FOXBORO — Bill Belichick will see plenty of old friends at Gillette Stadium this Sunday during the New England Patriots’ season opener against the Houston Texans.
As you can imagine, he’s thrilled about the reunion.
Belichick was asked Wednesday if playing Houston is more “interesting” considering Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, special teams coordinator Brad Seely and offensive/special teams assistant Wes Welker all coached or played under the Patriots head coach in New England — and if Sunday’s game will be less “unpredictable” considering Belichick knows them so well.
His response was vintage Belichick.
“I don’t really see it that way at all. So, I’d say no.”
So much for that storyline.
Of course, Belichick vs. O’Brien isn’t exactly novel at this point: The two coaches have squared off four times since O’Brien — who spent five years in New England from 2007 to 2011 and was the team’s offensive coordinator in 2011 — took the Houston job in 2014. The Patriots won all four of those matchups.
While Belichick wasn’t interested in discussing his familiarity with the Texans’ coaching staff, he was quick to praise O’Brien’s ability to run an offense.
“Billy’s a very good offensive coach, so it wouldn’t make any difference what we had,” Belichick said. “Billy’s always going to create problems for the defense based on scheme and utilization of personnel and attacking your weaknesses, wherever they are. So, there’s always going to be an element of that.”
Belichick would know; rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Texans dropped 33 points on the Patriots during their Week 3 visit to Foxboro last season and would have pulled off the upset if Tom Brady’s last-second touchdown pass hadn’t helped New England escape with a 36-33 victory.
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