Gaine was hired to replace Rick Smith in January 2018 after Smith took a leave of absence to be with his wife while she fought cancer. Smith was too nice. The Texans need a tough General Manager who is will to make tough deals and trades and who is unwilling to take guff from the players and their representatives.
The Texans went 11-5 in Gaine’s first season in charge after he spent the 2017 as vice president of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills. This stint was his second with the Texans after he worked for them from 2014-16 as director of player personnel.
Senior vice president of football administration Chris Olsen will run the team’s football operations while the Texans search for a new general manager.
It’s unclear what led to Gaine’s dismissal. Though his first season was a success, Gaine had been criticized for failing to improve the team’s porous offensive line after Deshaun Watson was sacked an NFL-leading 62 times last season. Precisely. If that wasn’t grounds for dismissal, nothing was. The Texans have needed to build a strong offensive line since 2002. With talent such as Watson, JJ Watt, and the excellent receivers, the Texans should be a strong playoff team instead of limping along as they have for several years.
Watson played every game in his second year after having season-ending knee surgery as a rookie, but he was hurt for a good part of the season while dealing with a partially collapsed lung and broken ribs from taking hit after hit.
Gaine drafted Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard with the 23rd overall pick in the draft, but some wondered if Howard was the right choice with other more seasoned linemen from bigger schools and more powerful conferences available.
Gaine also attempted to beef up the line in free agency but faced criticism there after signing injury-prone left tackle Matt Kalil. A Pro Bowl selection as a rookie in 2012 after the Vikings picked him fourth overall, Kalil missed all of last season with a knee injury and sat out all but two games in 2016 with a hip injury.