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BWTB: The O’Brien Way

Posted May 30, 2014

Head coach Bill O'Brien isn't shaking things up, just to shake things up. There's a reason for his changes.

Earlier this week he brushed off questions about no Segways and no carts transporting players to and from practice. People keep talking about him changing the culture. But that might not be the right way to word it. In head coach Bill O’Brien’s mind, he’s simply implementing what he thinks is the right way to do business.

He didn’t remove names from lockers because former head coach Gary Kubiak had them up. He took them down because that’s the way he wants it. He also thinks players should walk to practice. O’Brien knows how hard it is to win games in this league and he respects the good things Kubiak did as a coach. Any changes he makes are because he’s doing what he believes in.

Changing things like Segways and photos is a byproduct. Had there been no names on lockers and no photos when O’Brien arrived, he certainly wouldn’t have put them up to ‘change the culture.’ This is just his way.

It’s easy for me to notice the differences in the way practice is run. O’Brien doesn’t care what happened in the past at NRG Park.

This is the year one.

Ground zero.

His team and his vision for the way to run an NFL franchise.  

He’s also facing uncertainty at the quarterback position, declaring “wide open” competition among his four signal callers. He and general manager Rick Smith didn’t see their franchise player early on their draft board so they went with Tom Savage in the fourth round. It’s fine to keep talking about Tom Brady, who O’Brien coached in New England, as an ideal for a franchise QB.

But maybe we should be looking more closely about what O’Brien pulled off at Penn State with Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg. And everyone seems to forget that he was part of a New England staff that got a 11-5 season out of Matt Cassel when Brady went down in game one of the 2008 season.

This is a long haul and O’Brien knows it. He also knows he has to find a way to carve out wins as quickly as possible. But he will do it his way.

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