The Texans changed coaches for the second time in years. The team fired David Culley on Thursday, less than a year after hiring him to replace Bill O’Brien.
Culley, 66, led the Texas team to a 4-13 record in his lone season. He became a one-time coach and made it to Houston in its short franchise history. Prior to that, the shortest stint as a Houston head coach was 4 years with Dom Capers from 2002, when the team entered the league as an expanded franchise, to 2005.
“I’m frustrated, but it’s part of the job,” says Culley via SportsTalk 790 in Houston. “I understand and I move on. I enjoy every minute of it.”
“You are evaluated every year,” Culley continued. “You’re basically judged on wins and losses, and if you judge it on wins and losses, I’m not happy with four wins. I expected more than four wins and felt like we should have had four more wins. This is a profitable business and I am not satisfied with the number of wins we have. ”
It’s hard to argue that Culley had a good season, but his staff have certainly shown some promise when it comes to working with minimal talent. The third-round pick, to my surprise, Davis Mills was one of the best rookie defenders in the league, completing 66.8% of his passes for 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 10 hits. blocked in 13 games (11 starts), and Houston played well twice against the No. 1 team in the AFC, the Titans.
However, the Texans have decided to go in a different direction and will be conducting their second coach search in the year-long Nick Caserio era.
This is why the Texans decided to bring in another head coach to replace Culley after just one season.
Why did the Texans fire David Culley?
The Texans are not expected to be very good in 2021. They have one of the weakest rosters in the NFL and are facing a Deshaun Watson story off the field.
As such, Culley’s 4-13 record is not a surprise; it could actually be on par or slightly better than expected. So was the play of Davis Mills, who had a blast starting most of the season for the Texas team.
That said, there are problems with Houston’s overall performance. The team has fouled in the last five games and scored single digits in seven of its 17 games, but Culley reported don’t want to change his attack staff after the season. Houston also has a fifth defence, and has conceded at least 30 points on eight occasions. Culley also made a number of mistakes during the game, including denying a penalty in Week 2, which the Texans would have conceded their first goal after a play.
Caserio said in a statement: “While a one-season shift is unusual, we have philosophical differences over the direction and long-term vision for our show in the future. future”. “We appreciate Coach Culley for helping us through a difficult season, but I have a responsibility to make the decisions that I feel are best for our organization.”
Again, the Texans have a weak roster, and Culley has never been a full-time coordinator — let alone head coach — at the NFL level. So this kind of performance was somewhat to be expected. However, even after a thorough assessment, the Texas office recommended to owner Cal McNair that the team fire Culley, as Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reports.
According to sources familiar with the situation, after the Texans spent four days assessing the human resources aspect of the organization, general manager Nick Caserio and senior executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby suggested proposed to fire Culley. President and CEO Cal McNair signed it.
It seems that from the beginning Houston never put much faith in Culley. The Texans only built up a two-year guarantee on his trade, so they had the flexibility to easily break up with him after a year. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a federation source thinks that will always happen.
When the Texans hired David Culley, they only guaranteed him two years of money; they know that there is always a real chance for him to be one and complete. As a league source texted about his one-year tenure, “I knew it when he was hired.”
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2022
So why did the team hire Culley in the first place? Perhaps the candidate they’re looking for isn’t available, but they feel he could wobble in 2022. Either way, it looks like Culley is just a backstop, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport explains. .
“Everybody knew it was going to be a down season,” said Rapoport.[The Texans] just really want to see if this will be the coach that takes them into the future or if he’ll simply be a Band-Aid – come in, coach the team when they’re ready to move to the next level. Obviously, the answer here for David Culley and Houston Texans is that it’s just a Band-Aid; one bridge. “
Who will replace David Culley in Houston?
There is a close patriotic connection with the current Texan front office. Caserio made a name for himself in New England, and Easterby got his start there, too. As a result, they’ll be looking at a plethora of former New England employees, the most prominent of which may be:
- Patriot Strike Coordinator Josh McDaniels
- Patriots Co-Defense Coordinator Jerod Mayo
- Former dolphin trainer Brian Flores
Technically, Bill O’Brien would also fit in that category, but he coached the Texas team from 2014 to the start of the 2020 season. Things didn’t end well for O’Brien, so Cal McNair would not consider bringing him back.
Another option for the Texans might be to try to extend an olive branch for Watson. He reported want the team to interview Eric Bieniemy last hiring cycle and it didn’t happen, so maybe the Texans will go after him this time in an attempt to convince Watson to stay. That path seems unlikely, but Bieniemy would make a good tenant anyway.
So does Flores. Watson reported want to play for him in Miami, so maybe he’ll reconsider his trading needs if Caserio can get Flores on board. Again, it seems unlikely, but at least it’s worth considering.
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