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BRB Groupthink: That’s My Head Coach

The masthead joins together to discuss their favorite Houston Texans head coach.

Oakland Raiders v Houston Texans

Dom Capers’s great defense fell apart after it was let down by an incompetent offense. Albert Haynesworth ruined Gary Kubiak’s shot at glory, forcing him to find it in Denver. Wade Phillips was never a serious candidate after continuing the losing streak. Bill O’Brien got the bare minimum out of a talented roster, and a top five quaterback—this entire mess is his fault. Romeo Crennel was cute and cuddly, and the perfect lame dunk. And David Culley loves nachos, and football, and I love David Culley.

Earlier this week Mike Bullock wrote an article asking the audience who their favorite Texans head coach was/is. So, now, we turn to the masthead. Who is your favorite head coach in Texans history: Dom Capers, Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, Bill O’Brien, Romeo Crennel, or David Culley?

These are our responses.

MIKE BULLOCK:

As of this writing, Gary Kubiak is the only full-time head coach with more than 10 votes in the poll and he has over 210. And, I totally agree with that. Dom Capers took a job building a team from the ground up and did decently with what he had, but Kubiak came in and took that foundation and turned it into a winning organization. While we may never know all the details of Kube’s firing, I still maintain that was the turning point that led us to where we are now.

Many teams have kept their winning coach through a down season and turned things around the following year. Could Kube’s have done that? We’ll never know, but I bet he would have done better than O’Brien did.

B’OB came in, took a rising team with a feared roster and turned them into a ‘play down to the competition’ and ‘play not to lose’ mediocre team. His personal in-fighting with Rick Smith, then his quest for power that led to him becoming the first Texans HC/GM doomed this team from the start.

While David Culley seems like a really nice guy, his pressers and public statements seem more like fodder from an Abbott & Costello comedy routine than a strategic thinking, top caliber football coach.

From the What If? files, I’ll always wonder what could have been if Bob McNair had kept Kubiak, signed Peyton Manning and let them do what they did in Denver...

L4BLITZER:

At one point, I might have hoped that it would be Bill O’Brien, especially after the job he did at Penn State. He walked into the fallout of a radioactive scandal and took a QB like Mike McGloin and made him into an NFL quarterback and had Christian Hackenberg as a legit prospect (at least for his freshman year). However, his quest for power and his willingness to dual-hat as general manager and head coach doomed that thought. The Texans will continue to pay for that error for at least another couple of seasons.

By default, that leaves Kubiak as the favorite head coach, as he guided the Texans into contender status. Should he have been given another season after 2013? I am not so sure. I think the marriage between Kubes and the Texans was slated to end at that point. I don’t know if Kubes could have gotten over the hump in 2014, with Manning or whatever other QB prospect ended up replacing Schaub. It sucked that he and Phillips took their show to Denver and did what they could not in Houston, but que sera, sera.

The interesting debate is who was the better defensive coordinator for the Texans: Wade Phillips or Romeo Crennel? The 2011 Phillips Defense vs. the 2016 Crennel Defense is quite the bar-room debate for best Texans D ever. Phillips’ tenure was shorter, and even during the 2013 nightmare, the Phillips D was leading the league in total defense for a good part of that season. Crennel was here longer and was at the helm when the D regressed in 2019. Yet, in 2017 and 2020, the two seasons when we had other defensive coordinators, even with him on staff, the defense was noticeably worse. Granted, there were also factors beyond his control (the injuries of 2017 and the “What the Easterby” personnel moves of 2020), but still, a Crennel-led defense somehow was better than other alternatives. I am leaning somewhat towards Phillips given that he had to rebuild the whole defense on the fly, but I don’t think you could go wrong with either.

I don’t know what to think of Culley. He may yet turn into the right coach for this situation, but with the current Texans leadership, Culley is likely cast as the sacrificial lamb. If he lasts more than two seasons, and if the team doesn’t end up going all-in on someone like McDaniels (or another Patriot alum), I will be quite surprised.

JEREMY BRENER:

I find this question so funny because these coaches have literally all been bad or are known most for their failures.

It’s hard for me to pick any of the interim guys because, well, they were only here for the interim.

Dom Capers has zero playoff appearances, so that takes him out of the running.

Bill O’Brien is the coach who experienced the most success but I can’t tell you how frustrated I’ve been with so many of his decisions. I think considering the relief I felt when he was fired takes him out of the running too.

That leaves Kubiak and Culley.

Kubiak led the greatest teams in the history of the franchise. He didn’t rock the boat, wasn’t unnecessarily dramatic, but also lost two playoff games.

Considering David Culley has never lost a game as Texans HC, he becomes my favorite of all time.

CARLOS FLORES:

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that Dom Capers was the first and best head coach in Texans history.

Kidding aside, it’s Kubiak. It always has to be Kubiak. My start with the team came with him and, if I knew then what I know now, probably should have went with him. That’s a little harsh, but it really does feel like the heyday of this team stems from the Schaub-led teams that he managed.

Wade Phillips was a fun pit stop due to the Bum connection, even if we didn’t do so well. The early BOB years were exciting but also somewhat disappointing as it felt that we were on a treadmill and unable to get over the hump. RAC was an old man that was asked to run an obstacle course for all to see.

Culley might end up being my favorite coach in terms of pressers and HEB commercials, but it sure won’t be because of on-field glory.

bfMFd:

My vote is for Bill O’Brien. This franchise is poised for decades of success after he so brilliantly handled both the playbook and the roster.

LOL! Dude couldn’t find a call on 4th down in a playoff game, FKS.

It’s Gary Kubiak. Not only is he the best head coach in Texans’ history, but his 2006 draft class is the best the Texans have ever have.