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O’Brien wants a quarterback to be “a partner in the offense”


No decision will mean more to Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s tenure in Houston than the selection of a franchise quarterback. And O’Brien says that quarterback’s mental makeup will be every bit as important as his physical tools.

O’Brien told Peter King of that when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was playing in O’Brien’s offense in New England, the most important aspect of Brady’s character was that he spent every bit as much time studying the offense as the coaches did.

“I’d be getting texts, calls from Tom on Wednesday night about the third-down package,’’ O’Brien said. “Thursday night I’d be hearing from him 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock about red-zone plays. Obviously, he’s talented, but Tom never stopped thinking about football. When you coach Tom Brady, you’re not coaching with him; you’re a partner in the offense with him. That’s the ideal for a quarterback—someone who cares about it as much as you do.”

Most people expect the Texans to use the first overall pick in the NFL draft on a quarterback like Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel or Fresno State’s Derek Carr. O’Brien says it’s way too early to say what the team will do.

“I just got in the building,’’ he said. “There are so many scenarios. We draft a quarterback there, we trade the pick to someone who’ll give us a lot for it, or we take another position. Lots of time to figure that out.”

Whoever the quarterback is, it’s going to be someone O’Brien thinks will work just as hard as Brady works.

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53 Responses to “O’Brien wants a quarterback to be “a partner in the offense””
  1. whyamiacowboysfanagain says: Jan 7, 2014 12:11 PM

    um… Matt Schaub (in a hushed, whispered voice)?

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 7, 2014 12:12 PM

    They should trade the pick, somebody is going to overpay and the team has lots of needs. And there’s lots of QBs in this draft and the next one. They are going to have a lot of QB options and a select few could be surprise falls and they could get a steal of a deal on a franchise QB in addition to filling more needs if they make a great trade down.

  3. jpb12 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:12 PM

    So no Josh Freeman to Texans then…

  4. wydok says: Jan 7, 2014 12:15 PM

    So I take it Schaub isn’t in the cards.

  5. johnnyjagfan says: Jan 7, 2014 12:16 PM

    It’s too early to tell which QB the team may pick, but they’re picking a QB in the first round. Maybe not at #1, but somewhere.

  6. bennyb82 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:16 PM

    Matt Stafford, on the other hand, believes that playing Madden on Xbox is better for learning.

  7. weepingjebus says: Jan 7, 2014 12:16 PM

    I say, this Tom Brady fellow seems like a fair hand with the pigskin.

  8. poochessays says: Jan 7, 2014 12:18 PM

    whatever o’brien, you were out played by Ohio State, Nebraska, and UCF. So take Butler, the defenesive genious with you, (Ohio State 63….. ) and hit the road, and don’t you come back no more no more, hit the road.

  9. kirksav says: Jan 7, 2014 12:18 PM

    Houstonian here,

    As much as I want us to pick a slam dunk QB first overall the numbers show that picking a QB first has a big chance for failure. I would personally like to see us pick Clowney first and go after a QB with the 33 pick or trade down to the 20’s to get one.

    A defensive line with Clowney on one side and Watt on the other, both still being on their rookie contracts says a lot for how scary this defense can be now, and in the future.

  10. bpanz2012 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:18 PM

    Trade it for a lot of picks ? How many Washington’s are there ? Just draft a QB and move on

  11. baddegg says: Jan 7, 2014 12:19 PM

    Did O’Brien ask Sally Jenkins if this was OK?

  12. indytom87 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:20 PM

    Well that rules Johnny Football out.

  13. tice75 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:20 PM

    Why not give Case Keenum a shot? He’s statistically one of the greatest college QB’s in NCAA history.

  14. pantherdick says: Jan 7, 2014 12:20 PM

    sounds like a good hire so far

  15. htown1035 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:20 PM

    Hence why they’ll draft Bridgewater #1 – all the scouting reports about him talk about his intelligence and his leadership. He is the most pro-ready of all the QB’s in the draft. He just needs some extra meat helpings at dinnertime for those twig legs of his.

  16. wte1 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:23 PM

    Papa John says Peyton is the same way about filming the pizza commercials.

    Calls him at 9:00 about the two million free pizzas commercial. Calls him at 10:00 about the coin flip commercial.

  17. brasho says: Jan 7, 2014 12:23 PM

    Here’s another possibility, they trade their 2nd round pick to Pats for Ryan Mallet. Mallet knows the offense, BOB knows him, and the Texans can go with BPA. Another slight possibility, Tampa’s Mike Glennon. Like Mallet, he fits the mold of big, stiff, immobile QBs.

  18. rubenxx7 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:28 PM

    Obrien needs to wake up and smell the coffee. He willnever have a Tom Brady qb

  19. azarkhan says: Jan 7, 2014 12:30 PM

    Good luck finding another Tom Brady (or Peyton Manning). QB’s like those two are rare.

  20. supremekingz says: Jan 7, 2014 12:32 PM

    Schaub lead the league in passing yards not long ago. Why not just fix him?

