On Monday the Houston Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. The Texans started the 2020 season with four straight losses and sit in last place in the AFC South at 0-4. This off-season Houston locked up their superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson to a four-year extension with $111 million in guaranteed money. Given that the NFL is a quarterback driven league and Watson is incredibly talented, that was a smart move by the organization. Other moves made by O’Brien, including trading away arguably the best receiver in the league in DeAndre Hopkins, were less intelligent. It was those types of moves, the 0-4 start, O’Brien going only 52-48 in his 100 games as head coach of the Texans, a 2-4 postseason record and the front office being afraid they were about to waste Watson’s talents that ultimately led to O’Brien being fired on Monday. And now the question everyone will ask is who will replace O’Brien as the Texans head coach? The answer should be Eric Bieniemy.
Eric Bieniemy Should Be Houston Texans Next Head Coach
Eric Bieniemy is currently the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. And while he does share play calling to a degree with head coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs have offensive talent to spare, Bieniemy deserves much of the credit for Kansas City’s recent success. But, for some inexplicable reason, despite being interviewed seven times for a head coaching position, he has yet to be hired. He was passed over this past off-season by teams that needed a new head coach as those organizations decided to go with less qualified candidates. Bieniemy preached patience and said he would get a job when the timing was right. Maybe he was onto something because with the whacky and truncated off-season this year, due to COVID-19, new head coaches were going to be at a disadvantage. But next year teams should hopefully have a full off-season.
Bieniemy’s Time in Kansas City
Eric Bieniemy is currently in his eighth season with Chiefs and has been their offensive coordinator since 2018. Before that he was their running backs coach from 2013-2017.
Last season, with Bieniemy as their offensive coordinator, the Chiefs offense finished in the top-10 in multiple categories, including points per game (28.2), yards per game (369.2), pass yards per game (281.1) and yards per play (6.22). In 2018, Bieniemy’s first as the Chiefs offensive coordinator, Kansas City finished ranked first in yards per game (425.6) and yards per game (35.3), and third in pass yards per game (309.7).
Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes
No one is going to argue that Watson, who was drafted two spots ahead of Patrick Mahomes in 2017, is better than Mahomes, who is a generational talent and the best quarterback in the league. But Watson is a top-10 signal caller and he and Mahomes have similar skill sets. Eric Bieniemy, has played a big part in utilizing Mahomes extremely well thus far. If would be smart of the Texans to target Bieniemy as their next coach so he could work with Watson and get the most out of the Clemson product.
Possible Other Candidates
The Texans could also target Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll or the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who have both done remarkable work with their respective quarterbacks (Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson). But the best choice for the Texans is Bieniemy.
The bottom line is Eric Bieniemy will be a head coach in the NFL next season. The Texans also need to hire a new general manager (no one person should be head coach and general manager), but their first order of business should be to hire Bieniemy as their next head coach. If not, another team (maybe the New York Jets when they inevitably fire Adam Gase) will and the Texans could regret it.