HOUSTON -- It has been six years, but New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady remembers how tough Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien can be on his quarterbacks.
“Billy’s certainly [demanding],” Brady said. “They’re all demanding. That’s what makes them great coaches. They have a sense of urgency every day. They care very deeply about how the team is performing. They want every player on the roster to perform at a very high level every day, and that’s a lot of pressure for players.
“And I think putting pressure on players is critical to getting the best out of them, because players need to be pushed. There needs to be high demand placed on what we’re doing, and typically players that don’t like that are probably the ones that don’t last very long, in my experience in the NFL.”
After Deshaun Watson was drafted, he was asked if he was prepared for that tough coaching from O’Brien, and he said he was looking forward to it.
“I love to be coached hard,” Watson said at the time. “It comes with the relationship that we are going to build and the trust that we are going to have.”
Brady’s advice for the Texans’ rookie? Listen to O’Brien.
“You’ve got to be able to take the coaching and do what’s in the best interest of the team, try to listen to the coaches, do it the best you can, go out there and play hard, play competitive, play as a team. And think that’s what makes great coaches, great teams, certainly all the ones I’ve been a part of.”
Brady said that being coached by O’Brien “absolutely” made him a better player.
“He was just a great coach. I had just a great experience being with him,” Brady said. “Billy and I developed a really great rapport. We had a lot of great conversations. He was a lot of fun to play for, and he puts a lot into it. He cares about his players. He’s got great leadership ability, and I think what he’s done both at Penn State and Houston is very, very admirable.
"I really think they’ve got a great team. He’s put together a great staff. It’s a big challenge to play against those guys. ... They have one of the best teams in the AFC.”