After two years of handling both the head coaching and offensive coordinator duties, Bill O’Brien will cede the position of offensive coordinator to Tim Kelly. Kelly was promoted from being the tight ends coach.
Will Lawing will replace Kelly as tight ends coach and the Texans will also name Carl Smith as the quarterback’s coach who has been the quarterback’s coach for the Seattle Seahawks for the past 8 years.
The Texans are also bringing former Texans players onto the coaching staff. Brian Cushing, who spent his entire 9 season career in Houston will be a new assistant strength and conditioning coach. Cushing’s career came to an unfortunate end after receiving a second PED-related suspension. Former QB TJ Yates, who last played for the team in 2017, will also join the staff as
So far it seems the only departure is Wes Welker, who will not return for the 2019 season. Welker was an offensive and special teams assistant and there are no details as to why Welker is departing the team.
The biggest of these moves is clearly the addition of Tim Kelly as offensive coordinator. Fans have long asked O’Brien to allow someone else to handle the play calling due to the up-and-down nature of the Texans the past couple seasons. While the Texans went on a long winning streak last season most of the games were too close for comfort and many decided by one score only. With a potential superstar in Deshaun Watson, many in Houston don’t want his career to be stymied by lackluster play calling so the hope is this move will help kickstart an offensive that was operated towards the bottom in terms of red zone efficiency last season. This move will allow O’Brien to focus solely on his head coaching duties and working with GM Brian Gaine as they prepare for the NFL draft in April.
There may be criticism for this move as well. It is surprising that Houston opted to not bring in a tried-and-true offensive coordinator from another franchise as promoting someone from within the organization (with no experience in the new role) can always be risky.
The additions of Cushing, Yates, and Dent will help bring a familiarity to the team with players who are comfortable with the organization and know it well. It can also help to have players work with teammates they played with as little as only one season ago.
The assumption should be that Carl Smith will help develop Deshaun Watson in a similar way to Russell Wilson who has excelled as a strong running quarterback. Many have compared the two quarterbacks due to this similar style.
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