Houston Texans’ Bill O’Brien was one of the few head coaches in the NFL who also served as General Manager of the organization. He joined the Texans in 2014 and led the Houston-based franchise to four Divisional titles in six years. However, he was subject to a fair share of criticism in recent years.
Most famously, O’Brien was in the news after he gave the green signal to let seasoned wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins join the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason in exchange for running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick. Some critics labeled this move as the worst ‘NFL trade deal of all time’.
However, that wasn’t the only reason that owner Cal McNair fired O’Brien. If reports are to be believed, then the Texans’ star defensive end, JJ Watt, also played a role in O’Brien’s dismissal.
Were JJ Watt and former head coach Bill O’Brien involved in a bust-up?
As per multiple reports, JJ Watt and former coach Bill O’Brien got into a training ground bust-up earlier this week. Their clash during practice ended with Watt questioning O’Brien’s coaching abilities.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 7, 2020
Following the showdown, it was said that Watt led a player exodus against the coach heading into their Week Four clash against Minnesota Vikings. The five-time Pro Bowler wanted the Texans management to take a serious call on the future of O’Brien. A week later, Bill O’Brien was relieved from his managerial duties by the McNair family.
JJ Watt opens up on Bill O’Brien’s acrimonious exit from the Houston Texans
Despite the conflicting reports, Watt opened up about the situation at a press conference earlier today. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year said, “One of the things I’m excited about right now is hopefully getting on the same page with our fanbase again. I feel like that’s something, there’s certainly been a bit of a tension there in the last months and years, and I can’t wait to have us all pulling in the same direction again.”
He continued, “Also, I feel like there’s been a bit of a disconnect there, and it’s not fun as a player to be a part of that when you feel like your fans can’t fully back you the way that they want to.”
“I really am so excited because I’ve been here in some of the best times we’ve ever had. There’s nothing better than when this city is all on the same page and pulling for the Houston Texans,” said Watt.
It will be interesting to see if the Texans can get back to winning ways after O’Brien’s exit. 73-year-old assistant coach, Romeo Crennel, will be the interim head coach for the time being. Deshaun Watson’s boys will play a hurting Jacksonville Jaguars outfit on Sunday. Will they get their first win of the 2020 NFL campaign?