As Houston Texans fans contemplate what it means that New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio has been hired as the next general manager, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has spoken out in support of the move.
"I think it is an excellent, excellent, excellent hire," said Rapoport on SportsTalk 790.
"A lot of teams have tried to hire him, he has resisted, he has wanted to stay put, he has stuck in New England,'' Rap said. "He has a great reputation around the league."
These comments should give fans a reason to remain optimistic, amidst an outpouring of anger and disapproval from the fan base since it was reported that Caserio was set to take the job Tuesday evening.
Why? Many see this as yet another attempt by the Texans to replicate the success of the Patriots by building a "Patriots 2.0'' that, given the failure of former head coach and GM Bill O'Brien to do so, causes hesitance.
Regardless, Rapoport's review of the new Texans GM is nothing short of glowing.
"The fact that he took this job and was willing to take this job is, I think, great news," said Rapoport. "He is someone who ... (Pats boss Bill) Belichick has completely trusted ... and has taken a more hands-off approach to personnel than he had in the past, because of his trust for Caserio.
"I think it's a great hire and he brings everything you could bring as a general manager, from scouting prowess, to knowledge of the cap, to understanding value, to knowing how to build a building, to knowing what works and can build a championship"
Combine these comments with multiple others reported by the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, and perhaps things down at NRG Stadium aren't as doomed as many believe them to be.
And it isn't just front-office members speaking out in favor of the hire. Four-time Pro-Bowl linebacker London Fletcher also came out in support of Caserio after it was revealed he would be joining the Texans.
"He will set the agenda," said Fletcher, per Wilson. "The scouts will carry out that agenda. There won’t be any gray areas in what a Houston Texans player will look like. It will be black and white and very clear,"
Clarity is something the Texans have been accused of lacking in recent months, particularly after a recent SI story was published documenting executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby's rise and the issues since.
And given recent comments by quarterback Deshaun Watson when asked what leadership qualities he'd like to see in their next head coach, it seems safe to say this lack of clarity is felt within the organization.
"There’s too many different minds, too many different ideas and too many people who think they have this power and it’s not like that," said Watson.
"We need someone that stands tall and this is who we’re following and this is the way it goes, like I said yesterday after the game, and we’re going to do it this way to win."
Hearing rave reviews from those in the know on Caserio should serve as a crumb of comfort to those skeptical about his appointment ... at least to some extent.
But in order to convince skeptics that he is the right man for the job, Caserio must find a head coach who is not from within the Patriots' coaching circle. From what we can gather, a coach with connections to New England (and connections to Houston exec Jack Easterby) remain part of the focus.
Short of that, the only way this "excellent hire" will have any chance at succeeding with the audience is by actually winning football games. Lots of them.