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Bill O'Brien on Texans roster: 'A lot of pieces in place here'

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Bill O'Brien was introduced as Houston's new head coach. (USATSI)
Bill O'Brien was introduced as Houston's new head coach. (USATSI)

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The Texans made it official Friday, naming Bill O'Brien as the organization's next head coach, and though O'Brien said that although he's not into labels (be it "rebuilding" or "quick turnaround"), he's aware there are "a lot of pieces in place here."

He's got that right, because in reality, the Texans position was one of the better open jobs out there this year. They've got two top receivers in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, a talented running back in Arian Foster, a solid offensive line and some good pieces on defense (and one outstanding piece in J.J. Watt).

"I do believe this is a strong roster of players," O'Brien said. "It'll be fun to evaluate it."

Of course, Houston also will have the No. 1 overall pick where it stands to reason that the Texans will take a quarterback to replace the duo of Matt Schaub and Case Keenum.

O'Brien -- who said that he missed life in the NFL -- said his passion was coaching but that he'd also help in putting the team together. This seemingly would say he'll have some influence with general manager Rick Smith -- who later said it would be a similar power structure to what was in place when Gary Kubiak was the coach.

As far as potential assistants are concerned, the Houston Chronicle floated the idea that former Browns and Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel could be hired as the defensive coordinator. Since both come from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, that idea makes sense.

"I can't wait to get going with Rick, meet all the players and put together a winning football team here," O'Brien said.

O'Brien has spent the last two years rebuilding the Penn State program and leading it to a 15-9 record despite a myriad of NCAA sanctions and player desertions. Before that, he spent the previous five years as a coach on the Patriots staff, including the offensive coordinator position in 2011 when New England the AFC with 32.1 points per game and was second in the NFL in total offense (428.0 yards per game).

And perhaps most telling of all, O'Brien seemed like a coach who could handle a situation when something is seriously going wrong. Like this intruder, for instance.

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