Texans GM Nick Caserio Has Owner Cal McNair's 'Full Confidence' Amid Firing Rumors

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2023

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio before an NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Houston Texans owner Cal McNair reaffirmed his commitment to general manager Nick Caserio after the team fired head coach Lovie Smith.

McNair told reporters Monday he has "full confidence" in Caserio moving forward.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Sunday that "one or both" of Smith and Caserio was expected to be out of a job once the season ended.

The Texans hired Caserio in January 2021 and have made little progress since then. They went 4-13 last year while sitting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was facing 25 separate lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault or misconduct. After trading Watson to the Cleveland Browns, they were even worse and finished 3-13-1.

Houston is also moving on to its third coach in as many years. For many, the organization's treatment of Smith and David Culley was especially unsavory and emblematic of deeper structural issues hindering Black coaches across the NFL.

Tyler Dragon @TheTylerDragon

Neither David Culley or Lovie Smith deserved to be fired. The Texans put two Black coaches in unwinnable situations and didn't even give them an opportunity to succeed.

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

Tenures for Black full-time NFL coaches hired since 2018<br><br>Steve Wilks 1 season with ARI<br>Brian Flores 3 seasons with MIA<br>David Culley 1 season with HOU<br>Lovie Smith 1 season with HOU<br>Todd Bowles (will coach TB in postseason next week)<br><br>🤔

If you wanted to argue in favor of ousting Caserio, then you'd have plenty of ammunition.

It's worth noting, though, that this might be the first offseason in which he gets to exercise full authority over the Texans' biggest football decisions.

The general dysfunction in Houston predated Caserio's tenure and stemmed largely from former executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby.

Easterby wasn't let go until October, and because his duties were so secretive, it's difficult to say how he and Caserio delegated responsibilities over the previous two years. Laying the blame for the Culley and Smith hires solely on Caserio's door, for example, could be slightly unfair.

Of course, he doesn't exactly deserve the benefit of the doubt as he leads the Texans on yet another coaching search and potentially identifies their next quarterback of the future. McNair's stewardship of the organization provides little in the way of confidence regardless of who's the GM, too.

On the whole, whatever ownership decided had merit.

Retaining Caserio doesn't for great optics, but comparing him to past GMs who got fired for less doesn't fully take into account the unique circumstances that have plagued the Texans before and during his tenure.