The Texans made several coaching changes on Tuesday, including the disappointing news that Bill O’Brien will take over play calling.
We wrote on this in detail yesterday, but the decision smacks of arrogance, lack of awareness and simple failure to recognize the real problem.
The Texans also reshuffled the defense, with Mike Vrabel taking over as defensive coordinator and Romeo Crennel becoming assistant head coach. Vrabel was a popular DC name for other teams, so this is likely to keep him in place. It is assumed Crennel will help take over some game day responsibilities with O’Brien calling plays.
Meanwhile, on offense, O’Brien will call plays and not hire a new offensive coordinator to replace George Godsey. Receivers coach Sean Ryan will switch over to quarterbacks.
So essentially the Texans are saying the real problem was Godsey, even though O’Brien called plays off an on throughout the season and every game his first year. It seems as though the Godsey firing was just to appease the fan base. “Hey, look, he’s to blame.”
It is hard to imagine the anemic Texans offense getting better next season with O’Brien calling poor plays full time instead of part time. We made suggestions on what they should do in yesterday’s piece. We will see if what they did do actually works.
O’Brien came to Houston with a reputation as an offensive mastermind. What we have seen so far has been a predictable, plain, ineffective system. Will it really change by getting rid of one person?
The bigger issue might be the “system” itself. O’Brien built his reputation on one year as OC with Tom Brady. But what Bill Belichick and Brady do is unique. Just like Peyton Manning in his heyday. Brady runs a significant amount of what the Patriots do. Is it possible to replicate that with mediocre quarterbacks? When the Patriots have had to do it, they still had Belichick.
O’Brien further built his reputation by being OK at Penn State. The offense since he has been here has not shown any of that. Yes, they need a quarterback. And an improved offensive line. O’Brien came in with a reputation, but that is all it has been. Fans and management better hope that reputation finally translates into actual on-field success.
Because if O’Brien can’t improve the offense next season, the Texans will be looking for yet another offensive coordinator. And likely another head coach.
Because O’Brien made a move that was much like his offense has been: Predictable.