HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Bill O’Brien had a lot of work ahead of him when he agreed to become the head coach of the Houston Texans in January of 2014. As he enters his third season O’Brien is well aware that the expectations are higher than they have ever been in Houston.
Since taking over the reigns of a 2-14 team that jettisoned its long tenured head coach and was hanging on to the number one overall pick and held a giant void at the quarterback position; O’Brien has guided the Texans to a pair of 9-7 finishes and a playoff appearance in 2015.
The playoff appearance was brief as they were embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0 at NRG Stadium. The loss was
Bill O’Brien noted at his Wednesday press conference that he realizes that finishing with just nine wins in each of his first two seasons is positive, but not the ultimate goal for the Texans.
“We understand that 9-7 is not the bar,” O’Brien said. “We feel like we’ve made some really good strides here in the past two years with our football team. We’ve overcome some adversity. We have a mentally tough team. We’ve got a bunch of great guys in that locker room but we know that the 9-7 bar is too low.”
Texans fans have a reason to believe that the team will be considerably more talented. They added Brock Osweiler as their quarterback of the present and future. Just committing to a quarterback for the long term had been one of the biggest criticisms after starting eight different players at quarterback the previous two years.
The Texans also added speed to their offense with the free agent acquisition of Lamar Miller at running back and rookie wideouts Braxton Miller and Will Fuller to compliment Pro-Bowler DeAndre Hopkins.
O’Brien is well aware that 9-7 isn’t good enough for his Houston club or any other NFL team and is even more aware that Texans fans are starving for a football winner which is something that he is hoping to deliver.
“I think the expectations in Houston are always going to be high,” O’Brien said. “I think that’s what the fan base demands and rightfully so. I think that the fan base deserves a winner here, a big-time winner. That’s one of our motivations. ”
The Texans have never won more than one game in a single postseason and no Houston pro football team has advanced to a Super Bowl. With Super Bowl 51 being played at NRG Stadium, the Texans have the unique opportunity to be the first NFL team to play a Super Bowl on their home field. The Texans will have to play better than they have in their history to reach that point.
“We’re very well aware of the fact that we need to go out there and play more consistent, play better than we have in the past,” O’Brien said. “But that is in the past. This is a new team and I really like the way this team is practicing. We’ll go from there.”
Alex Del Barrio can be heard on Saturday afternoons with Matt Murphy from 4-7 pm. Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio