What Bill O’Brien said during his press conference about the DeAndre Hopkins trade, the NFL Draft and operating virtually

Coach Bill O'Brien speak after Texans fall to Chiefs (KPRC)

Assorted media got the opportunity to ask Texans Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien questions for the first time since the NFL scouting combine.

O’Brien had previously addressed fans in a conversation with season ticket holders, but his pre-draft Zoom press conference was the first opportunity to hear extended thoughts on various topics, including, of course, the DeAndre Hopkins trade.

O’Brien answered questions for nearly an hour, and here are the 5 most important things O’Brien discussed.

THE DEANDRE HOPKINS TRADE

Here are O’Brien’s initial thoughts:

“With three years left on his contract, his representatives, himself, myself, our team - we spoke, and we felt like relative to salary cap, future, our team, being able to provide our team with more role players, it was in the best interest of our team to move DeAndre to Arizona. We feel like we made a really good deal with Arizona, we’re so excited we have David Johnson on board here. We got the 40th pick next week in the draft, we’re really excited about that. We wish DeAndre the best in Arizona.”

On talking with Deshaun Watson before trading Hopkins:

“We will keep any conversations with a player private.”

On the Michael Irvin story that O’Brien brought up Aaron Hernandez in a meeting with Hopkins:

“I have no comment on that.”

On not getting a 1st Round Pick back for Deandre Hopkins:

"When you’re trading a player like Hopkins, who has three years left on his deal, and you’re trying to find a trade partner, you’re not talking to 31 other teams. You’re finding a trade partner that will be able to pay DeAndre Hopkins, that was a big part of it. Once we found that team that could afford DeAndre Hopkins in the future, now we begin to negotiate what the value of the trade was. We feel very, very good about being able to get the 40th pick, being able to get David Johnson, we feel really good about when we looked at the analytics of it - based on the production that was leaving our team vs. the production we were bringing in; it’s very incomplete, we have several roster moves left to go, including a draft. We feel very good about the value we got for the trade.

I think the best thing I can tell the fans, is to let it all play out. Let the whole thing play out. Whether it’s that trade or anything else we’ve done. Let’s review it a year from now, two years from now, three years from now, let’s let it all play out."

On trading Hopkins possibly because he asked for a raise:

“It was going to be very difficult to have an elite quarterback, and elite defensive end, an elite left tackle and other players and be able to (give Hopkins a raise). After layers of research, the best decision for our team was to move him to Arizona, and again each deal that comes up like that is very unique. He’s not the first player to ask for a raise, and he won’t be the last, and that’s not anything that has to do with why we moved him, we moved him because we felt that was the best deal for our team relative to this year, next year, two years, three years down the road.”

NEXT WEEK’S NFL DRAFT

On team’s biggest needs:

“We’ve got to add depth at defensive line, I think you’re going to draft who is the best player for your team when you’re picking at that pick. I would say defensive line, we’re looking at safety.”

ON TRYING TO RUN TEAM BUSINESS WITHOUT FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTION

“I think this is going to be a veteran year, you need guys in your system that know what it takes. Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb have been in similar systems. Deshaun Watson has been in contact with these guys that are new to our team. We will begin our offseason program on April 27 and using some weeks up until May 15. We’re going to have Zoom meetings and Discord meetings. With Discord we can show film, and we’re having a staff meeting about that early next week. I feel good about those guys learning, seeing because you can still teach and show film, get up on the board and draw something. Whatever it takes until we can get back together.”


About the Author:

Murrow and Emmy award-winning sports anchor & reporter. Avid traveler, mediocre golfer. Loves good food, good friends and southern rap.