Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tony Gutierrez/AP/Shutterstock (13607549bn) Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) avoids a sack by Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Houston, . The Eagles won 29-17 Eagles Texans Football, Houston, United States – 03 Nov 2022
The Texans have only led their opponents for a total of 27 plays this season.
On Wednesday, Davis Mills met with the media and spoke about the Texans’ offense and his play.
Admitting the team is aware it has started slowly each week, Mills said the team needs to come out of the gate more aggressively:
“We’ve talked about it a little bit. I didn’t know that was the actual amount of plays. It feels like we’ve played people close a lot, not just 27 plays. I think it just goes to show we have to come out aggressive from the start of the game. Don’t try to play too conservative from the start. Come out like we’re playing from behind. When it starts 0-0, stay aggressive and drive down the field to get points. I think that’ll help us out, just putting up more points and moving the football.”
When asked specifically about the Giants game, and what he could learn from that game, Mills replied:
“The biggest thing is I think the turnover margin in the game is what caused the result of the loss. When you look at our two turnovers from the game, the fumble and my interception, they were both down in the red zone and scoring opportunities. When you take those away, we finish with points on both of those drives, and it’s a completely different game. It just goes to show how any week, any team can win. We’re capable of winning each week, so we’ve just got to go out there and play a clean game for four quarters. We can beat anybody.”
Mills also explained that there is a difference between being aggressive and being careless:
“I mean, there’s always a fine line between being aggressive versus protecting the football. You’ve got to take the big plays when they are there, but also be ready to check it down or use my legs and run when there’s nothing there. That’s the dilemma that every quarterback across the game of football, from when I started when I was six years old all the way up to now. It’s really just boiling down to the decision-making and going out there and making plays. You’ve got to stay aggressive, but also, you can’t just force things that aren’t there. I think it goes with the week of preparation, being able to see things clearly, being able to decipher things pre-snap, what they’re going to turn into, and then how your concept matches that. A lot of things go into it, and obviously, you want to dance on the line but stay on the conservative side of it, so you’re not being risky with the football.”
Mills then went on to describe the process of diagnosing a play as it is happening:
“A lot of it is instincts. Just being out there, being a football player, that’s something you can’t really coach. Then a lot of it is knowing what your concept is, knowing who your person is, who the defender who’s guarding them is, the speed differential, where the window is going to be in whatever coverage they are playing. There’s a ton of factors that go into it, timing of the route, your protection. There’s a ton of things that go into it, and a lot of it is going out there and making a play. Trying to beat the defense on any given play and executing.”
“We have offensive plays where we know how a certain play is ran. A lot of plays are pre-snap alters, yes, no’s. Post-snap, we can go through our progression. If the first guy’s not open, you’re progressing to the second guy, third guy, and then checking it down or using your legs to scramble if nobody’s open. There’s a ton of different ways. Each play is different. That’s what we do throughout the week is prepare for those given plays and coach through it so we can go out and execute on game day.”
Mills also elaborated on the changes defenses have made in recent years, the player trends on that side of the ball, and what the offense needs to do to counteract that:
“Yeah, definitely. I think how football has evolved in recent years. Across the league, I think defense has the one up on offense with just the sheer talent, speed, and size of the defensive linemen and the blitz packages that offenses are trying to find ways to catch back up. Running the football and beating them down is one way to do it, and another way is to win those one-on-one matchups when you can catch them in man-to-man coverage. Other than that, like I said, the rest of our stuff is progression based. You’ve got to fall back on your training and your preparation throughout the week to hopefully find someone open as it progresses because right now, there’s not a lot of things you can predict pre-snap. Teams are disguising really well. They are running coverages that aren’t very, by the book of old-school defenses, just straight coverages. They are running a lot of combination coverages and different ways to get to similar coverages, but it’s not the traditional way. There’s a lot of things you’ve got to react to and just go out there and be a football player so you can make a play.”