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Eight Questions For The BRB Staff On The Present And Future Of The Houston Texans: Part Two

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The BRB staff combines their considerable combined football knowledge to discuss the current and future of the Houston Texans at the halfway mark of 2015.

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Last week we tried to spark some reasoned conversation with a list of eight questions asked of the BRB staff concerning the current and future status of the Houston Texans.

Here is part two of the series.  See the full list of questions below and scroll down to see if you're thinking along the same line as the BRB staff.

1. Would you have fired RAC sometime this season? If so, is your replacement Vrabel? Someone else?

2. What realistic starting line-up changes would you make on offense?

3. What realistic starting line-up changes would you make on defense?

4. To your trained, football-savvy eye - when you look at the product on the field, to whom do you assign the lion's share of the blame for this season's debacle between Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien?

5. Will Rick Smith be the GM of the Houston Texans in 2016?

6. At this very, very early stage - which college QB do you most covet, specifically for the Houston Texans?

7. The Texans' starting QB in 2016 will most likely be: (a) Someone currently on the Texans roster (b) Someone currently on another NFL team's roster (c) Someone currently playing college football

8. If you could have any current coach to coach the Houston Texans starting next season, would you choose Bill O'Brien (for the sake of continuity and/or you blame Rick Smith almost entirely) - or _________ ? Ground rules for this answer - if you pick a current NFL coach, it has to be a realistic - no Belichick, etc. I consider all college coaches eligible because it's at least reasonable to assume a guy might want to make the jump to the pros.

Tim:

1. I would have relieved Crennel of his duties during the bye week. I actually think the only reason that hasn't happened is because the defense looked as good as it has all season against the Titans. Which is great, except IT WAS AGAINST THE TITANS and in no way should be considered fixed from the abominations visited upon us in Atlanta and Miami.

From an experience standpoint, I suppose I would have elevated Paul Pasqualoni to DC if Crennel had been fired. Not because the defensive line has been any great shakes, but because he's the most experienced guy on the staff and the linebackers haven't exactly lit the world on fire to where you'd say Mike Vrabel should be calling plays.

2. I'd do whatever I could to increase Jaelen Strong's snaps while simultaneously decreasing the snaps any tight end receives. The TEs haven't been a zero in the passing game; they've all been a net negative. So why not get your best or most intriguing players on the field and run four wideout sets with Hopkins, Strong, Shorts, and Washington? It's not like you're running the ball anyway.

3. I'll echo what Weston wrote a few weeks ago and say that I really like the idea of getting Kareem Jackson more time at safety. Give Kevin Johnson more responsibility and do the only thing reasonably available to you in the middle of the season to fix the abysmal safety play.

4. Both are to blame. Bill O'Brien butchered the quarterback situation beyond all comprehension, and I remain hacked off that Arian Foster was playing late in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins blowout (I know, I know...players play, injuries happen, etc.; I still don't think he should have been on the field). Oh, and at this point, George Godsey is not making O'Brien look like the greatest evaluator of playcalling talent.

Rick Smith, though...we'll never know who truly carries the big stick when it comes to player acquisition. All I know is that Rick Smith has not done enough as general manager of the Houston Texans in nine (9!) years here to warrant getting a tenth year.

5. Nope. I think the stage was set for Smith's "promotion" last year, and I expect it to become reality this offseason.

6. Teddy Bridgewater.

7. If I had to guess right now, I'd say Brian Hoyer is back in 2016 and is the Texans' starting quarterback until (1) he poops the bed to a point where a change has to be made/the season is lost or (2) O'Brien deems the quarterback he selects within the first two rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft to be ready to take over.

8. If we're talking realistic replacements for Bill O'Brien, I don't think there's one out there that I prefer to letting O'Brien have a third year at the helm. Make no mistake: 2016 is make-or-break for OB. But I think he should get the opportunity, because I haven't given up on the prospect of him being the guy here for several years and because I don't see a better realistic option available.

Brett Kollmann:

1. Would you have fired RAC sometime this season? If so, is your replacement Vrabel? Someone else?

I sure would have been tempted to in the heat of the moment. After taking some time to think about it, however, what exactly would that have accomplished? Hell, three out of four of Miami's long touchdowns were the direct result of Rahim Moore's inability to tackle rather than just bad scheme. Would Vrabel have yelled at him any harder than Crennel did? Probably not. I'm willing to ride out the year and maybe promote Vrabel if RAC's unit continues to suffer, but until then I don't think it makes much of a difference who is making the calls if none of the players are doing their jobs anyway.

2. What realistic starting line-up changes would you make on offense?

I would personally like to see Chris Polk get more work at running back now that Arian is out, but I don't think the difference between him and Alfred Blue is all that large at this point.

3. What realistic starting line-up changes would you make on defense?

Start Mike Mohamed...oh wait. Realistically, I want to see Kevin Johnson on the field over A.J. Bouye at every possible opportunity. If there are only three corners on the field, none of them should be wearing #34.

4. To your trained, football-savvy eye - when you look at the product on the field, to whom do you assign the lion's share of the blame for this season's debacle between Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien?

Rick Smith. I firmly believe that Bill O'Brien has been doing the best he can with the roster he has been given, but Smith IR'ing two up and coming players in Tom Savage and Mike Mohamed has really bit this team in the ass. None of the other inside linebackers can cover a running back in space, and to be honest if Savage were still available I'm not so sure he wouldn't be starting right now anyway...or at the very least getting valuable experience as the primary backup. When you throw in countless terrible draft picks after the first round and some even worse free agency decisions (we miss you, Glover), I cannot see how anyone is to blame for this but Rick Smith.

5. Will Rick Smith be the GM of the Houston Texans in 2016?

He better not be.

