Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has been on the hot seat during the last two seasons and needed to buy himself some time, so he convinced general manager Rick Smith to draft Deshaun Watson.
The Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien marriage has had its ups and downs in the four years they have been together with the Texans as they now hope that rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson can lead them to the promise land.
The Texans have yet to losing record with the two sitting aside owner Bob Mcnair’s table. However, it has been filled with reports of tension and disagreement.
For the most part, O’Brien has been the one on the hot seat over the last two seasons. This was a self-inflicted wound due to the renowned quarterback guru’s neglect of finding talent at the position.
So last offseason, McNair and Smith sought fit to find O’Brien a quarterback with talent. They thought–logically–that all O’Brien needed was better talent than the backup drop outs currently on their roster.
This was not O’Brien’s decision, this appeared to have been forced on him by the owner and general manager.
I recently wrote about quarterback Brock Osweiler being forced on O’Brien here.
Most importantly- this created a rift of trust with the general manager and head coach. Trust is a key trait needed to maintain a relationship and the Texans lost it.
Osweiler did not fit O’Brien’s mold and pssssst- he never was supposed to.
Osweiler never had the quick release, pocket awareness, or mental fortitude to handle the Texans’ offensive scheme.
That experiment was doomed from the start.
When the dust cleared from a playoff lost in Foxborough, defined by the aforementioned quarterback’s three second-half interceptions; the Texans knew they needed to regroup.
In what appeared to be a swallow of pride- Smith dealt Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns along with a 2018 second round selection in exchange for the Browns’ fourth round pick in 2017.
I wrote about what that trade meant for Smith and Texans here.
More from Toro Times
- Houston Texans: Can Sean Payton really be the next head coach?
- Houston Texans Draft: Michael Mayer should be a no doubter at pick 12
- Houston Texans already telling fans the Davis Mills era is over
- Houston Texans have hand forced, waste no time in firing Lovie Smith
- Houston Texans: Pros and Cons of keeping Head Coach Lovie Smith
What happened after the trade signals a system of trust between general manager and head coach.
In a collaborative effort the two men scouted each collegiate quarterback and found their man, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.
O’Brien saw a young signal-caller equipped with a quick release, mobility, accuracy, and the best understanding of reading defenses in the 2017 draft class.
Smith saw a winner, and was open to taking a chance on Watson. And that is exactly what O’Brien did.
With his job in jeopardy, O’Brien needed to buy himself time. He needed to do things his way.
O’Brien somehow convinced a timid and conservative general manager in Smith to trade away two first round picks, a second round pick, and a sixth round pick to flip Osweiler for Watson.
O’Brien also sent offensive coordinator George Godsey packing and took complete control of the offense.
The latter has been highlighted in this year’s rookie minicamp where O’Brien said himself that he is more hands on than ever before, as Paul Jackiewicz writes here.
O’Brien knows his time is running out, but with the selection of Watson, he may have just bought himself a bit more.