Every-Thing Sports

Are the Texans lucky the Colts are out of Luck?

Jonathan Ferrey

The news came out of nowhere. It was like one of those crack back blocks on an interception return. That defensive tackle has been getting shut out all game long. He hasn't been able to stop the run or push the pocket. The quarterback has been teasing him all game long and talking mad trash. And then it happened. He finally got some pressure, forced an interception, now he's looking to through a block. Soon as he turns around...WHAM! He lays the quarterback out with as vicious of a legal hit he can.

That's the best way I can describe Colt's quarterback Andrew Luck's abrupt retirement. I was taking a shower and shaving my head. I heard my phone buzz a few times and saw my good friend Joe Hutchinson texted me twice. I quickly did a search and saw the news had just come out and was confirmed by several reliable sites within the minutes of me looking it up. My initial thought: Texans fans are about to hit the roof with excitement. But should they? How does Luck's sudden retirement effect the chances the Texans have in winning the division this year? What are some obstacles they'll face?

History of mediocrity

"We went 9-7 and won the AFC South two years in a row." Bill O'Brien's statement is the epitome of them being mediocre. This organization has been satisfied with average since its inception. Their obsession with the Patriots is akin to a little brother who's not happy with his C average level of work constantly trying to replicate big brother's A average work and always falling short. Way short. With Luck out of the way, this should open the doors to the car and hand the keys to the Texans. But can they drive the car?

Watch out for the rest of the division

The Jags finally have a capable quarterback. The Titans are in year two of the Vrabel era. The Colts still have a ton of talent. If the Texans don't win the division this year, it won't surprise me. If they miss the playoffs, that will throw me off. Two wins a year was gifted to them if they take advantage. T.Y. Hilton can't kill them because Jacoby Brissett can't get him the ball like Luck did. The Jags are still a team that went 5-11 last season. The Titans still have Marcus Mariota under center and they're not sure if he's their franchise quarterback. The division just became that much more winnable.

O'Brien's ego

Another obstacle in taking advantage of Luck's departure is O'Brien's ego. When I spoke on this a few weeks ago, it seemed to resonate with a lot of you. You guys seem to feel the same way I do. His ego is bigger than the Toyota Center, NRG, and The Juice Box put together. If O'Brien can't contain himself and learn to not be this franchise's worst enemy, this team will be able to fulfill its potential. If O'Brien continues with status quo, well, you already read about the history of mediocrity earlier.

Overconfidence

Teams with as many deficiencies as this Texans squad should never feel overconfident. But when your biggest rival loses its franchise quarterback, it can inflate your sense of self-worth. Teams can often feel as if they were anointed and preordained to their destiny as division champs. This can lead to taking things for granted, taking opponents lightly, and losing focus. If they take those keys, get that car, start to drive, and get distracted, they'll eventually crash and burn. Being arrogant without putting in the work everyday, taking things serious, and focusing in on the task at hand will cause them to fall hard.

Pressure

I was told long ago that pressure can bust pipes or make diamonds. The end result is up to you. The Texans have a golden opportunity to make some beautiful diamonds, but they can't succumb to the pressure. Giving in to the pressure and busting like one of those pipes could prove to be a fatal blow. O'Brien and several others would be held responsible and fired or released. A total rehaul of the coaching and front office staff would be necessary in my opinion. Considering there's no general manager, that new hire would be charged with bringing this team to prominence. With the amount of talent already here, and the cap space, he wouldn't have much grace in doing so. The pressure is enormous, but it shouldn't be crippling. It should fuel the fire.

I'm always fair and objective in my assessments. I even posted a pic of how I feel Texans fans are feeling upon hearing the news. I truly hope this is the stroke of luck the fanbase needs (#DadJoke). These fans have been so hungry for football, and a winner, that there are roughly 32,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets! Another good friend of mine put his name on the list in 2011 and just got a call to purchase them a few weeks ago! This city, more specifically this fanbase, deserves a consistent winner for the way they support this team. But if the powers that be don't take advantage of the opportunity given to them, I'd hate to see the backlash. Luck equals opportunity plus preparation. Let's hope the Texans are prepared for this opportunity and get lucky.

The team also officially promoted Jack Easterby as well

Bill O'Brien now Texans General Manager in addition to head coach

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Bill O'Brien has a new placard on his desk.

New title for O'Brien and his unofficial assistant GM

As seen above the Texans have named Bill O'Brien as the general manager in addition to his role as the team's head coach. O'Brien joins his former boss Bill Belichick as one of the members of the NFL coaching community who also has the decision-making powers.

Jack Easterby, who also previously worked with the New England Patriots, now has an official title too. It was widely believed he had heavy input on the team in his past year with the team.

This had been coming

It would be interesting to know if this was something known in the building by the team or just assumed. Either way, something long whispered, came to fruition.

With the amount of front office talent that has left the organization in the past year there was some belief O'Brien was consolidating his power. Today, he has all the power in the organization.

Business as usual, with the titles

SB Nation Radio NFL Insider Adam Caplan told me teams have treated the situation in Houston as if O'Brien was the Texans general manager since Brian Gaine was fired by the team.

Now O'Brien has the title with the work. He is in charge of the team from a management perspective, he is the head coach, and he calls the plays for the teams.

How does this work?

HoustonTexans.com

I don't think it does work. I don't see it. SB Nation Radio NFL Insider Adam Caplan told me the expectation from the league is O'Brien will do whatever he has to do to keep his job.

O'Brien did a ton this past offseason and yet the team regressed in many areas. Without a regular slate of draft picks and quite a few of their own players set to hit free agency the Texans are in a tough spot.

Short of O'Brien really taking the next step along with a few of his key players and some solid and smart spending the Texans might have hit their ceiling in 2019. If that's the case, O'Brien could theoretically survive a similar campaign in 2020. But, there are no more excuses. O'Brien has nobody to blame but himself now.

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