How the Texans hiring of Nick Caserio impacts the coaching search, Deshaun Watson

Here we go again. Composite image by Brandon Strange

Let's start with this: Nick Caserio may turn out to be a fine GM for the Texans. There's a chance he winds up being the right guy, the one person from the Patriots organization that turns out not to be a disaster. Of course, the odds are against it. So far, Dolphins coach Brian Flores is the one former Bill Belichick sycophant who has proven to be successful.

The bigger issue is that the Texans have learned nothing. Jesus Jack Easterby - the Kenneth Copeland of the NFL - got his man. Easterby, the man who thought it was a good idea to trade DeAndre Hopkins, has his fingers all over this.

Deshaun Watson maybe said it best in his cryptic tweet. "Some things never change..."

Of course, Watson has no real beef. He signed a contract extension and got paid. But his point is well taken. The Texans will never change as long as Cal McNair is in charge and entrusting Easterby.

The Texans are basically like my dog. The dog eats grass. The dog throws up. The dog then starts lapping up its own throw up. What do you think is going to happen when you eat the same thing that just made you sick?

So here the Texans are, lapping up their own vomit once again. What do we think will happen next?

The more important hire will be head coach. Chances are, that decision is already made. Much as with the GM "search," the interviews they have done so far have been a dog and pony show, with dog vomit all over it.

Reportedly, Caserio wasn't on the list of five finalists suggested by Korn Ferry, a firm the team needlessly hired to consult. If you are going to spend the money on consultants, why not listen to them? Unless, of course, Easterby thinks he is smarter than them.

Maybe Caserio will make the right call at head coach. But does anyone believe that? Speculation immediately turned to - wait for it - Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels, yet another Belichick protege who failed as a head coach before returning to the fold. McDaniels would be a disaster hire. But he would fit the Texans culture of lapping up the same gruel.

Brian Daboll, yet another Patriots refugee, might also be a possibility. At least Daboll has been a few other places since and the work he has done with the Buffalo offense is terrific. So that might actually work. But it would also be just a continuation of a culture that has proven time and time again to be an abject failure.

Houston fans had hope when the team finally axed Bill O'Brien. Since then, the Texans have quietly sucked the life out of that hope. Now all that is left is the head coach. And if this is what Easterby is going to do at GM, is there any real hope they get the coaching hire right?

I picture Easterby and Caserio strolling hand in hand through NRG, walking their poodles and staring lovingly into each other's eyes. Meanwhile, Texans fan is left to watch those dogs lap up the same old crap. And yet the fans will endure, because who doesn't love their dog?

No matter how stupid it may be.

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Nick Caserio's history of drafting injury prone players has become a problem. Composite Getty Image.

Nick Caserio was hired to serve as the general manager (GM) of the Texans on January 7, 2021. Some saw it as another nod to the organization's obsession with the Patriots. Others saw it as the team finally getting their guy after pursuing him previously. They were even hit with a tampering charge while trying to talk to him about the job. Since he's been on the job, there have been highs and lows.

Recently, the news about Kenyon Green and Derek Stingley Jr put a stain on his tenure. Green was placed on season-ending injured reserve (IR) and Stingley Jr is expected to be placed on IR, likely missing six to eight weeks, per Aaron Wilson. Both guys were Caserio's 2022 first rounders. Both guys are starting to look like busts and have fans a little more than just upset.

Green's case was curious because he was said to have needed surgery before he tore his labrum during the Saints preseason game. He had knee surgery this past offseason. There were knee injury concerns when he was coming out of A&M. Adding to his injuries, Green has played poorly. To make matters worse, the Chargers drafted fellow guard Zion Johnson two picks later. Johnson played all 17 games last season as a rookie at right guard and has moved to left guard this season. The pick used to draft Green was part of a trade back with the Eagles. They used the 13th overall pick to take Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, a guy at a position this team could desperately use.

Stingley Jr was a highly touted recruit coming into LSU as a freshman. He played as well as any corner in the country that year. Oh, and they won a national title with arguably one of the best teams in college football history. His net two years in Baton Rouge were marred with injuries. Some believed his junior year was more him holding back to stay healthy for the draft. It worked because he was taken third overall, one spot ahead of Sauce Gardner. Gardner went on to be an All Pro as a rookie. While he's surrounded by more talent on the Jets' defense, people will forever link them because Stingley Jr hasn't lived up to expectations. He missed six games last season and is set to miss at least that many this season. When he has played, he's looked okay. “Okay” isn't what you want from a guy drafted third overall ahead of the other guy who was widely considered better than him.

For the 2021 draft, Caserio was handcuffed. He had no first or second rounders, and made a few trades that lessened his draft pool from eight to five picks. Of the five guys drafted that year, only Nico Collins seems to be a player. The 2022 draft was more productive. Although Green and Stingley Jr were the headliners and haven't played up to the hype, the others are carrying the load. Jalen Pitre and Dameon PIerce alone make that draft class dope. This past draft was seen as the one to save the franchise so to speak. Getting C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr got the team a franchise quarterback and edge rusher with picks two and three overall. The price paid to move back up to three was hefty and puts more scrutiny on Anderson Jr. They appear, so far, to have also found a couple other nice players. Tank Dell being the hidden gem of this class.

While people can't, and shouldn't, base Caserio's performance strictly off of the guys he's drafted, one must call it into question. The '21 draft was a wash. The '22 draft looks suspect, but has some redeeming qualities. The '23 draft will most likely be his saving grace. But should it? Former Texans GM Rick Smith nailed almost every first rounder he drafted. Even he was almost run out of town because folks didn't like what he did. Why should Caserio be any different? So what if he cleaned up the mess by the previous regime! That's what he was hired to do!

“Keep that same energy!” That phrase is used when people try to hold others to different standards. Where's that energy everyone had for Bill O'Brien, Jack Easterby, Rick Smith, Gary Kubiak, David Culley, and Lovie Smith? When others weren't performing well, their heads were called for. I see some people holding Caserio accountable. For the most part, it appears as if he's getting a bit of a pass. I'll be interested to see if this continues should the team has another subpar season. If that pick they traded to the Cardinals is another top 10 pick and the Browns pick the Texans own isn't...if Green can't come back and/or Stingley Jr doesn't show any signs of being a lockdown corner...then what? Let's hope none of this comes to fruition. If it does, we'll have to revisit this conversation.

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