NFL.com’s Jim Trotter spent some time in H-Town recently, hanging with the folks currently in charge of your Houston Texans’ on-field product.
it is safe to say they finally appear ready to emerge from the fog of controversy that enveloped the franchise over the past few years.
Yesterday’s discussion of Cal McNair notwithstanding.
Bill O’Brien, the power-hungry coach whose personnel decisions confounded fans and foes alike, is gone. Deshaun Watson, the star quarterback who had a falling out with the organization and spent the entire 2021 season as a well-paid healthy scratch under a serious legal cloud, relocated to Cleveland six weeks ago. And dysfunction and confusion, best friends who seemingly held permanent residence within the organization’s walls, are absent at the moment.
Trotter’s piece is full of these sorts of optimistic observations and impressions of the sort of level-headedness we all need to see from this organization right now. And, while they’re at it, a little bit of personality to make it stick.
It is Thursday night, hours after the conclusion of the Texans’ minicamp, and Caserio is sitting before the media and discussing the first round of the draft. It’s a far different scenario than his first year in Houston, when the franchise was without a first- or second-round pick. You would think it’s a time for smiles and celebration, but there is neither. At least not publicly.
Caserio seeks consistency in everything he does, from the early-morning hour he arrives for work to the way he communicates with employees and the media. Maybe it’s a reflection of his time in New England, where public displays of emotion are frowned upon. The Patriot Way is both a mantra and a philosophy — limit expectations, control the flow of information, less is more — and Caserio has adopted aspects of it.
Then, just when you think that type of matter-of-factness is all you’re going to get — generalities over specifics, detachment over engagement, flat lines as opposed to peaks and valleys — he pulls back the curtain ever so slightly and shows he is his own man and, at times, will provide a level of frankness that is both deep and insightful. Like on Friday night, when discussing the complications of vetting personality traits in draft prospects.
The reality is, our program is where it is for the time being. We haven’t had as much success as we all would have hoped here over the last how many years.
Unlike the toxic positivity spewing from #CultureBall guru Jack Easterby, head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Nick Caserio are putting forth a new message, a level-headed message that seems far more grounded in reality than empty ‘cat poster’ platitudes Tweeted without regard for how they’re received.
But the Texans don’t get caught up in outsiders’ opinions. They measure themselves, first and foremost, against their AFC South brethren. The positives: They swept Jacksonville last season and split with AFC top seed Tennessee. The negative: They were 0-2 against Indianapolis, outscored 62-3.
That seems to fit perfectly with the message during minicamp: Show the players what they can be, then show them there is still work to be done.
Sweeping the Jacksonville Jaguars is always a good thing. Splitting with the playoff bound Tennessee Titans is as well. But losing to the Indianapolis Colts by 1 point sucks, losing by 59 is former head coach David Culley’s eternal albatross.
Trotter’s article is definitely a worthy read for anyone who calls the Texans their team. Afterward, he went on YouTube with Jake Asman, Cody Stoots, and Brad Kellner to discuss the article and further insights from his time in H-Town.
...all of the drama of the past few years seems to be behind the organization now... it’s like the adults are back in the room...
It’s great to finally feel like the head coach and general manager are not only competent individuals, but on the same page... something we’ve not seen since Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith’s “glory days”.
Trotter also breaks down some key draft insights, Lovie’s thoughts on Stingley vs Gardner, perspective on the 2022 running game under Pep Hamilton and other great stuff. Do yourself a favor, take a break and check out the article and video.