In Part 3 of Mad Radio’s candid “Mad Conversation” visit with Texans head coach Bill O’Brien Mike and Seth discuss why coaching Tom Brady can be difficult, why he decided to take over the offense and more. Plus, what he likes about Tom Savage and Deshaun Watson. Part four, the rapid fire edition, will air Thursday, June 22, 2017, on Mad Radio on SportsRadio 610.
On going from coaching Tom Brady to college quarterbacks at Penn State: “When I went to Penn State after having coached Tom (Brady) for a few years that was my first eye opener. We went out for out first spring practice at Penn State and I was like, alright we’re going to do these 100 plays today and I think we were like 1 for 30. Now, there was a high wind that day in Happy Valley so I blame it on the wind (laughing), but guys didn’t know where to line up and it was like, what am I doing?! So we simplified it and began being decent offensively that first year, but that was my first experience of knowing it’s different.”
On why it’s difficult to coach Tom Brady: “Josh McDaniels is one of my closest friends and we talk about this all the time. One of the most difficult jobs you can have is coaching Tom because he wants to be coached, you coach him every single day, every minute of the day and all year round because he’s all football. He’s a phenomenal guy and the reason why he is what he is, is because he’s obsessed with football. He’s a great family guy, don’t get me wrong, but he’s obsessed with football and so when you’re coaching him you better be ready to go at a moment’s notice whether it’s for a meeting, or practice or game and it made me a much better coach when I was fortunate enough to coach him.
On if he wishes he would have handled offensive coordinator duties from the beginning of his time as head coach of the Texans: “No, have we been where I want to be here offensively? No, at times we have, Mike. We’ve had the rhythm, we’ve had the production, but it hasn’t been enough, it has been very inconsistent. So my reasoning for what I’m doing right now is I think it’s the buck stops at my desk and that’s my area where I feel like I’ve been an offensive coach my whole career so I’m a head coach and I’m involved in all three phases, but I’ve got to, in my opinion, be involved with the offense and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. These guys they’re having a lot of fun playing and I think that’s a part of it and I think they’re confident. The big key is training camp and being able to carry that feeling over into training camp.”
On what he likes about Tom Savage: “Tom is a great guy to coach, he’s into it, he loves it, he’s passionate about it, he has a good command for what we’re doing and he’s ahead because he has been here. He’s just ahead in knowledge and so he’s able to process things a little bit quicker than Deshaun or even Brandon. You know, we drafted Tom and we’ve got a lot of time invested in him. The big thing for Tom is health, being able to perform consistently on the practice field and in games and go from there, but he has been a lot of fun to be around this spring.”
On how to teach Deshaun Watson to protect himself, but also use his mobility: “I think a lot of that has to do with coaching. Repeating to him over and over that the journey is over in this league. We’re going to have to work on sliding, when to slide, having an awareness to know what’s going on with ball security… Let’s get the first, if you can, but if you can’t it’s called self-preservation. There are stages in the NFL. You go from practice to a preseason game to a regular season game to the playoffs to the Super Bowl and the stage of the game goes up on every stage and that’s where they have to take it, for a guy like Deshaun, from the preseason practice now to the preseason game, so you gotta coach it and you’ve gotta teach it.”
O’Brien also weighed in on the contrasts between a college and pro practice, why this is the most fun team he has ever coached and more. Check out the podcast below and part two of the visit Thursday on Mad Radio on Sportsradio 610.