Bill O'Brien deserves one more chance to prove he can run the offense for the Texans

Offensive Coordinator? No thanks. Let O'Brien keep calling plays

Houstontexans.com

Bill O'Brien deserves another chance to call the plays for the Texans.

All you people who want an offensive coordinator in here just want change for the sake of change. You're not even sure if there is an upgrade there for the Texans. Grass isn't always greener on the other side and the play calls aren't always better with a different headset.

It isn't all his fault the offense has sputtered, there aren't better options, and it's bad for Deshaun Watson to hire a new play caller and offensive coordinator.

Did you watch the offensive line this season? Tell me what anyone would have done to fix the issues there. How anyone can be disappointed with the offensive line and simultaneously claim they want a new play caller is beyond me. The lack of consistent blocking alone, from the line to the tight ends and backs, torpedoes almost any argument against O'Brien. There isn't a lot of talent there and they had struggles early in the season caused by O'Brien and his staff but this has to be better before damning O'Brien.

Injuries is another way to spell inconsistency too. Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Demaryius Thomas, and D'Onta Foreman all missed significant time this season. Watson spent a few weeks playing hurt. DeAndre Hopkins was on the injury report damn near all season. Oh an let's not forget the starting right tackle went down in the first game and the guards were rotating dealing with injuries. Even with all this, they were an average offense when it was all said and done.

There were 14 teams with a better offensive points per game statistic than the Houston Texans. Of those teams, six of the head coaches call the plays (Freddie Kitchens is the head coach now and called the plays for most the Browns offensive success). Atlanta fired Steve Sarkisian but nobody wants that experiment here. Todd Monken was in Tampa but lost play calling duties at one point to Dirk Koetter, who was hired by the Falcons to run their offense. Assume any of the other teams ahead won't let their play caller leave and that has just one option for the Texans, Mike McCarthy. He is sitting out looking for a head coaching job. So someone else who wasn't or hasn't called plays is going to be better than O'Brien?

The new face would be bad for Deshaun Watson too. A new play caller and offensive coordinator has to get used to Watson and his style but also the rest of the offense. Nobody knows the team like O'Brien and his offensive staff. Watson just stood up for his head coach, and play caller, last season. He frequently talks about his high approval for O'Brien's offense and how just a few bits of execution would have them being a little bit better. He's not wrong either. A few more plays here and there is a few more wins and maybe a bye.

This team is close to having a top offense. They need some luck with injuries and Brian Gaine needs to nail the draft and free agency to shore up the nagging issues. It is worth giving O'Brien one more shot. Synergy produced the best Texans season under O'Brien. Why go messing with it just yet? Plus, if O'Brien stinks they can turn the duties over to Sean Ryan, who was interviewed last offseason for coordinating jobs. Then, if he fails too, the Texans can look outside the organization.

Until then, how about a little patience?

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Kyle Tucker had a big day at the plate on Sunday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of the series, with one team or the other putting on a solid offensive performance in each, the Astros tried to win their fourth series in their last five by taking the rubber game on Sunday against the Blue Jays. Thanks in part to a big day from Kyle Tucker, who played a significant role in the early offense they used to power to the win, they would accomplish their mission.

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 18-16, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Nate Pearson (0-1)

Kyle Tucker helps lead the offense to seven unanswered runs

Houston did not go easy on Nate Pearson in his 2021 debut. After a scoreless first, the Astros loaded the bases on two walks and a single, then brought the first run of the day home on an RBI walk by Michael Brantley. Another walk opened the door in the bottom of the third, and Kyle Tucker capitalized with an RBI triple to make it 2-0, followed by an RBI single by Robel Garcia to make it a three-run lead, ending Pearson's day one out into the bottom of the third.

Things didn't get easier for Toronto's pitching in the next inning, as Jose Altuve would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer. A single and a walk then set up another big hit for Kyle Tucker, a three-run dinger to make it seven unanswered runs and giving Tucker four RBI on the day.

Blue Jays pound Greinke in the fifth

After four shutout innings to start his day on the mound, working around a few hits along the way, Zack Greinke tried to cash in on his team's offense to get another win on his record. He wouldn't be able to get it done, though, as Toronto would get after him in the top of the fifth. They would score four times amongst five batters that came to the plate, with a solo homer by Rowdy Tellez, a two-RBI double by Bo Bichette, and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

That made it a 7-4 game, and with Greinke still not having recorded an out in the frame, Dusty Baker would lift him at 88 pitches in favor of Bryan Abreu, who would get a pop out and a double play to end the inning and keep the lead at three runs. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 88 P.

Houston takes the series

No more runs would come on either side the rest of the way, with Kent Emanuel working around a single for a scoreless sixth, Ryne Stanek getting a 1-2-3 seventh, and Andre Scrubb doing the same in the eighth to set up Ryan Pressly for the save. Pressly would get the job done, sending the Blue Jays down in order, including two strikeouts to wrap up the win and giving Houston the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will stay at home to continue this homestand, welcoming in the Angels for three games starting Monday at 7:10 PM Central. The opener will feature a pitching matchup of Alex Cobb (1-2, 5.48 ERA) for Los Angeles and Luis Garcia (0-3, 3.28 ERA) for Houston.

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