In 2002, when Dom Capers took the field for the first time with the fledgling Houston Texans, the expansion team rules had changed. The Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars started with a stacked deck enjoyed by no team prior or since.
Having the distinction of first head coach in franchise history is quite a thing. For Capers, it seemed a smart move after his success leading the Carolina Panthers from idea to playoff contender in short order. Despite not having the big leg up Carolina had, Capers did move the needle in the right direction until 2005. Then his team went 2-14 and Texans founder Bob McNair showed Capers the door.
The hot coaching candidate of the time, Gary Kubiak, soon stalked the sidelines of Reliant Stadium for the next 125 games, taking the team from where Capers had left it to playoff contention before the disastrous 2013 season, when Kubiak was pink-slipped and shipped out of town.
For many who enjoy unraveling the threads of bad decisions in the Texans organization, the string ultimately leads back to this moment. During his tenure, Kubiak secured the team’s first ever division title, first playoff appearance, and first playoff win. He would then go on to take the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl not long after.
In the time between Kubiak and the hiring of his full-time replacement, Kubiak’s defensive coordinator and H-Town icon Wade Phillips took over as interim head coach. Phillips wasn’t given much chance to keep the role. In the offseason, McNair hired another hot coaching candidate, former New England Patriots acolyte and Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. O’Brien would continue to hang Division Champion banners in NRG Stadium, but never seemed to get the team over the next hump and into true NFL championship contention. Once O’Brien hit the bricks four weeks into the 2020 season, his defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel, was handed the interim head coach hat to make it through the rest of one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
Now, as the 2021 season approaches, the most unheralded of all Houston Texans head coaches has taken over. No one ever in the history of NFL head coaching searches referred to Culley as a “hot coaching candidate”. David Culley’s resume is no match for Capers, Kubiak, Phillips, O’Brien, or Crennel’s (or for that matter, Mike Vrabel or a host of other Houston coordinators), but here we are.
While hope must exist that the greatest Houston Texans head coach has yet to sign with the team, that signature might not hit a contract for years to come. In the meantime, since we’re floundering in the noon day calm of the NFL offseason, let’s take a poll of which Houston Texans head coach was your favorite.
We all know Matt Weston will vote for Culley. What about the rest of us?
Who is your all-time favorite Houston Texans head coach?
This poll is closed
Wade Phillips (interim)
Romeo Crennel (interim)