If this happens, it would be the most Texans thing ever

Can we all admit the Patriots South plan won't work for the Texans? Composite image by Jack Brame.

In this week's episode of As Kirby Turns:

The offseason is upon us! Black Monday festivities have commenced. Heads have rolled. Interviews are being conducted (virtually; and all C.D.C. guidelines for social distancing are being followed). This part of the NFL offseason excites me just as much as the playoffs, free agency, and the draft. Firings, hirings, mutual parting of ways, releases, extensions...coaching staffs and front office types get shuffled about like items at a swap meet. Teams are looking for new beginnings, fresh starts, and a way out of the malaise that was their previous regimes. And then there are the Texans.

The Texans are trying to wash away the stench of Bill O'Brien. There are some remnants of O'Brien left on Kirby however, and Jack Easterby is one of them. The difference between Easterby and others that have gotten whacked, he's positioned himself so close to Cal McNair that he's almost insulated himself from the firing squad. Or has he?!?

Recent reports have linked the Texans to Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio...AGAIN! Last offseason when the team unceremoniously got rid of general manager Brian Gaine, they tried to get Caserio from the Patriots. In true Texans form, they were rebuffed when the Patriots threw out allegations of impropriety against the Texans and they promptly folded instead of fighting. Yet here we are again.

Despite the whole notion of the Texans trying to create "Patriots South" and failing miserably, it seems as if Easterby is pushing them in this direction still. It reminded some of the Littlefinger character. Why you may ask? Well, if you're familiar with Littlefinger's character in Game of Thrones, he's all about self-preservation. "Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder." That statement has never rung more true than watching Easterby work his way up the ladder in this organization.

It's my belief that the new Caserio rumors are rooted in Easterby's attempt to secure himself in this organization. Think about it: if he gets Caserio hired as the new general manager, Caserio owes Easterby a debt of gratitude. Easterby could go from the verge of being let go or buried in busy work, to saving himself by helping an old colleague get hired to a position that could save his own job. How Littlefinger of him would that be?

If the Texans hire someone outside of the scope in which Easterby can control, he may feel as if his job is in jeopardy and react accordingly. What that may look like, I'm not sure. Maybe he has the McNairs so deeply in his grasp that it doesn't matter who's hired to come in and run this team because he may be safe regardless. Maybe he sees his days are numbered and will use whatever influence he has to make sure he stays on. Only one way to find out...tune in next week on As Kirby Turns!

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Start your engines! Photo by Wiki Commons.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads for Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers 400. MIS is one of the fastest racetracks in the country, as cars are capable of reaching speeds of 201-205 miles per hour. Hopefully, we will see a safe race considering the speeds we see here. We will more than likely see a race that is vastly different from what we saw last here when the drivers utilized the draft to pass around this track. This year, the cars are less aero-dependent and will be much more spread out. The drivers will need to continue to manage their tires as they have been doing all year.

Last weekend at Indy, Tyler Reddick captured his second victory of 2022 in dramatic fashion. The race came down to numerous restarts where drivers would drive way too deep into the first corner and run into each other each time. This was the central theme of the race, as restarts pretty much decided everything. We saw drivers like AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney get swept up in wrecks in turn one. On the final restart, Ross Chastain decided he didn’t want to be a part of these shenanigans and took the access road that skipped turn one. This moved catapulted him to the lead with Tyler Reddick as the two battled for the lead in a two-lap shootout. When the dust settled, Reddick came away victorious and Ross Chastain was black flagged for shortcutting.

The finish of this race sparked a serious debate among drivers and fans alike about ditching the Indianapolis road course and returning to the oval in 2023. Personally, this doesn’t make any sense to me. While yes, turn one is difficult to maneuver, it’s mainly because drivers all decide to send it as deep as they can, not because of the racetrack configuration. It’s also a bit disingenuous as for years, drivers and fans have been saying they don’t want to see the oval and that the track is designed for IndyCar. If I had to choose, I would say NASCAR just stop going to Indy and go to the short track down the road at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. We have seen so many great races there, and I think the Cup Series would be perfect for that track. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how NASCAR responds to this and what they decide to do for next season.

Kurt Busch will be out for the third consecutive week as he continues to recover from a concussion. This has been tough to hear about, and now there are legitimate concerns that he will not return to racing. There is a good chance however that 23XII could be saving him for the playoffs which are coming up.

For now, Ty Gibbs will continue to fill in for Busch. In his two starts the young phenom has performed extremely well, finishing 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indy. It’s clear that this young man can drive these cars, the only problem is finding a place for him to run next season.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Martin Truex Jr. By any other standard, the season that Truex is having has been great. Constantly up front, leading laps and just overall contending. Unfortunately for him, 2022 hasn’t been just any average season. With 14 winners and Truex not being one of them, he is on the playoff bubble even though he is fourth in points. While his playoff future maybe uncertain right now, there are some good racetracks he is going to where can easily get that first win, and Michigan is one of them. Over the last four races here, he currently has the highest average finish, the highest percentage of laps led, but no victories. I see that changing this week. Toyota and Gibbs have been fast this season as Truex’s teammates have all punched their tickets to the playoffs. Look for Truex to be next in line.

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