It took three general managers and an interim, but the Houston Texans' ownership believes they have found their guy in Nick Caserio.
Houston Texans hired GM Nick Caserio, Now What?
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter confirmed Nick Caserio has signed on to be the Houston Texans general manager for the following six seasons. And this deal will also move him into getting paid as a top-three GM.
This hire comes as no surprise after the Texans fired Brian Gaine, who was entering the second year of the five-year deal he inked in 2018. Houston severed ties with one of their respected executives to get the opportunity to lure Caserio away from the New England Patriots.
Houston botched the execution the first time, but they were finally able to acquire their target the second time around.
However, numerous reports have since leaked of Watson's discontent with how the Texans managed the general manager hiring after they assured him he would be kept in the loop.
Resolving the Deshaun Watson dilemma is imperative
Like "The Office" episode where Kevin Malone clumsily drops his famous pot of homemade chili, the Houston Texans have to clean up the self-inflicted mess they created by keeping Watson on the sidelines regarding the GM hire.
Tom Pelissero reported Colts DC Matt Eberflus rejected the opportunity to interview for the head coaching gig after the Watson report. It's likely more names will come forward with the same response if this issue isn't resolved soon.
This isn't to say this issue will matter for all potential head coaching candidates, but it will limit the pool of talent they can choose from.
The report's timing was definitely strategic by Watson and his camp since it was published only a few hours after Texans announced a set time and date to introduce Nick Caserio.
The best-case scenario for Houston moving forward is to bring Watson back into the fold and listen to what he wants from his next head coach.
Hiring Caserio was clearly not Watson's first choice, but all signs indicate it was how they went about it that upset their franchise quarterback. Signing Caserio shouldn’t be a deal breaker from the perspective that players rarely talk to the people in the front office (that's the agents' job), and there is a reason why players call them the “guys upstairs”.
Patriots ties or not, Caserio is highly respected around the league. What Watson should be more concerned about is who becomes the next head coach. He should want to be involved in the head coaching hire since that is who he will work with for a minimum of 16 weeks each season.
One last factor to consider, but the most important, is Deshaun didn't ask for an immediate trade. So there remains some optimism this can be worked out. Watson has plenty of family and business ties he has built here in Houston since being drafted in 2017.
Putting Josh McDaniels rumors to rest
TU insider Patrick Storm has let it be known that Josh McDaniels is not considered a possible candidate for the Houston Texans head coaching position. It’s pretty easy to point out why once you connect the dots.
McDaniels was represented by Bob LaMonte, and he was slated to be the Indianapolis Colts' next head coach before he got cold feet and left them at the altar. Naturally, LaMonte decided it was best to part ways after McDaniel’s controversial decision.
Despite the failed attempt to bring McDaniels to Indianapolis, the proof is in the pudding. LaMonte has proven he likes to team his clients in bunches across the league. And naturally so, it’s easier to manage and work with multiple clients being stationed at one stop. It’s also difficult for two clients being represented by the same agent to go at each other’s head, so that’s another appealing factor to bring in more like-minded people with similar backgrounds.
Alignment was a word utilized a lot in the Brian Gaine hire. However, Gaine had little backing in his corner outside of Bill O’Brien, and that relationship wasn’t as strong, or he would still be here.
Cal McNair has preached for alignment this going around, too, and he has three LaMonte clients already in the building with Nick Caserio. Jack Easterby and Tim Kelly.
Keeping Kelly isn’t a foregone conclusion, but it doesn’t hurt that LaMonte represents him. The decision to keep Kelly can also be packaged to Deshaun Watson as a sign of goodwill.
Watson has gone on record for Kelly to remain in Houston, and Kelly was one of the only rookie coordinators to show promise last season for the Texans.
Looking at Bob Lamonte’s influence across the NFL landscape
Chiefs: (Andy Reid, Matt Borgonzi, Matt Veach, Steve Spagnuolo)
Bills: (Brian Daboll, Leslie Frazier, Sean McDermott, Joe Schoen)
Bengals: (Zac Taylor, Lou Anarumo, Brian Callahan)
Eagles: (Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson, Press Taylor, Duce Staley)
Colts: (Chris Ballard, Morocco Brown, Frank Reich, Raymond Ventrone, Brian Baker)
Raiders: (Jon Gruden, Greg Olson, Edgar Vennett)
Buccaneers: (Jason Licht, John Spytek)
Broncos: (Ed Donatell, Pat Shurmur)
Cowboys: (John Fassel, Mike Nolan)
Vikings: (Rick Spielman)
Chargers: (Tom Telesco)
Rams: (Sean McVay)
Dolphins: (Danny Crossman)
Giants: (Dave Guglielmo)
Jaguars: (Jay Gruden)
Recently fired coordinators:
Paul Guenther Raiders DC
Mike Nolan Cowboys DC
James Bettcher Giants DC
Former HC and possible coaching hires:
There aren't many head-coaching candidates to choose from outside of Brian Daboll and Leslie Frazier. But not every coach can be a great head coach or coordinator, bringing any of the coaches without a team in as a position coach or consultant could prove to be a smart hire if they choose to go that route.
The other intriguing candidates
Tennessee Titans OC Arthur Smith and Carolina Panthers OC Joe Brady are the only known names on the Houston Texans' interview list. However, other under the radar names will receive some interest depending on how they fare in the playoffs.
Brandon Staley is a clear beneficiary of how the Rams defense performed against the Seattle Seahawks, and it doesn't hurt that he coached at Nick Caserio's alma mater, John Carroll.
Although things could change, it seems more and more likely Eric Bieniemy, and Robert Saleh won’t form part of Texans' interview search. Perhaps things change with Caserio already settled in as the GM, but Houston had the opportunity to do their due diligence beforehand.
It remains a huge question mark who they will be able attract without LaMonte pulling some strings to help his clients.