O’Brien to start forming staff on Saturday

O’Brien to start forming staff on Saturday
January 3, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Bill O'Brien on plans for staff

(USA Today Images)

King Arthur was introduced on Friday. Next up, he’ll need to choose his Knights of the Round Table.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, who was introduced to Houston on Friday, will now begin the process of forming his coaching staff, an important element to any football team, especially one with a first-time NFL head coach.

O’Brien said he will meet with every member of the Texans’ coaching staff from 2013 on Saturday.

“It’ll be a long day,” O’Brien said. “Sit down, we’ll talk and we’ll meet eyeball to eyeball and it’ll be good. It’ll be good experience for me and a good experience for them. We’ll go from there.”

When asked if he has reached out to coaches outside of the organization, O'Brien said his first task is to meet with the current Texans coaches.

It has been reported O’Brien will bring Stan Hixon along with him from Penn State. Hixon was an assistant coach and wide receivers coach for O’Brien in Happy Valley. But the other coaches are question marks as of Friday afternoon.

“Well, it’s Bill’s staff but obviously,” general manager Rick Smith said. “I will have some input and I think he values my opinion with respect to that and, like he said, he’s going to begin tomorrow and sit down with all the current members of our staff now and give them an opportunity to talk to him and we’ll move forward from there.”

Among the coaches O’Brien will talk to on Saturday will be defensive coordinator and interim head coach Wade Phillips, who was a candidate for the head coaching job. Phillips has said he wouldn’t rule out coming back as a defensive coordinator.

“Obviously, I like Wade a lot and he’s a guy I’ve played for for the last couple of years and got really comfortable in his scheme,” defensive leader Brian Cushing said. “But I also understand the decision is not up to me. I’m pretty sure he won’t be asking me but I’ve come to understand that, understand how the league works and that’s just one of the things that happens when you have a complete coaching change.”

When the Texans hired O’Brien, he fit their criteria as a former head coach with NFL experience. Owner Bob McNair said he was also looking for someone who was smart, adaptable and that has shown great leadership. The Texans think they’ve found someone who is qualified based on those criteria.

But what is O’Brien looking for as he tries to build his staff?

“We’ll put together a staff of great teachers, demanding coaches, coaches that hold their players accountable for good play,” O’Brien said. “We’ll put together coaches who have a passion for football, that they’re good family men that understand that sometimes it’s good to go home. That’s important. And we’ll have a really good staff. It’ll be a good staff of guys that will coach for the Houston Texans.”