It caught everyone off guard.
Does anyone know his name? He's never been a coordinator? Is this the tipping point of what felt like a lost offseason?
Those were a handful of comments made surrounding the hiring of David Culley as head coach of the Houston Texans back in January. But while many might not quite know what to expect from the former Vanderbilt quarterback as the leader of an NFL franchise, his players aren't shy in praising both him and the energy he brings to the table.
"He got me excited just talking to him and his energy and just what he brings to the organization - I’m excited," new offensive lineman Marcus Cannon said. "He made me want to practice that day, but we have to wait a little bit."
The 2020 season wasn't just a poor one due to a 4-12 record, but it ultimately was also an endless stream of new negative storylines gurgling up every week.
From J.J. Watt and then-head coach Bill O'Brien arguing following poor performances to the rise of Jack Easterby's influence, a new chapter unfolded in the chaos found at NRG Stadium. That would carry over to the offseason following the Deshaun Watson drama and his eventual trade request.
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But now? Culley's energetic and optimistic nature could be the uplifting style Houston needs to get back on track.
"I’ve heard nothing but good things about him," Texans running back David Johnson said. "Inspirational, he’s always positive. A lot of energy and I think we’re going to need that on this team. Very excited to have him aboard."
When it comes time to step back onto the field, Johnson said that Culley has made it clear what he expects from the former All-Pro.
"I’ve talked to him a few times and he just let me know my expectations of being a leader by example-type guy, being a guy that does my job in and out every day, off the field, on the field and being respectful that way. I’m going to do my best to help him out that way,"said Johnson.
The offseason is well underway and the NFL Draft fast approaching. It won't be long until Culley's Texans can finally take the field, and fans can see if their new head coach's personality is more than just a "culture fit" for the future.
For now, it's at least rubbed off playmakers looking to buy into his leadership come Week 1.
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