Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
As their overall manager, he’s been one thing nonetheless.
For some unknown reason, Texans possession gradually equipped its coach with extra energy over the past year before at closing giving O’Brien the loyal title of overall manager after firing Brian Gaine closing summer. The collision between an unprepared crew throughout an extra special offseason and a year of mishandling the roster came to a head throughout an embarrassing 34-20 loss to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in the 2020 season opener on Thursday Night Football.
In overall, there is a steadiness of energy to alleviate the tension of conducting every grueling projects, and a synergy is predicted to invent between the two most fundamental decision-makers internal a firm. The New England Patriots‘ Invoice Belichick, O’Brien’s mentor, is a unicorn. His capability to meld every roles so flawlessly is positively the exception to the rule of thumb.
But to the crew’s fright, the Texans talked themselves into giving O’Brien a the same energy dynamic.
That became as soon as a swing and a miss, noteworthy adore the Texans’ tackling right thru Thursday’s loss.
The difficulty is rarely with how the crew is coached, despite the indisputable truth that that can even furthermore be questioned after the form of uncomfortable effort. The noteworthy bigger concerns are regarding the squad’s construction and the diagram it will adversely affect considerable person quarterback Deshaun Watson and the franchise’s long-duration of time capabilities of competing in the AFC South.
As a coach, O’Brien has been pretty horny, pretty talking. So a lot of diversified organizations all the diagram thru the league would adore to exhaust four division titles in 5 years. The Texans won two playoff games in that stretch as properly.
But he seems overwhelmed as a overall manager.
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Sooner than going any additional with specifics concerning evident missteps in personnel, O’Brien’s secure words damned him before the crew ever took the field.
“I have confidence that this year with the genuine field that we’re in, I in fact non-public that right here’s a aged form of year,” Houston Texans head coach Invoice O’Brien instructed reporters in April. “I have confidence or no longer it is going to be in fact refined for newbies without offseason training on the field and being ready to attain your total issues that you attain throughout that 5-week stretch after the draft after which training camp.”
Continuity is arguably extra crucial this season than frequent, as O’Brien implied.
But when that is the case, it made no sense trading four-time Pro Bowler DeAndre Hopkins, who can invent the case he’s the league’s most efficient extensive receiver, and letting defensive care for D.J. Reader fade away in free agency.
The old fashioned positively affected Watson’s effectiveness against a Chiefs defense that featured a depleted secondary without suspended cornerback Bashaud Breeland.
Supposedly, the argument in want of the Texans transferring Hopkins is in accordance with fiscal responsibility, severely since the Texans planned to expand their franchise quarterback—which they did Saturday to the tune of four years and $156 million. Hopkins got a horny penny from his new squad, the Arizona Cardinals, with a two-year, $54.5 million contract extension.
Houston may maybe no longer feasibly attain every deals, correct? Terrifying. Teach about what the Texans got in return and the diagram they tried to interchange Hopkins.
Even supposing the aged receiver maximizes his incomes energy and in fact prices the Cardinals $27.4 million thru the 2nd and third seasons of his new deal, Houston has a combined salary-cap hit of $25.3 million for David Johnson, who came serve in the Hopkins commerce, and extensive receivers Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb, who had been got this offseason. The aforementioned quantity grows to $31.6 million in 2021 and dips to 23.3 million in 2022 since Johnson will no longer be beneath contract.
It wasn’t horny that the Texans got a uncomfortable return on the Hopkins commerce; or no longer it’s that they tried to repair a difficulty they created by throwing extra cash at it than they’d to employ.
Watson, meanwhile, misplaced his safety blanket, and it positively showed. Hopkins became as soon as focused 162.3 instances per season throughout their three years collectively.
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Where had been Cooks and Cobb? They combined to invent four receptions for 43 yards in their Texans debut. Who did Watson target the most? Will Fuller V caught eight passes for 112 yards. Why? On account of Fuller and Watson maintain played collectively since 2017.
To invent issues worse, the Texans offensive front, namely correct care for Tytus Howard, struggled to guard Watson. This difficulty extends serve 17 months as the steadiness of energy internal the organization shifted from Gaine to O’Brien. Houston chose Howard with the 23rd total lift in the 2019 draft. But the 2nd-year blocker from Alabama Explain looked fully outclassed by Chiefs defensive discontinuance Frank Clark. If snappy enchancment is rarely made this season, O’Brien-backed alternate ideas will take one other hit, while the Texans will seemingly be compelled to secure one other retort.
And when the Chiefs had been on offense, they without misfortune controlled the purpose of assault. Sure, the Texans wished to re-signal D.J. Reader this offseason before the nostril care for agreed to a four-year, $53 million take care of the Cincinnati Bengals.
But again, prioritization comes into inquire of. Prefer out these contracts mentioned earlier and the Texans can even maintain afforded every Hopkins and Reader with some finagling, as properly-bustle organizations tend to attain.
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
As a alternative, rookie working serve Clyde Edwards-Helaire torched Houston’s bustle defense with 138 yards and a median of 5.5 yards per raise in his first NFL motion. If they care for as poorly as they did in the opener, the Texans may maybe maintain no likelihood of containing Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens‘ overwhelming speeding assault in Week 2.
The Texans may no longer be the handiest crew to secure blown out in Week 1, and they indubitably may no longer be the handiest crew the Chiefs plaster. They’ll seemingly test plenty better after the time table eases up in October.
With that acknowledged, their roster concerns don’t appear to be going away. Watson will deserve to maintain a target accept as true with Hopkins’ sneakers. The quarterback must be protected. The defense can’t be manhandled on the line of scrimmage.
In another case, the success O’Brien and Watson had will seemingly be forgotten, and O’Brien’s uncomfortable alternate ideas as Houston’s most fundamental decision-maker will lead to the crew’s downfall.
Brent Sobleski covers the NFL for Bleacher Document. Observe him on Twitter, @brentsobleski.