Food for thought?
Joel Blank: Texans need course in comparison shopping after O'Brien gets better deal than McCarthy
Ever since we've been old enough to make a major purchase, or smart enough to pay attention to how we grocery shop, we all are well versed in comparison shopping. It has been proven that even when we think we have found the best deal, it never hurts to shop around. You also have probably experienced at least once in your life that sick feeling when you find out that you may have paid too much.
It's with that in mind that I present to you the following comparison and ask you, if you are the Houston Texans, did you overreact and overpay to keep your head coach? It has become an unwritten rule in coaching that as you enter the final year of your contract, you -- and more specifically your agent -- are entitled to either an extension or a pink slip because being a lame duck coach has become unacceptable. Both Bill O'Brien and Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers were about to enter the final year of their respective contracts in 2018. Both coaches have a solid resume, and have achieved division championships and other accolades. The difference between the two is one coach got a four-year extension, while the other coach got an additional year to continue to prove he is worthy and deserving of a long term deal. After reading the following statistics, I will leave it up to you as to which team might have jumped the gun and given too much.
Mike McCarthy has had a pretty good run in Green Bay. In his 12-year stint with the Packers ,he has made the playoffs nine of those 12 years, been to four conference championships, won the division six times and made one Super Bowl appearance in 2010, which the Packers won by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. His best season was a 15-1 finish in 2011 and his worst season was a 6-10 campaign in 2008. Last year was a down year for both McCarthy and his team as the Packers finished 7-9, losing Aaron Rodgers to a broken collar bone that caused hm to miss nine of the final 10 games of the year after starting the schedule 4-1. McCarthy has won 63% of his games over his 12-year career as a head coach, and is (121-70-1) over that time frame.
Bill O'Brien just finished his fourth year as head coach of the Houston Texans. He is 31-33 over his career as the head coach of the red, white and blue, including three consecutive 9-7 seasons. He just completed his worst year as an NFL Head coach, finishing 4-12 after losing Rookie QB sensation Deshaun Watson to a season ending knee injury in week 8. The team lost 8 of its last 9 contests after Watson went down. O'Brien has won two division titles and one playoff game in his career as the head coach in Houston. Not a bad way to start your career as a head coach, but then again, not quite McCarthy.
So, with all that being said, and knowing what you know as even an average football fan, which one of these two men was worthy of a five-year contract extension? Am I the only one that's finds it odd that the coach that has a better winning percentage, more career wins, more division titles, more playoff appearances, as well as four more appearances in a conference championship and one Super Bowl title is the guy who only got a 1 year extension, while the other guy received four more years with his team? Personal feelings aside, the numbers speak for themselves and the contract that O'Brien got seemed to be a textbook case of a team pressing the panic button, believing the hype, and overreacting. Maybe O'Brien should give his agent a raise, because the rumor mill was churning at the end of the season and he was supposedly first in line to succeed Bill Belichick if he retired and also the leading candidate to be the next coach of the New York Giants. We all know that agents have a way of talking to writers and getting their story out there regardless of whether it's true or not. It seems in this case as if they did nothing but back the Texans into a corner and help to secure O'Brien's new deal. Regardless of the how and why, it seems like the Texans need a crash course in comparison shopping.