TOP CANDIDATES FOR TEXANS

Let's examine the Texans candidates for head coach and GM

Here's who they have met with so far. Photo by Getty Images.

The Houston Texans search committee to find candidates for their vacant general manager and coaching positions has landed on some interesting candidates.

Jim Caldwell (Head Coach candidate)

Texans fans will be quick to reject the idea of Jim Caldwell as the next head coach because his recent head coaching tenure ended with thuds. He fails the “What have you done lately?" test. Fans would not be wrong in Caldwell's case.

I understand what Texans owner Cal McNair is thinking. Jim Caldwell has coached some of the more talent quarterbacks the NFL has seen in recent years. But despite star quarterbacks, Caldwell didn't have much success on the bottom line. He was head coach for the Detroit Lions from 2014 to 2017, reaching the playoffs twice but ultimately fell short of bringing that franchise a Super Bowl trophy with Matthew Stafford in prime years. After two years out of the league, he signed on as Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach, where, some suspect the Dolphins were in a must lose situation to be in position to draft Tua Tagovailoa.

It would be wrong to say there is not a place for Caldwell in the Texans organization. He would be an upgrade to replace offensive coordinator Tim Kelly when this season mercifully ends. Caldwell had success during his helm as Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach under Tony Dungy when Peyton Manning flourished from 2002-2008. In 2009 the Colts made him the head coach, where he wore out his welcome with a 2-14 record in 2011 and was fired. Caldwell moved on to take the role as Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach where he won a Super Bowl ring in 2012 with Joe Flacco under center.

Jim Caldwell as a quarterback coach? If you are Cal McNair, it is something to think about. But Caldwell wasn't interviewing for the quarterbacks coach position. He wants the top job.

There is no doubt Caldwell's interview was urged by Dungy who Cal McNair is using for advice in the coaching search. Caldwell's days coaching under Dungy extend even before their Colts connection, when Caldwell was Dungy's quarterback coach in Tampa Bay in 2001. With Brad Johnson as quarterback, the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2003.

Jim Caldwell, the quarterback coach, has found success all over the league. He is yet to prove his value as a head coach in the NFL.

Marvin Lewis (Head Coach candidate)

Marvin Lewis interviewed for the Texans head coaching vacancy earlier in this week. Contrary to Caldwell, Lewis has been known for his expertise on the defensive side of the ball. He has coached some of the most dangerous defensive fronts in the NFL, most notably the 2000 Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens led by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. He was the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 to 2018, and the Texans dealt him wild-card losses in 2011 and 2012. He currently serves as the co-defensive coordinator at Arizona State.

The Texans could use Lewis' defensive mind to help rebuild a defense that is in shambles. Maybe we see Lewis as a defensive assistant before handing him the head coach job so fast. I'm not head-over-boots about any coach Bill O'Brien was able to beat so frequently.

Matt Bazirgan (General Manager candidate)

Texans' director of player personnel Matt Bazirgan was interviewed for the general manager role. The only reason Cal McNair might look to hire a general manager internally is so he has an excuse to keep current vice president of football operations (or “pastor") Jack Easterby, who has received a torrent of blame for the downfall of the Texans this season.

If the Texans are searching for long-term success, they will steer clear of searching within the current regime.

Louis Riddick (General Manager candidate)

Louis Riddick is the current analyst for ESPN, and is a favorite for every general manager opening around the league. Does Riddick have what it takes to rescue the Texans sinking ship?

Riddick has a fair share of experience with NFL personnel. He was the director of pro personnel for the Washington Redskins from 2005-2007, and was also the director of pro personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010-2013. He did not have the strongest personnel with either organization, but at least Riddick is a candidate with experience, and his rich knowledge for the game is heard every Monday night. It's safe to say Riddick is the best candidate for the Texans general manager job out of the bunch that have interviewed.

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Houston loses in San Francisco

Astros drop back-and-forth middle game to Giants to even series

Houston's offense couldn't keep up with the Giants on Saturday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With the impressive win in the opener to start the series, the Astros entered Saturday's middle game against the Giants with an opportunity to not just secure the series but surpass San Francisco for the best record in the league. They'd have to wait to take that crown, as the Giants would out-slug the Astros to even the series.

Final Score: Giants 8, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 64-41, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jay Jackson (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-3)

Teams trade blows early, Giants chase Greinke out early

The teams traded blows early in this one, with the Giants tagging Zack Greinke with six runs, all on homers. The first was a solo shot in the bottom of the second to start the scoring before hitting one in each inning through the fourth: two-run blasts in the third and fourth, then a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-5 at the time. Greinke would face one more batter, allowing a single to end his lackluster day: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 93 P.

Houston's offense kept things close to try and keep Greinke in a position to win, going up 3-1 in the third on a two-run Aledmys Diaz homer and another coming in on an error. After San Francisco scored four unanswered to make it 5-3, Diaz homered again in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one run before Yuli Gurriel would tie it with an RBI double.

Astros stay in it, but Giants even the series by winning the slug-fest

With Greinke exiting with no outs in the fifth, Houston handed the ball to Phil Maton, acquired in the recent Myles Straw trade, to make his debut for his new team. He worked himself into a jam, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to strike out the side and strand all three runners, keeping it a one-run game.

That proved pivotal in the top of the sixth, as with two outs, Martin Maldonado would launch a game-tying solo homer, making it 6-6. Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but would face just three batters, getting two outs while leaving one on as Dusty Baker moved on to Cristian Javier. Javier would watch the Giants retake the lead, getting back-to-back singles to bring in a run and make it 7-6.

Javier stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it by striking out the next three batters. Still a 7-6 game in the bottom of the eighth, Yimi Garcia made his Astros debut but did not keep the score there, allowing a leadoff solo homer to make it a two-run game. The 8-6 score would go final as Houston's offense came up empty again in the top of the ninth, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The series finale will get underway at 3:05 PM Central on Sunday in San Francisco. Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.19 ERA) will take the mound for Houston, going opposite Logan Webb (4-3, 3.36 ERA) for the Giants.

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