For each of the three times they have hired a new head coach, the Texans have had the first-overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. As the third head coach in franchise history, Bill O'Brien will get to decide how he will use the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
"Just getting here yesterday, we've already started some of these discussions, but they're very preliminary," O'Brien said at his press conference. "At every position, we want a good team guy. We want a guy that is a hard worker, a guy that's physically tough, mentally tough, smart guy. It doesn't matter what position it is. To me, it's a guy that understands the team concept and understands that it's not about individual stats or individual performances. It's about doing what's best for the team and being a good teammate. So whether it's a quarterback or defensive end or linebacker or wide receiver, that's what we'll always look for here at Houston." With an abundance of quarterbacks entering the 2014 NFL draft, including top prospect Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville, the Texans and O'Brien can hand-pick and groom their next franchise quarterback.
"Obviously, we've got a situation where we've got to get that position resolved because we didn't have an effective player at the position last year," general manager and executive vice president Rick Smith said. "So that is one of the big priorities but really we've got to improve the overall football team."
O'Brien was the quarterbacks coach to All-Pro Tom Brady from 2009-2011. With O'Brien as his position coach, Brady was named the first unanimous Associated Press NFL MVP after leading the Patriots to a 14-2 season in 2010. That year, Brady led the AFC in attempts (1,668), completions (1,096), touchdown passes (103), interception percentage (1.7), and passer rating (104.0). The All-Pro quarterback averaged a career-high 8.1 yards per pass attempt during the three-year span he worked with O'Brien.
"I think that's a fantastic position to coach because of all the things that go into it," O'Brien said. "I think the quarterback has to be a great teammate, a leader, a hard worker, a really good practice player, a guy that's always striving for perfection knowing that he's probably not going to get perfection but he's going to reach some level of excellence. On the field, it's a position that has to really have great knowledge not only of your own offense and your own teammate's talents on offense, but also he has to have a great knowledge of defensive football and the talents of the defensive players that you're going against. It's a job that is never ending. It's a job that you can always improve at doing, coaching quarterbacks, and it's a lot of fun to do."
Matt McGloin, now with the Oakland Raiders, flourished under O'Brien at Penn State. McGloin broke nine school records and tied one more during his senior season in 2012. With O'Brien as head coach, the Nittany Lions led the Big Ten in total offense (437.0 yards per game), and were second in scoring offense, averaging 32.6 points per game. McGloin started all 12 games in his senior campaign and 10 games since joining Penn State in 2008. He completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,266 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just five interceptions in O'Brien's offense.
The Texans have selected a quarterback in the first round of the draft just once in team history. In their inaugural draft, Houston selected David Carr with the number one overall pick in 2002.