Bill O’Brien and his future with the Houston Texans has been discussed at length outside of the organization. O’Brien inked a 5-year deal with the Texans when he signed on to be the head coach in 2014 and, with 2 years left on that deal, questions are swirling on whether he will remain with the team.
“I’ll be honest, I really don’t think about my contract. I really don’t. I think about preparing for the offseason.” said O’Brien in March at the Owner’s Meetings. “In the past, if you look at Mr. McNair’s track record with those kind of things, that’s what he does. He did the same thing with Coach (Gary) Kubiak – extended him going into the last year of his contract. I think he did it twice. So, I don’t think about it. I know that when Mr. McNair wants to sit down and talk about those things, I know we’ll sit down and talk about it. I’m focused on coaching this team and doing as good a job as I can of helping our staff coach and helping our players get better.”
Owner Bob McNair has been in wait-and-see mode concerning his head coach as the team met with the media on Monday at the opening of off-season workouts. The players came out early supporting their head coach.
DeAndre Hopkins had an interesting season in 2016 with a dip in his numbers compared to his 2014-2015 seasons. O’Brien backed Hopkins in the off-season and the Texans wide receiver took notice.
“It’s great when you have a coach like this that’s always on your side. A down season, you know, it’s a team sport. It’s not one player out there playing,“ Hopkins stated, his reciprocal support for O’Brien clear. “So, to have a coach like that on your side all the time, it spreads throughout the locker room.”
Offensive lineman David Quessenberry who is working his way back to the field after battling lymphoma the past three years discussed how important O’Brien was to him during the process.
“He has had my back through this whole thing. We’ve gotten close. He has his own struggles in his family and I have mine. He has had a lot of wisdom on the way to approach things when it’s your body and you’re going through your own fights,” Quessenberry said of O’Brien. “That’s something that I’ve always kind of cherished and been fortunate to have with him since he got here and before I got diagnosed. He’s just been great.”
Quarterback Tom Savage was drafted by O’Brien in 2014 and spent time with him during the draft process. Savage has been the one constant in the quarterback room and has not overlooked how much O’Brien has pushed him since he arrived.
“I love the guy. That’s what I look forward to, is going to practice every day. He’s going to be hard on me. That’s what you want as a quarterback.” Savage explained. “He’s the type of guy that is always talking shop with you and that’s the type of guy you want to go out there and you want to brawl for.”
Posting a 27-21 record the past three seasons with the Texans and achieving two AFC South division titles, those are not the ultimate goal for O’Brien and the Texans. The only coach to have a winning recored in three consecutive seasons in franchise history is not being overlooked by his players. The players inside the Texans locker room undoubtedly appreciate what O’Brien brings to the team.
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