Here's why Nick Caserio is built for this, despite evidence to the contrary
By now, we can all agree the Texans are in rebuild mode, right? Okay. Cool. Glad we got that out the way so we can move on to the next order of business for this column. With the team in rebuild mode, people often ask questions about who's in charge and are they qualified to lead a team rebuilding.
Enter Texans general manager Nick Caserio. He's been on the job a little over a year now. While he's had his fair share of missteps, he's also made some headway in bringing this team towards respectability. He was tasked with a tall order and was given the proper tenure to his contract to reflect the type of security a man in his shoes would need. I saw an interesting post and reply the other day on Twitter that brought this all about:
Sarge made a fair point: does Caserio know how to rebuild since he was part of a dynasty from the start? However, Dune countered: how is he qualified because he's never had to rebuild anything? Caserio may not know how to "rebuild" a team because he's never been part of a rebuild, but he damn sure knows what a well-run organization looks like!
The fact that he's never rebuilt a team from scratch after it was cremated alive doesn't mean he's not capable. Guys who've done that successfully before are often not available to hire because teams will keep them around to see things through. This is why the copycat culture of the NFL is so pervasive. Teams want to mimic other teams all the time. The easiest way to do so is to pick fruit off those teams' vines in hopes of replicating their harvest. Easier said than done.
This whole "Patriot Way" thing is funny to me. When I think of what that means, it's Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and their supporting cast over the years. When you don't have them, you won't get the "Patriot Way." Plucking random fruits from a bountiful tree won't get you a twin of that tree. If lucky, you may end up with a decent seed that'll yield something worthwhile, but it won't get you anything close to the real deal.
What Caserio is asked to do, and what's fully expected of him, is to build a model similar to the one he came from. He's a contractor who's spent the majority of his career supervising a project for someone else but is now tasked with remodeling his own building as the lead dog. Can a general contractor build a home that was burned down? Yes. Will he be the first to do so? No.
Personally, I think he'll do a fine job. As long as he drafts very well, spends wise free agent money, re-signs the right guys, and brings in a coaching staff that can grow with the talent he's acquiring. This is why he's reportedly paid $6 million dollars a year over six years. Fans want to see results, or they'll come for their pound of flesh. I think he's on the right track. This off-season's moves will go a long way to establishing his legacy. Here's to Caserio seeing six years and beyond here in Houston!