How would you evaluate the offense through these two days?
“I think it was good. A lot of different looks that we’re not used to getting. They run a different defense than what we’re used to so it got our guys thinking and I think we handled it very well.”
Will you see those defenses, the ones that the Texans like to run, throughout the season? Do you look ahead at the schedule and say, ‘These teams run similar things to this team?’
“As training camp progresses we will, but we’ve been pretty locked in on ourselves for the first beginning part of training camp. We’ve got a big game this week against the Texans. We’re going into it with the right mindset.”
The two-minute drill, it looked like you aired it out right away on the start of each one of those. Were you okay with that?
“Oh yeah, for sure. We had open guys, but some things happened in the pocket and it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.”
WR Trent Taylor seems to be rounding back into form. Is he back to being the same guy as the end of last year?
“Yeah. Coming off of any injury takes a little bit of time, but I think he’s been working hard. His cuts are becoming more decisive and efficient and it’s nice having him out there.”
Do you view Trent Taylor and WR Richie James Jr. as the same player and if not, what are the nuances there?
“I think having the experience of a year under his belt with Trent, and obviously in that position, there’s a lot of little nuances to the position of versus certain coverages, this route changes and this route changes. Having that year of experience obviously helps. But, I think Richie is coming along well. All of those rookies, they are putting in the time. Him, [WR] Dante [Pettis], all of those guys. It’s starting to come together.”
You threw a ball to Richie yesterday on the sideline, double covered and he went up and got it. He’s been described as fearless and it looked like he kind of was on that play. Is that how you see him?
“Yeah, it’s nice as a quarterback having a guy like that. Whatever you throw, he’s going to go get it. It’s that trust factor between quarterback and receiver. It’s nice to have that.”
Is that the same way you feel with WR Marquise Goodwin as well, that he’s definitely going to go get it?
“Marquise, [WR] Pierre [Garçon], all of those guys, even the tight ends and running backs, I think that’s what offense is all about between quarterback and any skill position. You spend so much time together that you start to learn a guy inside and out. You see him on film every day, what his body can do and can’t do. It’s just that trust factor between the two of you and knowing what to do.”
How much different is it now that you’re going through a whole training camp with this team? What’s your comfort level based on how you were last year when you were able to get on the field and now with training camp preparing for a whole season?
“It’s been good having OTAs, training camp, a whole offseason to really slow things down. Last year was kind of, ‘Learn this by the end of the week and we’ll figure it out on Sunday.’ So, having [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and [quarterbacks coach Rich [Scangarello] being able to describe how everything is tied together, it makes my job easier.”
How much does it help to be able to go up against this team? Obviously, you guys have been facing each other, going against this team for these two days. Does it give you a different look that another defense that you’re not used to?
“Yeah, I think it’s been good for us. Like I said before, it makes you think every day. We come in here, we install things at six in the morning. It’s an early start to beat the heat, but it’s good for us. It’s that mental preparation as much as the physical workout out here.”
Have you guys done any bonding exercises out here? Because you’ve been out here for three days now and there’ll be a couple more
“We’ve been drinking a lot of water together. At the end of these, you’re so dehydrated. I don’t know, nothing specific. But, we spend so much time in the hotel with one another.”
How much are you looking forward to seeing what you’re able to do with having all of this preparation and being really entrenched here?
“I’m excited. I think our whole team, we have the right mindset right now. We’re kind of ignoring everything that’s going on outside and kind of just doing our own thing. We’re locked in right now and I think we’re in a good place.”
G Joshua Garnett had a lot of time with the ones today. Can you talk about the chemistry building on your offensive line?
“I think it’s good that we mix in guys here and there, guard, tackle, center, whatever it is. Just because injuries happen throughout the season so those guys getting reps with different guys is obviously going to help us down the line.”
Did you feel like Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt was in your face most of the day today? Did you have any communication with him throughout?
“We talked for a little bit. He’s a heck of a player. There are some talented players on their defense so you’ve got to give them credit. I think he had a couple of nice plays, but we held our own.”
What do you guys discuss in those conversations?
“You can ask him that.”
From what you’ve been able to see with Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson on the other side, what are your thoughts on him from the little bit you’ve been able to see on him?
“We’ve only seen the two-minute drills against each other. I’ve heard good things. I can’t really speak on anything I’ve seen, but I’ve heard he’s a good player, a good leader and everything and I’m happy for those guys.”
Your deep ball has been dissected maybe unfairly in the spring.
A little bit. Have you seen progress in that? Are you happy where it is now and is that the last thing that typically comes together when you’re meeting new receivers?
“There’s a number of things that we still are working on. We try not to be happy or satisfied with anything. Obviously we’ll always try to push through short gain, mid-range and deep balls obviously. We’re always trying to improve those. It’s a work in progress and we’re trying to get it as well amped up as we can.”
Your second start came here last year. Just off the top of your head, was there a moment or a memory that comes to mind from that game?
“[S] Adrian Colbert’s fumble recovery. They ran a slip screen or something like that and he smoked somebody. That was a big turning point in the game. That was exciting.”
Offensively I think FB Kyle Juszczyk and TE Garrett Celek had plays that game?
“Oh yeah, Celek had a long one, looked very fast on it. It was an exciting game. It was fun.”
You were worried about whether you were going to be the starter after that game, but it all worked out for you.
“Yeah, oh yeah, I remember that.”
“I valued your input. I took it to heart.”