It’s clear at this point that quarterback Ryan Mallett is on borrowed time with the Houston Texans. It wouldn’t be surprising if he is let go relatively soon after missing the team’s flight to Miami on Saturday.
So a report from the Houston Chronicle’s Brian T. Smith, which said coach Bill O’Brien wanted to cut Mallett before Sunday’s game but was overruled by general manager Rick Smith, has little to do with Mallett. It does have a lot to do with the Texans.
Brian T. Smith reported that O’Brien tried to cut Mallett before Sunday’s game at the Miami Dolphins, after Mallett missed the team’s charter flight and had to fly commercial. He was overruled by Rick Smith, who has been general manager of the Texans since 2006. Smith, according to the report, thought the team needed Mallett in the game to back up starter Brian Hoyer. The Mallett situation may or may not have had anything to do with the Texans’ pitiful performance, as they fell behind 41-0 at one point. But O’Brien, who the Chronicle said has control over the 53-man roster, being overruled might hint at a power struggle.
It’s a wonder why Smith would really have that cache within the organization anymore. It’s a little surprising he still has his job. He has built a roster that is surprisingly bad, aside from blue-chip standouts J.J. Watt and DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans are now 2-5 and it’s doubtful they turn it around. They’d need to rally to avoid the sixth losing season in Smith’s 10 seasons on the job. The Texans also entirely flubbed the 2014 draft, somehow not drafting quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr despite having the first and 33rd picks. The Texans drafted UCLA guard Xavier Su’a-Filo over Carr with the 33rd pick. Carr has a 101 rating this season. Su’a-Filo has started two games in two seasons. Someone needs to answer for that colossal mistake.
Brian T. Smith points out in his column that the Mallett situation undermines a lot of what O’Brien has been trying to build, putting together a tough, team-first organization. It’s a valid concern.
The Mallett situation will probably come to an unsurprising conclusion, and soon. The Texans don’t have much reason to keep him around after this latest episode. What led to Mallett being kept around for the Dolphins game might have a longer lasting impact.
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