Every-Thing Sports

A letter to Bill O'Brien from Texans fans

Houston Texans fan stays late after the Texans' loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

A frustrated Texans fan

After their disheartening 16-10 home loss to the Panthers, I knew several Texans fans that are fed up. They're ready for change. Whether it's a new head coach, new play caller, or whatever, they're tired of the status quo with this team. There are people that put their heart and soul (not to mention a bleep-ton of money) into rooting for a team that doesn't give them much of a return on their investment. As a Saints fan, I know the feeling all too well. Been there. Done that. Got the scars to prove it. I asked a few of them to pen an open letter to Bill O'Brien since he seems to be the crux of much of their collective angst. Here's what they had to say:

Daniel B

Dear Coach O'Brien,

I can't stand your arrogance! You act like someone who's won more than what you have. Your arrogance should match your coaching: average! Win something more than a down division before you run around here thinking you're Bill Belichick.

Sincerely, @htxmyhome

Swan

Dear Coach,

I have a real problem with your stubbornness, and arrogance, especially when it comes to these things: your scheme isn't flexible unless on short notice, you're a poor evaluator of talent who overvalues leadership over talent, too loyal to a staff when it's obvious they're incompetent, refusal to delegate & accept that you can't do it all, poor game management and poor play calling. You’re ruining my quarterback! I would give more detailed answers, but I'm busy right now. Catch me later when I have more free time so I can tell you how I really feel.

With All Do Respect, @BlackSundayTxns

Dre

Dear Bill,

There's a few things I need to get off my chest when it comes to you man: your dumb ass challenges, you act like your sh-- don't stink, and you remind me of Kubiak with your sayings "we're gonna have to fix that" and "we're gonna have to look at the film." Either fix whatever you need to fix, or go back to college coaching! I never have a problem with Lil Dre having to go home sad after an Astros game because he's seen them win and win big so he knows that team plays hard. Until then, I'll root for the Cowboys chump!

Kindest Regards, @DRDREon290

Raul

Dear William James O'Brien,

First off: yes, I called you by your government name because you I'm not calling you anything other than what your parents named you, William. I no longer let you ruin my days with your foolishness. Matter of fact, I went to the casinos in the middle of that debacle against the Panthers. I’m not wasting any more of my time and money on a team coached by someone like you until you prove me wrong!

Later William, @CobosQue

As you can see, Texans fans aren't pleased with Bill O'Brien. Personally, I'm tired of writing the same crap over and over again when I watch Texans games. On The Sideline podcast we recorded today, I expressed some of the same concerns. One of my mentors, Craig Shelton, expressed some concerns as well. He said he's not a Texans fan, but wants the team to do well because Houston is his hometown. He also said he feels bad for fans who spend their hard-earned money supporting this team, only to get nothing back in return. That conversation took place a few years ago and still rings true to this day. I truly hope this team turns it around and does so quickly. This fanbase deserves more than what this organization has given them. As a resident of this city and a person who writes recaps of this team, I hope they improve and turn into a consistent AFC contender, as well as a Super Bowl threat. I'm tired of purgatory for this team. I'm tired of the fans having to suffer through mediocrity. This city and it's football fans have been through enough dammit! Give them a consistent winner, or get your ass out of town O'Brien!

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The NBA Draft takes place this Wednesday and Thursday. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.

This year's NBA draft features potential starters and valuable role players more so than no-doubt future stars. That becomes evident when looking at the headlining prospects among big men.

French teenager Alexandre Sarr from France could go No. 1 overall with his length and defensive potential, key reasons why he has thrice topped the AP's NBA mock draft. Meanwhile, Donovan Clingan from two-time reigning national champion UConn also will likely be a high pick as a rim-protecting force.

It's just unclear how quickly any will be ready for a leading role in the league, particularly offensively.

Here's a look at some of the top players in the position:

Alexandre Sarr, France

STRENGTHS: The athleticism, mobility and length offer significant upside at both ends of the court for the 7-footer, whether as a rim protector and versatile defender or as a rim-runner off pick-and-rolls for lobs on offense. Sarr, 19, spent two seasons with the Overtime Elite developmental program for top prospects in the United States, then last season with Perth in the Australian-based National Basketball League as part of its “Next Stars” program. He ranked tied for second there by averaging 1.5 blocks despite averaging just 17.3 minutes.

