The day has finally come when Houston Texans owner Cal McNair finally pulled the plug on the Bill O’Brien era in H-Town. The seven year reign of BO’B has finally come to an end. On behalf of everyone here at Battle Red Blog, we wish O’Brien and his family the best in their next endeavor.
Now, it’s time to turn the page.
Let’s apply emphasis on this part:
Romeo Crennel will serve as our interim head coach for the remainder of the 2020 season.
While Crennel has seemed to have one foot in the retirement camp for years, he might stick around and try to get the most out of J.J. Watt, Justin Reid and the rest of the team. Too bad it’s too late to bring back Jadeveon Clowney.
When considering possible head coaching replacements in case Crennel doesn’t want or earn the role beyond January, the Texans are automatically in the driver’s seat for the next NFL head coaching hire because they’re the only team at the moment with a vacancy. People are already speculating who the next head honcho(s) in Houston will be.
#Texans Executive VP of Football Operations Jack Easterby, on a very long-term contract, is close with #Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, as well as de facto GM Nick Caserio. Both clearly names to watch in Houston.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 5, 2020
Many will remember that Nick Caserio was heavily linked to the Texans to become their next general manager until, somehow, the Texans got slapped with tampering accusations, had to make nice with Bill Belichick, and the end result was Bill O’Brien becoming the general manager and Houston’s overall roster talent level declining as a direct result.
Josh McDaniels has taken a shot or two at head coaching before, but rumors abound he’s been waiting to inherit the New England Patriots when Belichick vanishes in a cloud of force smoke to go where all fallen Sith Lords go after retirement. However, there’s a chance McNair has had enough of the narcissism that ran rampant through the building over the last few years. If so, Cal may go a more traditional route: Hire a general manager and allow that person to select the next head coach.
While Jack Easterby still seems to have some stroke in the organization, he’s clearly not GM material or he would have assumed that role when O’Brien was still onboard. However, we’re here to discuss replacing Bill O’Brien the head coach, not Bill O’Brien the general manager.
So, while Josh McDaniels might be on the radar, and someone on Twitter is trying to start a rumor Houston is dumb enough to consider Adam Gase when the Jets eventually fire him, another potential option is a name very familiar to Houstonians: Wade Phillips.
There really is no other candidate who bleeds battle red and Houston football like Phillips. Having him and Romeo Crennel on the same staff might make for the most potent defense to ever exist, and building around Deshaun Watson is the way.
Speaking of Watson, bringing in Dabo Swinney would essentially guarantee the head coach got the most out of the rest of Watson’s career. Swinney could install an offensive system that is far greater than Bill O’Brien’s, and we all know Watson can excel in that system - just ask the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Another potential coaching candidate is former running back/running backs coach to Adrian Peterson/current Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy.
Robert Saleh, the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, would also be a consideration, but McNair would be best served bringing in an offensive-minded coach.
In the end, this may all be speculation. Romeo Crennel could totally get it done and be the guy who takes the Houston Texans to the Super Bowl. In fact, it’s not mathematically impossible—though it’s certainly extremely improbable—for him to it this year. Barring a miracle run, however, Crennel is likely a stopgap solution for 2020 and nothing more.
No matter who becomes Houston’s next HC, our first request is to void the DeAndre Hopkins trade. We can put David Johnson back in the package and send him back to Arizona, good as new. Just give us Nuk back and it’ll take a lot of the sting out of 2020 in Houston Texans fandom.
Who do you want to see as the next Texans coach? Crennel? Bienemy? Swinney? McDaniels? Someone else? Give us your pick in the comments.