Houston Texans: Bill O’Brien is the real deal
By Randy Gurzi
The Houston Texans have found a head coach worth hanging on to in Bill O’Brien, who has a winning record despite some serious adversity
The Houston Texans seem to have found a gem of a head coach in Bill O’Brien who sits at 14-12 in his first 26 games as a head coach. Sure, the numbers aren’t eye-popping, until you look at what BOB has had to work with.
He took over the franchise in 2014, after a disastrous 2-14 season which saw some massive changes across the board. Since then he has not only began an influx of new, younger talent, but also had to battle some massive adversity along the way.
More from Toro Times
- Houston Texans: Can Sean Payton really be the next head coach?
- Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12
- Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is over
- Houston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie Smith
- Houston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith
As a rookie head coach he entered the season with a journeyman quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. He also had one of his former pupils from his days as an offensive assistant in New England, Ryan Mallett. Both had their time and once they both wound up on the injured reserve the coach turned to rookie fourth-round selection Tom Savage.
To make things even tougher, Savage didn’t stay on the field and Case Keenum was brought in to play some quarterback as well. The lackluster roster and revolving door at quarterback would have sent many teams down in the dumps with a laundry list of excuses.
Instead, Houston stayed the course and improved their win total by seven games, finishing 9-7. They fell just shy of the playoffs, but emotions were high as the team looked to be on the upswing.
Then disaster hit again in 2015 as the team started out 2-5 and had some more drama at quarterback. Newcomer Brian Hoyer (who also had New England ties) got the job, but was pulled after three quarters for Ryan Mallett.
Mallett was not good, which got him replacedd by Hoyer. He was also a pain in the backside, so he has since been cut.
With the team sitting three games under .500, O’Brien seemed like he was simply giving coach speak as he said the team was going to have a shot to turn things around.
"“We’re 1-1 in the division,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got a divisional game coming up next week. We’re 2-5. We know we’re not very good right now, but there’s a lot of season left, so that’s what it is. We’ve only played two divisional games and we’ve got another divisional game coming up next week.”"
Turns out he wasn’t just bowing smoke, but rather he understood how quickly things can turn around in the NFL. Also, he knew a 2-5 record wasn’t anything this team couldn’t handle after all the adversity faced in 2014.
Looking back at that 14-12 record for O’Brien doesn’t seem so average considering the issues he has overcome. It looks even better when you realize that the team had T.J. Yates (their thrid quarterback of this season) play a huge role in each of their last two games with Hoyer out due to a concussion.
The Texans look to have righted the ship after a rocky start, and things look to continue to get better. One thing that is for sure, Bill O’Brien is the real deal as a head coach for the Houston Texans.