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Does David Culley Deserve a 2nd Year?


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Here's a really good read from Aaron Reiss at The Athletic:


I have to say, I don't see anything incorrect in here. Some interesting points:

...The Texans’ matched Las Vegas’ preseason expected win total, but when they weren’t competitive, they were really not competitive. They lost on average by 17.2 points.

...The 2020 Texans had a minus-80 point differential through 16 games, while Culley’s Texans were minus-169 through 16 games.

...in both of those victories (Tenn/LAC) as well as the Texans’ Week 1 win over the Jaguars, Houston finished plus 3 or better in turnover margin. In other words, turnover luck bounced the Texans’ way in a significant way, and that’s not a sustainable way to win or a smart way to evaluate the team’s overall performance.

...Maintaining continuity around a young quarterback who’s shown flashes of promise is important, but it has little to do with Culley. He does not call plays and spent most of his assistant coaching career working with receivers. 

...Culley does not provide his team any edge, and it’s hard to see that changing. He does not call plays, and he has repeatedly said he trusts his gut, not the Texans’ analytics staff when it comes to in-game decisions. He’s made elementary game-management errors and offered head-scratching explanations.

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31 minutes ago, ET80 said:

He’s made elementary game-management errors and offered head-scratching explanations.

- He declined a penalty to punt a play early against the Browns out of frustration.

- He did not understand Caserio’s in-game advice on the headset to let the Patriots score late in a close loss.

- In that same Patriots game, he thought the clock stopped on New England’s final drive because of an incomplete pass, but it stopped because Culley called a timeout.

- Down 11 early in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins, in a game in which his team failed to score a touchdown in its three prior red zone trips, Culley opted for a field goal from the Miami 1-yard line.

- He said after losing to the Dolphins that his team would never win while turning the ball over four times, despite the Texans defense recording five takeaways that day.

- After seeing the Texans’ up-tempo passing game have success in a failed comeback against the Titans, Culley said he shouldn’t have relied so heavily on one of the least efficient running games of this century. It took him 16.5 games to come to that revelation.

Not mentioned in the article:

- The Texans were tied for 4th in the league in penalties, behind only Dallas, Las Vegas and LAC (tied with AZ). For someone who is supposed to bring in culture and discipline, the Texans are VERY undisciplined on the field.

- The common trope used for this regime is that "players play hard for Culley..." when the actual truth is that guys on this roster are playing hard for a contract. The Texans have 27 players (roughly 51% of the 53 man roster) in a contract year; Given a large majority of these guys were cheap one year deals after being cut by 3-4 teams, this is feasibly their last chance in the NFL; Not playing hard means their NFL career is effectively over, as finding a 4-5th team to latch onto would be very improbable if they have bad film to evaluate...

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Does Culley deserve a 2nd year? No! But unless you have confirmation that the guy you really want is willing to reciprocate the feelings, you have to give Culley another year. Otherwise, you risk being in this same situation next year with a different lame duck head coach. 

At least under Culley, you see development of young players, unlike under BOB. 

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42 minutes ago, PAtexansFAN_99 said:

Culley was hired for a reason, and that reason is that he won't push back. Caserio, for better or worse, is likely a difficult GM to be a HC for. Caserio is also the best shot we've got at becoming good any time soon, so I say if he wants Culley to just sit there and nod his head in agreement every time, I'm cool wittit. Let Caserio work. 

We may find out next season, or the season after, that Caserio can't get us where we need to be. When that happens, he, and Culley both ought to be fired and we can truly start over. Until then, I'm willing to sit back and see how this plays out. 

Caserio is in it for the long haul. He signed a 6 year deal and will have to burn through head coaches before he gets fired. It'll also take time for us to see if his draft picks and FA signings pan out, so he'll get more time. Culley is a yes man, but also isn't the long-term solution. my buddy is an agent and has dealt with Caserio before. 

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