Texans O'Brien Has 'A Fan' In Vikings Coach

Mike Fisher

Maybe it's because misery loves company. But the head coach of the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings is an admirer of the head coach of the 0-3 Houston Texans.

“I’d say I am a Bill O’Brien fan,” said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “I always have been. I’ve always had a good relationship with him.''

Neither of these coaches - who oppose one another Sunday at noon Week 4 "Winless Bowl'' at NRG Stadium - are in the process of collecting fans right now; such is the nature of the 0-3 beast for both clubs, each having entered 2020 with high hopes.

But Zimmer certainly knows his way around the Houston Texans coaching staff, having collected former Houston head coaches for his own crew in Minnesota.

The Vikings' offensive coordinator is Gary Kubiak, the former Texans coach from 2006-13.

“I love Gary Kubiak,” Zimmer said. “He’s the best I’ve ever been around. We have a great relationship. I love the way he handles his players, love the way he handles the offense. I’m very, very fortunate with him.

A senior defensive assistant under Zimmer is Dom Capers, who coached Houston from 2002-05.

“Dom is here helping us now and he’s another terrific guy,'' said Zimmer, adding, "In my opinion (the Texans) have been very fortunate to have those three guys coaching for that franchise.”

Zimmer and O'Brien have coached head-to-head just once before, in 2016 when the Texans lost at the Vikings, 31-13. They weren't able to be fans of one another for about three hours that day ... and they won't be able to do so for three hours this week, either.

"I think he’s tough, he’s disciplined,'' Zimmer said of O'Brien. "He does a great job with his guys.”

Bill O'Brien will gain even more fans if Zimmer is right about him this week ... and if O'Brien's "guys'' do a "great job'' in a way that produces a win.

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