Texans head coach Bill O'Brien took questions from the Charlotte media on a conference call Tuesday. Below is a transcript of the Q&A session.
Impressions on Kyle Allen and misevaluating quarterbacks in the draft
"The impressions of Kyle – I'm very impressed. Also, when he played against the Saints last year, he's a guy that's very smart, he's athletic, he's got good arm strength, good accuracy, knows the system. Obviously, very well coached there with (Panthers Offensive Coordinator) Norv (Turner). I was very impressed. I think in scouting, scouting is an inexact science. I think there's a lot of things that are overlooked in scouting, and you try to do the best you can to make the best decisions on players. When you look at the quarterback position in my opinion, it's all about intelligence and leadership qualities, being a winner. It's not necessarily all about arm strength, and all the things that some people talk about all the time. I think there's a lot more that goes into it that are the so-called intangibles."
Kyle Allen's performance against Arizona
"I wasn't surprised. I think he's been very well coached in that system, so he knew where to go with the ball relative to passes that he made to (Panthers TE Greg) Olsen, or passes that he made to (Panthers WR Curtis) Samuel. (Panthers WR DJ) Moore is another guy that's having a good year for them, and obviously (Panthers RB Christian) McCaffrey. McCaffrey, he's a great football player. They've got a lot of talent, and I think that he did a good job of reading the coverage and having a good idea of pre-snap of where he wants to go with the ball. He made some very good throws with a lot of confidence. We've seen that now with (Jaguars QB) Gardner Minshew a couple of weeks ago. These guys are well-trained, they're very good players. They get their opportunities and they seize them."
The play of backup quarterbacks across the league
"I think they're really well-coached. Whether it's Kyle Allen and his background with who's coached him and who's coaching him now. Then, Minshew with (Washington State Head Coach) Mike Leach. Then with (Jaguars Head Coach) Doug (Marrone) and (John) DeFilippo coaching him now. (Giants QB) Daniel Jones and (Duke Head Coach) David Cutcliffe and now with (Giants Head Coach) Pat Shurmur. These guys are really well-trained. They know how to operate on a day-to-day basis, relative to taking care of their bodies, dealing with the media – because that happens in the places that they've been. I think they're just trained and they're ready to go."
If he recruited Kyle Allen while he was coaching in college
"The last time I was in college was 2013. So, I don't remember, but I am familiar with him when he was in college relative to Texas A&M and where he's been. Just looking at him now, and knowing some people that were around him, very smart, very detailed worker, and a really confident guy that knows the game and shows that. He showed that last week."
Progression of WR DeAndre Hopkins
"I think when we first got here, he was going into his second year. He came into the league in 2013, and was playing with (WR) Andre Johnson and learning under Andre. Then we got here – I think in the years that we've been here, he's probably in the top-two or three of targeted receivers in the NFL. We try to get him the ball quite a bit. It's obvious, that's what we try to do. He's gotten better. He works hard, he's a good route runner, he has great hands, very physical player. He really works hard to improve every year."
What sticks out to him the most about this week's matchup with Carolina
"I think when you look at their defense, they have a very, very strong defense. They're front seven is as good as any front seven in football that we've played so far. When you look at (LB) Luke Kuechly and (DT) Gerald McCoy, I know (DT Kawann) Short has been injured and things. (LB Brian) Burns is rushing the passer really well. They've got a lot of good players on the backend, and they do some different things relative to third down, and some of their schemes that they run. Very big challenge for us, and we've got have a good week of practice."
Biggest difference to Ron Rivera's defense
"I think the one thing that's always been associated with Ron and the defense has been they're very fundamentally sound. They're a very sound defense. They're not a defense that is going to be out of position. You're going to have to execute at a high level in order to move the ball on them, in order to put the ball in the endzone. They're going to be very, very sound, and very fundamentally sound, and very good at what they do, and they're going to be tough. Ron is tough – he's a former player, he's a great guy. I've gotten to know Ron very well. I have a lot of respect for Ron. His defense is going to be a tough defense. They've got a lot of tough guys that play really well, and it's going to be a big challenge for us."
On the development of his relationship with Ron Rivera
"We were on a sub-committee together. Ever since I got hired in 2014, he's always been a guy that's reached out to me, and has just been very good to me. He's a guy that everybody in the league respects from his playing career and his coaching career. He's just very smart and has a great passion for football. He wants the game to be played correctly, and wants the game to be officiated correctly and just believes that all the great things about football. He and I have always seen eye-to-eye on a lot of things."
On Texans RB Carlos Hyde
"Carlos has come in here and done a good job. We traded for him. He came in here and got comfortable with the offense. I think he was familiar with some of the things that we do. He had done them before in other offenses. I think he's done a good job of coming in here and working. It's hard to learn what we do. He runs the ball hard. He's done a good job in the passing game, protection wise and in practice in the route running. He can do a lot of different things and we're glad we have him."
On Panthers CB James Bradberry
"He's a good football player. He's smart, he disguises, he's a strong player, he's got good ball skills, very instinctive player. He's a very good player."
How far back he evaluates the tape of Kyle Allen
"It's tough – we try to go as far back as we can. There's a limited amount of time to get ready for the game, but we put a lot of time in, and we try to go far back. We try to see as much as we can see. I think in the end, you've got to think about how they're going to play us. I'm just saying, schematically, our defense is different that some of the one's they've played already. So, we've got to kind of figure out what he does well, and how they might attack us. That's the chess match every week. When you go against a guy like Norv (Turner) who's been doing it for a long time at a high level, it's very difficult. Two great coordinators going against each other this week with (Texans Defensive Coordinator) Romeo (Crennel) and Norv (Turner)."
On the key to replacing DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney
"We have a lot of good players on defense. Every year is different. We've always had to replace players every year that I've been here. That's the nature of pro football. Our defense is playing very hard. They're playing 60 minutes. There's a lot of things that we have to clean up this week, but they're playing hard, they're playing together and there's good chemistry on that side of the ball."