O’Brien: ‘No Doubt’ Texans Need Better Pass Rush

Whitney Mercilus had the Texans’ only sack of the game. That was in the fourth quarter.

Brandon Scott
September 10, 2019 - 12:14 pm

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Outside of Whitney Mercilus’ sack on Drew Brees in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game against the Saints, the Texans only hit the quarterback twice.

Mercilus had the Texans’ only sack of the game, while the Saints were able to hit Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson 11 times with six sacks.

It’s understood the Texans’ offensive line is still a work in progress, having just traded for left tackle Laremy Tunsil and still dealing with health issues on the interior line spots.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said Tuesday they have to do better with their own pass rush. 

“Brees gets rid of the ball quick, tough guy to rush,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got to do a better job relative to what we’re doing coaching wise, and look at what (our players) are doing pass rush wise and try to get that better this week. No doubt about it.”

JJ Watt was absent from the stat sheet Monday night, something he took accountability for after the game Monday night.

Watt said the loss was “100 percent” on the defense, though O’Brien was complimentary of Watt’s impact on the game.

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“JJ Watt is a Hall of Fame, great player. He has usually shown up on the stat sheet. But he affects the game in so many different ways -- when he draws two or three blockers,” O’Brien said. “He got some quarterback pressures. It looked like they ran the ball away from him quite a bit. I think they did a good job. Give them credit. 

“But I also think that he still impacted the game. I know that he didn’t show up on the stat sheet. We’re all so used to him showing up on the stat sheet because of what a great football player he is. That doesn’t mean he didn’t impact the game.”

With Jadeveon Clowney gone to Seattle in a trade just before the start of the season, that’s just one less adequate pass rusher on the team.