WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (CBS HOUSTON) – Texans head coach Bill O’Brien is taking a slightly different approach to his coaching this year as he is will once again be the primary offensive play caller.
In the offseason the Texans parted ways with offensive coordinator George Godsey after the Texans finished near the bottom in most offensive categories including posting just 17.4 points per game good for just 28th in the NFL in 2016.
O’Brien, a former offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, has been a lot more hands on with the offense throughout OTAs and now at the start of training camp at the Greenbrier.
“I just enjoy the preparation for practice. I enjoy the competition in practice,” O’Brien said after Friday’s practice. “We’re doing a lot of non-scripted things, which I love. The game isn’t scripted so I think after a few practices, really you should throw the scripts away and just give the situation and be specific about that, but call plays. I think that’s what all the coaches love.”
The adjustments to the staff continued for O’Brien with Mike Vrabel, the wunderkind former linebackers coach who was being courted with coordinator positions throughout the league, taking over as the new defensive coordinator.
“I think (Vrabel’s) doing a good job,” O’Brien said. “He’s very organized, detailed, works very hard. He’s got a great way with the players, so I think so far, so good.”
The promotion didn’t remove former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel from the staff as he ascended to the role of Assistant Head Coach. He will assist O’Brien from the press box on game days and provide additional guidance to O’Brien as a former head coach.
“Romeo’s (Crennel) been around this game so long, been around the NFL, a long, long time,” O’Brien said. “Worked for Hall of Fame head coaches in Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick. He was a head coach himself. He brings a wealth of knowledge. He’s got a great demeanor, easy to talk to. He’s really a very important part of this staff and he’s helped me a great deal.”
With O’Brien mostly focussed on the offense as no offensive coordinator was hired to replace Godsey, it doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping an eye on the defensive and special team meetings.
“I still do that. Maybe I don’t do it quite as much, but I’m around,” O’Brien said. “I mean, they know I’m there. We still squad-meet every day, we watch all three phases. There’s no doubt that I’m more involved with the offense but I’m still enjoying, loving, being the head coach of this team. Being in charge of all three phases is something that I really enjoy, and these guys, like I said, they’re fun to coach.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio