Special teams coordinator Amos Jones:
On P Britton Colquitt approaching the franchise record for punts inside the 20-yard line:
"That is something we strive for. It has been kind of fortunate for guys that I have coached in the past that we have had that record. (Former NFL P) Dave Zastudil had it for 46 punts inside of the 20 (yard line) in Arizona the year before I got there. He had punted 114 times. We got it the second year and then (former NFL P) Drew Butler got it. When I got here, that was one of the first things that Britton and I talked about because he had pretty much always been a left side punt guy. We want to punt the ball to either side so he has developed a couple of little wrinkles in his game there. He has 30 balls inside of the 20, but really what we seek – I have said that here before – we seek inside of the 10, and he has 12 of those – obviously, the biggest one coming down in Tampa. That is kind of what the team goal is to try to get it down inside of the 10, and then they keep the statistic for you inside of the 20. He has done a great job. He has developed those auxiliary balls that can go left or right to kind of make it hard to be a fielder. If I am right in this, we would have probably had about four or five more had we tackled that would have been inside of the . I know that three times we let a guy get to the 11 or something like that because we had a chance to get a big play inside. I just think that it creates the ultimate field position for the punt team. Yes, you want to have a great net. Yes, you want to have a great individual average, but I think when a punter does that, he is showing a skillset that is very much deserving of being a Pro Bowl-caliber type guy."
On if the punts inside of the 20 stat is somewhat overvalued:
"I think that the statistic needs to be changed to [inside] the 10 because the punters themselves have created that ability to do it in such a frequency with a high rate. I think we tied Britton's brother (Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt) one year with 35 or 32. The two times that we won it, we were in the low 30s. Zas (Zastudil) was just off the charts that year because he had so many reps at it. They probably are not going to change it, but it is a unique deal. We strive for the net and we strive for that more so we do in individual average or anything like that. We do that in all phases."
On if he knew of Colquitt's leg strength prior to this year:
"Oh yeah, I think the biggest thing there is when you have a guy that has been in this league for nine years. You have to remember that he started in Denver so he has had to adjust. This is his third year here. He has probably gotten more adjusted to being back over on the East Coast in terms of that. He works out hard. He keeps his body in shape. That is going to add years to his career because in that respect, he is going to stay flexible and does not lose the core strength. That is the biggest thing is guys that are willing to do that and find a way to keep on developing the core strength part of it. He has a good enough leg. He has had a pretty good, decent average in his career. Sometimes, the years in Denver, players get treated differently because it is Denver. The biggest thing there is that he can still put the ball out there. Now, we have to have some location, we have to have some hang time. All of those things factor into the team goals, as well. Britton knows that. We dealt a little bit with that the last game."
On the Bengals' returns in Week 12:
"Started on the kickoff, we just did not squeeze and fit the thing properly. Keeping the ball inside and in front is an old coaching term that you will hear us preach a lot. The first punt return the guy got, we did not squeeze and fit that almost like the kickoff where the net has to help take care of that. The last punt, that is a situational ball that we would have liked to have better – better everything. The protection was good. You are in a situation there where are they going to come after you? There are some mindsets and there are some parameters that we set that the players know that we have to do this because that is a fourth quarter punt. That is a big, big way to get us out of that ballgame without losing field position at the end of the game."
On if there are ever concerns when Colquitt does not get as many reps due to the offense's success:
"Boy, boy no (laughter). I like it when he does not have to even go out there other than hold. We lead the league in number of attempts, and that is always something you do not want to lead. It gives you more opportunities, but that is not really what the punt team is looking for. We started the first opening game with 12 [punts]. It got to a couple times it was close to that. I think the last three or four games we probably punted less total than we had in the long stretch there at the beginning well before the second Steeler game."
On the Texans special teams units:
"(Texans special teams coordinator) Brad (Seely) has been in it a long time. He gets his guys to play physical. He has a good group of core guys. He has a lot of good looking linebackers. He has integrated it with guys like (Texans QB) Joe Webb and even our former guy that was here – (Texans WR) Sammie Coates is playing for him. He has always had a good group of guys that play hard and he has had darn hell of return guys. We know one of them coached here. He has changed returners in the course of a season, but I think the biggest thing is he is not going to try to do anything but play hard. He has good schemes, he is sound fundamentally and he is a good football coach. I think the biggest thing for our guys is to know going down there is we can affect the ball game really quickly either way."
