Closer Look at Houston Texans General Manager Brian Gaine

Patrick D. Starr

*special thanks to Texans Cap for the help to put this together.

Quick Rundown

College Attended: University of Maine

High School: Don Bosco Prep High School (Ramsey, NJ)

Hometown: Pearl River, NJ


  • Houston Texans General Manager (2018)
  • Buffalo Bills VP of Player Personnel (2017)
  • Houston Texans Director or Player Personnel (2015-2016)
  • Texans Director of Pro Personnel (2014)
  • Miami Dolphins Assistant General Manager (2012-2013)
  • Miami Dolphins Director of Player Personnel (2011)
  • Miami Dolphins Assistant Director of Pro Personnel (2008–2010)
  • Dallas Cowboys Director of Pro Scouting (2005-2007)
  • New York Jets Scout (1999-2004)

What do we know about Brian Gaine before he arrived in Houston?

  • Gaine worked for the New York Jets for five years as a pro-development manager, starting in 1999. He was elevated to pro scout, eventually working his way up to assistant director of area scouting in 2004.
  • Starting in 2005, Gaine had a two-year run with Dallas Cowboys as assistant director of pro scouting and was a favorite of head coach Bill Parcells, so much so that Parcells convinced Gaine to leave Dallas for a similar position in Miami. He had worked with Jeff Ireland in Dallas.
  • In January 2008, Gaine joined the Miami Dolphins as the assistant director of player personnel, working under Jeff Ireland, who was the general manager, and head coach Bill Parcells.
  • In April 2011, Gaine was promoted to director of player personnel in Miami, where he oversaw the scouting department and pro evaluations, along with free agent tracking.
  • In June 2012, Gaine was promoted to assistant general manager, reporting to Jeff Ireland.
  • In January 2014, Gaine was fired from Miami as assistant general manager. Gaine had interviewed twice for the Miami general manager job prior to his dismissal.
  • Gaine is part of the Bill Parcells tree and worked with the coach in two different stops, with the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys and was on Parcell's staffs with both teams.
  • Gaine's general influences include long-time Pittsburgh Steelers personnel head Dick Haley and former Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland.
  • Gaine's coaching influences include Bill Parcells, Bill O’Brien, Joe Philbin, and Sean McDermott.
  • His general manager influences include Bill Parcells, Rick Smith, Brandon Beane
  • Teams worked for including Dolphins, Jets, Cowboys, Texans and Bills.

Since his arrival and his departure from Houston, what can we say about Gaine's influence on the roster?

  • Whether it was by choice of O’Brien or Gaine's influence, the lack of a quarterback early in the O’Brien era was concerning.
  • Gaine’s promotion in January 2015 to director of player personnel allowed him to have his prints on the Texans roster. In 2015, Gaine had a big miss on Rahim Moore, but did bring in Vince Wilfork. The late find of Quintin Demps was positive.
  • The 2015 draft was questionable as only three players from that draft are still on the roster today.
  • Coaching misses on Terrance Mitchell, Bryan Witzman, and Matt Feiler each of whom has become a productive player on other teams. These coaching misses indicate that Gaine has an eye for the undrafted players.
  • Gaine did not have a good 2016 free agency period, missing on Jeff Allen, Tony Bergstrom, Brock Osweiler, and Antonio Allen.
  • Overall, Gaine has had his misses on the big free agent moves but has found some gems in the back-end of free agency and among undrafted players.

Job Duties with the Texans, according to the Buffalo Bills

He (Gaine) supervised all pro player evaluation, the advance scouting process, free agency and the monitoring of player transactional movement in all professional leagues while with the Texans.

Free Agents Acquired

Key Dates

  • Hired by the Texans as director of pro personnel on February 10, 2014
  • Gaine hired by the Bills on May 15, 2017

State of the Texans Top 5 Free Agents Signed During the Brian Gaine Era

1. Ryan Pickett

2. Lamar Miller

3. Vince Wilfork

4. Brandon Dunn

5. Quintin Demps

Honorable mentions:Brian Peters, Brandon Weeden, Kendrick Lewis, Darryl Morris, Don Jones

State of the Texans Bottom 5 Free Agents Signed During the Brian Gaine Era

1. Brock Osweiler

2. Jeff Allen

3. Devon Still

4. Tony Bergstrom

5. Chris Polk

Honorable Mention: Damarias Johnson, Andre Brown

Gaine’s departure to Buffalo was an odd one. What can we make of it?

  • Reportedly, Gaine was going to be fired by Smith in 2017 after the 2016 free agency bust. However, he was given another chance and remained with the team until the opening in Buffalo became available. Absent the title change, this was a lateral move for Gaine. Lateral moves indicate a person was unhappy and willing to move on for no additional promotion and if we are being honest, Gaine took a step down becoming the third in command for the Bills.

Concern about the number of interviews?

  • Six or seven interviews in hopes of landing a general manager position could be a red flag. However, was he a young, up-and-coming personnel guy who likely took interviews too early when he had no chance at the job. Gaine has been aiming for a GM job for quite a while and the Texans stepped up in 2015, moving him to director of player personnel to keep the Philadelphia Eagles from poaching him to their organization.
  • St. Louis Rams (2012), New York Jets (2013), Miami Dolphins (2014), Philadelphia Eagles (2015), Chicago Bears (2015), Buffalo Bills, (2017), San Francisco 49ers (2017), Houston Texans (2018)

Is there any concern about Gaine returning to the Texans?

  • Gaine will need assurance that if Smith returns to the organization, Smith will not be involved in personnel decisions. Seemingly, there would have to be some animosity there since Smith attempted to fire Gaine last year. Based on reports from other Texans employees, Gaine is genuinely liked by everyone in the building and is well respected by Bill O’Brien.
  • Gaine will work in alignment with O’Brien and it is clear that the Texans had known who their next general manager was going to be by the time of the announcement of Rick Smith’s leave of absence.


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