Back in January of 2018, Bill O’Brien hired Brad Seely to be the Texans’ special teams coordinator. Prior to Seely’s arrival in Houston, the Texans’ special teams had been an absolute abomination. For example, six and a half years after he was fired, you still can’t mutter the words “Joe Marciano” to a Texans fan without eliciting a guttural reaction. Things didn’t markedly improve when Joe Ligashesky or Larry Izzo took the reigns either. Year in and year out, Houston’s special teams consistently ranked at the very bottom of the NFL’s barrel.
Until Brad Seely was put in charge. It is not an exaggeration to say that Houston’s special teams improved exponentially almost overnight. It was like the sun came up. Once a crippling weakness, the Texans’ special teams unit became a real strength, and that’s a testament to Seely (and to O’Brien for making it a priority).
Unfortunately, Seely has decided to call it a career after coaching more than three decades in the NFL.
Texans special teams coordinator Brad Seely has retired after 31 NFL seasons: I’ve been incredibly fortunate to spend over 30 years in the NFL coaching the game I love— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) June 5, 2020
Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seely has retired after 31 seasons as an NFL coach.— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) June 5, 2020
John Harris verified what our eyes saw the last two years:
In 2019, the Texans were fifth in the league in punt return average, just a scant 0.2 yards per return from being number three in the league. The cover units were brilliant as well such that the Texans were ranked fifth in the league in Football Outsiders Special Teams DVOA. Now, I can’t tell you what DVOA means but I know it matches what we saw from Seely/Smith’s units in 2019. Those numbers were similar in 2018, as well, as special teams were 5th in the league in the same measurement. Furthermore, the Texans were assessed as the number one kick coverage unit in the league.
While Texans fans should indubitably wish Seely well in retirement, it smarts to see such a great coach go.
I am very sad about Brad Seely's retirement. He was a difference-maker for a unit that was trash for many, many years.— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) June 5, 2020
Given Bill O’Brien penchant for promoting from within, it makes all the sense in the world for Tracy Smith, who came on board to assist Seely with Houston’s special teams just days after Seely was hired, to get promoted to fill the vacancy. Whoever succeeds Seely has gigantic shoes to fill, and that’s not something I could have fathomed writing about a Texans special teams coach for virtually the entirety of the franchise’s existence.