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Bill O'Brien's ego could ruin the Texans

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Yesterday 3 PM Central Standard Time came and went. It took any chance of the Texans signing Jadeveon Clowney to a long term extension with it. Well, for this year at least. This was the latest in a string of acts that appear to be attributed to Texans head coach Bill O'Brien. Ever since he was hired, O'Brien has attempted to replicate what his former mentor New England Patriots Bill Belichick has done in New England. As most that have followed the Texans would acknowledge, his hire and actions are consistent with this franchise's obsession with the Patriots. I guess the McNair's thought they were hiring the next Belichick and ended up hiring another withered branch from Belichick'scoaching tree. Over the years, O'Brien has shown numerous times in which his ego has cost this team. Here's a look at a few times in which I believe O'Brien's ego has cost the Texans:

The Clowney contract

Texans Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney

Houston Texans/Facebook

This is the most recent blip on the O'Brien ego radar. Clowney played very well last year under his fifth year option. He hasn't had injury concerns over the past three years playing in 45 games over that period. He's also put up comparable numbers to some of the top defenders he's asking to be paid like. However, I've contended that if they know they won't pay him, they should trade him. This has lead to the current situation they're in with Clowney, as well as...

The GM saga

Brian Gaine

Former GM Brian Gaine

Buffalobills.com

The Texans unexpectedly parted ways with general manager Brian Gaine this offseason. Reasons why they made the move are as mysterious as the move itself. We can only speculate as to why the team made such a drastic move at a point in the offseason in which they made it. It's widely believed they thought they could get another candidate hired away from the Patriots (Nick Caserio). Another theory/rumor is that O'Brien wanted Gaine to make the trade for Clowney instead of resigning him and that led to his exit. Either way, it's widely believed O'Brien pulled some of the strings here. Now the team is operating with a GM by committee until they hire someone next offseason.

Clock management

Bill O'Brien, Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

This so-called offensive/quarterback/guru can't even manage the clock or call plays properly. How can you call yourself an offensive coach when you fail to find a starting quarterback or call the right plays at the right times, much less manage the clock correctly? Knowing when to call a timeout, what plays to dial up, and what sequence of plays to have dialed up in a no-huddle situation factors into being prepared for these situations. O'Brien has consistently demonstrated that he isn't prepared and has shown a propensity at failing in these situations so far.

Arrogance

Bill O'Brien Joe Robbins/Getty Images

O'Brien has exhibited a real smug and arrogant attitude when it comes to the media. He acts as if he's doing them a favor to answer questions, or answers questions in a manner in which media members should feel honored he even answered. Last time I checked, a coach with a 42-38 record in the NFL shouldn't act like an arrogant A hole towards anyone. I don't know if O'Brien acts this way behind the scenes, but the smug encounters he's had with media members I've seen and his rumored actions have led me to believe he's the same guy he's been reported to be. A couple Super Bowl titles and better personnel decisions would lead to some leeway when he wants to be a jerk.

Belichick can do and act the way he does because he's won titles. He also has had the privilege of coaching one of the best quarterbacks of all time. O'Brien has done nothing to warrant the same treatment. Deshaun Watson isn't close to being one of the best ever, but he has potential. O'Brien needs to focus on building this team into a consistent contender. Clowney can be apart of that if O'Brien sets his ego aside and resigns him next offseason. He better at least franchise and trade him to get something more for him than a third round compensatory pick. Otherwise, this will be another notch in his ego.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans outmatched when it counts against Steelers

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Another game, another loss for the Texans. This time it was only a seven point loss to the Steelers as they fell 28-21 in Pittsburgh. This time around, Bill O'Brien looked to be on his game as far as decision-making was concerned. However, there is still room for improvement.

One thing that I did appreciate that O'Brien did was have trust in the offensive line. The Steelers pass rush could be problematic, but their defense overall is very stout. That's how they were able to nearly make the playoffs last year with a Duck at quarterback. While the Texans did give up five sacks, they weren't all due to poor offensive line play. The Texans lost 33 yards on those five sacks. Tytus Howard and Zach Fulton handled themselves fairly well after looking like turnstiles the first two games. O'Brien called longer developing pass plays and play action in spite of this and it paid off with Deshaun Watson and his receivers putting up 264 yards in the air.

There also wasn't an instance of Bumbling Bill this game. At the end of the first half, there was a minute and fourteen seconds left. The Texans were down 17-14 and had all three timeouts with the ball on their 25-yard line. Classic Bumbling Bill situation right? Wrong! Not only was the play-calling on point, but the players executed and the timeout situation was handled perfectly. First timeout was used after getting to midfield with 47 seconds left. Timeout number two was used after a 20 yard gain after the previous play. A 15 yard gain later to the Steeler 14-yard line and timeout number three was used with 28 seconds left. This set up perfectly for them to call a multitude of plays. They only needed one as Watson found Will Fuller in the end zone on a jump ball in which Fuller rose up and was physical enough to grab the ball over the defender. They went up 21-17 at the half.

Bill O'Brien's teams were 37-3 when leading at halftime. I say "were" because they lost this one after not scoring a single point in the second half. This was more on the defense not being able to fight its way out of a wet paper bag, and a lack of execution by the offense. Specifically, the run defense has been atrocious and Watson either needs quicker reads or to stop holding onto the ball so long by making quicker decisions. That's on coaching to put players in positions to succeed, but also the players to execute.

Ultimately, this was on O'Brien the general manager more than O'Brien the coach. This roster is woefully outmatched. The only time an outmatched roster can compete consistently is in college football with a wacky offense. It just doesn't happen in the NFL. Hey, at least Bumbling Bill didn't rear his butt chin today. Today's Culture Map play call menu was brought to you by Pour Behavior. I suggest getting over there and checking out their daily specials.

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