A look into OC Matt LaFleur’s offensive staff
Name: Pat O’Hara
Role: Quarterbacks Coach
NFL Coaching Experience: 3 seasons
Positions Coached: Offensive Assistant (Houston, 2015-2017)
Collegiate Coaching Experience: None
Coaching Track Record
Tennessee Titans Quarterbacks Coach Pat O’Hara is no stranger to the limelight. In fact, there’s a good chance he had a role in some of your all time favorite football flicks.
O’Hara spent his professional playing career as a quarterback bouncing between NFL clubs and Arena Football teams.
He made a name for himself in the Arena Football League and earned some jewelry. O’Hara claimed three ArenaBowl Championships. He even was cast in the unique role of a player-coach - in which he was able to coach and play on the team.
Yes. The AFL is strange.
As mentioned above, O’Hara became a journeyman in the film industry. He earned roles either directly in the film, as a stunt double and served as a mentor for actors trying to emulate a football player.
Now, O’Hara has taken a leave of absence from the movie sets and has assumed a role as a coach on the NFL Sidelines.
O’Hara was one of a handful of coaches HC Mike Vrabel plucked away from Houston’s staff.
Serving as an Offensive Assistant, O’Hara’s primary focus centered around helping the quarterbacks.
During his first season in Houston, O’Hara worked with Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and T.J. Yates. Not exactly the cream of the crop.
However, Hoyer threw for over 2,500 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. It was enough offense to aid a solid Texans defense into securing the AFC South crown.
In 2016, the Texans went all in on free agent QB Brock Osweiler. O’Hara’s QB stable included the newly acquired Osweiler, the returning Weeden and fresh off of injured reserve QB Tom Savage. Savage, who was taken in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, missed the entire 2015 season, showed flashes of potential in a brief cameo subbing in for an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Osweiler did not live up to the hype. He threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Despite being surrounded by solid receiving weapons - including one of the best in the game in WR DeAndre Hopkins - Osweiler took a monumental step in the wrong direction. He was one and done in H-Town, despite the team finishing in 1st place for the second consecutive season and a playoff win.
In 2017, the Texans appeared to have finally found the quarterback. QB Deshaun Watson set the league on fire during the first half of the season before suffering a season-ending injury. Watson finished one yard shy of 1700 through the air, adding 19 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He also added a pair of rushing touchdowns to his stat line. He was placed on IR following Week 9 in an injury sustained during practice.
O’Hara worked closely with Watson. In Houston, O’Hara was a part of a team that build a solid relationship with Watson by understanding what he felt comfortable doing offensively. Labeled a “marriage” of college and pro-style offensive schemes, the Texans allowed Watson’s input and tailored the offense to work around what he does best.
The results were undeniable.
Having worked with a quarterback with mobility will only help O’Hara. He is eager to work with QB Marcus Mariota. O’Hara will bring his familiarity of the position, diverse experience in working/coaching various personality types and willingness to establish a “give and take” relationship into the quarterback room.
O’Hara will be the first true Quarterbacks Coach Mariota has had at the professional level. Helping Mariota work through OC Matt LaFleur’s concepts and terminology will come naturally for O’Hara.
With a seasoned staff member like O’Hara in the mix and an offensive-minded LaFleur drawing up the plays, Mariota may finally be surrounded by the mentors needed to help take his game to the next level.