The first points of the 2020 NFL season were scored by the Houston Texans when David Johnson scored a 19-yard touchdown on the ground.
Since that first quarter ended over three weeks ago, the Texans have been held to just 73 points in 15 quarters, and haven’t won a game. After Monday night’s rescheduled game with the New England Patriots, won by K.C., the Chiefs have scored 117 points in four games (or 16 quarters), sporting an undefeated record.
On Monday afternoon, the Texans fired Bill O’Brien as their head coach and general manager.
“All I can control is what I can control, and I’ve got to do a better job with the team,” O’Brien said earlier on Monday because he was let go. “That’s obvious, and we’re going to work hard to do that.”
In his seven seasons in Houston, O’Brien was barely over .500 with a record of 52-48. And outside of the postseason letdowns, he’s the man that traded away Jadeveon Clowney, gave Miami two first-round picks and a second-round pick for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills, and got rid of DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the best wide receiver in the league.
Hopkins had to be somewhere laughing when he heard the news on Monday, as O’Brien sent him to Arizona for two bags of Cheetos and a jug of Simply Lemonade back in March. The Cardinals signed Hopkins to a two-year, $54.5 million extension that includes $42.5 million guaranteed last month. Hopkins currently sits in fourth (397) for receiving yards this season, which is only six yards behind the league leader in Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs (403).
Talent was never the issue in Houston, as O’Brien had Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, and J.J. Watt over the years and still couldn’t get it done.
But you know who probably could?
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
“You guys know how I feel about Eric,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said back in January. “I think he’d be tremendous. There’s a team out there — I don’t know the team, but there’s a team out there — that could really use him. Being the leader of men that he is, you’re not going to find people better than that in that category. And he’s a sharp offensive mind on top of that. So I’m a big fan. Don’t want to lose him, but reality is, there’s a good chance that happens.”
Like clockwork, every offseason Bieniemy becomes the face of the lack of diversity amongst NFL head coaches. He watches as mediocre white coaches continually get jobs over him.
After the coaching carousel stops and all the jobs are filled he still hasn’t landed a job, he always takes the high road. It’s something Black Americans have learned to do over time in hopes of climbing the ladder. Saying the right thing makes White people feel comfortable and at ease about their terrible decision-making skills.
“I don’t want everybody to feel that they have to feel sorry for me,” Bieniemy said before the Super Bowl, in which he called a brilliant game. “That’s not what this is about, OK? I’m in a great place. I happen to coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, and we’re playing for the Super Bowl. So all the other stuff? Ah, it’d have been nice to get a job. But when it’s all said and done with, I am blessed and fortunate to be sitting here right now with you guys, having this conversation about how we’re going to go into this game on Sunday and take care of our business.”
Anybody who knows anything about football understands that in this era, Watson and Bieniemy would be a perfect marriage. One of the game’s best offensive minds matched up with one of the league’s most electric quarterbacks would work wonders.
But, that’s only if the McNair family makes the right decision. You see, the late Bob McNair, who owned this franchise until his death in 2018, was a flaming racist.
“We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” is what McNair said when Black players started kneeling in 2016. He then doubled down by saying he regretted apologizing for the remark.
So while Bieniemy should be the one to get the job in Houston, it will be interesting to see what transpires given the family that will have the final say.
In a season in which the NFL has slogans like “End Racism” and “It Takes All of Us” etched into the end zones, having the Texans hire someone like Bieniemy would go a long way in showing that the ownership in Houston and the league, are trying to actually make strides in terms of race relations.
But, who am I kidding?
This is the same team that got booed for coming together for unity before the season opener.
And guess who was on the field when it happened?