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Texans give Bill O'Brien extension, hire GM Brian Gaine

The Houston Texans took a big step toward creating long-term continuity Saturday.

The team announced it signed coach Bill O'Brien to a four-year extension and hired new general manager Brian Gaine to a five-year contract. The new deals give the duo contracts with matching lengths.

"Bill O'Brien has been a tremendous leader for us these last four years and we believe in his vision for the team moving forward," team owner Bob McNair said in a statement. "Bill is a terrific teacher that the players respect. We have a lot of trust in him to build a unified, championship culture and we're thrilled to have him as our head coach into the future."

"Our committee was unanimous in praise for Brian Gaine and we are all aligned in our philosophy on how to continue to build our roster and win a championship," McNair added. "Brian is an incredibly smart, hardworking individual that understands the importance of good communication. We couldn't be more excited about naming him our new general manager."

Gaine officially replaces Rick Smith, who took leave earlier this month to assist his wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Smith said he intends to come back, maintaining his executive vice president title.

Gaine returns to the Texans after spending this past season as the Buffalo Bills' vice president of player personnel. From 2014-2016, Gaine held director of pro personnel and then director of player personnel roles in Houston.

Inking Gaine to a five-year deal and extending O'Brien's contract through the 2022 season brings enormous stability to a franchise that finally appears to be on an upward trajectory. Despite O'Brien's career 31-33 record, the coach looks to have found his quarterback of the future, getting a dazzling 19 touchdowns (to just eight interceptions) and 1,699 passing yards from Deshaun Watson in seven games before his season ended early because of a torn ACL. Houston went 3-3 in Watson's six starts.

With O'Brien and Gaine tied at the hip with matching deals, a promising superstar quarterback expected to make a full recovery, and former Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt also set to return from a season-ending leg injury, the future in Houston looks as bright as ever.

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