The Houston Texas remain the sole team in the NFL without a head coach heading into the last week in January. The organization fired Bill O’Brien four games into the 2020 campaign, but still haven’t been able to overcome offseason turmoil to find their next team leader.
Although the Texans remain without a head coach, the AFC South competitors made an interesting move to hold onto a key assistant.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Houston blocked two interview requests for team offensive coordinator, Tim Kelly. Both the Lions and the Titans hoped to speak with the 34-year-old OC, but the Texans stepped in and denied any meeting.
The NFL world isn’t quite sure what to make of the move by Houston. It’s possible that the organization hopes that Kelly can help mend the relationship between the team and franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. The other likely option would be that the Texans believe in their young OC as they enter a new era.
Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly was requested for OC interviews by both the Lions and Titans—and Houston blocked Kelly on both, per sources. Interesting sidelight to Texans' coaching search.
Some under the impression Houston's keeping Kelly in deference to Deshaun Watson.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 24, 2021
Kelly joined the Texans in 2014 as an offensive quality control assistant and quickly worked his way up the ranks. After two season as the tight ends coach, he became the lead offensive coordinator in 2019.
The 34-year-old took over the quarterbacks coach role in 2020, giving him a chance to work alongside Watson in the young player’s fourth season. The Texans had few problems on offense this past season, but struggled in other areas with no fault on their 25-year-old gunslinger.
Houston still may find itself without a franchise quarterback come 2021. Watson has expressed his discontent with the organization throughout the offseason and seems close to demanding a trade. If he does, the Texans will be back at square one, without much talent and a brand new coaching staff.