Common sense, which isn’t too common around the Houston Texans leadership these days, would dictate the embattled franchise needs a new head coach. David Culley is a nice guy and did the whole “placeholder” thing well for 2021, but it’s time to turn the page. Based upon their actions since the season ended, it appears Houston’s management agrees.
The coaching carousel is spinning like a top right now.
With the New York Giants, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos all interviewing potential new coaches, the Texans need to get going. But, in typical McNair-owned fashion, the Texans are dilly-dallying. Last year that made total sense, since no one at the NFL or NCAA level was considering David Culley for a head coach position. There was no competition for Culley’s services.
This year should prove different. General manager Nick Caserio has made his way out of the weeds. He now has plenty of draft capital, cap space, and a target-rich environment from which to build a roster. Not to mention the bombshell of a potential Deshaun Watson trade from which to build for the future.
As we’ve detailed before, a GM shouldn’t load a roster with players for a lame duck coach’s scheme, especially if there doesn’t appear to be a scheme with this particular coach. That brings us to the list of potential hires. The first two names that jump out at everyone are very obvious.
The Texans Could Hire Josh McDaniels.
It’s no secret that McDaniels, Nick Caserio, and Jack Easterby are deeply connected. The question that undermines this rumor, however, is ‘will McDaniels leave New England?’.
McDaniels is likely the heir apparent to Bill Belichick. When that day comes, McDaniels could simply hire Caserio and Easterby away from Houston. Well, Caserio at least.
McDaniels also has a rocky past when it comes to head coaching gigs, having not done so well in Denver and then agreeing to take the job with the Indianapolis Colts before backing out at the last minute.
Odds are, most Texans fans don’t want anything to do with McDaniels for those reasons, among others.
The Texans Could Hire Brian Flores.
The Miami Dolphins mystifyingly fired Flores the other day, sending shockwaves through the NFL. Not only did Flores take the ‘Phins to a 7-1 record over the second half of the season, he spent a decade with the New England Patriots, calling plays for their defense in his final season under Bill Belichick.
Just as with McDaniels, the connections between Flores, Caserio and Easterby run deep.
The odd wrinkle in this: Deshaun Watson allegedly wanted to go to Miami in a trade in part so he could play for Flores. People can certainly hope that Flores coming to Houston might repair the Watson-McNair relationship, but holding our collective breath isn’t advisable.
“Texans would be thrilled for Watson to reconsider”— Stephanie Stradley (@StephStradley) January 12, 2022
Oh really? Thrilled? You think ownership is fine with lawsuit allegations? Pretending otherwise is to increase trade value. NFL time being much faster, more certain than legal time doesn’t help value either. https://t.co/6JnoX7S1uj
The Texans Could Hire Brian Daboll.
The Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator is another guy with Patriots ties. His name was mentioned early and often last year when the Texans were hunting for a new coach. Daboll has four Patriots Super Bowl rings in his jewelry box. To add to that, he was the offensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide when they beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the NCAA Championship Game in 2018.
Not many candidates out there who have won multiple Super Bowls and an NCAA title. Not to mention what he’s done in Buffalo with quarterback Josh Allen. Daboll’s Bills are currently the NFC East champions, finishing ahead of...wait for it...the Patriots. Buffalo sits as the AFC’s #4 seed in the NFL Playoffs.
The Texans Could Hire Byron Leftwich.
The former Jaguars starting quarterback turned coach also has a Super Bowl ring, but this one came by way of the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Leftwich’s name has circled the boundaries of coaching rumors for several seasons now, and this just might be the year he gets the gig. The Jacksonville Jaguars are allegedly the front-runner to land Leftwich’s services, but the Glitter Kitties also want to interview Bill O’Brien as their fans show up to games literally clowning the team’s owner for keeping GM Trent Baalke around.
As much of an out of control dumpster fire burns away in the bowels of NRG Stadium, the Glitter Kitties just might be worse. Leftwich might prefer to work with Caserio, who likely comes well recommended by Brady.
The Texans Could Promote Pep Hamilton.
Hamilton’s name has come up in coaching rumors of late. The Panthers have already asked permission to interview the current Houston assistant for their offensive coordinator vacancy.
While Hamilton might fly below the radar field of many Texans fans, he is the guy to credit with the limited success put forth by rookie quarterback Davis Mills. Hamilton is the current Texans’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator.
Prior to arriving in Houston, Hamilton spent a year in Los Angeles, coaching up then Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, widely considered one of the NFL’s young rising stars at the most important position on the field.
Sure, there are other candidates (Jarod Mayo, anyone?). Like last year, Cal McEasterby could pull a rabbit out of their empty hat and introduce the Cypress Boys & Girls Club Field Hockey Coach as the next head coach of the Houston Texans. However, the five candidates listed above are the logical options, even if logic doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Houston football these days.