• Brian L. Barefield

Put On A Happy Face Texans look to secure their first win of the season after firing Bill O’ Brien.

Photo Credit/Houston Texans

Lyricist Lee Adams and composer Charles Strouse composed a song that was used in the 1960 Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie” that was titled “Put on a Happy Face.”

“Gray skies are gonna clear up Put on a happy face Brush off the clouds and cheer up Put on a happy face”

Who knew that 40 years later it could be used as a mantra for the players of the Houston Texans heading into Sunday’s matchup with divisional rivals, Jacksonville Jaguars. On last Monday the Texans decided that after seven seasons it was time to move on from former head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien.

Houston has started the season with an 0-4 record which puts them in the same category as the New York Jets, New York Giants, and the Atlanta Falcons as the only teams to not win a game this season. That is not what was expected when you have such a talented group led by quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive end J.J. Watt.

“My main focus is trying to get a win in the win column,” Watson said to the media on Wednesday. “All the other stuff right now, I can’t focus on that. I’ve got to try to make sure this team is ready to play against Jacksonville. Hell, I’m just trying to get a win. We’re sitting here 0-4. This is not where I want to be. This is not what I’m used to, so my main focus is getting prepared for Sunday.”

Interim head coach Romeo Crennel will do his best to make sure Watson and the rest of his teammates are fully prepared to get their first win. He was given the “Interim” title after the organization severed ties with O’Brien but rest assured that he is more than prepared to lead this team with over 40 years of experience.

“It’s just a matter for me of working through what’s on the plate so that I can get into a routine because I haven’t been calling the shots for a while. Now I’ve got to get back into the routine,” said Crennel.

If Houston is to get into the win column, they must be focused on two key factors against the Jags. One, they must make sure that they give Watson as much freedom as he needs to get the offense going. Through the first four games Watson’s stats have been less than impressive with six touchdowns and three interceptions to go along with 16 sacks. Some may be left to wonder if O’Brien giving offensive coordinator Tim Kelly full antinomy to call the plays at the beginning of the season, but constantly interfering with the calls may have led to the less than stellar start for Watson.

“I want to make sure Deshaun’s is best prepared as he can be so when he steps on the field, that he’s ready for anything they throw his way so he can go out there and perform at his best,” said Kelly.

The second and most important thing that must happen for Houston is for the defense to cause some turnovers. They don’t have an interception or forced fumble through four games and that is reason to make an All-Pro player like J.J. Watt unhappy. When asked about the lack of turnovers after the loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Watt responded that he was extremely disappointed with his team’s lack of takeaways.

I do believe that Houston can turn their season around if they stick to the two aforementioned factors and allow themselves to move on from the Bill O’ Brien era. If that happens, they will be singing another part of the song that may have been stuck in Watt’s head when he tweeted this picture earlier in the week.

“And spread sunshine all over the place And put on a happy face.”

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