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BRB GroupThink: The Texans Ain’t Changed, But They Ain’t The Same

In this week’s discussion, we talk about Brian Gaine some more.

NFL: Houston Texans-Minicamp Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Gaine was fired a week ago, and the Texans, well, the Texans have been hit with tampering charges by New England despite reportedly being expected to name a general manager decision by today. It looks like that will all delayed because of Bill Belichick and his constant thirst for power and domination.

The team that never makes brash or quick hitch decisions did just that last week by firing Gain a year and a half into a five-year contract and swiftly worked to move on to other things. Who is this team? Who are these people? Stability has been removed. The Texans are now floating along some astral plane.

Because of this, I asked the masthead: Since Brian Gaine has been fired, has your opinion of the team or your expectations for the 2019 season changed at all? These are their actual answers:

Uprooted Texan:

I was going to say that my opinion of the organization has dropped because of the suddenness of the Gaine during and the handling of hiring inevitable Texans GM Nick “Eye-gor” Caserio. But since it’s sounding like the Texans fired Gaine for allegedly targeting African-Americans, per Yahoo Sports, I guess my opinion on that went...down? Like half a point or so?

As for expectations, those haven’t changed: still expecting an 8-8 season and no playoffs.

Diehard Chris:

My expectations haven’t changed - why would they? Firing Brian Gaine into the sun won’t change the draft or free agent class.

As for my opinion of the team, I’m not as fatalistic as most of the Masthead. If the Texans felt like Gaine’s performance was subpar and they let him go so quickly - I applaud them for that and I don’t really care how bad it looks to the rest of the league. It’s MUCH BETTER than hanging on to a GM for too long.

Of course now the entire situation is more complicated with the new allegations that Gaine was allegedly targeting black employees for termination (WTF??). We’ll likely never know the entire story behind all of this, but at the end of the day - if it’s based on performance and they let him go - fine.

The thing that does concern me going forward is, how will they get a top-notch GM in Houston if the thought is that person can be sh*tcanned the second Nick Caserio’s situation in New England changes?

Matt Weston:

I’m still not entirely sure why Brian Gaine was fired, and I’m still not entirely sure if I’m glad he’s gone on or not.

On one shoulder is 2018. Gaine did a spectacular job finding talent in the middle portions of the draft and adding starters on modest contracts through free agency. Aside from expecting Seantrel Henderson to start at right tackle, everything Gaine did was really great.

On the other shoulder is 2019. A horrendous job, a horrendous offseason, where he failed to capitalize on Deshaun Watson’s rookie contract, the cap space available, and the draft capital the team had after the Duane Brown trade.

The damage has already been done for this season. I do think Bill O’Brien understands this and the upcoming schedule, so he helped use this information to go with Jack Easterby to swim in those old New England waters in an attempt to exchange a former Bills man with a current Patriots man.

My opinions on the team haven’t really changed. The Gaine firing is just a reconfirmation of what I’ve wrote about for the last few months—he botched the offseason. This is going to be a high variance team that depends on health, like all teams, and many IF. Deshaun Watson playing at a MVP level to keep up with opposing offenses, J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney (if these dumb nerds even keep Clowney) being great week in and week out, the offensive line turning into a solid substance instead of a constantly shifting porous water bed, Will Fuller V and Keke Coutee being healthy, one of Brandon Dunn/D.J. Reader/Joel Heath/Angelo Blackson learning how to rush the passer, and the cornerback group working its way to mediocre. A better offseason would have addressed some of these problems.

I have some things to work out in the AFC South and in my own head, but as of right now, I just feel weird about the team. I am still nauseous from the offseason they just put together.

Have a nice weekend. I’m mixing up a Peptotini now. Ahhh, that’s better.

Mike Bullock:

Since I felt like the GM position was being handled much the same way Norv Turner handles head coaching, I’m relieved and cautiously optimistic that Gaine’s termination is a good thing. The fact that the Patriots filed tampering charges, to me at least, means Caserio should be a huge asset to Houston; if not, why would New England bother? The guy they’re accusing of tampering is their ex-team chaplain who didn’t renew his contract due to Robert Kraft’s much publicized but quickly swept under the rug moral failings. As many have said, the fact the Patriots of all teams could accuse anyone of doing anything outside the rules of the NFL truly redefines the word “irony” in pro sports.

*IF* Houston gets Caserio - my view of the Texans’ future will get rosier.

*IF* the Texans don’t get Casario but land Reggie McKenzie, a slightly less shade of rosy will be mine.

*IF* they end up somehow much worse off by missing out on a championship caliber GM and continue with the Bill O’Brien show and B’OB’s hand picked pro scout turned GM from (insert random team here) simply because they have no other viable option, I’m not sure how my opinion will change - but chances are it won’t get better.

Had Gaine simply signed Rodger Saffold and another ready-to-start offensive lineman in free agency, hung onto Kareem Jackson and brought in another starter at corner and not sent Jadeveon Clowney off to Tradebaitsville, my opinion would have been much higher. But since Gaine arguably captain’ed the worst offseason in Houston Texans history, ultimately, I feel removing him was the right decision.

Without all the facts - a veritable cornucopia of information we’ll never know - it’s really impossible to land this plane with any certainty.


For the 2019 season, my expectations have not changed in the least. This is still a five or six win team, and it’s too late for Caserio or whomever other former New England front office person we hire to do anything about it.

As far as the potential compensatory draft pick the Patriots might get, why wouldn’t the Patriots force the issue? As usual, the Patriots are playing chess, and the Texans are eating lead paint chips. It doesn’t mean anything as far as Caserio goes because he’s 100% an unknown quantity. I know, I know: he’ll be the best GM in NFL history the split second the Texans hire him.

As far as the future? He ain’t Brian Gaine, so there’s a chance.

Has the Gaine firing and subsequent drama changed the way you feel about the prospects of the 2019 Houston Texans?