Mike Hull: ‘Bill O’Brien Was The Best Coach I’ve Ever Had’
Bill O’Brien’s reputation as a player’s coach was made evident to Penn State fans pretty quickly during his Happy Valley years. The strong relationships he had with a handful of 2012 stars like Mike Mauti and Mike Zordich is well-documented. Four more Nittany Lions became the latest to heap praise on their former coach at the Senior Bowl yesterday.
Mike Hull, Adrian Amos, Deion Barnes, and Donovan Smith all lauded O’Brien in a video interview at the Senior Bowl with Texans.com, with Hull going so far as to call O’Brien “the best coach I’ve ever had.”
“I have so much respect for him and he knows so much about the game of football,” Hull said. “He’s taught me a lot about the x’s and o’s and situational football and I can’t thank him enough for it.”
In his first year as coach of the Houston Texans, O’Brien finished 9-7 and battled for a playoff spot despite injuries just one year after the team finished 2-14. He also brought many of the O’Brien-isms that made him such an unique coach to Houston with him.
“Oh man, he meant a lot. He doesn’t like to take credit for it, but he was a big part of us stepping up, staying focused, and moving on from everything that was going on,” Smith, an offensive tackle, said. “He was a players’ coach, he was always honest. We just appreciated and respected him as a man and we love him still ’til this day.”
“We loved him there,” defensive end Barnes said. “He’s a business-like coach, gets it done, as he does with the Texans. We love him. He’s the type of coach we all rallied behind. We wanted to win for him, for sure.”
The video won’t embed, but you can check it out here.
Photo: Dave Cole/Onward State