With four different quarterbacks and a new coaching staff, O'Brien overcame many hurdles to lead the Texans to a 9-7 finish, the best in franchise history by a first-year coach. It also earned him second place in the NFL Coach of the Year voting.
"Nine and seven is progress, but it's not the mission," O'Brien said. "I think we all know what the mission is. Nine and seven is progress, but progress isn't good enough. The mission here is to win. To win. I think our players understand that and they know there is a lot more out there for us as we head into the future."
After winning the final two games to keep playoff hopes alive until the final minutes of the 2014 season, the Texans finished on a positive note. O'Brien's accomplishments earned him a place in the Coach of the Year conversation.
"Without a doubt," Johnathan Joseph said. "Anytime you've got a coach go through what he went through with three or four quarterbacks in one year, everyone knows how hard it is to win without a quarterback. He turned it around and came this year with plus-7 wins compared to last year. He got everyone on board and buying into things that he wants from a football team.
"On top of that, he's a tremendous coach. I just think anytime you have all those qualities and bundle it up into one season, I think he is deserving of it."
"I think the coaches came in and did a great job," Andre Johnson said. "Our new coaching staff, coming in and getting a 2-14 team and getting us to nine wins, everybody bought in and gave it everything they had every week."
"My hat goes off to those guys," Duane Brown said. "They worked so hard, day in and day out with preparing game plans, film study and just trying to get everyone to buy in. It is not easy; a lot of us have been here for a long time. He (O'Brien) did a great job, him and the rest of the staff. It has been a pleasure working with them."
Bruce Arians won the NFL's Coach of the Year honors after an 11-5 season and a playoff berth, despite injuries to quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. O'Brien and Jason Garrett both received three votes, more than Super Bowl coaches Pete Carroll (2.5) and Bill Belichick (1).