It was fun this weekend to settle in and watch eight functional NFL playoff teams compete, drama free, playing the highest level of the most popular sport in our country. For that, I thank the Packers, Rams, Bills, Ravens, Chiefs, Browns, Buccaneers, and Saints. However, like any good party, eventually it ended, and we are forced to wake up to our Monday hangover that is the Houston Texans.
And what a mess they are! Not a glorious mess, though. There are glorious, dysfunctional messes that are actually still able to win football games. Hell, for most of the Bill O'Brien Era, that's what the Texans were! A mess, but a functional, at times even dangerous, mess. THESE Texans, though? They are just an embarrassing sports representation of the city right now.
There are really four different things we need to check on with this team — disgruntled Deshaun Watson, Jack Easterby's job status, the head coaching search, and the fan base. So let's look at the Texans' dashboard, which has metaphorical flashing red indicators blinding all of us drivers right now:
To this point, Deshaun Watson has not spoken publicly about any of this, but the accounts of how he is feeling through some of his intermediaries and close sources is not good. SI.com had another blockbuster Easterby revelations piece on Saturday morning, and among the things we learned is that, according to a source close to the quarterback, "he just wants out." Yikes. For what it's worth, Deshaun DID tweet this on Friday afternoon after a piece in the Houston Chronicle from John McClain revealed that Easterby would not be fired:
I was on 2 then I took it to 10— Deshaun Watson (@deshaunwatson) January 15, 2021
If you want to connect the dots, here you go:
Also worth noting: One source said this week that, after Houston traded Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last off-season, Deshaun Watson’s anger level was “a 2….This time, it’s a 10.” https://t.co/CsqZYbe3OK— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 10, 2021
There is a growing sense from people in and around the Texans’ organization that Deshaun Watson has played his last snap for the team. It’s early in the off-season, there’s a lot of time left, but Watson’s feelings cannot and should not be underestimated.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2021
Needless to say, things are trending poorly for the Texans. Let's move on to even more depressing news....
If you were hoping that Andre Johnson's tweet from last week, where he tried to drop nukes on Jack Easterby, would do the trick and enact some sort of change, think again, my friend. From McClain's interview with Cal McNair, in response to questions about Jack Easterby's future:
McNair quashed speculation that Easterby was out and said he won’t be fired and won’t be resigning after two seasons on the job, including his role as interim general manager for the last 12 games of 2020.
After a tumultuous week in which the Texans were subjected to a barrage of criticism, McNair addressed the Easterby controversy, disclosed he’s communicated with unhappy quarterback Deshaun Watson, admitted he feels Andre Johnson’s pain and accepts the blame for the Texans’ current predicament.
“The scrutiny on Jack is really unjustified,” McNair said Friday. “Jack was put into that role (interim GM) the organization needed by me. If missteps were made during that process, we’ll own those within our building.
“Jack will (return) to the role (executive VP of football operations) he was brought here for and what he grew into after he got here.”
We are still waiting for answers on what exactly Easterby is good at, and exactly why he seems to be excused from his involvement in the complete decimation of the roster over the last year, even though he was in the room with Bill O'Brien on ALL of these horrible decisions that were made.
HEAD COACHING SEARCH
Reportedly, the Texans interviewed Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus on Saturday, and on Sunday were set to interview Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and Ravens WR coach David Culley. They have a request in to the Chiefs to interview OC Eric Bieniemy. These are all nice names, but you have to wonder if the KEY NAMES in this search, the names that would galvanize the fan base and excite Deshaun Watson —- Staley, Bieniemy, Joe Brady, would seemingly be those —- are they going to want to come here without assurances that Watson is in the fold? If Watson is ghosting the Texans right now — Cal McNair said they'd exchanged texts, and that's it — this is a recipe to wind up with a retread looking for a paycheck, not a dynamic, young up and comer. Who the Texans hire could say everything about where they are with Deshaun Watson. Oh, by the way, if you're wondering how the Texans' HC job is viewed around the league....
One league source connected to the Texans' HC situation said Saturday: "It's gone from the least desirable head coaching job (opening) to the most undesirable head coaching job in the NFL. That's a fact. That's how that job is now looked at by everybody."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 17, 2021
The fan base is understandably stressed out and angry. Apparently, some of the fans plan to take their anger over to the stadium on Monday, with a protest outside NRG:
Details for the protest this Monday 1/18— Just Some Dude (@HoustonFBpodguy) January 17, 2021
We are all meeting at @eatleftys 8057 Kirby Dr Suite A, Houston, TX 77054 at 11 am
Then we are walking down Kirby Dr to NRG to protest in front of the Bull!
Please wear masks for safety purposes, and this is a peaceful protest pic.twitter.com/sbj56kpqzV
Not sure if protesting a football franchise's personnel decisions is a great look on Martin Luther King Day, but whatever. This is where we are, Houston. Misery.
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