Texans' David Culley fired up about penalties: 'That's bad football'

When veteran wide receiver Chris Conley jumped offsides during a Saturday night scrimmage, Texans coach David Culley lit into him.

It reminded Conley of when he was playing for Culley as a rookie with the Kansas City Chiefs.

"The thing you know about coach Culley is he's not shy about telling you how he feels," Conley said. "I had a pre-snap penalty in the scrimmage and he let me have it. That's no different than the coach Culley I had as a rookie. 

"I dropped two balls against Minnesota and he benched me in the middle of the game. He's going to demand what he needs. Ultimately, he's going to give you the tools you need to help the team succeed."

The amount of pre-snap penalties Saturday night in front of fans angered Culley as the amiable first-year coach displayed his demanding side one week before the Texans' preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

"I didn't get out of it what I wanted," Culley said. "I wanted us to be mistake-free from the standpoint of pre-snap penalties and that didn't happen. We had fewer than we've been having, but one is too many. Our goal is to not be that kind of football team and tonight it killed us on three drives. 

"We can't play football like that. We won't play football like that. That's bad football and we're not going to play bad football. It would get under anybody's skin when you play football like that. That's not good football and we can't have that on offense or defense."

Culley has been harping on the Texans about concentrating and avoiding those kind of mistakes. During a scrimmage with officials on the field, those mental miscues became more evident and glaring.

"A lot of the penalties that happened today happened in practice, but there's no official so they didn't believe me," Culley said. "I feel like me being a referee they look at me like I'm crazy, but having those guys out here today, all they did was validate what I've been telling them in practice. That's why it's always good to have them here. They did a nice job tonight. Everything they called. We did. We got to correct that.

"That's a focus and concentration thing. Basically, when guys get tired that's when it usually happens. We started the two-minute drill the other day and the first play from scrimmage (left tackle Laremy Tunsil) jumps offsides, illegal procedure. We can't have that. That's just focus and concentration. Usually it happens when they get tired and they're not focusing on what they need to focus on. We've got to get that corrected and we will get it corrected."

Although quarterback Tyrod Taylor was able to rally the offense and connected with wide receiver Brandin Cooks and tight end Pharaoh Brown for touchdowns, it was a step backwards overall for the offense.

"That's his job to overcome those when bad things happen, it's the next-play mentality," Culley said. "Those things are drive-killers. That's a tough position for any offense to be in. You're down in the red zone and on the goal line and the penalty backs you up. Those things are unacceptable and we're going to get that corrected."

A former Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and receivers coach, Culley set a tone that he's not going to stand idly by as mistakes are committed. That didn't come as a surprise to Conley or other players.

"Coach Culley is back there, he has a whistle and he's watching," Conley said. "Every single time there's a mistake he's going to make a decision on whether that person stays in or that person stays out. Those are the things we're focusing on and eliminating and we're trending in the right direction. Everybody here wants to win. That message hits home with guys. Guys are buying in and they're doing the work."

Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128

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