For those who have followed the Houston Texans under Bill O’Brien, his performance as head coach and general manager did not seem to suggest that the former New England Patriots assistant would be long for the job.
However, things were seemingly different behind the scenes. Even after an humiliating loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoffs last season, Houston opted to add the general manager title to O’Brien’s job description. He would turn around and trade star wide receive DeAndre Hopkins for pennies on the dollar while handing left tackle Laremy Tunsil a record-breaking contract.
Now after an 0-4 start to the 2020 season, Texans owner Cal McNair has decided to fire O’Brien altogether.
Texans fire head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien
Assistant head coach Romeo Crennel will take over on an interim basis.
The move itself is pretty extraordinary given that the Texans had handed O’Brien power to run the ship just this past spring. Earlier on Monday, O’Brien also said that he was going to take over play-calling duties on a full-time basis.
Obviously, something happened behind the scenes between McNair and O’Brien to lead to Monday’s shocking move. Did O’Brien overplay his hand after years of mediocrity? Remember, he had a power struggle with former Texans general manager Brian Gaine which led to the latter’s departure from the organization.
What we do know is that O’Brien finishes his six-plus year tenure in Houston having posted a mediocre 52-48 record, including a 2-4 mark in the playoffs. Following Sunday’s loss to the Vikings, Houston sits at 0-4 and pretty much completely out of the AFC Playoff race.
As you might expect, those around the NFL world had their reactions to Monday’s shocking news.