Houston Texans Staff Update: Godsey In, Munchak Out
I've said it frequently here, and will continue to pound the drum -- hiring is the most important skill of any manager or coach, in business or in sports. Surrounding one's self with excellent people is tantamount to achieving success.
That said, even if fans and media recognize some of the names (what's up, Romeo Crennel?), we will have no idea if Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien will have done a good job of hiring until at least well into the 2014 season, maybe longer.
But Texan fans are interested, they want to know who's going to "fix this thing" ("this thing" being the pile of wreckage that was 2013).
To that end, we gained clarity on the future of two more names on Wednesday, one that will be here and one very familiar one that won't.
We'll start with the latter first, as we learned late Wednesday that Hall of Famer and former Houston Oiler great Mike Munchak will not take the job as offensive line coach for the Texans, a marriage that appeared to be a likelihood about ten days ago.
Instead, after interviewing for the Cleveland Browns head coaching job (which at this point, I believe will be decided by a Madden tournament of Browns season ticket holders, winner gets the job), Munchak became linked to the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coaching position in the last several days and, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, informed O'Brien that he accepted the Steelers' job on Wednesday.
For Munchak, this will be his first job outside of the Oiler/Titan organization in his professional career in any capacity and an opportunity to return to his home state, where he starred for Penn State University.
Munchak's decision to head back to his home state is a disappointment to some Texan fans who were excited about having Munchak on the staff for a few reasons. First, and most importantly, he's considered among the best offensive line coaches in the game, and the Texans expect to have youth in at least two spots on the offensive line (left guard, right tackle). Second, the reunion with a nine time Pro Bowler would have been a "feel good" story for longtime Oiler fans. Finally, it was widely assumed that if Munchak came back to Houston, he would bring fellow Hall of Famer and former Titans assistant Bruce Matthews with him in some capacity, making it an even happier reunion.
Instead, now O'Brien needs to find an offensive line coach, one of the more underrated and important hires as he continues the rebuild. Meanwhile, with the New England Patriots losing in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, O'Brien was finally free to openly pursue George Godsey as part of his staff. Their history dates back to Godsey's collegiate days as a quarterback at Georgia Tech in the early 2000's, where O'Brien mentored him as an assistant coach.
For his part, Godsey coached for seven years under the tutelage of George O'Leary at Central Florida (who happened to be the head coach when O'Brien and Godsey were at Georgia Tech), and O'Brien was a huge part of Godsey getting his crack as an assistant in New England, where he coached tight ends.
And if that previous paragraph didn't have enough Blake Bortles tea leaves in it for you, just know that Godsey will coach quarterbacks with the Texans, and work closely with O'Brien, who will call plays. It's generally assumed at this point that O'Brien will not bring in anyone immediately with a title of "offensive coordinator."
As McClain reports, O'Brien himself has yet to announce his staff, as he prefers to wait until all his assistants have been hired before doing so, but many of them (including new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel) were already hard at work in Mobile, Alabama this week trying to identify who the next class of Houston Texans draftees would be.
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