Sports

A way around Texans firing either Bill O'Brien or Rick Smith

A way around Texans firing either Bill O'Brien or Rick Smith

Shorty after the Houston Texans' 2017 season ended Sunday, general manager Rick Smith announced that he'll begin 2018 by taking an extended leave of absence from the team due to his wife's recent breast cancer diagnosis.

O'Brien has one season remaining on the five-year contract he signed when taking over as head coach of the Texans in 2014.

How is he supposed to do that without a viable option at quarterback?

After another insane offseason that included the unloading of Osweiler and trading up for DeShaun Watson, the Texans finally appeared to have some clarity and direction for the team going forward, but rumors of a poor relationship between coach and management persisted. Smith has been in charge of the Texans for some 12 years and while local media and fans have called for his firing for years, he continues to survive and keep his job despite questionable decisions. Injuries also cost the Texans' arguably their two best players on defense - J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus - for much of the season.

O'Brien has received public endorsements from Watson, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.

It remains possible Smith and O'Brien return with some restructuring around them, but it appears less likely in light of Friday's report by insider Aaron Wilson on the climate of the front office. Things could take a pretty drastic turn in Houston but not like many expected them to. O'Brien, according to Sporting News, will tell McNair to fire him or fire Smith.


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