Sean Pendergast

NFL Head Coach Hires, FOMO Factor for Houston Texans

Urban Meyer is a home run hire for the Jaguars, in the Texans' division.
Screen grab from YouTube
Urban Meyer is a home run hire for the Jaguars, in the Texans' division.
If I could describe the ongoing Houston Texans' head coaching search — 114 days and counting, like a hostage crisis! — in one word it would probably be "confusing." The Texans were the first team, by far, to fire their head coach, dumping Bill O'Brien, and all the drama that came with him, after falling to 0-4 in early October. This means they had a head start on every other team seeking a head coach.

Yet, here we sit, in late January, and six other teams have fired their head coach and hired his replacement, and here the Texans are still farting around with second interviews for multiple candidates this week:

Not just multiple candidates, but as you can see, multiple UNINSPIRING candidates. Full disclosure — I had no idea who David Culley was before the Texans decided to interview him for this job. All of this while the Texans quarterback still sits at home, tweeting cryptic rap lyrics, angry at the team's owner, and with the obvious choice for the next head coach, Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, there for the taking.

Like I said... CONFUSING.

So let's look at the six spots that were filled, and judge just how much jealousy, or perhaps what the kids would call "FOMO" (Fear Of Missing Out, for the old heads out there), we should be feeling as Texans fans for each of these hires. Let's go in chronological order of hiring:

URBAN MEYER, Jacksonville
The first head coach off the board was, by far, the biggest name, and the coach that I have wanted all along for the Houston Texans. Meyer has been supremely successful everywhere he's been, and done so almost immediately. He went undefeated at Utah in 2004. He won two national championships at Florida, and one at Ohio State. At this stop, Meyer should have Trevor Lawrence as his future quarterback. Also, the Texans will be facing him twice per year. We'll see how he adapts to losing. He lost nine times in seven season at Ohio State, but this is a home run hire.
FOMO FACTOR (1 to 10): 9.7

If Meyer was number one on my list for the Texans, then Saleh was number two. The energetic former 49er defensive coordinator was requested for interviews by every team seeking a head coach EXCEPT the Texans, which is weird considering he is (a) a former Texans assistant, and (b) reportedly, Deshaun Watson really likes him. He has an uphill climb in New York, UNLESS the Jets trade for Deshaun Watson. Let's move along, I got sick typing that.
FOMO FACTOR (1 to 10): 8.9

ARTHUR SMITH, Atlanta Falcons
Smith was a name that came up early in the Texans' search, but ultimately an interview with the former Titans OC never took place. Smith is probably best known for two things — resurrecting the career of Ryan Tannehill, and being the son of the founder of Fedex. The best news for the Texans with this hire is that the architect of the Titans very potent offense is now out of the division.
FOMO FACTOR (1 to 10): 6.1

DAN CAMPBELL, Detroit Lions
Campbell was the interim head coach in Miami for 12 games back in 2015, and has been the tight ends coach in New Orleans for the last five seasons. If we are judging by press conferences, he was a home run hire!
If we are judging by confidence that he will run an organized, focused football operation, he was a ground ball back up the middle.
FOMO FACTOR (1 to 10): 2.4

BRANDON STALEY, Los Angeles Chargers
Staley, the energetic, young defensive coordinator for the Rams, got a ZOOM interview with the Texans back on January 17. By late that afternoon, he was across town in Los Angeles accepting the job with the Chargers. Staley has a definite Sean McVay vibe to him, which would have made him a fun hire here.
FOMO FACTOR (1 to 10): 7.1

NICK SIRIANNI, Philadelphia Eagles
Honestly, I didn't know who Sirianni was before the Eagles hired him, so it's hard to "miss" what I didn't know existed. Good luck with that, Philly!
FOMO FACTOR (1 to 10): 2.6

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