TEX­ANS SIGN BILL O’BRIEN, BRIAN GAINE

COACH AGREES TO FOUR-YEAR EX­TEN­SION; NEW GEN­ERAL MAN­AGER INKS FIVE-YEAR CON­TRACT

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - SPORTS SUNDAY - By John McClain john.mcclain@chron.com twit­ter.com/mc­clain_on_nfl

Brian Gaine will not waste any time be­fore tak­ing on re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that go with his job as the Tex­ans’ new gen­eral man­ager.

Gaine will have con­trol of per­son­nel and foot­ball op­er­a­tions and will an­swer to owner Bob McNair and vice chair­man Cal McNair.

Gaine will work closely with coach Bill O’Brien and se­nior vice pres­i­dent of ad­min­is­tra­tion Chris Olsen.

Gaine gets a five-year con­tract to re­place Rick Smith. O’Brien and Olsen get four-year ex­ten­sions. Olsen, who han­dles the salary cap and con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions, was pro­moted from his role as vice pres­i­dent.

“I’m ex­cited about this op­por­tu­nity the McNair fam­ily has given me,” Gaine said Satur­day from Buf­falo, N.Y., where he spent one sea­son as the vice pres­i­dent of player per­son­nel. “I’ve ac­cepted with a great amount of hu­mil­ity and re­spect.”

Af­ter spend­ing three years (2014-16) as the Tex­ans’ di­rec­tor of pro per­son­nel and di­rec­tor of player per­son­nel and work­ing on four drafts and four free-agency pe­ri­ods, Gaine is fa­mil­iar with the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Dur­ing his first tour with the Tex­ans, Gaine had a pos­i­tive work­ing re­la­tion­ship with O’Brien.

“It’s also ex­cit­ing to part­ner with and to col­lab­o­rate with coach O’Brien and build a uni­fied vi­sion and a con­sis­tent win­ner the Tex­ans’ fan base and the city of Hous­ton can be proud of,” Gaine said.

Dur­ing their time to­gether, Gaine and O’Brien de­vel­oped a mu­tual re­spect.

“Bill’s pas­sion­ate about the game of foot­ball,” Gaine said. “He has a great un­der­stand­ing of build­ing the right cul­ture and creat­ing a win­ning en­vi­ron­ment.”

The McNairs hired Gaine on Satur­day morn­ing to be­come the team’s third gen­eral man­ager af­ter Smith and Charley Casserly.

“Brian’s very sharp,” Bob McNair said. “Char­ac­ter is im­por­tant to him. I’ve been im­pressed with his opin­ions on per­son­nel.

“One of the things I like about Brian is that he’s been with five dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions and has worked with five dif­fer­ent philoso­phies as to how to run and draft and free agency. His phi­los­o­phy fits with ours. His phi­los­o­phy is com­pat­i­ble with the cul­ture of our or­ga­ni­za­tion.” Pro­tégé of Par­cells

Work­ing for the New York Jets, Dal­las, Mi­ami, the Tex­ans and Buf­falo, Gaine spent time learn­ing from dif­fer­ent own­ers, gen­eral man­agers and coaches.

Gaine is a Bill Par­cells pro­tégé. He worked for the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Famer with the Jets, Cow­boys and Dol­phins be­fore com­ing to Hous­ton for the first time.

“It starts with peo­ple,” Gaine said about his phi­los­o­phy. “What I want to do is help build an op­er­a­tion and or­ga­ni­za­tion that have peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about the game. I want team con­trib­u­tors — peo­ple who want to be part of the team and op­er­ate well within the team en­vi­ron­ment.

“We want play­ers who are com­pet­i­tive in na­ture — good play­ers who are also good peo­ple off the field. We won’t take that lightly. We want play­ers who love to win. If we can build a cul­ture and a pro­gram filled with peo­ple who fit those pa­ram­e­ters and add play­ers who also fit those pa­ram­e­ters, that will give us the best chance to suc­ceed on the field.”

Gaine has wit­nessed suc­cess and fail­ure since he en­tered the NFL with the Jets in 1999.

“My guid­ing prin­ci­ple on build­ing a ros­ter are driven by two fac­tors,” Gaine said. “One, cul­tur­ally, we’ll have a to­tal com­mit­ment to team and a pas­sion for win­ning. We’ll build a win­ning process.

“Two, we’ll be in­tent on build­ing a smart, tough and dis­ci­plined team, a team that re­sponds to com­pe­ti­tion and is pas­sion­ate about the game.

“Ul­ti­mately, we want to po­si­tion our­selves to con­sis­tently com­pete for cham­pi­onships.”

Olsen spent three days ne­go­ti­at­ing with agent Brian Ayrault, who rep­re­sented Gaine and O’Brien. They reached agree­ments on both deals at 3 a.m. Satur­day.

“Chris wouldn’t let their agent go to sleep,” Bob McNair said. “Chris did a tremen­dous job. He’s been do­ing a great job for us for a long time, and that’s why we pro­moted him and gave him an ex­ten­sion, too.

“Our goal is to win a Su­per Bowl, and we’re all on the same page. I’m glad to get Bill’s ex­ten­sion done. I’ve watched him for four years now, and I be­lieve he can take us to the Su­per Bowl.” Worked un­der pre­de­ces­sor

O’Brien and Smith had a strained re­la­tion­ship that reached a boil­ing point last sea­son. Smith left to take a year­long leave of ab­sence to care for his wife, Tif­fany, who’s be­ing treated for breast cancer, and their three chil­dren.

Smith’s de­par­ture of­fered the McNairs an op­por­tu­nity to hire a new gen­eral man­ager.

Dur­ing his three sea­sons work­ing un­der Smith, Gaine was re­spected by the per­son­nel de­part­ment, the coach­ing staff and mem­bers of the ad­min­is­tra­tive side or the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

O’Brien, who had one year left on his con­tract, should have an eas­ier time hir­ing as­sis­tant coaches now that he has the ex­ten­sion.

“It’s a great time for our or­ga­ni­za­tion,” O’Brien said. “I’m really happy. I can’t thank Bob and Cal McNair enough.

“This is really im­por­tant. It’s all about con­ti­nu­ity and sta­bil­ity. We have a great core group of staff mem­bers we really be­lieve in.”

O’Brien was on the search com­mit­tee with the McNairs, pres­i­dent Jamey Rootes and Jed Hughes of the Korn Ferry search firm.

While Gaine will have fi­nal say on per­son­nel — just as Smith did — O’Brien will con­tinue to have con­trol over his coach­ing staff as well as who plays and doesn’t play on game days.

“It’s about be­ing in a place where we knew we could win be­cause we had the sup­port of own­er­ship,” O’Brien said. “It was also about im­prov­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion within the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“We’ve had great meet­ings over the last three weeks. The McNairs have been great com­mu­ni­cat­ing what they want. There’s been a really good give­and-take. We have a tremen­dous amount of trust in each other. Colleen and I are ec­static to be in Hous­ton.

“Even though we’re com­ing off a tough sea­son, we feel like we have a fan­tas­tic fu­ture here.”

Pa­trick McDer­mott / Getty Im­ages; Michael Ciaglo / Hous­ton Chron­i­cle

As­so­ci­ated Press

Brian Gaine worked in the Tex­ans’ front of­fice from 201416 be­fore spend­ing this sea­son as the Buf­falo Bills’ vice pres­i­dent of player per­son­nel.

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