Bill O’Brien to Hoyer, Mallett on Hard Knock: We’re not on a short leash


A report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media on Wednesday indicates that the Texans are preparing Ryan Mallett to be their starting quarterback in Week Two against the Panthers, which would mean the team is benching Brian Hoyer after naming him their starter during training camp.

That report has since been followed up with confirmations from Texans beat writers, which leads us to recall the moment that Hoyer learned he would start the opener.

The conversation that coach Bill O’Brien had with Hoyer and Mallett informing them of the decision was captured by NFL Films for Hard Knocks. In that conversation, O’Brien tells the quarterbacks that he didn’t think there was a big difference between them and that he chose Hoyer because of his consistency. He also said Hoyer would have to earn his job every week and told Mallett to be ready to go every week while adding that he wasn’t putting Hoyer on “a short leash.”

“What I would expect from you, Ryan, is to be a professional about it, to prepare like a starter, to be ready to play,” O’Brien said. “If things aren’t going very well…Look, we’re not on a short leash here, but we’re not going to sit there and let it go eight games of not being very good. You need to be really ready to go.”

Pulling Hoyer from the opener and starting Mallett the next week would seem to contradict the lack of a short leash for Hoyer. It would also call into question what O’Brien and the rest of the staff saw over months of practices to name Hoyer the starter in the first place, which will make the coach’s comments on his ultimate choice pretty interesting to hear.

27 responses to “Bill O’Brien to Hoyer, Mallett on Hard Knock: We’re not on a short leash

  1. I always thought short leash referred to a QBs ability to operate individually as a measure of control the coach has over a player. A coach would put a short leash on Pac-Man Jones to keep him out of trouble…or a running back that tries to get cute when running the ball.

    O’Brien never said he wasn’t going to employ the
    QUICK HOOK which he clearly did.

  2. People talk about the NFL and its fans being soft…
    The only reason Hoyer had the job was because he was the more polished “nice guy”…
    Mallet and O’Brien have the same temper, the same ranting and profanity, they even make the same face when they yell at the refs.
    Last week was epic the two of them going at the refs.
    That and the play of John Simon were just about the best parts of that game.

  3. the only one on a short leash is O’Brian. He might be gone after this year if he doesn’t start winning.

  4. Whether it was on Hard Knocks or not, the fact is that he is going against what he already said. To the point of the article, the disappointing thing is that now we are going to have potential for an un-ending QB carousel. If they thought Hoyer was the guy two weeks ago, then give him a couple of weeks. Pulling him in Game 1 and replacing him for Game 2 seems silly.

    If we are going with Mallett now, then I’d like to see him given some latitude.

  5. I hate when coaches do this. All your saying is you don’t trust your own judgment. Changing course after 8 games is one thing…pulling the guy you anointed the starter after a few quarters sends a terrible message, and really makes me question a coach’s confidence.

  6. @BoulderPhinfan

    You do know Bob McNair is the owner right? We are talking about the same guy that gave the super mediocre Kubiak almost 8 years. The same guy that still lets Rick Smith have his job despite wasting early round draft picks every year. BoB won’t be on the hot seat for at least another 2+ years.

  7. catalytictendencies says:
    Sep 16, 2015 3:03 PM

    The only reason Hoyer had the job was because he was the more polished “nice guy”…

    Hoyer also had a winning record in 13 starts with the Browns last year at 7-6, which…you know…it’s the Browns so that’s impressive enough to give him first crack at it.

  8. I doubt that either Hoyer or Mallet is the answer. The only one of Brady’s backups with any talent is the one backing him up now. The Texans need to find another quarterback.

  9. “Look, we’re not on a short leash here, but we’re not going to sit there and let it go eight games of not being very good. ”

    For those of you who dont know, thats O’Brien speak for “I’m not Gary Kubiak”

  10. Total reactionary move. Just because they lost to Kansas City which is a game they penciled in as a win at the start of the season. Coaches should have manned up and blamed themselves.

  11. Sure, OB says Hoyer is ( or “we’re”) not on a short leash, but I don’t think you can ignore the four or five other comments he makes where he clearly implies the competition was extremely close and that he’s not sticking with a guy who’s not performing and tells Mallett to be prepared to play at a moments notice. Anyone who saw that game cannot argue with that Hoyer was awful and this move is called for.

    Being a Texans fan, I’m glad OB is making the move and doesn’t care if it looks bad. I’d rather sink with Mallett hoping that he might turn into something (or finally knowing he’s not the answer) over sinking with Hoyer knowing he’s not the answer.

  12. .
    I think Obrien believed that Jimmy Garopollo would be his starter at this point. Belichick really through a monkey wrench into his old offensive coordinator’s plans.

  13. In the game sunday, there wasa stark difference bwtween the 2 qb’s, but they were also in different situations. The Chiefs were so far ahead they were not playing the same aggressive defense they had played against Hoyer.

  14. It wasn’t a short leash, he didn’t even have a leash. So O’Brien was correct. He didn’t need a leash because he was apparently already holding him by the back of the collar…

  15. You have to at least find out what Mallet is. We already know what Hoyer is and it’s not the future. I’m just confused as to why they didn’t go with him from the get go. It’s just sad that the Texans are wasting the best years of Watt’s career with mediocre to poor QB play.

  16. Truth be told, the Texans would be a decent team if they actually had a competent QB. The only reason they are what they are is because of the D play. I think O’B did a hell of a job last year considering what he had to work with.

  17. Hoyer couldn’t get the ball to the receivers in time, they were open a lot yesterday. Then Mallet comes in firing rockets into tight coverage for completions,like the TD pass to Hopkins.
    Chiefs didn’t take it easy on Mallett, his receivers were less open than Hoyers, he just couldnt deliver a well timed throw to them.

  18. I don’t get what’s so hard to understand.. There is a HUGE difference in performing in practice and performing during crunch time when the heat is on.

  19. O’Brien loves to use cliches. There isn’t much real thought behind what he says. My brother walked through while I was watching Hard Knocks on TV and O’Brien was shouting – he thought I was watching a Will Ferrell movie.

    Hoyer was always going to benched if he was sucking and the team was losing. If Mallett finds a way to play even worse than Hoyer played in the opener, then Hoyer gets another chance. When you have zero quarterbacks, you have two – or is it the other way around? Either way, it seems to describe the Texans right now.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.