The Texans have become widely regarded as the most dysfunctional franchise in the NFL. Friday’s press conference introducing David Culley as the team’s new head coach provided the organization with an opportunity to undo that perception.
Owner Cal McNair opted not to participate.
His deliberate decision to avoid the potential for questions about pressing topics like the future of quarterback Deshaun Watson became more glaring because the press conference was preceded by a video message from McNair himself.
“Well, welcome everybody, and thank you for being here with us,” McNair said, via a transcript provided by the team. “Hopefully we can start doing these in person real soon. I just wanted to jump on this meeting because this is an incredibly exciting day for our franchise. We have added a very well respected and experienced member to our Texans family in our new head coach, David Culley. We met with a lot of terrific candidates throughout the process but David’s vision and ability to bring people together made it obvious to us that he is our guy. I’ll kick it to Nick [Caserio] and David for opening statements, but I just wanted to start off by saying how excited my family is to welcome David and his family to the Houston Texans. Thank you and go Texans.”
And there went McNair. His team is embroiled in one of the biggest current controversies in the NFL, and he opted not to field a single question about that or any other topic — including the stunning decision to hire as a head coach a man who never worked as an NFL coordinator and who never had been interviewed for a head-coaching job or even mentioned for one, before getting hired.
Instead, Caserio was left to fend for himself. Fortunately for Caserio, the team cut the session short after only 11 questions from reporters, and one question from a fan.
No one was asked about the processes that led to the hiring of Culley. No one was asked about the report that Josh McCown somehow received an interview for the head-coaching job. No one was asked about the role of executive V.P. of football operations Jack Easterby in hiring Culley.
That’s not a criticism of the reporters. They had only limited opportunities to ask questions. And they had no opportunity to ask questions of the man ultimately responsible for every decision the team has made and the current state of the franchise.
Above all other questions that could be posed to the Texans, this is the one that is the most vexing: How did it get to the point that a franchise quarterback wants out, less than five months after signing a long-term contract?
Something happened. And Watson definitely doesn’t seem like someone who would come to the conclusion that he needs to get to a new team without careful thought and deliberation.
So Cal, Nick, Jack, and/or David, that’s the one thing we’d all love to know. What do you believe caused one of the best players and most respected figures in football to decide so quickly that it’s not in his long- or short-term best interests to continue the relationship?