The Houston Texans hired David Culley as their head coach on Jan. 29, 2021, hoping the respected NFL assistant would help clean up after the Bill O’Brien era. But less than 12 months after bringing Culley in, the first-year head coach might need to begin cleaning up his office.
Things looked bleak for Culley early in December. With one of the worst rosters in the NFL, Houston sat near the bottom of the standings in the first season of a multi-year rebuild. When general manager Nick Caserio was asked about Culley’s job security, he offered no assurances that the 66-year-old would return next season.
“I’m not going to make any comment on what’s going to happen after the season.”Houston Texans GM Nick Caserio on head coach David Culley’s status for 2022, via Aaron Reiss
Unfazed by the lack of support, Culley found a way to get the Texans’ roster to rally around him at the end of a rough season. After losing to the Seattle Seahawks, the Texans entered Week 17 on a two-game winning streak with double-digit victories over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers.
Despite the team’s improvements and impressive signs of development from rookie quarterback Davis Mills, ProFootballNetwork’s Tony Pauline reports that there is a very real possibility Culley is fired and replaced by Josh McDaniels.
“You know, this was something I heard earlier this week, and it’s one of those situations — one of those things you hear, you’re like, ‘Nah, that’s not going to happen.’ But the more I delved into it, the more calls I made, the more people are telling me there’s a very good chance that Culley is fired after one year of coaching the Houston Texans, and Nick Caserio brings in Josh McDaniels.”NFL insider Tony Pauline on Houston Texans’ coaching situation
It’s extremely rare for an organization to fire a head coach after one season. But the Texans are widely viewed as one of the worst franchises in sports.
Firing Culley after one year and immediately giving the job to McDaniels would only raise more doubts about the Texans’ front office. Houston hired Patriots’ character coach Jack Easterby in 2019, naming him executive vice president of team development. Within a year, he was overseeing football operations and played an influential role in the ridiculed DeAndre Hopkins trade and the decision to fire O’Brien.
Even the process of hiring Caserio received criticism. Texans’ owner Cal McNair hired a search firm last offseason to find the club’s next general manager. But he ignored the firm’s recommendation, instead, taking a private flight to hire Caserio.
A year later, Houston seems determined to repeat its process. The Texans are attempting to recreate the Patriots, a method that has failed for every other NFL team that has attempted it. Needless to say, no one should be surprised if the end result is the same for Houston.