When asked if he sees similarities between Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, like most coaches, said he doesn’t like to compare players. He was, however very complementary of the San Francisco 49ers new starting quarterback saying “He’s a very talented guy. He’s got a very quick release, very good instincts as to how to play the position, accurate passer.” He also said Brady and Garoppolo “are very different players just based on their measurables, their size and their experience.”
O’Brien knows the process of getting a quarterback ready to start midseason too well, having had his own quarterback carousel in Houston. He has a lot of respect for Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff getting Garoppolo ready to play after the midseason mark. “Kyle does a great job. He’s one of the best play callers in this league, and play designers. I think they do things to suit the skill set of their quarterback and the players around them.”
When scouting Garoppolo for the game on Sunday, O’Brien said they will look most closely at the 49ers game vs. the Bears but because of the limited snaps they also have to look at the few starts Garoppolo had inn New England. The Texans also had a joint training camp with the Patriots so they do have some limited experience facing Garoppolo.
I think you have to really focus on what Kyle’s doing with him and watch the Chicago game and study that, but also with the limited snaps that he has in San Francisco you have to go back and you have to watch the games that he played in New England. You know, we scrimmaged against them in training camp, against the Patriots, and so we watched some of that. You just have to go back and watch as much as you can to get yourself ready for his skill set and what he can do.
O’Brien also watched Garoppolo coming out of Eastern Illinois.
We did scout him, went there and visited with him. I think he was at the Northwestern pro day, we watched him there. Thought very highly of Jimmy. Jimmy is very smart, great guy. Guy's got a good energy about him. He’s got good leadership qualities and he's got a lot of talent. We thought that he could definitely be a good quarterback in this league.
Before O’Brien became the Texans head coach in 2014, he spent five years on the Patriots coaching staff in various offensive positions including being the offensive coordinator for one year in 2011. He served as the head coach of Penn State from 2012-2013.