Thirty-one NFL teams can only dream what it would be like if Tom Brady were their quarterback, but Bill O’Brien actually knows the feeling. Now he wants his own version of Brady in Houston.
O’Brien was named the Houston Texans’ new head coach last week, leaving Penn State in pursuit of his NFL dream. The former Patriots offensive coordinator did wonders with the Nittany Lions during his two seasons in Happy Valley, and he’s hoping to execute a similar turnaround in Houston, starting with the quarterback position.
Finding a quarterback is the No. 1 item on the Texans’ to-do list this offseason. However, unlike in Happy Valley, O’Brien can’t merely fix the Texans’ quarterback conundrum by convincing the right quarterback to choose his team. Fortunately, he has the No. 1 overall pick in May’s draft and the blueprint for an “ideal quarterback” from his time with Brady.
“I’d be getting texts, calls from Tom on Wednesday night about the third-down package,’’ O’Brien told mmqb.com. “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.”
While O’Brien isn’t looking for an exact clone of Brady, he certainly sounds like a man who knows what he wants in his quarterback. Brady’s work ethic and passion for the game have made him the successful three-time Super Bowl champion he is today, and O’Brien seems to believe that is what would work best in his system.
Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel are the top quarterbacks heading into this year’s draft, and O’Brien will have his pick of the litter come May. The first-year head coach isn’t completely sold on taking a quarterback with the first pick.
“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.
The Texans have four months between now and May’s draft to figure things out, and O’Brien should have a firm plan in place by then.
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