EVERY-THING SPORTS

Here's an important lesson in patience with Houston GMs

Good things come to those who wait. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

A few days ago I was having a discussion in a group chat with a few friends of mine. Mind you, this group is filled with people who have differing opinions, fandoms, and it's also pretty diverse. We will discuss anything and everything under the sun, but we mainly stick to sports. It's like listening to a show on ESPN Houston: you'll get your fair share of sports, but there's also some other stuff that'll get covered as well. One of my friends posed the question of why isn't Nick Caserio getting the same love Daryl Morey got as far as media coverage and on social media?

My immediate answer was short and simple: he hasn't made any splash moves and has only been on the job a few months. But it begs a different question to be answered: can Caserio reach Morey or even Jeff Luhnow status as a general manager? Both of those guys stepped into situations that weren't ideal and ended up turning them around. Morey never won a title in his run with the Rockets, but his teams made the playoffs in 10 of his 13 years and made two Western Conference Finals appearances. He succeeded in doing so while being told he couldn't tank and had to constantly find a way to build a winner. Luhnow was afforded the ability to tear it down and start from scratch. The Astros went on to lose 90 games or more in his first four seasons, but proceeded to make the playoffs in five of the next six, including two World Series appearances, with the roster Luhnow was able to rebuild. Although neither guy's era ended well (Morey stepped down when the team needed to rebuild and the Harden/Westbrook experiment failed; Luhnow was fired after the cheating scandal came down), they both brought their respective franchises to heights that neither had never been seen (Astros winning the 2017 World Series), or heights that haven't been seen in years (Rockets making the Western Conference Finals for the first time in almost 20 years) under these two guys.

But can Caserio replicate Morey and Luhnow's level of success? I believe he can. As with some of my other opinions, there's always a caveat: I believe he can, if given the free rein to make moves and decisions he feels are beneficial to the Texans' success moving forward. So far, he's been making good bargain signings and trades. Of the 20 plus signings/trades/acquisitions he's made, only a select few have contracts that last past this upcoming year. His biggest tradeable asset is currently embroiled in a massage/sex scandal that could hinder his ability to make a splash move to acquire more assets. However, I see what he's doing and think he's doing a good job so far reshaping this roster.

The rubber will really hit the road when the draft rolls around. If Caserio can turn the draft picks this offseason and next into quality players for this team, as well as continue to spend money in free agency wisely, he'll cut short the rebuild time for the Texans. Finding or keeping your franchise quarterback plays a HUGE part in all of this. I don't envy the position he's in right now at all, but I'd trade places with him in a heartbeat because he's in a much more enviable position than I'm in. I truly hope he's allowed to work his magic and change the culture of this franchise. This fanbase and city deserves a winner to root for in their NFL franchise because they've been extremely loyal throughout some very lean years. It'd be nice to see them rewarded with a product worthy of respect and their hard-earned money they choose to spend.

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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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