Bill O’Brien got in some punting practice at the podium Tuesday afternoon.
The Houston Texans coach repeatedly declined to comment on the firing of general manager Brian Gaine over the weekend after just 17 months on the job. Despite multiple overtures, O’Brien deferred to the statement chairman Cal McNair released Friday.
“Again I’ll go back to the statement that Cal (McNair) made,” O’Brien said. “I’ll say it again. He did a thorough evaluation of what goes on in this building on a day-to-day basis relative to the processes that are in place in all different areas. Not just coaching, scouting. Every area. Training room, equipment, nutrition, business side. Everything. That’s what I’ll tell you about that.”
Asked whether he thought Gaine needed to be fired to move the organization forward, O’Brien declined to enlighten inquiring minds.
“I’ll go with the statement again,” he said. “I stand by the statement (Cal McNair) made. Cal made a statement. He had to make a tough decision. He evaluated everything and he told me exactly what he wanted me to do to improve and help with his vision of where he sees this organization going or where it needs to go in his opinion.”
Pressed further about whether his relationship with Gaine changed since the former GM was hired in Jan. 2018, O’Brien again passed.
“Again, I will say like I said before is that before, in the statement that Cal made, Cal made an evaluation, a thorough evaluation and this is the decision that was made and that’s what I’ll say about that,” he said.
While O’Brien declined to provide any background on his relationship with the former GM and his role in the hiring of the next GM or offer anything of interest or substance, he wanted it known it was McNair’s decision and that his job was also part of the evaluation process.
“I think anytime you get news like that, right away, it’s a tough decision for Cal to make,” O’Brien said of the firing. “But again he was very clear with me with what he wanted me to do to improve and his vision for the football team and his vision for the organization and that’s what we’re doing now. We’re moving forward. We’re excited about the future.”
That future will include O’Brien and a new GM.