solid. The Saints are a championship organization, their players, head coach, everybody. They have great people. They're going to show up in Houston ready to go. We realize that and we have to be ready to go too."

I don't know if you didn't know Michael Mauti was from the New Orleans area and know you didn't recruit him to Penn State, but what kind of impact did he have at Penn State and was it uncommon to have a guy so far from the region playing there?

"Again, I'm very close to Mike Mauti. Mike Mauti is a guy that's meant a lot to me in my coaching career. He just did an unbelievable job in 2012 at Penn State. His dad played at Penn State and played for the Saints when he got out of Penn State. He was a senior when I got there. He meant a lot to that program. The team that he captained is on the Ring of Honor at Beaver Stadium and Michael Mauti had a lot to do with that.

Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What have been the keys for you guys to get on this three game win streak?

"Yeah, every game is very important it's a one game season for us. Obviously we have had some success here recently especially coming out after the bye week. We have been playing well, but we need to continue to do that. The previous game doesn't dictate what the next game is about. We have a very good Saints team coming in here and obviously full of offensive players. Drew Brees, (Benjamin) Watson, (Mark) Ingram everybody. They have guys all over the place so we need to make sure that we do what we need to do during the week to prepare for Sunday."

What have you seen on film from Saints left tackle Terron Armstead whose been playing pretty well?

"Yeah I think he is. I think their offensive line is playing well. I think they do a good job and obviously when you are protecting a guy like Drew Brees, you have a very important job and I think they do a good job and I think Drew's a great quarterback and  Mark does a good job of running behind them. So I'm really looking forward to the challenge."

As far as facing a team with changes off a bye week. Do you expect the Saints to come out rejuvenated?

"Anybody coming off a bye week is definitely going to be a little bit rejuvenated. It's a very tough league so you need that week to get your legs under you and get your body right and obviously their bye week has come a little bit later in the season so they have had a long run and I'm sure that they enjoyed having a week off so they're going to come out looking to play well and come out ready to roll and I think they are a very good football team so yeah looking forward to the opportunity."

When you are preparing for the game how much film of individual offensive lineman do you watch to prepare?

"Quite a bit, I watch all five offensive lineman and break them down each individually. Break it down as a group the whole overall scheme that they run and things like that and it's a process that I go through throughout the entire week, but you also have to make sure you don't oversaturate your mind with information. There comes a point where you can get inside your own head if you watch too much film and study to much so at the end of the day it comes down to playing the game, letting loose and having fun, but you also have to make sure you watch enough film to get the right balance of knowledge so that you are in the right position. It's a balance, but it's a lot of fun and that's what makes the game so much fun."

How do you explain your third down defensive success?

"I think when we get to third down we do a good job of combining both the rush and the back end. I think when guys from the back end cover and we have time to get to the quarterback it's successful and also on the flip side of that when we get pressure on the quarterback it gets the ball out quick and helps the back end, so everything works in unison. We just have to make sure we are all on the same page and with as much success as we have had on third down we just want to make sure we get third downs .We can't give up big plays on first and second down. We need to make sure we put ourselves in opportune third down situations."

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