It would appear it’s not going to be easy to explain the current state of the Texans following the second embarrassing defeat – this season. “I don’t have the answers to a lot of the questions I have posted…” MadRadio co-host Mike Meltser wrote in a blog post for SportsRadio 610 yesterday regarding whether or not the Texans hired the wrong coach when they named Bill O’Brien to replace Gary Kubiak. I do have an answer to that most important question Mike. I think you do as well. I think we all do.
The deal is, we don’t want to come off as “knee jerk” by proclaiming a coach’s fate 23 games into his tenure. However, the “Ready. Shoot. Aim.” approach to decision-making is as good of a reason as necessary for why we know Bill O’Brien won’t succeed as Texans head coach.
O’Brien’s unprecedented approach to managing the quarterback position is foolhardy enough, but to willingly go into an NFL game with only one active quarterback is insane. Monday we learned that was O’Brien’s plan.
Per Garrett Heinrich’s story, “A source with knowledge of the situation told SportsRadio 610 on Monday that, “Mallett would have been walking home from South Beach” if the Texans had a suitable QB to take his spot.” Somebody in the decision-making process wanted to expose O’Brien.
Worst case scenario, the disagreement about whether or not to cut the immature Ryan Mallett before the game in Miami is the official start to the rats jumping ship. That O’Brien has final say over the roster is not breaking news. That GM Rick Smith has some veto power without needing owner Bob McNair’s vote is news – we’ve been told over and over that when O’Brien and Smith disagree, McNair steps in with the deciding vote – but that’s not what happened Sunday (or at least McNair being involved in the decision isn’t being leaked/reported).
Best case, it’s another fatal example of a coach in over his head. A quarterback has to be a team leader. One would think “quarterback guru” O’Brien would know this, though his handling of the position would indicate otherwise. If you can’t properly manage the most important position on the team, how are you going to handle the small details that separate champions from also-rans? You won’t.
This team is a grease-fire mess right now – in every conceivable way. Bill O’Brien has now led the Texans team to its two worst losses in franchise history. The Texans have only allowed a team to score 40 points eleven times in 14-years. They’ve been down by more than 40 twice already this season. The previous “largest deficit” in franchise history was 35 points down (42-7) against New England in the famous “Letterman Jacket game” in 2012.
I must admit I am surprised by O’Brien’s incompetence. I knew he’d come out looking good in Hard Knocks I just didn’t know it was because he was great at acting like an NFL head coach. I considered him the best available option when the Texans hired him. I’ve enjoyed interacting with him (guessing that’s over now). I thought he would be a very good coach and leader of this organization. The results say otherwise without any indication that the rapidly growing pile of horrific losses are some form of growing pains.
The verdict is in. How long will it take Bob McNair to accept that fact and move the franchise toward winning titles and away from O’Brien is anyone’s guess (mine is at least two, maybe three more years – that’s how long McNair gave Kubiak when it was already obvious to everyone Gary couldn’t get the job done).