The San Francisco 49ers travel to Houston to face the Texans in their first of three straight matchups against AFC South opponents. The injury-stricken Texans are desperate for a win having lost five of their last six games. Meanwhile, the 49ers look to build momentum off of their Week 13 road win over the Chicago Bears.
As both teams prepare for the Week 14 contest, take a look at what the Texans are saying about the 49ers.
Head coach Bill O'Brien on what he's seen from Jimmy Garoppolo:
"I think he's really good. I mean, he doesn't have a whole lot of experience and he's gaining that right now. But, he's got a very quick release. He's very accurate, smart, makes quick decisions. A couple plays against the Bears, he's in the pocket, there's pressure up the middle of the pocket, he can change his arm angle, kind of sidearm it. He can throw over the top. He's athletic. He's got a lot of really good qualities to be a top-notch quarterback. So, he's going to be a tough guy to deal with on Sunday.
"I think that Kyle does a great job. He's one of the best play callers in this league and play designers. I think he does things to fit the skillset of his quarterback and the players around him. Jimmy is a very talented guy. He's got a very quick release. Very good instincts on how to play the position. Accurate passer. I know how they felt about him in New England and I know it's going to be a tough challenge for us."
O'Brien on LB Brian Cushing's return vs. the 49ers:
"I don't think anybody's on a pitch count this time of the year. We have to find a way to win. I think it all depends on how the game unfolds. They do a lot of different things, San Francisco I'm talking about. We're going to try to match what they do in certain ways and some of that will involve packages that have certain players on the field, others will have certain other players on the field. He'll be in there, though."O'Brien on the importance of investing in a quarterback:
"It's obviously the most important, probably, position in the league. You have to have that position. It's interesting. It depends on kind of how it's working out for your roster. The way it worked out in New England, they had a veteran quarterback obviously, a great player, and then they drafted Jimmy (Garoppolo) and trained him and he played a couple games and played pretty well and they were able to acquire value for him. That's an interesting way to do it. That's not always the way it works out but I think if you have a really top-notch starting quarterback and you can have a number two guy that you're developing that you think can be really good, I think that's very, very good. I think that's not only good for the depth of your football team, but it's good for all the reasons you just talked about."*O'Brien on the challenges Garoppolo presents: *
The San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans have faced off eight times, five times in the preseason and three times in the regular season. Here are the best shots from those games.
"I try my best not to compare players. Tom and Jimmy are very different players. Their measurables, their size, their experience and things like that. But Jimmy plays the game in a very efficient way. He just does a good job of reacting and playing the game with good instincts and understanding what the coach wants from the play, and how to execute the play."
O'Brien on Robert Saleh and challenges the 49ers defense brings:
"Robert does a great job. They're a very attacking defense. Reuben Foster is probably one of the top, maybe the top two inside linebackers that we'll play this year. He's a tackling machine and he just kind of plays out there. You've got Eric Reid at safety - a very, very tough player. DeForest Buckner on the inside. The great Elvis Dumervil rushing off of the edge. Solomon Thomas - they've got a number of big time players throughout their defense. It's not a sit-back-and-wait defense. You've got to be on your toes every single play or you're going to find yourself behind the sticks."Defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel on what stands out about Garoppolo:
"Quick release. He's got guys bearing down on him last week and it's like he's flipping it to first base like a shortstop. Just arm angle, just getting rid of it as (Akiem) Hicks is barreling down on him a couple times and completes the passes. So, quick release, looked like he had good command. They clearly feel comfortable with him. They went no-huddle maybe 12 times on normal down and distances. So, whatever command he's got, they feel OK going no-huddle with him and putting him at the line of scrimmage."Vrabel on having to game plan against Garoppolo and the 49ers offense:
"Yeah, they moved the ball. They had a 14-play drive, 12-play drive, 15-play drive. They just stalled in the red zone. So, we can't let them drive the ball with that success."Vrabel on Kyle Shanahan's offensive style:
"Well, we've played against them. We've played against them in the past. There'll be some 21 personnel. He uses a fullback. He likes the fullback. He's pretty versatile, Kyle Juszczyk. So, they mix the runs in. It's a zone running scheme with play action pass and then they'll mix personnel with 12 and 11. Clearly they have a deep element in (Marquise) Goodwin, a guy that can fly. So, you understand what the zone scheme is and then they mix in some runs, but they've always had a good, versatile fullback."DE Jadeveon Clowney on his early impressions of Garoppolo:
"They've been winning games with him. They've won two games this year, but he came in and made a couple of key passes in some of those games and he's moving the ball down the field. We've got to get ready to stop that guy."