Houston Texans: Texans hire Bill O'Brien

HOUSTON -- After introducing his new head coach, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair made a couple of interesting, though logical, declarations about his team's quarterback situation.

He said the team is open to trading out of the No. 1 overall selection.

He also said this:

"If we wound up with a young quarterback, we'd probably bring in a veteran so we don't have to depend on that rookie. That's tough putting a rookie in there and expecting them to be able to play right off the bat. There've been a couple of them that have done it, but a number of them didn't do so well. I think having that veteran presence is important."

That would be a really smart move for a team that thinks it's very close to being one of the NFL's elite franchises. Bill O'Brien wasn't hired for a rebuilding project.

The process of selecting players will be similar to what it was last season, with general manager Rick Smith collaborating with the head coach.

"With a quarterback, there's more risk with picking a quarterback No. 1," McNair said.

I think trading out of the No. 1 overall pick would be difficult this season, unless a team falls in love with a specific player. But even if Houston can't move down, McNair could get an elite defensive player and take a capable quarterback in the second round.

No matter what round you take that quarterback, it is not smart to go all-in with him as your only option. Drafts always come with a risk, and if the Texans are truly on the cusp, they can't afford another quarterback situation like that of 2013.

It was a deal that took just a few more hours than expected, but ultimately the Texans got their man.

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien reached an agreement tonight with the Houston Texans to become the third head coach in franchise history, filling quickly one of the best jobs available this offseason.

Now the real work begins.

O'Brien isn't being brought in for a rebuilding project. While owner Bob McNair has been patient in the past, he isn't expecting this turnaround to take long. The Texans want him to help them take the next step. They want a man who can sculpt an already talented roster, one who can guide the team's new quarterback, whomever that winds up being, into the kind of player who can lead them to the Super Bowl.

Can O'Brien do it? I don't know and you don't either. I know he's an intense man who succeeded in a very difficult situation at Penn State.

In the next few months he'll put together his staff. If he's smart he'll do what he can to bring back Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. He'll evaluate the roster and figure out who fits in his system.

From what I understand, O'Brien missed the NFL. That's the only kind of college head coach who can succeed in the pros. It's a different environment, a different set of responsibilities. This isn't a job to take lightly right now. Big expectations come with it.

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