The Texans have dealt with plenty of adversity this season. The latest has come from the sudden disappearance for the rest of the season of a player who really was becoming the NFL’s equivalent of Michael Jordan. But with quarterback Deshaun Watson done for the year, coach Bill O’Brien wants everyone to know the Texans aren’t.
“It’s a very resilient bunch of guys, great veteran leadership in there, and we’ll battle,” O’Brien told reporters on Friday. “We’re not going to give in to what’s out there that the demise of the Houston Texans is upon us. I mean, that’s ridiculous. We’re going to show up and fight and play.”
So what would he say to fans who feel like the air has gone out of the balloon?
“I’d put the air back into the balloon,” O’Brien said. “Our guys will be there on Sunday. Our guys are ready to go. We had a really good practice today, one of our better Friday practices. Injuries occur in the NFL. It’s just the way it is. It’s not unlike any other sport. It’s a contact sport. Things happen and our guys will be ready to go on Sunday. It’s a big game. The Colts are a big rivalry, this organization knows that. We don’t have a great history with the Colts relative to our record, so it’s a big rivalry and we need our fans. We need our fans there loud and give us a great home-field advantage.”
The attitude from O’Brien, who took a Balboa body-lifting punch to the gut on Thursday, is admirable. And it’s not empty hope; as Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson pointed out on Friday’s PFT PM podcast, the Texans realize that neither the 4-3 Jaguars nor the 4-3 Titans are running away with the AFC South. The 3-4 Texans are very much alive for another playoff run.
Of course, they may be in even better shape if they would choose to embrace Colin Kaepernick, whose skills more closely align with the skills of the quarterback they’ve lost. While no one asked O’Brien about Kaepernick (if they did, it didn’t make it to the transcript), O’Brien and plenty of other coaches may have an interesting story to tell at some point in the future regarding the organization’s refusal to consider adding him.