Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/AP/Shutterstock (13424348ci) Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills, center, talks to his teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, in Chicago Texans Bears Football, Chicago, United States – 25 Sep 2022
Slow starts and poor finishes have conspired to doom the Texans often.
Thursday, Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton met the media and addressed the play of the offense, new players, and whether there needs to be a change at quarterback.
Hamilton knows the team has been very inconsistent on offense, with slow starts and poor finishes, but he’s looking for the unit to find that balance of steady play for four quarters:
“We just want to be more consistent in our overall execution as an offense. We have moments. We came out of the half guns blazing, but we want to start the game that way, and we want to play that way for four quarters. More importantly, we want to finish the game that way. In a perfect world, we want to finish the game running the football. It shouldn’t come down to the last play of the game for us to be victorious, so we want to play fast and execute at a high level for four quarters.”
Hamilton admitted the team needs to stay out of bad situations:
“It’s not just a matter of training any of our guys to do more than what they’re asked in any given situation. It’s just more so situational awareness. It’s risk versus reward. But I think more than anything; you look at last week’s game, it’s hard. You start out third-and-11 in the first series, and you come back with a couple of series later, you have another third-and-long against that defense who’s very aggressive and is notorious for blitzing the quarterback. You put yourself behind the chains, and it becomes more of a challenge. It’s us mitigating the times when we’re in obvious passing situations. You guys heard me say that before. Just knowing that let’s get first downs, but we’ve got to score touchdowns. We’ve got to score more touchdowns.”
He also acknowledged that the team is focusing on ball security, the lack of which has hurt the team in games:
“Our defense emphasizes ball security, and so it happens organically in practice each day for us when they are ripping and stripping at the ball. It was definitely inopportune times where we ended up with turnovers. Costly turnovers.”
Hamilton knows the Texans have to be more successful offensively early in the game:
“I think, of course, we can come out and maybe take more shots, in a calculated manner, though. You know, it’s getting that first first down. I can replay the first third downs that we’ve had in all of our games up until this point. We want to stay out of third down as often as we can, first and foremost. It’s getting the first first down and finding ways to keep the chains moving and scoring the ball early.
“We have to score more points early in the game.”
Hamilton had a very direct answer when asked about what his conversations with head coach Lovie Smith have been like in regard to a potential quarterback change:
“We haven’t had any conversation other than what we have to do to beat the next opponent. And what do we do to put our guys in a position to score early and often and have more consistency as an offense in four quarters.”
Pep described what the team does to try to acclimate new players to the team as fast as possible, considering the additions of two new offensive players this week in WR Amari Rodgers and RB Eno Benjamin:
“It’s a player-by-player, case-by-case basis. It’s not just trying to bring them in and trying to acclimate them all the same way. They all bring a different skill set. Once those guys are inserted into the offense and get themselves acclimated into our system, our terminology, and how we comminate our plays, we’ll evaluate how they can help us as a team and as an offense specifically.”
Hamilton thinks Benjamin can be an impactful player:
“I think he’s dynamic. From watching the film earlier in the season, he’s an explosive playmaker.”
He doesn’t see any kind of time share with RB Dameon Pierce, however:
“No, that’s not our approach. I think coach (Lovie Smith) answered that question. We’re more so about our feature guy, and we have confidence in the two guys that are backing Dameon (Pierce) up to pick up where they need to.”
Will Benjamin be RB2 to Pierce as RB1? Hamilton was non-committal:
“It’s yet to be determined.”
He also gave credit to his two bookend tackles, Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard:
“They have played good football up until this point in the season. They’re really the two leaders of our offense. They have field credibility. From week to week, you can count on those two guys. We hope that it is something that will continue. We know that it will continue because those guys come to work every day.”