HOUSTON - "Anytime you have someone on your team make a misstep,'' Houston Texans coach Romeo Crennel said on Wednesday, "that's disappointing - particularly when they are key contributors."
Crennel addressed the suspensions of two of his best players ... and it seems his private remarks were somewhat of a scolding.
First, to his public statement:
"What we will have to do now,'' Crennel said, "is everybody as a group will have to tighten the belt straps and put our best foot forwards and get ready for the game on Sunday."
The Texans made the suspensions of wide receiver Will Fuller and cornerback Bradley Roby official this week by placing both players on the Reserve/Suspended list.
READ MORE: Fuller & Texans Receiver Future? Shaky
Both Roby and Fuller announced Monday they would miss six games for a violation of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. With just five games left in the season, they will each also miss the season opener for the 2021 season.
Crennel wasn't exactly making excuses for his two standout players. And this is where the "scold'' comes in.
"I told them they're responsible for themselves," said Crennel. "They know the rules. The rules say you can't put anything into your body. You're responsible for what you put in your body."
There is a wide system provided by the team and the NFL to make sure this doesn't happen, according to Crennel. He said there are trainers and doctors in the building with the team and the NFL provides support in making sure players don't accidentally make a mistake. He said he can't do anything now for the players because "the deed is done."
"We try to educate them,'' he said. "We talk to them about it. We give them the rules. They know what the rules are. They know where they can get help from the organization.
"If they don't use what is available to them, you can't put it on the coach, GM, or anybody else. The player has to take responsibility."
Crennel touched on the future of the players. Fuller is a free agent; the team can void parts of Roby's contract. The coach said those decisions are not his, but that if he remains with the organization beyond 2020, he will have input on how they are handled in the future.
Crennel said he hasn't spoken directly to the players. But he seems to have somehow sent messages to them in public and in private ... and he thinks the lesson has been learned.
"I think both of those guys have admitted that they did the wrong thing and they apologized for it.” Crennel said. “And we will see how it goes going forward."