Q: How much does the Texans offense look like the Patriots offense?
MP: Absolutely, you can see a lot of elements of things that we’ve seen from Coach [Bill] O’Brien and George Godsey, who’s running the offense down there – things we’ve practiced against in the past – but certainly this offense is kind of their own offense – the 2015 Houston Texans offense – so it’s a little bit different. They have some great players down there that they are putting in some different positions. They do an excellent job using their skill players, all of them, whether it’s the receivers, tight ends or the backs. There are certainly elements of our offense that we have seen, our offense that we’ve seen when Billy was here and George was here, but they do a great job of kind of keeping you off balance and there are certainly some wrinkles that we don’t really run here at all, so I think one of the big ones, you’ll see the Wildcat, a couple of different players that they’ll put in the Wildcat position in their offense and try to catch you off guard with some gadget-type or different-type looks there. You have to talk not only the quarterback position – [Brian] Hoyer and how well he’s playing, to run the offense and to get the check-with-me system and to get the ball to the right players and to distribute it all around – but [DeAndre] Hopkins, who is an outstanding player, the wide receiver position is just a huge part of their offense. Cecil Shorts, you’re going to see him in there in the slot and he’s also a Wildcat player, guys that are getting a lot of production in [Nate] Washington. They are doing a good job at spreading the ball all the way around and then they are trying to create mismatches with the backs. I think the best thing they’re doing right now is running the ball, running with consistency and trying to establish the control of the game with the running game and to set up their play-action passes, their boots, their quicker throws, and then also to get the ball downfield. They really have a great complement of offense, a very balanced offense, from a run-pass standpoint. They are trying to make sure that the defense has to defend everything and keep you off guard and then they also have the ability to increase the tempo of the offense and go at a faster pace and be up on the ball and make quick decisions, which is something that Brian Hoyer does a great job of – recognizing the defense, being able to change the pace and go in and out of no-huddle-type situations and personnel groups and just keep everything moving on you so certainly a huge challenge from that standpoint.
Q: Thoughts on DeAndre Hopkins?
MP: I’ll say that from an offensive standpoint, they do a good job of spreading the ball around, but certainly he is a huge target and a huge player for their offense. He is a big guy, he does a great job of going up and getting the ball, he can run a bunch of different routes, inside-outside vertical routes, he competes very well, he has got good speed, he can get downfield and really stretch it, and he just does a great job of getting open and has a big catch radius. Just overall he is a very good wide receiver, an excellent wide receiver that’s a big problem for the defense, and even with everybody knowing that he’s a guy that is going to get the ball, he still is so productive in their offense. They do a great job of getting him in different positions to get him the ball. They understand that teams are going to be looking for him and they do a good job of moving him around or getting him different looks and different routes to keep it productive for him, so they do an excellent job of scheming that up.
Q: How has Malcom Brown developed?
MP: It’s obviously a big adjustment when you come in from college and your first year in the NFL is always a long road, it’s always a difficult one, there’s a lot of learning that is involved with it. He’s a guy that really works hard, really is trying to learn what we do and has embraced the coaching and has really tried to adapt to the way that we want him to play. Really, he’s done a good job of trying to learn and understand what we do from a defensive standpoint and be able to understand the concepts that we run. That’s the biggest thing to have to get used to, and then obviously the consistency of play that we are trying to get and the constant improvement and the ability to change things week-in and week-out. There’s certainly still a huge learning curve for him to push through and to learn week-in and week-out this part of the year when we really have to start to play our best football going forward and we are looking for improvement from everybody and improvement from him. I think he’s done a good job of understand that this is definitely a tough road and the first year is a hard year, and he’s trying to embrace that challenge, and get better every week.