HOUSTON – And he’s out.
Houston Texans' head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien has been fired.
The Texans have not had a good season, currently 0-4 after losing against Minnesota Vikings 31-23.
After assuming the role of general manager in the offseason, O’Brien received almost universal criticism when he shipped superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona for running back David Johnson and draft picks.
The pressure on O’Brien only intensified as the Texans limped out to the terrible start with Johnson struggling as their running game was the worst in the NFL and with the defense allowing the most yards in the league.
O’Brien was in his seventh season in Houston where he compiled a 52-48 record. He won the AFC South four times in his tenure, including the past two years.
Team owner Cal McNair announced the decision Monday and thanked O’Brien for his work with the team.
“Bill’s leadership moved our organization forward as he guided us to four AFC South division championships, 52 wins and multiple playoff appearances during his tenure,” McNair said in a statement. “Bill proved himself as a coach and leader in this league. I spoke with him earlier today and told him we are moving in a different direction.”
Romeo Crennel, who was the team’s assistant head coach, will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season.
“We have a talented team and I have no doubt our players and staff will rally to make Texans fans proud as we aim to win championships and do great things for the city of Houston,” McNair said.
O’Brien speaks after firing:
WATCH LIVE: Bill O'Brien speaks after firing from TexansPosted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Monday, October 5, 2020
Here are some top quotes from his exit presser:
On being fired:
“I respected the decision. Look, I know in this business – when we lost to Minnesota, a game we had a chance to win, give Minnesota credit they did a great job. I knew something like this could happen. That’s the business. You start off like that. But I have tremendous respect. Cal called me and we had a nice conversation. I thanked him for the opportunity. I told him that they’ve got a good team here and they’ll turn it around.”
On if he regrets anything:
“I think that every decision we made was always in the best interest of the team. We had long conversations. We put a lot of research into them. There were things that happened within the walls of an organization that the outside public will really never know and that’s just the way it is. I totally understand that. We had a lot of great conversations that went into these decisions. A lot of research. We had a lot of people that helped us along the way. We made what we believed were the best decisions for the team. That’s what we always did.”
On if he feels like he’s leaving a better coach:
“I believe I am. You learn a lot about yourself in these situations. I learned a lot about myself at Penn State. I learned a lot about myself here in Houston. Look, experience is the best teacher, right? You gain experience. You try to make decisions that are in the best interest of the team. You always try to think about that. What’s best for the team? You work very hard. You put in a lot of time in and you put your heart and soul into the organization. Sometimes things don’t work out, but you definitely learn a lot about yourself. You really are thankful for the people around you.”
The Texans released the following statement:
“On behalf of my family and our entire organization, I want to sincerely thank Bill O’Brien and his family for their impact on our franchise. Bill’s leadership moved our organization forward as he guided us to four AFC South division championships, 52 wins and multiple playoff appearances during his tenure. Bill proved himself as a coach and leader in this league. I spoke with him earlier today and told him we are moving in a different direction. Romeo Crennel will serve as our interim head coach for the remainder of the 2020 season. We have a talented team and I have no doubt our players and staff will rally to make Texans fans proud as we aim to win championships and do great things for the city of Houston.”
A statement from Cal McNair. pic.twitter.com/5JbZylPTbp— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 5, 2020
This is a developing story.