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Houston Texans GM Rick Smith taking leave of absence

Houston Texans GM Rick Smith taking leave of absence

Amidst multiple reports of growing friction between O'Brien and general manager Rick Smith, speculation mounted late in the season that O'Brien could be let go in favor of a new coach.

The Texans were apparently deliberating whether or not to fire O'Brien at the end of this season, but that doesn't appear to be the case any longer. He determined his wife and three children now needed him more than football.

The Texans lost Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts, 22-13, finishing a frustrating season with a 4-12 record. So cutting ties with O'Brien is significantly more painless than getting rid of Smith and then there's the added possibility that an ultimatum will anger Texans owner Bob McNair if he hasn't already made a decision. "I remain committed to our quest to bring a championship to the city of Houston, yet my family needs me now and they are my priority". There's some uncertainty as it relates to head coach Bill O'Brien and general manager Rick Smith.

"That's out of my control, but I would love to have Coach O'Brien with me", Watson said earlier this month. I'm the head coach.

But middle ground between the coach and GM seem so far apart reports the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, that one or the other likely will be gone before next season.

After Sunday's loss to the Colts, O'Brien called his first losing season as an National Football League coach "absolutely brutal". He also would come with Bill Belichick's approval from his days on the Patriots staff. O'Brien is 31-32 in four seasons.

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