On DL Myles Garrett's blocked FG:
"Myles has a career record of blocking those in college, I believe. You would like to say boy we lined him up right – and we did – we brought a little pressure off the backside and we did. The ball helps us, but I always look forward to watching players that have that unique skillset. I do not know how many of you have ever put your hand on a hard leather ball coming off of a foot. It is not easy. Guys get scared of doing that, and Myles and (DB) Denzel (Ward) both have shown the way of being able to do that without it affecting your hand. I think that was a big momentum play for us. It was a point swing. It was great to see obviously from a coaching standpoint because now we have an inside block along with an outside block. I think Myles had a good rush, too. Penetration, it is like a negative play on offense. If you penetrate in an A, B or C gap and you hit the running back in the back field, you are going to usually have a positive play. For Myles, he got his hand up and timed it up just perfectly. The key for us now in this league is to teach players not to jump. Keep pushing the pocket, keep pushing the pile and keep pushing the gap and that is what was good. I thought our field goal protection unit from a blocking standpoint and our field goal rush unit have gotten so much better because (Head Coach) Gregg (Williams) is really giving us the time now to do it more full speed, and it is speaking volumes for how the players are playing and they are taking some pride in it. That is the biggest thing. I think those two plays show your football character on both sides because nobody is volunteering for those jobs. We handpick them, and we have a starting unit on both side of it. I think that unit if you watch the last PAT rush, they rushed as hard as they did the one we blocked. That is all you can ask for – effort."
On the Texans kickoff team:
"They have a lot of touchbacks, play one third of the field, old school football putting it into the corners and using the guy to the best of what Brad feels like he can do. [Texans K Ka'imi Fairbairn] is a young kicker with a strong leg so from that standpoint, he is trying to pin you into the corner. You just have to be willing to make the right decisions because it is all about field position."
On how his role has changed:
"Obviously, some different responsibilities at times, but the role being very similar. First and foremost, linebacker coach – that is what it is. Gregg is still the defensive coordinator running the defensive meetings. When he gets done running the team meetings, we break down into offense and defense, he goes in there and does our defensive meeting with everybody. When we are reviewing film as an entire defense, game film or whatever, he is in there and leading that. All of those things. Just no different than when he was the defensive coordinator. Just the length of time that we have been together just as confidants talking through things situationally. All of those things. Situationally in the gameplan, even on the sideline, 'Hey, remember this is what our plan is on third and-one. This is what our plan is here. This is what our plan is there.' Now, form a head coaching role, just some of those same things but on a head coaching role, 'Hey, remember…' It is (offensive coordinator) Freddie (Kitchens), it is (special teams coordinator) Amos (Jones), it is me and it is him talking, 'Remember, this is what our plan is in two-minute or this is what our plan is being up two scores in the second half. This is what our plan is on fourth down, and this is what our plan is with the timeout usage or in this situation.' It is the same thing. It is just assisting with just another ear and reinforcing those responsibilities. Probably the biggest one being taking over the play calling the last couple of games since Schobe's (LB Joe Schobert) has been back just from an efficiency standpoint. That has always been a symbiotic relationship with him and me. A lot of places are like that, maybe more so on offense is that defenses, but it has always been that way. It is third down, he will just turn, 'Hey, what do you want right here?' It has to be (snaps fingers). You pause for a second, 'Ah, that is too long. Hey, what do you want right here? What do you like right here? What are they going to do right here?' Even on gameday before, it was like that way. Just the shift now to with everything that he has to do from a head coaching standpoint and me taking the mic into Schobert's helmet just to help with that efficiency. If he has to be talking with Amos about something on this third down about what we are going to do on fourth down when we stop them or whatever on third down, he is able to be having that conversation while the third down play call is being called by the staff and by me into Schobert's helmet. I guess that would be one of those things. That is something that I have done before, as well. The whole 2012 season when he was out and I had to step in and do that for him, as well. That is just part of the process. Otherwise, it is the same day-to-day operation that it has been with the exception that it is just a different person in the team meeting room leading those team meetings. From a defensive standpoint, it is the same operation that it has been day in and day out from that standpoint."
On if Gregg Williams makes the play call and Blake Williams relays it:
"I make the call, but he has override or veto power. He has, 'Hey, what do you think about this right there?' When you have been doing it together for as long as we have been doing it and then you go through all of the practices and the gameplan all week long, we know what we are going to do ahead of time. 'We practiced this. We know what the gameplan is for this situation.' A lot of times, Schobert can probably call the play before we call the play because he knows what we have practiced. In this situation, this is what we are going to do. That would be the shift from that standpoint since Schobert has come back over the last couple of games."
On if Week 9 vs. Kansas City was the first game that he called plays:
"No, just the shift with everything going on that week, the best thing was for as much normalcy as possible. Like I said with Schobert coming back, that is just something that we discussed, he discussed and it is something that he wanted to do. Like I said, that relationship there with Schobert, as well too, on just you are coaching him as the lead position coach all week long so sometimes you can add a couple of narratives to that. 'Hey, here is the play call, but hey, remember alert this. This is what we are expecting them to do right here. Hey, alert if they do this, Check to this. Type of situations.'"
