O'Brien: 'We're just trying to manage reps'

Matt Kalil being held out was anticipated

The Bull Rush
August 22, 2019 - 4:18 pm

USA TODAY

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Matt Kalil being held out of competition for more than a week is the plan Bill O’Brien set before the start of training camp.

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“That (holding Kalil out for a week) was anticipated. That's what I was saying here is that it was anticipated. Certain things come up during training camp that weren’t anticipated, but there are several players that we had a mapped out plan for relative to practices and games and all those things. That type of deal with Roderick (Johnson) and those tackles getting some more reps was definitely anticipated before camp,” Texans’ Head Coach Bill O’Brien told the media following the conclusion of Thursday’s practice.

Kalil last practiced Wednesday, August 14.  He met with the media following that practice, and said that he felt great and was regaining confidence in trusting his health following injuries.  While he hasn’t been on the practice field, O’Brien has liked what he’s seen from his veteran.

“He's been a great teammate, he's done a really good job of learning the offense. When he's been in there he's played very well. We've seen a lot of good things from him when he's played and practiced, and we had a plan for him coming in to manage his reps to get him ready for the season and that's what we're trying to do,” O’Brien said.  “We're trying to stick to that. He came off of a knee injury last year. He was signed in free agency and he came off of a knee injury from his year in Carolina, and we're just trying to do a good job of managing him the best we can to get him ready for the season.”

Getting through training camp and the preseason healthy is a priority for every NFL head coach, including O’Brien.  It’s a balance of getting your players ready for the year while avoiding preseason injuries that could influence the regular season.  With the experienced players on the roster, O’Brien rather err on the side of health than a lot of training camp and preseason action.  

“We're just trying to manage reps. Let me just go into it with you. With every veteran player we try to map out, before preseason starts – we know this guy is going to be on the team, how are we going to get this guy ready for the first game relative to what his health is?,” O’Brien said.  “So, we really do a lot of counting the reps – full-speed reps, walkthrough reps, how many reps he has leading up to the first game. Every guy is a little bit different. Every player is different relative to what their schedule is.”