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Rick Smith to take leave of absence

01 January, 2018, 03:10 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • The Texans are likely to retain coach Bill O'Brien according to an ESPN report

The Houston Texans General Manager, Rick Smith, released a statement on Sunday saying he will be taking a leave of absence.

Smith's departure diffuses a divisive relationship with coach Bill O'Brien that was described as problematic and dysfunctional by many in the organization.

The great news is, Watson will have O'Brien, whom he prefers, coaching him next year. Their meeting could determine if O'Brien gets an extension or becomes a lame duck and coaches the past year of his contract. The most notable incident was Smith signing QB Brock Osweiler without consulting O'Brien prior to the 2016 season. It was the team's sixth consecutive defeat and finished off an injury-plagued 4-12 season.

Smith said he wants to focus on his wife's recovery from breast cancer.

However, McNair may feel inclined to choose between O'Brien and Smith if the team owner believes the longstanding issues between the two can not be resolved. This was an extremely hard decision for me to make as I love this organization and every member of this team both on and off the field.

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Another source speculated that Smith and O'Brien could keep working together but that it would be an "uneasy alliance" that's somewhat untenable.

"I don't have any comment on that", O'Brien said on Sunday.

Deshaun Watson has voiced his support for O'Brien. Houston has traded away its first- and second-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft and does not have a pick until the third round. If Gaine ends up as the Texans' next GM, we wouldn't expect Smith back at any point.

Rick Caserio, New England's longtime vice president of player personnel.

It has been a season of struggle for the Texans in 2017.

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