The Z-Report

Lance's exit interview with the Texans

Photo via Houston Texans/Facebook

Every season when pro teams are eliminated from the playoffs, they have exit interviews where the head coach and/or front office speaks to different players about their season or what to do in the off-season. I guess that's what they talk about. I have no idea.

To be honest, I don't really know what happens in exit interviews. No idea. So let's do this… I'll play out the exit interviews I would have with a variety of Texans starting with the head guy.

Bill O'Brien

Lance: Hey Coach O'Brien, sit down.

OB: I'll stand, thanks.

Lance: Well, okay. Solid season, coach. I was really happy with the run you guys put together after such a bad start and I think it showed that guys keep on playing for you despite you getting a little surly sometimes.

OB: Surly?! Look, I'm not surly, I'm honest. If you can't handle honesty, then get out of this business. And I'm not going to sit and listen to some media guy grill me about the season. What's the best thing you ever did in football in your entire life, anyway?

Lance: I made a one-hand touchdown catch in street football on a perfectly placed throw by James Martinez near a mailbox.

OB: That's what I thought. I'm not staying here for this stupid sh*t.

Lance: I probably wouldn't either, coach. Three division titles in the last four years. Keep it up, but I would probably hand over the play-calling duties to someone else just so you can fine-tune clock management and your work with Deshaun Watson.

OB: And I would probably hand over your radio duties so you can work on writing bad draft reviews about players you will never draft or coach.

Will Fuller and KeKe Coutee

(Fuller and Coutee both come in on separate wheelchairs)

Lance: Hey guys, thanks for coming in today, but why the wheelchairs?

Fuller: They want us to be super careful because, you know, we tend to get injured. I've ended up on the injured reserve pretty much every year I have ever played with Houston. We have to be careful.

Keke: Yeah, and even though I played in the last game, my hamstring could snap at any second so Brian Gaine told me to just stay in the wheelchair this off-season because I can be really good if I can just actually play in multiple games in a row.

Lance: Man, when you guys are on the field, it's a different offense! Well, you were on the field and they scored 7 in their last game, Keke. But still, you are great for PPR fantasy leagues when you are on the field. And Fuller, wow! You and Deshaun have a great chemistry. It's like the offense just hits a different level when you are on the field.

Fuller: Thanks, man. Yeah, I'm just trying to get my body right and get back on the field because I feel like me, Hop, Keke, and Demaryius Thomas can all have special years next year.

Lance: I mean… I guess. You end every season on the IR, Keke hardly played, and Thomas is coming off of an Achilles injury. If you guys are all healthy, I think this is a super explosive passing game…

Fuller: Hold up. Aren't you the same guy that tripped over a curb at the Senior Bowl last year and cracked your foot when you were falling forward trying to catch your balance?

Keke: Oh damn! I heard about that! Yeah, man I heard scouts were clowning you because you had to get put into a walking boot and then you had it on for like 3 months… because you tripped over a curb. Injury prone, hatin' ass.

(they both shake their damn heads and roll out of the exit interview)

Deshaun Watson

Lance: Hey, Deshaun! Thanks for coming by to talk. So overall, you came back down to earth a little bit from that crazy start last year, but I thought you had a solid year. Your offensive line wasn't great and you had a bunch of injuries at receiver, but you lowered your interception percentage and I felt like you had some special flashes.

Watson: Please keep that same energy next year.

Lance: I don't really know what that means. What energy do I have?

Watson: What else.

Lance: I would like to see you continue to grow and improve at getting rid of the football a little earlier and recognizing blitzes so you can beat defenses for bigger plays.

Watson: (chuckling) Like I said, keep this same energy next year. We had a great year this year and I still have to deal with doubters and haters.

Lance: I don't know about all that, but maybe if y'all stop letting the Colts be your dad here in NRG, we can buy in a little more.

Watson: Wait a minute. Who are you? Like, I seriously don't know you or who you are?

Lance: I'm glad you asked, I host the top-rated morning show from 7-9 AM every day.

Watson: You work two hours a day and you're in here telling me how to be a quarterback?

Lance: Yes, but it's a hard two hours. I also gave you a late first round draft grade on NFL.com in my draft profile.

Watson: I have to go work out and keep building on an 11-win season. After that, I'm going to donate my playoff check to people in need. What are you going to do after this?

Lance: Well… I… I'm probably going to play some online poker and get into a YouTube rabbit hole of Karma videos and rope swing fails.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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