Necessary Roughness

Necessary Roughness: Is the Texans’ head coaching job really a good fit for Eric Bieniemy?

A lot of buzz is surrounding the idea of Eric Bieniemy to the Texans next year. Bieniemy is certainly due for a head coaching job, but maybe he shouldn’t jump at the first given opportunity if he wants his first gig to be successful.

On Monday, the Houston Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after the team’s 0-4 start. Former Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel will take over as interim head coach, but at age 73 and a poor showing in his precious head coaching positions, it is unlikely that Crennel will take over next season.

One likely candidate to become the Texans’ head coach is Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. In fact, SportsLine has Eric Bieniemy with the second-best odds to take over next season.

Here is the odds list for who could take over the Texans’ coaching vacancy via SportsLine:

  • Josh McDaniels +300
  • Eric Bieniemy +350
  • Brian Daboll +500
  • Greg Roman +600
  • Byron Leftwich +800
  • Robert Saleh +1000
  • Dabo Swinney +1200
  • Matt Eberflus +1500
  • Don Martindale +1800
  • Lincoln Riley +2000
  • Mike Gundy +2500
  • Jim Harbaugh +3000

Needless to say, Eric Bieniemy will have a realistic shot to be the next head coach in Houston. If he gets the offer, however, should he take it?

The problem with taking on the Texans’ head coaching position is that the same guy who failed as a head coach also failed as a general manager. O’Brien traded away the best offensive weapon outside of quarterback in DeAndre Hopkins. He also traded a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick for a good left tackle basically. He also traded away three-time pro bowler Jadeveon Clowney for peanuts.

The Texans’ cap situation for the 2021 season isn’t any better. According to Spotrac, Houston is slated to be 11 million dollars and some change over the cap next season. This is a fixable situation however if the team parts ways with guys like Duke Johnson, Brandin Cooks, and unfortunately J.J. Watt. If the Texans were to move on from Watt, they would have a cap savings of $17.5 million.

The problem with moving on from guys like J.J. Watt, Brandin Cooks, and Duke Johnson, is that the Texans do not have the draft picks to replace them and the money saved from those guys is just to get the team out of the hole.

Another issue with the Texans’ job is that Bieniemy will have to work with a new general manager to use the limited cap space to bring in the right personnel. We’ve seen in Kansas City what the wrong GM can do to an organization or a coaching staff.

There are several positives in Houston, however. They already have a franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson. They have a left tackle to protect Watson and the rest of the line is decent. Will Fuller V and Kenny Stills are pretty good weapons at the receiver position. There are several holes on the defense though, and it will be very hard to bring the Texans to a championship level with the lack of draft picks and cap space.

I think there will be better head coaching options for Eric Bieniemy for the 2021 season. The Jacksonville Jaguars will likely move on from Doug Marrone. They actually have a ton of cap space heading into next year and could be in play for Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the draft. The Jets are also a good choice based on their cap situation and they could either be in a position for Lawrence and use Sam Darnold as trade capital or use the high pick to build around Darnold. The Lions and Falcons are other options. I don’t know if they’re good options, but they will get Bieniemy out of the AFC, which is great for the Chiefs.

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