Photo by Tony Gonzales
Q: …to have three guys like that at the same time that are just really meticulous and go about their business…
DeFilippo: “I’ll tell you, we really have four guys, and Trent. All four guys are just unbelievable people. They’re smart. From a character and intelligence standpoint, we’re going to have one of the best rooms in the league. These guys are diligent; they’re prepared every day. They study. They’re always on time and early. They’re always watching extra film. They’re always asking to be critiqued and those are the things you want in good players. You want those guys that want to be critiqued and want to get better. None of them think they have all the answers, and for guys like
Q: I want to ask you about Schaub. A lot has been made of what he wasn’t allowed to do at the line of scrimmage, what he has been allowed to do at the line of scrimmage here. When you go back and look at it, is there a reason that maybe they didn’t let him do it? What have you seen?
DeFilippo: “That’s a great question. It’s a philosophical thing. It’s not that a guy is smart enough or not smart enough or the offensive line can handle it or the quarterback can handle it. It’s not that. It’s just a philosophical thing and we like to put as much on our plate, the quarterbacks, as we can because that takes a lot off the plate of the other guys. We ask our quarterbacks to do a lot at the line of scrimmage before they get the football in their hands, and I think they’ve done a pretty good job of it so far.”
Q: Is Derek inquisitive? Does he ask the right questions?
DeFilippo: “He asks great questions. And a lot of that is, he grew up in the game with his brother. He’s much, much further along than I thought he would be. When we interviewed him at the Combine and at Fresno State, he was further along than a lot of the other guys coming out just because he’s been around the game.”
Q: Matt [Schaub]’s reputation back to high school is that he’s so focused on details that he has his CDs that all have to be in the same thing, in alphabetical order. He’s really fanatical about details. Do you see that in his play too?
DeFilippo: “Absolutely and that’s one of the reasons we get along so well because a position coach is the same way. I think you have to be a little bit OCD, I do. I think you have to be a little OCD. I think you have to cross your ‘T’s’ and dot your ‘I’s’ type of guy to play the quarterback position, to know all the ins and outs and those things, the protections and the routes, the route adjustments, the pre-snap and post-snap reads, and knowing where everyone’s at. So I think you have to categorize things. I think you have to categorize different types of reads, characterize different protections and the six-man slides and the man-protections, all those things, to be able to consume all that, to come in as a free agent and have success on the field like he’s had.”
Q: How do you keep him from beating up on himself a little bit when he makes one little mistake here and there, being that he’s such a perfectionist?
DeFilippo: “He’s been pretty good with it. He displayed it yesterday. I know no one wants to say, ‘I’m glad he threw an interception yesterday, or two in a row,’ but I’m actually glad to see that happen because he came back and responded with two strikes. It was great to see … That was the first real adversity he’d faced all camp because he hadn’t turned the ball over yet, so it was great to see him make two mistakes and then come back and make two great plays. It was great to see that short-term memory that a 10-, 11-year veteran, however long he’s been in the league, should have by this point in his career.”
Q: A lot has been made of him having his mojo back and Schaub had said, ‘I’d never lost it really.’ A lot of people around the league [said] he’s lost his confidence. I was interested in your perspective on mentally, where is Schaub at, now that he’s crossed that first hurdle?
DeFilippo: “Here’s the thing, I can’t speak … I was not a member of the Houston Texans coaching staff, so I can’t talk about what Matt Schaub was last year, his Pro Bowl years, the first year he got there. All I know is that the day Matt Schaub walked into this building he has not shown any sign of mental weakness, shown any sign of self doubt. He’s been onward and upward type of mentality.”