OTA Day 9 Notes: McGinest; Godsey & O’Brien

OTA Day 9 Notes: McGinest; Godsey & O’Brien
June 12, 2014, 4:45 pm
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Texans quarterbacks coach George Godsey still holds several records at Georgia Tech from his senior season in 2001:

Most passing yards in a game (486), most passing yards in a season (3,085), most passes completed in a game (39) and most passes completed in a season (249).

Godsey's offensive coordinator and quarterback's coach in 2001: Bill O'Brien.

“As a player for him, it was a little bit different than when you’re coaching with him,” Godsey said on Thursday. “But I think that he’s grown really as one of my better friends. I feel comfortable calling him at all time of the day. Like myself, he is constantly thinking about the team and constantly thinking about how to improve the Houston Texans and I think that’s one thing that we share that’s pretty important.”

O’Brien has been a teacher to Godsey for some time but the two aren’t that far off in age. O’Brien is 44; Godsey is 35.

“I just really like his straight-forwardness,” Godsey said. “I appreciate his honesty when sometimes it’s not what you want to hear. But I think that it’s kind of the leader that we want and I think for all of us, as a coach under him, we’ve learned a lot.”

This isn’t the first time the two have worked together. In 2011, when O’Brien spent his one season as Patriots offensive coordinator, Godsey was on the staff as an offensive assistant. O’Brien left for Penn State in 2012 but Godsey stayed in New England for those two years as tight ends coach.

Godsey didn’t necessarily know he would get this job when O’Brien became a head coach. Instead, he said “it just happened to work out.”  

The Texans don’t have a formal offensive coordinator. O’Brien will run the offense and Godsey will play a big role as quarterbacks coach. When asked if he’d take more responsibility in running the offense because the team doesn’t have an OC, Godsey said he’s trying to take on as much responsibility as he can but said quarterbacks are his main focus.

Earlier during OTAs, O’Brien was asked if he was able to tell during Godsey’s playing days that Godsey would make a good coach. O’Brien said he was just focused on coaching him, not thinking about the future. But he noticed Godsey had the tools.

“You could tell that in the time there that he was a bright guy, he really understood the game and was a guy that always expressed to us and me that he wanted to coach,” O’Brien said. “I knew that was something he was really interested to do. I don’t think he got a shot with an NFL team. Some NFL teams worked him out on campus and then he played in the Arena League for a little bit. Then he started coaching at Central Florida. That was where he was in the beginning and now he is here. It is good to have him here. He is a very valuable member of the staff.”

A notable onlooker
There was a familiar face at Texans practice on Thursday: Willie McGinest.

McGinest is now an NFL Network analyst but had a long career in the NFL and played for all three of the Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning teams with Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator.

McGinest, 42, wasn’t just watching practice. He attended team meetings and even gave some hands-on advice on the field.

So what did the Texans get out of McGinest’s visit?

“A lot,” third-year linebacker Whitney Mercilus said. “He taught us a little bit of things about pass rush and how to play the run, how to be able to be explosive out of our stance and things like that. He’s got a lot of knowledge. He’s played in this game, he’s been successful and you can learn a lot of things from him.”

McGinest isn’t the only notable guest this offseason. Earlier during OTAs, Rutgers head coach Ralph Friedgen made a visit. Friedgen’s connection to O’Brien dates back to his first stint as offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech. O’Brien was on Friedgen’s staff at Maryland too.  

Newton now healthy
Derek Newton wasn’t very good in 2013 but he might not have been healthy either. On Thursday, he revealed that his knee bothered him some.  A knee injury forced him to miss two games in 2012 too.

“It was a little bit of a problem but I just couldn’t let it bother me,” Newton said. “I just had to go out and play for the team.”

Newton said he’s now healthy. He also said he hasn’t needed a scope to clean out his knee.

Quote of the Day: “There’s a reason why a lot of coaches don’t have any hair.” – Godsey while talking about the complexity of the offense

Stupid Observation of the Day: When McGinest, Mike Vrabel and Crennel stood together, we realized they all have some hardware. Between the three, they own 11 championship rings. McGinest and Vrabel each have three from the Patriots. Crennel has those three and two from his time with the Giants.