McClain: The Criticism Of Bill O'Brien Hasn't Let Up

The Texans had a solid draft, John McClain says, but fans are still irate that O'Brien traded DeAndre Hopkins for peanuts

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 01, 2020 - 11:14 am
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The Houston Texans shocked the NFL world in March, trading DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson and draft picks. Head coach Bill O’Brien was roundly criticized for the move – and still is.

“The criticism of O’Brien . . . hasn’t let up,” Houston Chronicle NFL writer John McClain said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Now, the Texans got praise in the draft because they solved their two biggest needs with their first two picks.”

The Texans drafted TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock in the second round and Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard in the third.

“They needed to bolster their pass rush,” McClain said. “They had 31 sacks last year – 12 fewer than the year before. So because the pass rush was weaker, the secondary was awful. So they’ve made a lot of changes up front. People are pretty happy with their draft. [But] they’re not going to hear the end of the DeAndre Hopkins trade for a long time.” 

Hopkins, who led Houston in receiving six seasons in a row, wanted to re-work his contract with three years remaining on the deal. The Texans were not going to do that.

“They weren’t going to re-do it and add another $8- to $10 million on to his deal,” McClain said. “They just weren’t. He didn’t have the best relationship with Bill O’Brien, even though he was always productive, even though he never missed a game. He always answered the bell. And people here, it will probably take a year for people to look back to see what does David Johnson do at running back. They’ve given a lot of confidence in him. He’s the starting running back over Carlos Hyde. Brandin Cooks was traded for a second-round pick to come in and play opposite Will Fuller. So it’s up to Deshaun Watson to spread the ball around and try to replace DeAndre Hopkins.”

The Texans have made the playoffs in six of the last nine seasons but have never advanced past the divisional round. They are 21-11 since 2018.