After an 0-4 start to the 2020 season, the Houston Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after more than six seasons with the organization. It took the club until the first week of January to find O’Brien’s successor in the front office, with the Texans hiring Nick Caserio to be their new GM.
But as of this writing, Houston has yet to name a new head coach, the only remaining team in the NFL without one. There were seven head coach openings at the conclusion of this past regular season, and after the Eagles hired Nick Siriani this past Wednesday, only one vacancy remained.
Let’s take a look at some of the names to appear at the top of the team’s list to be the head coach beginning in the 2021 campaign.
We start with what would be the most surprising candidate on the list. The Texans interviewed McCown this past week after signing him in November to a two-year contract as an active member of the roster. McCown was on the Eagles’ practice squad this year after relieving Carson Wentz in their Wild Card loss to the Seahawks last January.
The 41-year old retired in 2019 to become a high school quarterbacks coach in North Carolina. His familiarity with Deshaun Watson is an advantage, but it would be hard to imagine seeing him get his first head coaching experience with an NFL franchise.
Caldwell was also interviewed this past week, with the two sides having continued discussions about the role. The 66-year old did not coach in 2020 after leaving the Dolphins’ organization midseason in 2019 to address health issues.
Caldwell spent time as the head coach of both the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts, compiling a 36-30 record, including the playoffs. The Houston fanbase would have to be thoroughly convinced of Caldwell, having just come off a season with Romeo Crennel as the interim head coach.
Bieniemy, seemingly, has been the hot candidate for the past three years. The offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs has interviewed with multiple teams during KC’s playoff run, even turning down some Zoom requests along the way. He was the odds-on favorite to land this job dating back to October when O’Brien was dismissed and remains one of the frontrunners.
While many believe Houston has been dragging their feet, they could just be waiting for the Chiefs’ season to end to formally interview Bieniemy and offer him the gig. If that’s the case, there’s the potential that this could extend through the second week of February.
The team has cast a wide net of potential candidates, which also included David Culley, Leslie Frazier, Marvin Lewis, and Matt Eberflus, not to mention the laundry list of coaches they’ve been “keeping tabs on.”
In the end, expect Bieniemy to be the new man in charge in Houston. Whether that’s good enough to keep Watson happy (and in a Texans’ uniform) remains to be seen.