COACHING DECISIONS

Bill O'Brien: The Kool Aid guide to his coaching

Bill O' Brien might have something up his sleeve. Houstontexans.com

As the leaves change colors and degrees begin to drop, the Texans sit atop the AFC South in a three way tie for first place. While the team is by no means imploding, a rocky 0-3 start coupled with close games being lost at least in part due to questionable play calling has fifth-year head coach Bill O' Brien feeling the heat from fans.

Although most Houstonians are ready for a change at the helm, here are three rationalizations if you want to retain some B.o.B. hope:

Kool-Aid Glass  #1- Teams often play down to terrible teams, and no one knows that better then Billy-O.

We see this every year, a team that’s steamrolling its way through its schedule finds itself in a close game against a rag-tag bunch of inferior players stealing pay-checks from their owner.  Sometimes that group of supposed professionals even rips a win from the better team (Remember the Bills’ out-of-nowhere win against the Vikings earlier this year?). Bill O’Brien could be capitalizing on this inexplicable phenomenon, calling a flurry of seemingly ill-conceived plays until the opposing sideline lets their guard down and starts calling terrible plays of their own.

Just look at the Colts game in Week 4, a risky overtime play call leads to the Colts turning the ball over on 4th down on their own 43. Do you think a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator makes that same call against a team coached by Mike Tomlin or Sean Payton? Not a chance. But when you’re playing against a badly coached turd burger, you start thinking to yourself “So what if we turn the ball over on downs, there’s no way these idiots have enough time to capitalize on it.” And that’s where B.o.B. thrives, making teams think themselves out of certain victory.

Kool Aid Glass #2 Bill O’Brien’s Texans are playing some of the ugliest football ever in order to dissuade opposing coaches from watching his game tape.

This theory is so plausible it really shouldn’t even be considered a rationalization. You ever watch a team try to get the ball in the end zone from inside the 5 to no avail? It’s gruesome. Now imagine watching that over the course of three or four downs, and then repeat that whole thing several more times. In that moment, if someone offered you a Season 3 DVD of The Jersey Shore, you would probably hit “play” just to cleanse your visual palette. It’s a simple concept, teams can’t prepare well for you if they don't watch tape, and they cant watch tape if it makes them want to throw up every 10 minutes.

Kool Aid Glass #3 Bill O’Brien makes a percentage of Texans merchandise sales, and is setting his young core up for maximum exposure.

This is a full-on Alex Jones-style conspiracy theory, but if you’ve read this far it can’t be that much more of a leap in logic. Bill O’ Brien could be making some cheddar off jersey sales, and perhaps is positioning the team to see its highest volume of television views in order to maximize his players visibility.

Now, the best way to do this would be to make a deep run in the playoffs and capture postseason media glory for your squad. But what is one to do if a playoff run isn’t in the cards, and even a playoff berth is a longshot? Well, you do the next best thing. You try to play overtime games as often as possible.

Already the Texans have played two OT games. However, take a closer look at the four games that ended in regulation. There could have been even more OT games! Most notably the Bills game, which was forecast as an exciting battle of field goal kickers, narrowly missed going to overtime because of a last minute pick-six. And that’s despite B.o.B. doing everything possible to preserve a tie. In fact every game this season has been won or lost by one touchdown or less! Either Billy-o is interested in becoming a lock to cover the spread, or he knows if you play six OT games, that’s one full game of bonus TV time.

 

 

 

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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