Sean Pendergast

Bill O'Brien Admits He Never Should Have Taken Texans GM Job

Bill O'Brien admitted recently that becoming the Texans' GM was not a good look for him.
Bill O'Brien admitted recently that becoming the Texans' GM was not a good look for him. Photo by Eric Sauseda
I'm not sure exactly why this is occurring, probably a coincidence as much as anything, but in the course of the last week or so, there have been three different podcasts in which the guest has been a Texans player or coach from the horrific 2020 season, and all three have been perfectly content to dish on said season. As someone in the content generation and consumption businesses, I'm here for it!

The three folks in question are running back David Johnson (appeared on Kay Adams' "Up and Adams" podcast), wide receiver Randall Cobb (appeared on "Bussin' With the Boys" podcast), and former head coach and GM Bill O'Brien (appeared on the "Next Up" podcast). All three were critical figures (for O'Brien, "critical" is probably a massive understatement) in the plummet of the Texans from playoff team to laughing stock.

We won't spend too much time on Johnson, who was an abject disappointment, but not an unexpected one (to everyone except O'Brien), as Johnson had not played good football since the 2016 season, when the Texans acquired him in a trade for All Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Most of Johnson's discussion of the Texans surrounded how miserable he was from the time he arrived here, especially when the season began with an 0-4 start.

Let's get to the good stuff! O'Brien was asked on his podcast appearance about becoming the general manager of the Texans:
When he says "I didn't really enjoy being the GM" and "I didn't really enjoy negotiating contracts," I'm guessing the main reason was because he stunk at doing both. Certainly trading Hopkins for the pittance the Texans received is the sign of poor general managing skills, and there wasn't a contract O'Brien dished out that wasn't an overpay. When you hate doing something, you try to do it for as little time as possible, and every salary O'Brien handed out felt indicative of a GM who just wanted to get the negotiation over with.

One of those overpriced deals O'Brien handed out in free agency was actually to Cobb, who received a three year, $27 million contract, which I'm guessing was several million more than any team was offering him at the time. On the day he signed the deal, I'm guessing Cobb loved Bill O'Brien. However, that might have been the ONLY day he loved him. Take a listen:
I have a hard time drumming up any sympathy for Cobb, who cited the Hopkins trade, which Cobb claims happened while he was negotiating to become a Texan, as a "red flag" for the future failure of the O'Brien Era. That trade occurred on March 16, 2020. Cobb signed his deal on April 1, 2020. So dude, you still chose to come to Houston, despite seeing the "red flags." You grabbed the cash, which is fine, but don't bellyache about it like you were blindsided or something.

If we are indeed embarking on a period where former Texans from the dark ages of 2020 and 2021 are speaking up, I am totally here for it, but let's start dishing on Jack Easterby, fellas. Let's get to the REALLY juicy stuff, okay?

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at, on Instagram at, and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast