The Texans will have a General Manager, after all.
The Texans have given coach Bill O’Brien the General Manager label. Also, Jack Easterby has become the team’s executive V.P. of football operations.
It’s an unexpected ending to a process that began in June, when the Texans abruptly fired G.M. Brian Gaine, with the initial plan to hire Patriots V.P. of player personnel Nick Caserio to replace Gaine. The Patriots filed a tampering charge, and the Texans abandoned the pursuit.
Before doing so, the Texans interviewed a pair of minority candidates for the G.M. job: Ray Farmer and Martin Mayhew. The Fritz Pollard Alliance objected to the decision to interview a pair of minority candidates and then to hire no one for the job. The move created the obvious impression that Farmer and Mayhew never were legitimate candidates, and that the Texans were simply engaged in an exercise in checking the box, twice.
It will be interesting to see whether the Fritz Pollard Alliance has anything to say about the elevation of O’Brien and Easterby without a job search that included at least one minority candidate for their positions, especially in light of recent criticism of the league for a regression in the hiring of African-American candidates for key positions.
“This is the way we’ve been operating for the last 8 months,” Texans owner Cal McNair told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle regarding the promotions. “They led us to a 10-win season, another division title and into the divisional round. Our goal is to win championships.”
The Texans mortgaged the future with moves made by O’Brien and Easterby on Labor Day weekend, and they enter the offseason with limited draft picks and a quarterback who may soon begin clamoring for a record contract. And in the event the Texans regress in 2020, consider this: McClain reports that neither O’Brien nor Easterby have emerged from this process with more money or a longer contract.