Analysis Opinion

Texans need to hire Eric Bienemy badly next season

The Texans have given head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien plenty of leeway in making not only coaching, but personnel decisions in the 6 years he has been at the helm. He was given a 4 year extension in 2018, after the Texans limped to a 4-12 record, and then was named GM this past offseason, and what an offseason it has been. After taking over the GM spot, O’Brien promptly unloaded one of, if not the best WRs in the NFL in Deandre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for the oft-injured David Johnson. This move had many scratching their heads, and O’Brien seemed to try and make up for his mistake by trading for Brandin Cooks from the LA Rams, but there is certainly no replacing an all world talent like Deandre Hopkins. This doesn’t even bring into account the bloated contracts that these 2 acquisitions bring along with them, pushing the Texans even closer to the salary cap. This isn’t even bringing into account the questionable decisions he made on the field as well, like running a fake punt against the Chiefs in the divisional playoffs from his own side of the field. It is clear that the beleaguered O’Brien is in over his head, and needs to be relieved of his duties after this season runs its course. The experiment has gone on long enough.

Eric Bienemy is the most logical choice to replace O’Brien. He has been at the helm of the prolific Chiefs offense for the past 2 years, and was the RB coach for the 4 years prior to that. His two predecessors at offensive coordinator, Matt Nagy and Doug Pederson, also left the Chiefs to take the head coaching spots at their respective teams, and have done quite well in the position with Pederson leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory. In the 2 years with Bienemy at the helm of Kansas City, the Chiefs offense led the NFL in yards per game and points scored in year one, and then went on to win the Super Bowl in year two. The fact that Andy Reid calls the plays didn’t seem to stop Nagy and Pederson from landing a job, so what is the hold up with Bienemy? 

A persistent rumor that has been spread is that his lack of opportunities is due to his race, and it seemed that every team Bienemy interviewed with seemed to choose a white candidate. This lack of opportunities for Bienemy to move through the ranks even was reportedly the reason the NFL proposed (unsuccessfully) a change to the Rooney rule, which makes it so that any team that is interviewing for a head coaching spot or senior football operations must interview ethnic-minority candidates. There is no hiring quota, only one for interviews however, and this may be leading to minority candidates being brought in for an interview even if they have no chance at being hired. The proposed change would have given teams extra priority draft picks if they had hired a minority candidate, although it wasn’t passed. The fact that the league is even considering such an amendment to the rule, and the fact that Bienemy has spearheaded the most explosive offense in football over the past 2 seasons only highlights the Texans need for a change at the head coaching spot, and Bienemy should be their number one priority. 

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