Houston Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair apologized Friday for creating "mistrust" with current and former players, including quarterback Deshaun Watson.
According to Mark Berman of Fox26, McNair said:
"Change is hard and we’re going through change and I accept everything hasn’t gone perfectly. It’s just hard and we’re working through it. If players, media and fans are upset, that’s on me and I’ll apologize for my actions or communications that have created mistrust and I accept those team’s and fan’s frustrations. I’ll learn, listen, commit to getting better, but change is hard. Winning, what we’re trying to do, chase the championships, it’s gonna be hard. I’m committed to doing that."
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported last week that Watson was unhappy to not have his opinions taken into account during the team's general manager hiring process.
Watson wanted to have a voice in the process, but the Texans hired former New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio without consulting with the star signal-caller.
Andre Johnson, who spent 12 seasons with the Texans as a wide receiver and is one of the best players in franchise history, tweeted some disparaging remarks about the organization this week:
Andre Johnson @johnson80
If I’m @deshaunwatson I will stand my ground. The Texans organization is known for wasting players careers. Since Jack Easterby has walk into the building nothing good has happened in/for the organization and for some reason someone can’t seem to see what’s going on. Pathetic!!!
In response to Johnson's tweet, McNair said:
"We have a long relationship with Andre, as you know, and I’d just say we feel his passion. He’s got a lot of passion for the Texans, for the game, and we share that.
"I talked to him during the phase where we visited with the advisory group early and I’ve reached out since then, but we haven’t spoken."
McNair also acknowledged that it's "no secret" Watson is disappointed with how the GM hiring went down, but said he wants Watson to be "in the loop" when it comes to the hiring of a new head coach.
The Texans fired head coach Bill O'Brien after an 0-4 start this season, and Houston ended up finishing 4-12 and missing the playoffs for just the second time in the past six seasons.
While Johnson suggested that Watson is being "wasted" in Houston and there has been speculation regarding Watson wanting a trade, but Wilson reported that Watson has not requested a trade and the Texans have "no intention" of trading him.
Despite the Texans' struggles this season, Watson enjoyed a career year, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for an NFL-best 4,823 yards to go along with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The Texans will always have a fighting chance as long as Watson is under center, but finding the right coach to bring everything together will be paramount.
Thus far, the Texans have either interviewed or requested to interview Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach and passing game coordinator David Culley, Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell and former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.