D.J. Swearinger was released by the Houston Texans yesterday. Late on Sunday night (Monday morning), Swearinger broke the news in a goodbye message from his Instagram account. The Texans have not commented on the specifics of why Swearinger was released, but yesterday we did highlight some speculation that has surfaced that may have contributed to his dismissal.
Embedded in that article, and THIS one, is audio that someone captured during a recent coach's seminar at Notre Dame, where Texans head coach Bill O'Brien shared some of his coaching philosophy. If you haven't listened to it, I highly suggest that you do. It provides an image of a no-nonsense, passionate leader who knows how to motivate and inspire to develop a winning team.
The full audio is HERE and embedded here:
One area of interest (from 15:30 to 16:45) is O'Brien's example of "versatility v. entitlement," where he describes the following situation:
O'Brien emphasizes versatility over entitlement: "That's what we're trying to get with our guys in Houston, is to be versatile players and tell them that it's the more they can do. Let's go back to entitlement real quick. One of the things that I do is I have a team meeting, and then following the team meeting I have a special teams meeting. The first time we did this in OTAs, and I'll never forget this, we had a special teams meeting and like four or five guys, and I still need to improve this THIS year, four or five guys, as soon as we broke the team meeting and we're going into the special teams meeting, four or five guys stand up and they walk out."
O'Brien continues: "So I go out in the hallway, and I said; 'where the BLEEP are you going?' [O'Brien then references an unknown player as responding with]: 'Well we don't do special teams, coach.' [Then O'Brien counters]: 'You don't do special teams?!! You better go back in there, because the way you're going to make the team is through special teams.' One guy looks at me and he said: 'make the team? I was a second round draft pick!' [O'Brien]: 'I don't care what draft pick you were, that was just where you were picked. Once the draft's over, now you gotta come in here and earn your keep every day; the more you can do.' So communicating the strategy of team in Houston is a big deal, and we're still working on that."
Was it D.J. Swearinger that O'Brien was referencing in that example? It sure seems to fit when you connect the dots and the latest turn of events.
This is really fantastic stuff! I'm loving this coach's approach to management more every day. O'Brien could be a CEO in the private sector, or a senior commander in the military with this type of leadership. We are privileged to have him as the head coach of the Houston Texans.