Coaching Rumors: Crennel, Quinn, Fitzgerald

The Texans fired head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien last month following an 0-4 start, and interim HC Romeo Crennel has righted the ship a bit. Under Crennel’s watch, Houston is 2-2, and while those two wins came against the lowly Jaguars, the Texans came within an eyelash of toppling the Titans in Week 6.

Crennel, 73, has been viewed as a placeholder for 2020, but he could retain the gig through the 2021 season, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes. COVID-19 restrictions will probably not permit a traditional in-person search this offseason, so teams hiring a new HC could be committing a boatload of money to a person they have never even met. As such, the Texans might stick with Crennel next season and seek their long-term answer the following year. If that happens, VP of football operations Jack Easterby may continue serving as GM.

Of course, the team has been connected to Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, who is a favorite of QB Deshaun Watson. Bieniemy is widely expected to secure a head coaching job this offseason regardless of travel restrictions, so if Houston wants him, it might need to take a leap of faith. And John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans will indeed hire a new GM and HC at season’s end, while fellow Houston Chronicle scribe Aaron Wilson says the search remains active (Twitter links).

Now for more a few more coaching rumors:

  • The Falcons parted ways with HC Dan Quinn earlier this season, but it doesn’t sound like Quinn will be out of work for long. Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, several teams have made it known that they would like to have Quinn on their staff in 2021, and coordinators who might become head coaches next season have tapped Quinn as their first choice for defensive coordinator. La Canfora says Quinn could rejoin the Seahawks given Seattle’s defensive struggles this year, and he could also end up as the 49ers‘ DC if Robert Saleh gets a head coaching job.
  • Given the financial toll that the pandemic has taken on college athletic departments, top college coaches have become increasingly receptive to a jump to the NFL, as La Canfora details in a separate piece. Names like Lincoln Riley, Jim Harbaugh, and Brian Kelly, who frequently come up in offseason coaching rumors, will again be at the forefront of the discussion in 2021.
  • Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has drawn interest from NFL teams in the past, and as of January 2019, he indicated he was not interested in NFL opportunities. However, COVID-19 might make him more receptive to an HC job in the pros, and his hometown Bears could come calling. La Canfora says Bears ownership is high on Fitzgerald, and if Chicago moves on from Matt Nagy, Fitzgerald might be on the top of the team’s wish-list.
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12 comments on “Coaching Rumors: Crennel, Quinn, Fitzgerald

  1. bigeasye

    That would be a quick fall for Nagy who was coach of the year, what, 3 seasons ago?

  2. dustyceltics

    The Bears aren’t having a terrible year though? Last year yeah but this year they’ve looked and played well

    • lattigo

      The Bears haven’t looked good in any game this year, they could easily be 0-9 with the way they’ve played.

      The main issue is they hired Nagy who was supposed to be an offensive guru and has been anything but that.

      • Ak185

        True, but he also was committed to turning around a bad QB. The question is whether or not to give him a chance with a better one, or cut him loose and take the losses.

        He hasn’t been outright terrible, despite the Bears’ woes. His record is good, he apparently has no issues with players, and he has had a very good season in addition to this so far somehow good season. If Quinn could get as long as he did, Nagy could end up with another year.

  3. Polish Hammer

    Brian Kelly and his antics whenever something doesn’t go right will not go over well with men. He’ll do as well in the NFL as Chip Kelly did.

  4. skrockij89

    Literally anyone would be better than Ken Norton. Quinn did good when he was in Seattle. I expect him back next year.

    • Whether Dan Quinn can get the current version of the Seahawks defense to play better than they have this year remains to be seen. Personally I think it boils down to talent, or in this case, a lack of it. However re: his previous stint in Seattle literally anyone would do well with that particular defense. It wasn’t just the starters on D either- JS created a roster with an amazing amount of talent and more importantly depth, something the current 53 man roster is sorely lacking.

  5. Yep it is

    Would love to see a team hire Saleh and then watch that team IMPLODE. He isn’t a head coach. That is laughable.

  6. CastielStrife

    *cue Michael Scott’s famous “Oh please God, no!!!” scene*

    Please, Texans, get your coach and GM situation settled this year. Crennel is NOT the answer, everyone knows this. As bad as the Texans are, this season was still a win due to the firing of Bill O’Brien. Please don’t ruin that by sending another season down the drain next year.

    Us Texans fans know we are in a light rebuild at best. Get your GM, get your coach, let J.J. Watt go and chase a ring, and do what you can in free agency to add any help to the offensive line and defense. We know with as badly as O’Brien gutted this team that we aren’t winning anything next year, but at least with a new coaching staff and new GM you can begin the culture shift rather than pushing it back another year after that.

  7. Black Ace57

    Who can seriously watch what TTUN is doing this year and the past couple of years and really still consider Harbaugh as a big name coach? I hope he never leaves the Wolverines tbh, but which ever GM hires him back to the pros deserves to be fired.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Seems inevitable that Harbaugh returns to the NFL in some coaching capacity. Could hookup with his brother in Baltimore or reunite with Fangio in an interesting role reversal situation.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    “La Canfora says Bears ownership is high”

    Even those who don’t have a degree in journalism might have figured that out.

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