Along with a number NFL coaches and general managers, Bill O'Brien addressed the media at the 2020 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. In his first press conference as head coach and general manager, Bill O'Brien answered questions from both local and national media members on Tuesday.
O'Brien announced that offensive coordinator Tim Kelly will take over play-calling duties for the 2020 season. Kelly will also add quarterbacks coach to his responsibilities.
"I love the guy. He's an excellent football player. He's an even better person. He cares about his teammates." O'Brien said when asked how his relationship with Deshaun Watson has grown. "We feel very good and fortunate to have him on our team."
O'Brien said he and Jack Easterby work together in a number of ways and spend "a lot of time together." Easterby, promoted to Executive Vice President of Football Operations following the 2019 NFL season, assists O'Brien in a number of areas including: personnel, salary cap, medical, equipment and video. O'Brien described Easterby as "a great person, a great guy to work with, a very bright guy."
“He’s going to bring a lot of different ideas and creativity to our defense.” – O'Brien on Anthony Weaver, promoted to defensive coordinator. Weaver will continue to coach the defensive line with help from some assistant coaches. O'Brien likes the knowledge Weaver brings to the team with his experience in different schemes. Weaver is also highly respected by the players.
"We're excited about where we are staff-wise on that side of the ball." O'Brien said about his revamped defensive coaching staff led by Weaver. Newly-hired Chris Rumph will coach outside linebackers. He previously coached defensive line at Alabama under Nick Saban (2011-14) and spent the last three seasons coaching at the University of Tennessee. Assistant defensive backs coach D'Anton Lynn has been promoted to secondary coach.
O'Brien says his first NFL Combine week as head coach and general manager won't be much different than in previous years with the help of his team led by Director of Player Personnel Matt Bazirgan and Director of College Scouting James Liipfert on the personnel side.
"We want both of those guys around for a long time." – O'Brien on Laremy Tunsil and Watson who could get contract extensions this year.
Tytus Howard, who started eight games at right tackle as a rookie, is "doing well" and could return for the team's offseason workout program starting in April.
With the XFL underway in Houston, O'Brien said the new league was "interesting to watch," although he joked he wouldn't be too keen on players and coaches being interviewed on the sideline between plays.