2022 Houston Texans coaching search: Options dwindle
Last year, the Houston Texans had more time than anyone else to recruit the right head coach. After firing Bill O’Brien in early October, they were given the choice of the litter. They were the first kid in the candy store, leading the line when the whistle sounded.
What did they do with it?
They hired David Culley. A coach that no other team even had on their radar. And they’ve waited a long time to make that hire, becoming the last NFL team with a vacant head coaching vacancy last year to fill it.
There is a strong feeling that the delay was entirely due to potential head coaches opting to stay with their current squad or hire elsewhere instead of having their careers tied to the dumpster fire. of Cal McEasterby which takes place on the Gulf Coast.
This sad truth could very well be true this year as well.
Five positions filled:
▫️Bear: Matt Eberflus
▫️Broncos: Nathaniel Hackett
▫️Giants: Brian Daboll
▫️Raiders: Josh McDaniels
▫️Vikings: Kevin O’Connell
Four remain: Dolphins, Jaguars, Saints, Texans
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 3, 2022
Josh McDaniels, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator, has long been rumored as a candidate for Houston’s head coaching job due to his connections with Texans general manager Nick Caserio and team televangelist Jack Easterby.
Apparently, McDaniels would rather go work for the man with the worst haircut in Sin City history.
Kevin O’Connell made the Texans’ short list of prospects, or at least the list of people who got a second interview, but would have chosen to move to the land of ice and snow to take over the Minnesota Vikings.
Houston Texans Known Current roster of head coach candidates (as of NFL.com)
- Brian Flores, former dolphins head coach (second interview completed)
- Jonathan Gannon, Eagles defensive coordinator (second interview completed)
- Joe Lombardi, Chargers offensive coordinator (first interview completed)
- Josh McCown, veteran NFL QB (second interview completed)
Of the remaining candidates, Flores is the only one with head coaching experience. However, as we learned recently, his fight with the NFL, New York Giants, Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins could rule out any future hope of coaching an NFL team again.
Jonathan Gannon, the Eagles defensive coordinator, did not interview any of the other teams currently seeking a head coach. He interviewed the Broncos and Vikings, as well as the Texans, but was passed over by the other two teams in Denver and Minnesota in favor of Nathaniel Hackett and O’Connell.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon remains an extremely strong candidate for the Texans head coaching job after ‘knocking him out of the park’ in interviews in addition to his follow-up meetings with team officials. the team, according to league sources. @PFN365
—Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) February 3, 2022
Lombardi only interviewed the Texans, but was not called up for a second meeting.
Josh McCown, the least qualified of virtually any name polled by any team this cycle, somehow completed two interviews with the Texans. The growing fear in Houston that McEasterby would hire McCown may well turn out to be the last straw for many who support the team.
Many wanted the Texans to make a run on the beloved former Houston linebacker turned 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. However, after interviewing the Vikings, Ryans publicly stated that he wanted to stay in San Francisco for the time being.
Jerod Mayo, the New England Patriots linebacker coach, is also believed to have ties to the Texans as head coach, but there is no record of a formal talk between him and Caserio.
Like many of you, I really want to trust Nick Caserio to right this sinking ship. If he wants to do that, he needs to hire properly and immediately start building for the future. If he hires Flores, Lombardi, or Gannon — or even a dark horse candidate whose legitimate resume we don’t know — that trust will continue and hope will be built.
If he hires McCown or David Culley 2.0, that confidence will evaporate. We’ll all know who’s really calling the shots in NRG Park, and that person won’t be Nick Caserio.