As some Houston Texans fans rejoice after hearing the news of head coach Bill O'Brien's departure, attention must turn to his long-term replacement.
READ MORE: Fired O'Brien: 'I Respected the Decision'
With Romeo Crennel taking over on an interim basis, here are five candidates who could give Houston a breath of fresh air.
Best to get the obvious choice out the way first. The Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator has been influential in the development of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and their versatile offense. Given his experience with a quarterback with some of the same skills as Texans gunslinger Deshaun Watson, Bieniemy is a clear fit.
Houston has plenty of offensive weapons that fit Bienemy's style with the likes of Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, and Randall Cobb headlining. The former running backs coach for Kansas City, Texans backs David Johnson, and Duke Johnson would surely thrive under Bieniemy's leadership and coaching, helping to balance out an offense that has struggled to establish the run game in 2020.
A former NFL running back himself, he would bring a relatability and experience as a winner to this team. A coach with experience leading an offense to a Super Bowl victory, and mentoring a quarterback to pass for over 9,000 yards and rush for a further 490 in just two seasons, he will be a hot commodity come the 2021 season.
The current Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator, Roman has worked wonders with quarterback Lamar Jackson. In 2019, the 48-year old's offense ranked first in the NFL in points scored and second in yardage, as Jackson went on to win his first NFL MVP Award.
Roman has experience with the Texans, having worked under Dom Capers between 2002-2005. He first served as their tight ends coach for the franchise's first two seasons followed by two as their quarterback coach. An offensive-minded coach with experience working with linemen, something Houston could do with at this point, Roman is another who will surely be a head coach come 2021.
It's no secret that the Houston Texans have spent the last seven seasons trying to mold themselves into the New England Patriots 2.0. So far, it's safe to say that no matter how many former Patriot coaches and front office members they've brought in, it hasn't worked.
READ MORE: Texans Fire Bill O'Brien - What Comes Next?
However, given that former Patriot Jack Easterby is now in charge of football operations, don't be surprised if their current offensive coordinator McDaniels gets a call from Houston.
The only name on this list with prior NFL head coaching experience, McDaniels has won six Super Bowls in his time under Bill Belichick. While bringing in a former Belichick-ian disciple in O'Brien didn't work out in the long run, perhaps it'll be second time lucky with McDaniels.
To be fair, he has done a great job switching this offense to a more RPO-based system since the arrival of quarterback Cam Newton, and this could make him a good fit for Deshaun Watson.
Swinney and Watson have a well-known friendship from their days together at Clemson. Having won the College National Championship with Watson at quarterback, and gotten the best out of him in their offense, perhaps they need to be reunited for the NFL to see what Watson is truly capable of.
He may not have head coaching experience in the NFL but with 13 years leading Clemson under his belt, two national championships, and an eye for elite talent he could be a smart hire.
Finally, sticking with the college route it could be time the Texans go for a younger mind leading the show. The 37-year old Texas native is only in his fourth season as head coach of Oklahoma, however, he's long been touted as one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game.
The Arizona Cardinals and LA Rams are perfect examples showing that bringing in young coaches with a modern ideology and a fresh approach to the game can work at this level and that players respond well to such an approach.
Named a "bright, innovative and adaptive young mastermind" in an excellent article on the coach by SI's Greg Bishop, Riley represents a coach who would fit well in Houston. ... A young team, with an abundance of speed on offense and a young coach who was mentored by Mike Leach a well-known proponent of the Air Raid offense, perhaps that's the recipe for success Houston needs.