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Houston Texans Biggest Offseason Gamble of 2021

H-Town was never known for riverboat gambling...

New England Patriots 2011 Headshots Photo by NFL via Getty Images

When you’re only two quarters of football away from the AFC Championship game, then find yourself staring down the barrel of a 4-12 season, it should be obvious things need to change.

“Your organization is perfectly designed to get the results you’re already getting.” Andy Stanley

And so, the 2020 Houston Texans were perfectly designed to go 4-12. When you enter the offseason after that loss perfection, big decisions need to be made. Unless, that is, you intentionally chased 12 losses... or you prophesied a tank job knowing you’d need the #1 pick in the draft.

With that, Cal McNair had some Tommy big boy moves to make in getting this franchise headed back in the right direction.

  1. Find a new general manager who can build the ship that can take the team to golden lands
  2. Find a new head coach who can steer the ship to those lands
  3. Keep your player equivalent of the golden egg laying goose onboard
  4. Patch the remaining holes in the hull left over from the ‘loss perfection’ era
  5. See to it the new GM and new head coach do what they were hired to do

So, what did Tommy Boy Cal McNair do?

Well, based on the list above... not much.

According to Bleacher Report, he took a major risk in bringing in Jack Easterby as general manager.

Bleacher Report

There was a time when Nick Caserio was one of the more coveted front-office executives in the NFL. Caserio was the director of player personnel for the Patriots for over a decade, and during that time the Pats blocked a number of attempts by teams to interview the 45-year-old for general manager vacancies.

Caserio finally got his chance to be a GM this year in Houston, and a few months later there are probably organizations thankful that New England stopped them from hiring him.

To be fair, Caserio wasn’t exactly put in position to succeed. When he took the job, the team’s best defensive player (J.J. Watt) and offensive player (Deshaun Watson) both wanted off the team. Watt is in Arizona now. Watson’s days with the franchise are all but certainly numbered. Caserio also had next to no draft capital thanks to the tenure of Bill O’Brien as head coach and GM.

But Caserio hasn’t helped matters any. He re-signed running back David Johnson—and then signed Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram II. There are more new names than you can count, but the Texans don’t appear any better than they were entering the offseason. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Add in the wholly uninspiring hiring of David Culley as the team’s head coach, and the Texans are the early leaders in the race to be the NFL’s worst team in 2021.

To recap:

  • Find a new general manager who can build the ship that can take the team to golden lands

Not looking good so far. But, maybe... just maybe...

  • Find a new head coach who can steer the ship to those lands.

Looking much worse than the first one.

  • Keep your player equivalent of the golden egg laying goose onboard

Let’s just say the goose is a dead horse, beaten summarily, and move on.

  • Patch the remaining holes in the hull left over from the ‘loss perfection’ era

Yeah, swing and a miss here as well.

  • See to it the new GM and new head coach do what they were hired to do

The jury is still out (to sea) on this one, but current indicators, coupled with the misfires in the other areas lead us to the Magic 8-ball reply of “outlook not so good”.

While Bleacher Report may point to hiring Caserio as the biggest risk of 2021 for your Houston Texans, the gamble with the farthest reaching implications is leaving Cal McNair in charge of the team.

And, all the unhappy fan posts online, “negative” articles written and unkind things said by the majority of a now disenfranchised fanbase won't have any affect.

However, with season tickets and PSLs at an historically low valuation, with people who have been on the waiting list for seats giving a giant “no thank you” to the organization, the hit to the collective McNair family wallet ought to get someone’s attention.

Unfortunately, spinmaster McEasterby is there to intercept the data, twist it as “fake news” and Grimma Wormtongue his way off into the sunset of this once proud franchise.

Houston Texans Online Petition For Change

So what’s a Texans fan to do?

Aside from creating a petition demanding change with team leadership (please sign this one, won't you?)

And then, look for the little bright spots.

Get excited for things like Phillip Lindsay and the non-A-gap-attack run game, Nico Collins and the new batch of rookies, Justin Reid, Charles Omenihu and the rest of the players trapped in NRG like hostages in a bungled heist.

The Texans do still have some good players who can win their individual battles every Sunday, even if the team is still sailing in ever-shrinking circles, propelled inexorably towards the drain.