Candidates Texans may not want to overlook

The Texans seemingly got a jump on the rest of the NFL last week when the team unceremoniously fired Bill O’Brien as head coach and general manager.

But almost as quickly as the team could name longtime defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel as the interim head coach, names of potential successors to O’Brien quickly popped up. Not surprisingly, many of the usual suspects popped up: New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Baltimore Ravens’ Greg Roman, Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

As usual, the lists come up short when it comes to potential African-American coaching candidates who could be good fits for the Texans opening. The only African-American candidate that continually comes up is Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, whose name always seems to pop up, but he has yet to land a head coaching job despite winning a Super Bowl last season and leading one of the top offenses.

The Defender has put together a list of strong potential head coaching candidates the Texans could choose from.

ERIC BIENIEMY

Age: 51

Experience: Offensive coordinator of the Chiefs since 2018 and was also the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, the University of Colorado, from 2011-12.

What makes him a good candidate for the Texans: The Texans are believed to be most interested in a coach who is a quarterback guru and can help develop their most valued asset, quarterback Deshaun Watson. Bieniemy has been instrumental in developing Patrick Mahomes into an MVP-caliber quarterback and Super Bowl champion.

JIM CALDWELL

Age: 65

Experience: Has been the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions and also was the offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

What makes him a good candidate for the Texans: In addition to being an experienced head coach, Caldwell was part of two Super Bowl winning staffs, having won in 2006 as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach of the Colts and then as the offensive coordinator of the Ravens in 2012. Caldwell was future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning’s head coach for many years.

BYRON LEFTWICH

Age: 40

Experience: Is the current offensive coordinator of the Tampa Buccaneers and former quarterbacks coach for the Arizona Cardinals from 2017-2018.

What makes him a good candidate for the Texans: Since his playing career ended, the former quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars has put together quite the coaching resume. Leftwich has learned under offensive guru Bruce Arians and this year is coaching future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

KEN NORTON, JR.

Age: 54

Experience: Norton is the current defensive coordinator of the Settle Seahawks and he was the defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders from 2015-2017.

What makes him a good candidate for the Texans: While the Texans are believed to be looking for an offensive-minded coach, Norton is the definition of toughness which the Texans seem to need. His defenses are aggressive and attacking.