Houston Texans

Built to be included in the "in the hunt" TV graphics around Week 12.

What’s it going to take to prevent 2023 Houston Texans head coach Josh McCown? We might have already had 2022 Houston Texans head coach Josh McCown if not for the Brian Flores lawsuit, which would have made firing a minority coach for a white former player with no professional coaching experience an incredibly bad look. Flores himself might have been Houston’s preferred option before the suit—he was the Texans’ first interview—but teams don’t interview out-of-the-box candidates with no experience multiple times unless they think hiring that candidate might be a good idea.

This comes after the Texans laid the groundwork on a potential future McCown hiring by interviewing him last offseason before they hired David Culley. One of the other problems of hiring McCown is that no one else wants to hire him to give him the experience as an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach or even offensive assistant which would then give the Texans some sort of reasoning to hire McCown.

The McCown situation doesn’t have to completely be about McCown specifically, but that entire process leads to the bigger question around the Texans. What exactly is the end goal here? What is this organization trying to be?

Culley was never perceived to be the long-term answer when he was hired and he was essentially slated to be a bridge head coach. The problem is that the Texans haven’t identified where that bridge is leading, and they might have just changed the architect responsible for building the bridge to the unknown. Even if McCown wasn’t the No. 1 target—he was one of three reported finalists along with Flores and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon—it’s clear that Lovie Smith wasn’t Plan A … or B … or C.

Smith, unlike Culley, has an extended resume as a head coach with the Bears, Buccaneers, and Illinois. Those last stops were unsuccessful, to put it kindly, and as highlighted in last year’s Houston chapter, the benefit of Smith as the defensive coordinator under Culley was having his experience without all the added responsibilities of being a head coach. Smith was 17-39 in...