Fans Are Asking How Texans’ GM Casserly Kept His Job?

By Joe Booker
Updated: January 3, 2006

TEXAS—Last week, the Houston Texans fired head coach Dom Capers. That is not a surprise. When you are 2-14 as a coach, you don’t expect to keep your job. However, fans are more surprised that general manager Charley Casserly kept his job.

I listen to fans on Talk shows and all are trying to figure out how general manager Charley Casserly kept his job. I have gotten emails and people have stopped me in the street, asking how Casserly was able to keep his job. They want to know what criteria was used t o keep Casserely and fire Capers. If McNair has faith in Casserly, why did he hire Dan Reeves and why is he keeping Reeves?

One fan from Washington, D.C. told me that Casserly was fired by the Redskins, because of the same kinds of poor decisions he has made with the Texans. The D.C. native told me that Bobby Beathard built the Redskins. The person that told me is a former star NFL player.

Hey, this is America. It is not what you know; it is who knows you and who you know.

Casserly’s questionable decisions

  • Taking quarterback David Carr over defensive end Julius Peppers. Peppers has become one of the elite defensive ends in the NFL.
  • Signing offensive tackle Tony Boselli.
  • Drafting tight end Bennie Joppru with the second pick.
  • Drafting quarterback Dave Ragone in the third round.
  • Drafting defensive tackle Travis Johnson over linebacker Derek Johnson.
  • Trading the second pick to get defensive back Phillip Buchanon.
  • Letting linebacker Jamie Sharper get away.
  • Signing Victor Riley to play left tackle.

Most of the defensive players I talked with felt that they should have been playing a 4-3 instead of the 3-4. They drafted defensive ends and tried to make linebackers out of them. They did not replace Jamie Shaper, who was the best defensive player they had.

Quarterback David Carr has been blamed for most of his sacks, because he had held the ball too long. This is true. David has more upside than he does downside. He has two things—arm strength and mobility—that cannot be taught. He played under a conservative offensive system that did not allow him to take advantage of his arm. They were throwing five yard passes when they have a playmaker like Andre Johnson. They did not have good pass routes for their receivers.

Texans fans are asking how Casserly kept his job page 2

I had never heard of a team making wholesale changes in the offensive line in the middle of the season as the Texans did. This justifies the bad decision to bring in linemen like Victor Riley.

Now that Capers is gone, “the Texans have solved all of their problems.” They will have a better draft than anyone in the NFL. The new coach that they hire will take them to the Super Bowl. I can’t wait until the season starts.

There is one problem. I am not too high on some of the candidates that have been mentioned to replace Capers. Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak has often been mentioned. My question is if Kubiak is such a good candidate, why hasn’t he been hired by another team? Greg Williams has been mentioned as a candidate, but he has failed at Buffalo. Wade Phillips has been mentioned, but he has failed at Buffalo. Why bring in these recycled coaches? There are five head coaching positions open. Why haven’t Kubiak, Williams and Wade been interviewed by other teams? Are the Texans the only team that wants them?

Some assistant coaches are good assistant coaches, but when they are given the responsibility of running a team they fail. This is why it is important to do a good job of evaluating candidates. A successful head coach is one that will hire good assistants.

I think Dom Capers biggest fault was he did not hire good coordinators. How many of Capers coordinators will be interviewed for a head coaching position?

We in the media always have our favorites. If McNair listens to us, he could make a big mistake. At least I have coaching and playing experience on the college level.