Already the head coach and general manager in Houston, Bill O’Brien will let someone else call the offensive plays for the Texans in 2020.
The Texans coach told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tim Kelly will be the offensive play-caller next season.
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"Tim Kelly’s an excellent football coach," O’Brien said Tuesday. "We’re excited for him to take the next step in his career here. He’s gonna coach the quarterbacks, he’s going to call the plays and he’s going to do an excellent job."
This will mark the second time since O’Brien has been in charge in Houston that he is ceding play-calling duties to someone else and the first since he seized the reins from George Godsey in the middle of the 2016 season.
Kelly was named Houston’s OC last year, but did not call plays. He’s been under O’Brien’s tutelage since 2012 when he started as a graduate assistant at Penn State. Kelly followed O’Brien to Houston in 2014 and has climbed the coaching ladder year after year, his promotion to offensive coordinator last year the latest step up before Tuesday’s news.
Soon to be 34 years old, Kelly is one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the league and will certainly be one of the youngest play-callers.
Over the past three seasons, with O’Brien calling the plays, Houston has stayed around the league average in both points and yards per game. Back-to-back AFC South champions, the Texans are trying something different in 2020 to jump-start and diversify an offense spearheaded by Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, and to take some responsibilities of O’Brien’s plate. He’s busy as is.
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