The end of Bill O’Brien’s tenure as head coach/general manager of the Houston Texans was curious in many different ways, and a recent report indicated that it might have been tumultuous behind closed doors. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, O’Brien got into an argument with star defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver on the practice field along with verbal altercations with other staff members during his final weeks before being fired.
“I don’t know, I’m not going to talk about what happened at practice and what conversations were had,” Watt responded when asked about the report on Wednesday, via Wilson. “Right now, we have a fresh start.”
This falls in line with what CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on Monday, as he said that O’Brien had been clashing with prominent players at practice, and taking over play-calling duties was his last attempt to salvage things within the organization. Another move that reportedly rubbed players the wrong way was O’Brien’s push to bring in free agent safety Earl Thomas — a potential addition that was met with strong pushback by the Texans locker room.
According to La Canfora, O’Brien’s relationships with his players were long suffering, and the DeAndre Hopkins trade certainly did not help things. The Texans traded Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason for David Johnson and his huge contract, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick. Many considered it very surprising that the Texans failed to acquire a first-round pick for one of the best receivers in the game.
The morning after the Texans had fired O’Brien, Watt tweeted out this photo on the field at NRG Stadium. The “why” behind this post is up for discussion, but it could be related to ushering in a new era of Texans football.
Romeo Crennel has taken over as the interim head coach for the Texans, and when asked what he wants to see from his team moving forward, he simply said that he wants to see that a change has occurred.
“I hope our attitude and energy is different,” Crennel said, via Wilson. “I hope our performance is different. You’re not going to come in and put in a new offense or defense overnight.”