Report: Robert Saleh Didn't Get Texans Interview Despite Deshaun Watson Request

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 17, 2021

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 3: Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh of the San Francisco 49ers before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi's Stadium on November 3, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. The Packers defeated the 49ers 34-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson reportedly recommended that his team interview San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for the open head coaching position, but the Texans did not reach out to Saleh before he agreed to become the New York Jets' new head coach.

On Saturday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the news about Watson, who also recommended the Texans request an interview with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

Houston has put in a request but did not do so in a timely manner, and now the team must wait until Kansas City's playoff run is done to speak with him.

Texans owner Cal McNair invited Watson to be involved in the coaching hire process, per Florio, who also reported that, "From Watson’s perspective, the failure to interview these candidates made no sense, given that the Zoom interviews by video conference are easily arranged and executed."

Watson also recommended numerous general manager candidates, but none of them were interviewed, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The team hired Nick Caserio from the New England Patriots.

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Per Jenny Vrentas and Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated, a source close to Watson is annoyed enough with the team's hiring process that he "just wants out."

Watson, 25, completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 8.9 yards per pass attempt, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season, but the Texans went just 4-12 as a team in disarray ultimately faltered, despite going 10-6 the year before.

An offseason trade that sent No. 1 wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals did not help matters, and the team finished 27th in the league in points per game.