After the Texans fired coach/G.M. Bill O’Brien and made Jack Easterby the interim G.M., a sense emerged that Easterby was making a gradual but inevitable power grab. And while that may have indeed been the case, Easterby’s power could be dwindling.
Or, possibly, Easterby wants everyone to think his power is dwindling.
Via Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, Easterby’s role moving forward has yet to be determined, and it will depend largely on the preferences of the next General Manager. Per the report, Easterby hasn’t been involved in some of the video interviews occurring in connection with the ongoing G.M. and coaching search.
Garafolo adds that, as word spreads that Easterby won’t be essentially running the show in Houston, the job has become more attractive to candidates with no ties to Easterby.
That said, some league insiders continue to believe that Easterby and Korn Ferry (the search firm handling the Houston hiring process) are trying to create the impression that Easterby has been marginalized, but that Korn Ferry eventually will stack the deck with the G.M. candidates preferred by Easterby.
This approach would mesh with the Game of Thrones comparisons made in the recent SI.com article regarding Easterby’s curious rise in Houston. The end result could be that everyone in the Houston organization will claim that Easterby’s power and influence is minimal, and that in reality he will have more power and influence than ever.
It’s simply too late to unring that bell. The truth is that, as long as Easterby is working for the Texans in a high-level capacity, a belief/suspicion will linger than Easterby is pulling strings and pressing buttons. And the less he’s perceived to be involved in nuts and bolts of football, the more likely he’ll be to survive the next round of firings, whenever that happens.