The New England Patriots had some historically productive offenses during Bill O’Brien’s five-year tenure with the team from 2007-11. The Houston Texans, meanwhile, scored just 17.2 points per game in 2013, the second-lowest average in the NFL ahead of only the Jacksonville Jaguars.
So why not learn from the best?
That appears to be the mindset of the Texans head coach and his quarterback, T.J. Yates. When asked how he was preparing to help improve the NFL’s second-worst offense in 2014, Yates admitted that his team was taking a few pages out of the Patriots’ playbook.
“Obviously watch a lot of Patriots film and seeing how they do it,” Yates said, via CSNHouston.com. “We’re trying to mimic them right now.”
The Patriots have a sizable footprint on Houston’s coaching staff, as O’Brien is joined by former Patriots tight ends coach George Godsey and Patriot legend Mike Vrabel, who won three Super Bowls in New England during his playing career.
Yet O’Brien’s influence remains most prominent, and the former Patriots offensive coordinator says he plans to import the style of offense that made Tom Brady and the Patriots so successful during his tenure.
“Our view of tempo has evolved, especially those of us who were in New England,” O’Brien said. “We were a huddle team in New England and we were always a huddle team in New England. But then the last few years I was there we incorporated more no huddle and different tempos of no huddle.”
O’Brien will have his work cut out for him. The Texans don’t have the luxury of offensive weapons that the Patriots had while O’Brien was in New England, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates are no Tom Brady.
For a team that scored just 276 points last season, though, any new approach is more than welcome.