Report: JJ Watt, Bill O’Brien had heated exchange that led to ‘player revolt’
Bill O’Brien was fired by the Houston Texans this week following a 0-4 start to the season, but the record may have only been a small factor in the team’s decision to move on from its head coach and general manager.
In the weeks leading up to his firing, O’Brien reportedly had verbal altercations on the practice field with members of his coaching staff and Texans players. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that one of those players was star defensive lineman J.J. Watt.
Bill O'Brien got into an argument with defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver on the practice field along with verbal altercations with other staff members during his final weeks as coach-general manager before being fired, according to league sources
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 7, 2020
John Granato of of ESPN 97.5 Houston was given similar information. He was told that the argument between Watt and O’Brien began a “player revolt” that ultimately resulted in O’Brien being fired.
A source tells me that JJ Watt and Bill O’Brien had a heated exchange on the practice field the week of the Steelers game in which JJ called BOB out for his coaching ability. It began a player revolt that ended up getting BOB fired.
— John Granato (@johngranato) October 7, 2020
The reports make sense, as one anonymous Texans player said this week that there was a sense of relief in the locker room when O’Brien was let go. Some players may have held a grudge against O’Brien stemming from his decision to trade star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. That trade seemed to be the result of Hopkins and O’Brien not getting along.
O’Brien was hired as head coach of the Texans in 2014. He finished with a regular-season record of 52-48 in six-plus seasons. The Texans reached the postseason four times under O’Brien and won two playoff games. While the results on the field were not horrible, it sounds like the locker room dynamic was a different story.