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BRB GroupThink: Your Favorite Houston Texans Head Coaching Candidate

The masthead gathers around the fire and discusses their favorite head coach options.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Houston Texans did it. They fired head coach David Culley. Since then, they have begun their head coaching search. Who do you want to be the next head coach of the Houston Texans?

This was the question I asked the masthead, these were their responses:


I don’t care one way or the other. This isn’t because of ambivalence, or hatred of the football team, or apprehension to care about something again, it’s because of the talent on the roster.

Last year when I wanted Eric Bienemy or Brian Daboll, it was because the team had Deshaun Watson as their quarterback. Pair Watson with a head coach who can keep the same offense year in and year out, with a spread offense, or an offense that relies entirely on its quarterback, and finally get the most production out of Watson, and the Texans would be a consistent playoff team. This was all a mirage. A purple dream. We know what happened since then.

Houston doesn’t have a position group, or an individual player to build the entire team around. Tytus Howard is the only player I’d consider a cornerstone player. He should start at left tackle this season, and be the team’s left tackle of the future. Brandin Cooks is older. Davis Mills is still a lottery ticket, and a relative unknown. The defense lacks impact players. It’s a blank slate.

The Texans are trying to find a head coach to build a team with. Whoever it is, won’t be the next piece of the puzzle, but the box the pieces will fall out from. They can grow up and grow old together. It’s like marrying your college girlfriend, instead of settling down once your brain has fully developed.

For this reason, I don’t have a real feeling for their head coach search, or a candidate I’m all in on. Whoever it is, I just hope it’s an actual head coach, a real candidate, instead of stop gap orange slices, like what David Culley was. My best guess is Jarod Mayo though. The Aaron Wilson article, the skyrocket out of nowhere, the Patriots connections. I’m expecting for it to be him.


Culley got fired. Simple enough on the surface, as he proved arguably the worst game day coach in franchise history. Granted, he was armed with the worst collection of talent in franchise history. That he got 4fourwins out of this group, and had legit chances for upwards of EIGHT wins (0-4 in one score games) is fairly remarkable. Still, he was never going to be more than a glorified substitute teacher of a coach. At least he got the ultimate “gold watch” for an NFL lifer: a chance to say you were an NFL head coach and a nice severance package for one year of work. Oh, and he will forever be a better NFL head coach than Urban Meyer.

et, this is the McEasterby Texans, so it is never THAT simple. That Culley was ever a head coach is a major indictment of this team. Now, Caserio, with a full complement of draft picks, but saddled with the worst dead money cap situation in the league, has to hire THE ONE, at least as far as his general manager tenure is concerned. Yet, who is he going to get to not only see this team through what is likely to be another couple of seasons of not winning much, especially given that the Texans rank dead last among most executives and NFL personnel for openings this go-around?

While there are a ton of names out there, I really, really can’t see this team venturing outside the Belichick coaching tree. Not that I necessarily want that, but given the pressure Caserio is under (GMs rarely get a chance to hire a third coach), he will likely stick with who he knows, and he and Jack Easterby know Patriot guys.

Given those parameters, guess the team should make a play for Flores. Of all of the Belichick disciples, he was the one coach that showed the ability to take a suck team to a winning record or two. A perfect choice he is not, but under the circumstances, it may be the best we can get if there is even a chance at a competitive team by 2025. Besides, who else is going to come here, at least until all the other jobs are gone?


Pipedream me would love to see Brian Flores come in and magically fix the whole Deshaun Watson mess, erase any wrongdoing by Watson as detailed in his current legal situation and show the world what a solid general manager, head coach and franchise quarterback can do when they’re all on the same page.

But, the last decade has shown us all that as Houston Texans fans we just can’t have nice things.

We know it’s all but certain Watson will not come back, nor erase whatever non-Hero of Houston worthy behavior he engaged in that spurred the legal actions taken against him. So, let’s look at what seems more realistic.

Having a coach connected to Caserio, who would land on the same page as Nick is a must. Particularly after the recent words of Charles Omenihu, who mentioned ego battles between coach and GM. When an organization expends energy internally like that, it takes away from the energy they use to propel the team forward.

Who does that leave us with, of the current ‘applicants’? Brian Flores, Jerod Mayo and Kevin O’Connell.

From that list, my next question is which one will keep Pep Hamilton in place and/or promote him to offensive coordinator so he can continue developing rookie quarterback Davis Mills? Potentially all three, however, Flores and Hamilton have been linked multiple times in the press.

Jerod Mayo certainly seems to have a lot of potential in front of him, but would Houston brass remain patient enough for the former Patriots linebacker to take the leap from linebacker coach to head coach? That curve is pretty steep. Could Romeo Crennel and Lovie Smith fast track his coaching development? Maybe...

Kevin O’Connell, also an ex-Patriots player, has already made part of that journey - and his LA Rams unit just demolished J.J. Watt and the Arizona Cardinals in the playoffs. Does O’Connell’s offensive philosophy mesh with Hamilton’s? Hopefully that’s something the Texans learn/learned in their interview with him.

In the end, any of those three would equal a massive upgrade over David Culley, not feel like a placeholder and allow Nick Caserio to build a roster with players that align well with the head coach’s scheme and vision for a new brand of Texans football. And, that’s a win in my book, no matter which of them accepts the job.


David Culley was always a Patsy and had a ridiculously short shelf life. I pegged a three year maximum to be the tow boat dragging us through the sewage seasons coming up, but he didn’t even make it that long. Now he can pursue his lifelong dream of coaching his high school team with millions in his pocket.

I’m just going to say DeMeco Ryans, even though the 49ers left the door open and almost lost to a cowboys team that committed 14 penalties. It would be cool to see him back on the Texans sideline and people seemingly like him.

Also nostalgia is the most powerful drug and Durga knows we’re going to need as much copium as possible.


I try to never have a real hard and fast wish list of coaches I want, because I tried that last year and it only hurt extra when we got Culley.

So instead I’ll just say I hope we get a guy who doesn’t have ties to New England and isn’t a complete fall guy like Culley was.

Because I can at least then maybe trick myself into thinking we won’t just be trying to be Patriots south. It would take A LOT of tricking, but I could at least conceivably make the case.

Unless we get Brian Daboll. He’s the only coach with Patriots ties I’d be okay with.


For science? Hines Ward. I don’t think the Texans are going to be a contender next year anyway so we might as well see how someone with no coaching experience does.

Who would be the best coach? I kind of go back-and-forth between Flores and McDaniels on qualifications as far as people the Texans have actually been linked to. Eric Bieniemy or Jim Harbaugh would be great hires to me but also feels impossible at this current moment in time, I guess that’s who I’d say that I’d really ~want~ though.


I’m still not over the firing of Culley. Fairly certain it was a bad idea. Everyone wants Brian Flores to be the guy, but he may and probably won’t land here. I think this front office wants a veteran. Can we sign Eric Bienemy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator? What happened to him? He must not have interviewed well or there’s a snake in his closet because no one picked him up. Probably a much better coordinator than head coach, but still need to run that route.

I’m looking for someone to have a voice and be similarly optimistic as Culley but more innovative. Hines Ward and Demeco Ryans need more experience before they take over an entire organization.