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Grade The David Culley Hire

Fat red pen. Make your voice heard.

NFL: NOV 08 Ravens at Colts Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Houston Texans, after four months of thinking, searching, and wondering, it all finally paid off. The Texans hired the one and only, that can’t be right, ugh, David Culley to be their head coach. In the NFL since 1994. 65 years old, without having any coordinator or head coaching experience, Culley is the mean to be the head coach of the Houston Texans.

ESPN’s professional football writing experts graded the hire this week, and had the following to say:

Graziano: I guess. I just feel like this guy has to be some kind of underground coaching superstar in order for this hire not to be a complete flop. The whole world wanted to see Bieniemy hired this offseason, and Houston opens itself up to second-guessing if Culley isn’t a home run. The Texans were the first team to create a head-coach opening and the last team to fill it, so you can’t say they didn’t have time to mull this over. Again, I don’t know Culley, and the people I’m talking to who do know him all say nothing but excellent things about him. I hope he succeeds, because obviously he’s been waiting a very long time for this. But what will success mean there? If Watson really is gone, this is a multiyear rebuild under the third-oldest coach in the NFL? How long will he be expected to be there? And how quickly can they expect to return to the top of the division with the Colts and Titans still looking good and the Jaguars likely drafting quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick?

Grades for Houston hiring Culley

Graziano: B-. I’m giving the Texans credit for being the only one of the seven teams with openings to hire an African-American candidate in a league where 70% of the players are Black. But this just doesn’t feel like a guy who’s in a strong position to succeed. I guess, in the end, I wonder if anyone they’d hired would have been.

Fowler: C+. I’m glad the Texans gave this opportunity to a minority candidate, but Houston didn’t go for pedigree or ascension here. The Texans gave it to a longtime NFL assistant who hadn’t exactly found upward mobility at his previous stops. That’s a bit of a concern. Maybe they deserve some grace for having, clearly, the least attractive job available.

Personally, this screams of Houston hiring someone for a job no one wants. Culley was never seriously considered for a head coaching job until Houston came around. His past few years of results as an assistant coach and position coach are underwhelming, I’m trying to be more positive. There is nothing here that screams this will make Deshaun Watson stay. The Texans even made this hire without looping Watsonin ahead of time, instead simply praying Watson would like the hire.

With Culley is Lovie Smith at defensive coordinator, bringing with him an ancient Tampa 2 scheme without the linebacker, safety, or defensive line play to run it. Tim Kelly, who only scratched the surface with Deshaun Watson being used in empty sets, a leftover from the Bill O’Brien, an appeasement for a quarterback who probably isn’t going to be here, will remain offensive coordinator. None of this matters. The only thing that does is that Culley wears the cloth and loves his family, because that’s more important than winning football games to the people in charge in Houston.

No one knows if Culley is going to be a good coach. Everyone said nice things about him, especially the Ravens, who get two third round picks by his hiring. You don’t coach in the league for as long as he has if you aren’t a ray of sunlight. That being said, there is nothing you can point to that shows what Culley will be. It’s a CEO hire that isn’t going to make Watson want to stay. Everything about how the Texans have run their general manager and head coaching searches has been absolutely ridiculous.

I give it a D.

Now, I turn to you loyal reader. What grade do you give the David Culley hire?


What grade do you give the David Culley hire?

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