The Rundown: Bill O'Brien Does Himself a Favor Giving Up Play Calling Duties

Patrick D. Starr

The 2020 season for the Houston Texans started with many questions after head coach Bill O'Brien was named the general manager for the organization shortly after the end of the season. With the Texans working behind the scenes, O'Brien talked to the media for the first time on Tuesday since being named to the position and helped ease some concerns with the team moving forward. 

Last season there were questions if O'Brien had too much on his plate not only as of the head coach but part of the group of thinkers working together to make moves for the team during the season. Add in offensive play-calling duties during games and helping game plan with offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. There was not much that O'Brien did not have his hands last season. 

Enter this season, and O'Brien's first order of business was to announce that Kelly would take over the play-calling duties for the Texans in 2020. Kelly has been with O'Brien since the 2012 season at Penn State as a graduate assistant and cut his teeth with O'Brien over the years to get to this point. 

Kelly is O'Brien's handpicked apprentice to run the offense accordingly. 

On the defensive side of the ball, much like Kelly, Anthony Weaver takes over the defense with influences from Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine playing and working under the two defensive minds. O'Brien is expecting Weaver to put his own 'style' on the defense allowing the players to grow within the system.

With that said, O'Brien has prepared both Kelly and Weaver over the years for this moment. One that puts both in position to not only do it the way O'Brien expects it done but with the respective coaches' influences on their units. 

It will be only the second time that O'Brien will not call plays for the Texans with the last time coming in 2015 when George Godsey took over the duties after watching in the wings in 2014. That was short-lived after a Texans offense was slow and sluggish to start that season. 

O'Brien has already mentioned that he will have more time to spend more time concentrating on the team rather than the offensive unit. 

"I think that one of the bigger changes would be between series," O'Brien said of giving up play-calling duties. "I've spent a lot of time with Deshaun (Watson) and Tim, the offensive line, the running backs, the tight ends, the wide receivers on the bench there before we go out for the next series. I think I'm not going to do probably as much of that. I think I'll do more about being able to focus on the whole game, how the game is being played, and things like that..."

One of the hardest things for O'Brien over the years as the Texans head coach was to trust others to handle their jobs. Now with him trusting his group of coordinators in Tim Kelly, Anthony Weaver, and Brad Seely, it will allow O'Brien to be a head coach. 

Time will tell if the set up with work for the Texans, but this is a step in the right direction for O'Brien in 2020. He is allowing his coordinators to coach and O'Brien concentrating on the overall pulse of the team. 

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