HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Brian Gaine took his seat on Wednesday in the NRG Stadium media work room, where he was introduced as the next general manager of the Houston Texans.
One of the first questions asked was arguably the biggest.
Why are you the guy for the job?
“I’ve gotta bank on my 20 years in scouting and personnel roles that i’ve had in this business,” Gaine said. “I’ve started at the bottom and worked my way to the top in every organization I’ve been in. I do believe, with a great amount of humility, I’ve been a part of five different organizations, so I have a unique perspective on what it’s taken to win, and what it’s taken to achieve. I’ve had a small part in making it to the playoffs and winning division titles in each of those organizations.”
Gaine, who was signed to a five-year contract last week, one that will run concurrent with head coach Bill O’Brien’s new deal, addressed some of the most pressing issues facing the franchise that went from back-to-back AFC South champs to 4-12 in 2017.
How much better can the team get this offseason, considering you don’t have a first or second round draft pick to work with?
“We will pursue every avenue to improve this roster as it relates to the draft, free agency, waiver claims, trades, practice squad steals, tryouts, workouts,” he said. “Whatever we have to do upgrade the roster, we’ll continue to do that. If free agency presents the opportunity for us to add a championship piece to the roster, we certainly will pursue that.”
What do you see in O’Brien? Why do you want to work with him?
“Bill O’Brien’s a great person,” he said. “First and foremost, from a character standpoint, Bill is a great individual. But philosophical alignment, in terms of how to build a winning football operation and winning roster, and build a championship environment as well.
“What you see on Sunday is obviously the result of player acquisition and coaching, but there’s a process that’s involved in terms of getting to Sunday, and Bill and I are philosophically aligned in terms of how to do that. How to build the right program, the right culture. It’s not just the football roster, it’s also the football operation. That requires every aspect that touches the game and touches the locker room — all those aspects of the football operation, Bill and I are philosophically aligned on how to run it, and how to do it.”
What makes you think you’ll have a good relationship?
“Having been here for three years, and knowing what Coach O’Brien is able to do, I certainly have an insightful feeling for what Coach O’Brien is able to accomplish,” he said. “We’ll continue to get him good players, he’ll continue to coach the team at a high level, and between the two of us, hopefully we’ll be building a championship roster for years to come.”
What about Deshaun Watson? What do you see in his future?
“He’s a talented young man, a talented young player, but he’s a better person,” he said. “That’s the best compliment that I can give Deshaun, just going through the scouting process last year, getting to know the player, getting to know the prospect. He’s certainly a foundational piece for us, in terms of what we can build around, and it certainly would be an advantage for any general manager coming into a team to have a quarterback in place that you believe in.”
How do you plan to fix the offensive line?
“It’s certainly an area that we’re going to evaluate heavily here,” he said. “As I get my feet wet here in the operation, knowing what we have, and then studying what’s going to be available to us, in the free agent market first, and then obviously with the draft.”
How important is getting Jadeveon Clowney locked up, long-term?
“It’s certainly on the horizon,” he said. “Right now, I’m in an evaluative period, in terms of studying the roster, studying the team and learning the players in terms of how they performed. So that requires 16 game film study, that requires a lot of other research and knowledge that I’m trying to gain right now. But certainly a player that’s valued by the Texans organization, and in time, as we go through that process, we’ll arrive at that conclusion.
Will Rick Smith, who resigned this month to take care of his wife, Tiffany, during her bout with cancer, have any say?
“I think Mr. McNair addressed those with his comments, and I think right now, we’re all just hoping for the best and praying for the best as it relates to his wife, Tiffany, and a speedy recovery,” he said.