On Sunday night, it was announced that the Houston Texans would be changing direction with regards to the head coaching position. The team decided to release head coach Lovie Smith, who went 3-13-1 in his only campaign at the helm in Houston.
This comes on the heels of the franchise’s decision to part ways with David Culley, who also only lasted one year with the Texans.
Houston will hope that their next head coaching hire can provide some stability to an organization that badly needs it.
Here are three candidates that the Texans should consider hiring for the 2023 season.
There are a lot of franchises that have a lineage which dates back several decades. These organizations have the ability to manufacture goodwill amongst their fan bases when they bring back names from the past who had a direct correlation with the glory days for the city. It doesn’t always work out, but there’s at least a groundswell of support initially, and a legitimate desire for that person to do well.
The Texans aren’t one of those franchises with a storied history, as they’ve only been around since 2002. However, one of their former players has made a name for himself as the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers. Former Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans has ascended up the coaching ranks quickly, and oversees a 49ers unit that is ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed, points allowed, and interceptions. Ryan made the Pro Bowl twice with Houston as a player, and would be welcomed back with open arms.
For some reason, it seems like Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy trends into and out of relevance during each NFL head coaching cycle. He’s been Andy Reid’s righthand man for a number of years, and is viewed as one of the best offensive minds in the league. Given the Chiefs’ recent run of success, one would’ve thought that Bieniemy would’ve had the chance to leave Kansas City many years ago.
There may not be an assistant in the NFL who deserves a head coaching opportunity more than Bieniemy, and he also might be the most ready for it. The NFL has tended to hire younger assistants in recent years, but Bieniemy’s experience at 53 years of age might allow him to avoid the mistakes of his less-experienced counterparts.
However, if Houston does elect to go with a more innovative candidate, they might want to take a look at Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator, Brian Callahan. Callahan certainly has coaching pedigree in his blood, as he’s the son of former Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan.
The Bengals have been one of the best offensive teams in the NFL in the past couple of seasons, and Callahan’s work with head coach Zac Taylor has been a big part of their success. Houston will need to replenish their level of talent through the draft and free agency, but someone like Callahan might be well served to get the most out of that ability.