By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
UPDATE: Bill O’Brien later told reporters he was just joking about sleeping on a cot in his office. “No, no cot,” he said. “I don’t have a cot in my office. They took it and ran with it, I was kidding.”
BOSTON (CBS) — Being an NFL coach means working outrageous amounts of hours to have your team prepared, and that’s just if they’re playing on Sunday. Take away three days of preparation and the hours can get even longer. If you’re crazy enough, preparing for a Thursday night game could upend your entire life.
That’s essentially what’s happening to Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien right now.
The former Patriots offensive coordinator knows how tough his old team is going to be, even on a short week and potentially starting a third-string rookie at quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. O’Brien is smart enough to take the Patriots seriously as long as he’s staring at Bill Belichick on the other sideline, and intense enough to basically live at the Texans’ home stadium in order to prepare for the game.
O’Brien and the Texans have to play on the road in a Thursday night game for the first time in his tenure. When asked about what changes with the coaching staff in light of that situation, O’Brien said, “We sleep here instead of at home” – “here” being NRG Stadium in Houston.
Reporters pressed O’Brien further on it, to which he retorted, “Do I look like I’m kidding? Do I look fresh as a daisy right now?”
Bill Belichick offered the highest of praise for his former OC when asked about the credit O’Brien gave him for his success.
“I can’t say enough about really everything with Bill; his personal qualities, how committed he is to his family, how committed he was to the football team, how hard he worked. He had a lot of passion and energy and that was very well-received and he does an excellent job of coaching. Having that coaching style of tough, aggressive, hard-nosed, but at the same time an excellent communicator … I learned an awful lot having him here, so I appreciate whatever comments or compliments he might’ve given me but at the same time I learned a lot from having him on our staff and learning from his coaching style and the abilities that he has as a football coach.”
So expect a disheveled, perhaps zombie-like O’Brien on the sidelines come Thursday night in Foxboro. But you may also have to expect a Texans team that’s on top of its game after the coaching staff worked extreme overtime to get them ready. They may have needed it, considering when they played the Patriots last season they were thoroughly outclassed in their own stadium on Sunday Night Football.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at email@example.com.