The webs of relationships that might very well determine the identity of the next GM and head coach of the Houston Texans are intricate and largely hidden.
In one behind-the-scenes case that a source tells TexansDaily.com is "critically important,'' Buffalo Bills staffers Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll exist at one end of the web. Agent Bob LaMonte exists at the other end of the web.
And the "spider'' positioned in the middle of the web, if you will, is controversial Texans interim GM Jack Easterby.
"I can't guarantee interviews for Schoen and Daboll,'' the source said. "But I can guarantee why Easterby will push for them as candidates.''
The "why'' is about the powerful LaMonte, who just happens to represent Schoen, the Bills assistant GM, and Daboll, the Bills offensive coordinator.
LaMonte also happens to serve as the agent for Easterby, recently labeled by Sports Illustrated as "The NFL's Most Polarizing Executive.''
"It's simple: If LaMonte gets his guys in,'' the source said, "Easterby keeps his job.''
Some of the danger for the Texans in their search to replace the ousted coach/GM Bill O'Brien is carving through which recommendations they receive from self-serving advisors. We've analyzed that in-depth here regarding the "narrowness'' of relying too heavily on the designated search firm hired by chairman Cal McNair to guide the searches.
"The problem with Jed Hughes of Korn Ferry,'' another source recently told TexansDaily.com, "is that their history says that what they really do is very narrow. Hughes' big connections are Ron Wolf, Bill Polian and Charley Casserly.
"If you are friends of those three, and kiss the right ass, they endorse you.''
Which brings us to the LaMonte/Easterby connection.
New England Patriots boss Bill Belichick is an Easterby mentor who recently said that while the Texans exec brings value to an organization, he's not "a personnel guy.'' So what is Easterby, exactly?
He is, exactly, a Bob LaMonte client.
As with the friends of Hughes (who are friends of Wolf, Polian and Casserly), those in LaMonte's stable are not necessarily lacking in talent; it so happens that in the 32-team NFL, seven head coaches are LaMonte clients.
One of those is Sean McDermott, the head coach for the high-flying Bills, who of course works alongside the other two prominent Bills bosses, Schoen and Daboll.
There is nothing wrong with LaMonte being a "kingmaker,'' and there is everything right about considering candidates from winning franchises, and also about interviewing coach and GM candidates who already work well together. Indeed, it's worth noting that two other popular names for the Texans GM job are Chiefs exec Mike Borgonzi and Patriots exec Nick Caserio.
That's worth noting here because Borgonzi and Casario are - you guessed it - LaMonte clients.
The "who-you-know'' factor is undeniably part of this interview process. And again, there can be great things about springing from the trees of Wolf, Polian and Casserly, about listening to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson's endorsement of Chiefs coordinator Eric Bieniemy as the next coach, and about letting LaMonte recommend clients like Schoen and Daboll (who happens to come from both the Belichick and Nick Saban coaching trees.)
But with all due respect to the positives Jack Easterby offers to the Texans, Houston's interviews and Houston's hires must be about much more than the web and about much more than the spider.