GRUFF TIMES

5 ways to make Bill O’Brien more likeable

Billy O's image could use a reboot. Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The Texans have won nine in a row, are in control of the AFC South and in the running for a top two seed. They have dusted two inferior teams in the last two weeks, and are playing great football.

But for some reason, no one likes Bill O’Brien. If we put his picture on a story, people don’t want to read it. He’s gruff, standoffish, a know it all, a bully and at times comes off as an ass. Or, as Charlie Pallilo calls him, Billy Bluster.

If the Texans keep winning, O’Brien’s profile is going to continue to grow.

So as a public service, here are five things O’Brien can do to become more likeable:

  1. Answer the questions thoughtfully. The infamous “not my job” comment and terse responses - especially after losses - come off as petty. You can be that way when you have titles (Bill Belichick, Gregg Popovich). But when you don’t you are just a jerk. Put some effort in it, Billy.

  2. There is this thing called a smile...Have you ever seen him do it? Nope, neither have we. When you win, show some positive emotion. As Billy himself says, it’s hard to win a game in the NFL. When you do, take a second to enjoy it.

  3. Puppies. Bring a puppy to the press conference. Everyone loves puppies. They will ignore everything else. “We sucked today” will still get an “awwww” with a good puppy.

  4. Open up a little. People close to O’Brien say he is a great guy. That side never shows up in public. Yeah, we know you have to put on a facade, but not everything has to be the tough guy, small man act.

  5. Screw it. Just keep winning. Get a Super Bowl and you can act like an ass and no one cares.

Saints 34, Bucs 17

Saints vs. Bucs 2: Good, bad and ugly

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The Saints got back in the win column by dominating a lesser talented division rival this week. Here's what I thought of the Saints' move to 8-2:

The Good

-Michael Thomas and Drew Brees are perhaps the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league. Brees was 28/35 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, while Thomas had eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Thomas is still leading the league in receptions and yards, despite Brees missing a chunk of the season.

-The defense came up big depite giving up over 300 yards. They had two sacks, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and limited the Bucs to only 36 yards rushing. After last week's performance against the Falcons, it was important for the defense to step up.

-Sean Payton made a concerted effort to get Alvin Kamara the ball. Whether it was rushing, receiving, or on returns, Kamara was heavily involved in the gameplan. 26 total touches for 155 yards altogether.

The Bad

-Giving up 313 yards passing to Jameis Winston and the Bucs was terrible. Sure Marson Lattimore was out this game, but this defense has too much talent to give up that many yards through the air.

-Speaking of giving up passing yards, Cameron Brate had 10 catches for 73 yards. Tight ends haven't really been a problem for the Saints, but it was today. Moving forward, they need to do better about giving up the easy stuff underneath, especially to tight ends.

-The longest run recorded was a 14-yarder by Kamara. The team only totaled 109 yards on the ground, which is uncharacteristic of them since they committed to the run more a few years ago. They are used to averaging upwards of 130 yards a game on the ground.

The Ugly

-I think it may be time to invest high picks on linebackers. The current linebackers on the roster are pretty good, but the only real playmaker is Demario Davis, who's already 30. Where's the young playmakers at linebacker? There are none. Hopefully Alex Anzalone can turn into something.

-As I mentioned earlier, Marshon Lattimore missed this game. Some of the guys that filled in lately, such as CJ Gardner-Johnson, have done an okay job at best. There's no replacing one of the better young cover corners in the game. Gardner-Johnson had a couple rookie mistakes, but looks like he'll be a player, just not yet.

-Speaking of young guys needing to step up, I sure hope Marcus Davenport removes himself from the back of the milk carton soon! When a team gives up the type of draft capital the Saints did to draft you, you have to produce. Far too often Davenport has been a no show in the stat column and on film. Two first round picks and a mid rounder were used to get him and he's so far playing like a fourth rounder.

Last week, the Saints were outplayed by a then 1-7 division rival. This week, they decided to dominate a 2-7 division rival. Brees and the gang returned to form against the Bucs and have a firm grip on the NFC South thanks to the Falcons dismantling of the Panthers, who the Saints play next week. If they win next week, they can wrap up the division crown and start taking aim at a first round bye in the playoffs. Here's to consistency and health down the stretch.

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