Factor #5: The collateral damage caused
I cannot stand behind O’Brien’s appalling actions. I cannot think we make progress by teaching others that if someone criticizes you, it’s okay to be threatening and violate them. Can you imagine the distraction he still poses to the Texans’ ownership and culture, if parents won’t want their children to receive his potential speaking engagements?
Janice McNair, whom I have long admired for being a loving, family-oriented, selfless, and strategic leader among Texas residents, does not deserve O’Brien’s distraction. After years of reading excerpts of her kindhearted writing and quotes, and just reading about her service, in general, I get the sense she wakes up asking herself how she best can strategize to help others in any way she can, every single day. All the more reason that O’Brien should step down.
From a contractual standpoint, I get it. O’Brien signed a long-term deal nearly a year before this incident. But should he really get the keys to the Ferrari that is the Texans’ offense going forward? It’s true that he had a hand in bringing in 2020 Pro Bowlers, Laremy Tunsil and Deshaun Watson.
But, you know what? O’Brien’s had influence in just about every draft pick and free-agent signing
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the Texans have engaged in over the last half-decade. And how has that worked out?
Sure, the Texans feature a .537 winning percentage over the last five years—even after enduring a miserable four-win campaign several seasons ago—but the team has only been victorious in 2 out of 6 playoff games on O’Brien’s watch. And at the end of the day, the team hasn’t progressed over any postseason hump.
That said, losing is part of football, especially with the unrivaled talent level of the NFL. Not winning every game is understandable. But, O’Brien should resign for his inexcusable behavior under that tunnel’s entryway for embarrassing the city and the team.
The NFL should, at the very least, suspend O’Brien without pay, because his comments and behavior violated a fundamental right of every person in NRG Stadium that day—the right to be treated with human dignity.
What do you think? Should the Texans fire O’Brien? Should O’Brien resign? Please leave your comments below.