Bill O'Brien: Time with Patriots crucial

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, in his first year as Houston Texans head coach, credited his time under Bill Belichick for helping him better understand the team-building process.

“When I was in New England, I really enjoyed the draft process, especially my last two years there,” said O'Brien, who donned a gray Nike pullover during his NFL combine news conference. “It's exciting to be back in the process and here at the combine. For me, this is a really good part of the process because it really allows you to get to know these guys.”

O'Brien was the team's offensive coordinator in his final two seasons in New England and, as is always the case with all Patriots coaches, their scouting/personnel evaluation becomes a bigger part of the process at this time of year.

There were a few other Patriots-based nuggets from O'Brien's news conference:

On Belichick: “I think it's been pretty well documented. I've learned a lot from him, between how to get ready for a game, prepare a team for a game, evaluating your roster, getting ready for the draft. He and I have a good relationship. I've seen him here. It's been good to see him. I think all of us that coached there for Bill learned a lot from him. I think I've said that a bunch in the past.”

On Tom Brady and how different he looks at age 36: “I haven't watched too much. I watched a couple of games on TV. I think he's playing at a very high level. Good friend. Great competitor. I really enjoyed coaching him. He's one of the best to play this game. ... In my opinion, you can't compare guys to Tom Brady. Guys like Tom Brady really don't come along very often. He's a great player [and] has had tremendous success in New England."