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Battle Red Blog Groupthink: Jack Easterby Aftermath

Hit the road Jack and don’t you come no more no more no more no more...

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Congrats fans. You’ve outlasted the Jack Easterby era. Many of your former Texans fan bretheren have deserted you to rid themselves of the circus in NRG. The organization itself molted layers of staff, players, and capital during the upheaval caused by Easterby. Not even an expose by Sports Illustrated could immediately cast out the organization’s Little Finger analogous character from Game of Thrones.

This week’s Groupthink covers off on our thoughts on the firing and next steps for the franchise.

With the firing of Jack Easterby, the Caserio era truly begins and the O’Brien era ends. The Texans have announced his role will be absorbed by the “Football Operations” staff, which includes the coaches and NOT the Business Operations staff (President, CFO, Business Analytics, HR, Marketing, ect). What does this say about the general direction of the franchise and who do you think has the most to gain from the news? Any thoughts on what this means for Cal gropuir who was his biggest supporter?


I think it was a move that had to be done and was long overdue. I’m sure Caserio believed Easterby wasn’t involved in day to day decisions and he tried to convince people of that, but it just wasn’t going to happen. The whole mess with the coaching searches the past two years were outrageously ridiculous and his fingerprints were all over it. Who gains from this? I’d say Texans fans do more than anything. The team will be free agency players for the first time in several seasons this offseason. Making this move now removes a cloud that hopefully will completely clear out and allow us to confidently compete for any player we want. I don’t know if it does much for Cal McNair long term but it does help in the short term. I imagine someone else significant will come in or another announcement will come. Stay tuned.


I’m over the moon obviously. Jack Easterby has been a barnacle on this ship for far too long to be useful. What I want to know is why now? What changed between the crap we’d seen since the end of the 2020 season and the crap we’re seeing now that made Cal (I guess?) change his mind?

What it says about the franchise is that we now don’t have a street preacher determining who gets hired and what the team’s culture is and that can only be a step in the right direction, even if it’s just the one step. I can only assume that Cal will hide from the public and do what his father did: make the occasional staged milquetoast public statement about the team, hide away in his super palace in River Oaks next to Tim’s house, and collect his millions from the league’s revenue sharing agreement.

But what it says most of all, as BFD said when this broke out, it means that, I hope against hope, that Josh McCown will not be considered a candidate when Lovie Smith inevitably gets fired.

It’s the Nick Caserio show now. We’ve had two years to see what he’s been able to do with the Easter-tross hanging around his neck, now we’ll get to see what he can do now that he’s become a real boy.


This team wasn’t going to go anywhere as long as Jack Easterby was part of the organization. After DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson and even Andre Johnson, the distrust between players and the front office was always going to hang over the team like a Sword of Damocles. Firing Rasputin is a first step, but it cannot be the final.

First, the team needs an adult in charge, one who isn’t Cal McNair. In fact, no McNair should run the Texans.

Secondly, and until that adult is found, Cal should unleash a full-fledged marketing campaign aimed at the Texans fanbase. Not every Texans fan knows who Easterby was. Not every Texans fan disliked Easterby, either, but for those of us who have functioning brains, Easterby was a major part of the problem.

The Texans have a very long way to go to become a respected team in the NFL, but it’s the first time in a long time that it seems like Cal actually cares.


To paraphrase Winston Churchill here (sorta of): “You can always count the Texans to do the right thing after they have repeatedly exhausted all other bad options…and usually far too late.” That the Texans finally got rid of Easterby is welcome news for those of us who’ve followed this team for the past few years. He was a walking Peter/Dilbert/Dunning-Kruger Principle/Effect. He’s had his DNA on almost all major decisions of this franchise since 2019, and most have definitely not worked out.

The curious thing, as stated before, is why now? Granted, the Texans have been “quiet firing” him since they boxed him out of the major personnel decisions this year. There were reports that Easterby would leave the team after his contract ended, to pursue other opportunities. If he was in relatively good standing, why sack him now? Why not let him leave on his own accord? Is there anything to this and other issues (i.e. Dan Snyder threatening to go scored earth on his peers, which would include Cal)? Or was there something else and the team brain trust went all Mr. MacMahon and screamed “YOU’RE FIRED!!!”? Enquiring minds want to know. That being said, at least the Texans purged him, and that alone indicates that there may be, however small, a shred of competence for this organization.

Kenneth L.:

Seth Payne said it best: “you can’t think that, okay, just because Jack Easterby is gone that everything is awesome and groovy and we’ll be just fine”. He goes on to call out the Lovie Smith head coach hiring being a banana peel-level skit process as a reflection of the

There is still a power vacuum in this organization. Sure, Nick Caserio is solving a significant portion of those issues, but as long as Cal McNair has access to the nuclear bomb codes we’ll be a step or two away from mutually assured losing seasons for some time.

What I need to see is the Texans hire a seasoned NFL scout, player, or former head coach in an executive roll to improve football operations. Someone who can improve player scouting, help with salary cap, and identify promising coaches. Essentially another Brian Gaine.

The Texans will need to revisit their entire organizational structure. They’ve got to rebuild a foundation of professionalism and success on and off the field.

We’ve all made it. It’s a new era. Let’s rejoice, but also take a breath that the team is truly on the right track.