HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Bill O’Brien taking the blame for a Texans loss has become a familiar theme during his time as head coach. On his press conference Monday, he was told that his players said there is only so much you can do and that they have to play better.
“The way that I was brought up in coaching is I never worked for or played for a successful coach that pointed fingers,” replied the fourth year Texans head coach. “I think the thing that I’ve always tried to do is look in the mirror. A coach is being a teacher. A coach is trying to get the most out of your players, trying to get your players to produce at a high level and play at a high level, and when that’s not getting done, then you have to look in the mirror and think about how you’re teaching it, how you’re practicing it, how you’re implementing it, how you’re calling it, whatever it is.”
“In my opinion, you’re not a coach worth your salt if you just stand up here and blame players,” continued O’Brien. “That’s not going to get you anywhere and that’s not going to get the team improved. The players play very hard. We have a great group of guys in that locker room. We’ve dealt with a lot of different things this year, it’s not an excuse, but these guys are playing hard. I’ve told you time and time again, I’m 100 percent behind these players. I love these players, I enjoy coaching them and I think it starts with me. I just need to figure out how to do a better job.”
Here is what his players said Sunday after being told that O’Brien had taken the blame:
- QB Tom Savage: “No, it’s not his fault. We just got to execute better.”
- LB Jadeveon Clowney: “Bill takes the blame all the time when we lose. But that’s a coach. He puts himself above everybody. So he put it on himself. But as a player on the team you still want to say come on now. Everything isn’t on you. We could have made more plays than we did. Stuff that could have went our way. But it didn’t happen like that.”
- WR DeAndre Hopkins: “We’re the players. We go out there and play. We’ve got to execute no matter what he calls. I wouldn’t give him all the blame because it’s eleven players on the field. We’ve got to execute no matter what he calls.”
- WR Will Fuller: “He can’t put all the blame on himself. It’s not just one person. It’s a team effort, we’re a whole team so we’ve got to do better as a whole.”
- CB Kareem Jackson: ““I think he’s doing a hell of a job of coaching us. At the end of the day, the players got to play. I’ve got to go out and play good just like every other guy in the locker room. We’ve got to hold each other accountable. Coach O’Brien saying that, at the end of the day, he’s not out there playing. I think they gave us a great game-plan. The first half we did what we were supposed to do. They came out, they made some plays in the second half and they kind of ran away with it. As a team, we have to go out and play, so that’s on us. He can’t go out and play. So as a team, we’ve got to hold each other accountable and take this one on the chin. This is on us.”
Today, O’Brien was asked how he felt about the players disagreeing with where he was placing the blame (himself):
“I believe the players believe me,” replied O’Brien. “I think I’ve earned their respect in that regard through my work ethic and the way I speak to the team. Like I said, coaching is about teaching and trying to get the best out of your players in a consistent manner. And if we’re not doing that, and the players are giving really good effort, then where do you start? Well, you start with yourself.”
“Now look, if a guy’s consistently jumping offside, making the same mental mistakes, poor attitude, poor body language, all those different things, you’re going to make a change with a player,” continued O’Brien. “But that’s not the case. These guys are playing hard. Everybody makes mistakes. We’ve got to eliminate some of the mistakes and we have to do a better job of coaching. That’s the same answer you’re going to get from me from now until however long I’m the head coach here, that’s the answer you’re going to get from me when we don’t play well.”
Paul Gallant hosts “Gallant at Night” – Tuesday 9-11 PM CT, Wednesdays and Fridays 8-11 PM CT – 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.