Bill O’Brien, the head coach of the Houston Texans, recently stated that he would be calling plays on offense for the Texans during the 2014-2015 season. Last season, the Texans’ offensive coordinator was Rick Dennison. However, Gary Kubiak, the Texans’ previous head coach, called the offensive plays. O’Brien already has a lot of pressure on him to succeed as the leader of a Texans’ team that is not set on rebuilding and is filled with current and former All-Pro and Pro Bowl talent. By leaving the offensive coordinator role vacant, O’Brien is assuming all responsibility for offensive play-calling. While O’Brien is considered one of the brightest and most innovative offensive play callers around, he also is a rookie head coach with no prior NFL head coaching experience. He is expected to turn around a team that finished 2-14 and had the worst record in the NFL. He is expected to be the leader of a revamped coaching staff that has been assembled from the ground up. He is expected to bring accountability back to a Texans’ locker room that has been missing it for the past few years. He is expected to change the culture of a team and franchise that is in desperate need of an authoritative leader. He is expected to win immediately. Bill O’Brien needs to hire an official offensive coordinator so he can fulfill all of these high expectations. By hiring an offensive coordinator, O’Brien can better serve as a coach with an overarching perspective over the whole team and not just for the offensive side of the ball. Even if he still is the main signal caller, having an experienced coordinator to run plays by and to sometimes call plays can take some of the pressure off O’Brien.
For example, this past season, Chip Kelly, the first year head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, had Pat Shurmur as his offensive coordinator. Although Kelly still called the plays, he had Shurmur to rely on for advice and help when it was needed. Also, with O’Brien assuming the offensive coordinator position, O’Brien will be tasked with preparing game plans each and every week. All in all, he has a lot of responsibility and is in charge of the team and its unified vision. This vision can sometimes be ignored or put on the back-burner if the head coach concentrates on one particular aspect of the team. The team as a whole and the franchise must be at the forefront of O’Brien’s mind. Being in charge of offensive play calling does not necessarily mean that he will lose sight of the team’s vision, but it could be a major factor in doing so.