Every-Thing Sports

How the Texans could benefit from potential Rooney Rule amendment

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The NFL instituted the Rooney Rule to encourage teams to include minorities in the hiring process for head coaches and general managers. The rule states teams must interview at least one minority candidate in their hiring process before making a hire. This was presumably to be done in good faith. However, teams have found a myriad of ways to make a mockery of the rule and its intentions. To pour salt in the wound, there's a disproportionate amount of minority head coaches and GMs in the league.

Given the great racial divide, the NFL has tossed around the idea of giving teams the incentive of moving up in the draft if they hire a minority head coach (six spots) and/or GM (ten spots). Those changes have to be voted upon. However, there are other changes that will be in place starting this point forward. They include: teams must interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching positions, at least one for coordinator positions, and at least one for senior-level front office positions (females were included in the front office positions).

So how could the Texans benefit from all this? Where could they stand to improve their team? Here's how I see it:


Bye Bye Bill O'Brien!

About two months ago, I made my case to be Bill O'Brien's replacement. The Texans must've ignored my plea because I haven't gotten a call or email yet. A week later, I gave a realistic exit for O'Brien. Depending on how this season goes, that plan may be executed in the offseason. I've previously stated my hope for Chiefs' offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to be hired as head coach given his tutelage under Andy Reid and what they've done for Pat Mahomes. ESPN's Louis Riddick is a very sharp guy who'd be a good GM hire given he's served in front offices previously, and he's pretty talented evaluating talent on television. Bringing back Rick Smith would be another front office move I could see Cal McNair doing. Getting out from under the dictatorship of buffoonery should be priority number one.

Draft position improvements

Looking at the Texans' lack of draft picks could present an unattractive task to any incoming regime. Couple that with the piss-poor contract extensions that have been handed out, I wouldn't be surprised if the organization had to overpay and over-promise. The potential to maximize the minimal draft capital the Texans have could help entice candidates. Knowing you're without a 1st or 2nd rounder, but have a greatly improved position in the 3rd and possibly 4th rounds helps. That, and number four is under center is a nice carrot to dangle.

Quality replacements

Quality minority candidates are out there. Anthony Weaver is the new defensive coordinator on Kirby and replaces an aging Romeo Crennel. Many questioned his hire. How do you find the next hot coaching prospect unless you give them a shot no one else was willing to give? This applies to minority candidates. I was shocked Bieniemy didn't get hired this offseason. When Sean McVey's assistants got hired after one or two good seasons, you'd think Bieniemy would've been a shoo-in. The Dolphins hired minorities at head coach and GM last offseason. After fleecing the Texans for numerous draft picks and flipping other players into more picks, they used said picks to stockpile young talent. They also spent their cap space wisely to bring in veteran talent and are well on their way to contending for the AFC East in the post-Brady era.

The Texans are in an unenviable position. Number four makes this job a lot more attractive despite the other obvious flaws this organization has. One thing an incoming regime could take solace in is job security. The McNairs are notoriously slow to pull the trigger on organizational changes when it comes to head coaches and GMs. They'd come in knowing they'd have at least four to five years to build something. The first one or two years may be difficult given the shape the organization is currently in, so that job security looks even better. Do I see the McNairs being the type of folk who'd actually go through with an idea this radical? Not really. But what better way for Cal to take charge and put his own stamp on this organization's future than with a total reset under this potential rule change. It could also help set a trend and that's something this team is not known for. In the meantime, we wait. The jackassery on Kirby can't last forever.

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After rallying in the ninth inning in Game 1 to take the pivotal opener of this best-of-three ALWC series, the Astros were in the driver's seat to try and end the series on Wednesday with another win at Target Field. Here is a quick rundown of Game 2:

Final Score: Astros 3, Twins 1.

Series: HOU Wins 2-0.

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier.

Losing Pitcher: Cody Stashak.

Houston gets the first hit and first run in the fourth

Through the first three innings, neither team could get a hit off of Jose Berrios or Jose Urquidy, though the Twins did load the bases in the bottom of the first on two walks and an error, but Urquidy would strand the runners before getting 1-2-3 innings in the second and third.

Meanwhile, the Astros lineup was retired in order in three perfect innings by Berrios. That changed in the top of the fourth when Houston would get back-to-back two-out walks to set up the first hit of the game, an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Dusty Baker makes another early call to the bullpen before Twins tie it up

Urquidy was able to keep the 1-0 lead by working around a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, the first hit for the Twins. He returned in the fifth, allowing a leadoff single before a strikeout for the first out. Dusty Baker would pull another early hook, like Greinke the day prior, dipping into his bullpen early to end Urquidy's day at just 76 pitches in the fifth. His final line: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 76 P.

Brooks Raley was who Baker called on to face the top of the Twins' lineup. He would walk his first batter, putting runners on first and second, get a strikeout for the second out, then allow an RBI-double to Nelson Cruz that almost scored a second, go-ahead run. Instead, the runner was out at home thanks to a terrific defensive play by Carlos Correa, bulleting the ball to Maldonado at home, who made a great tag to save the run and keep it tied 1-1.

Correa homers, Astros advance to ALDS

After Raley completed the fifth inning for Urquidy, Cristian Javier was the next reliever out to begin the bottom of the sixth. He would toss a 1-2-3 frame, sending the tie game to the seventh. In the top of the seventh, Carlos Correa broke the tie with a long, loud two-out solo home run to center-field, putting the Astros back in front 2-1.

Javier held on to the one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh by working around a leadoff walk, then returned for the eighth. He would get through it scoreless, despite allowing a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz, who would be pinch-ran for by the speedy Byron Buxton. After a strikeout for out number two, Javier would catch Buxton between first and second base in a rundown, getting the big final out of the inning.

Houston added insurance in the top of the ninth, getting two on base before an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, his second of the day to make it 3-1. That left things up to closer Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance of the postseason. He would notch the save, advancing the Astros to the ALDS for their fourth-straight year.

Up Next: The Astros will now have a few days off to travel to the west coast before starting their ALDS with the winner of the A's / White Sox ALWC series. Game 1 of their ALDS will be on Monday, October 5th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, with start time TBD.

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