On if he alluded to Gregg Williams that the team is 2-0 since he began calling in plays:
"No, not by any means (laughter). I can't stress enough, this is how it was. I have been a part of this before, as well too. Being in New Orleans and coaching the offense in New Orleans and watching that whole thing and how it was between (Saints offensive coordinator) Pete Carmichael, (Saints quarterbacks coach) Joe Lomabardi, (Saints head coach) Sean Payton and (Saints QB) Drew Brees on gameday, it is a collective thing. Our staff works extremely hard to put this gameplan together. By the time that we get done with today, it is done. This is what it is. You know what they are going to do, you know what you are going to do and then you discuss things as a staff in-between series, 'Hey, this is what they are doing. Hey, we should maybe try to change this a little bit.' You talk to the D line coaches. You talk amongst the DB coaches. 'This is what we are thinking' to Gregg and he is like, 'Good, run with it,' and whatnot. Obviously, he is still there and listening to everything that is going on and making suggestions and whatnot. When he calls something, 'Hey, this is what we are going to do right here.' Boom, I just push the button and say it to Schobert."
On if it is exciting to be in play calling role:
"It is, I guess, a little bit from that standpoint. Yeah, there is a difference. I will admit that there is a difference between random times – 30 percent of the game getting, 'Hey, what do you want? Hey, what do you think? Hey, what do you like?' Then getting into a flow of just the rhythm of being able to do it. That is a small difference from that standpoint, and that is nice. Can't say enough about the kind of system that we have right now with the coaches first and then the players. Obviously, 53 is special. Joe Schobert is special from that standpoint. What he is able to do, that is a whole other side of things. You know what, Gregg could call it, I could call it, Coach D Walk (defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker) could call it in there and then Schobe's is just going to completely change the play out there on the field anyways. We maybe called this and it is not even remotely [close]. It is a whole other coverage, it is a whole other play, he may of just checked to a blitz or he may have checked out of a blitz. At the end of the day, he is the final over-rider anyways. With our gameplan and with how much we give him, you can't always force the issue as a coach anyways because you have given him the options to take over on what he is seeing out there and go to the best of options or best of multiple options, as well too. The game kind of takes its own life from that standpoint based on what the offense is doing in a lot of those scenarios with Schobert."
On if Gregg Williams is treating him any different with the coaching changes:
"No. You guys know that. No. I would not expect it to be any different. I can't stress it enough, it is the same process every single day. Game planning, he is putting the gameplan together. He is leading the gameplan. All of the defensive meetings when we are reviewing the film as a defensive staff. This is not the first time as I said in the history of the NFL – there is a difference between being a defensive coordinator, having the defensive coordinator title and then calling plays. There are other places [that do it]. I may be completely wrong on this, but going back to the game last night, I am pretty sure (Cowboys passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach) Kris Richard is calling the plays with (Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod) Marinelli as the defensive coordinator and Kris Richard as the pass game coordinator and essentially the DB coach, but I am pretty sure that he is calling them on gameday and they have given him that role this year. There is a difference between the responsibilities of a coordinator and then the calling of a play. Those are two very different things. From that standpoint, nothing has changed."
On if his calls would be similar to ones made by Gregg Williams:
"Very very much so. Like I said, maybe there is extra something tagged to it every once in a while because of that relationship between Schobert and I just from the day in and day out coaching one on one from a position coach to a position player type of thing. Maybe you have talked about something just even one on one all week long, and it is just a reminder. Maybe you have seen him forget about it twice this week. You know by gameday that dude is never going to forget about it, but you just add that and it just takes one more thing off of his plate. 'Oh yeah, yeah.' It is stuff like that. It is going to match up right on. At the end of the day, we know what we are going to do. We have these five calls for this section of the gameplan, and we are going to call three or four of them if not all five of them and keep mixing it up. You may have called it differently in a different situation, but at the end of the day, it all gets called. We go through that as a staff anyways. We sit there and play the game as a staff every day and go through, 'Hey here is the call we are making here' and all of the what ifs. 'OK, hey, we have to get this.' We as a staff have to give them this opportunity to have to go through this what if in practice. Sometimes those what ifs come about as a staff sitting there playing the game before it is played. We are like ooh the DB coaches are like oh we need to go get the DB. The defensive line coach is like we need to give the D line guys this situation that they have to handle in practice this week. That is how you win games. If you are going to be consistent winner in the NFL you win games Monday or really Tuesday, but you win games Tuesday through Saturday because of your preparation of all those types of things. There are not surprises when you all of a sudden get to it. You maybe have never gone through that exact detail scenario before, but you have gone through that problem solving and communication together and you make it work. That is the fun thing about this group as a defensive staff and these defensive players is they do that very well together."
