HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Bill O’Brien has focused on teamwork and execution since arriving in Houston and his players echo that message. When asked about Arian Foster’s injury putting pressure on the receivers and the rest of the offense, Andre Johnson replied, “I don’t think it adds pressure…I never look at football as pressure, so I think, you know, it all boils down to execution as a group.”
Johnson acknowledges the Bills speed on both sides of the ball, but he made it clear that match-ups do not concern the Texans, “We just go out there and play…It’s all about execution. You just have to outplay their defense, and our defense has to outplay their offense.”
The veteran receiver has good reasons to be confident versus the Bills – 397 of them are the yards he has accumulated the five times he has faced Buffalo. This time around he has DeAndre Hopkins to split the workload and defensive attention. Johnson said he is excited by Hopkins progress and how well he has settled into to the NFL. Johnson says after the rookie season is behind any player, they finally just go play because they understand what is expected of them.
Alfred Blue is getting the opportunity to find out what is expected from him with Foster’s absence. “You’ve just got to learn from your mistakes and you’ve just got to be real focused in there. Come third down, you know they’re about to bring the house. You’ve just got to be more detailed and confident in knowing who you’ve got out there,” Blue said of increased playing time. Admittedly, he did not realize he would be starting until Sunday morning in New York, but he has prepared all week to be ready if Foster is out again this week.
Coach O’Brien did not give hope that his top running back would be back in action Sunday. He indicated Foster looked much the same this week as last, but he would not decide on his playing time until game day.
Unlike Johnson, O’Brien did talk about specific concerns the team faces in the Bills.
“I think their defensive line is very, very stout. Good defensive line. Linebackers, we’re very familiar with Brandon Spikes. He’s a heck of a linebacker. (Stephon) Gilmore at corner; (Leodis) McKelvin at the other corner, (Corey) Graham, I mean those guys are good players. They’re a strong team. Offensively, their line is a good line, like you said. Two really good backs, good receivers including a number one draft pick. Like I’ve said all week, it’s a big challenge for us.”
Brooks Reed and the defense have prepared for one of if not the quickest backfield in the league. “We’ve got to be sound on the edges. We have to contain and make sure that we force these guys up inside and not bounce runs to make our corners make tackles,” Reed said. The linebacker used the key word when asked about gelling in Romeo Crennel’s defense, “You have to execute the plays quickly in a loud environment. It’s tough, but when you do it right it feels good.”
Coach said that he is pleased with the progress his team made this after their loss to the Giants. He stressed that one game this early in the year does not a season make, “We didn’t play very well and we didn’t coach very well. We need to do better on Sunday, but it’s a long season.”
The Texans hope to get back to their winning ways and break the 3-3 series tie by handing the Bills a second straight loss. Coverage begins on SportsRadio 610 at 9:00 am with kickoff set for noon.
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