Mailbag: Would Coach Harbaugh Fit the Texans?
HOUSTON - The Houston Texans will take on the Green Bay Packers in NFL Week 7 action on Sunday from NRG Stadium. That much we know. Now, what about the many looming questions beyond that?
We answer your social-media questions (via Cody Stoots on Twitter) each week on Friday as we guide you into Texans weekends ...
I do not believe Texans interim general manager Jack Easterby will actively hinder the search for a new coach and general manager. I do believe his presence impacts the search, though. Let me explain.
Jack Easterby being a part of the organization is not an issue. Potentially having to answer to him as the new decision-makers will be very off-putting to some candidates. Not all, and maybe the best candidates, don't care about Easterby.
I have to imagine it will indeed be a sticking point for some that will make ownership think twice about Easterby's place with the team.
The scary proposition, given the track record here: If enough candidates say "no'' to Easterby sticking around, would ownership let Easterby stick around as ... that's right - the general manager.
I expect Kenny Stills to move on to another team after this season. As for Will Fuller, I don't think you can confidently make a decision on him right now. If he finishes this season healthy he should have fantastic numbers, most of them career-highs.
Then you run into a tricky situation with him being a free agent. Do you franchise tag him or let him test the open market?
He surely will find himself with a multi-year offer worth anywhere from $10-$15 million per year. I believe the franchise tag is made for guys like Fuller.
Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks are fine as veterans going forward. They should be effective for at least another season and maybe more. It would be nice to have some young players to push them. I am not sure if Isaiah Coulter, who should debut this season, qualifies as an exciting prospect. It would be nice to see if he can contribute.
I would love to see Keke Coutee, but he is in the forever-doghouse. He could and should push DeAndre Carter as the return man. Steven Mitchell could get a look if an outside pass-catcher gets hurt, but the rest are depth for injuries and nothing more.
I am assuming my former radio co-host does indeed mean J.J. Watt here. A late first-round pick for Watt does seem like a solid addition. It would be money off the cap in the future and at least four years of cheap talent, but there is almost no chance that the player is Watt-level good in years one or two.
So the payoff is truly in 2023 and beyond, best-case scenario.
Watt likely has a few more years in him, and against Tennessee, he was throwback-vintage J.J. Watt. I don't know how many of those performances he has in him, but he certainly is well above-average as an NFL producer.
I lean towards keeping Watt unless the offer makes the Texans second-guess if the other team made a mistake. Plus, if Watt is indeed an all-timer he has plenty of years left in him.
Not technically a question! Ha ha. Max Scharping is not playing because Max Scharping didn't play well. That's my only thought about losing his spot to the steady veteran Senio Kelemete. The Texans are all about making sure they can spin forward some momentum on offense. They also have plenty of incentive to look great on one side of the ball.
You can NOT look inept on both sides of the ball without possibly scaring off a good coach or general manager; they'll want to know there is a foundation of some sort.
It is paramount therefore to look as competent as possible on offense to make it clear this is not a tremendous amount of work to do in Houston.
As for Scharping, I would expect him to play again this season because the team has to know what he is going forward. Right now, he is a guy that is always competing for his job. If he plays, they need to know if he is going to be that guy his whole career or could battle his way into a hard-to-challenge starter heading into next year.
The days of Bill O'Brien as the general manager will make us long for almost anything. Rick Smith might not be done with football but he is done with the Houston Texans, based on the way he was shown the door.
So let's talk about Jim Harbaugh. Michigan can't fire him and he can't leave for another college job. The "Michigan Man" can't do that and he can't get canned. This could be the year Harbaugh finally takes the golden parachute that is the NFL.
Harbaugh might not fit as the coach hired by the general manager, though. A fight with the front office led to his exit in San Francisco. If he wants to call the shots and have a general manager answer to him it wouldn't work in Houston. Cal McNair has already said he wants to hire a general manager then head coach.
The two other fired general managers from 2020 in Houston sports! This is a tough one because both were successful and well-liked by their fanbase, the exact opposite of O'Brien as a general manager.
I am going with Luhnow. First of all, he won a championship and Morey didn't even get his team into the NBA Finals. Morey operated with tougher restrictions and in a situation closer to the NFL than baseball, but one player made a bigger difference than football or baseball. Luhnow emphasized maximizing long-term value with draft picks and was always ready to give a young player a chance to succeed.
You need to always be finding and developing at every position and that is where I give Luhnow the edge. And that's where we'd like the Houston Texans to get to as well.