Texans GM taking leave of absence as wife battles cancer

Sheri Evans
January 1, 2018

Bill O'Brien may not be coaching the Texans much longer, and it has everything to do with his relationship with general manager Rick Smith. I am eternally grateful to the McNair family for their unwavering support during this trying time. However, the most important thing at the moment is the health of Smith's wife. 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.

Smith has been the general manager for the franchise since 2006 and was elevated to an additional role as executive vice president in 2012. O'Brien recently said that he would "never" quit his job as Houston's head coach, and fortunately for him, it looks like he won't even have to worry about that right now.

Under O'Brien, the Texans have gone 31-32, winning back-to-back AFC South titles in 2015 and 2016.

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O'Brien has one season remaining on a five-year deal he signed when he became the Texans' coach in 2014.

"That's out of my control, but I would love to have Coach O'Brien with me", Watson said earlier this month. "I'll meet with him, I'm sure, at some point, and we'll decide what direction he wants to go". O'Brien's return keeps offensive continuity in Houston and is good news for Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Will Fuller.

The Texans closed out their 2017 campaign with a 22-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

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