Bill O’Brien on soft coverage: We made call we felt was best call for us

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The Texans looked like they thought they were leading the Saints by more than the one-point they were on the final play from scrimmage.

With six seconds remaining and the Saints on the Houston 49 — needing only a few more yards for a makeable field goal — the Texans called for their defensive backs to play soft coverage. They lined up three defensive backs 23 yards deep and gave receiver Ted Ginn Jr., lined up in the slot, an 8-yard cushion instead of having Aaron Colvin in press coverage.

It was pitch and catch for Drew Brees. He easily completed a 9-yard pass to Ginn and called timeout with 2 seconds left. Wil Lutz kicked a game-winning, 58-yard field goal on the final play.

So why in the world were the Texans thinking?

Texans coach Bill O’Brien did not provide a great explanation in his press conference Tuesday.

“At that point in the drive, those are decisions that you’re trying to make in the best interest of the team with what you think they’re going to do with what the situation is,” O’Brien said. “We made a call there that we felt was the best call for us. They executed the call a little bit better than we did. We’ve got to coach it better, and we need to get our players to understand that situation better, and that’s what we’re going to do this week.”

The Texans might have fared better if they had been as defensive on the Saints’ final offensive play of the game as O’Brien sounded Tuesday.

21 responses to “Bill O’Brien on soft coverage: We made call we felt was best call for us

  1. I don’t know, but whether they made that last catch or not. I think that kick would have made it anyways. At 58 yds that kick was about 6 feet ABOVE the cross bar when it went through. Another 7 yds wouldn’t have made that much difference. It was a BOMB.

  2. There was not enough time to throw it over the safety’s heads AND line up and kick a FG. The only play was short and Houston lined up its DBs 5 yards off the ball and 4 safeties more than 23 yards back. Short right was a freebie and within the range of NOLAs kicker BEFORE the game. This was a YUGE miscalculation!

    The play was to jam receivers and prevent a free release to chew up time and disrupt a short reception that set up the FG.

  3. patfanken says:
    September 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm
    I don’t know, but whether they made that last catch or not. I think that kick would have made it anyways. At 58 yds that kick was about 6 feet ABOVE the cross bar when it went through. Another 7 yds wouldn’t have made that much difference. It was a BOMB.
    ———–
    That kick wouldn’t have cleared another 1/2 yard

  4. Biggest mistake O’Brien/Texans made was kick-off through end zone giving NO 25 free yds without clock moving. Good coach orders pop-up kick. Even a return to the 30 doesn’t hurt you, because 8-secs run off the clock. Plus, could get fumble/penalty. No time left for winning FG.

  5. O’Brien should have had the refs retrieve and test the K-ball used for the kick for overinflation. I don’t buy the ‘wouldn’t have cleared another 1/2 yard.’

  6. Bill, out of the millions of people watching the game, it appears you and Romeo are the only two that though you made a good defensive call. Terrible coaching…as usual.

  7. Everyone who was not on BOB’s payroll was questioning the alignment before the play. Even Drew Brees looked stunned that the Texans gifted them the easy short pass and changed the play call.

  8. In fairness to the coach, they had been burned on short yardage earlier in the game went NO went over the top so I am sure they were worried about that, and in this end of gamne scenario NO still needed to kick a 58 yard FG to win. Hardly a gimme.

  9. How is this guy STILL a coach AND a GM?

    When I think of him I think of losing, bad coaching, a wannabe belichik personality despite never winning* anything, and a butt chin.

  10. Soft coverage? Corners were locked on their guy. Look at the replay every receiver has a defender right in his pocket except for Ginn. Brees did an awesome job finding the only open guy on the play

  11. If Aaron Colvin does Not touch Ted Ginn after that last catch, the clock would have continued ticking and time would have expired, regardless of the fact that the Saints called a timeout. Something tells me the refs would have stopped the clock anyway just to make up for screwing them out of a Superbowl last year!

  12. patfanken says:
    September 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm
    I don’t know, but whether they made that last catch or not. I think that kick would have made it anyways. At 58 yds that kick was about 6 feet ABOVE the cross bar when it went through. Another 7 yds wouldn’t have made that much difference. It was a BOMB.

    Let’s not get carried away. They gained 9 yards on the last play.. The kick was definitely a bomb, but it wasn’t good from 67. It cleared by 5 yards tops.

  13. daysend564 says:
    September 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm
    Youtube has many videos of the kick. It barely made it over the post.

    It hit the padding on the wall of the stands, so it didn’t just “barely” clear it.. It wasn’t a 70 yard kick like some people are claiming, but it was good from 62-63 yards. They needed about 5 yards, and they got 9.

  14. I have wondered why DBs in that situation don’t back off the receiver after the catch, or run alongside without tackling, so as to let the clock run out.

    But yes, that was a bone-headed defensive setup when the offense is looking to get about 8-10 yards and has only one play to do it. For a moment I thought Dean Pees had taken a job with the Texans.

  15. For those who say “he shouldn’t have touched Ginn” : Once a receiver falls down and gives himself up, the play is over. Saints were smart to save that timeout until the last possible moment, but yes, the Texans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with that defensive scheme.

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