Transcripts from press conferences with Houston Texans Coordinators and players.

ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH/DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR LOVIE SMITH

What do you think of Trevor Lawrence as a quarterback and what do you expect from the Jaguars offense?

“Coming from the college game, I feel like I know a little bit about him. I know he’s been a good quarterback. As a matter of fact, I even remember going to his high school way back in the day, watching him workout. An off-season workout, early in the morning, pretty impressive. Everything that should have been said about him has been said. He’s got all of the physical ability in the world. He’s been a good quarterback for a long period of time. Make all the throws, doesn’t know much about losing a game. For us though, it doesn’t matter really whether it’s Trevor Lawrence or whoever the quarterback might be. It’s always about what we do. There’s a way that we like to play defense. And part of being able to play good defense is to be able to control the quarterback as much as possible. In order for you to be a good quarterback though, you have to have good skill around you. He has excellent wide receivers around him with size, speed. Good running backs. We understand an offensive line has played a lot of football. Any offensive line coached by George Warhop is going to be pretty good. So, a big challenge for us, and we’re just excited about getting the season started.”

How do you approach the long- term options that are available for the defense?

“First of, long-term – you don’t think long-term. Bradley (Roby) was a good football player for us. He wasn’t playing this week, so our preparation has been without him. So how we’re going to approach it is that we have two starting corners in Terrance Mitchell and Vernon Hargreaves that are going to tee it up, and we’ll go from there.”

Were you trying to recruit Trevor Lawrence to Illinois out of high school?

“No, we didn’t have much of a chance to get him. I saw him workout is what I saw. You recruit a lot of schools, and you’re looking at a lot of players. Their high school had a lot of players. We were looking, at that time, another player at that high school. Everybody, of course, starts talking about him right away.”

What do you see out of DB Terrance Mitchell and DB Vernon Hargreaves III?

“Both, first off, have played a lot of ball, familiar with both of them. We’ve had them, from my time here through training camp, gotten a chance to work on the football field with them. We’ve played three games together. If we have a starting corner, these guys want to tackle. Both guys want to tackle. And they have a skill set that’s kept them in the league for a long period of time. I know they’re anxious. They came here for a reason. Seems like most of the guys on our defense, most of us have something to prove. So just excited about getting it started.”

When you are preparing for the Jaguars offense, do you focus on what Urban Meyer has done in his college career or in their offensive coordinators which have a long NFL career?

“You mentioned offensive coordinators. Brian Schottenheimer, he’s been a good football coach, OC, just good football coach for a long period of time. Of course, Darrell Bevel, the same, we competed against those guys in the past. A lot of experienced, I mentioned George Warhop also, NFL Coaches. But when we looked at all of that video but you have to also look, it also started with the head football coach, he’s an offensive guy, have a little bit of history with him. We have to look at everything they have done and that’s what we have tried to do. The first game of the season with two new staffs you never know, so you cover the waterfront and as much as anything you go back to what we do. We have rules that you go with, it’s that way for most first games of the season. That’s definitely the case for this week, a lot of video, a lot of different ways it can go. Nut eventually they are going to run the ball in some form and pass the ball in some form and we will be ready.”

Does having a team made up of veterans help you do that?

“That’s a good point, yes I think it helps a lot. You look at our defensive roster with guys that have been in a lot of different places, so they are used to that change and dealing with the unexpected a little bit, not knowing, but when you are a veteran you know that you have to be ready for just about everything and there is a reason why the guys on our team have played as long as they have in the league. Watching them come together have been pretty neat, they bought into what we would like to be, who we would like to be defensively and we have seen it in practice and to an extent in games, the preseason games and I can’t wait to see it in the regular season.”

Can you talk about what you learned from your defense in the preseason and Training Camp and what do you expect from them?

“Well they are coachable and coming in new, coming in at the same time. I know as a coaching staff we knew what the names were, but we were going to evaluate everything on the field. Guys understood that and started showing us who they were. Like I said after training camp and the preseason games, we have an idea and we are excited. The way we play football, and it always starts with stopping the run and you have to be discipline, we play a gap control defense like most people do and we feel we have enough talent to be successful.”

What do you see after adding DB Jimmy Moreland off waivers and DB Cre’von Leblanc to the practice squad?

“As we talked this DB/Corner in general, there is a skill set that we are looking for. Yeah, you want guys to be able to run, change, transition, change directions, and I mentioned before as wanting to tackle as a corner. We have a profile that Nick (Caserio) and the rest of the personnel department has done a good job in getting the type of players that we want. These are two more that you have mentioned, we haven’t worked with them a lot yet, but we feel like that eventually they can find a role with us.”

Are you happy with where the run defense is compared to last season?

“Right now, yes with what we have seen. Like most teams we spend a lot of time, it always starts with that and it’s just about being discipline, trusting your teammate, being in your gap. There have been a couple of breakouts that we need to take care of, but we like the way we have played the run so far and it’s not just the preseason games we are talking about. We are excited to play a new offense, but our offense does a great job. You know Tim (Kelly) and the offensive crew does a great job in putting us in a lot of different situations that we have seen and I feel like we have held up pretty well against the run. That will have to be the case this weekend.”

When did you meet Head Coach David Culley for the first time?

“That’s a pretty personal question, I’m kind of telling my age, is that what you are asking me. I’m just joking. I really can’t remember, it seems like David and I have been coaching forever. I know David came into the league a little bit before and I didn’t really get to know him till we both came into the league. I came into the league in 1996 I guess, and he came in a little bit before that. I knew who he was before I really got a chance to know exactly what type of guy he was. But his reputation preceded him a little bit and through the years you keep track of the guys that do a good job in their position, and David has worked on a lot of good staffs. That’s why it was pretty easy when I got the opportunity to come down here, something that really just jumped at the opportunity, you want to always help the good guys, the good coaches that deserve the opportunity to lead their program. He’s done a super job with the football team daily, they believe in him and they want to win for him and that is pretty important.”

What did you hear about him when he was in the league before you really got to know him, what did you hear about him and how has that perspective changed or maybe not changed since you have gotten to spend more time with him?

“When we both came in, we were both position coaches and I have always believe that if you do a good job as a position coach you will move up and move up. When I say do a good job, David has always been know as a good detail, football guy that is more than just about football with him and I think that is what he portraying to the football team. Character, what you do and what you say is pretty important and doing things a certain way. That’s what I saw from him back then and that’s what I’m seeing from him and that’s who I knew he would be as a head football coach.”

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