Bill admires Bill.
As in Belichick. And O'Brien.
And vice versa.
The head coach of the Texans spent five years as an assistant under the head coach of the Patriots. Each said Monday they're thankful to have worked together.
"I think the world of Bill," Belichick said during a Monday morning conference call. "He did a tremendous job for me here. I can't say enough about really everything with Bill; his personal qualities, how committed he is to his family, how committed he was to the football team, how hard he worked."
O'Brien started in 2007 as an offensive assistant for Belichick and the Patriots. New England won every game that season, except for the Super Bowl against the New York Giants. They won 11, 10, 14 and 13
games in the ensuing four seasons. The 2011 squad also won the AFC title game, only to fall in the Super Bowl again to New York. O'Brien then left for Penn State, where he was the head coach of the Nittany Lions in 2012 and 2013.
Belichick, who began his NFL coaching career in the 1970's, said he benefitted from having O'Brien on his staff.
"I learned a lot from having him on our staff and learning from his coaching style and the abilities that he has as a football coach," Belichick said.
When told of Belichick's sentiments, O'Brien was appreciative of the man who he said "will go down as the best of all time" among coaches.
"I have a ton of respect for him," O'Brien said. "He's a great friend. I got a lot of friends on that staff. Great coaching staff and really good, well coached football team. We're just trying to grind here and trying to do the best we can to put together a good game plan."
The looming showdown between the pair of 2-0 ballclubs, though, was the bigger topic of conversation for each head coach. But the time the two worked together from 2007 through 2011 was clearly a period both appreciated.
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