On when the Browns knew Schobert was capable of taking so much responsibility within the defense:
"You knew about him coming out. You do your research on him and you knew how smart he was and those types of things. I played at Princeton so you go through it sometimes. There is a difference between book smarts, Wonderlic smarts and then football IQ and football instincts. Sometimes the guys that are just blow the top off of the Wonderlic, you almost have a worry about as a coach because you have been through it with guys like that before where they parse out every little thing and they do not have that football instincts. They are like 'Well what if, what about…' 'Whoa, what are you even talking about right now. That can't even happen. That is a what if that you just came up with that can't happen because this this this.' They are like 'Oh, OK.' Sometimes they slow themselves down. They are too book smart, but they do not have that athletic intelligence. That was the fun thing about getting a chance to coach Schobert and getting to know him, touch him and feel him as you see he has a rare ability to have this high book smarts but then manage that with his athletic intelligence. You do not want to be out there. You need to do your thinking and your problem solving. 'This is what I am going to do in this situation. This is how we are going to do this situation. This is how I am going to handle this situation on the fly.' You do that in the meeting room. You do that at home. You do that in your study, but when you go out there on the field, you can't be slowing down and thinking like that. We call it paralysis by analysis type of thing, and it takes only some rare quarterbacks and some rare MIKE linebackers that have been around that has the ability to do those two things. It was probably preseason of last year and then probably I would say probably by about Week 5 on from last year where you really started to see that kick in. He is a guy that every single thing that happens he sees and hears. If something happens with the defensive backs and it happens 20 yards away, he will just naturally start to walk over there a little bit and listen to what the DB coaches are telling the DBs. He is learning about their responsibilities, and then that situation may come up in a game, all of a sudden he will turn to look at the guy and tell him that whole exact thing. He will remind them, 'Hey, remember that this is what you are supposed to do right here,' but it maybe have come from that. He is literally spending every ounce of his day around this building doing everything he can to just learn. He is a football junkie, and he has a unique ability to just kind of take that, go home or go to a meeting and decompress and think about it and recognize all of that information into something that is usable. Obviously, (Saints QB) Drew Brees is probably the best I have ever been around that was able to do that where he takes all of this coaching, all of this playbook, all of these things and he makes it something way greater than it was even intended to be by the way he is able to functionally handle that. Schobes definitely has those qualities in him. That is the thing I think you see about him is I think a mark of a great player is if you can raise the level of play around everyone around you by doing more and then at the same time you yourself can play at a high level. Those are the things that we are seeing in his young career, and he has to keep progressing and we have to keep progressing him through that."
On challenges facing Texans QB Deshaun Watson:
"The hard thing about it is the off-schedule nature. I think they do a good job of at times building his off-schedule ability into the design of the play. We see this with (Packers QB) Aaron Rogers, as well too. At times, he is just doing it, as well too. Some people do not do that and you know what? They do all of these great things, but then they also turn the ball over, as well too. The special ones and the ones that are truly hard that keep you up at night are the ones that are able to do it repetitively and it is way better on average for the offense when they are doing it than the defense, meaning they are making these touchdowns and they are making these explosive gains and stuff like that without taking the negative plays and more importantly without turning the ball all over. That is the hard thing because the NFL especially is very much to a degree a cookie-cutter league. There are a lot of similarities across the league, but second of all, it is different from college football it is more known by the timing of the offense. These things happen extremely fast in the passing game, and quarterbacks throwing it into window before the receiver is even there. The great quarterbacks that know this is what coverage they are, this is where I am going to be and this is where I am throwing it trusting the receiver is going to get there by the time the ball gets there. Those things. Then all of sudden, you play a guy like Deshaun and maybe all of your muscle memory is built on that. All of these NFL pocket passers that you are playing. All of your coverage principles are built on that. All of a sudden you play a dude where that is not the case. One play, you are playing and the snap to throw is 1.5 seconds. The next play, the snap to throw is 2.5 seconds. Then the next play the snap to throw is 10.5 seconds. You sit there and you design this is what we are going to do. We are going to do this blitz, we are going to get to him, we are going to beat the protection and there is going to be a free runner. Then the free runner is going to whiff because he dodges him, and now, all of a sudden you are holding your breath. Or (DL) Myles Garrett gets there and beats his guy. You work all week long in talking about that matchup and how we are going to do and what that guy has a hard time doing. You realize with a guy like Deshaun Watson – we talk about this is – beating that guy is not even half the battle. Once you beat that guy you have to get that guy down, and he makes guys miss. When he makes guys miss and extends plays, he makes things happen. Obviously, that is part of it. You try to plan for it, and (QB) Tyrod (Taylor) has done a great job of being that guy this week for us this week in practice, and he has made some big time plays. Tyrod has this week scrambling around both with his feet and his arms has given us that feel because that is all you can really do because you cannot plan for when it is going to happen. You don't know before the play and he does not even know himself that he is getting ready to do it, and you have to be able to compete and hold up when it does happen."