If the Houston Texans showed us one thing in 2013, it is that the organization as a whole is in much need of drastic change. And if a change of organizational attitude is what the Texans need, new head coach Bill O’Brien is just what the doctor ordered.
Many fans may not be terribly familiar with the new coach. You may know him as a disciple of the Bill Belichick/New England Patriot regime, or as the guy that resurrected the Penn State football program following what was very likely the biggest scandal in American sports history. If there is one important thing to know about O’Brien, it’s that he’s not Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak often appeared to be lumbering through his eight year coaching stint with the Houston Texans, hopeful his nice guy approach would reach his players and that they would want to succeed because of it. He would famously accept all blame for any knuckle-headed play that was made, leery of pointing any fingers at players or his coaching staff. He was loyal to a fault, riding his “Schaub is my QB” attitude straight to a pink slip out of town. It worked for a while (to a degree), but the message had begun to grow thin. Nice-guy coaches don’t retain employment following 2-14 seasons after nearly a decade on the job.
O’Brien brings a fire, intensity and sense of accountability that was lost during the lean years of the Kubiak era. He famously got into a screaming match with Tom Brady, a spat that O’Brien won, which is even crazier given the fact that he was only the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots at the time.
’Brien landed in Houston on Thursday, and it looks like he is bringing massive change with him. NFL coaching philosophies are often cyclical. A team will stop responding to an aw-shucks nice guy method and need a change of attitude in the locker room and on the field. After a Kubiak regime lasting eight years and a wrapping up with a highly disappointing 2013 campaign, change is just what the doctor ordered, and it looks like the Texans hired the perfect guy to implement it.