Shockwaves rippled through the NFL this evening with an epicentre in Houston, Texas. The Texans parted company with GM Brian Gaine, the former Bills and Dolphins front office executive had been in charge since 2018. The timing is odd, as the Texans allowed Gaine to run their offseason. Although a catastrophic draft plagued by leaks from the scouting department that allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to trade up above the Texans to grab offensive tackle Andre Dillard.
The Texans draft was seen amongst experts as one of the worst in the league in terms of value. They were seen to consistently reach for players at positions of need after their targets were leaked in the press prior to the draft. After not having a pick in the first two rounds in 2018. Gaine failed to get consensus value for his high picks in this past draft.
No Linemen No Party
The Brian Gaine era in Texas was short lived and will be remembered for one thing. Not getting franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson enough protection on the offensive line. Gaine had a draft and two free agency periods to try and address the need before he reached on two prospects this past draft.
It could be argued that Gaine didn’t get a fair shot in Houston. The offensive line class last year wasn’t good and franchise o-linemen don’t make it to free agency in the modern NFL. Gaine was backed into a corner by the previous regimes inability to draft linemen and his coaching staffs inability to coach at the position.
NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported the below…
On the #Texans GM firing: My understanding is there was no one incident that created the opening. Houston did an evaluation of its football operations and believes — right or wrong — GM Brian Gaine was not good enough. Good, but not good enough. Stunning.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 7, 2019
Gaine was head coach Bill O’Brien’s choice as GM in 2018. However it is clear from this tweet that some level of dysfunction has begun to arise within the building.
An Eagle in Texas
The timing is odd, however it is part of a growing trend amongst NFL franchises. The New York Jets fired their GM Mike Maccagnan little over a month ago. With limited options available to fill these roles, it is clear that the Texans made this move now to try and steal Philadelphia front office member Joe Douglas from under the Jets.
Douglas is the clear frontrunner for any front office role. He is the brightest star on the NFL’s executive production line that thrives on the phrase ‘success breeds success’. Whether that will be the case for whomever hires Douglas remains to be seen.
UPDATE – The Jets concluded a deal to hire Joe Douglas overnight, it seems the Texans will be approaching New England to speak to Nick Cesario. USA Today is reporting that Cesario is the favourite of head coach Bill O’Brien, the two worked together in New England.