Punchless Texans fire offensive coordinator Palmer
HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer on Monday following the team's second straight embarrassing loss.
Joe Pendry, the team's offensive line coach, was introduced as his replacement by coach Dom Capers Monday afternoon.
"We have not performed up to our expectations," Capers said. "We needed to make an adjustment to help us move forward in the direction we want to go."
Capers and quarterback David Carr agreed that offense needs to be more consistent and hope this change will facilitate that.
Palmer, who had been the offensive coordinator since the team's inception, also called the plays.
The Texans lost to Pittsburgh 27-7 on Sunday after losing to Buffalo 22-7 in the opener. Houston has averaged the fewest yards (170.5), fewest passing yards (66.5) and points (7) in the NFL through its first two games.
In Sunday's game, Carr appeared to be confused. He was sacked eight times -- the most since the expansion year in 2002 and one shy of the most in the team's 50-game history.
Against Buffalo, Houston allowed five sacks and had five turnovers.
Carr said he didn't like the feeling he's had the last two weeks and that he's happy with any change that will improve the team.
"I just want to get back to where we feel good about going out on Sundays," Carr said. "Feel like we have a chance to go out and compete against the teams that we feel like we're just as good as."
Palmer joined the Texans after being fired after two seasons as coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Capers said he's been "evaluating the big picture" for a while and that this decision is a culmination of Houston's poor performance in a season-ending loss to Cleveland, in the preseason and the first two games.
He said over that period it became "apparent to me that things weren't working."
Houston has a bye this week before traveling to Cincinnati on Oct. 2. Capers said the extra week of preparation made it the "logical time" to make a change.
Pendry was the offensive coordinator under Capers for three seasons at Carolina. He spent 1998-2000 in the same position with Buffalo.
In his first season with Buffalo, the Bills improved from 25th in the NFL in offense to sixth and reached the playoffs.
Pendry said that he hates to do the job under the circumstances.
"It's not fun to go into this situation, but it's my job," he said. "I've been asked to do it and I'll do everything in my power to give us the opportunity to win."
He said he'll work to improve the offense to help relieve the pressure on Carr.
"We have to put him in a position to do his job and not have to go win the game for us every time," Pendry said. "We have ten other guys out there. They've got to go play."
Carr said he's excited about working with Pendry and that he thinks he will help the offense play to its strengths. He also remains confident that the team can turn things around and believes execution will be the key.
"When we go out and execute and do what we're supposed to do we can be a good football team," he said. "When we don't we're a bad football team. It's no secret."
Steve Marshall, who has coached the offensive tackles, will take over Pendry's job.
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