  21. scmems07 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:32 PM

    none of those qb’s are worth a #1, trade out. some qb hungry team will overpay because they think bridgewater is a franchise qb, let them get burned.

  22. blakeden says: Jan 7, 2014 12:34 PM

    Trade the pick for RG3 he’s already got a partnership with Washington”s owner…So being a partner with a head coach should be easy for him

  23. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Jan 7, 2014 12:35 PM

    Rule #1: You have to have good QB play to win anything meaningful.

  24. htown1035 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:39 PM

    kirksav says:
    Jan 7, 2014 12:18 PM
    Houstonian here,

    As much as I want us to pick a slam dunk QB first overall the numbers show that picking a QB first has a big chance for failure. I would personally like to see us pick Clowney first and go after a QB with the 33 pick or trade down to the 20′s to get one.

    A defensive line with Clowney on one side and Watt on the other, both still being on their rookie contracts says a lot for how scary this defense can be now, and in the future.
    They had the best defensive player in the league and won 2 games. They need a QB more than they need Clowney, and you certainly can’t get as good of a QB in the 2nd round as you can with the #1 pick. Guys like Brady and Wilson are the exceptions, not the rule. But if you want to go into the season with a Geno Smith or a Mike Glennon, that’s what you’ll get if you wait for later rounds.

  25. forsbergler says: Jan 7, 2014 12:47 PM

    By “Partner” he actualy means “Puppet”. Who’s he trying to kid? What he actually is saying is ” In NE I was taught this sweet method of systematic cheating. All I had to do was have someone analize the the video feed of the offensive and defensive signals being fed to the coaches booth and then on a seconday illigal frequency I could send in a perfect counter play to the QB and the ILB. It worked pretty good until some rat from the Jets ratted me out. So know all I do is do it at home games”

  26. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 7, 2014 12:48 PM

    Clowney in the 3-4 defense.. hahah.. where do you think he’s going to play.. should we make him the 3-4 DE (like Ngata and Watt) or should we have him play outside LB. Wake up my friend, Clowney is an ideal 4-3 DE. You don’t want him on your 3-4 scheme.

  27. daysend564 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:49 PM

    Redskins will give you their #1 pick in 2015 and 2016 and their #2 pick this year so they can draft a QB.

  28. atlfan31833 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:52 PM

    For draft purposes only…it’s nice having as many options that the Texans have.

    Schaub is still a good (not great) QB. If you look at the playoffs with an objective mind, there are only 3 great QB’s (Manning, Brady, & Brees) out of 8 teams. The others have good (maybe someday great) QB’s. So it might be beneficial to fill other spots or draft for near future replacements to older vets. If Schaub had a cast around him like Seattle or 49ers I think that he would play as well too.

  29. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 7, 2014 12:53 PM

    We win Super Bowls.

  30. bobby2478 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:57 PM

    He hit the nail on the head. Looking at both Manning and Brady (and even Luck) the common characteristic is their dedication to working on fundamentals and mechanics, and the fact they never stop studying film or the playbook. They are working their butts off 24 – 7 and never stop thinking football. They are every bit as dedicated as the OC, and are the generals of their team on the field that expect perfection from everyone including themselves.

    Even with as good as they are, Brady STILL spends a ton of time on mechanics and fundamentals, same with Manning. Practice makes perfect.

    So O’Brien is spot on, that’s the best indicator of future success: a players willingness to put in the work to be successful (they obviously also have to have physical talent). But just talent alone won’t cut it if they are unwilling to put in the time.

    Sounds like sound logic to me, yet should be glaringly obvious to other teams too. Sometimes the physical talent is so great people think they can change their work ethic, which isn’t always the case.

  31. jcgiant73 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:01 PM

    Too bad Brady isn’t in this draft class.

  32. granadafan says: Jan 7, 2014 1:06 PM

    It might be tough for the next QB because O’Brien will be frustrated with him as the young guy is NOT Tom Brady. There will always be the comparison and the berating, “Why don’t you text me on Wednesday night like Brady did? Why aren’t you spending every aching moment thinking about the offense like Brady did? Why don’t you have a supermodel wife like Brady?”

  33. gbmickey says: Jan 7, 2014 1:24 PM

    I believe you could fleece minnesota out of their first for Schaub.

  34. theytukrjobs says: Jan 7, 2014 1:26 PM

    I think they should take Clowney. Put him next to JJ Watt and try to find a good QB in the 2nd round.

    If you look at recent history, teams haven’t really done that much better with 1st round QB’s than second rounder’s. It is a crap shoot so why not pick for value?

  35. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jan 7, 2014 1:27 PM

    He certainly didn’t want to be partner-ed up with the interests of Penn State — leaving promises unkept and then proceeding to gut the rest of the coaching staff too.

  36. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Jan 7, 2014 1:32 PM

    Uh how about we trade back or draft another position and play schuab out on his last year? He is getting paid 15 million after all. In the mean time you’ll get all your wr’s and offensivelineman ready for your new system. Next years qb class is looking way better anyways. I don’t trust ucf’s guy cause he hasn’t played good competition imo.

