The national media isn't wasting any time in making up its mind about first-year head coach David Culley, with CBS going so far as to label him the worst in the NFL ... despite never actually having coached a game.
Judging anybody before they've had a chance to prove themselves seems unfair, but Jason La Canfora and Cody Benjamin have taken their shot. Benjamin ranked all 32 NFL head coaches, and Culley came in rock-bottom:
He has a wealth of experience under some good coaches (Reid, Sean McDermott, John Harbaugh), but this is his first HC gig, and it's coming at age 65. The Texans' dysfunction doesn't help, but even on his own, he didn't exactly thrive as a QBs/passing coach in Buffalo or Baltimore after pivoting from decades of WR work. He may possess strong character, but he feels like a placeholder.
The assumption that 65-year-old Culley is nothing more than a placeholder is nothing new and has been a widely-discussed possibility since his hiring. This belief has only been fueled with promising young coaches such as Pep Hamilton and Tim Kelly both waiting in the wings within NRG Stadium, and former quarterback Josh McCown another down-the-line option, having interviewed for the position earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Canfora stuck with the placeholder narrative, naming Culley amongst the nine head coaches he believes are entering the 2021 season in the 'hot seat.'
The levels of dysfunction in Houston cannot be overstated and the bizarre nature of the coaching search that led to this outcome cannot be discounted. They kinda/sorta already have the next guy picked out in Josh McCown, and there are too many fires for a rookie head coach to put out to count. Let's just say this position is ripe with potential pitfalls and nothing with this organization has been close to stable for a long time.
The lack of stability within the Texans is no secret. Story after story about arguments between the front office and their quarterback Deshaun Watson flooded the media this offseason along with stories lambasting executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby. Combine these high-profile bust-ups with the departures of franchise faces DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt and this team is in a transitional phase the likes of which they arguably haven't seen since their inception in 2002.
But the fact is, not one of these issues is the fault of Culley.
Come November, if the Texans are winless and scraping their way through the season, then all should feel free to revisit this topic and label whomever we wish however we wish. The media has its job to do. But Texans fans? We say, at the very least, that David Culley should be given a chance.
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