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.
On the #Texans GM firing: My understanding is there was no one incident that created the opening. Houston did an evaluation of its football operations and believes — right or wrong — GM Brian Gaine was not good enough. Good, but not good enough. Stunning.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 7, 2019
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.
During the Texans' game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, center Jarrett Patterson sustained a leg injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, per Aaron Wilson.
#Texans wide receiver Robert Woods expected to miss another game with foot injury, per sources. And tight end Brevin Jordan's foot issue could take some time as he deals with plantar fasciitis. With center Jarrett Patterson sidelined (fracture in ankle area, per source, Texans… https://t.co/DluZWB3w2y
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 31, 2023
Monday, Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans was about the health of rookie center Juice Scruggs who has missed the entire regular season to this point with a hamstring injury. Ryans said he didn't have an update on Scruggs when asked if he would be returning to practice this week.
So it looks like the Texans may turn to Michael Dieter at center, who replaced Patterson on Sunday, while they wait for Scruggs to get healthy. The Texans have already dealt with a ton of injuries to their o-line this year. Which is why Tytus Howard is struggling to play left guard instead of lining up at right tackle, the position he was given a hefty contract extension to play before the season.
The coaches have said they want to have their best 5 linemen on the field, which is why Howard is not likely to move back to tackle anytime soon, even though his run blocking has been below average at guard. This also means the Texans inability to run the ball may not get fixed this season.
Houston's running backs have also received criticism for the lackluster running game, but all three backs haven't seen much success, so this feels like a scheme/talent issue on the line. In fact, the Texans' two biggest runs on Sunday came after the backs had to make a defender miss in the backfield.
Houston had a great opportunity to run the ball against one of the worst run defenses in the league against Carolina. But even that matchup couldn't get the Texans run game on track. So where do they go from here? Maybe being less predictable and throwing more on first down could help Stroud and the offense. How they shuffle the line when Scruggs returns could also be an option.
Either way, be sure to watch the video above as we examine all the possibilities to get the ground game going, and protect Stroud in the process.
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