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BRB GroupThink: Don’t Fear Black Monday

On this week’s GroupThink, the masthead gets together and discusses the Texans’ decision to potentially keep David Culley around for another season.

Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Black Monday is coming up. There are a few head coaches on the hot seat: Matt Nagy in Chicago, Matt Rhule in Carolina, Pete Carrol in Seattle, Mike Zimmer in Minnesota, and Joe Judge in New York (G). Las Vegas and Jacksonville already have openings.

There’s one name that is missing. It was rumored earlier this week that the Houston Texans won’t move on from David Culley this year, and he will remain Houston’s head coach in 2022.

Are you surprised the Texans are keeping Culley for another season? Do you want Culley around for another season?

This was the question I asked the masthead. These are their responses.

BIGFATDRUNK:

David Culley still has at least one more season to act as Nick Caserio and Jack Easterby’s patsy.

The 2022 Texans are going to be as bad, if not worse, than the 2021 version.

Yes, even with the draft capital (and I still don’t think Watson is traded before the draft), the Texans have been heavily reliant on turnovers for their success in 2021. This will regress. Mills is most likely the starting QB week 1. He’s still Case Keenum.

I hope y’all love coward punts!

KENNETH:

Not surprised at all the Texans will be keeping Nice Guy David Culley. They went out of their way to select Culley when no one was pointing to him as a head coach option signals their longer term dedication to him. His job in Houston is not done. He will captain the team through this low, and once it’s time to begin the rise, they’ll find another guy to lead them moving forward. He and Lovie Smith have turned this team around in a lot of ways. From turnovers to relying on rookies, a lot of the frustrations in the Bill O’Brien era were positives for this season.

If anything, Tim Kelley will be let go. A holdover from the last regime, Kelley’s offense never got off the ground. Literally, the Texans offensive line woes and inability to run the ball was a hindrance to the team the entire season. Not only that, but the development of Davis Mills can be more appropriately attributed to the work of Pep Hamilton than Kelley. I’d assume there is something in the works to promote Hamilton early to hide him from poachers on Black Monday.

L4BLITZER:

I am neither shocked nor surprised that Culley is certain to return for next season. While he is not a game day coach, Culley has at least presented a team that has not completely mailed it in for the second half of the season, when they had every reason/right to do so. I don’t think people should read too much into the second half record (3-4), which is far better than the pre-bye record of 1-8. The 2021 Texans are not a good team by any real measure. Still, they are proving a tougher-than-expected-out, especially for teams that need the “certain” win to advance their post-season hopes.

Yet, the Texans wouldn’t cut Culley loose after one season unless the team was either A.) far worse than expected, which would have been something as a lot of people had this team finishing with zero to two wins or B.) they already had a tacit agreement with the coaching prospect they couldn’t refuse. Culley could always be sacked if option B comes to pass in the off-season. However, until that time, may as well ride out 2022 with Culley, as the way-too-early predictions for 2022 have the Texans as top contenders for the #1 draft position for the 2023 Draft, much like they were this season.

MIKE BULLOCK:

Surprised? Not at all. WIth this franchise it wouldn’t surprise me if they brought in the Field Hockey Coach from the Cypress Boys & Girls Club and put them in charge of the entire enchilada because Cal likes the way they play Fortnite.

If it were me, I’d clean house from the owner to the head coach and start all over again. As I’ve said before, Nick Caserio has cleared out all the rubble and it’s time to pour a new foundation, then get to work building the new edifice. Going another year with Culley is a total waste of time, draft picks, effort, free agency, salary cap etc.

How many times has an NFL team drafted a first round player, only to see the coach leave within a year and that player no longer “fit” due to a new coach with a new way of doing things?

Caserio needs to bring in a head coach with a viable, modern NFL scheme and then build the roster accordingly. There’s no valid reason to wait until 2023 to do so other than incompetence.

Anyone with delusions that Culley is ever going to be a championship head coach in the NFL is clearly not paying attention. Let ole Dave ride off into the sunset with his Cal McNair fattended bank account so he can go coach a high school team somewhere and teach young men to be good sportsmen along the way.

This offseason provides plenty of coaching candidates that are massive upgrades from Culley, run a scheme interchangeable with other modern-minded candidates in case they have to pull the plug, and offer fans hope for the future.

Leaving Culley in place for 2022 offers no hope for the future, will further alienate the fanbase and further cement the notion that Houston’s team leadership is the dumpster fire of all dumpster fires.

MATT ROBINSON:

No I wouldn’t say I’m too surprised. This roster has such a dearth of talent at so many levels the timeline for any new coach to take this team back to contention would be unrealistic for the resource currently on hand. Nick Caserio attempted to out number every Bill O’Brien malcontent with a fresh faced depth piece veteran. Who each were told they could have a chance to put a lot of reps on film for the next salary cap rich offseason if they played their cards right. This “singles and doubles” routine extended the misery one more season to clear bad money off the books and stack the roster with younger faces now that most of the “bad influences” have been removed.

So it appears whoever Caserio is eyeing as his next coach whether that be Josh McDaniels, Matt Eberflus or anyone else with direct ties to Nick would prefer to be more set up for quicker success than ride this painful wave of rebuilding accompanied by a quarterback PR nightmare. In that regard I don’t mind keeping David Culley if next year is certain to be another doom and gloom season where we micro analyze any blip of optimism, because even though I’m not a fan of three painful rebuilding seasons in a row that unfortunately is the hand Bill O’Brien dealt us.

UPROOTED TEXAN:

If you’re surprised that the Texans are keeping Culley around for another season then you have not been paying attention to what’s going on with the Houston Texans.

I like Culley as a person. I don’t want Culley for head coach. I didn’t want him as head coach when the holy trinity of McNair, Easterby, and Caserio decided he was qualified for the job. And if I couldn’t console myself with the fact that he’s taking money away from Cal McNair to be the Texans vibes coordinator, I’d be incandescent with anger that he’s still here.

I said all along that Culley would get at least one more year and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my forty years of existence it’s that I’m only ever right when I don’t want to be right. Not only will he get the extra year to be essentially the front office’s court jester, I’d wager he lives to see at least partially through his fourth season.

And that’s fine. Having expectations is a burden we can all do without. It’s too much of a hassle.

David Culley is not who I want as our head coach and never was. But what I want doesn’t matter. What Texans fans want doesn’t matter. That has been abundantly clear by the CEO (Chief Executive Oompaloompa) of the Houston Texans, Cal McNair. So just sit back, relax, and remember that wanting your team to win is a social construct. Embrace entertainment.