Houston Texans fire head coach David Culley after 1st season
With a disappointing record on the season, some will say the decision was obvious, but after just one season is that actually the case?
The Texans' head coach is the latest on a growing list of coaches who have been relieved of their posts since 2021
Houston Texans fire HC David Culley
According to reports on Thursday the Houston Texans have fired their head coach David Culley. The decision comes in sharp contrast to Culley's own words following the Texans' final game of a season in which they posted a record of 4-13. At the time Culley stated that he expected to return for a second season. That, however, is now a mute point as the franchise has clearly taken the decision to move on from the coach. Culley's dismissal comes just one year after he was hired. Having served as an assistant for quite sometime, Culley became the oldest first-time NFL head coach at the age of 65. Prior to his brief tenure in Houston, Culley had spent two seasons as assistant coach of the Baltimore Ravens.
Was the Texans' roster trouble a factor?
In any sport, results are what finally matter most, however, it must be said that in Culley's first and only season as a head coach, he had to cope with a depleted roster as well as the absence of any first round picks - Houston has only had one first round pick in the last four years. With regards to the lineup specifically, the Texans lost the services of quarterback Deshaun Watson - he requested a trade in January - after the ownership hired general manager Nick Caserio. Just under two months later, the first of 23 civil lawsuits were filed against Watson alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. Though Watson did report for training camp, his ongoing legal troubles have not helped. Indeed, the quarterback has been less than productive on the season so far.
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Then there was also the case of defensive end J.J. Watt, who actually requested to be released after the 2020 season - he now plays for the Arizona Cardinals. Last but not least is the case of Tyrod Taylor who was sidelined back in week 2 with a hamstring injury. He would later be replaced by David Mills, however, the Texans would not see a win for the six games that Taylor sat out.
A growing trend in the NFL
With his firing, David Culley joins what seems to be an expanding group of head coaches who have been let go over the last year. In what some have referred to as the 'coach carousel' there have been a few high profile casualties. The likes of Joe Judge, Mike Zimmer, Matt Nagy, Viv Fangio and Brian Flores have all been shown the door since the end of the 2021 regular season. More recently Jon Gruden and Urban Meyer were also relieved of their duties. While critics may call the decision harsh, the reality is that under Culley the Texans definitely lost more than they won. Overall Houston finished 30th in the NFL in scoring, 27th in points allowed, 32nd in rushing and 31st in rushing yards allowed. As for what happens now, there has been no immediate announcement as to who will take charge, but as they won't be involved in the playoffs, the Texans have time.