He finished strong by averaging 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 assists in his last six games with Perth. He also ranked among the best at the combine with a wingspan of better than 7-4.

CONCERNS: He'll need time to add bulk to a lean 224-pound frame and handle the rigors of an NBA season. Developing more consistent 3-point range (he shot 29% in the NBL last season) will be key to fully realizing his defense-stretching potential.

Donovan Clingan, UConn

STRENGTHS: He is big, strong and surprisingly nimble for his imposing 7-2, 282-pound frame, which made him an interior shot-blocking force in the Huskies' run to college basketball's first repeat men's title in 17 years. He ranked eighth in Division I by averaging 2.5 blocks per game despite playing just 22.6 minutes, then had some massive games in the NCAA Tournament. That included eight blocks and 14 rebounds in the second-round win against Northwestern, followed by 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a regional final against Illinois (the Illini were 0 for 19 on Clingan-challenged shots ) and four more swats against Alabama in the Final Four.

The 20-year-old sophomore runs the floor well despite his bulk and is a strong finisher. He also was tied for first at the combine in standing reach (9-7) and was second in wingspan (nearly 7-7).

CONCERNS: It's unclear how well he might handle switches to defend outside the paint in space. While he shot nearly 64% to rank among the national leaders, he has rarely had to produce much outside of the paint. He also shot just 55.8% from the line in two seasons.

Kel'el Ware, Indiana

STRENGTHS: The 20-year-old sophomore has flashed intriguing two-way potential to make himself a first-round prospect, first in a season at Oregon and then last year at Indiana. He averaged 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season as a starter for the Hoosiers. He made 17 of 40 3-pointers (.425), indicating the potential for growth in terms of pulling defenders outside.

The 7-footer has a nearly 7-5 wingspan and tested well at the NBA combine by ranking second among bigs in the lane agility test (second at 10.97 seconds) and shuttle run (second, 2.91).

CONCERNS: He'll need to add strength to his 230-pound frame and improve at the line, where he shot just 63.4% last year.

Kyle Filipowski, Duke

STRENGTHS: The 6-11, 230-pound sophomore could play either forward or center as a first-round prospect. He was a steady producer by averaging 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds with the Blue Devils. He also more than doubled his shot-blocking totals last year (54, up from 26 as a freshman) when having to work as Duke's interior anchor after Dereck Lively II's departure for the NBA. He has shown improved mobility and footwork after surgery on his hips before last season, and he has improved as an outside shooter (34.8% from 3 last year, up from 28.2% in 2022-23).

CONCERNS: Filipowski isn't an elite athlete, so he could be vulnerable defensively in space as well as struggle against physical play. He slipped at the foul line last year, shooting just 67.1% after checking in at 76.5% as a freshman.

Others of Note

—ZACH EDEY: The 7-4, 299-pound Purdue center is a two-time Associated Press men’s college basketball player of the year who led the Boilermakers to last year’s NCAA title game as the national scoring leader (25.2) and Division I’s No. 2 rebounder (12.2). He closed his career with 37 points in the title-game loss to UConn. He has a ridiculous wingspan of nearly 7-11 to go with the ability to shoot over any defender. There is uncertainty whether the first-round prospect is athletic enough to handle defensive switches or guarding in space.

—DARON HOLMES II: The 6-9, 236-pound junior from Dayton spent the past two seasons putting up big numbers, averaging 19.3 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 56.7%. He also hit 38.6% of his 3s last year and averaged 2.1 blocks for his college career. The Atlantic 10 co-player of the year and league defensive player of the year could go in the back half of the first round, though he is a bit undersized among bigs.

—YVES MISSI: The 6-11, 229-pound center from Baylor came on as the season went on as a one-and-done prospect with bouncy athleticism, helping him finish at the rim (61.4% shooting) and block shots (1.5). That could make him a pick-and-roll or lob threat in the pros, though the 20-year-old from Cameroon will have to expand his offense beyond those crowd-charging dunks and improve at the line (61.6%).

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