By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston

By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)

BOSTON (CBS) — Two episodes in, the new season of HBO’s Hard Knocks with the Houston Texans is shaping up to be one of the show’s most entertaining seasons. The team is filled with freak athletes and colorful characters – J.J. Watt is both.

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But the real star of the show here is head coach Bill O’Brien. On a team filled with former Patriots both on the roster and coaching staff, there’s a clear New England imprint on the team – and that includes how they deal with the media.

Offering a little insight into how Bill Belichick schools the Patriots on fulfilling their media obligations without actually saying anything, O’Brien talks to the players about how to handle tough questions from reporters – and it’s straight out of the Belichick playbook.

He says in the below clip: “Remember guys, they have a job to do. We’re very respectful of their job. They’re a conduit to the fans. In the end you’re in the control of the interview.

“If you’re asked a question and you really don’t understand the question or you really don’t want to answer the question, here’s some suggestions…’I’m working hard.’ ‘I’m trying to be a good teammate.’ ‘I’m trying to go out there every day and do my job.’ ‘I’m taking it one day at a time.’

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“Don’t comment on other players…When you talk to the media, you just worry about speaking for yourself.”

What’s not seen in the above clip is O’Brien testing his media policy with the players, and it’s like a classic Patriots press conference.

“What’s your impressions of Brian Cushing so far as a player?”

“I’m just here trying to make the team better.”

They’re in mid-season form already.

The only surprising part of this is that they actually respect the media. You wouldn’t get that from the way Belichick snorts and grunts at even the most innocuous questions. But the philosophy is simple: respect their job, fulfill your obligations, but don’t say anything. Minimize the distractions.

The show is also worth watching to see the human side of former Patriot Vince Wilfork, including an amusing scene involving his foot and a metal file. Patriots legend Mike Vrabel is brash and hard-nosed as the linebackers coach. And J.J. Watt is not only a physical freak, but a borderline perfect human.

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Besides the entertaining lectures, O’Brien appears to be a strong leader for the Texans. He’s determined to make them a perennial contender, and emulating Belichick’s coaching style isn’t a bad way to do it.