Skip to main content

Transcripts: Bill O'Brien Press Conference (10-5-2020)

Opening Statement

"I appreciate everybody jumping on here. I just wanted to say a few things and then take a couple of questions. Number one, I just really want to thank the McNair family – Cal, Janice, Hannah, obviously the late Bob McNair, for just giving me and my family this opportunity. They were always very supportive. In the end, in this business it's a bottom-line business and we weren't able to get it to where we needed to get it. I obviously have tremendous respect for their family and again, I thank them for the opportunity that they gave me. I understand we fell short in terms of taking this team further in the playoffs, but I do leave knowing that myself and this staff gave everything this organization deserved and more. We worked very, very hard to try to get this to a place where it could be a championship program. We just didn't get it done. I will leave here with very fond memories of the Houston Texans organization. Very fond memories of Houston. When my family and I came here in 2014, we had no idea what to expect. Houston is a great city. You think about Texas Children's Hospital – what it's done for my family, my son, Jack. We can't thank Texas Children's Hospital enough. Michael, my son Michael's had a tremendous experience here living in West U and the friends that we've made here in Houston are lifelong friends. We really appreciate their friendship. Most importantly to the players – I talked to the players briefly this afternoon and just thanked them. I told them I love them. I think these players are just awesome guys. They practiced hard. They tried to do everything we asked them to do. It was a pleasure coaching them and I'm going to miss seeing them every day. Just really – the guys that have been with me for seven years to the guys that were only here for a year. Every one of them are just tremendous guys. I'm just sorry we couldn't get it done this year early on here. But I wish them the best. This is a good football team. Romeo (Crennel) stepped in. He's an awesome, awesome coach and he'll do a great job. We've been through a lot here in the seven years that we've been together here. Most recently, obviously a pandemic. The worst hurricane in 100 years. The passing of Bob McNair and many more things that we had to deal with, and I think we always stood up. I believe that I tried to always stand up in front of the media. We didn't always have the greatest of conversations with the Houston media but I feel like I stood up every day and tried to give them my take on what was going in the right direction for this organization, and then things that weren't going in the right direction, things we needed to fix. But this has given me a great perspective and I will take this experience with me to my next opportunity. I want to coach. I love coaching. I love the players, the relationships with the players, the assistant coaches. I think football is the ultimate team game, so I really – there's no doubt in my mind that I want to coach again. The coaches, the football operations staff and support staff are some of the hardest working people in the NFL. We demanded a lot of each other. Long hours, from the equipment room to the training room, to the weight room, to the cafeteria we made a lot of great changes to this organization and I really thank those people. They just work tirelessly. Again, I want to specifically reach out to Cal and tell him I appreciate the opportunity that he gave me. The support that he gave us. I'm sorry – and I told him this today, I'm sorry that we couldn't get this team over the hump. We couldn't get over the hump last year, the year before and obviously early on this year. It wasn't from lack of effort. We did win four division championships here that we're very proud of. We won four division championships in six years, so we did a lot of good things here, but we didn't do enough. We didn't bring a Super Bowl to Houston, which I believe eventually someone will. I think this is a championship team that needs to get things turned around right now, but I believe in this team. The room, the team meeting room that I stood up in front of every single day was full of guys that, like I said earlier, that have tremendous character and work ethic and I know that they will succeed on the field, but also in life. You think about some of these players and what they've done for the city of Houston. It was just an incredible opportunity for me to be around them every day and to coach them, and for them to really take the coaching and really try to do what we were asking them to do. Again, most people would say we didn't do quite enough to get to the championship that we wanted here, but we did a lot of great things here. We won a lot of games. We won four AFC South division titles in six years and I think that's a good accomplishment. It's not good enough but we did a lot of good things here."

How surprised were you when Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cal McNair informed you of his decision and what did you think about his decision?

"I respected the decision. Look, I know in this business – when we lost to Minnesota, a game we had a chance to win, give Minnesota credit they did a great job. I knew something like this could happen. That's the business. You start off like that. But I have tremendous respect. Cal called me and we had a nice conversation. I thanked him for the opportunity. I told him that they've got a good team here and they'll turn it around."

Are you able to point to something that would have helped the team start the season better?

"You've known me for seven years, I don't make excuses. We just didn't do enough. Whatever it is. You look back on it, hindsight's 20-20, right? The players played hard. We had a chance to win or at least tie the game at the end there the other day. If we had scored the touchdown and had been able to convert the two point, but we didn't get it done. In the end, that's on the head coach and I totally understand that. Looking back on it, I don't regret anything we did, especially this time period with what's gone on with the COVID protocols that we had to follow and all the different things we had to do. We just weren't able to win games."

Are there any decisions you made that you regret currently?

"I think that every decision we made was always in the best interest of the team. We had long conversations. We put a lot of research into them. There were things that happened within the walls of an organization that the outside public will really never know and that's just the way it is. I totally understand that. We had a lot of great conversations that went into these decisions. A lot of research. We had a lot of people that helped us along the way. We made what we believed were the best decisions for the team. That's what we always did."

Was the general manager role something you wanted or something that the team approached you about?

"I think that's probably something I really don't want to get in to. I think at the end of the day I tried to do always every day what was best for the organization, what was asked of me. I really did. Did we make mistakes? Obviously, we made mistakes. I don't think anybody's perfect, but we worked very hard to field a competitive team. We had a competitive team for years here. I think this is a competitive team. Obviously, you've got to win games to be really, really considered that way. We hadn't gotten it done. So in the end, I did always what was asked of me, whether it was Bob (McNair) or Cal (McNair) and Janice (McNair), and I tried to do the best I could."

Do you feel like you're leaving the Texans after seven years as a better coach and leader than when you got here?

"I believe I am. You learn a lot about yourself in these situations. I learned a lot about myself at Penn State. I learned a lot about myself here in Houston. Look, experience is the best teacher, right? You gain experience. You try to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team. You always try to think about that. What's best for the team? You work very hard. You put in a lot of time in and you put your heart and soul into the organization. Sometimes things don't work out, but you definitely learn a lot about yourself. You really are thankful for the people around you. The people that really worked with you, whether it was Jack Easterby or the coaching staff or the trainers, the strength coaches, the cafeteria people that come in at 4:30 in the morning every morning to cook the breakfast. I just have a strong relationship – the PR department that's here right now. I have a strong relationship with all these people – equipment staff. You just really appreciate all those people and all the help they gave you to try to bring a championship to Houston."

Related Content