Texans hire Culley as coach in the middle of the drama surrounding Watson

HOUSTON (AP) – David Culley has been hired as a coach for Houston Texans.

The longtime assistant gets his first head coaching job for a troubled team with a source telling the Associated Press this week to star quarterback Deshaun Watson has requested a trade.

The 65-year-old Culley will be the fourth coach in Texans history to replace Bill O’Brien, who was fired after the team opened the season 0-4.

“It was imperative to find a head coach that our entire organization could rally behind and David is undoubtedly that leader,” Texan CEO Nick Caserio said in a statement.

“David’s infectious energy, passion for the game and the ability to control a room were clear from the beginning. When he shared his vision of how a head coach would lead a football team, it further strengthened our faith in him. His mentality of being selfless and willing to accept all challenges while investing in every person within our program gave rise to us all. “”

The Texans interviewed Kansas City Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Indianapolis Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus, Buffalo Assistant Head Coach / Defensive Coordinator Leslie Frazier, former Detroit Coach Jim Caldwell, former Cincinnati Coach Marvin Lewis and Carolina Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady before landing only on C Afroican among the seven head coaches hired this off-season. The only other minority candidate to be hired as head coach during the off-season was the New York Jets’ Robert Saleh, the league’s first Muslim head coach. He is of Lebanese descent.

Houston’s coaching search has been under scrutiny after the team did not initially request to interview Bieniemy, and Sports Illustrated reported that the decision upset Watson.

The quarterback was already unhappy that owner Cal McNair did not take his opinion into account when hiring Caserio, according to reports from ESPN and the NFL Network. Houston requested to interview Bieniemy after reports surfaced that Watson was upset.

Culley, who has been with the Ravens since 2019, has worked as an NFL assistant since 1994 and has also spent time with Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Buffalo. He began his career as a college assistant and spent 1991-93 at Texas A&M.

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