Houston – Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien addressed the media on Monday at NRG Stadium following their 41-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday. It's a short week as they get set to host the Colts Thursday night.
Here are several of O'Brien's best quotes from his news conference.
How does it challenge your scouting process that the Colts have been without some players in recent games that they may have back by Thursday?
"That's a good question. I mean, they've worked hard over the last week. They're always a week ahead, but even before that we have scouts, just like every team that are at the different games of the opponents that we play. But you're right, it is a challenge on a short week. They've done some different things even since the last time we played them. They're a very disciplined team, very well coached team and we're going to have a bunch of jogthroughs and meetings and things like that and try to be ready to go on Thursday night."
What is allowing the Colts to run the ball so well right now?
"It starts up front with them. One of the best offensive lines in the league. Do a great job. They have good scheme, good backs. I think that the way the offense is run, it's run through the quarterback. He gets them into the right plays and so they're running the ball very well, and to run it against Jacksonville, that's a tough defense to run it against and they did a good job. So, it'll be a big challenge for us."
What are the mental challenges of being on a short week after a loss?
"I actually think that's probably a good thing. I think that these guys, we have a resilient locker room. These guys will come in here today, they'll come in, we'll squad meet at 2 p.m. We'll meet more, special teams, O and D, get right to Indianapolis and then have a walkthrough tonight. These guys will be ready. They'll be very focused. They're a great group to coach. They realize that in the NFL it's a week-to-week business and we've got to do a much better job this week, obviously. But on a short week, I know that these guys will be very focused."
With lighter practices on a short week, how do you find ways to see if guys with soft tissue injuries like WR Will Fuller V and CB Bradley Roby will be able to go on Thursday?
"That's a good question. I mean, we'll have to do things with them. We'll have to do things this morning, this afternoon, not overdo it, but just to see where they're at. Then the same thing tomorrow and then the same thing on Wednesday. I would say that both of those guys would definitely, on a short week, be game-time decisions. But we'll have to factor in how we judge that during the week by how we work those guys out – not overdoing it with them, but you've got to make sure that they're ready to go."
Is there any more of an advantage to play at home on a short week?
"I think that obviously that can be an advantage, but at the same time, we were at Baltimore and traveled back. It's good that we're home on that type of short week. Indianapolis was home, they're traveling to Houston. So, I don't know. I don't know if you can read too much into that. I know we're happy to be home, we're excited about being home. We know our fans are looking for a real good game on Thursday night from us, and our players and our coaches, we realize that and we're going to be ready for that challenge."
QB Deshaun Watson has not lost a lot of games like that in his life. What do you see from him and his ability to respond to a game like that?
"I think that you said it. You used the word 'life.' So, if you know anything about Deshaun Watson, like, in the whole scheme of things, relative to how he sees life and how he attacks things, that was one day that is over and we'll clean some things up and he'll be focused on Indianapolis. He's overcome a hell of a lot more than that, so he'll be ready to go."
How do you combat a defense that is assignment-sound and isn't giving you a lot to work with like the Ravens yesterday?
"They did a good job. Again, this is segueing into moving on to Indianapolis. We're going to see similar things. Indianapolis plays a very disciplined defense, a very physical style of defense. They're very well coached by Matt Eberflus. He does a great job. I'm not saying the schemes are the same, but there's some carry over. So, we've got to – as coaches and players, we have to come together on a good game plan and we have to do a great job as coaches and players of executing that game plan in a disciplined manner. We've got to do, obviously, a better job, which we're up to that challenge, but we've got to have a good couple of days here and be ready to go on Thursday night."
Coming off a loss on a short week, is it easier or harder to identify the things you want to fix quickly?
"I don't know if it's easier or harder, but I know there's a big-time sense of urgency relative to what you're asking. So, when you get back here last night you've already watched the tape on the plane. You have an idea of how the game was played and what we need to do to correct some things and what may carry over to this game. So, you get right to work on that because there's an urgency, there's a game Thursday night. Basically this is Thursday of a game week. We've got to get going. I think that's a good thing. I think that we came in here last night as coaches, we worked at it, we got a little bit of sleep and we got back up early and we have a pretty good idea of what we want to do. Now we have to have good meetings and communicate it to the players and good jogthroughs and get the players to know precisely what we want to do and build that and be ready to go on Thursday night."
Do you have any idea of how any of the guys that got banged up in the game are doing?
"I just don't have too much of an update on any of those guys. I feel like all of those guys after the game were probably trending in the right direction, but I'm going to meet with our medical people here at 11. So, I'd say tomorrow I'll have a better idea for you."
When you go into another game with the Colts, but they will have some different players than the last time you played, how do you scheme for those situations?
"You're exactly right. You have to do a deep dive. You have to go back and you have to look at all the different games that they've played with those guys in the games. They had some injuries yesterday. They've got to do the same with us. I'm sure they're doing the same thing. We had some injuries yesterday, they've got to see what we've done with different – (Will) Fuller (V) hasn't been in there a while. Is Fuller going to play? I don't know, we'll see, but we've got to do the same thing with them. I think (Rock) Ya-Sin was injured yesterday. We'll see how that goes for them. So, we've got to see who came in for Ya-Sin. I think there's layers upon layers that you have to do a good job of trying to leave no stone unturned and make sure your players understand how they may play this game with the personnel that they may have."
How different is the Colts' defense when S Malik Hooker is playing?
"He's a great player. They have a lot of confidence in him because he's got great range, instincts, size, ball skills. He's got it all. That's why he was drafted where he was drafted. They do a really good job. Last year they played a lot of zone, this year they're playing more man. They've got a lot of good disruptive players. Darius Leonard is a great player, Malik Hooker, the guys up front, Jabaal Sheard. They've got a lot of good players on this defense. They really do a good job of playing disciplined football and being where they're supposed to be. We've got to play disciplined and we've got to execute and see if we can out-execute them. That'll be the key to the game and that'll be the challenge."