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Texans won’t have a GM? Maybe not a big problem

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the Texans don’t plan on hiring a general manager for the 2019 season.
Credit: AP
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien listens as he speaks during a news conference after an NFL football Organized Team Activity workout Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at the team practice facilities in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans are two weeks away from kicking off their training camp for 2019, and they still don’t have a general manager.

Looks like they won’t be getting one anytime soon, either.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the Texans don’t plan on hiring a GM for the 2019 season. Per his tweet, Schefter indicated the power structure moving forward would involve several people in the front office splitting responsibilities. Matt Mazirgan, James Liipfert, Chris Olsen and Jack Easterby are amongst those named in the report. Head coach Bill O’Brien will likely continue to have a say in personnel decisions moving forward, too.

At first glance, all of this might seem to be a head scratcher. NFL teams don’t do this. They all traditionally have a head coach and a general manager. If they don’t have both, the head coach takes on both roles.

Does it look good? No, of course not. Having this perceived lack of structure within an NFL organization doesn’t really give fans a huge boost of confidence. However, the Texans, in their current state, seem to be a bit different.

When Gaine was fired, New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio became the No. 1 target. When he was under contract, the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans for trying to pry him away which forced Chairman and CEO Cal McNair to issue a formal statement saying after being made aware of certain terms within Caserio’s contract, they would stop their pursuit of him.

Now comes word of no GM hire, and many will say that nothing seems to be going right over at NRG Stadium.

But, here’s the thing. In the Texans case, is not having a GM in 2019 really that bad?

From their perspective, their top choice was Caserio and they couldn’t get him. Caserio’s contract with the Patriots is up after the 2020 NFL Draft. If you really want him, why not just wait until he’s available and go get him? Why hire someone who you don’t really want to fill a role that you feel O’Brien and others within the organization can fill now that you’re about to enter training camp?

No person would even want to take a general manager position with a team knowing full well that the guy the team REALLY wants is still out there and will be available next year. So...hire a lame duck GM then let him go in 8 to 9 months? Doesn’t make any sense at all.

O’Brien has always been clear that he and whomever has filled that general manager role have always kept lines of communication open when it comes to picking players to wear that Texans uniform. O’Brien is entering his 6th season in Houston. This is HIS team now. Whether people outside the building like the roster, he seems to like the guys he has in that locker room.

That fact, the fact that this is really O’Brien’s team, gives McNair a clear view as to where the organization is. If 2019 doesn’t go according to plan (win the division, make the playoffs, win a playoff game, etc.), then McNair can make the ultimate decision on whether or not he feels O’Brien and his vision should continue to carry the team into the future not matter who else is involved with “GM” duties during the year.

If things bottom out, then the Texans start from scratch and properly hire a front office with the correct structure to their liking that get them to the goals they are trying to achieve.

The pressure to win in the NFL is always high. O’Brien knows this all too well. Under this structure, it’s even higher.

Just win and everything else will take care of itself.


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