On the Texans
Barry Laminack: For Bill O'Brien, it is win or else
The 2018 NFL season should be make or break for Bill O’Brien. He has one year left on his contract with the Houston Texans, and now that Rick Smith will no longer be the GM, O’Brien is pretty much out of excuses. And while some people would probably prefer not to see O’Brien back again next year, I think you have to give him one more year.
The 2017 season was an injury plagued disaster. By now you know about the injuries to Watt, Mercilus, and Watson. But don’t forget that both tight ends, Foreman, and Fuller all missed significant time.
Oh, and there was the whole Cushing suspension fiasco.
When you think about it, 4-12 was about all that could be expected.
(Speaking of 4-12, kind of makes 9-7 and a playoff game look a lot better now, doesn’t it?)
Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t think O’Brien is a great coach by any stretch of the imagination, but I think he’s a good coach – at least better than some are willing to give him credit for being – and I think there would be plenty of teams that would snatch him up if the Texans don’t want him. But make no mistake, he is going to have to do something special to earn a new contract.
In other words, it’s playoff or bust.
I was talking with Jerome Solomon on The Usual Suspects yesterday and we discussed how much time O’Brien should be given next season. Assuming they avoid another injury filled season like 2017, I say you give him the entire year. If he misses the playoffs with a healthy squad, then you don’t bring him back.
One thing that plays in the Texans favor however is that when it comes to making the decision – should it be necessary to fire O’Brien mid season – they have the very capable Romeo Crennel on staff who can step in and finish out the season.