After going two seasons without an offensive coordinator, the Texans look ready to take a more traditional route in 2019.
They are planning to promote tight ends coach Tim Kelly to work as the offensive coordinator next season, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM reports (on Twitter). Will Lawing is expected to take Kelly’s place coaching Houston’s tight ends.
The Texans parted ways with former OC George Godsey after the 2016 season, and Kelly then rose from offensive quality control coach to tight ends instructor. He had spent the first three years of Bill O’Brien‘s Texans tenure in that lower-level role. Prior to that, Kelly worked as a graduate assistant on O’Brien’s Penn State staff.
This points to the Texans viewing Kelly as a rising coaching talent. Godsey, who served in this role for two seasons, has been the only OC during O’Brien’s tenure. Houston’s head coach did not hire an OC during his 2014 debut campaign. It is not known if Kelly or O’Brien will call plays in 2019, but given the promotion, it is certain Kelly’s input will greatly expand.
This will be Kelly’s first coordinator role in nine years. Prior to his time with O’Brien, he, interestingly, served as defensive coordinator at Division II Minnesota State-Moorhead in 2010.
Houston’s staff lost a key member this week, with quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan taking a job as the Lions’ QBs coach. Ryan interviewed for the Browns’ OC job last year but took a lateral move during this hiring period. He would have been the natural choice for this promotion in Houston, but the Texans may have been grooming Kelly.
The Texans’ No. 11-ranked scoring offense represents the highest ranking during the O’Brien era (though, Houston only deployed the No. 21 DVOA offense). This would make sense given Deshaun Watson‘s 16 starts compared to the franchise’s previous difficulties landing a starting quarterback. O’Brien and Kelly will attempt to improve on that. The Texans have not yet hired another quarterbacks coach.
Lawing worked as an offensive assistant, helping with the team’s offensive linemen, the past two years. Lawing also made the move to the NFL after serving as a GA under O’Brien at Penn State.
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