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Houston Texans: In Defense of Nick Caserio

Correcting the National misconceptions

Houston Texans Introduce DeMeco Ryans as Head Coach Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Alfred Pennyworth

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

There are certain “media personalities” who feel it’s their mission in life to stir the pot, stoke the fires of controversy and create mama-drama where none actually exists.

If these people happen to shout their nonsense at the right moment, their words can take on a life of their own. These fictional untruths get repeated, re-tweeted and quoted so many times they take on a quasi-truthfulness in the collective hive mind.

This is how rumors become “facts”, how ‘old wives tales’ become believable lore.

One such narrative, echo-chambered to death by people who just want to watch the world burn, very much involves Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio.

Oft repeated, never seemingly defeated, is the BS line that not only did Nick Caserio “get his guy” in David Culley, but that Caserio also was the 100% shot caller in elevating Lovie Smith into the head coaching spot.

Then, it stands to reason that Caserio would also be the scapegoat for firing both coaches. That he deserves to wear the albatross of lies resulting from back to back coach firings around his neck like Mr T’s gold chains.

This then, sets the stage for the “Houston mistreats head coaches” headline, and allows the racial hatred to creep in as well.

Sometimes the truth is ugly, but repeated lies are always uglier.

There has been plenty of documented information, including the speed of the hire and timing so shortly after Caserio himself joined the team, that David Culley entered the building at the beck and call of none other than Jack Easterby.

While many put on airs of offense and indignation at Culley’s treatment by the Texans, the facts of the matter show a career assistant coach making a “blue collar’ wage, who was never going to hit the jackpot doing just that by way of the Houston Texans head coaching sweepstakes. Instead of riding off into the sunset to try and live on social security, Culley is now a multimillionaire former NFL head coach. Kinda hard to feel sorry for that, yet many in the media want you to believe Culley is a martyr in the game of coaching persecution.

Culley’s bank account and retirement portfolio beg to differ.

But, either way, that isn’t on Caserio.

Fast forward to ole Nick’s first full offseason with the Houston Texans. At that point, he had managed to clear quite a lot of the salary cap deadwood Easterby and former Houston Football Czar Bill O’Brien created in their Reign of Incompetence. This is a feat that Caserio gets little credit for nationally, yet here the Texans sit with one of the better cap situations in 2023 after just 2 years on the job. He cleaned up a mess not of his making, and did so quickly.

Then the 2022 coaching search hit a major speed bump with the Brian Flores lawsuit, which painted the Texans as corrupt, racist and lots of other terrible things. Inside that pressure cooker, already boiling with the Deshaun Watson mess, Caserio was hardly poised to make a unilateral choice to bring in “his guy” to coach the team. Instead, Lovie Smith was elevated to HC status, likely due to major input from Easterby and Cal McNair.

Caserio then pulled off what’s been widely praised as likely the best possible deal to offshore Watson and his ugliness. In return, the Texans got a nice draft haul last year and this coming April. And, Nick landed this deal while under live fire from the national media, Deshaun Watson camp, Easterby nonsense and majorly unhappy fan base.

2023 saw the first time Caserio could actually roll up his sleeves and simply do the job he was brought in to do: hire a game changing head coach and help that coach build a staff and roster to return this team to the path it was on prior to Bill O’Brien’s arrival.

What did Nick do? He hired DeMeco Ryans. Talk about #winning!

Caserio’s currently taking a strategic, calculated approach to helping Ryans build his 1st ever coaching staff. He's also laying the groundwork for handling existing salary cap issues such as Laremy Tunsil’s impending contract negotiations. He’s working the free agent landscape to get a jump on next month’s “legal tampering” window. Managing the Brandin Cooks’ trade desires and scouting for the 2023 NFL draft.

Under his reign, the Texans have drafted wide receiver Nico Collings, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr, offensive guard Kenyon Green, safety Jalen Pitre, wide receiver John Metchie III, linebacker Christian Harris and running back Dameon Pierce.

If Caserio is this terrible general manager, as some in the national media would have you believe, then how did he hit on so many draft picks already? How did he clear out tens of millions of dollars in bad player contracts? How did he convince DeMeco Ryans, arguably the hottest head coaching candidate in this year’s coaching cycle, to not only sign with the Texans, but do so with an excitement and exuberance that has reignited an almost entirely disenfranchised fanbase?

Sure, Caserio isn't the greatest general manger to ever walk the earth. But he’s a far sight better than the drama factory members of the national press would have everyone believe.