Monday, June 2, 2014

O'Brien has Texans watching a lot of Patriots film


Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is the latest of the Bill Belichick coaching tree to get a crack at a head coaching gig outside of New England.

For O'Brien and his new team, imitating the league's most prolific team of the last decade is not a bad way to start things off--so that's what he's doing.

O'Brien did it all in his five seasons with New England, finding himself as an assistant, wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator between 2007-2011. While O'Brien was calling the shots on the offensive side of the ball from 2009-2011, the Pats never ranked lower than eighth in total offense.

While that success was large in part of having a star quarterback in Tom Brady, O'Brien is not forgetting his roots now that he is in Houston. In fact, the new head coach has not been shy to introduce the team to old Patriots tape in quarterback meetings.

"Obviously watch a lot of Patriots film and seeing how they do it," Texans quarterback T.J. Yates said this week, via "We're trying to mimic them right now."

Yates is currently fighting for the starting quarterback job with rookie Tom Savage. Yates noted it is a great experience to learn from O'Brien, calling him a "great football mind."

New England and Houston, however, are night and day when it comes to franchise success in recent years. New England, noted for its high tempo offense, could rub off on the Texans in O'Brien's eyes.

"Our view of tempo has evolved especially those of us who were in New England," O'Brien said. "We were a huddle team in New England and we were always a huddle team in New England. But then the last few years I was there we incorporated more no huddle and different tempos of no huddle."

For a team with no identity on offense quarterback-wise, and its best player in franchise history unhappy, it will be interesting to see if the Texans can keep up with this new fast approach in Houston.

For the record, past Belichick disciples have not found much success outside of the Patriots organization as head coaches. Charlie Weis is 39-47 in eight years of coaching college football at Notre Dame and Kansas. Romeo Crennel is 28-55 in six seasons pro on his own, four in Cleveland and two in Kansas City. Eric Mangini is 33-47 in his head coaching career with the Jets and Browns, and current offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels finished 11-17 in just under two seasons in Denver.

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