Sean Pendergast

Texan Players React On Twitter to Bill O'Brien Firing

J.J. Watt posted a tweet that would appear to be some shade thrown at Bill O'Brien.
J.J. Watt posted a tweet that would appear to be some shade thrown at Bill O'Brien. Photo by Eric Sauseda
The year 2020 is a beautiful time if you're into reacting not only to big news, but also reacting to the reactions of big news. I know, real multilayered stuff, right? But social media has given us that platform, several platforms really, to sound off with our own opinions, and also tell others how silly THEIR opinions are.

So it goes nowadays that when something like Bill O'Brien getting fired as head coach and general manager of the Houston Texans goes down around 4 p.m. on a Monday, we immediately scurry over to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to see what the players are saying. If you're wondering how the players on the Texans felt about O'Brien, perhaps it was quite telling that it seemed to take until the following morning for anybody to post anything, and when they did, it seemed to be thinly veiled shots at their former head coach.

Let's be honest, if the players liked O'Brien, they'd have been crawling over each other to be the first to throw up some prayer hands emojis and a flowery song lyric about how much they will miss him. Odds are, most of them are not big fans of him personally, so they wait an evening, let the body get cold, and then pile on the next day. At least, it appears that way.

You tell me — is this tweet by J.J. Watt of a clear sky shining over NRG Stadium from 10:41 a.m. the day after O'Brien's ouster a metaphoric "life is so much better now" tweet, or just a coincidence? (For the record, there no other tweets on Watt's timeline, that I found at least, that remotely resemble this one:

Before you answer my question, I'll remind you that J.J. Watt had this to say following Sunday's loss to Minnesota to fall to 0-4 on the season:
Also, I will remind you that, before the season, here is the audio of the gushing compliments Watt had to say about his new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver....


And three minutes later, Watt gave this generic, vanilla answer about O'Brien's leadership skills (or lack thereof, apparently)....


I'm gonna go with "J.J. Watt? NOT an O'Brien fan!" for $200, Alex.

Moving along, I think people are very curious exactly what Deshaun Watson thinks of Bill O'Brien at this point. After all, it was Watson who took up for O'Brien most adamantly after the playoff loss to Kansas City, going as far as to say "I love that man." Well, the love became less evident over the last four weeks, with Watson oftentimes looking sedated on the bench as the offense continued to crumble under the weight of O'Brien's useless playbook.

Watson has tweeted nothing about O'Brien (telling, by the way), but one good window into what Deshaun might be thinking is to follow his personal QB coach, Quincy Avery. Here was what he tweeted during the Chiefs-Patriots Monday Night Football game this week, the day O'Brien was fired....
Bienemy is the offensive coordinator in Kansas City, and a rising star in the coaching ranks. So let's assume that Deshaun would gladly accept him as the next Texans' head coach.

Hey, one guy who did tweet on Monday night, whose opinion most Texans fans are curious about, is wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. As it turns out, trading Hopkins was the beginning of the end for O'Brien. Hopkins took the high road....
From there, the only real reactions to O'Brien's firing that I could find came from the peanut gallery, filled with disgruntled former players like cornerback Aaron Colvin, who O'Brien cut after he lost the game against the Saints in Week 1 in 2019....

Hey, I'm no big O'Brien fan, but Aaron Colvin can stick it. Be better at football, and then you can throw shade. Loser.

Oh, and Chalres James, former "Hard Knocks" darling turned journeyman cornerback, he tweeted, too....
The answer is "No", Charles. You cannot. You're no better at your job than O'Brien was at his.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter 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 afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast