HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Houston Texans have abruptly fired general manager Brian Gaine less than 18 months after he took the job.
The team announced the move Friday with a statement from team owner Cal McNair, who said “while the timing may be unusual, this decision was made in the best interest of the organization in our quest to build a championship team.”
The full statement read:
“After a thorough evaluation of our football operations, we have Si decided to relieve Brian Gaine of his duties as general manager. Brian is a man of high character and we appreciate his contributions to our organization. We will begin an immediate search for a new GM. In the interim, Football Operations will be led by Senior Vice President of Football Administration Chris Olsen. While the timing may be unusual, this decision was made in the best interest of our organization in our quest to build a championship team for the City of Houston.”
Gaine was hired to replace Rick Smith in January 2018.
The Texans went 11-5 in his first season in charge after he spent the 2017 as vice president of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills.
Senior vice president of football administration Chris Olsen will run the team’s football operations while the Texans search for a new general manager.
It’s unclear what led to Gaine’s dismissal. Though his first season was a success, Gaine had been criticized for failing to improve the team’s porous offensive line after Deshaun Watson was sacked an NFL-leading 62 times last season.
Watson played every game in his second year after having season-ending knee surgery as a rookie, but he was hurt for a good part of the season while dealing with a partially collapsed lung and broken ribs from taking hit after hit.
Gaine drafted Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard with the 23rd overall pick in the draft, but some wondered if Howard was the right choice with other more seasoned linemen from bigger schools and more powerful conferences available.
Gaine also attempted to beef up the line in free agency but faced criticism there after signing injury-prone left tackle Matt Kalil. A Pro Bowl selection as a rookie in 2012 after the Vikings picked him fourth overall, Kalil missed all of last season with a knee injury and sat out all but two games in 2016 with a hip injury.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)