HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Bill O’Brien held his exit press conference at NRG Stadium on Monday after the Texans were eliminated from the postseason Saturday in New England to address the offseason.
O’Brien would not address a variety of comments thrown at him as he made it evident that evaluations of staff and personnel have not yet been conducted.
“We’ll evaluate the whole team; we evaluate everything,” O’Brien said in his opening statement. “That’s what every team does in the offseason and that hasn’t even begun yet. Players are just checking out right now. We’ll begin all those evaluation processes throughout the week.”
O’Brien did address the future of free agents AJ Bouye and Shane Lechler saying he would like to see both return as they hit free agency with Lechler pondering if he would like to play his 18th NFL season.
As far as his staff the biggest questions remaining are regarding the futures of both offensive coordinator George Godsey and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennell.
Godsey has been under fire for most of the season as the offense was historically poor for the Texans in 2016. Houston scored the fewest touchdowns (25) of any team to reach the postseason in NFL history and had a point differential of -49 and only six teams in history had a worse point differential and made the playoffs.
When O’Brien was asked about Godsey’s future he pivoted to his earlier comments on evaluations for all personnel have yet to take place.
“We’re looking at everything,” O’Brien said when asked about Godsey “Look, George does a lot of good stuff for me – every coach does. I have even met with Bob (McNair) yet. I haven’t met with Rick (Smith) yet. We look at everything. Every coach is evaluated. I’m evaluated.”
O’Brien took a different approach as it related to Crennel who had a superb season leading the defense to the NFL’s top ranking in fewest yards allowed and one of the top secondaries in football despite season ending injuries to JJ Watt and Kevin Johnson. Those success combined with the breakout seasons of former top selection Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus and the development of nose tackle DJ Reader and cornerback AJ Bouye have indicated that the nearly 70-year old Crennel is still at the top of his game.
With Crennel’s contract being up, retirement potentially on the table, and linebackers coach Mike Vrabel potentially due a promotion, questions have risen as to whether or not Crennel would return to lead one of the league’s top defenses.
“I know that we would love to have (Crennel) back,” O’Brien said when asked about Crennel’s contract status. “I haven’t even sat down with any of the coaches yet or anything like that, but I can tell you Romeo is a great football coach and just means a lot to me personally. We would love to have Romeo back here.”