A New Day In Houston
As the 2017 season came to an end for the Houston Texans, questions loomed. Would the head coach be back? Are they going to clean house and start over? Fans did not know what to expect, but over the past few days, they have gotten some much needed clarity.
OB In Charge
Since last week, there were rumors swirling that the head coach, Bill O’Brien, and the general manager, Rick Smith, weren’t seeing eye to eye. Apparently, O’Brien was giving the front office an ultimatum, either Smith goes or he goes. Of course, we will never know how true those rumors were, they could have been overblown.
On Monday, Smith made the announcement that he would be taking a leave of absence to care for his wife. He would be stepping down from the General Manager position, allowing for someone else to take over that role. Smith plans to return, and when he does he will return as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations, one of the titles he already holds. Of course, the circumstances for which he is stepping down are unfortunate but from a football standpoint, the change is necessary.
The Next GM
So now that Smith will no longer be the GM, who will? Apparently, the Texans have a list of people they will be interviewing. The list consists of Nick Caserio and Monti Ossenfort from the Patriots, Brian Gaine from the Bills, and Brian Gutekunst from the Packers. Regardless, there will be a new GM for the Texans which is cause for some optimism.
Along with changes in the front office, there will also be changes to the coaching staff. So far, the Texans have let go of special teams coach Larry Izzo, defensive backs coach John Butler, and running backs coach Charles London. The special teams unit has been abysmal over the years so the change is needed, as well as in the secondary, which struggled mightily this year.
In addition to the position coaches leaving, the defensive coordinator might be leaving as well. This was Mike Vrabel’s first season as the coordinator and while it wasn’t the season he was expecting, he is still getting interest from other teams as a possible head coach. The Lions and Colts have already reached out to him. Quarterback coach, Sean Ryan has something lined up with the Cleveland Browns for a potential offensive coordinator position. While many believe Vrabel and Ryan will be returning, that has yet to be decided.
The 2018 NFL Draft is very important for this team. While the Texans don’t have a 1st or 2nd round pick, the picks they do have are still very important. Hopefully the new GM can make a statement with this upcoming draft and fill the holes this team currently has.