Bill O'Brien certainly looked the part of a guy who was on the hammer end of one of the biggest scoring explosions in NFL history on Monday night.
O'Brien raised his voice several times in a tense postgame encounter with the media. His eyes told the story of a coach who had run the emotional gauntlet in the four hours before he reached the podium.
"It was 30-23, you know. It wasn't 50-0," he said. "The thing is, you can't do that. You can't turn the ball over. You can't field a kick, bobble the kick. Can't give up shot plays. You can't have 12 men on the field on third down to give them a first down. We just can't do those things, and with all that being said, we're one onside kick away and these questions are like we lost 50-0. We lost by a touchdown. With all of that stuff that we did, we have to improve it. We gotta coach it better and we gotta play better."
"It's very frustrating when you turn the ball over on your own 2-yard line. The whole thing's frustrating. Players are frustrated, coaches are frustrated, but again, it's not like, again, we're an onside kick away, which, we almost recovered. Almost only counts in horseshoes, but we're an onside kick away from having a chance to tie the game with all of that being said that we did wrong. It's a good football team, give Pittsburgh a lot of credit. They played better and they also coached better than us."
It's been a tough stretch for the 3-4 Texans, who have dropped three straight games that could have been won with sharper play in key moments. A first-year coach, O'Brien is on a crash-course of how excruciating life can be in the NFL's big chair.