In their brief history, the Houston Texans have now employed 6 men as a head coach, if you include 2 given interim etiquette.
Dom Capers lasted from the inaugural season, hiring in January 2001, until January 2006.
Gary Kubiak took over from Capers in 2006, leading the bar until December 2013.
Kubiak’s defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, son of legendary Houston Oiler coach Bum Phillips, took the reins of interim head coach for less than a month when team founder Bob McNair l ‘resigned in January 2014.
Bill O’Brien entered the scene on 1/2/2014 until he was promoted to fan on October 5, 2020 with his defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel filling the role of interim head coach until January 3 of This year.
David Culley, the only interim head coach without this official title prefix, took over on January 28, 2021.
While most of us would consider Gary Kubiak to be the greatest Houston Texans head coach to date, having elevated the awkward expansion franchise team to a playoff contender, Bill O’Brien actually had more. of success in the field.
Kubes won 61 games, lost 64 and secured the franchise’s first 2 division titles.
B’OB won 52 matches, lost 48 and won 4 division titles.
In terms of wins and losses, field success and other important stats:
Houston Texans Head Coach Rankings
- Bill O’Brien 52 (F) – 48 (L)
- Gary Kubiak 61 (F) – 64 (L)
- Romeo Crennel 4 (F) – 8 (L)
- Dom Capers 18 (F) – 46 (L)
- David Culley (F) 3 – 11 (L)
- Wade Phillips (W) 0 – 3 (L)
Now, it’s not really fair to put Phillips and Crennel in the same bag, as the two of them haven’t really had a chance to do anything other than deal with the mess they’ve inherited for a limited time. In this case, it’s pretty obvious that the move from Bill O’Brien to David Culley was a big step backwards in terms of head coaching success.
However, looking through that lens Culley inherited the mess O’Brien left when he was inexplicably given CEO powers.
At the very least, Cal McNair’s legacy as an NFL owner has been marked with the term “promoted beyond your skills” with Cal clearly over his head, and he promoted O’Brien and Jack Easterby in roles that they were / are completely unable to perform on a professional level.
But that’s another subject.
Knowing that the NFL Black Monday, the day a flurry of head coaches suddenly find themselves out of work, went from the first Monday after the end of the regular season to the Monday after week 16, David Culley may well find himself. on an early retirement plan in less than a week.
Now, to portray Culley as a scapegoat for the Texans’ woes of 2021 is inaccurate at best and lazy observation at worst. Culley was also promoted beyond his skills, most likely because no chief training candidate worth his salt would have taken the wheel of a colossal franchise tank job as we saw at H -Town this year.
However, let’s not kid ourselves that Culley is part of the rebound this team will end up making. Which brings us to decision time:
A. Does general manager Nick Caserio think the team are at their lowest right now and that a rebound begins the minute they leave the pitch this weekend after, presumably, losing to the Los Angeles Chargers?
B. Does Caserio think this team will also have to probe the depths for 2022, in order to completely purge all the bad contracts, negative salary cap and project capital he inherited?
VS. Will Caserio listen to the (stupid) ghosts of the Texans’ past and wait until all the quality coaching candidates have signed elsewhere and fired Culley in late January, then inexplicably sign another candidate “not qualified for?” to be a head coach ”that no one has ever heard of?
If we really believed in Caserio and only Caserio was in charge of NRG, the first option would make the most sense. If he’s in an uphill battle with McEasterby over how to lead this team, the second option could be what we see happen. If he’s just a Grima Wormtongue puppet, then option three, or any endless number of totally absurd results is most likely what will happen.
Since we don’t have the time, space, or wacky thought processes to itemize the endless number of “they did what?” ! McEasterby’s potential results, let’s look at what makes the most sense.
The future of Houston head coach David Culley
While he certainly seems like a nice guy, Culley is very clearly over his head and has been since he arrived. This is the guy, after all, who was surprised to find out that practice rehearsals and preseason games help rookies improve.
Going through the prism of logic, Option A makes the most sense. It will certainly take a hot minute to completely rebuild this team into a contender, but if Caserio is serious about turning this team, in the NFL “what have you been doing for me lately” he can leave too much behind. water pass under the bridge. Ultimately, Caserio is probably biding his time until Bill Belichick retires, at which point Caserio would likely like to return to the Patriots as GM. But, until that happens, he has to show the world that he is a competent GM.
He received a pass in 2021 because he naturally took out the trash and cleared the slate in order to properly build a winning program.
However, there is a very, very fine line between “the new GM is cleaning up a mess” and “another loser painted as such by association”. His window to assert himself and show the world that he is not just another follower of Belichick who has failed completely elsewhere is open now and will close soon.
To that end, it makes more sense to view David Culley as the guy keeping the seat warm for the actual head coach, who will be named later.
Men like Eric Bieniemy, Brian Daboll, Byron Leftwich and Josh McDaniels will hear their names early and often in the next Coaching Carousel.
While many will moan about Josh McDaniels coming to Houston, he would be a huge improvement over David’s “rookies need practice?” Culley. And, clearly, he and Caserio have a story.
Bieniemy was a contender from the last offseason, and probably did the smart thing and walked away when he saw Tank-a-palooza’s battle plan on display in front of him. Does that mean that a year later he might come back to the table? And if so, could that make Deshaun Watson come back as well (if his legal affairs are settled)?
Daboll, another follower of Belichick, is not shining as brightly this year at Buffalo, however, that could be explained in the team and game plan decisions, made by people above the pay level of Daboll.
Leftwich has spent the last few seasons working with Tom Brady, and if anyone has Caserio’s ear on a head coach hire, you can bet Brady does. If No.12 thinks it’s time for Leftwich to take a head coaching job, what will be the likelihood of him calling Caserio and pushing for his coordinator?
So that we can watch the upcoming NFL Draft and free agency, wishing for a better team, praying for new star players, hoping against all odds for rebuilt offensive and defensive lines, ultimately no matter which players Caserio brings, David Culley will never rise to the level of coaching success from Gary Kubiak / Bill O’Brien.
With that in mind, it’s time to rip off the bandage, pat Culley on the back, and send him to retirement at sunset with a big bank account and fond memories of “that time when I was coaching- head of the NFL ”.