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BRB Groupthink: The Grapevine

On this week’s groupthink, the masthead gathers around the fire to discuss the recent rumors that have been flying around.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

There have been plenty of rumors starting to come out about the Texans general manager and head coaching search. The super task force with and without Tony Dungy, Houston looking to interview Brian Schottenheimer for the head coach position, Louis Riddick and Joey Dorsey being interviewed for the general manager position, Deshaun Watson and Justin Reid wanting Eric Bienemy as the head coach.

Do these rumors give you hope for the Texans decision making process, and which rumor have you heard that makes you most excited for the future?


I don’t know anything at all about any of this stuff. It’s constant scrolling and making inferences and getting mad at the clouds floating through the electronic sky.

That being said, I’m glad to see Kyle take outside help, instead of listening to the bald fork tongued monster in his ear who, along with Bill O’Brien, ruined our favorite football team, and lost the final year of Deshaun Watson’s rookie contract as a result. Hiring a head coach and a general manager sounds like a difficult job. There’s plenty of people who look the part. No one really knows anyways. But that’s the responsibility you have when you run a billion dollar football team. Hopefully someone can point Kyle in the right direction in some way, because everyone else he trusted led him astray.

The only thing I feel really strongly about, is the Texans need to get an offensive minded head coach. Don’t galaxy brain it. They need someone who can get the most from Watson’s skillset, provide stability at the position, and expand and evolve the offense along with Watson’s maturation, changes in play style, and the way the game is played. A great defensive coordinator, isn’t going to revolutionize this trash can defense. The team needs a substantial talent overhaul. Anthony Weaver has made plenty of hilarious changes that actively hurt this defense, but we are talking about a difference between 25th and 30th in defensive DVOA.

Just say no to Matt Eberflus, or Robert Saleh. Say yes to Brian Daboll, Arthur Smith, and Eric Bienemy.


I have hope exclusive of the search firm, and that hope exists solely because it seems apparent that Kyle McNair is taking Deshaun Watson’s input seriously. I don’t know Kyle, I don’t know how he does business—a lot of people on this here website seem to think they know a TON about Kyle, but they don’t. None of us do. We know he’s the son of a billionaire so there’s inherent distrust because we are broke SB Nation bloggers who love to scream into the void about our futile, worthless lives. We shake our fists at the sky and screen. We cry in the night. We punch the dirt and we cook ramen with spices OTHER than the packet it comes with.

I digress.

So let’s get (remain) cynical for a moment. The Louis Riddick interview is an empty play to satisfy the Rooney Rule. If it were a real interview, I’m not entirely sure why he is a viable or attractive candidate. John Dorsey has had some success as a personnel man, but I’ve heard enough about him otherwise that makes him a “no” for me. There are some toxic workplace issues with him, and we just had that. The Texans can have a difficult, demanding culture without it being toxic.

But I do have hope that the Texans will listen to Deshaun. It’s an old-world way of thinking that you don’t get your players’ counsel on hiring a coach. It’s a different league and a different time. The fact that Kyle is apparently talking to Deshaun and working with him is a good thing. It’s been reported Deshaun wants Eric Bieniemy. Some are concerned his success may be more related to Andy Reid and Pat Mahomes, but Deshaun has a close relationship with Mahomes and I feel like he would have some insight into that realm. Plus, I don’t really care if a large swath of Bieniemy’s success comes from working with Mahomes - because the Texans aren’t hiring the next guy to coach a team quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Ryan Mallett, or Brian Hoyer, or [NAME REDACTED WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE] - it’s gonna be Deshaun Freaking Watson, who has every bit of the potential to be as good as, or better than Pat Mahomes.

So yeah, I have hope, but it’s got nothing to do with anything related to a team that garbage kitten Tony Dungy is on.


I think the biggest thing is that after nearly 2 months of nothing, there is actual movement on hiring a GM and a HC. Part of that is the nature of the NFL season. BO’B was sacked at the quarter mark of the season, and many of the most likely candidates are not going to be available to interview. Yes, it did give the Texans a leg up, but who they might have hired that early in the season would be subject to legitimate questions about suitability and competency (issues, especially at the GM position, that put the Texans in this position in the first place).

We at least know of the names of Riddick and Dorsey. I might lean more towards Dorsey, given that the last GM we had possessed zero experience in that role either (cough, BO’B, cough). We could use some real front office experience after the last two seasons. I just hope that Houston legitimately interviewed Riddick because the Texans think he could be an honest-to-goodness GM candidate and not just to check the box for Rooney Rule purposes, like we did back in 2019 when we interviewed Martin Mayhew and Ray Farmer. We could all read between the lines that those interviews were PR shams so we could really try to hire Nick Caserio (no need to recap the subsequent dumpster fire that followed). Granted, it is still early in the game, and perhaps we are just biding time until we get the man we wanted all along (Caserio)...not sure I want to see that, but it would not shock me. Would like to see more names and candidates for this.

To me, the GM hire may be even more important than the HC hire, and not just because Cal (in a rare moment of clarity/sobriety) noted that the team wanted to hire the GM first. We could get the next Lombardi/Belichick, but if the front office remains the cluster that it is now, success will not happen. Perhaps a great poker player can bluff with a bad hand, but your odds of success are so much greater when you hold legitimate cards, and right now, aside from Watson, Tunsil and an aging JJ Watt, the Texans have the equivalent of a 2-7 off-suit hold cards. Not good.

As for the coaching prospects, Bienemy is the one that most would want, and I think would work well. Not thrilled to hear about Schottenheimer. Seems like Seattle is winning in spite of, not because of, that man. Granted, coordinating and head coaching are two different things. Still, hard pass on Schottenheimer. Will have to see what else is out there.

With the 2020 season all but over for the Texans, the GM and HC search are now the real games. Granted, there is that little matter of what happens to that Easterby guy. No small thing given how powerful and pervasive his influence is in the building. The Texans have problems, and it will take more than one season to solve them. Still, it will be the GM, followed by the HC hire, that will have the most impact towards cleaning up the fallout from the last two seasons.


This could all be an elaborate ruse to get us to feel confident about the direction of this franchise, just for Cal to re-hire BOB and pull a “Punk’d” on all of us, but we’ll see. I’m currently rather indifferent.

The fact that Jack Easterby is still employed by this organization after the SI article is emblematic of how dysfunctional things are.

The rumor that gives me the most hope is that the team is taking Deshaun Watson’s input seriously. Yeah, the sun is also hot. However, it seems that good things happen when Deshaun takes the reigns. If he wants Eric Bieniemy, get him. Hell, if Deshaun Watson wanted Dabo, then you go get him.

The Texans (hopefully) will do their due diligence in searching for a new HC and GM. Whether they make the right decision with what they find is questionable at best.

Those are our thoughts. What do you think? Are you feeling good about the rumors and reports regarding the Texans general manager and head coaching search?