Tone deaf, indifferent and inept, Cal McNair is showing once more, he isn’t fit to own a pro-football team. As the hiring of his new GM is over-shadowed by his lingering, unaddressed mistakes.
The announcement of Nick Caserio would have struck a raw nerve instantly with many of the Texans faithful on Tuesday. A hire that with any objective lens on Caserio’s track record, would seem a desirable franchise leader. And it of course would have been, if not for the source of his experienced being intrinsically linked to the source of previous failures. Notably the last 7 seasons were design by those of a similar ilk.
When removed from Foxborough, MA., the “Patriots Way” rarely pays dividends. After seeing this first hand, to reach out again, in hope of it transferring to Kirby Drive, appears an ill-fated premise. As the mistakes co-signed by both Bill O’Brien & Jack Easterby reverberate around every facet of the Texans. The most notable output being it’s talent deficient roster, which lent itself to 4-12 season, despite the talents of Deshaun Watson under centre.
O’Brien was sent packing after week four, some three months ago, allowing Cal McNair and his search firm significant time to jump start their efforts in the 2021 hiring cycle. Despite that, the preferred option was to resurrect a previous failed hiring attempt from July 2019, as the Texans opted for Caserio. A clause in his contract inhibited him from joining Houston then, now out-lawed by the league, the Patriots subsequently filed tampering charges. Though the Texans had fired Brian Gaine on the premise they had their man.
Left red-faced, Houston opted to allow O’Brien and Easterby to dual-control the franchise, that ultimately sent the team on a collision with the depths of mediocrity. McNair stood idly by allowing the incumbents to run riot. The very mistakes his new GM will be tasked with correcting.
Financial cost seems to be secondary to McNair which is admirable in a sense but it more likely an output of his ineptitude. He had also hired a search firm, Korn Ferry, paying an exclusivity fee to then only ignore their final candidate list. A rather expensive exercise to conduct so publicly, to then hire someone who could have been previously available whilst still having outstanding interviews scheduled with prospective candidates. But the trigger was pulled and Caserio is now in the top-three GM’s in terms of salary.
The end result in arguably a good one but it’s the cloud of controversy that Nick enters the building with doesn’t allow his to start his reign on an even footing. His ties to Jack Easterby, the man who orchestrated the Brian Gaine firing to bring over his former colleague, could well be his undoing in Houston. Though Easterby is widely credited with pushing the search firm’s advice off-course, it should be noted his role in the firing of O’Brien. Caserio may be advised to tread carefully when handling footballs most maligned character.
Even the faintest murmur of Easterby’s name incites instant vitriol across the Texans fanbase. Added to the fact, the players have intimated they would like to see him removed. He provides a toxic influence that has eroded the culture every bit as much as the talent in the building. Easterby’s position is one that whatever he brings to the organisation is overwhelming outweighed by his drawbacks. So in Caserio’s initial assessment of the franchise, if this isn’t an obvious early course of correction, then yet more rockier waters may lay ahead. But if there was ever a way to get the fans & players alike to back you in the early days as the Texans GM, then theres an easy call to make.
The next part in the Texans off-season process is for Caserio to appoint a head coach. A task, if not successful, appears to perilously close for a consecutive off-season of counterproductively. This team cannot afford that. They cannot afford to get this wrong as they face a disgruntled quarterback and locker room, never mind the already indignant fan base.
An uphill task faces Nick Caserio and his early decisions will likely follow him, for however long he see’s out the freshly inked 6-year deal.