In a move that didn’t surprise many people, the Houston Texans fired head coach Dave Culley after a one-and-done, 4-13 season. His initial hire by the Texans came out of nowhere when the long-time assistant coach got his first head coaching opportunity.
Culley quickly became a scapegoat and was fired from a Texans team in turmoil. He was doomed to fail before the season kicked off. Most bookies set the Texans’ win totals at 4.5 over/under. In case you’re wondering, the under hit when the Texans won just four games.
Culley walked into a maelstrom on Day One, which included a front-office shakeup and a quarterback controversy. Starting quarterback Deshaun Watson sat out the season after demanding a trade in the offseason, but the team refused to deal its All-Pro gunslinger.
Without Watson, the Texans tapped backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor into action. In the first half of a game in Week 2, Taylor injured his hamstring, and Culley had no choice but to start rookie, third-string quarterback David Mills for the next two months. The Texans struggled all season and still looked awful when Taylor returned in November before he was benched for good in December.
The inept Texans mustered up a 4-13 record, but two of their wins were against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. Their AFC South divisional foe finished the season with the worst record in the NFL at 3-14. The Jaguars were awarded the #1 pick in the upcoming NFL draft, and the Texans snagged the third pick behind the Detroit Lions at #2.
Houston’s clown show
The Texans were a well-known sh-t show in 2020. The organization has been a mess since patriarch Bob McNair passed away in 2018 and his son took over. Cal McNair was dubbed “Tommy Boy” behind his back because the scion was out of his depth when it came to running a company, let alone an NFL franchise.
Cal McNair is highly influenced by Jack Easterby, a former chaplain and character coach, who was the shadow GM lurking behind the scenes. Easterby rubbed other executives the wrong way because he’s a bible-thumper who often stopped in the middle of meetings with McNair to pray. Easterby persuaded McNair to hire Nick Caserio as the new general manager, even though the Texans spent a pretty penny on a consulting service to provide them a list of worthy GM candidates. Caserio worked with the New England Patriots in the player personnel department, but had zero experience as a general manager or even assistant GM.
The hiring irked Watson, who found out about the new GM via social media. Watson wanted the new GM to interview Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for the head coaching vacancy, but the team didn’t include Bieniemy in its initial wave of interviews. That drove a deeper wedge into the massive rift between Watson and the front office. At that point, Watson demanded a trade, which the Texans refused. When Watson indicated he’d sit out, news broke about a scandal involving him, massage therapists, and happy endings.
Watson’s trade drama
Teams called the Texans to inquire about a trade prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, but Houston was silent on the matter. The New York Jets would have sold half of New Jersey and all of Long Island to acquire Watson in a trade, but the Texans didn’t want to discuss a deal.
The Texans hired Culley as their new head coach. The move was perceived as a half-ass effort to placate Watson by hiring a black head coach. Culley and Watson had several good conversations, but Watson held his ground and sat out the season.
At the trade deadline in early November, there were rumors that the Miami Dolphins offered a sizable and juicy package to Caserio and the Texans in exchange for Watson. The Texans declined the offer and increased their already ludicrous price tag, which included three first-round picks and two second-round picks.
The Texans head into the offseason without a head coach, but they’re expected to finally trade Watson. Many teams are interested, but only the Dolphins have enough draft capital to meet the Texans’ costly demands. The Dolphins have their own internal problems. They fired head coach Brian Flores on Monday despite back-to-back winning seasons and near misses on the playoff bubble.
Who wants to coach the Texans?
Former head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien is getting a lot of interviews for head coaching vacancies, but the Texans won’t be giving him a call after his disastrous stint with the team, which included trading away future Hall of Famer WR DeAndre Hopkins. Insiders will tell you that O’Brien hated being with the Texans so much that he sabotaged the team to ensure he got fired.
The Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and Denver Broncos are also looking for new head coaches. By waiting until Thursday to fire Culley, several teams had a head start after they sacked their head coaches on Black Monday. Leave it to the dysfunctional Texans to screw up the timing of the termination of their head coach.
Several former head coaches are looking for work, including Jason Garrett, Jim Caldwell, Jay Gruden, Pat Shurmur, and even Jim Harbaugh would entertain leaving Michigan if he had the right opportunity to return to the NFL. There’s also the revolving door of the NFL coaching world where freshly-fired head coaches can land new jobs, such as Mike Zimmer, Brian Flores, Vic Fangio, and Matt Nagy. Heck, the Texans are so dense and so in love with ex-coaches from the Patriots that they’d be willing to make a crucial error by hiring Joe Judge or Matt Patricia.
Oh, and we have a suggestion for Tommy Boy and the Texans: give Adam Gase a call. He already has experience with a clown show after coaching the LOL Jets for two seasons of ineptitude. Only the Texans would be stupid enough to hire someone like Gase, and Gase is so desperate to get back to the coaching ranks that he’d consider the Texans.