The search for a new general manager begins. What's next and who could they Texans target?

Texans fire GM Brian Gaine

Brian Gaine had a decent draft. Houstontexans.com

The Houston Texans announced Friday they have fired the team's general manager Brian Gaine after just one and half years as the team's general manager.

The Texans statement

With the comment in the release about Gaine's high character it seems unlikely a scandal is on the horizon. Chris Olsen is a well-respected cap expert around the NFL and he, along with I assume Bill O'Brien's influence, will run the team with Gaine gone.

Alignment erosion

Bill O'Brien and Brian Gaine often talked about the alignment of the organization, something that seemingly wasn't the case with the team's previous general manager Rick Smith. Unless there is a scandal, as we mentioned above is unlikely, it seems something went south between O'Brien and what was viewed as his hand-picked front office guy in Gaine.

O'Brien hasn't had a poor relationship with any of the players Gaine has brought it, in fact, plenty of the players Gaine drafted played early and avoided the dog house rookies often find themselves in with O'Brien.

Cal McNair is not his father

The new man at the top is Cal McNair after his father passed away. Bob McNair would have never done this. He was one of the most patient owners in the NFL. It was often said O'Brien and former GM Rick Smith would come to a disagreement Bob McNair would make them work together and fix it. Ultimately the situation between those two became so toxic O'Brien was entertaining a return to college and Smith stepped down when his wife became sick leading to Brian Gaine to take over.

What does this mean for Bill O'Brien?

I believe this only further consolidates Bill O'Brien's power within the organization. Gaine was seen as an O'Brien guy so with the timing of him leaving, June has most of the roster building completed, O'Brien is the man in the building who knows the team best. Even if the Texans add a new general manager quickly O'Brien should maintain near full power until he becomes intimately familiar with the team and their process.

With the added power, the pressure is on for O'Brien. If the new ownership will fire an important piece of the front office with over three years left on his contract there is no reason to think O'Brien can't be a victim if he fails in 2019. It wouldn't be shocking to learn there is a level he needs to achieve to maintain his job.

Who is the next Texans GM?

Bill O'Brien could use some fresh voices. He has leaned towards people he has previously worked with in the past but something new wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Nick Caserio is the New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel. He was pursued by the Texans before Gaine was hired and declined an attempt interview. I don't imagine he would be leaving his spot in New England. UPDATE: The Texans announced they will no longer pursue Caserio.

Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel Will McClay is one of the best in the business but he is with a pseudo-rival and the Jones family loves him. I don't see how he gets away.

Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas has been in contact with the New York Jets about their vacant GM job. It is unclear the status of their pursuit of Douglas. If he is still available he should get an interview. UPDATE: Douglas has been hired by the Jets.

Browns assistant general manager Eliot Wolf just got to Cleveland but is blocked by John Dorsey. He was well respected in the Packers organization before leaving for Cleveland when he didn't get the Packers general manager job.

Scott Pioli was with the Atlanta Falcons as recently as last month before he resigned his post of the assistant general manager. He was the general manager in Kansas City when Romeo Crennel was the head coach and was with the Patriots going as high as the vice president of player personnel.

Watt weighs in

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Houston needs a win to advance

ALWC Game 2 Preview: Astros vs. Twins

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

It took all nine innings, but the Astros rallied late and took Game 1 by a score of 4-1 and are in the driver's seat in this best-of-three series. They'll return to Target Field, home of the Twins, on Wednesday afternoon to try and get the win and advance to the ALDS. Here's what you need to know about Game 2:

Game Facts

When: Wednesday, 12:08 PM Central

Where: Target Field - Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: ESPN 2

Streaming: ESPN App

Pitching Matchup: Jose Urquidy+ vs. José Berríos.

Series: HOU leads 1-0.

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central) Location Pitching Matchup
Game 1 Astros 4, Twins 1 Target Field, Minneapolis Greinke vs. Maeda
Game 2 Wed 9/30, 12:08 PM Target Field, Minneapolis Urquidy+ vs. Berríos
Game 3* Thu 10/1, 12:08 PM Target Field, Minneapolis McCullers Jr.+ vs. Pineda+

* If necessary.
+ Projected starters.

Game Storylines

Houston's offense has to get going earlier

The Twins' error in the ninth inning in Game 1 was a gift for the Astros that they were able to take advantage of and score the winning runs. It's unlikely to be handed another chance like that in the postseason, so in Game 2, it's paramount that Houston creates their own opportunities at the plate.

The good news is, every batter in the lineup was able to reach base in the first game, either by hit or walk. However, they would go 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine on base during the game. Because they can't expect to have two pitchers to combine for a one-run game on Wednesday, they will have to carry over the momentum from the end of Game 1 into Game 2 to build a lead their bullpen can carry.

Trust your arms to navigate through

Whether it's Jose Urquidy, who is the likely candidate, or anyone else who ends up starting Wednesday's game, the Astros have to be prepared to have a longer stretch of innings filled by their bullpen. Despite his struggles to end the regular season, Greinke did well only to allow one run to the Twins over his four innings in Game 1.

You should expect a similar outcome in Game 2, where hopefully your starter can hold the Twins at bay for as long as they can before needing to make the change to relievers. It will be interesting to see how Dusty Baker plays that situation, mostly dependent on the score at the time, as he could have someone like Cristian Javier come in for multiple innings. The only thing the Astros shouldn't do is fire too many of their bullets and put their chances in a potential Game 3 at risk.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

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