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'Punching Bag': Texans GM Nick Caserio Defends 'Hot Topic' Jack Easterby

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio is defending the role of executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby.

Over the course of the last two years, Houston Texans executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby's name has been dragged through the mud

It has seemed that whether it came down to personnel changes, questionable contracts, bad results, Deshaun Watson's crumbling relationship with the team, you name it, it has "all been Easterby's fault'' - something general manager Nick Caserio doesn't buy.

"Jack's been a hot topic for a lot of people," Caserio said on SportsRadio610. "I would say, candidly, probably some of the criticism has been unfair."

A well-known ally of Easterby from their time together with the New England Patriots, Caserio joined him in Houston last January when he was chosen to replace Bill O'Brien - the man who lured Easterby from the Patriots back in 2019.

Described as "ungodly" by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, Easterby's role within the organization, as well as his level of control, has come under heavy scrutiny during a tumultuous past few years in Houston. 

Since Caserio's arrival, he has made an effort to make his control of all football matters crystal-clear.

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"Not a lot of people probably really understand the nuts and bolts of (Easterby's role)," Caserio said. "But when you actually get a chance to spend time with Jack, I think realize it's probably not as bad as everybody makes it out to be."

"Jack has an important role from an operational and logistics standpoint," Caserio said. "(But) anything as it pertains to making football decisions, whether it's players, contract signings, scouting, draft analysis, those all fall under my jurisdiction."

In his role as general manager, Caserio has hired and fired one head coach in the form of David Culley, drafted five players who all had solid rookie years, and rebuilt the roster near enough from the ground up - something he'll largely have to re-do this year with 28 players set to hit free agency. 

But through it all, as far as social media is concerned, Easterby has remained a divisive figure - look no further than Texans legend Andre Johnson's comments last April.

"Jack's been a punching bag since he got here," Caserio said. "Some of it, I think quite frankly, is a little bit unjust."