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O’Brien wants a quarterback to be “a partner in the offense”

Bill O'Brien, Tom Brady

CORRECTS SPELLING TO O’BRIEN, INSTEAD OF O’BRIAN - New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien speaks with quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of the AFC championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


No decision will mean more to Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s tenure in Houston than the selection of a franchise quarterback. And O’Brien says that quarterback’s mental makeup will be every bit as important as his physical tools.

O’Brien told Peter King of that when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was playing in O’Brien’s offense in New England, the most important aspect of Brady’s character was that he spent every bit as much time studying the offense as the coaches did.

“I’d be getting texts, calls from Tom on Wednesday night about the third-down package,’’ O’Brien said. “Thursday night I’d be hearing from him 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock about red-zone plays. Obviously, he’s talented, but Tom never stopped thinking about football. When you coach Tom Brady, you’re not coaching with him; you’re a partner in the offense with him. That’s the ideal for a quarterback—someone who cares about it as much as you do.”

Most people expect the Texans to use the first overall pick in the NFL draft on a quarterback like Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel or Fresno State’s Derek Carr. O’Brien says it’s way too early to say what the team will do.

“I just got in the building,’’ he said. “There are so many scenarios. We draft a quarterback there, we trade the pick to someone who’ll give us a lot for it, or we take another position. Lots of time to figure that out.”

Whoever the quarterback is, it’s going to be someone O’Brien thinks will work just as hard as Brady works.