O’Brien In Good Spirits Entering Bye Week

By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Bill O’Brien wasn’t exactly in the best of spirits after the Texans 20 – 13 win over the Lions Sunday.

Monday? A different story.

The Texans head coach joked around, seemed relaxed, and significantly different than he’d been over the past few weeks. And it all started when he brought up his “heated conversation” with Special Teams coordinator Larry Izzo.

“I think we have a strong staff. They overcome me a lot,” laughed O’Brien. “I did see that video afterwards. I couldn’t believe what I saw. It had to be an impostor right? It’s Halloween. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of people in Houston dressed up as me tonight with a kick me sign on the back of it.”

So what actually happened in that moment Bill?

“We have an intense staff,” replied O’Brien. “We had a basketball court outside the bubble back there. We were playing for a while, and things got intense out there. And the next we showed up out there the basketball hoop was gone.”

“I don’t know where they get it from,” joked O’Brien. “I mean I’m not that intense.”

“Things happen,” continued O’Brien. “And look, I can tell you it’s just the nature of the game. It’s a competitive game. We all want to win. We’re all pulling the same rope just trying to win. We’ve moved on from that and it won’t happen again.”

The Texans have dealt with a lot of injuries this year. Sunday was no different, as nose tackle Vince Wilfork and wide receivers Will Fuller and Jaelen Strong left the games with injuries. O’Brien said that Strong might be out “a little longer”, but expects Fuller and Wilfork to be back fairly soon.

No conversation about the Texans is complete without mentioning Brock Osweiler. O’Brien said he thinks his quarterback is making progress after a successful eighth game.

“The only way you get better is with game experience,” said O’Brien. “And that’s hard. Because a lot of these defenses are excellent defenses . . . He’s improved every game, and I thought yesterday he really made some big throws. Took some hits, he’s a tough guy. And he did a nice job of controlling the game.”

All things considered, O’Brien seems pretty pleased that the Texans are entering the bye week at 5-3.

“There has to be more consistency in all three phases,” said O’Brien. “But there certainly is a lot to reflect on that’s good. So when you go into the bye week on a winning note, I think everybody feels better about where they’re at.”

O’Brien was also asked about former Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, who announced his retirement earlier today. His first impression of Johnson came in 2009 with the Patriots, when New England was preparing for a game against the Texans.

“He’ll go down as one of the best receivers to ever play the game,” said O’Brien. “He had great size, great hands. Very instinctive player. Could run all the routes.”

But what struck O’Brien most is what Johnson did off the field right here in Houston.

“What I saw off the field was all the things he did for the children of this city,” said O’Brien. “The kids that maybe didn’t come from much. And he was able to provide them with Christmas presents, or things during Thanksgiving, or clothes, or things like that. I think people are really important to the guy. He’s a very quiet guy, but when he spoke everyone listened. Kind o like E.F. Hutton. And I think he meant a lot to this city in all the things that he did off the field.”

Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered – Fridays at 10 PM – on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page.

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