The snippet of Bill O’Brien’s life that is getting a lot of airplay in Houston these days is the infamous sideline dressing down of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2011. And fans and followers of O’Brien’s career agree it’s the same passion and fire that could bring the Texans a much-needed change of direction.
Brady had just thrown an interception against the Washington Redskins. O’Brien had to be pulled away from Brady after a heated shouting match. Brady later said “he let me have it and I deserved it” for the fourth quarter miscue.
"I think what Texas needs is a little piss and vinegar,” said fan John Fugler visiting Houston from Monroe, Louisiana. “Somebody that's got some spunk,” he said much like his favorite coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.
"He's a fiery guy. There's no question about it,” said KC Kantz a reporter for WTAJ-TV in State College, Pennsylvania who has followed O’Brien’s resurrection of the Penn State football program after the Jerry Sandusky controversy.
“His passion for the game is unmatched. He knows exactly what he wants. He gets those results. That shows in his record in two years here,” Kantz said of O’Brien.
The Texans have not confirmed the choice, but multiple sources have reported the announcement is imminent: that the man who turned around the football program at Penn State will try to do the same massive reclamation project here.
But of course not every Monday morning quarterback on a barstool is convinced he's the right choice.
"That I don't know because I think you need players vs. a coach,” said Armando Renteria while watching New Year’s Day college football games at Champps Houston Uptown.
"I say Lovie Smith should have been a good pick,” said Mike Holback. “A good coach to have, not the new guy from Penn State. No I don't think so."
But apparently the Texans ownership thinks so. And the official announcement about a dose of “piss and vinegar” coming to Houston is expected between now and Saturday.