HOUSTON - With the horrid NFL 2020 football season about to end, the benefactor of chaos has started his behind-the-curtain push to remain in Houston for 2021 and beyond.
NFL Network is reporting that the perception of Jack Easterby having power in the Texans organization is being misrepresented.
Said the respected Mike Garafolo: "I want to kind of knock down the notion that Easterby is doing some kind of power struggle in Houston, because honestly his role with the organization, I am told by sources informed of what's going on there right now, has yet to really be determined going forward."
Gee, who would want to clarify the reputation of Easterby the most? Ask yourself that.
Perception is reality. The perception of Jack Easterby is one of which Jack Easterby is in control of the organization. But a twist toward a view of him having less power? That is good for Easterby's chances to stay with the Texans.
Garafolo went on to say Easterby hasn't been on some of the Zoom calls with the prospective general manager and head coach candidates.
This would make sense because Cal McNair said Easterby is not on the internal search committee ... but that he would consult with the interim general manager if Easterby possessed knowledge of the candidate.
McNair, of course, said that to Sports Illustrated when asked for a comment on the expose of Easterby's climb through the ranks of football. McNair would also say he would consult with Easterby on potential candidates if the interim general manager had knowledge of the said candidate.
McNair said he would work with the next general manager to define Easterby's role.
"This notion that he has taken over this Texans organization, not quite true," said Garafolo.
But hours after Garafolo said Easterby lacked the "GM power'' we contend he does indeed possesse, the interim general manager signed wide receiver Steven Mitchell to the active roster for the season finale and all of 2021's season.
Garofolo followed his video from this morning up with a tweet saying "As word spreads to GM candidates Easterby isn’t as in control in the Texans’ organization as it might have seemed, that job has become more attractive to those with no ties to him."
"In control'' is a matter of degree. Here's what we know:
*The fear of Easterby's reputation has hindered the perception of the job in Houston. Garafolo's report actually confirms that.
*Prospective front office minds should be planning how to shore up a leaky defense or determining what Will Fuller's future in Houston could be - not wondering if the job is hindered by the presence of Easterby.
*The Texans are far from the only general manager opening. Jacksonville, Detroit, and Atlanta all possess a need for a new general manager. Those organizations do not employ a preacher-turned-executive who might be looming over the shoulder of the new boss.
*Easterby has McNair's ear. Others - the informal committee (Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson, etc.), Jed Hughes, Deshaun Watson - may have it as well.
But don't be fooled. Easterby knows how to do what he's doing. The McNair ear is his.
*As TexansDaily.com's Mike Fisher reported, some of the leading candidates for the two Houston jobs, GM and coach, are represented by agent Bob LaMonte.
And Jack Easterby is represented by ... agent Bob LaMonte.
Downplaying Easterby's power has a positive for the Texans, clearly, as Garafolo noted above. It also has a positive for Easterby. He can remain in the building, influencing the hires of a head coach and general manager which ultimately will determine his role.
If a LaMonte client gets hired to be the new GM? You watch. Easterby stays.
In the end, without help from the media taking sides, McNair and the Texans need to decide what positive there is to to keeping an employee as controversial as Easterby. They should ask themselves exactly what is it Jack does. They should examine Easterby's own promise, when he himself issued the proclamation to Sports Illustrated, "If there is additional work to be done to gain the trust of others, I am committed to make that happen."
Has that been accomplished? When? Where? How?
The only thing that's changed with Jack Easterby is the media spin that suggests he's not part of the problem with the Houston Texans. And the next change? Easterby should be disallowed from riding the coattails of powerful friends and influential media friends. He should be forced to demonstrate, to the Texans stockholders (i.e., you) what is it he does, exactly. What it is he's good at, exactly. How it is he helps, exactly.
If he's allowed to stay in, without all of that, he wins. And the Texans, and their stockholders, lose.