Texans news: After firing head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after Week 4, the Houston Texans could already have a leading candidate to become their coach in 2021.
Houston named Romeo Crennel its interim coach immediately after firing O’Brien, preparing to launch a search to find Deshaun Watson’s next head coach. While the Texans’ search is still in the preliminary stage, it seems Crennel could already be emerging as a real candidate to land the job.
Texans news: Romeo Crennel candidate to become Texans head coach?
According to NFL Network’s Romeo Crennel, there is a strong possibility Crennel becomes the full-time head coach for the 2021 season.
Since taking over, the Texans have shown more life on offense and competed in games. However, Houston’s 2-2 record since Crennel took over could be viewed as deceiving based on the fact the victories came against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Firing O’Brien seemed to improve the team’s morale, with an argument between J.J. Watt and the former coach highlighting the tense atmosphere in the building before Crennel took over.
Crennel, who is 73, became the oldest head coach in NFL history when he returned to the sidelines in Week 5. With more than four decades of coaching experience at the pro and collegiate levels, he operates in stark contrast to O’Brien.
While Crennel is beloved by players, his record as a head coach isn’t impressive. Across four seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2005-’08), the team posted a 24-40 record and never made the playoffs.
He later became the interim coach with the Kansas City Chiefs. Following a 2-1 finish, Kansas City retained him for the full-time gig. The team went 4-15 over its next 19 games, before he was eventually fired.
Hiring Crennel reportedly wouldn’t even be a sign that the Texans want him in that role for years to come. According to NFL Network, the move is only being considered for financial reasons and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Houston reportedly is concerned about potential restrictions this offseason, which might force them to conduct virtual interviews. Normally, CEO Cal McNair and VP of football operations Jack Easterby could fly around the country to conduct in-person meetings.
If the Texans are forced to conduct virtual interviews, they could instead retain Crennel for the 2021 season. He would remain the head coach for one season and then a new coaching search would begin.
Texans news: Jack Easterby gaining power amid coaching search
While there is seemingly some logic in Houston’s approach, it would reflect poorly on the organization. Teams can’t afford to waste a great quarterback’s prime years and that’s the window Houston is in with Deshaun Watson.
The Texans need to conduct a thorough search for a new general manager and head coach this offseason. The team hired character coach Jack Easterby away from the New England Patriots in 2019. A former pastor, he was named executive vice president of team development and quickly gained more authority in the organization.
Promoted to vice president of football operations on Jan. 28, 2020, he played a prominent role in the ridiculed DeAndre Hopkins trade. Once O’Brien was out of the picture, Easterby stepped in as interim general manager and he could retain that role into 2021. In other words, he is gaining power just as quickly as O’Brien did.
The Texans are in danger of making the exact same mistakes that put them in their current position, heading into the offseason with little cap space and no first- or second-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. They need to find the right voices to lead this team and quality candidates are available at head coach.
Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has worked wonders with Josh Allen, an inferior talent to Watson. Meanwhile, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will be the most coveted candidate this offseason. Even Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady is an exciting option.
If Houston sticks with its current approach, it will further waste Watson’s best years. Unfortunately for the fans, given this team’s perilous roster situation, that may not even include trips to the NFL Playoffs.