Oh, Craps: Bill O’Brien Is Betting On Himself

(SportsRadio 610) -- You don’t have to like what Bill O’Brien said. You don’t even have to believe him.

Houston Texans fans just have to hope he’s right. The alternative is, well … we’ll get to that.

For now, Texans fans starving for something more than a head coach bragging about division titles are out of options.

They must hope it IS about tough, smart, dependable. It IS bigger than one player. It IS about “brainpower,” “layers and layers” of players, “understanding how to work” and – here we go – “the best interest of the team.”

Those are but a few of the many things O’Brien said in a full-hour of his most transparent, candid remarks perhaps ever.

O’Brien told the world he’s got this.

It was BOB at his kindest, gentlest best. It was BOB resisting the urge to boil over, teapot-style. It was BOB explaining thought processes and philosophies like he’s rarely done before – clearly controlling damage and justifying moves.

In the end, Texans fans already exasperated by BOB’s clichés and catchphrases probably were not appeased. Understandable. He’s kicked enough proverbial puppies that nothing he does from this point forward will satisfy the masses.

But whether you’re conducting the FIRE-BOB train or just a passenger, the biggest takeaway from Thursday afternoon was, if he’s not right, this franchise will be set back several years. If he is, we’ll all be happy.

Welcome to the most pivotal moment in Texans’ history.

Bill O’Brien and his Capital T, Capital E, Capital A, Capital M of cohorts never have been more confident that their way is the right way.

That’s what we learned Thursday. That’s the importance of O’Brien addressing point-by-point his biggest, most controversial moves of 2020.

His words:

“The key to having the best team is not just having the best player. Really, the key is having a room full of productive players.”

That was O’Brien on the DeAndre Hopkins trade. In other words, yeah, Hop was great, but I got this. We’re gonna make up for it with my kind of guys and versatility.

“I truly believe this is a veteran type of year. This year being different than any other year, that’s part of the building of our team also.”

That was O’Brien telling us why he prefers the likes of David Johnson, Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks, all of whom have injury histories and diminishing production, but, you know, they’re good teammates.

And that’s what O’Brien values most. Plus, who knows about the draft, given the COVID-19 pandemic? He’ll take veterans, thank you very much, and push his chips onto the Pass Line with players who may or may not have one productive year left.

“Anytime you make a trade, each trade is unique unto itself. When you’re trading a player like DeAndre Hopkins, who has three years left on his deal, you’re not talking to 31 other teams. Number one, you’re finding a team willing to pay DeAndre Hopkins. Once we found that, now we begin to negotiate … We feel really good about being able to get the 40th pick and David Johnson. What we were able to do … I think we have to let it all play out. I would say, let’s review it a year from now, two years from now, three years from now. Let’s let it all play out.”

That was O’Brien deflecting from the reality that he was not really forced to trade Hop. He chose to trade Hop. Flat-out. That was O’Brien justifying what by most accounts was getting fleeced in the deal.

That was O’Brien telling us, I know you’re mad. I know we didn’t get good value on the Hopkins trade. Cool. But I got this.

He’d better be right.

If he is, he’ll have the last laugh. And we’ll all laugh right along with him, wondering why we ever doubted him. Football fans in Houston will get what

they’ve wanted for an eternity. Houston will throw parades. Houston will slap him on his back and revel in glory. Houston will forgive the most controversial month in the history of football in this city.

But if he is not?

Well, we’ll always have those division titles. And a long row to hoe to get back to any semblance of relevance.

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