Sean Pendergast

Public Approval Ratings For Each Houston Texans Head Coach Candidate

The Texans' search is on for David Culley's replacement.
The Texans' search is on for David Culley's replacement. Photo by Jack Gorman
As you probably know, if you're a regular visitor to this space, the Houston Texans are in the midst of the search for their fifth head football coach in franchise history. Tomorrow, it will be two weeks since they fired David Culley after just one season as the team's leader. Nationally, the Texans were met with ridicule for their decision. Locally, for anyone who watched the Texans on a weekly basis, we got it. Culley stunk.

So now, as a franchise with just eight wins in two seasons, and a season ticket waiting list that has disappeared, the Texans should be looking for a head coach who makes sense from both a qualification standpoint and a popularity standpoint. Put simply, they need people back in the building. To that end, I have taken to the Twitter streets to determine which of the current candidates would resonate most positively with the Texans' beleaguered fan base.

So here are those Twitter polls, one for each interviewee for the job, along with a couple more that are (or should be) on the radar:

BRIAN FLORES, former Miami Dolphin HC (interviewed 1/14)
FLORES COMMENT: Flores is the second biggest favorite of Texan fans in the two-year history of this exercise, behind only Eric Bieniemy (96 percent) last offseason. I think Flores' popularity in this poll is instructive of what Texan fans REALLY want in a head coach. Flores is a friend of Jack Easterby, which on the surface tends to cause a mutiny with the fan base, yet he is highly popular among Texan fans. I think it's because he would be a conventional, experienced hire, not an out-of-left-field Hail Mary like Bill O'Brien as GM, or David Culley as head coach.

JOE LOMBARDI, Los Angeles Chargers OC (interviewed 1/15)
JOE LOMBARDI COMMENT: Lombardi has a decent pedigree, with a decade working for Sean Payton in New Orleans, but this poll tells us that being Vince Lombardi's grandson can only get you so far.

HINES WARD, former Steelers WR and current FAU WR coach (interviewed 1/15)
HINES WARD COMMENT: Ward's popularity as a candidate is understandably low, as he has very little actual coaching experience. He was a fine player, but the 10.3 percent approval ratings is 10.3 percent higher than his chance's of getting the Texans' head coaching job.

JONATHAN GANNON, Philadelphia Eagles DC (interviewed 1/18)
JONATHAN GANNON COMMENT: Texan fans in that 60.4 percent disapproving of a Gannon hire may want to brace themselves. Evidently, he crushed it in his Texans interview, and the team is attempting to interview him a second time. The bad news for the 39.4 percent that approve of Gannon is that he is rapidly rising to A-list status and crushed his interviews with Denver and Minnesota, as well.

JOSH McCOWN, journeyman QB (interviewed 1/20)
JOSH McCOWN COMMENT: Hiring McCown as the head coach of the Texans, with literally ZERO coaching experience and 20 years as a journeyman QB as the entirety of his resume, would either cause a revolt outside NRG Stadium, or drive what's left of the fan base into final apathy. In short, based on the Texans' track record of decision making the last couple years, I think there is a REALLY good chance that this happens.

KEVIN O'CONNELL, Los Angeles Rams OC (interview requested)
KEVIN O'CONNELL COMMENT: The Texans have a request into O'Connell for an interview — he is getting interviews with other teams — but nothing has happened here yet. Given the fact that he is the only other current candidate whose approval rating is above 50 percent, the Texans might want to fast track this one.

DeMECO RYANS, Texans legendary LB (no interview requested yet)
DeMECO RYANS COMMENT: Ryans isn't currently on the Texans' radar, as far as we know, but given the approval rating here, he definitely should be. The Texans legend had an interview with the Vikings on Sunday, and is spending this week preparing for the NFC title game as DC for the Sean Francisco 49ers.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast