The Nagging Question on Culture

Obviously I phrase this in the form of a rhetorical question because we the fans know the answer. What exactly is the purpose of David Culley? I get the tear down. I get the rebuild. I get waiting for draft capital. I get bottoming out. It’s tough to be a fan but we are all adults here. We get all that. What I don’t get is Culley. Comparisons to the Astros are apt since they were once in this spot, but let’s go with the Rockets. They’ve torn down. Their highest paid player is sitting out and waiting for a trade just like the Texans best player. The situations are somewhat different but not incredibly so. Most of the players won’t be a part of a playoff team but a few will.

This is where things get radically different. They hired Stephen Silas. Is he going to be the long-term coach that leads the Rockets to the promised land? Who knows? The odds might be slim, but he might be. When he was hired there were coaches and scouts throughout the league that said he’s an up and coming coach. Some called it a great hire. For a young, developing team he makes a lot of sense. The Rockets can build culture with that. He can develop chemistry with their young stars. It just might work.

Flash over to Kirby and consider this question: how do you build a culture with a coach everyone knows isn’t going to be the guy? Everyone knew three seconds after he was hired. Hell, they knew when it was leaked that he was being interviewed. The same expression pulsed the city: who in the hell is David Culley? The only question is when he will be fired. Will it be after one season! Two seasons? When you consider that then a flood of questions immediately come up.

if They draft a QB in the first round do you want a lame duck coach and staff developing him? Sure, we can wax poetic about how every coach is hired to be fired. Sure. Yet, no situation is quite like this. Will Robert Sallah fail in New York? Probably. Will Arthur Smith fail in Atlanta? Most likely. Heck, Dan Campbell very well could be a disaster. All three have better odds of sticking at least three or four seasons than Culley. So, what exactly are we doing here?

if I’m a player, what exactly am I buying into? A lot of the guys on one year deals are playing for their next team. It was smart to sign a bunch of middling guys that would be motivated to show good tape for their next team. Got it. What about a Grennard? A Martin? A Reid? How about any of the younger guys? If we had an actual coach they could at least convince themselves that a system was being put in place and maybe in 2023 there would be enough talent to make that system work. Our defense was out of date ten years ago. I don’t even know what to call our offense. They aren’t building anything and everyone knows it.

So, what culture are we building here? Players need to believe something is possible. Either the coaches can scheme us to victory or we can get enough talented guys in here to do it. Instead, we have a wannabe assistant high school coach and a guy that couldn’t stick at a third tier Big Ten school. We are letting talented players go or making them healthy scratches in the name of culture. I can almost get it except the guy establishing that culture might not last more than a year. So again, what’s the point exactly?