Two weeks ago, the Houston Texans hired Lovie Smith to be the fifth head coach in franchise history. That happened almost four weeks (although it felt more like four months) after David Culley was fired just one year after he was hired to be the fourth coach in franchise history.
Smith beat out Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, former Rams offensive coordinator/current Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell, and former quarterback and high school coach’s assistant Josh McCown for the gig.
Despite the long and winding path, I’m glad that the
best most qualified most innovative most readily available person got the job. And on Monday, the Texans released Lovie Smith’s complete list of assistant coaches.
2022 Houston Texans Coaching Staff
|Lovie Smith||Head Coach|
|Pep Hamilton||Offensive Coordinator|
|Frank Ross||Special Teams Coordinator|
|Sean Baker||Assistant Special Teams|
|Danny Barrett||Running Backs|
|Tim Berbenich||Tight Ends|
|Ben Bolling||Defensive Assistant|
|Jacques Cesaire||Defensive Line|
|Ilir Emini||Defensive Assistant / Nickels|
|Dele Harding||Defensive Assistant|
|Hal Hunter||Assistant Offensive Line|
|Kenyon Jackson||Assistant Defensive Line|
|Ben McDaniels||Wide Receivers / Pass Game Coordinator|
|DeNarius McGhee||Offensive Assistant|
|Robbie Picazo||Offensive Assistant|
|George Warhop||Offensive Line|
|Ted White||Offensive Assistant / Quarterbacks|
Not a lot of surprises on the list. Most of these coaches have previous ties to either Lovie Smith or Pep Hamilton. Except one name seems to be missing. One name you might have expected to see on the list.
Remember the list of coaches, and McCown, that Lovie beat out? Well, they all currently have jobs in the NFL. Gannon is still Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator, O’Connell is the Vikings’ new head coach, and Flores, who was widely expected to be blackballed by the NFL, is now a defensive assistant with the Steelers.
Where in the world is Josh McCown?
If you will recall, in the acid trip that has been Houston’s head coaching search over the last two years, McCown has interviewed for the job not once, not twice, but three times; once last year before Houston hired David Culley and twice this year. In fact, not only was McCown interviewed three times, but some reports had McCown as the “favorite” to land the Texans’ top coaching job. Add to all that McCown’s own quote that said he was “all-in” on becoming the next head coach in Houston.
Fast forward to now, and Josh McCown is nowhere to be found. He was so “all-in” on being head coach, but now that he won’t be head coach this year, he’s gone? Three interviews in two years and he’s all-out for any coaching job with the Texans?
Now you might say, “But UT, Lovie Smith wanted his own guys. There just wasn’t any room for McCown on the team,” and you’d have a fair to middling point...
Except for this:
As for Josh McCown, who seemed to be the #Texans’ guy for much of their search, sources say there’s a possibility he could join Lovie Smith’s coaching staff, though those talks have yet to really happen. Pep Hamilton is expected to stick as offensive coordinator.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 7, 2022
Lovie Smith on potential of Josh McCown joining his staff: “Any team that could get Josh on their staff is gonna be in better shape. So would I want Josh to be on my staff eventually some day? Absolutely..Our sport’s gonna be better when Josh is a coach in it.” pic.twitter.com/ghJQoH5M77— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 9, 2022
There is every indication that Lovie Smith would have included McCown as part of the coaching staff, if not this season, then surely next season. Now let me ask you this: Let’s say you’re Jack Easterby and you have photos of an untoward nature of Nick Caserio at some place called the “E-Z Livin’ Motel” with an alpaca wearing leather chaps who is not his wife. You want to get your Fellowship of Christian Athletes buddy a job on the team, or you genuinely think McCown has some deep, deep undiscovered talent as a coach, and you want to keep him around. Are you going to tell me that you can’t twist Nick Caserio’s arm or convince Lovie Smith to offer him some position on the staff? Even if it’s just as a quality control coach, which is kind of like the entry-level job of NFL coaching. That’s an easily doable thing if you want to keep your “coach of the future” with this so-called tremendous talent in the fold.
And if you’re Josh McCown, and you really want to be a coach so badly, why aren’t you searching for a similar job with another team in the league? This league is rife with nepotism, and you played for at least 40 of the 32 teams in the NFL. You can’t tell me with a straight face that nobody would be willing to give you a shot as a quality control coach if you wanted to be an NFL head coach someday.
I feel I should be clear about one point in all this: At no point in the last two years did I ever want Josh McCown to be the Texans’ head coach. As a matter of fact, had they named him as such, his hiring, without any coaching experience, would’ve been the one thing that would have driven me away from being a Texans fan. However, I am willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, Josh McCown has some nascent coaching talent. I would be interested in seeing him work his way up the coaching ladder.
That I am willing to consider the possibility of Josh McCown maybe, someday, down the road being able to lead this team is giving the organization the benefit of the doubt, something they do not deserve and certainly have done nothing to earn.
But all of this seems to be academic anyway. Because Josh McCown is not a coach on any level. Until he pursues some coaching job, any coaching job, that is not the Houston Texans’ head coaching job, one can only conclude that any dealings this team has with Josh McCown can only be a complete waste of time for anybody who is not Jack Easterby, and should be scorned as such.