There were rumblings.
Rumblings of a nickname that Bill O'Brien held in New England.
Known as "Billy" during his time as a Patriot, O'Brien spent thousands of hours with Tom Brady and the quarterbacks that backed him up, Ryan Mallett and the Browns starter Brian Hoyer.
"We had a certain nickname for him amongst our quarterbacks," Brian Hoyer said Wednesday. "I won't put it out there. I can't do it, I can't do it."
On Friday, O'Brien was asked about the mysterious nickname. Not surprisingly, it alluded to his infamous temper, the one that once led to a heated exchange between him and Tom Brady on the sidelines during a game.
"I had a few nicknames there," O'Brien said, laughing. "Some of them I can't mention them in public. Not sure if they were nicknames. They used to call me 'Teapot.' You know, I'm Irish. I'm Irish, so sometimes I get upset when things aren't run correctly.
"You guys have already witnessed some of that. I think that's probably what he's talking about. They used to mark down my teapot incidents on the teapot. They had an actual teapot in the middle of the table. So there were a few. There weren't many teapot incidents, but they would mark it down."
Even though O'Brien's time in New England ended after the 2011 season, proof of the teapot still remains in the Patriots practice facility.
"In the quarterback room - that's right," O'Brien said. "I think they still have it in New England."