The Indianapolis Colts will see the Houston Texans twice in a span from December 6 to December 20, but their game plan for Deshaun Watson and company is going to be a little different as things have been shaken up in the AFC South. Late in the day on Monday, the Texans chose to fire Head Coach and General Manager Bill O’Brien following an 0-4 start to the season and a last place standing in the division.
O’Brien had been with the Texans since leaving his post at Penn State University in the 2014 season, and was promoted to General Manager just recently this past off-season. Under both Chuck Pagano and Frank Reich, the Colts had gone 8-5 against O’Brien’s Houston teams since he took over. With him gone, long time NFL coach Romeo Crennel will take over the reins down in Texas.
To break down the backstory of the firing, Indianapolis native and NBC Houston Sports Reporter Vanessa Richardson joined The Fan Morning Show with Jeff Rickard, Kevin Bowen, and Big Joe.
“The coaches that I have talked to are all surprised because they had not even played the Jaguars, Titans, or Colts yet,” Richardson said. “This is his seventh year. He was really good about selling the ‘we’re this close to being further in the playoffs’ thing but then the DeAndre Hopkins trade happened and the guys in the locker room did not appreciate that.”
The last straw for the Texans came after losing in Week 4 to the then winless Minnesota Vikings, who the Colts clobbered in Week 2 28-11. Richardson said that O’Brien had the love and respect of the Houston ownership, so the timing of the firing came as a surprise.
“The late Bob McNair was a very loyal person,” Richardson said. “Bob loved Bill. And my understanding is that’s why a lot of people didn’t think Bill would get fired.”
Since the Colts will not see the Texans down in Houston for another two months, it will be interesting to see what they may look like when Philip Rivers gets a shot at their defense. But with a budding young quarterback in Watson who can single-handedly be a difference maker in most games, Houston will have to turn the ship around ASAP if they want a shot in the AFC South. They’ll face the Jaguars and Titans in consecutive weeks coming up.
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