The Houston Texans are conducting a search for their next head coach, but the choices are likely already in the mind of general manager Nick Caserio. He knows them well. He'll probably move quickly.
Houston's firing on Thursday of David Culley proves two things. The first is that they didn't believe Culley was going to be the long-term answer (no secret as he essentially signed a two-year deal last offseason). The second is Houston knows its top candidate is available.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be expected to be in the running, except TexansDaily.com is reporting that McDaniels might be prepared to turn them down. Also in the the running is former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who served with Caserio and Houston exec Jack Easterby in New England.
The final candidate is Jerod Mayo, New England's current linebacker coach. Mayo, 35, has risen up Bill Belichick's ranks and if not for Flores' high profile, might be considered a "hot'' candidate.
Last season, Mayo received interest from the Philadelphia Eagles before the hiring of Nick Sirianni. Another year in the cycle and his name continues to pop the list of candidates. Currently, Mayo is expected to interview with the Denver Broncos.
Mayo is well-known by Caserio as both a player and person. Caserio served on the staff that drafted Mayo 10th overall in 2008. During his tenure, he won Defensive Rookie of the Year, was a two-time Pro Bowler and was named first-team All-Pro in 2010.
Former NFL QB Predicts Texans' Deshaun Watson Trade Destination
Former New York Giants quarterback Danny Kanell has had his say on where he believes the wantaway Houston Texan Deshaun Watson will suit up next.
NFL Coach Tracker: Sean Payton Calls It Quits In New Orleans, Dallas Cowboys Interested?
Follow along with TexansDaily as we keep you up to date with all firings and hiring in the NFL
Culley Admits Houston Tenure 'Wasn't Good Enough'
Former Houston Texans head coach David Culley opens up on his departure from NRG Stadium.
Mayo is a player's coach through and through. Despite having limited coaching experience to his name, he caught the eye of Belichick, and sources say he's as much of a defensive coordinator in New England as anybody on the staff.
Flores, who went 23-25 in three seasons with Miami, was reportedly one of the main reasons that Watson want to play for the Dolphins. If the Texans are still ready to deal Watson, does that lower the chances of Flores being interested?
The organization doesn't favor keeping Watson. Should it change its mind? Can Flores muscle all involved to at least consider options?
Houston could also tell whoever is named the next head coach that pass-game coordinator Pep Hamilton will serve as the new offensive coordinator. Hamilton has received high praise for his work with rookie quarterback Davis Mills and has received interest for an open offensive coordinator position.
Would Flores approve? Would Mayo have the muscle to disapprove?
Mayo might not be the Texans fan base's top option, but by the time talks with Flores are done, he could be Caserio's.