When I posted my write up grading each available NFL head coaching role, there were six of them available. Five have been filled, and there’s only one left. The messiest one yes, but the worst one? In my opinion no.
Roles filles so far:
Jacksonville Jaguars – Urban Meyer
One of the greatest college football coaches in the sports history, the Jags hire Urban Meyer with zero NFL experience whatsoever. I’ll write another post soon giving my opinions on each hire specifically.
LA Chargers – Brandon Staley
Staley earns himself a head coaching role, and in my opinion the best one available, after building the most successful and well coached defence in the league this season. Staley won’t even need to move house as he transitions from the Rams to the Chargers.
Atlanta Falcons – Arthur Smith
The man who helped to turn Ryan Tannehill’s career around as the offensive coordinator of the Titans lands in Atlanta. And is apparently a wealthier man than Arthur Blank, who owns the team. That’s crazy!
Detroit Lions – Dan Campbell
The Lions hire Dan Campbell, former staff member of the New Orleans Saints, and long term league tight end. Campbell isn’t a play caller, but the Lions hired him with the intent that he will be a leader, and help turn their fortunes around. Certainly an interesting one. And most definitely a gamble.
New York Jets – Robert Saleh
This is a great hire. Saleh finally gets the chance at a head coaching role that he’s most definitely earned over the last few years, running a very successful defence as the coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
Philadelphia Eagles – Nick Sirianni
The Colts offensive coordinator moves over to Philly where a decision will need to be made on Carson Wentz. We’ll see how this one plays out. The Colts have a strong offence with difference makers in more positions than the Eagles.
So there’s one job left…
Unsurprisingly, the only remaining head coaching role is that of the Houston Texans. Not the best job available, and the Texans have their work cut out to turn things around, considering the disgruntled situation with Deshaun Watson, and the general mess of the organisation, it’s cap space, and roster. You can read about that in my one of my other posts, where I went into great detail about it…
The Texans are going to struggle to fill this role until they get their house in order. Things are desperately frayed between franchise and franchise quarterback, and I don’t believe any head coach is going to walk into that situation without an outcome.
So for me, the Texans need to either trade Deshaun Watson and give the new head coach a clean slate to work with, or, the better option, is to find a head coach that can sit down with Deshaun, talk everything over with him, build a relationship, and convince him to stay. That conversation needs to take place before a hire is made, off the record, somebody who can sit down and say ‘look Deshaun, ‘l’ll take this head coaching role if you’d stay with me, and let’s build something here together’
Bieniemy or Bust
That person simply needs to be Eric Bieniemy. For the sake of Deshaun Watson, for the sake of the Houston Texans, and for the sake of all of us as football fans. He’s the perfect hire. He’s built one of the most explosive offences in the NFL, while working under Andy Reid. He is absolutely the front runner to be the next big thing to come out from under Reid’s wing, after a long line of other head coaches who’ve been there before him. John Harbaugh, Doug Pederson, Ron Rivera, Matt Nagy, Todd Bowles, Sean McDermott, Pat Shurmur, Steve Spagnuolo, among others, it’s an insane list. All of whom have worked with or for Andy Reid.
Bieniemy deserves his chance, we all know that. The excuses are poor, and they make no sense at this point. You simply can’t look at what he’s been able to achieve and tell me he doesn’t deserve a chance, and pairing him with Deshaun Watson would make things very interesting, if you can bring them together in Houston.
There were talks last off season as to whether Eric Bieniemy would end up a head coach or not, which ultimately led nowhere and he remained in Kansas City. This off season it’s exactly the same situation
Deshaun made his feelings very clear on who he wanted the Texans to bring in. The Texans also agreed to give him a say and allow him to provide feedback on the hires. Which I don’t necessarily agree with but if you made the promise to him then you should stand by it… the Texans did not:
So Nick Caserio was hired, and the GM role filled, leading to discussions beginning around the next hire, for a head coach. Again Deshaun Watson made his feelings clear…
This tweet surfaced on the 8th January, and the general feel was that Watson felt once again let down by his franchise. However the Texans appear to be trying to do what they can to turn things around with their QB, as four days later on the 12th January they requested an interview with Bieniemy.
Of course, no decision can be made on that hire if he is to be the guy, as Bieniemy is still currently focused on the playoffs and the current Kansas City Chiefs season. Bieniemy addressed the situation here:
But to make it very very clear, as far as I understand it and view it, it’s this simple. If you hire Eric Bieniemy, you hold onto Deshaun Watson. If you hire anybody else, you’ll burn whatever is left of your house down and that relationship will be so badly crisped you’ll have to severe it and move on. It really is that simple.
And who knows, Bieniemy could even bring Sammy Watkins over with him, who is still a very capable wide receiver, and currently a free agent as we approach the off season, to offer a little bonus to Deshaun Watson on arrival.
I really hope the Texans see sense, make the right choice, and end up actually hiring the best option available for a head coaching role. I’d have Bieniemy top of my list out of the six men hired, and because the Texans are so badly organised and need time to figure their situation out, the delay could walk Bieniemy right into their building, because it allows him time to focus on the playoffs and potential super bowl before he needs to make a decision.
The other 5 teams dashed around and made their hires before the season is fully over, so it might just work in the Texans favour.
Come on Houston, let’s see it happen.