Every-Thing Sports

A realistic exit for Bill O'Brien

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

We're living in a crazy time. COVID-19 has shaken the world to its core. Jobs are on the line as the economy continues to suffer. So last week, I made my appeal to replace Bill O'Brien. I haven't been contacted as of this writing, so I'll assume they're not ready for me...yet. I won't give up hope at the moment, and neither should Texans fans.

With all of the shenanigans this guy has pulled off and the power he has amassed, there's still reason for hope. As bleak as things may seem now, I do see a series of events that can lead to O'Brien's exit. This is a case of things getting worse in order for them to get better. Just as a we're going through hard times right now, things will get better. Sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards in order to move forwards. Here's how I see it going:

Another early playoff exit

With a seventh team eligible to make the playoffs this year, it's likely the Texans will make the new expanded field. Nothing will change as they will be out in the first round and in typical embarrassing passion. The fans will see this coming all season and voice their displeasure at the turnstiles and merch sales. The McNairs will feel this displeasure monetarily and will start to get squeamish.

Contract extension troubles

We've already heard Laremy Tunsil turn down a reported $18.5 million dollar per year average deal in hopes of landing something in the $20 million dollar range. Deshaun Watson will look to set the new bar at quarterback which will exceed $35-40 million dollars a year. You know those memes that say start one, bench one cut one? Who do they franchise if neither takes the extensions offered? Do you give in to Tunsil's demands because of the price you paid? You have to at this point. Do you do the same with Watson? You'd be stupid not to. Trading them would be disastrous as we've seen how O'Brien does in that department. His seat is considerably hotter.

A 2021 flameout 

Following a second offseason without a first round pick and cap space tied up in guys he failed to sign to extensions in a reasonable amount of time, O'Brien starts the 2021 season 3-7. Fan atendance is at an all-time low. Most season ticket holders are selling their tickets to opposing team fans. Home games look more and more like road games every week. Heading into the bye week, The McNairs pull the trigger midseason and relieve him of all his duties in an attempt to get ahead of the hiring curve. This now gives them a chance to hit reset button, but with major pieces in place.

Who steers the ship now?

With Watson still under contract, a first round pick for the first time in two years, and a fresh start on the football side of the organization, who gets to steer the ship? Hopefully, the rest of the football world continues to sleep on Eric Bienemy and he can be the Yoda to Watson's Luke. If not, I think there are several other candidates out there who'd sell their mother for a chance to work with Watson. The general manager hire would be easy as well considering he'd have a high enough first round pick and some talent already in place. The cap space will be messed up because of what they're paying Watson and Tunsil, but I'm sure one of these bright minds could find a way to figure something out. Things are looking up now.

Like I stated previously, sometimes you hvae to go through hard times in order to get to the bright side. We see this with the quarantine and/or stay in place orders. We have to suffer some setbacks to make major comebacks. I see nothing different about the Texans organization. This too shall pass. Bill O'Brien isn't long for Houston. The only way he survives is if he does the impossible and manages to win a Super Bowl or finds his way into winning and winning big over the next few years with the rag tag roster he's out together. I'd rather have someone cough on me right now than to stay in place for the next three months. I'd rather suffer through a couple bad seasons than see him win here. Yes. I said it.

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We'll see if Watson is in pads on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Houston Texans.

The Houston Texans had their last practice before pads come on for the first time on Tuesday. There was plenty to see on Monday.

1. Deshaun Watson had his usual extremely light level of work. He did very little throwing to teammates, though he did throw to the tight ends in 1-on-1 drills.

2. Texans head coach David Culley said "nothing has changed" when asked if Deshaun Watson will be in pads Tuesday. Culley has maintained that answer for a couple of sessions now.

3. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back after missing Saturday with an excused personal day. Taylor has been the best quarterback in camp by a wide margin. Taylor makes better decisions with the football than other quarterbacks, but he does struggle on deeper passes. Taylor missed wildly on one deep ball and was a little wobbly on another.

4. Nobody in camp can cover wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This could be the easiest training camp of his life. He easily gets open in 1-on-1 situations.

5. Rookie wide receiver Nico Collins continues to flash his abilities in camp. Collins easily shook loose from defensive back John Reid and took the route vertical for an easy score. Collins later had a tough catch in traffic.

6. It's only been a few days, but the competition for inside wide receiver reps is tough. Former Bears wideout Anthony Miller has looked quick and nothing like the "draft bust" the Bears fans watched. Keke Coutee has rarely lost a rep, but Desmond King did win a few times over Coutee in the opening days of camp. Former Bengals wideout Alex Erickson finds himself constantly open. The cuts at wide receiver are already shaking out to be difficult.

7. Davis Mills bounced back in a sense that he couldn't be worse than he was on Saturday. The performance from Mills on Saturday was abysmal, but head coach David Culley said he liked how Mills responded today. With Tyrod Taylor back, there were fewer reps for Mills, but he had some impressive throws to go along with an off-target throw or two. Mills was far better than Jeff Driskel on Monday. Driskel tossed two interceptions right to defenders, including one that would've gone the wrong way for a score.

8. This linebacker group is interesting. With a new defensive scheme under Lovie Smith, the type of linebacker is very different from previous years. There was a clear emphasis on cover ability as these linebackers were added to the team.

9. Kamu Grugier-Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis have both had some significant wins for the linebackers in coverage.

10. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan looks the part physically, but he's had a rough few days, including a drop on Monday.

11. With the pads coming on Tuesday, it will be fun to watch the rebuilt defensive line clash with the many combinations of the offensive line. There will be no J.J. Watt who historically stirred up the team on day one of pads. Laremy Tunsil's cool confidence about the offensive line over the weekend leads me to believe they are a confident group, while there are spots to be won on the defensive side of the line.

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