The Houston Texans have started the full transition from the Bill O’ Brien era. Houston hired former New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their new general manager. He will join his former coworker of six years with the Patriots, Jack Easterby, who currently serves as executive vice president of football operations.
Caserio, 45, has been with New England since 2001 and was one of the main candidates for the Texans general manager position after Brian Gaine was abruptly fired in 2019. Once word got back to the Patriots that Houston was interested in Caserio, an intricate part of three Super Bowl winning seasons, things got interesting. New England filed tampering charges on the Texans which they later withdrew after Texans CEO Cal McNair removed Caserio’s name from a list of potential candidates.
The aforementioned O’Brien was promoted to general manager before the beginning of the 2019 season. He made his impact felt immediately by trad- ing DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks and also acquiring wide receiver Kenny Stills and left tackle Laremy Tunsil from the Miami Dolphins. Miami received two-first round and one second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
After trading away All-Pro wide receiver De- Andre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for running back David Johnson in the 2020 offseason, O’Brien was relieved of his duties in October after Houston began the season with an 0-4 record. Associate head coach Romeo Crennel took over interim coaching duties for the remainder of the season and had the Texans competitive for the remainder of the season losing a combined nine games by seven points or less.
Caserio will take over a Texans team that will have no draft picks in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft and has very limited cap space going into next season. Houston is coming off of its worst season since 2017 when superstar quarterback Deshaun Wat- son went down with a lower leg injury in the middle of the season. After winning back-to back AFC South titles, the Texans finished the 2020 NFL season with a 4-12 record.
The only thing left on the checklist for Hous- ton is to hire a head coach. A task that is easier said than done with so many good candidates out there including Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Biene- my, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, just to name a few. Whoever the Texans hire will have to make sure a couple of things are correct before taking over the locker room.
“Whoever it is (new head coach), like I’ve said before, has got to come in with a great structure and plan and discipline and making sure that everyone around us is on the same page and we’re accountable for every action that we’re making,” said Deshaun Watson. “We’re all striving to go for one goal and that’s raising that trophy. It’s got to start from the bottom and we’ve got to build up.”