The Houston Texans are playing the long game in 2021. The first team to fire their head coach last season, and the last to hire a replacement, it is still anybody's guess who will lead this rather rudderless ship next season.
And as it stands, our educated guess is they will make a final decision after the Super Bowl.
Since his appointment earlier this month, general manager Nick Caserio has interviewed seven candidates and had requested to speak to another (Brandon Staley) prior to his appointment as the LA Chargers' next head coach.
Upon Caserio's arrival, many were concerned that the Texans had simply hired another 'buddy' of executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby, both helped along by their mutual agent Bob LaMonte.
Thankfully, we will argue that so far, Caserio has made his own impression.
The sheer volume of coaches he has interviewed, combined with their varying ages, backgrounds, and experience levels can be taken as a hint that he is casting a wide net and is open-minded as to the type of coach they acquire.
Then there is the delay in hiring. While many will undoubtedly be frustrated at the seemingly endless wait for a decision, this again might speak positively of Caserio. Taking his time to interview all the candidates, and requesting to re-interview some, suggests a methodical and patient nature, and - Houston fans hope - a clear desire to make the correct appointment.
As of Monday, David Culley, Leslie Frazier, and Jim Caldwell have all been requested to interview for a second time. Of the other remaining candidates interviewed by new general manager Nick Caserio, only Matt Eberflus, Josh McCown, Tim Kelly, and Eric Bieniemy have interviewed just once.
However, given that Bieniemy is the clear fan favorite and the maybe-favored option of frustrated franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, there is logic in the Texans waiting until after the Super Bowl to re-interview Bieniemy who is currently preparing his Chiefs offense for the Super Bowl two Sundays from now.
Of course, the downside to drawing this process out further is that it means there will likely be no end to the Deshaun debacle until at least the second week of February.
Frustrating? Yes. But Caserio will surely be hoping that this NFL tortoise-and-hare race to hire a coach results in a winning hire.