Not having an established pecking order could prove to be costly for the Houston Texans.
The Houston Texans are playing with fire by entering the season without hiring a general manager to oversee the front office in 2019. Outside of the daily responsibilities the general manager assumes from his job, there is no clear cut candidate within the organization that will be responsible for doing the basic operations within a season, it will be divided into multiple people. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the responsibilities will go to Matt Bazirgan, James Liipfert, Chris Olsen and Jack Easterby of the Texans front office.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien could have a stronger hand on who makes the final 53 man roster than he had before but the costs of giving him more responsibilities could be equally damaging as it is beneficial. O’Brien already has his hands full overseeing the team as the head coach, but now he will have to prove to be able to handle some of the delegations given to front office executives.
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Normally coaches are able to teach the players how to run in their system, give their advice to the general manager on who should make the final roster, and let the general manager take the best course of action given football logistics and financial situations. O’Brien could be breaching that line and harm the good standing relationship he has with the players he coaches.
O’Brien has been given the power that not many coaches in the NFL have with a questionable track record in the playoffs. He has not proven to be anywhere near the caliber of a coach that Bill Belichick is but he has been given similar privileges by the Texans ownership.
The same can be said for the rest of the Texans staff that will assume responsibilities in the front office and serve as the general manager by committee. Their decisions made in this season will in part have to be looking at their short term since it can be undone by the unnamed candidate that can come in 2020.
According to reports, New England Patriots director of player personnel, Nick Caserio remains unofficially the favorite to land the job despite the tampering that allegedly took place between the Texans and him. Texans could very well wait for his contract to expire and sign him as their general manager next season.
However, the Texans will have to prove that they can hold the fort down for a season with multiple talking heads with different opinions. The question is more imposing than it seems at first glance since a functional organization would not have fired their current general manager without having a legal clear cut option available.