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Houston Texans Value of Things: Comparing Offensive Coaching Candidates

Are there any current offensive coordinators that could be a good fit?

Cincinnati Bengals v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

The Houston Texans have made a living of being “smarter” than every other organization. They have stepped as far away from the box as possible. They went against the grain by not having a general manager for over a year. They hired a youth pastor to be the vice president of football operations. Their current general manager frequently talks about Silicon Valley. Their last two coaching hires have been unconventional to say the least. All of those off script moves have produced eleven wins in the last three years. The time for “smart” moves has past.

Teams win by making the obvious move. Firing Lovie Smith was an obvious move and it was a move done quickly. It is time to build on that with another obvious move. When you hire head coaches you want to hire someone that other teams are interested in. If you are the only ones interviewing them it’s a problem. So, we are looking at the obvious offensive coordinators that will likely get interviewed this cycle. Success was a prerequisite to make the list. If you failed at your last job it makes no sense to consider you for this one.

Ben Johnson— Detroit Lions

Points Scored: 5th

Total Yards: 3rd

Turnovers; 1st

PFF Rank: 8th

DVOA: 6th

Pro Bowlers: 1

The Lions were terrible and now they might be the best offense you haven’t heard of. Their only Pro Bowler was a lineman and they somehow gained yards in bunches. Johnson is young and he might be the hottest candidate on that side of the ball. He turned Jared Goff from a marginal starter into a borderline Pro Bowler. Imagine if he gets his hands on someone with more talent than Goff.

Shane Steichen— Philadelphia Eagles

Points Scored: 2nd

Total Yards: 2nd

Turnovers: 7th

PFF Rank: 2nd

DVOA: 3rd

Pro Bowlers: 6

The development of Jalen Hurts over the past two years has been remarkable and that is probably the biggest selling point. Bryce Young has similar athletic skills and is a superior passer already. Whether he would be interested in interviewing is anyone’s best guess, but the Eagles offense is probably more responsible for their resurgence than their defense. His ability to design an offense around what Hurts can do is impressive. It would be a welcome sight in Houston.

Ken Dorsey— Buffalo Bills

Points Scored: 4th*

Total Yards: 4th*

Turnovers: 30th*

PFF Rank: 10th

DVOA: 2nd

Pro Bowlers: 3

The first three numbers were over the course of 16 games. So, maybe they rank higher in points and total yards, but they may also be even worse in turnovers. Dorsey took over an offense that was already humming under Brian Daboll. However, the fact that they haven’t skipped a beat has to mean something. Dorsey is a former quarterback and those guys seem to be getting more and more jobs. Again, we are looking at the obvious choices. Dorsey is probably a step below those top two jobs, but the offense would have to be better than what Pep Hamilton was able to do.

Mike Kafka— New York Giants

Points For: 16th

Total Yards: 18th

Turnovers: 2nd

PFF Rank: 24th

DVOA: 10

Pro Bowlers: 1

Kafka had been the quarterbacks coach in Kansas City and most people thought he would move up to OC there once Eric Bieniemy got a head coaching job. Obviously, that didn’t happen and so he moved to be on Brian Daboll’s staff instead. Some wonder why he would be the choice over Bieniemy, but Bienemy still hasn’t called plays. He’s also interviewed at numerous spots and has never been hired.

The PFF ranking is more a reflection of the Giants overall talent than their actual performance. The rest of the indicators tell you he is outperforming the talent. So, Kafka has now been a part of two successful offenses. One of those is an offense with Saquan Barkley and a bunch of filler. He may not be the sexiest guy on the board, but he has done quite a bit with not much talent. We need some of that around here.

Overall Thoughts

As we will see on the defensive side of things, all four of these are probably better than what was here. If you prefer an offensive mind to work with the new quarterback then Johnson and Steichen are probably the top choices. They both have personally made their quarterbacks better and probably better than most people thought they could be. Dorsey has one that was already great, but he had been the quarterbacks coach so maybe he had something to do with it. They’ve reached out to all of these guys except for Dorsey, but if they hire one of them then at least things on the offensive side of the ball should look up.