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Houston Texans Optics: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

And sometimes words speak louder when spoken outside the organization.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

During his recent press conference, Houston Texans general manager defended his good friend, the second most hated man in Houston sports history. Sort of.

Nick Caserio

Jack’s been a hot topic for a lot of people. I would say, candidly, probably some of the criticism has been unfair, I think.

Jack’s been a punching bag since he got here. Some of it, I think quite frankly, is a little bit unjust.

While that all sounds healthy, and many on Twitter seemed to swallow that lure hook, line, and sinker, it really doesn’t fit into the overall puzzle we’ve all witnessed and continue to see unfold before our eyes. Caserio seems like the sharpest knife in the Texans’ proverbial leadership drawer, but the emphasized parts above really undermine a lot of what he was saying in defense of his friend. You know, the guy who got Caserio hired in the first place, Jack Easterby.

For those who weren’t paying attention, the repeated phrase “some of” indicates Caserio is in full agreement that “some of” the shade thrown Easterby’s way IS INDEED fully deserved. If the one redeemable person in management can’t even fully defend the guy who hired him and gave him his shot at being a full-fledged NFL GM, what does that tell us?

Caserio went on to detail how he and he alone had control over the football side of things and that Easterby handled more of the operational stuff. Despite the team’s continued efforts to throw out toxic positivity to cover up their inner dysfunction, the slings and arrows keep coming their way.

The latest such criticism came from former Texans defensive linemen Charles Omenihu, who shredded the Texans organization with a few choice words in a recent press conference. When asked about the differences between his current team, the San Francisco 49ers and his former team, the Texans, Omenihu didn’t mince words.

[The 49ers have] a lot more structure. The leadership between the coach and the GM, it doesn’t seem like it’s a power struggle. They’re on same page. They have an understanding of what they want. They make it very clear what they want, from GM to head coach, from head coach to position coaches. It’s not a circus show here.

An ego battle between coach and GM? Well, unless he meant Bill O’Brien was suffering from multiple personality disorder, Omenihu is seemingly referring to recently fired head coach David Culley and current general manager Caserio.

On the surface you might not view Culley as an egocentric sort of fellow, but he is the guy who suspended a Walter Peyton Man of the Year nominee for challenging his coaching decisions.Normally, you could try to chalk Omenihu’s comments up to a disgruntled former employee dissing his former employer. But Omenihu isn’t remotely alone in his criticism of how the Houston Texans are run these days.

Randall Cobb, on returning to the Green Bay Packers after a stint in Houston:

I can breathe again. I’ve seen the other side, and I’m excited to be back here and I’m smiling. It’s funny, my teammates said you act like you just got out of prison. I’m very, very, very excited to be here.

And then there’s perhaps the most famous ex-Texans player to stab at the heart of Gríma Wormtongue:

On the plus side, things have seemed to improve under Caserio’s guidance. If he can continue to minimize Easterby’s involvement in anything football-related, if he can empower a solid head coach to bring a winning scheme, and if he can fill the roster with players who fit that scheme, we might just see the light at the end of this tunnel.

In the meantime, Caserio needs to continue striving to reshape the culture and optics of said culture into something Houstonians can be proud of. Step One is to keep Jack Easterby out of public view, out of players’ ears, and away from anything remotely close to a microphone, social media, or any other avenue of communication. Anything else is a look that just doesn’t play well, no matter how “some of” it is spun.