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Let's examine the Texans candidates for head coach and GM

Let's examine the Texans candidates for head coach and GM
Here's who they have met with so far. Photo by Getty Images.
Watch Texans GM candidate Louis Riddick talk about culture being just as important as QB

The Houston Texans search committee to find candidates for their vacant general manager and coaching positions has landed on some interesting candidates.

Jim Caldwell (Head Coach candidate)

Texans fans will be quick to reject the idea of Jim Caldwell as the next head coach because his recent head coaching tenure ended with thuds. He fails the “What have you done lately?" test. Fans would not be wrong in Caldwell's case.

I understand what Texans owner Cal McNair is thinking. Jim Caldwell has coached some of the more talent quarterbacks the NFL has seen in recent years. But despite star quarterbacks, Caldwell didn't have much success on the bottom line. He was head coach for the Detroit Lions from 2014 to 2017, reaching the playoffs twice but ultimately fell short of bringing that franchise a Super Bowl trophy with Matthew Stafford in prime years. After two years out of the league, he signed on as Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach, where, some suspect the Dolphins were in a must lose situation to be in position to draft Tua Tagovailoa.

It would be wrong to say there is not a place for Caldwell in the Texans organization. He would be an upgrade to replace offensive coordinator Tim Kelly when this season mercifully ends. Caldwell had success during his helm as Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach under Tony Dungy when Peyton Manning flourished from 2002-2008. In 2009 the Colts made him the head coach, where he wore out his welcome with a 2-14 record in 2011 and was fired. Caldwell moved on to take the role as Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach where he won a Super Bowl ring in 2012 with Joe Flacco under center.

Jim Caldwell as a quarterback coach? If you are Cal McNair, it is something to think about. But Caldwell wasn't interviewing for the quarterbacks coach position. He wants the top job.

There is no doubt Caldwell's interview was urged by Dungy who Cal McNair is using for advice in the coaching search. Caldwell's days coaching under Dungy extend even before their Colts connection, when Caldwell was Dungy's quarterback coach in Tampa Bay in 2001. With Brad Johnson as quarterback, the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2003.

Jim Caldwell, the quarterback coach, has found success all over the league. He is yet to prove his value as a head coach in the NFL.

Marvin Lewis (Head Coach candidate)

Marvin Lewis interviewed for the Texans head coaching vacancy earlier in this week. Contrary to Caldwell, Lewis has been known for his expertise on the defensive side of the ball. He has coached some of the most dangerous defensive fronts in the NFL, most notably the 2000 Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens led by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis. He was the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 to 2018, and the Texans dealt him wild-card losses in 2011 and 2012. He currently serves as the co-defensive coordinator at Arizona State.

The Texans could use Lewis' defensive mind to help rebuild a defense that is in shambles. Maybe we see Lewis as a defensive assistant before handing him the head coach job so fast. I'm not head-over-boots about any coach Bill O'Brien was able to beat so frequently.

Matt Bazirgan (General Manager candidate)

Texans' director of player personnel Matt Bazirgan was interviewed for the general manager role. The only reason Cal McNair might look to hire a general manager internally is so he has an excuse to keep current vice president of football operations (or “pastor") Jack Easterby, who has received a torrent of blame for the downfall of the Texans this season.

If the Texans are searching for long-term success, they will steer clear of searching within the current regime.

Louis Riddick (General Manager candidate)

Louis Riddick is the current analyst for ESPN, and is a favorite for every general manager opening around the league. Does Riddick have what it takes to rescue the Texans sinking ship?

Riddick has a fair share of experience with NFL personnel. He was the director of pro personnel for the Washington Redskins from 2005-2007, and was also the director of pro personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010-2013. He did not have the strongest personnel with either organization, but at least Riddick is a candidate with experience, and his rich knowledge for the game is heard every Monday night. It's safe to say Riddick is the best candidate for the Texans general manager job out of the bunch that have interviewed.

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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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