For the first time since being introduced as the fourth full time head coach in Houston Texans franchise history, David Culley met with the media on Thursday afternoon. It was a media horde full of Houston's finest, with some national reporters sprinkled in, as well, because, perhaps you've heard, this Deshaun Watson Standoff is kind of a big deal.
Personally, my hope going into the press conference was that Culley would come across more "presidential" than his introductory presser a month or so ago, in which he felt more like a fan who won a contest to be the next Texans head coach than an actual head coach himself. Whatever fear I harbored about this press conference blowing up in Culley's face, given the inevitable barrage of Watson questions, did not match up with what actually happened.
What happened was actually WAY worse than what I feared. What happened was Culley was put in a position where he either felt forced to lie, or just improvised really, really poorly. Whatever the case, the money shot from the press conference was this exchange with Adam Wexler of SportsTalk 790:
Yikes. Just yikes, YIKES, YIKES! (If I could upsize the fonts here, I would.)
Anyone with a working internet connection knows that Deshaun Watson is far from committed to the Texans at this point. Hell, he has reportedly requested a TRADE! This would be like asking a husband if he is committed to his wife, and him saying "SURE," while swiping through Tinder. The whole show was a mess, and unfortunately, the "committed" answer was not an outlier answer during this press conference, and equally unfortunately, for Culley, this press conference itself wasn't an outlier event in Culley's day.
Earlier on Thursday, Culley went on the "Huddle & Flow" podcast, and likely much to the chagrin of Texans higher ups trying to maintain a unified, unwavering front in keeping Deshaun Watson, used some wishy, washy descriptors for the relationship between the team and the quarterback:
"Right now." Oh dear. It's like Nick Caserio has been sitting at a poker table for the last two months, trying his best to get the other players at the table to drive the pot through the roof, and Culley just screamed out "HEY NICK, NICE POCKET ACES!"
I feel the need to say this — David Culley seems like a sweet man, and a guy who would be a great position coach to have on your staff, a positive personality who seems to be universally well liked. He just doesn't seem like a head coach, and worse, he's a first time head coach who has been plunked down into an unprecedented, impossible situation. Putting him out there to effectively comment on the Deshaun Watson situation, and play the poker game of wherever this is all going, is like asking your 75-year-old grandfather to play Call of Duty.
Yeah, I had cautious optimism for David Culley's second press conference. I am now dreading the third one, whenever that may be.