Every-Thing Sports

Five things the Texans organization must do this offseason

We all saw the debacle of the 51-31 loss to the Chiefs. We also know there have to be some changes made. One of the definitions of being insane to be unable to think in a clear or sensible way. Fans are fed up. The media is chomping at the bit. One thing we all need to understand is that Bill O'Brien isn't going anywhere any time soon. He's so engrained into the fabric on Kirby that it'll take a miracle for him to be ousted. So what now? Where does this organization go from here? How do they improve? Glad you asked. Here are five key things I believe the organization needs to do to improve this offseason:

New Defensive Coordinator

Romeo Crennel needs to be fired, retired, not retained, or whatever/however they choose to get rid of him. He wasn't the right hire when O'Brien took over in 2014 and has proven himself fit for replacement after that loss to the Chiefs. Crennel is a good defensive mind, but the game has seemed to pass him by. Failing to adjust to the personnel available to him and produce results made him appear as if he's too stuck in his ways or not capable of changing to adapt to today's game. There are too many qualified candidates out there that can come in and take over that side of the ball that could make a difference. Chuck Pagano, Kris Richard, and Marvin Lewis are the first few that come to mind.

A Real GM

The team already came out and said they won't be hiring a general manager this offseason. So if they went out and did the opposite, it would mean they either lied, or had an about face. I'd rather be labeled a liar than an idiot. Giving Nick Martin and Whitney Mercilus the extensions they did when they did were both bad enough. When you add the Jadeveon Clowney saga/trade and the trade for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills to the mix, it becomes apparent that O'Brien has too much influence on roster decisions. A real GM won't cripple the team's draft capital and/or misuse cap space. The teams that consistently compete for Super Bowls have roster fluidity that keep them in contention. The Texans need that in the worst way.

A Second In Command On Offense

O'Brien has been calling plays ever since he got to Houston. He's grown and evolved, but not enough. He also thinks he's the only one with answers on that side of the ball. We all see where that's gotten this team. A new set of eyes and different way of thinking is needed. Deshaun Watson will be due for an extension soon. If the organization wants to maximize his potential, they'll need to force O'Brien to hire another set of eyes on offense. This person needs to be given free reign to call plays, implement gameplans, and influence roster moves on that side of the ball.

Ombudsman

A new GM, OC, and DC is one thing, but this team needs an ombudsman. There are so many things that need to be addressed: the roof of the stadium, team colors/logo, coaching staff, public relations, and media relations. Addressing them with someone engrained in the organization won't help. Hiring an outside consultant, permanently or temporarily, would help in getting this team in the best shape it could be in. The perception of this team as a complete joke has permeated into the national media given the stories about O'Brien's ineptness following the washing in Kansas City. An overseer would help in improving everything from top down about this organization.

The McNairs Need To Flex

In the animal world, the alphas make themselves known. There are certain ways to go about doing so. Some involve simple acts (like peeing to mark one's territory), others involve more drastic ways (like killing the competition). This is where the McNairs need to flex their muscle and mark their territory. Before he passed away, Bob McNair turned a $700 million dollar investment into a $2-plus billion dollar cash cow. It's up to his son Cal and wife Janice to keep the cow fat by turning it into a real contender. If they don't act fast, they'll let O'Brien ruin a good thing and it'll take longer to repair. Acting now will keep the window open while Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and DeAndre Hopkins are still in their primes and under contract. It'll also show the fans that they mean business and that's something that'll keep them coming.

I told a few Texans fans the thing I dislike most about all this is seeing the diehards suffer through another disappointing season. They spend tons of their hard-earned money every year on a team that inevitably lets them down. When you have as much talent as this team has, the results need to match. When things continually look the same, as in failures, people get fed up. When people get fed up, they stop spending that hard-earned money. When that money stops flowing, ownership takes notice. The biggest two questions are: will they take notice before the money stops flowing or after, and when will they act?

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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