Cal McNair makes only a cameo appearance at David Culley’s introductory press conference

USA TODAY Sports

The Texans have become widely regarded as the most dysfunctional franchise in the NFL. Friday’s press conference introducing David Culley as the team’s new head coach provided the organization with an opportunity to undo that perception.

Owner Cal McNair opted not to participate.

His deliberate decision to avoid the potential for questions about pressing topics like the future of quarterback Deshaun Watson became more glaring because the press conference was preceded by a video message from McNair himself.

“Well, welcome everybody, and thank you for being here with us,” McNair said, via a transcript provided by the team. “Hopefully we can start doing these in person real soon. I just wanted to jump on this meeting because this is an incredibly exciting day for our franchise. We have added a very well respected and experienced member to our Texans family in our new head coach, David Culley. We met with a lot of terrific candidates throughout the process but David’s vision and ability to bring people together made it obvious to us that he is our guy. I’ll kick it to Nick [Caserio] and David for opening statements, but I just wanted to start off by saying how excited my family is to welcome David and his family to the Houston Texans. Thank you and go Texans.”

And there went McNair. His team is embroiled in one of the biggest current controversies in the NFL, and he opted not to field a single question about that or any other topic — including the stunning decision to hire as a head coach a man who never worked as an NFL coordinator and who never had been interviewed for a head-coaching job or even mentioned for one, before getting hired.

Instead, Caserio was left to fend for himself. Fortunately for Caserio, the team cut the session short after only 11 questions from reporters, and one question from a fan.

No one was asked about the processes that led to the hiring of Culley. No one was asked about the report that Josh McCown somehow received an interview for the head-coaching job. No one was asked about the role of executive V.P. of football operations Jack Easterby in hiring Culley.

That’s not a criticism of the reporters. They had only limited opportunities to ask questions. And they had no opportunity to ask questions of the man ultimately responsible for every decision the team has made and the current state of the franchise.

Above all other questions that could be posed to the Texans, this is the one that is the most vexing: How did it get to the point that a franchise quarterback wants out, less than five months after signing a long-term contract?

Something happened. And Watson definitely doesn’t seem like someone who would come to the conclusion that he needs to get to a new team without careful thought and deliberation.

So Cal, Nick, Jack, and/or David, that’s the one thing we’d all love to know. What do you believe caused one of the best players and most respected figures in football to decide so quickly that it’s not in his long- or short-term best interests to continue the relationship?

16 responses to “Cal McNair makes only a cameo appearance at David Culley’s introductory press conference

  1. Sometimes I think you guys ask too many questions. I know it’s your job…and I choose to come here…but sometimes I think it’d be better if we didn’t know every single detail that takes place behind the scenes. Power plays, rooney rules, greedy players and agents, everyone’s disgruntled, disrespected, etc. Reporters are cynical, fans are jaded…it’s all a bit much. Seems like we’re killing the thing we love.

  2. Watson definitely doesn’t seem like someone who would come to the conclusion that he needs to get to a new team without careful thought and deliberation.
    ———

    Mike, I love your work but vehemently disagree with this opinion piece. Watson seems like an entitled jerk who reacts without any careful thoughts. Total fly by his seat overly emotional person. I really disagree with attacking the Texans ownership and their decisions to hire the people they want to hire while giving Watson a free pass.

  3. Winning their division four of six years is not Dysfunctional.
    The problem with the Texans? Dysfunctional players who want to leave the team for more $$$$.
    That Watson clown signed a contract a few months ago, Make him honor it, or ‘sit’.

  4. “Owner Cal McNair opted not to participate.”
    ————————

    – Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos DID NOT participate in press conference announcing HC Brandon Staley.
    – Woody Johnson DID NOT participate in press conference announcing HC Robert Saleh.

    Seems like you’re picking on Texans for something many other teams don’t do either. Why?

