Will David Culley persuade Deshaun Watson to stay?

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We now know the next coach of the Houston Texans will be David Culley. We don’t know what that will mean to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported over the weekend that Watson wants out, regardless of who the team hires to become the head coach. However, until Watson formally requests a trade, there’s a chance (slim as it may be) that Watson will change his mind.

As noted by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Culley and Watson “built a really good connection” at the Pro Bowl last year, with Watson on the AFC team and the Ravens coaching the squad. The connection will be tested immediately, as Culley (presumably) tries to get Watson to answer his phone and/or to respond to a text message.

Watson presumably will at least hear Culley out. And that will be Culley’s chance to turn things around.

Don’t bet the farm against it. Culley, as a longtime receivers coach, has managed for decades some of the most difficult personalities in an NFL locker room. He coached the Eagles receivers during the Terrell Owens era. More recently, he has spent two years getting Ravens receivers to buy in to a passing game that doesn’t get used as much as other teams’ passing games are used.

Although Culley never has been a coordinator nor a candidate for an NFL head-coaching job, he has worked in the league since 1994. He has experience working at the right hand of men like Andy Reid and John Harbaugh. Quite possibly, Culley’s star didn’t rise earlier because he didn’t “play the game,” spending time politicking and positioning himself for bigger jobs and thus losing out to those candidates who did.

Thus, while the Texans may have landed on Culley for unconventional reasons (including, for example, that his gratitude for getting a chance to become a head coach at the age of 65 will prevent him from trying to usurp any of the power and influence accumulated by Jack Easterby and Nick Caserio), Culley has a chance to be exactly the guy the Texans need at this strange and challenging moment in the franchise’s history.

And if he can get Watson to decide to remain with the Texans, Culley’s record should be 1-0.

28 responses to “Will David Culley persuade Deshaun Watson to stay?

  1. When this news broke, I was watching a PFT segment from Tuesday about the Ravens and how their wide receivers aren’t that involved in the offense. Puzzling hire at the moment.

  2. It will be interesting if people like Tony Dungy reach out to Watson and tell him that while the Texans ownership and Caserio might not deserve the benefit of the doubt, Culley does… This hire puts Watson in a tough position, which was probably the goal.

  3. I don’t think that’s really Watson’s decision, unless he’s willing to sit out or retire as an alternative.

  4. That’s a trick question right? 65 year old 1st head coach who was the passing game coordinator for the worst passing offense in the entire league, QB coach for Josh Allen’s worst years, and WRs coach for the Chiefs the year the WRs scored ZERO TDs is going to somehow be able to sell himself to a QB who is sick of the team making crazy personel decisions?


  5. I sure seems like Deshaun “I’m not Matt Stafford so everyone will pile on me, I wonder why?” Watson’s issues probably run deeper than the HC. It sounds like the organization made him promises that they didn’t keep, so they destroyed trust in the relationship.

  6. Watson is under contract, bottom line. Unless the Texans get a king’s ransom for him he stays. He’s turning out to be a diva.

  7. According to Steve Smith on the Ravens passing scheme “Two guys run long and two guys run shallow”. That’s it. So i guess Watson will go as long as he can from the Texans

  8. Hilarious. Never been a coordinator. Led the Ravens “passing attack”? Bieniemy must be horrible at interviews. Good news for my Colts.

  9. Idk why you would bring in a 65 yr old coach to keep Watson, obviously the coach wont be there long and im not sure why you will bring in a 65 yr old coach to develop a new QB.. Seems like Houston has no clue on what they are doing.

  10. “This hire puts Watson in a tough position, which was probably the goal.”

    Not seeing how it’s THAT tough a position for him. They asked his input on coaches and it doesn’t sound like Culley was one of his recommendations. He may like the guy but apparently not enough to have suggested him as the next head coach.

  11. Watson may (undeservedly, IMO) be blamed for Culley’s inevitable failure, when that blame should be on ownership and upper management for doing everything wrong for the last couple years.
    I realize nobody feels sorry for a QB making $40M a year, but I don’t think Watson is a diva for wanting out.

  12. The Lions with a new head coach and GM need a quarterback and Watson would be the ideal person in Motown.go ahead Lions,make an offer they cant refuse.

  13. Well Houston fans, just when there might be a light at the end of the tunnel the next train got you. I am not sure what’s going on in Houston, but from the outside looking in, it’s pretty ugly stuff. You traded for an ok left tackle, at a steep price. Then you traded a top 5 wide out for a washed up running back. That is 2 epically bad trades fast. Then you have a team Chaplain calling the shots, now you made this hire. If this works out well, it probably was a total accident. The organization seems to have stumbled around in the dark, then fell off of a cliff.

  14. No persuasion needed. Watson is under contract. He can play for the Texans or go flip burgers.

  15. “No persuasion needed. Watson is under contract. He can play for the Texans or go flip burgers.”

    And the Texans can watch Watson’s trade value sink to nothing, or they can grab a king’s ransom in draft picks. I’m betting they do the latter.

  16. I think David Culley has a chance to change Deshaun Watsons mind and it may not take that long. Here are the reasons why. I think as both Watson and the Texans brass explore the trade options, they will find there’s not too many teams who can absorb the hit of Watsons contract. This affects the places which Watson may prefer to play for. Perhaps these teams may not want to give up a Kings Ransom for #4, i.e. Jets or Dolphins. You have one team in the middle of its team building process and the other that is starting fresh with a whole slew of draft picks and some cap space. The market will dictate what Watsons worth is and my guess is he’ll be playing for the Texans. Culley will sell him on a culture shift. They kept OC Tim Kelly around who was someone whom Watson wanted to continue working with. As they start to put some pieces around him and #4 sees the positive transition, with a vision of progress and prosperity in the future, he may just have a change of heart.

  17. 76raiders says:
    January 28, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Deshaun Watson’s cap hit for another team for 2021 is $10.5 mill. I’m pretty sure almost any team can absorb that. The Texans will have to eat roughly $20 mill in signing bonus but that doesn’t matter to the team that is trading for him.

    In other words, he would cost less than half of Matt Stafford for 2021. Stafford i would guess will get a new contract when he get’s traded as well.

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