Nick Caserio: We had philosophical differences with David Culley over long-term direction of program

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Texans General Manager Nick Caserio will hold a news conference Friday morning after firing head coach David Culley on Thursday, four days after the team’s season ended. Caserio released a statement through the team Thursday night about the decision.

“Earlier today, I met with David Culley and Tim Kelly to inform them we will be moving in a different direction at the head coach and offensive coordinator positions,” Caserio said in the statement. “I came to this difficult but necessary decision after reviewing our football operation. While a change after one season is unusual, we had philosophical differences over the long-term direction and vision for our program moving forward. We appreciate coach Culley for helping us navigate through a difficult season, but it is my responsibility to make decisions that I feel are best for our organization. The search for the next coach of the Houston Texans will begin immediately.”

Firing a coach after one season is not as unusual as some may think. Culley became the 13th one-and-done head coach since 2006.

But after being given arguably the worst roster in the NFL, Culley was set up to fail. He ended up winning the same number of games in 2021 that the Texans did in 2020 with Deshuan Watson. Watson was inactive for all 17 games this season and is expected to be traded in the offseason.

Culley signed a four-year deal with the Texans less than a year ago, and he told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that his contract is guaranteed through 2025.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports the Texans owe Culley another $17 million over the next three years, allowing Culley to walk away with some $22 million.

“I loved every minute of being the head coach of the Houston Texans,” Culley said in a statement. “I appreciate the players and coaches for staying the course with me through the ups and downs of our season. I’m disappointed we didn’t win more games and I won’t have a chance to improve on the lessons I’ve learned, but I fully understand this is a bottom-line business, and I didn’t do enough. I want to thank the McNair Family and Nick Caserio for giving me this opportunity. I am forever grateful for the experience. I wish this team and organization the best. They are building a special program, and I truly believe the future is bright for Texans fans.”

The Texans, who have become one of most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL, now are seeking to hire their fourth head coach in less than 15 months following Bill O’Brien, interim coach Romeo Crennel and Culley.

“We are grateful for the energy and passion David brought to our organization throughout last season,” Texans chair and chief executive officer Cal McNair said in a statement. “We wish him, his wife Carolyn and their entire family nothing but the best moving forward. I have entrusted Nick Caserio to lead football performance and I have complete confidence he will find the best leader for our team. These decisions are difficult, but Nick believed it was necessary for the future of our organization. We look forward to continuing to build our roster and finding the right coach to lead us forward.”

29 responses to “Nick Caserio: We had philosophical differences with David Culley over long-term direction of program

  1. Who hired Culley? Are they getting paid for their football knowledge? If so, they need to refund the money. And you wonder why DeShaun Watson doesn’t want to play there.

  2. Don’t these owners ‘watch’ these GMs? This is in the GM, NOT the HC coach.

  3. Terrible how they did this man but he did get paid I guess. Hopefully he can go back to the Ravens maybe and enjoy coaching again.

  4. The owner needs to step in and fire Nick Caserio and say it’s for philosophical differences bc clearly his philosophy does not work.

  5. I’m confused (often). Why the 4 year deal? Is this normal? Kinda thought he was one and done when he was hired, according to other posts.

  6. “He wanted to implement game plans and schemes and we wanted to pray to win games” – Nick Caserio

  7. In the immortal words of Nick or Senator DeHaven in GI Jane, “Truthfully, I never expected you to do so damn well!”

  8. nobull says:
    January 13, 2022 at 8:25 pm
    Cullet deserves better than this. He is to good for the Texans.


    He was hired to be a place holder, he did as he was told and made more in one year than he had made in his entire life a few times over. Culley has no regrets.

  9. For $22 million, anyone would experience what he went thru the past year. Explain how any of it was bad……

    He basically won a game show.

  10. Philosophical differences over the long-term direction?

    I gather that means Culley wanted financial responsibility from the GM, good players, and maybe even an NFL quality QB, and that was just a deal breaker for the organization.

  11. This makes them look worse. Their direction changed from the time they hired him? Who would work for them now?

  12. Culley overachieved. It’ll be interesting to see who is desperate enough to take that job. Can’t imagine any high quality options are waiting by the phone.

  13. WOW !! never ever did I think Texans signed Culley to THAT much guaranteed money. heck I thought it was understood Culley was an “interim” coach on likely a low ball ($2-2.5 mil) in yr 1 and say additional $1 mil for yr 2. great job Culley agent … ridiculous contract and fireable offense Nick Casserio

  14. Dumpster fire. Very curious to see who lands this gig. Has to be one of the worst HC opportunities out there this cycle.

  15. And now it is Culley’s fault…The lack of leadership and business ethics within this organization is limitless.

  16. We told him to lose more games. He had us looking competitive instead in too many games and also developed our rookie QB. What was he thinking?

  17. Long-term direction? From what I can see the long-term direction of the team with Caserio in charge is straight to the basement along with the Jags. Those two teams have the two worst GMs in the NFL. Something tells me Caserio’s long-term plan is to stay in charge at all costs.

    Look at it this way. Culley didn’t stay long enough to get a really bad win/loss record so there’s still a chance he’ll get another HC opportunity.

  18. So his philosophy changed from when you hired him a year ago. He actually wanted to win games and asked you to improve that dumpster fire of a roster.

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