  5. supercharger says:
    January 30, 2021 at 11:48 am
    Watson definitely doesn’t seem like someone who would come to the conclusion that he needs to get to a new team without careful thought and deliberation.
    ———

    Mike, I love your work but vehemently disagree with this opinion piece. Watson seems like an entitled jerk who reacts without any careful thoughts. Total fly by his seat overly emotional person. I really disagree with attacking the Texans ownership and their decisions to hire the people they want to hire while giving Watson a free pass.

    ————————————————————————————————
    Entitled jerk?? Funny you say that about Deshaun, but not about JJ Watt who declared he wants out too. Wonder what the difference is? That’s a rhetorical question.

  6. Boomer Boomer says:
    January 30, 2021 at 12:08 pm
    Winning their division four of six years is not Dysfunctional.
    The problem with the Texans? Dysfunctional players who want to leave the team for more $$$$.
    That Watson clown signed a contract a few months ago, Make him honor it, or ‘sit’.
    —————————————————————————————-
    Agree there’s a clown in Houston but his name is McNair. He earned his red nose by hiring a guy who wasn’t even involved in any form of football decision making in his career before Houston then promotes him to run the team for making O’Brien GM which he failed at in spectacular fashion . Then he tells Watson he will consult with him about hiring the next GM then fails to do so . It’s fitting that McNair is the lead clown for the circus he’s turned the Houston franchise into .

  7. Like everything else in the football operation, McNair defers to his pastor and unqualified head of the team, Easterby.

  8. Isn’t the most likely reason Watson wants to leave is that the Texans don’t look like they’ll be able to compete soon and he just wants to go somewhere better – just like the NBA guys?

  9. So, hiring a minority coach is only a good thing when it’s a coach everyone has heard of?

    Instead of asking Cal McNair questions about Jack Easterby, why not ask David Culley some questions at his own press conference? You know, let the guy finally getting his shot have his time?

  10. To those saying Watson is acting like a jerk. Don’t you remember Duane Brown dying to leave because Bob McNair disrespected him and McNair famously saying “we can’t have the inmates running the prison” setting off a firestorm around the league? The culture of disrespect is engrained there and only made worse by Easterby.

  11. In the NFL a team’s profits are so much a function of TV revenue and in 2nd place ticket sales that the bumblers do almost as well as the best won/lost teams. Texan fans should be in line for a long wait.

  12. And the idiots will still try to blame Bill O’Brian. The disfunction is organizational just like the WFT and the Jets. This does not absolve the coaches completely because the choice of the wrong HCs was made by the organization. In O’Brian’s defense, the Texans won the division 4 out of six yrs under his watch dispite the management/ownership. He may not have been a great HC but he was a good one.

  13. “No one was asked about the processes that led to the hiring of Culley.”

    ——————

    No other press conference announcing their new head coach (Jets, Jacksonville, Atlanta, LA Chargers, Eagles) was this question asked EITHER. Yet somehow it’s appropriate to do so at Culley’s first presser?

    As malone8585 said, this was CULLEY’s opportunity to outline his approach to transforming the team. It’s HIS spotlight, yet some of you guys think you’re the story.

  14. shrugthebear says:
    January 30, 2021 at 12:31 pm
    supercharger says:
    January 30, 2021 at 11:48 am
    Watson definitely doesn’t seem like someone who would come to the conclusion that he needs to get to a new team without careful thought and deliberation.
    ———

    Mike, I love your work but vehemently disagree with this opinion piece. Watson seems like an entitled jerk who reacts without any careful thoughts. Total fly by his seat overly emotional person. I really disagree with attacking the Texans ownership and their decisions to hire the people they want to hire while giving Watson a free pass.

    ————————————————————————————————
    Entitled jerk?? Funny you say that about Deshaun, but not about JJ Watt who declared he wants out too. Wonder what the difference is? That’s a rhetorical question.

    —————————

    Age, contract, value to franchise. Sure. I really hope you aren’t referring to skin color. Calling someone a racist without any definitive proof that he or she is one is a pretty serious leap. Words have power. Please do be careful with them

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