Surprisingly, the Houston Texans will not win Super Bowl 51. It’s time for a front office change. They should can General Manager Rick Smith and beg Coach Bill O’Brien to stay as Head Coach and Director of Football Operations. If owner Bob McNair wishes to be kind to Smith, he should remain as General Manager but not have any control over player recruiting selection, contracts, hiring, or firing. It’s time for O’Brien to get those duties so that he may control the destiny of this team.
The Texans looked very solid in their Wildcard Playoff game against Oakland with a 27-14 win. Brock Osweiler, the far-too-expensive quarterback, looked more confident and threw with greater accuracy than he had the entire season. Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel’s defense looked superb. Jadeveon Clowney looked like the superstar that his basic talent and athletic ability would suggest. The defense, #1 in the NFL, looked very strong against the New England Patriots. There’s a limit to what they can do, however, especially when the Texans’ offense was on the field so briefly that the defense never had a reasonable chance to rest.
Here’s the problem brewing. The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a story last weekend that Texans owner Bob McNair expected Coach Bill O’Brien’s team to win the first playoff game. Otherwise, O’Brien might have been looking for a job along with Smith. McNair has every reason to be short with Smith. The revolving door quarterback mess needs to come to an end. Hiring Brock Osweiler appeared a hasty decision as well as an expensive one. Coach O’Brien, however, has picked up the pieces of Rick Smith’s mess during the past three years and coached a mediocre team into being a pretty competitive one. Expect nothing less of O’Brien, who is a protégé of the brilliant Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots. O’Brien actually is a superb coach and has the ability, like Belichick, to serve as the general manager or at least the director of football operations, for any team he coaches. O’Brien was superb in recruiting during his brief tenure as Head Coach at Penn State.
The Texans’ win against Oakland without J.J. Watt and without a particularly strong quarterback makes O’Brien look even better. While McNair confirmed that O’Brien has a safe job, O’Brien may quit to go on the market for an NFL team that would allow him to recruit players as manager as well as fulfilling the head coaching duties. McNair should not allow that to happen.
With a decent quarterback, this Texans team should have at least been in the AFC Championship if not in Super Bowl 51 in their home stadium.