Some players hate playing on a Thursday after playing on a Sunday. Others love it, pointing out that, for them, it’s an easy work week prior to the game.
For coaches, it’s not. They have to prepare a game plan and otherwise cram a full week of work into Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
In 2014 and 2015, O’Brien’s first two years as a head coach, the Texans had their short-week games at home.
“This is across-the-country travel,” O’Brien told reporters on Monday. “It’s a different deal here. Coming off a real physical game yesterday. It’s just different. Nothing carries over from those two games.”
So what does that mean for the coaches?
“We sleep here instead of at home,” O’Brien said.
Asked if he really slept in his office, O’Brien said, “Do I look like I’m kidding? Do I look fresh as a daisy right now?”
However fresh or otherwise he looks right now, O’Brien probably won’t be looking very fresh on Thursday night.
On one hand, the intense work and long hours becomes a badge of honor for coaches who embrace competing with their peers. On the other hand, these short-week scenarios run counter to the whole #FootballIsFamily thing, because for O’Brien and his assistants and every other NFL coaching staff at least once per season, football drives an even bigger wedge between them and their families from Sunday through the completion of the Thursday night game.
UPDATE 7:49 p.m. ET: On Tuesday, O’Brien told reporters that he really wasn’t sleeping in the office. “I was kidding about that,” he said. “I mean, holy smokes. My wife would kill me if I — well, maybe not. She’d probably want me to sleep in the office more.”