On Monday, the Houston Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after the team lost 31-23 to the Vikings to drop to 0-4.
During his six-plus years in Houston, O’Brien led the Texans to four AFC South titles but never reached the AFC Championship game. It seemed destined for the Texans in last year’s playoffs as they led the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs 24-0 in the second quarter. Patrick Mahomes led a comeback and the Chiefs went on to win 51-31.
Many believed he was going more personnel control be fired after that but instead was named general manager. O’Brien was given more power in personnel during the 2019 season, but not the general manager title until January. He made some questionable trades, one of which sets the Texans back a couple of seasons. O’Brien traded a 2021 1st and 2nd round pick, along with a 2022 1st round pick to Miami for left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills.
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During this offseason, O’Brien dealt star wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson and a 2020 2nd round pick. That was one of the most head-scratching moves of the offseason.
The Texans promoted associate head coach Romeo Crennel to interim head coach, making him the oldest head coach in NFL history.
This will be the third team Crennel has been the head coach of, having been the head guy in Kansas City and Cleveland. The Texans players are fired up for Crennel, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
O’Brien was starting to lose the locker room and essentially did so when he took over play-calling duties on Sunday, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. Perhaps a change at the top is exactly what Houston needs.
The Texans will look to join the 1992 Chargers as the only teams to make the playoffs after starting 0-4. Houston had the hardest strength of schedule through the first four games, but have the fourth easiest schedule remaining.
Houston has the highest payroll in the NFL at almost $246 million. That is a lot of money for zero wins to show for it. So Houston has some financial and draft problems to look ahead to, something that isn’t ideal for any team, let alone a winless team.