The second thought regarding the future involves some self-reflection. To burn the bad vibes from the last few years away, we must enter the belly of the beast and confront a major issue.
The Houston Texans are a bad team in the NFL. This isn't by chance, or dumb luck. It is largely due to self-inflicted wounds and the finger should ultimately be pointed at the top.
Houston has seen its fair share of talented players take the field in NRG. Most recently in the Cal McNair era; DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt, Tyrann Mathieu, Jadeveon Clowney, Kareem Jackson, Bradley Roby and now Deshaun Watson, have decided they'd be better off elsewhere.
The inability to retain talent is a death sentence for NFL teams, especially when said talent is already so hard to come by. Thus, even if the Texans nail all their future picks, keeping them happy in Houston needs to be a priority.
What does that look like? What's been done in the past cannot be repeated. Improving the front-office practices, prioritizing balanced communication with players and constantly improving the roster towards winning football is a start. Removing inept executives is a must.
The Texans have consistently found themselves in disadvantageous positions because of the ineptitude of various decision-makers. While I was initially disappointed in Caserio for not being able to attain the trade capital he desired, I thought about the "why".
In the end, Watson's no-trade-clause clenched significant power as he held final say in his destination. Cleveland didn't need to match Atlanta or Carolina's packages piece for piece because Watson gave them the one-and-only final rose.
And who cast Watson to this weird season of the NFL Bachelor? Jack Easterby. The man who shortly gained GM duties after Bill O'Brien was fired and before Caserio was hired. Easterby negotiated Watson's new massive contract in 2020, which had the shiny NTC that ultimately dictated the terms and handicapped Caserio.
Would someone with more legitimate NFL front office experience allow for the NTC to be included? Maybe still (shrugs). But in the end, it's a decision that limited the Texans' return on their chance to hit the jackpot.
Even if Easterby's decision-making power is lessened nowadays (it better be), we've learned the hard way that scars caused from picking a scab - even if it was years ago - can look ugly for a while.
I've tried moving on from the Easterby talk because at certain points it has gotten exhausting. However, it's only right to place blame where it is deserved. For Easterby to continue to steer clear of repercussions for negatively impacting this franchise, that duty falls on one man's sword - Cal McNair.
Will the slashing ever come? Who knows. But with rumors swirling that Cal stepped into and took over the most recent head coach search that resulted in Lovie Smith, his holding of the CEO powers continues to prove detrimental.
If the Texans truly want to do - as they so often say - what's best for the organization, they'll get a real grown-up who knows what he's doing, into Cal's chair.
That's the step in the rebuild that rarely happens, but would be the biggest accelerator for Houston's football team. All I can do is hope.