Texans' O'Brien looking to copy Patriots on offense

Texans' O'Brien looking to copy Patriots on offense
June 2, 2014, 10:30 am
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In the past decade, acorns from Bill Belichick’s coaching tree have fallen and – despite some blips of success – failed to thrive.
 
Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis (the latter two being Parcells’ seedlings as much as Belichick’s) all met ignominious ends in their head coaching positions after they left the Patriots.
 
But for Bill O’Brien, things are set up beautifully. The former Patriots offensive coordinator who’s taken over the Houston Texans has a daunting defensive group and some impressive offensive pieces in place.
 
It’s going to take some tuning and organization to get things right after last season’s debacle and O’Brien, who was at Penn State for three seasons, is on that.
 
And O’Brien isn’t hesitating to show his team it wants to look like New England on offense.
 
“Obviously watch a lot of Patriots film and seeing how they do it,” quarterback T.J. Yates said when asked how the Texans are going about installation. “We’re trying to mimic them right now.”
 
Any Texan who would bristle at copying a rival need only think back to 2012. That’s when the Patriots emasculated Houston 42-14 in December and then 41-28 in the playoffs. The Patriots’ offensive tempo was a major difference in those games and made Houston look disorganized and not ready for elite play.
 
Said O’Brien to Houston media, “Our view of tempo has evolved especially those of us who were in New England. We were a huddle team in New England and we were always a huddle team in New England. But then the last few years I was there we incorporated more no-huddle and different tempos of no-huddle.”
 
The Texans are going to be a quick fix for O’Brien. And the Patriots could soon be dealing with a Houston offense that operates a lot like their own. Except for the HOF quarterback.