9:16 AM PT -- Another twist ... ex-Texans WR Jaelen Strong seems to be backing up Irvin's report.
"This is who Bill O Brien is," Strong wrote in response to Irvin's ESPN segment.
"Y’all thought it was my fault I wasn’t seeing the field. The man simply didn’t like me because I was a product of my environment. PERFORMANCE means nothing. He wasted my first 3 years ultimately ruining my NFL career. I never knew how to kiss ass."
8:56 AM PT -- DeAndre Hopkins is now speaking out about Irvin's claims -- saying, "This is being blown way out of proportion."
"As I’ve said before, I enjoyed and am proud of my time with the Texans. I have the utmost respect for Coach O’Brien and that will not change."
He added, "Now, I’m ready to play for the Cardinals."
Irvin said on ESPN's "Get Up" on Wednesday that O'Brien had called Hopkins into a meeting recently over the wideout being "too influential" in the Texans' locker-room.
Irvin claims the whole confrontation started out with O'Brien saying, "Hey, uh, the last time I had to have a meeting like this it was with Aaron Hernandez."
FYI, O'Brien was the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots in 2011, when Hernandez was a star tight end for the team. Hernandez was later accused of killing multiple people before taking his own life in prison. So, yeah, it's not a name to be thrown around lightly.
The Playmaker says Hopkins was blown away by the comment -- saying, "I've never been in any trouble" -- but Irvin says things got even worse later in the meeting.
Irvin claims O'Brien was upset that Hopkins brought the mothers of his children around the team, saying, "He told De'Andre he doesn't like that he has his baby mamas around sometimes."
"And, from that, I think the relationship just went bad," Irvin added.
Hopkins and a 4th-rounder were ultimately traded Monday for running back David Johnson, a 2nd-round pick and a future 4th-rounder ... a shocking move considering the Vikings received a 1st-round pick AND MORE for Stefon Diggs later in the day.
We made multiple attempts to reach the Texans and O'Brien for comment -- so far, no word back.