Nick Caserio: Jack Easterby will have a role, but football decisions are mine

USA TODAY Sports

The role of Jack Easterby in the Texans front office has been a subject of interest in Houston since the team fired head coach/General Manager Bill O’Brien during the regular season and it was the subject of questions at new General Manager Nick Caserio’s introductory press conference on Friday.

Easterby was not at the press conference, but Texans owner Cal McNair was in attendance. He was asked why Easterby was kept on after O’Brien’s firing and what skills made him worth the negative attention he’s drawn to the team. McNair said the team “needed someone to step into that spot” in reference to Easterby becoming the interim G.M. and that Easterby is “very gifted” in a lot of areas.

McNair didn’t elaborate on those areas, but Caserio said “Jack’s unique skill is the ability to invest in people, build up people and serve.” The last of those things would seem to be crucial because McNair said his role now will be “whatever Nick asks him to do to succeed.” Both men stressed that football and roster decisions won’t be made by Easterby.

“Any personnel decisions that will be made, we’ll make as a group, but ultimately that’s the responsibility that Cal has instilled in me. . . . Jack will have a role, we’ll work in conjunction with each other on a number of things. As it pertains to football decisions, those will ultimately be my decisions,” Caserio said.

No one asked why McNair went against the advice of the search firm he hired to find G.M. candidates, but Caserio said that he has a “really special relationship” with Easterby from their time with New England that goes beyond football. That answer would seem to shed light on the search firm question as well as Easterby’s place in the Texans organization.