HOUSTON (CBS Radio) – Penalties were key in the Texans’ 27-20 home loss to the Colts on Thursday Night Football last week. After committing 13 penalties for 125 yards on both sides of the ball and on special teams, fixing this detrimental issue has been a big point of emphasis in practice this week.
“Absolutely, we’ve covered it a lot,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said after Thursday’s practice. “I think the guys have really done a good job this week of understanding what they need to do to clean that up. We show it to them on tape. Not saying it’s been perfect, but we haven’t had nearly the amount of penalties in practice, and we’ve been officiating that and being real attentive to that. Hopefully that shows up on Sunday.”
So far this season, the Texans have committed 40 penalties for 327 yards. Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork feels that if this team could just get rid of the “bonehead” penalties, it would be a different ball club.
“When you press so much, bad things happen,” Wilford said. “I think the past couple weeks, we were pressing so much because you have so many guys that made plays in their career and are still in their prime. They want to make those plays. They want to be that one to change the game around but when you’re getting three, four, five, six guys trying to do that, now you’re team is out of whack.”
Players also need to be aware of other factors regarding penalties called during games.
“They have to understand how the officials are calling the game, and if they see that they are calling the game tight, they have to understand that and then they cannot be as aggressive with some of their techniques,” Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. “The thing is if the penalty gets called, it hurts you. Whatever you have to do to not get penalized, that becomes the thing that will help us the most.”
When asked what percentage of the penalties they’ve committed are mental versus physical, O’Brien didn’t hesitate.
“I’d say that 90 percent of them are physical. They’re trying to give great effort, they just get caught in positions and talk about leverage positions where they end up committing penalties. It’s not from necessarily mental mistakes. It’s just physical mistakes, and we just have to do a better job of coaching it.”