Bill O’Brien met with the media today and we take away five things from his press conference.
Devon Still had a linsfranc injury which required immediate surgery but the Texans waited as long as they could until they received the final diagnosis on his injury. It is clear that Still needed the surgery to correct his foot injury, ending his season for the year.
“As soon as they diagnosed it, they went and operated on it. I think that it’s a tough thing,” explained Bill O’Brien.
Still was active for three games this season and had his best game this past weekend against the Tennessee Titans, racking up three tackles.
The Texans have a new challenge this week in that this will be the first time they play a “true” 4-3 defense in 2016. The offense has been working primarily against 3-4 fronts since the start of the summer heading into training camp and the first four games of the season, the Texans have been working mainly against 3-4 teams and under fronts.
“This is the first time we’ve played a 4-3 team,” O’Brien stated. “Basically, a true 4-3 team this year, which is a lot different for our players. We’ve been seeing a lot of 3-4 and under fronts and things like that. It’s a totally different team.”
The Texans will have their work cut out for them facing a new defensive front and the second-ranked defense in the NFL, who only gives up 12.5 points a game. They also rank in the top ten in pass yards (9th) and rushing yards allowed (8th), easily making them one of the premier defensive units in the NFL.
Bill O’Brien is preaching to his team early about not showing up like they did against the New England Patriots in week three, where they laid a complete egg.
The early theme for the Texans in O’Brien's opinion is “handling the environment” in Minnesota’s new stadium and “ball security” against the top take away team in the NFL.
Bill O’Brien likes what he sees in Sam Bradford and what he has accomplished to this point in Vikings’ offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s offense.
Bradford has been turnover free for the Vikings since taking over the starter’s role in week two and O’Brien knows how well he not only takes care of the ball, but also how accurate he is as a passer.
“He’s a very accurate passer, very bright guy,” said O’Brien. “I mean, he’s an extremely accurate passer. I think that’s his number one quality in addition to his, obviously being a highly intelligent guy to be able to do what he’s doing.”
Bradford is completing 69.5% of his passes and, entering this season, Bradford was completing only 60.1% of his passes in his previous five seasons combined.
Bill O’Brien is convinced that Will Fuller V has not even touched his ceiling as a player for the Texans. Despite Fuller’s early success for the team, O’Brien knows that there is plenty more for Fuller to hone his craft even further.
“Now, he’s got a long way to go,” said O’Brien. “I know that sounds crazy to you guys, but he’s got a long way to go. I mean he can improve in so many different areas.”
O’Brien does think that Fuller’s early success has come from his ability to be an accomplished route runner as a rookie, that he does not solely a run by defenders on nine routes, that he has an expansive route tree that he runs very well.
Braxton Miller returned back to practice for the Texans after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury.
Duane Brown is expected to start on Sunday against the Vikings at left tackle barring any setbacks with his quad injury sustained.
The Texans shuffled their roster some by signing Brandon Dunn off the practice squad and placing Devon Still on the injured reserve.