It's that time of year again when the NFL's 'musical chairs' version of job placement gets into full swing, and the Houston Texans have obviously been one of the more active teams in the coaching vortex of 2014. It's often hard to keep up with the rumors, Tweets, and random news stories to get a complete picture of who's coming and going. That is especially true when the 'official' announcements are being held back until the staff is fully intact. So stick with BRB, and we'll organize all the information for you and keep you updated as things take shape.
It is not unusual for a new NFL head coach to bring in his own staff, and Bill O'Brien has certainly done just that in his efforts to turn around the Texans. The only two coaches remaining in place from last season are Bill Kollar and Bob Ligashesky.
Here is a snapshot of where things stand today:
|ROLE||HOUSTON TEXANS||INBOUND FROM||OUTBOUND FROM TEXANS||NEW TEAM, ROLE|
|HEAD COACH||Bill O'Brien||Penn State, Head Coach||Gary Kubiak||RAVENS, Off. Coord.|
|ASSISTANT HEAD COACH||Jim Bernhardt||Penn State, Asst. H.C.||Wade Phillips||(TBD)|
|DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR||Romeo Crennel||Chiefs, Head Coach 2012||Wade Phillips||(TBD)|
|OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR||n/a||n/a||Rick Dennison||RAVENS, QB Coach|
|OFFENSIVE LINE||Paul Dunn||ATL Falcons, OL Coach||John Benton||DOLPHINS, Asst OL Coach|
|QUARTERBACKS||George Godsey||Patriots, Tight Ends Coach||Karl Dorrell||Vanderbilt, Off. Coord.|
|RUNNING BACKS||Charles London||Penn State, RB's Coach||Chick Harris||(TBD)|
|WIDE RECEIVERS||Stan Hixon||Penn State, Asst. H.C. & W.R.||Larry Kirksey||(TBD)|
|TIGHT ENDS||(TBD)||(TBD)||Brian Pariani||RAVENS, T.E. Coach|
|DEFENSIVE LINE||Bill Kollar||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|LINEBACKERS||Mike Vrabel||Ohio State, DL Coach||Reggie Herring||BEARS, LB Coach|
|DEFENSIVE BACKS||John Butler||Penn State, Def. Coord.||Vance Joseph||BENGALS, DB Coach|
|ASSISTANT DEFENSIVE BACKS||Anthony Midget||Penn State, Safeties Coach||Perry Carter||(TBD)|
|SPECIAL TEAMS||Bob Ligashesky||Texans, Asst. S.T. Coach||Joe Marciano||(TBD)|
|ASSISTANT SPECIAL TEAMS||Doug Colman||Coastal Carolina, S.T. Coach||n/a||n/a|
|STRENGTH & CONDITIONING||Craig Fitzgerald||Penn State, Str. & Cond.||Cedric Smith||(TBD)|
Keep in mind that this is still considered unofficial, and we'll update it as things become more clear. The Baltimore Ravens grabbed THREE of our former coaches?!! They sure seem to respect the Texans with the number of former players and coaches that have headed there over the last few years.
History of the Texans' New Coaches
To keep from drowning you in too much at one time, I'll take this off-season to review a coach or two per article. We may as well start at the top and work through the rest as things become more 'official' over the next couple of weeks.
HEAD COACH BILL O'BRIEN
2014: Houston Texans - Head Coach
2012 - 2013: Penn State - Head Coach
2007 - 2011: N.E. Patriots - WR & QB Coach; Offensive Coordinator
2005 - 2006: Duke - QB Coach; Offensive Coordinator
2003 - 2004: Maryland - RB Coach
1998 - 2002: Georgia Tech - RB & QB Coach; Offensive Coordinator
1995 - 1997: Georgia Tech - Offensive Graduate Assistant
1993 - 1994: Brown - TE and ILB Coach
Bill played defensive end and linebacker for Brown from 1990 - 1992. This is where he developed a relationship with Jim Bernhardt, who was his position coach.
O'Brien got his coaching start at Brown, where he first coached tight ends and then inside linebackers. Bernhardt was the defensive coordinator at that time. Jim Bernhardt is coming to the Texans as Bill's "right hand man" and possibly as the assistant head coach. We'll focus on Jim in the next installment of this series.
The next three years of his career were spent as a graduate assistant with Georgia Tech. Head Coach George O'Leary was looking for an apprentice to groom, and Jim Bernhardt recommended Bill O'Brien. From 1998 through 2000, he coached running backs. In 2001 and 2002, Bill was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was also the assistant head coach in 2002.
In 2001, QB George Godsey threw for 3,085 yards with 18 touchdowns. George is coming to the Texans to work for O'Brien as the quarterbacks coach after spending the last two years with the Patriots as their tight ends coach. More on George in 'Part II' of this series.
University of Maryland & Duke
Bill went on to coach running backs at the University of Maryland for two years, and then spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator at Duke.
NFL - Patriots
O'Brien got his first experience in the NFL when the New England Patriots hired him as an offensive assistant in 2007. One year later, he was promoted to coach the wide receivers. He then became the quarterbacks coach and offensive play-caller in 2009 when Josh McDaniels departed to become the head coach for the Denver Broncos. O'Brien was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011.
In January 2012, Penn State hired Bill to replace Joe Paterno as the head football coach. On July 24th of that same year, the NCAA hammered Penn State with crippling sanctions as a result of the sexual abuse scandal from the years prior to O'Brien arriving there. He bravely accepted the role as head coach, knowing that it would be a tough situation. Penn State was banned from post-season play (bowl games) for four years, and lost forty scholarships over four years. Players were also free to transfer out of the school to attend another NCAA program unrestricted. Very few players left, and Bill led them to a 15-9 record over two seasons.
NFL - Texans
Bob McNair convinced O'Brien to return to the NFL as your Houston Texans' Head Coach, and 2014 begins a new era.
More to come later on the rest of the coaching staff that is being assembled to lead your team out of the abyss of 2013. Feel free to share your initial thoughts on any of the new coaches, departing coaches, or other thoughts of the day.