He painted a different picture Monday.
When SportsRadio 610 Texans insider John McClain asked O'Brien what he learned from Bill Belichick when it comes to having control of personnel, the coach said New England's setup is "totally different" with Bill Belichick running the show and the Texans doing it by committee.
"It's different. Again, I don't really want to get all into that, relative to that word ‘control.’ Again, we have a very, very unique setup here. Very unique," O'Brien said. "It's not like anybody else in the league, and I really don't want to get into all of that. With all due respect, it's not because – I respect your question, but it's just different. But I did learn a lot from Bill relative to strategy and evaluation and all those different things. Relative to that, it's just a whole different setup than what they have in New England. Totally different."
The relationship between the Texans and Patriots is impossible to overlook.
O'Brien and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel are among the former Patriots assistants -- influenced by Belichick -- now working for the Texans.
O'Brien was asked Monday about how the Texans function administratively in the wake of the Caserio pursuit, and whether there are any hard feelings after the failed attempt to get him to Houston.
"I think in the NFL – there’s only 32 teams. Sometimes you work in an organization where you know a lot of people and you have a respect for their jobs and what they do and at the end of the day you try to do the best you can to, at times, communicate and maybe you get a chance to work together," O'Brien said. "In that instance it didn't really work out. Whatever happened, happened. There's no hard feelings. We have a lot of respect for the Patriots. I have a lot of respect for Bill (Belichick). I'm very grateful to Bill for the opportunities he gave me, and then obviously I have a lot of close friends on the staff over there that I worked with. So, there's none of that, not on our end."