Source: Texans May Go This Season Without An Official GM
The Texans earlier this month fired GM Brian Gaine, and now there is a scenario in which the team "will go this season without an official general manager," according to a source cited by Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. The Texans said that they "will no longer pursue" Patriots Dir of Player Personnel Nick Caserio for their GM position. This comes after the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans for attempting to hire Caserio (ESPN.com, 6/15). In Houston, John McClain noted Texans Chair & CEO Cal McNair "didn't say if the Texans will continue to search for Gaine's replacement or keep the current management team in place." That would be Texans coach Bill O'Brien over personnel, Exec VP/Team Development Jack Easterby assisting with football operations, Senior VP/Football Administration Chris Olsen "continuing to oversee the salary cap and contract negotiations" and President Jamey Rootes "continuing to run the administrative side of the organization." All would "answer to McNair" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/15). In N.Y., Michael Blinn noted this "makes two failed attempts by the Texans to hire Caserio, after they sought him out for their GM opening last year" (N.Y. POST, 6/15).
HEIGHTENED ROLE: In Boston, Ben Volin noted the "surprise firing" of Gaine "put the spotlight on" Easterby. Some media and fans were "surprised to see Easterby, known as a team chaplain and character coach in his six years" with the Patriots, have "so much influence on the Texans’ football operation." Though his background "may be in religion and character evaluation, Easterby was a huge influence" in the Patriots' football operation during his tenure. Easterby "wants to run an NFL front office someday and left for an opportunity to spread his wings" with the Texans (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/16).
SOMETHING'S FISHY: PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio asks, "Why did the Texans interview [former Browns GM] Ray Farmer and [former Lions GM] Martin Mayhew?" This is "creating the biggest buzz in league circles." Given that "both men are minority candidates, and in light of the speed with which they were interviewed, some suspect that the Texans hoped to quickly comply with the Rooney Rule via the Farmer interview, to over-comply with the Rooney Rule via Mayhew interview, and then to quickly hire Caserio." By interviewing "no other candidates and by hiring neither Farmer nor Mayhew after the pursuit of Caserio imploded, the Farmer and Mayhew interviews look like shams." Although there was "no Rooney Rule violation, the inescapable impression is that the Texans wanted Caserio, they interviewed Farmer and Mayhew because the Rooney Rule required it, and then they hired no one when they couldn’t get the only candidate they wanted" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 6/15). In Houston, Brian Smith wrote the new Texans GM was "always supposed to be Caserio, and that had been the secret plan for a while" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/15). The CHRONICLE's McClain writes any "legitimate candidate contacted by the Texans would be suspicious about the position because of the Caserio situation" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/16).