Texans‘ head coach Bill O’Brien has been very quiet since getting the top job in Houston, but has finally announced the 16 assistant coaches he has hired to fill out the coaching staff, according to HoustonTexans.com. The new hires are highlighted by his new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, who held that same post with the Patriots during their three Super Bowls from 2001-2004, and new director of football research Jim Bernhardt, who was O’Brien’s special assistant to the head coach and director of player development at Penn State. The hires that were not made may have been just as important, as the team retained special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky, and notably O’Brien decided not to hire an offensive coordinator. Here are some other news items from across the AFC:
- The Chargers have decided not to opt out of their lease with Qualcomm Stadium, reports Ricky Henne of Chargers.com. The team will play its home games there in 2014, while the organization continues to explore stadium solutions in San Diego.
- It is no secret that the Dolphins plan to move on from the Richie Incognito–Jonathan Martin controversy, writes James Walker of ESPN.com. However, while Incognito is a free agent, Martin will not be as simple to let go. The Dolphins would like to trade him, but they know if they cannot find a deal that they will have to release him for nothing. Unfortunately, the rest of the league knows that as well, and other franchises might be content to wait until Martin is released.
- The Patriots have exercised the franchise tag eight times since the 2002 offseason, writes Christopher Price of WEEI.com. The two impending free agents that would be most likely to receive the tag are Aqib Talib and Julian Edelman. However, placing the tag on either player would result in a one-year-deal worth over $11MM. The Patriots are more likely to either use it to keep the player from hitting free agency while they negotiate a long-term contract, or possibly not use it at all for the second consecutive year.