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Bill O'Brien's success with Patriots

Posted Jan 3, 2014

The Texans new head coach, Bill O'Brien, spent five prolific years in New England with two Super Bowl appearances.

STORY: Bill O'Brien: The Penn State Days
PHOTOS: Bill O'Brien Through The Years
VIDEO: Bill O'Brien 1-on-1 with Drew Dougherty

On Friday the Texans announced Bill O'Brien as their third head coach in franchise history.

O'Brien made his mark in the NFL as an offensive mind despite playing his collegiate career on the defensive side of the ball. His NFL accomplishments along with head coaching experience at Penn State made O'Brien a top candidate for the Texans.

Before taking over the Nittany Lions football program, O'Brien coached in New England as a key member of Bill Belichick's coaching staff. O'Brien's five-year stint on the Patriots coaching staff was book-ended by two Super Bowl appearances in 2007 and 2011. O'Brien was hired as a coaching assistant in 2007 and rose up to the ranks of offensive coordinator in 2011.

O’Brien’s career in New England:

  • 2007 - Coaching assistant
  • 2008 - Wide receivers coach
  • 2009-10 - Quarterbacks coach
  • 2011 - Offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks coach


In 2008, O'Brien helped the Patriot receivers reach new goals without All-Pro quarterback Tom Brady. In Week 1, backup Matt Cassel took over after Brady suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. Under O'Brien, New England wide receivers produced the third-highest yardage output in franchise history that season. Wes Welker was selected to his first Pro Bowl. Welker and Randy Moss both posted a 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

From 2009-10 O'Brien coached the quarterbacks. Brady was named the 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, passing for 4,398 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and a passer rating of 96.2. New England averaged a league-high 23.3 first downs per game that season. In 2010 Brady finished with the best passer rating in the NFL (111.1), throwing for 36 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions and earning a unanimous vote for league MVP.

O'Brien made headlines in December 2011 for his infamous exchange with Brady on the sideline after he threw an interception against the Washington Redskins. With O'Brien as offensive coordinator that season, New England finished with a 13-3 record and the No. 1 seed in the AFC before advancing to Super Bowl XLVI. The Patriots offense led the AFC in scoring with 32.1 points per game and had a red zone percentage that was second in the NFL (65.28).

O'Brien's experience comes from working with some of the NFL's most prolific coaches including Bill Belichick, Chan Gailey, and George O'Leary. Tom Brady, Deion Branch, Kevin Faulk, Rob Gronkowski, Randy Moss and Wes Welker are among the players he has mentored during his coaching career, spanning 16 years at the collegiate level and 5 years in the NFL.

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