This has been the most frustrating season ever in the history of the Houston Texans. After going 12-4 last season and making an exit in the playoffs in the second round for the second straight year in a row, expectations were at an all-time high. They took Deandre Hopkins in the first round of the draft to help out Andre Johnson and make the offense a little better. The defense was much improved and with the additions of Ed Reed and getting Brian Cushing back, they could only get better. Two games into the season the team was 2-0 and everything was looking good. Then everything came crashing down during the Ravens game. Matt Schaub had a string of pick six games and lost his job, Brian Cushing got hurt again, Ed Reed did not play up to his regular standards, and Arian Foster got hurt and placed on the Injured Reserve. To add to all of those issues the offensive line play has been up and down all year and then the Indianapolis Colts game happened. The Texans were doing just fine when right before the half Gary Kubiak collapsed. This obviously had an emotional impact on the team and in the second half they collapsed. After the Cardinals game, a small amount of players came out and stated the coaching staff did not make the necessary adjustments and it ended up costing one of those players there job (Ed Reed). This past Sunday, all of the losses in the previous 7 games added up to Andre Johnson, the ever silent, humble, and always loyal Texan walking off the field after getting into an argument with Matt Schaub the backup quarterback, who replaced Case Keenum in the 4th quarter. At this point the rest of the season is a wash. The best thing the Houston Texans can do is evaluate talent and just play out the rest of the season. Where do the Texans go from there?
After the season is over it is time for a change in the wonderful city of Houston. In order for this team to move on there has to be a regime change. From the front office on down everyone must go. Rick Smith, should be fired because he has not shown the ability to evaluate talent well enough to keep it. He definitely has made some hits in JJ Watt, Swearinger, Tate, and even to an extent Kareem Jackson but most of his draft picks have failed miserably. Even his free agent pickups have not worked out very well, Ed Reed was a miserable failure, Daniel Manning played well last year but this year has been a completely different story (up until his injury), there is no way that Brice McCain deserved the contract extension that he got, and the list goes on. I am not sure who I would bring in to replace him but some candidates I would look at are Will Lewis who is the director of pro personnel for the Kansas City Chiefs, Marc Ross who is the vice director of pro personnel for the NY Giants, Pat Moriarty the vice president of football administration for the Baltimore Ravens, and Russ Ball the vice president of football administration for the Green Bay Packers.
Whichever General Manager Bob McNair chooses to hire, then has to make a choice that will make a huge impact on the future of the Texans, the hiring of the next head coach and leader of the team. There are a number of candidates to choose from including: Adam Gase the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, Dave Toub the Chief’s special teams coach, Greg Roman the 49ers offensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer the Bengals defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles the Cardinals defensive coordinator, Lovie Smith the former Bears coach, David Shaw the Stanford coach, Jon Gruden the ESPN analyst and former Bucs coach, Ray Horton, Browns defensive coordinator, and Kevin Sumlin the Texas A&M head coach. At this point my feeling is that the Houston Texans will go with a proven coach in the NFL. If I was Bob McNair I would lean towards Jon Gruden or Lovie Smith but I would not mind David Shaw or Kevin Sumlin if that is the route he chooses to take. Keep in mind that I don’t think that a whole change to the defensive scheme needs to happen so in my mind Jon Gruden is the right guy for the job. In the draft it is obvious to me that in the first round you have to go QB, OT, or DE depending on who is available. If the season ended today the Texan’s would be picking 3rd overall in the draft, if we end the season at 3rd overall I would choose Clowney, Barr, or Matthews depending on who is available. The only way that I can see the Texan’s taking a QB is if the new coach comes in and does not think that Keenum can get the job done. If that is the case then the team will look at Mariota, Hundley, Manziel, or Boyd. From there I cannot tell you how long it is going to take to make this team competitive again. If everything goes right, it could be a one year turn around but if things go bad then we could be looking at least at three to four years before this team is even competing in the playoffs again. Only time will tell what is in store for the Houston Texans.