What options are left for the Texans?

Texans halt pursuit of Nick Caserio

The Texans announced Friday they would halt their pursuit of Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio. Earlier this week the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans in their pursuit of Caserio.

The Statement

The tampering charges will be dropped with the Texans stopping their pursuit of Caserio. If there was indeed language where the Texans couldn't claim Caserio was getting a better job the Patriots could further deny permission for the Texans to interview and then hire Caserio.

Other Candidates

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.

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.

The Texans have already reportedly interviewed Ray Farmer and San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Martin Mayhew. I would guess Farmer is not an option after his tough tenure in Cleveland. Mayhew is an interesting name as he has a lot of general manager experience as he was the Lions GM from 2008 - 2015.

Outside of these candidates I'm not sure there is someone that would really knock your socks off. I would also guess the Texans won't speak to the Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort after what just went down but who knows.


Two Job Bill?

I don't think it is out of the question Bill O'Brien ends up with the power and the Texans don't hire a general manager this offseason. There are rumors Caserio's contract could be up next offseason and if those are true he could leave New England of his own accord.

O'Brien calling the shots for one year would be dangerous. Yes, he could have people take care of a lot the day-to-day duties while he coaches. No, I don't believe he is ready for this dual role. With someone who has little experience in that world taking over there are sure to be areas of neglect and it stresses how important other doing their job to near perfection would be.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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