Yesterday we learned that Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas was in town to discuss joining the Houston Texans. Before we dive into the variety of reasons why this shows Bill O’Brien is way out of his depth as a general manager—Like, why didn’t you address the league-worst secondary in the actual off-season? You know, when you’re supposed to upgrade areas of roster weakness—let’s look at some of the Texans’ other needs instead of digressing into the million ways O’Brien’s system and way of running a frachise is less than desirable.
Strong chance the Texans will sign former Ravens and Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, per league source. Texans are 0-3 and defense has yet to intercept a pass.— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) September 28, 2020
Bill O’Brien Asks Fans To Trust A Process That Has Led to 0-3
Based on O’Brien’s comments of “trusting the process” (that trust has been repaid with an 0-3 start, last place rushing defense, secoind fewest combined tackles, eighth worst scoring offense, and a three-way tie with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets for worst record in the AFC ) and comments about needing to ‘build around veterans’ this year due to the lack of proper training camp and preseason reps tthanks to COVID-19, bringing in Eric Reid to partner with his brother, Texans safety Justin Reid, is a no-brainer.
If Bill O'Brien signs Earl Thomas, there are 2 things he always says about his players he'll never be able to say about Thomas: "Good guy, good teammate." Give me Eric Reid over Thomas.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 28, 2020
We lobbied for Earl Thomas to join the team in 2018, more than once in fact. Then, when he was first cut from the Baltimore Ravens, we proposed it again. In what’s become expected behavior from a Bill O’Brien led team, Houston waited until the house was burning down all around them to shop for fire insurance.
Apparently Deshaun Watson lobbied for Earl Thomas as well.
The Houston Texans Need To Sign Eric Reid and Damon Harrison
With the Texans giving up an average of 188.3 rushing yards per game (dead last in run defense), a solid 16 yards more per game than the third worst rush defense Detroit Lions, maybe the Texans should be looking at someone like Damon “Snacks” Harrison, a run stuffing defensive tackle. Or maybe they should have taken a run at Everson Griffen, Jadeveon Clowney, or any of the other great run stoppers that were on the market in the offseason.
More on @AdamSchefter's report that Damon Harrison will visit the Seahawks next week. He's been more of a run-stuffer (as opposed to a pass rusher, as my earlier tweet implied), but their defensive line needs reinforcement with several early injuries. https://t.co/nr2h0VxY3T— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) September 24, 2020
Instead, O’Brien’s opted to re-engineer the plane in flight, since the “day late, dollar short” way of roster improvement “worked” for him in the past. Sort of.
With a game against another winless team coming this weekend, the Texans better get a move on improving the roster. Far more importantly, improving the play-calling, clock management, sideline decision making, and everything else that comes from the coaching staff should be a priority. Winning head coaches have gone farther with less talent than Bill O’Brien has had with the Texans. Shuffling players and bringing in wide receivers for the practice squad isn’t going to address the lack of plays ready for 4th and 1, the notion that Deshaun Watson shouldn’t get a chance to win the game in the second half because the Texans need to establish the run, and either going for it inside their own 30 yard line or calling a fake punt backed up that far just aren’t working.
There’s no putting horses back in the barn after the door was left open all offseason. Pursuing players who can immediately upgrade the defensive line and secondary should be a focus. Replacing Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Vernon Hargreaves III would also help out. If O’Brien was truly focused on doing what needed to be done to win a championship, these things would have been addressed long ago. Jadeveon Clowney wouldn’t be a Tennessee Titan. DeAndre Hopkins wouldn’t be an Arizona Cardinal.
There’s an old mantra in politics that politicians on both sides of the table adhere to: “if you tell the people what they want to hear and get them to believe it, you can do whatever you want.” Maybe Bill O’Brien should run for office.
In the meantime, he should have Eric Reid and Damon Harrison on flights to Houston and have contracts ready for them to sign the moment they pass a physical. Oh, and sign Earl Thomas, too. A little anger in the locker room might be just what this team needs.