It’s December, which means Christmas list time for many kids out there. Well, no one ever accused the masthead of being too mature for a wish ;ist, sugar cookies, Nerf gun wars or trying to launch Bill O’Brien custom made pop vinyls off the pier at Kemah Boardwalk...so here we are. Today’s question revolves around the elephant in the room:
Who Do You Want As The New Houston Texans Head Coach?
Perhaps this is the easiest answer, but I am all for the Texans going with an all-out blitz to sign Eric Bieniemy. Right now, the biggest, and perhaps the sole, drawing point for the Texans, is Deshaun Watson. Bieniemy has been a hot coaching prospect these past couple of seasons, especially since his work with Patrick Mahomes. Give him the chance to helm a team with a quarterback like Watson, and there is a great deal of potential for an exciting and devastating offense. Bieniemy has also shown a high degree of creativity, doing things like using plays from 1940s Rose Bowls to unique line-ups and game strategies.
He has also worked well with Andy Reid. While working with a great coach does not always guarantee future success (Belichick, cough, cough, Belichick), the Andy Reid coaching tree has yielded a bumper crop of successful head coaches like John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott, Doug Pederson, and Ron Rivera. No reason to think that Bieniemy couldn’t do the same thing.
Granted, the hire of Bieniemy won’t solve all that afflicts the Texans. The new head coach is important, but the general manager hire is perhaps even more critical. Bieniemy has also not always been a saint, which may not endear him to certain braintrusts within the Texans. Additionally, he should have no shortage of suitors, as teams such as the Falcons may look to heavily recruit arguably the top coaching prospect in the NFL. How he isn’t a HC yet is insane, but I would bet a new mortgage payment that Bieniemy is a HC in the NFL in 2021. In an ideal world, I would like to see him coaching the Texans with Watson and a front office that does not resemble a way-too-intoxicated fantasy draft party.
One of the earliest and hottest names to gain traction was Eric Bieniemy, so I’m going to stick with him. He’s done a fantastic job with the Chiefs. It’s easy to point to the offensive personnel they’ve got in Kansas City and imagine it’s hard to not have success. However, Bieniemy will have his work cut out for him walking into Houston.
Looking at the current offensive personnel, we have *checks notes* Deshaun Watson and Laremy Tunsil. That’s pretty much it in terms of must-haves.
I’m in agreement that the GM position is going to go a long way toward making anything work, and you’d better believe that it’s on the mind of any candidate even sniffing around this job. Let’s just hope that failson and his hunting party can land us something solid.
While I certainly wouldn’t get upset at the news of Eric Bieniemy coming to H-Town, I still secretly hope Dabo Swinney is the choice. Not only did Dabo build a winning dynasty in Clemson, he took the David of Deshaun Watson, slayed the Goliath of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and then came back to rule that roost again.
Dabo embodies a lot of the things Cal McNair and the Texans organization seem to want to stand for when they’re not standing on their own air hose. His presence and leadership are more than enough to instantly become the biggest voice inside the bowels of NRG. Having his voice resonate throughout the franchise for years would undo a lot of the damage Cal, Jack Easterby, and Bill O’Brien have done. Dabo is the sort of coach players want to play for.
Of course, a lot would ride on Dabo bringing in his own coaching staff and having a savvy general manager to work with in order to turn the roster around. If Dabo ever plans to leave the collegiate ranks, coming to Houston to save the rest of his prodigal son’s career would make all the sense in the world.
All that to say, I don’t think this would happen. Of the things that seem far more possible, my vote goes to Bieniemy. Any guy whose wagon is attached to the prime years of Adrian Peterson and Patrick Mahomes should do wonders with Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and the rest of the Texans.
Matt Titan Up Weston:
Bienemy is my number one guy. Calling plays and working in an offense that utilizes everything from RPOs to spread formations that design ways to get receivers open and create easy throws. Kansas City’s offense manufactures deep shots and one-on-one match-ups for their best receivers. It terrorizes 3 x 1 wide receiver formations and passes to run, all while having a neverending interior offensive line rotation that’s a perfect fit for Deshaun Watson. I don’t know how Bieniemy is as a person, a leader, or a mentor, but players like Justin Reid have said they like him, and that’s more than enough for me, all the way over here, staring at the McDonald’s sign outside by window.
After Bieniemy, Arthur Smith is my favorite offensive coordinator. He’s a god. Houston’s offensive line isn’t built for an outside zone heavy scheme, and there’s a lot Smith would need to change to get his line in place and together. That being said, he has coached for four different Titans coaches, knows what not to do, and has taken a little bit of everything, from Ken Whisenhunt’s spread quick passing game to Mike Mularkey’s methmouth, to create the top five offense he has today. If Smith can get an offensive line coach to strengthen that area, I would be for hiring him.
I also like Brian Daboll and Joe Brady. It’s incredible the revolution Daboll has led with Josh Allen, who has gone from frontal lobeless, cigarette smoking, never taking your daughter back home rock star, to a capable downfield passer who is one of the best short throwers in the league. Allen has the body to affect the run game and pull off wild things like stiff-arming multiple defensive linemen on the same play and throwing the ball off Joey Bosa’s face.
Brady still feels like he’s a year away from being a head coach. I’d like to see Carolina do everything they can to keep him and get one more year out of what they have going on.
The main thing for me is that I want to see an offensive head coach who can get the most out of Deshaun. A defensive guy doesn’t have the talent to mold this roster into something viable in less than a year. Doing smart things like playing Jacob Martin over Whitney Mercilus can only do so much. It’s all about Deshaun and building an offense around him. As much as Tim Kelly has opened things up since Bill O’Brien was fired, he’s barely scratched the service. Bienemy, Smith, Daboll, and Brady all could.
I don’t think we should have given up on Bill O’Brien. We only gave him six (6) years, and that’s just not a real shot in today’s NFL. [/sc]
To be different, I’m going to say Robert Saleh. Watson is going to be MVP-level even without a guy like Bieniemy, but Houston’s defense is going to need some serious love. Get a sharp, young, offensive mind to lead the offense and let Saleh focus on the defense and overall game.
I think Saleh ends up in Detroit, however.
I’ve already written about this, but if Robert Saleh is being “different,” then I’m going to be “way out there” and say I want Clemson DC Brent Venables.
Getting a coach who can work with Deshaun Watson to develop the offense is important, but the bigger problem for this team is rebuilding the defense. Because as things stand, watching the Texans’ defense is like watching BFD mingle at the clothing optional hot tub party of the Octogenarian Swingers Convention. You’re going to need someone who can identify talent in the draft and develop them to play in your system. Venables has done this at every stop in his career. Sure, he’s a college coach, but I think if you’re going to be drafting most of your new defensive nucleus, who would be better than someone who’s spent many years in the college ranks and has seen a lot of these defensive draftees up close and personal?
Venables also has the benefit of being a part of the Clemson machine and knows what Deshaun Watson is capable of when he’s in an offense that is suited to his skillset. Venables will know what kind of coordinator to look for to optimize the kind of offensive wizardry we’ve seen Watson conjure.
Do I think it’ll happen? Probably not, but I think there are way worse options out there in the NFL assistant coaching ranks than Venables. Plus I think Venables has the tools to be an amazing head coach.
I wouldn’t say no to Eric Bieniemy, but that’s kind of it for coaches I’d prefer.
Bieniemy, Saleh, Swinney, Venables, Daboll, Brady. The options are seemingly endless. Who do YOU want to see become the next head coach of your Houston Texans?