O’Brien was fired after Texans’ 0-4 start and several questionable personnel decisions
O’Brien was at +900 to become the first coach fired this season
On Sunday, the Houston Texans dropped to 0-4 on the season following a discouraging loss at home to a Minnesota Vikings team that entered Week 4 without a win. After the game, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said that he planned to take over the team’s offensive playcalling duties starting in Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
24 hours later, plans have changed. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Dan Graziano, the Texans have fired O’Brien effective immediately.
In addition to serving as the team’s head coach, O’Brien has also been Houston’s general manager over the past couple of years. His recent moves as the team’s GM have largely overshadowed his tenure as coach.
Over the past year, O’Brien has made a number of questionable roster moves. He parted ways with a bounty of draft picks in exchange for former Miami Dolphins left tackle Laremy Tunsil prior to the beginning of last season. This past offseason, he traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson and a second-round pick.
Earlier on Monday, O’Brien said that he wasn’t concerned about his job security. Perhaps he should have been.
Tough Schedule for Texans
While Houston is off to a dreadful start, the team’s schedule certainly hasn’t done them any favors. The Texans started the season with back-to-back games against arguably the two best teams in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. The team lost a close game in Week 3 in Pittsburgh before yesterday’s aforementioned loss to a Minnesota team that made the playoffs last season.
The 50-year-old has been Houston’s coach since 2014, when he was hired to replace Gary Kubiak. He has an overall record of 52-48 during the regular season with the Texans, alongside a 2-4 mark in the playoffs. The Texans have won the AFC South in four of the last five seasons, but their inauspicious start to 2020 combined with his disastrous tenure as Houston’s GM ultimately cost him both jobs./p>
After the loss to the Vikings, former All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt said the team’s start to the season was “terrible,” “brutal,” and “depressing” and that something had to change.
The Texans are one of just four winless teams left in the NFL along with the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons. Houston owes its first- and second-round picks in the upcoming draft to Miami as a part of the Tunsil trade, so all of the losing they have done to begin the season helps the Dolphins a lot more than it helps the Texans.
Odds Favored Gase to Be Fired First
Schefter reports that former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will take over for O’Brien as head coach on an interim basis. Crennel, 73, stepped down as defensive coordinator at the end of last season. He was replaced by Anthony Weaver.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is reportedly on the Texans’ radar to become O’Brien’s full-time replacement, but that decision likely will not be made until after the season. According to Bovada’s odds, O’Brien was listed at +900 to become the first coach to be fired this season. Those odds put him behind the Jets’ Adam Gase (+150), Falcons’ Dan Quinn (+200), Lions’ Matt Patricia (+700), and a number of other candidates.
The Texans own the NFL’s highest payroll this season at $248 million. Watt, Johnson, Tunsil, Whitney Merciuls, and Will Fuller are all earning at least $10 million in salary for the 2020 campaign.
Houston will look to get into the win column this Sunday at home against Jacksonville. After that, Houston will play back-to-back games against 2019 playoffs teams in the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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