6. At this very, very early stage - which college QB do you most covet, specifically for the Houston Texans?

Christian Hackenberg, if only for the fact that he is familiar with Bill O'Brien's system and therefor will have a huge head start in his development compared to the rest of the college QB prospects.

7. The Texans' starting QB in 2016 will most likely be: (a) Someone currently on the Texans roster (b) Someone currently on another NFL team's roster (c) Someone currently playing college football.

Someone currently on the roster, and his name is Brian Hoyer. Whether they take a QB in the first round or not, I think Hoyer will still be acting as the bridge to the next era of Texans football well into the 2016 season before they throw the rookie and/or Tom Savage to the wolves.

8. If you could have any current coach to coach the Houston Texans starting next season, would you choose Bill O'Brien (for the sake of continuity and/or you blame Rick Smith almost entirely) - or _________ ? Ground rules for this answer - if you pick a current NFL coach, it has to be a realistic - no Belichick, etc. I consider all college coaches eligible because it's at least reasonable to assume a guy might want to make the jump to the pros.

Bill O'Brien. If they gave Kubiak as long as they did to right that ship, they should give B'OB a similar opportunity. He's still a good coach, in my opinion. Does he make some stupid personnel decisions from time to time? Absolutely, but he's still a young and relatively inexperienced head coach. I don't think there is anyone out there right now that could give us better results.

Ryan Dunsmore:

1. Would you have fired RAC sometime this season? If so, is your replacement Vrabel? Someone else?

I just don't see how that change would spark any different outcome for this season. Crennel definitely deserves to be on the hot seat but firing him won't produce wholesale changes.

2. What realistic starting line-up changes would you make on offense?

Jaelen Strong. Get him in the game. I will echo Tim's point that the tight ends haven't been good enough. Spread the defense out with high-floor receiving corps with Washington, Shorts, Strong, and Nuke.

3. What realistic starting line-up changes would you make on defense?

I would like to see more of Kevin Johnson. I've liked what I've seen thus far.

4. To your trained, football-savvy eye - when you look at the product on the field, to whom do you assign the lion's share of the blame for this season's debacle between Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien?

Football-savvy eye? You are too kind. Rick Smith, just look at the number of players drafted by the Texans in recent years but no longer on the roster.

5. Will Rick Smith be the GM of the Houston Texans in 2016?

No, the teflon don has slipped too many scraps were the coaching staff was blamed. Now it's his turn to the brunt of the blame.

6. At this very, very early stage - which college QB do you most covet, specifically for the Houston Texans?

Maybe I'm bias because I've seen him play against Texas, but my pick is Jared Goff. He's always prepared to be in Houston -- EX. A: http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CQ2HbflVAAASB9I.jpg:large.

7. The Texans' starting QB in 2016 will most likely be: (a) Someone currently on the Texans roster (b) Someone currently on another NFL team's roster (c) Someone currently playing college football

I would lean toward A or B. Either Way it's someone keeping the seat warm for the long term answer (fingers crossed). Or, Matt Stafford will find his way to the Texans and the Bill O'Brien will fix his problems.

8. If you could have any current coach to coach the Houston Texans starting next season, would you choose Bill O'Brien (for the sake of continuity and/or you blame Rick Smith almost entirely) - or _________ ? Ground rules for this answer - if you pick a current NFL coach, it has to be a realistic - no Belichick, etc. I consider all college coaches eligible because it's at least reasonable to assume a guy might want to make the jump to the pros.

No one jumps out at me that would be worth the trouble to replace BOB with. Jim Harbaugh? I don't think a 'Michigan Man' would jump that quickly from his alma mater. Mack Brown? I would like to watch the world burn.

kdentify:

1. As uninspiring as the defense has been, I wouldn't have fired RAC this season because there's no one credible on the defensive side of the ball to replace him. If he were going to get canned, rather than Vrabel, who has no experience, I'd go with Pasqualoni, whose DL isn't that awesome right now.

2. I'd love for the OL to be healthy enough to keep everyone in their projected positions and XSF on the bench, so that'd be my change. Stop moving them around, even in times of injury, and keep XSF sitting on his rear end.

3. I'd like to keep Jackson at safety, and Johnson at CB. I'd also like to find a way to keep Merc and Clowney on the field at the same time, and both be productive throughout the game, but it doesn't look like that's happening this season.

4. The roster is a shambles and we lack true starters at a multitude of positions. That's on Smith. The team comes out flat, unprepared, and plays like sh.t for 30 minutes per game. That's on OB. Smith has been here for a decade, and we still lack even decent players at too many positions for me to be satisfied with his performance. OB has been here two seasons and has yet to credibly prove that he's capable of being a head coach in this league, and has made a number of questionable personnel and coaching decisions. Neither of them have covered themselves in glory. Neither of them should feel either safe or comfortable this offseason.

5. While I'd like to believe Smith will finally be ushered out of the building, I'm too realistic to think that's going to happen. The issue with that is the question of who would replace him? And what would the power structure be? I've been vocal about my preference for a Ted Thompson-trained GM for a while now, but a Thompson-trained GM isn't likely to be okay with the current power structure we have in place.

6. Right now, none of them. I haven't watched enough CFB (outside of the Badgers) to fall in love with any of them.

7. History shows that OB will dig in another NFL team's trash heap and proclaim his find as our starting QB. I'd like to see what Savage is capable of in 2016, but I'd also like the idea of drafting someone and letting him take his lumps and developing into our franchise QB of the future.

8. Hue Jackson. He's worked wonders with Dalton and he's got the experience. I think he learned from his time in OAK and has developed in CIN. It's past time for him to get another shot.​

Feel free to copy/paste the questions in the comments section below to continue the discussion.

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