NFL

The Houston Texans Make Yet Another Baffling Move

The Houston Texans have become a franchise that has made some questionable decisions. The Texans appear to be a dysfunctional team without an identity. There’s still no head coach after Bill O’Brien was fired and Romeo Crennel was hired for interim duty. The latest move involves the firing of Amy Palcic, VP of Communications, for no longer being a “cultural fit.”

The Houston Texans continue to struggle

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On Sunday, the Houston Texans won just their second game of the season when they defeated the 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars, with backup quarterback Jake Luton making his first start, nearly pulled off the upset, falling 27-25. Houston improved to 2-6 in unimpressive fashion.

In the offseason, the Texans signed quarterback Deshaun Watson to a deal worth $160 million over four years. During the season, they fired longtime head coach Bill O’Brien less than nine months after adding general manager duties to his coaching gig. O’Brien was in his seventh season as head coach of the Texans. In his six full seasons, he had just one losing year.

The Texans began 0-4 under O’Brien after playing a brutal schedule that included the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Minnesota Vikings in that stretch. O’Brien was let go prior to Week 5 and the Texans have posted two wins. Both wins have come against the lowly Jaguars.

The Texans made one of the worst trades ever this year

When former head coach/GM Bill O’Brien took over as general manager in addition to his head coaching duties, he jumped right in on the trading scene. He sent DeAndre Hopkins, arguably the league’s top wide receiver, to the Arizona Cardinals. In return, the Texans got oft-injured running back David Johnson and a second-round pick. The Texans also included a fourth-round pick in the deal.

The Hopkins trade shocked the NFL world. Hopkins was coming off three straight All-Pro seasons and was regarded as a top-three receiver in the NFL. Reports have said that O’Brien and Hopkins didn’t mesh. Other reports have stated that Hopkins wanted a new deal and was unhappy with the team. In any case, the Texans didn’t get nearly enough. According to Bleacher Report, one NFL executive said he felt the Texans just wanted to move on.

“They have been shopping the guy (Hopkins) for a year-and-a-half, so let’s not pretend they do not know what the market is,” the NFL executive said. “They clearly knew the market. Other teams were scared of the market, and I think with players like Hopkins who have actually held out, there is fear of what the contract looks like. Do I think they should have taken on David Johnson? No, they did not do a great deal, but they were at a point where they just wanted to move on, and that is the danger of having the head coach being the GM.”

The Texans firing of Amy Palcic might be just as bad

According to NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Houston Texans fired Amy Palcic, the VP of Communications, on Wednesday. Palcic was the only woman to have full PR responsibilities for an NFL team. She won the 2017 Pete Rozelle Award for having the best PR staff. According to Schefter, she was let go because she was no longer “a cultural fit.”

The news hit hard among NFL media members, including Peter King of NBC Sports. “This is a stunning move,” King wrote on Twitter. “Stunning. Amy Palcic is one of the best media relations people I’ve met in my 36 years covering the NFL. Top 5.” King wasn’t alone. “Shocked,” tweeted Andrea Kremer, a member of the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Palcic is the consummate professional & always a pleasure to deal with. She respects our jobs and what we need while never compromising the objectives of her team. The NFL is better with her in it.”

Amy Palcic seems to have the backing of some very well-respected media folks around the NFL. If she’s no longer a “cultural fit” with the Houston Texans, maybe the Texans should change their culture.