HOUSTON - As the off-season continues to move forward for the Houston Texans, so to do the new hires in a concerted effort to improve the fortunes of the team. DeMeco Ryans took the helm less than a couple of weeks ago, and he quickly moved to fill out his coaching staff. While a defensive coach by trade, he apparently will not try to dual-hat as a head coach and coordinator. So at least two new coordinators will call Houston home for 2023.
Currently, the team will retain the services of Frank Ross as Special Teams coordinator, primarily based on the results of his exit interview:
Team: “So, how do you think you did as special teams coordinator?”
Ross: “My unit didn’t suck [Easterby] like the rest of the team.”
Team: “Sounds reasonable. Want to stay around for the new regime?”
Team: “Ok, let’s talk to Coach DeMeco…”
[Coach Ryans enters the conversation]
Team: “Want to keep Ross for Special Teams?”
Ryans: “I guess. How did he do last season?”
Team: “Special teams didn’t suck. They actually played kinda/sorta good-ish.”
Ryans: “Fair enough. Ross, you’re retained. Don’t [Easterby] suck.”
Ross: “Got it.”
With that hire out of the way, Ryans moved his attention to defensive coordinator. While Ryans could do it himself, he thought “yeah, I don’t want to be like the other guy…or the other guy before that guy. No, not that “Other” guy…the OTHER, OTHER guy.” So the search went out. No one was quite sure how long or who they would hire.
Then, a name started to surface: Matt Burke. His latest LinkedIn profile showed him as the DL coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Said profile also noted a previous stint as position coaches for other teams and even a defensive coordinator position in Miami from 2017-18.
While Ryans possessed some insight into the coach from his time facing off against him in NFC West matchups, he still didn’t completely know the man for sure. Thus, it was time for the insider scoop. He called onetime teammate and most recent defensive nemesis JJ Watt.
Ryans: “Hey, JJ, what’s the deal with this Burke guy? Reviewing his resume, but still ain’t sure if he’s the guy or not. Interviewed well enough, but what can you tell me about him. What’s he got going for him?”
Watt: “Oh man, you have no idea the man you are getting with Burke. I mean, he coaches DL well enough. Put me in good enough position to have a great sendoff season [12.5 sacks, 18 TFLs]. We did okay on that front. But you really need to think beyond the field. That is where he’ll blow you and the rest of the team away.”
Ryans: “Ok, Watt. Try me.”
Watt: “Dude is all over the place. I mean, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Hanging with the gorillas in Rwanda and doing charity work in Uganda. Oh, also, skydiving anywhere and everywhere. He is just all over the place, and what he brings to the team…”
Ryans: “Interesting, but I don’t know…”
Watt: “That’s the key. ‘Interesting’ ‘How interesting’ you might ask? Well:
The guy has inside jokes with total strangers;
He can run an all-out Cover 0 blitz...while playing a dime prevent defense;
When he met with Bob Kraft and Bill Belichick one time, they were wearing their Super Bowl rings...and they kissed HIS ring;
He went to the National Portrait Gallery, and let him touch the art;
I’ve got it in my [future] Hall of Fame speech that he once patted me on the shoulder pads;
He didn’t have his passport when we played in Mexico, but he didn’t need it...he walked straight through security/customs/baggage claim;
Tom Brady told me he unretired specifically so that he could be pressured and sacked by a Burke defensive line;
The guy lives vicariously though himself;
The last time he tried to go skydiving, he couldn’t get out of the plane, because the plane threatened to crash into the ground if he left. He talked the plane out of it saying he promised to meet it at the next landing field, so long as it didn’t hurt the ground…
The Most Interesting Man in the World looks up to HIM!!!
I mean…do I need to go on?”
Ryans: “Hmmm…well, I’ll give him a second interview.”
So Ryans circled back to talk with Burke. Not surprisingly, the second interview went very, very well. Ryans pressed his case with Caserio and the McNair clan, and Burke was hired within minutes. At the time of this writing, all the details from the contract remain unknown. However, we at Totally Not Fake News learned the following about some of the negotiated actions:
- Caserio, Ryans and McNair all agreed to name their next child and their first grandchildren after Burke.
- Ryans got Burke to autograph HIS #59 Texans jersey.
- Cal McNair changed all his meeting times from XX:59 to XX:Burke time
No doubt more details will emerge about the new defensive coordinator. However, suffice it to say that Burke will have a much, much greater impact on the team beyond the field. We received word at Totally Not Fake News that Chicago was offering the 1st pick in the draft and other compensation just for Burke to visit Chicago Bears headquarters to wave “hi.”
Admittedly, the Houston Texans didn’t stop with hiring Burke, as they’ve added an offensive coordinator: Bobby Slowik. Recently from San Francisco, he oversaw QB coaching for the 40 or so QBs they used to get to the NFC Championship. Even Burke was somewhat impressed, which our sources indicate was enough for the Texans to make the hire.
No doubt all other hires meet the strict threshold of Burke, er, the team. If nothing else, there will be a lot of excitement and interest in the team as they look to move on from the slog of the past couple of seasons. As those developments evolve, we at Totally Not Fake News will continue to follow and report all of those developments.