The Texans are looking for a new head coach, but it appears they want to keep their offensive coordinator after his first year calling plays with Deshaun Watson.
According to ESPN's Dan Graziano, teams have asked permission to interview Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, but the Texans have denied the requests.
Kelly, 34, helped Watson put up a career season, despite the team's 4-12 record.
With Watson at quarterback and Kelly calling plays, the Texans' passing offense ranked eighth in DVOA, which measures efficiency.
Watson spoke highly of Kelly after the season ended.
"Tim over the past two years has really taken my game to a whole another level as far as just knowledge, reading defenses, understanding run points and run schemes, understanding the way of different concepts and different situations," Watson said Jan. 4. "His knowledge of just the game of football is very, very bright and he really helped me take my game, especially this year, the best football I’ve played in my career.”
Kelly also shares an agent with Texans general manager Nick Caserio, vice president of football operations, and head coaching candidate Leslie Frazier.
One theory is if the Texans hire a coach with more of a defensive background, like Frazier or Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, then Kelly could continue calling plays.
That seems less likely, although possible, if the Texans hired an offensive coach like Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy.