Houston Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien joined In The Loop with Nick and Lopez and they talked about his thoughts on his type of quarterback, his opinion on Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles, his relationship with Bill Belichick, the culture he will bring to Houston and what makes a successful organization.
O’Brien left a job at Penn State University to come to the Texans, a team that finished 2-14 and will be drafting first overall in the NFL Draft in May.
“This was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down,” O’Brien said about taking the job here in Houston. “I think this is a first class organization and we’re just going to work extremely hard to put a winning team on the field.”
Along with the change at head coach comes a change in offensive scheme. O’Brien’s offense is one that anyone who has watched the New England Patriots play will be familiar with, as O’Brien had great success with Tom Brady in New England. But while O’Brien admits most people associate Brady as the type of quarterback to be successful in his system, his offense is and needs to be flexible.
“This system over the years has had mobile quarterbacks,” O’Brien told In The Loop. “It’s had tall quarterbacks, quarterbacks who were six feet tall, quarterbacks that were six foot five, quarterbacks that have had all different types of skill sets. What you do is you try to look at what’s available to you, what’s already on the team and try to make sure the system fits the skill set of the players.”
Coach O’Brien, or OB as many call him and he admits is his favorite nickname, knows that things need to change for the Texans and it is more about working hard than changing the culture.
“It’s not the Bill O’Brien culture. It’s that we believe as a staff and our team will believe in being a tough physical smart fast team that can play in all different environments,” O’Brien said. “A team that can play in the heat in Texans. A team that can play in January in a snow storm in Denver. Everyday we’ll talk to our players about doing their job and working hard. Only worrying about what their role in the team is and how they can determine their own role. To me that is where you start. It’s really just about working extremely hard, day-to-day, understanding your role, doing your job and being as good of a teammate you can be. And that is what we’re going to start doing in April when we can start working with these guys.”
O’Brien told Nick Wright and John Lopez about how he caught the coaching bug early, at about age nine, and has been lucky enough to work with many influential coaches, like Bill Belichick in New England and George O’Leary, who O’Brien worked with at Georgia Tech. O’Brien talked about how he enjoys watching players take the things he teaches them and exicute those things on the field, seeing a player grow learn is extremely gratifying for the coach who says he’s living his dream and working a job he loves. There is one thing that will always be the most gratifying thing about coaching though.
“Winning. There is nothing better than a winning locker room.”
O’Brien has been known for his work with quarterbacks, a hole the Texans seem to be in most desperate need of. As someone who some have called a QB guru, although O’Brien believes no coaches are experts or gurus, there are certain things he is looking for in the man who will run the offense of Reliant Stadium next year and for the years to come.
“Is he a winner. Is he a guy that is a leader on his team? Is he a good locker room guy? Is he going to be a great guy in the community? Is he a guy that’s going to study the game morning noon or night, be obsessed with the game. I think those are things that are very important for a quarterback.”
If that man comes straight from college there are three major names being tossed around as the possible number one overall picks for the Texans. Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortels all have potential to be the next quarterback for the Texnas. While O’Brien is still in the process of evaluating the players currently on the Texans, he has seen Brotels in person.
“I was able to see Blake Bortles up-close because we played Central Florida at Penn State and they beat us. He was a smart player. An accurate passer. A guy that could do a lot of different things. You could tell he was really a student of the game. He’s a good football player.”
The other two O’Brien hasn’t studied much of, just catching a few games on TV over the past couple years.
“I haven’t watched Teddy Bridgewater much at all. I have seen him on TV. An exciting player. A guy that did a great job for Louisville. A guy I can tell is a good football player.”
“Obviously a very exciting player,” O’Brien said of Johnny Manziel. “A guy thats a playmaker that does a lot of great things on the field.”
While the Texans head coach still has a few months to figure out if he is going to take a quarterback with the number one overall draft pick O’Brien still has a lot of positions on his staff to fill. Currently only Mike Vrabel has made it known that he will be joining the Texans as a linebackers coach. Romeo Crennel’s name has been linked to the Defensive Coordinator position, but O’Brien wouldn’t let slip if he was in fact joining the staff.
“All the staff will be announced at some point.”
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