Every-Thing Sports

Explaining Bill O'Brien's time management skills

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In his six years roaming the sidelines for the Houston Texans, head coach Bill O'Brien has garnered a reputation for his time management skills, or lack thereof. He repeatedly will waste timeouts, not call them, botch end of game/end of half situations, and generally shows a lack of understanding when it comes to situational football. This was particularly apparent when at the end of first half of the Jags game, he held onto two timeouts. When asked about it in the postgame presser, he gave yet another bullshit answer basically saying they executed minus a few missed opportunities on a couple plays.

That was maybe the "toughest" line of questioning O'Brien has faced since coming to Houston. Instead of calling for checks and balances, or even his job, let's try to understand where O'Brien is coming from. Maybe he's just misunderstood? He could be more complex than the thin-skinned arrogant prick we've grown to know and loathe. I've taken a few psychology courses and read a ton of material. Personally, I think I'm qualified to look into what makes O'Brien tick and why he's so bad with time and timeout management. There are several reasons why I think O'Brien may be confused in crunch time. Here's a look into some reasons why he tends to have brain farts:

Playoff Tiebreaker

AJ Hoffman mentioned this on The Blitz that he thinks O'Brien yesterday in hour two that his theory is that O'Brien thinks saving timeouts are a playoff tiebreaker. Giving the way this season is going, he probably thinks piling up timeouts will help his team's chances in a heated playoff race.

#TeamChicFilA

In the great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019, O'Brien is #TeamChicFilA. He must think saving timeouts and wasting clock is a way to earn points on the Chic Fil A app. I'm almost certain he's reached red status by now. However, he must believe that the extra timeouts and/or time clock wasting is earning him points on the app that will lead to rewards, which will give him brownie points with the team when he caters lunch after practice. Popeye's never stood a chance because they didn't have rewards points on their app and ran out of sandwiches.

Cash back on gas

O'Brien does a ton of driving as does most Houston residents when it comes to commuting to and from work. Maybe he's convinced that the timeouts can be converted into gas miles/points he can use. While I can't pinpoint where he lives, one can only imagine that his commute is at least 15-20 minutes like the rest of us. Given that aspect, he's most likely hoarding then to get money back or a discount off his gas when filling up. If he's smart, he'd use Get Upside.

Overrated

O'Brien thinks stopping the clock late in a half or game is overrrated. He's so overly confident in his play-calling abilities, that he has fully convinved himself that calling timeout is overrated. He believes in himself so much, his confidence has outgrown his belief in time itself.

Hoarder

Here's a theory some of you may not have suspected. O'Brien could be a secretive hoarder. It could be on of those situations in which Mrs. O'Brien isn't fully aware of his secretive hoarding. Henceforth, he's always tried to retain timeouts thinking that he will accumulate them and be able to use them later.

Stupid smart

Yet another working observation I've noticed is that he could be so smart, he's a dumbass. Some smarts lack in other areas. O'Brien may be one of us. There are tinmes in which I can't figure out simple things, but I can tell you who blew an assignment or ran a bad route on any given play. O'Brien may be the same way. He's so focused on the macro that he loses track of the micro. Bad combination.

As you can see, we could all be looking at O'Brien the wrong way. Maybe we should be giving him the benfit of the doubt. Maybe we should all be following his lead. Instead, we sit by awaiting his firing while he's busy being the smartest guy on Kirby. Maybe we're all dumbs, and he's a smart? Maybe he has this life thing figured out and we're still stupidly stumbling around looking for answers. I'd hate to live in a world in which O'Brien is the key to life. Wake me up when this nightmare is over.

Getty Images

Sunday's loss to the Broncos was a complete embarrassment. During the Bill O'Brien era, there have been no shortage of losses like this. Narrowing it down to five was not easy. Let's take a look back at the Hall of Shame:

No. 5: Ravens 41, Texans 7, Nov. 17, 2019

The Texans went into Baltimore on a nice roll, hoping to get a huge win and get themselves in position for a first-round bye. From the first possession, when Deshaun Watson had a terrible turnover, the Texans looked like a bad high school team. They had no answer on defense for Lamar Jackson, and the offense was unable to do anything. The Ravens are the best team in the AFC, so the shame level on this one is not as bad, but the effort (or lack thereof) in such a big game makes this one an easy addition to the list.

The next week: The Texans bounced back and beat the Colts in a Thursday night game 20-17.

No. 4: Falcons 48, Texans 21, Oct. 4, 2015

This game was an embarrassment from the beginning. As in many of these losses, they gave up a touchdown on offense early, were down 28-0 at the half and 42-0 at one point before adding some pointless garbage time points, another common theme in the losses. For O'Brien, it proved his team "didn't quit." In real life, it was a complete dismantling and the late scores were meaningless stat padders.

The next week: The dropped a 27-20 home game against the Colts.

No. 3: Dolphins 44, Texans 26, Oct. 25, 2015

Another where you can ignore the final score. The Texans were down 41-0 at one point and were dominated by Lamar Miller. The worst part? In his quest to make the score look better, O'Brien left Arian Foster in the game late, and he suffered a season ending injury. It was a dumb move to mask how unprepared the Texans were. In all of these games, the Texans were not ready, got in huge early holes, had poor game plans, and looked like they did not belong on the field. This was one of the worst.

The next week: They beat the Titans and reeled off four straight wins.

No. 2: Broncos 38, Texans 24, Dec. 8, 2019

The Texans were down 31-3 at halftime and never had any chance. They added 21 garbage time points to make the score look better, but make no mistake, this was a complete dismantling. As in all the other games, they were clueless on both sides of the ball and looked completely overmatched by a team that was 4-8 coming in and was starting a rookie QB. For a team that had high aspirations, the loss was a complete joke and was the kind of game that makes you question whether or not they can even make the playoffs. Leaving Deshaun Watson in to make the score look better was typical O'Brien and completely ridiculous.

The next week: They play at Tennessee in a game that could knock them out of the division lead.

No. 1: Chiefs 30, Texans 0, Jan. 9, 2016

Hopes were high as the Texans had a home playoff game. The hopes ended on the opening kickoff as the Chiefs returned the initial kickoff for a touchdown. Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw four picks, and who can forget the brilliant idea to have J.J. Watt run the wildcat? The thing that stands out about this game and the Baltimore loss? No empty points at the end to make it look better. In fact, no points at all.

The next week: There wasn't one. They were ousted from the playoffs.

The common thread

In every case, the Texans entered with a bad game plan, got in massive holes, and never had any chance, and O'Brien had no answers. Good teams play bad games all the time, but how often do they look completely unprepared and never have an opportunity? In every one of these games, you knew they were beaten by the second quarter. O'Brien has too many of these clueless efforts on his resume. Will they bounce back next week? History says yes, but after Sunday, do you have any faith in that?

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