The Houston Texans are finally asking to interview Eric Bieniemy in what has become an awkward situation.
At this point, the Houston Texans can’t take a step without making things worse. It seems like nearly every decision over the last year or more has been questionable, at best, and even after forcing Bill O’Brien to find gainful employment elsewhere, the team still finds itself stumbling over its own feet.
The saga between Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and the Texans is a minor subplot this offseason, one that will be forgotten over time by most people, but it’s also the latest awkward situation that seems commonplace for the Texans these days, who have learned how to raise eyebrows and alienate players with their decision-making.
The summary goes something like this: Bieniemy has become a hot head coaching candidate over the last three years, as evidenced by approximately a dozen interviews in that span. To date, he’s not been hired, but five teams this offseason have already called him to schedule an interview (the New York Jets have come by twice now—before and after Adam Gase’s tenure), and it seems only a matter of time before he finds a team to lead on his own.
In the wake of obvious leadership changes in Houston, interim head coach Romeo Crennel was asked about Bieniemy as a leader and had positive things to say. Reports also emerged that Deshaun Watson was hoping Bieniemy could be the guy. Oddsmakers in Vegas pegged Bieniemy as the favorite for the job. Then nothing came of it.
Before the Philadelphia Eagles fired Doug Pederson on Monday, five of six teams with head coach openings had asked Bieniemy to interview for the post. By Monday night, the Eagles had gotten into the mix with rumors that both Bieniemy and Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka were favorites for the job. In retrospect, the Texans looked silly for not even taking a cursory glance at a guy believed around the league to be a strong candidate.
In recent days, conflicting reports began to come out from “sources” that looked at Bieniemy’s side. Ben Allbright reported that Bieniemy had been eyeing the job earlier in this entire process and that he was interested. However, WEEI’s Christian Fauria, former NFL tight end, stated a source told him that Bieniemy didn’t want anything to do with the Texans job. Then on Tuesday, NFL reporter Ian Rapoport noted that the Texans have finally requested permission to talk to Bieniemy. Yep.
At this point, the whole thing seems like an awkward dinner party that must be attended. Are the Texans doing what they can to appease Watson, who is reportedly upset at the organization? Are they just trying to save face by scheduling time with Bieniemy? Is Bieniemy himself going along with things to take some higher road? Or is all of this legitimate and real? Could something still work out here?
To date, nothing should be ruled out, but if Bieniemy somehow ends up as the Texans next head coach, it’s going to be interesting to see some persons walk back a few of these reports or attempt to paint them in a different light. Things are uncomfortable as they stand, and for Texans fans, this is hardly the first time things have felt that way in the last year or more.