Bill O'Brien doesn't like holidays or birthdays, but on Wednesday he began his press conference with a special message on Veterans Day.
"Just would like to start off today, on Veterans Day, would like to really start by thanking all the brave men and women that serve our country, have served our country, and continue to serve our country," O'Brien said. "We just, we really thank you for protecting our freedom and appreciate everything that you do to make this country a better country."
Earlier this week, the team returned from the bye week break and had special guest: Bill McRaven, who served 37 years as a Navy SEAL and retired as a four-star admiral. McRaven led Operation Neptune Spear, the U.S. military operation that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.
McRaven, who now serves as the Chancellor of the University of Texas System, spoke to the team on Monday.
"It's pretty incredible," J.J. Watt said of meeting McRaven."He's been in it for a very, very long time. He's seen and done a lot of things. He's accomplished so much. You have to have nothing but respect for him. It's always an honor when you get to listen to somebody like that and you can learn from him. It's just a great opportunity to really try and gather as much knowledge as you can from a man like that. It was very exciting."
A number of players have military ties including Watt, whose grandfather served in the Korean War. He recalls the men and women he met on his first USO tour after his rookie season as a moment that gave him appreciation for everyday liberties, like playing football.
"To go over there and to see these men and women in action is truly incredible," Watt said. "It really makes you so thankful for your freedom and it makes you so thankful for everything that they do because they're going through really the toughest stuff that you could possibly go through. I mean, its life and death and we're over here playing a game, living a free life, and a lot of times I think we really take that for granted. The biggest thing that I try and do is to not take that for granted."