FALCON POINTS

O'Brien to give up play calling duties for Texans as part of his new regime. What impact will it have?

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

Texans GM and coach Bill O'Brien addressed the media for the first time since his officially being named GM. Attending the scouting combine, he did drop one important announcement - he will turn over the offensive play-calling duties to Tim Kelly.

On the surface, this is a really good idea. O'Brien's play-calling has been questionable at best. In his six years as head coach, he has never managed a top 10 offense. But will it really make a difference?

In his own words

Here is the question O'Brien was asked and how he answered it:

How will your role on gameday change with Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly calling plays this season?

"I don't think it changes it too much. I think that one of the bigger changes would be between series. I've spent a lot of time with Deshaun (Watson) and Tim, the offensive line, the running backs, the tight ends, the wide receivers on the bench there before we go out for the next series. I think I'm not going to do probably as much of that. I think I'll do more about being able to focus on the whole game, how the game is being played and things like that, but I don't think it changes it too much."

Sadly, he is probably right.

Past performances

Kelly coached for two years as a graduate assistant at Penn State before following O'Brien to Houston. He moved up to OC from Quality Control assistant.

O'Brien gave up play calling duties one other time, to George Godsey in 2015. Godsey was fired at the end of the 2016 season.

As much as we've been critical of O'Brien, he is to be commended for letting someone else call the plays. But can we really expect anything different with a coach who has followed O'Brien for almost all of his career?

And if it really doesn't change that much - O'Brien's own words - is it really a move that will work out?

The same can be said of promoting Anthony Weaver to defensive coordinator. Once before, O'Brien kicked Romeo Crennel upstairs. Mike Vrabel took over, and was miserable in his one year as DC before becoming head coach of the Titans.

So twice before, O'Brien has tried moves like this. It failed both times.

Going with rookies

That does not mean it will fail again. Kelly may improve the offense. Weaver is well-regarded and could turn out to be a good DC. The Texans are close enough, however, that you have to be concerned about two rookie play callers. The safer move (and many would argue smarter) would have been to bring in some experienced minds with a track record of success. But O'Brien prefers to promote from within. So far, it has not worked out.

But O'Brien finally has the full control he has sought all along. You could argue last season was his best yet. Still, the Texans remain the only AFC South team to fail to make an AFC Championship game during O'Brien's tenure.

How will it play out?

If it is like most of O'Brien's decisions, it will likely mean another run at the AFC South title, but expecting more remains optimistic. Still, O'Brien has a draft and free agency to get his kind of players to go with his kind of coaches.

And maybe, finally, he will have his kind of team. Maybe that will be the impetus to take them to the next level.

But no one will fault you for being skeptical.

Texans make a trade

Texans trade for Brandin Cooks

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Whenever you hear the words "Texans make a trade," most people cringe. However, this one isn't as cringe-worthy. They sent their second 2nd rounder (the 57th pick overall) for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This is the same Cooks that is pictured above killing the Texans for the Patriots. Cooks has been traded three times and this was the first time he was traded for less than a 1st rounder. That is a sliver of sunshine in the cloud of darkness that has been the 2020 offseason.

The Comparison

Cooks isn't DeAndre Hopkins and shouldn't be compared to him because they're two different receivers. Yet, the comparisons will never end because they were moves the Texans' made in the same offseason. Cooks is more of what the Texans' have always hoped Will Fuller would be. But is having two of the same guy a good thing? If anything, I could see this opening up the field for the tight ends, Kenny Stills, and Randall Cobb.

Was it a good deal?

Personally, I think this was a good deal. They weren't going to be able to draft a player of this caliber at that position with the 57th overall pick. Their offseason grade is still very much a D- and this move turned it from an F. It's like when you make a 60 on a test, but the teacher grades on a 10 point curve so you end up with a 70. Barely passing. Cooks is a touchdown waiting to happen every time he touches the ball. He didn't explode with numbers in the Rams' offense last year because he was overshadowed by other playmakers and the ineptness of Jared Goff. Coming to the Texans and getting to play with Deshaun Watson will be a huge difference. Oh, and they get a 2022 4th rounder back as well. Not too bad

It helps them in the draft

I know you're thinking "Jermaine has finally losty his damn mind!" Hear me out: With the 40th pick, the eighth pick in the 2nd round, they can now concentrate on another position of need. Corner or safety, maybe edge rusher, would be ideal. Perhaps a playmaking linebacker or another offensive lineman will be available. This widens the scope of what they can do with that particular pick. Depth from the draft, if used properly, also add cheap labor. Cheap labor means they need to use the cap space to resign key guys. For a team with its balls in a vise grip because of the decisions of Bill O'Brien, options are a good thing.

Moving forward, this deal helps lessen the blow of the stupidity we've grown accustomed to seeing on Kirby. I still don't see what the end game is. There's still a ton of work to be done. Hopefully, this'll help Watson want to stay long term. Maybe Cooks can come in and be what Fuller was supposed to. Maybe it'll drive Fuller to be better than he's ever been in order to get the type of extension he's going to want. There's still way too many questions out there right now. Let's sit back and continue to watch the train-wreck and pray it gets better. The 2022 draft will be the first full compliment of draft picks this team will have. It could also be the offseason in which there’s a new GM and head coach. Again, let’s wait and see

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