- The Houston Texans have hired Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach David Culley.
- Cully has been tasked to change the team’s culture, more than anything else.
- QB DeShaun Watson reportedly still wants to leave the team regardless of who they will hire as head coach.
When the Houston Texans issued the pink slip to former head coach and GM Bill O’Brien in October, the Texans became the first team to have an opening for both positions. After hiring Nick Caserio as their new GM, the team left their new manager with the task of hiring the team’s next head coach. Caserio held an extensive search.
The Texans interviewed Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley ( before he was hired by the Los Angeles Chargers ) and even QB Josh McCown who was on their active roster at the end of the season.
Then there was David Culley, who spent the last three seasons as the assistant head coach of the Baltimore Ravens while also serving as the team’s passing coordinator and wide receivers coach. Culley has a 27-year coaching experience in the NFL and another 16 years in various collegiate coaching roles.
After their second interview with Culley, the team was impressed with his energy and they believe that he has the NFL experience to deliver the cultural change within the organization, even without experience as an offensive coordinator. On Wednesday, the Texans became the last team to fill its coaching vacancy and announced that they have hired Culley to become the 4th head coach in the history of the franchise.
Leadership and Relationship With Players
Soon-to-be #Texans coach David Culley has received praise for his leadership and the way he connects with players. Now, the #Ravens assistant head coach will attempt to do so in Houston.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 28, 2021
When Caserio set out on his task to hire the Texans’ next head coach, the new GM said that the characteristic that he was looking for the most in a head coach is the ability to “lead people”. Caserio believes that football is about people and that one has to make an investment in people, and that a coach must have the ability to lead people.
Culley has never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL and as the Ravens’ passing coordinator, the team ranked last in the league in well, passing. But despite that, he ticks all the boxes for Houston.
According to Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh, Culley is a “highly respected teacher, game-planner, and motivator”. Kansas City Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid also said that Culley is “a great person who will bring positive energy to the building.” With those kinds of comments from his peers, Culley could be the guy that Houston needs to shift its culture. The question now is whether Deshaun Watson will be here to be a part of that.
Watson Still Wants Out
Deshaun Watson is expected to want out of Houston regardless of who the next head coach is, per @mortreport pic.twitter.com/Cl2x9lfgQK
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 24, 2021
When DeShaun Watson was asked earlier this month what he was looking for in his next head coach, the 4th year QB said that the team needed a leader whom the players will follow. Watson added that he wanted his next coach to be people-centered and not just a football mind. But Watson has reportedly told the Texans that he wants out no matter who the team hires, even if he could potentially fit Watson’s qualifications.
Yo can’t blame Watson though for wanting out. The fourth year QB was coming off his best season ever. During the 2020 season, Watson set career highs in touchdowns, passing yards and completion percentage. However, the Texans finished with a dismal 4-12 record, which was unacceptable.
It remains to be seen if Watson will stay but you can’t blame him if he leaves. Watson has not officially requested for a trade. However can easily ask to be traded if he is serious about going somewhere else. There are a handful of teams who would like to trade for Watson and online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag lists the NY Jets as the +200 betting favorite to land Watson. But will Watson give Culley a chance?