  37. 2ruefan says: Jan 7, 2014 1:34 PM

    I’m strongly suspicious that the issue with Freeman is that he’s just dumb as a stump, and/or doesn’t care to put the time into preparing or knowing the offense.

    Viking players pretty much said as much about the “start” that he got against the Giants….

  38. brazin99 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:54 PM

    What you need is this draft’s equivalent of Russell Wilson. Has all the talent. Is a film room junkie and work ethic magnet. Has just one silly negative that makes the Mel Kipers down grade him. You get back that trash opinion and draft the guy. Boom, you got a franchise guy for the nest 10 plus years.

  39. rpkllc says: Jan 7, 2014 1:55 PM

    I picture Tom Brady spending a lovely night with his wife, when his cell phone alarm goes off. “Time to call the coach and ask him about third down situations.”

  40. peopletrains says: Jan 7, 2014 1:55 PM

    Gut feeling he goes with Bortles.

  41. brazin99 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:55 PM

    …errr…meant to say…you get PAST that trash opinion…

  42. pftfan says: Jan 7, 2014 1:59 PM

    One salient point being left out here is that Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round. Maybe Brady had to use his brain more than his peers was because he didn’t have the first round tools or raw athleticism that would allow him to win without being cerebral. When Brady later developed those tools, it was a hall of fame combination.

    Maybe O’Brien’s “partner” isn’t in the first round, or even in this year’s draft.

  43. drs76109 says: Jan 7, 2014 2:03 PM

    Welcome to Houston, Mr Griffin. Oh btw , Mr McNair doesn’t take calls…

  44. louisvillecardinals says: Jan 7, 2014 2:13 PM

    to all of yu doggin on my dude teddy bridgewater stop to consider this… bill obrien says he wants a qb who lives n breathes football well teddy is it! ive never seen a qb take more punishment and show more heart n more guts than ive ever seen. that bowl game last season vs #2 florida was incredible! the guy was ruled out. will NOT play! our backup qb will stein played us right into a 21 pt deficit at halftime. and in one of the most historically inspiring displays of courage n ncaa history teddy bridgewater w a fractured leg and arm comes limpin onto the field for the 2nd half n with one good arm n one good leg he lights the #2 team n the nation n leads us back to win the sugar bowl!!! if thts not dedication n thts not gutsy then idk wat is… all i kno is houston fans will FOREVER talk about the draft in 2014 when they had a chance to draft teddt bridgewater n passed on him…it will haunt them forever.

  45. crubenst says: Jan 7, 2014 2:16 PM

    They’re trading the #1 pick for Nick Foles. Book it its a done deal. Chip wants a more athletic QB and Foles is a Brady clone.

  46. surfinbird1 says: Jan 7, 2014 2:16 PM

    Vick would be perfect.

  47. tvjules says: Jan 7, 2014 2:47 PM

    Mistake number one: Trying to make someone else Tom Brady.

  48. bluenose1965 says: Jan 7, 2014 3:27 PM

    supremekingz says:
    Jan 7, 2014 12:32 PM
    Schaub lead the league in passing yards not long ago. Why not just fix him?

    The most ignored part of Schaub’s 2013 season was that he’s a pocket passer who had no pocket.

    The only success Keenum had was due to his ability to run away.

    Those 2013 OL draft picks better get healthy AND be good. Otherwise it’s more of the same, unless the pick is Manziel.

    If it is Manziel, it better be at the 6th-10th pick after trading down.

  49. ringheadcrusher says: Jan 7, 2014 3:33 PM

    Taking Clowney when you already have Watt would be, well, not stupid but not optimal, let’s say. Sure, you can win a SB with defense, a la TB and BAL. But if you want to win 2 or 3 SBs you better find your Brady. That’s just the way the league is right now. Can’t run the ball reliably anymore, too many injuries. You must have an intelligent, dedicated passer and a way to protect him. HOU has some good building blocks in their OL. Time to put a star behind them not named Foster. This should be a no-brainer, much like when the Falcons picked Matt Ryan. Bridgewater should be flying to Houston before draft night is over.

  50. ringheadcrusher says: Jan 7, 2014 3:36 PM

    There are no slam dunk QBs, that’s a given. But Bridgewater has ALL the tools, and O’Brien is just the guy to develop him. It would be a great match. I’m a Raiders fan so I hope they pick Clowney. We need Teddy more than they do.

  51. squared80 says: Jan 7, 2014 3:38 PM

    Hmm… I’d want a leader.

    And I don’t think Texas is too fond of the word ‘partner’.

  52. lifeistoughtrustmeimadolphinsfan says: Jan 7, 2014 5:14 PM

    Coach, that’s illegal in Texas still, perhaps you should have taken the job in Minnesota…

  53. htowntexan says: Jan 7, 2014 10:33 PM

    Schaub directly lost 6 games for us — totally on him with his picks. He also lost two others by throwing picks on final drives to win it. The man lost 8 games (or more) single handedly. I think replacing the whole coaching staff was a mistake. Get rid of Schaub and the coach, and you are back in the playoffs the next year. Anyone thinking that we should keep Schaub didn’t see the season or how he threw the games away.

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