JJ Watt and Bill O'Brien had heated exchange before coach's firing, ESPN reports

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020
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The post-Bill O'Brien era in Houston has begun. In the video, David Nuno breaks down what happened on the first day of business since the former head coach's firing.

Bill O'Brien got into a heated exchange with Houston Texans star J.J. Watt during a recent practice, ESPN has confirmed.

Watt on Wednesday said he has no "ill will" toward O'Brien, but said he is looking forward to a "fresh start" after the coach/general manager was fired following the Texans' loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

WATCH: ESPN Houston's John Granato breaks down the reported J.J. Watt-Bill O'Brien fracas

The incident, which also included defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver, took place in the week leading up to the winless Texans' Week 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

The Texans fell to 0-4 with their loss this past Sunday to the Vikings, and O'Brien was fired as head coach and general manager a day later.

Sources confirmed to ESPN that "a verbal blowup at practice" occurred two weeks ago, with one source telling ESPN's Dianna Russini that the incident was when O'Brien "lost the team."

Romeo Crennel was named interim coach heading into this week's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

SEE ALSO: Romeo Crennel brings wealth of experience as Texans' interim head coach

"I do think that there's an energy and excitement and we're looking forward to going out and getting a win and getting going 1-0," Watt said. "That's our goal."

Watt said after the loss to Minnesota that the Texans "obviously have to do something different."

"We're 0-4, whatever we're doing isn't working," Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, said Sunday. "Something needs to change, something needs to be different."

RELATED: Winless Texans fire Bill O'Brien after 6 years in Houston