A seventh team has hopped onto the NFL's coaching carousel. According to multiple reports, the lowly Houston Texans fired head coach David Culley on Thursday, after one season in a role that could be described as unwinnable. The organization has yet to officially announce the decision.
Following the Texans' season-ending loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Culley told reporters that he expected to return for a second year. A longtime league assistant, the 66-year-old Culley became the league's oldest first-time head coach in 2021. Houston ended its tumultuous season with a 4-13 record, and they're slated to pick third overall in the 2022 draft.
"I think even David Culley would understand, he had been in the league for a long time, never even been considered for a head coaching job," Maggie Gray said during the Maggie and Perloff show on Thursday. "Now all of the sudden, you have a team in crisis where, anyone who's really worth their salt as a head coach or a potential head coach isn't going to get mired in this situation...
"Because of ownership, what they're facing with Deshaun Watson and the unknown there, this isn't like a one-year fix for them. And I don't know what kind of coach, outside of Bill Belichick himself, could spark some kind of a turnaround... At least if you're a Patriots disciple, it's all your people here in the front office. Doesn't that buy you a little more time, in theory, because you're walking into a dumpster fire of a situation?"
Culley wasn't set up for any sort of success this season. Houston was without star quarterback Deshaun Watson, who initially requested a trade last January. Less than two months later, Watson faced the first of 23 total lawsuits alleging acts of sexual assault and misconduct, and due to the legal matters, he didn't played a single regular season game. He was listed as a healthy scratch.
In 17 games, the Texans' offense ranked 30th in the league in average points (16.5), dead last in average yards (278.1), dead last in average rushing yards (83.6), and 30th in point differential (minus-172). As for their defense, they ranked 27th in average points allowed (26.6), 31st in yards (384.4), and tied for 10th in takeaways (25). Houston's 13 losses were the team's most in a single season since 2013.
Maggie and Perloff's complete thoughts on the Texans' firing of Culley can be accessed in the audio player above.