PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – FEBRUARY 27
By Leo Haggerty
HOUSTON YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
To say what is going in with the Texans is a dumpster fire is putting it mildly. In case you’ve been living under a rock, let me enlighten you with what has transpired in Houston over the past year.
First, we’re going back to March before the 2020 season when this whole scenario began. That’s when Head Coach/General Manager Bill O’Brien chose to trade their star wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, to Arizona for running back David Johnson along with a second round 2020 draft pick and a 4th rounder in 2021. That rates as one of the top five dumbest trades in NFL history and may even be number one from a stupidity standpoint when the dust finally settles.
Then, after an 0-4 start to the season, Houston fired O’Brien but the damage was done. The Texans finished with a miserable 4-12 record but it gets worse.
When Houston decided to move on from interim HC Romeo Crennel and search for a new head honcho, Watson was invited by Texans owner Cal McNair to become part of that process. Watson then went to management and suggested Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy along with San Francisco 49ers Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh.
Mind you, all #4 did was recommend the team interview these individuals for the position and not demand one be hired. Plus, Watson did his due diligence and contacted players around the league as well as consulting with his teammates before even suggesting those two coaches but that fell on deaf ears.
Houston requested permission to talk to Bieniemy but, because the interview didn’t happen during the Chiefs bye week, the Texans had to wait until after Super Bowl LV for that opportunity. With Salah, the franchise never asked permission to interview him and he became the new head honcho of the New York Jets.
Still, there’s Bieniemy out there. To make matters worse, the Texans didn’t even wait to interview the Kansas City OC. The week before Super Bowl LV, Houston introduced former Baltimore Assistant Head Coach David Culley as their new head man.
Obviously, Watson has to feel extremely disrespected by the Texans. He was asked, and let me remind you that he did not demand, to become part of the process and then to have his input completely ignored, there was no other conclusion he could draw.
Then, to put the icing on the cake, the team parted ways with five time Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt. #99, the iconic cornerstone of the franchise for a decade and pillar in the community, requested his release and the team granted it.
So, let’s recap, shall we? Houston trades away Hopkins, who just happened to go to Clemson which was the same collegiate football program as Watson. Then, they asked Watson to become involved in the search for a new head coach and his two requests were summarily rejected. Finally, a three time NFL Defensive Player of the Year who raised more than $37 million to help rebuild over 1,000 Houston area homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 in Watt, wants out.
If you’re wondering why Watson is refusing to play for Houston this year if he isn’t traded, let me give you this analogy. As in baseball, three strikes and you’re out. After three catastrophic blunders by the Texans, #4 can read the handwriting on the wall.
For all of the above reasons, he’s demanding a trade or he won’t play. Houston says they will not trade their franchise quarterback.
Now begins a hand of “Texas Hold Em” with some mighty high stakes. It will be very interesting to see who folds first.