As you can probably tell, I am quite excited to see the Houston Texans finally part ways with head coach and GM Bill O’Brien. After an 0-4 start to the season, the McNair family has decided to make a move that was long overdue.
During his tenure, O’Brien led the Texans to a 52-48 record, including a 2-4 playoff record. He is set to be replaced by Romeo Crennel, who has been in Houston since 2014 as a defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
Crennel will look to help the team recover from a disastrous start to the season and move them in a positive direction. With over 35 years as an NFL coach, his years of experience — along with his five Super Bowl championships — should help right this unsteady team, despite his previous 28-55 record as a head coach. Crennel will provide the Texans with something they deeply need: consistency.
TEXANS BUILT TO FAIL
More notable than Bill O’Brien’s mediocre coaching record, are his questionable decisions as GM.
O’Brien has made numerous trades to acquire average players like RB Duke Johnson, CB Keion Crossen, and CB Gareon Conley. More worrying, however, are three major trades of which the Texans were on the worse side.
Then, O’Brien followed that up with arguably his biggest trade — though not his worst — shipping away two first-round picks (2020, 2021), a 2021 second-round pick, OT Julie’n Davenport, and CB Johnson Bademosi for OT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick, and a 2021 sixth-round pick. This is seen as one of his worst trades due to dealing away numerous high draft picks, which is even more problematic as we move on from O’Brien.
His last — and absolute worst — trade saw him deal away their 2020 fourth-round pick and, even worse, their All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins. In exchange, Houston only received a 2020 second-round pick, a 2021 fourth-round pick, and RB David Johnson along with his hefty contract. Right now, the Texans should be in the running for the first-overall pick in next year’s draft — but due to the terrible dealings of Bill O’Brien, Houston is essentially playing for Miami’s draft positioning. The Texans’ ability to compete has been crippled, and Romeo Crennel will need to make some magic to turn this team and their hopes around.
Now, assuming the Texans keep Crennel to the end of the year, we can expect them to look to other coaching candidates to fill that spot, help develop Deshaun Watson, and get this team going on the right foot in 2021.
Let’s take a look at a few options who would make for an interesting hire. I am going to focus on offensive-minded head coaches, as we would be able to see the fastest and best turnarounds with a coach who focuses on offense first.
Kansas City Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy
Okay, does much really need to be said here? Eric Bieniemy was a hot commodity last year and will be just as much this year. Patrick Mahomes notwithstanding, Bieniemey has helped Andy Reid to create one of the of the most prolific offenses in recent memory. He has shown himself to be a master of creating mismatches and opportunities. If anyone can help Watson develop, learn, and grow into a long-term franchise quarterback, he can.
New England Patriots OC Josh McDaniels
Now, I’m going to start off by saying that this is my least-favorite candidate. Josh McDaniels has been steady in the ranks of New England and has helped Bill Belichick create arguably one of the most consistent offenses in football. McDaniels’ foray into coaching in Denver was met with criticism and his “attempt” at coaching in Indy was nothing short of a disaster. There has long been word of him taking over in New England once Belichick decides to retire. There are many reasons he may stay with the Patriots, and honestly… I would hate to see him move to Houston, as I feel he will continue to cause the problems for which Bill O’Brien was known.
Baltimore Ravens OC Greg Roman
This will be another popular name during this coming offseason. Greg Roman has helped completely transform the Ravens offense in recent years. Ravens offenses have never been very dangerous; always just very average and middle-of-the-pack. Between the drafting of Lamar Jackson and bringing in Greg Roman, he has helped create an offense built around Jackson’s skill set. Watson is not quite as mobile and run-heavy as Jackson, but Greg Roman could definitely help build a stronger run game in Houston, as well as build a unique offense around the abilities and talents of Deshaun Watson.
Other notable names to keep an eye on:
- Buffalo Bills OC Brian Daboll
- San Francisco 49ers DC Robert Saleh
- DC Wade Phillips
- Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney
Cross your fingers, Texans fans, that the organization hires someone competent and talented. So… steer of Adam Gase and everything should be fine!
(Featured Image Credit: HoustonTexans.com)