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Theory: Bill O'Brien Is Simply The Latest In A Long Line Of Patriots' Castoffs Who Won't Succeed Outside New England

I guess the Houston Texans should just go ahead and fire the guy who oversaw a 9-7 record in his first year as a head coach? And played four QBs to get there? Because we're doomed, you see. Ty Schalter said so.

Not Bill O'Brien, so the Texans are doomed.
Not Bill O'Brien, so the Texans are doomed.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been written (e.g., here) about how the coaches who served on Bill Belichick's staff in New England have failed to approximate the success they experienced with the Patriots once they left the warm embrace of Belichick's bosom. You might think that Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien, fresh off his time in charge at Penn State in the wake of the Joe Paterno scandal and after improving a Texans team that went 2-14 in 2013 to 9-7 in 2014, would be immune from that treatment.  At least until O'Brien actually, you know, demonstrated that he couldn't get it done as a head coach for a season or two.

In the eyes of Vice Sports' Ty Schalter, you'd be wrong. Schalter writes in part:

The National Football League can't get enough of Bill Belichick's dirty laundry.

Teams have been rummaging through The Hoodie's hamper for years, trying stuff on in a vain attempt to get The Patriot Way to rub off on them. The Houston Texans are taking this league-wide habit to an obsessive new level, practically swaddling themselves in old duds—and the result is going to stink.

Schalter then provides examples of Patriots coaches and players who have struggled once they left Belichick before concluding:

The not-so-hidden truth? Belichick himself is the difference. He's the Patriot Way. He made Tim Wright, Tully Banta-Cain, Deion Branch and Mike Vrabel into stars; when they lost their edge or wanted too much money, he let them go and called the next man up. As such, there is something the rest of the NFL can learn from Belichick: If he can't get any more use out of a player or coach, chances are you won't be able to, either.

Sorry, Texans fans, but your quarterback of the future isn't in minicamp—and your coach of the future might not be, either.

In summary: Bill O'Brien (and Ryan Mallett, and Brian Hoyer, and anyone else who leaves New England) will fail in Houston because Belichick has decided they are no longer useful or can be replaced. Punch holes in that theory, or applaud the wisdom behind it, in the Comments below.