On Friday, Texans fans heard from newly-appointed general manager Nick Caserio for the first time. CEO Cal McNair, who rarely talks to the media, joined Caserio as both took questions.
Here were their responses on the hottest topics Texans fans have been asking about for months.
On the rumors that Deshaun Watson wasn’t consulted in the search for a general manager:
McNair initially addressed this in his opening statement.
“I’ve come to understand that it’s been reported that the Deshaun (Watson) feels left out of the process, but he and I had several visits and I understood his point of view before meeting with candidates,” McNair read. “I’ve reached out to Deshaun about Nick’s hire and I look forward to him getting back to me when he returns from his vacation. We thank the other candidates who interviewed in this process.”
Cesario believes the issues will be resolved when Watson gets back from his vacation in Cabo.
“I think the most important thing for us is just to speak specifically to Deshaun,” said Caserio. “I’d say from afar the respect and administration that I have for him as a player and what he’s done for this organization is significant. He’s our quarterback. Quite frankly he’s a big part of the reason why over the last two seasons when we faced the Texans that New England came out on the losing side of the ledger. I think it’s important for all of us to take some time, and I think when the time is appropriate, we’ll have discussions with the players. I think it’s important for us, whatever conversations that we’re going to have with players about their individual situation, that we do it directly and we do it face to face. When the appropriate time comes, we’ll sit and spend some time with Deshaun. But certainly looking forward to the opportunity to work with him.”
On the reports that Watson could ask for a trade:
“Yeah, he’s our quarterback, and again, once we have an opportunity, spend some time together, we’ll have further discussions,” said Caserio. “I can’t tell you how much respect and administration that I have for him, for who he is as a player and what he means to this franchise.”
McNair chimed in as well, adding in a line about an unhappy JJ Watt.
“In regards to 4 and 99, they’re valued members on our team,” said McNair. “They’re important to the team and the city. They’re passionate and they want to win, and those are all totally in alignment with where we’re going and what we’ve done here in bringing Nick aboard. So it’s perfect. We’re totally aligned.”
On Jack Easterby: what are his specific skills and why is he worth the drama and negative attention he brings the Texans?
“Well, Jack is very gifted in a lot of different areas,” said McNair. “And those areas would be things that Nick (Caserio) will need as he moves into his role as GM. It won’t be a roster. It won’t be free agency. Like I said before, those are the GM jobs that Nick is doing, and he will look to Jack to do some of these other things that Jack has done really well in the past.”
Caserio, who worked with Easterby in New England, added his thoughts.
“Jack’s unique skill I would say is the ability to invest in people, grow people, and serve, and I think that servant mindset has served a lot of people well. I know it’s helped me on a lot of levels, but those are the types of things relative to Jack and what he can bring to the table. Again, Cal (McNair) has brought me to the Texans to handle the football aspect, and that’s my main responsibility. We’re going to need a lot of people in this building, a lot of really good people, to try to help grow this team and develop this team to get to a point that we have something that’s sustainable for a long period of time.”
The Texan’s salary cap is a mess. The Texans also don’t have a first or second-round pick in this year’s draft. How will Caserio attempt to fix that?
“I think every year has its own set of challenges,” said Caserio. “You have to try to just look at the assets you may or may not have in place and try to be as creative as possible at building a team. There’s no one set formula on how to put a team together. It’s not going to come from one particular area. It’s going to be a combination of things. We’re going to have to be creative. We’re going to have to really invest and utilize the resources that we have, and just try to take advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves.”
What will help the Texans turn around?
Caserio answered this one.
“If you want to boil it down to maybe one particular thing if you have a process in place that’s a really good process and you invest in that process and you’re consistent with it week to week, that’s going to give you an opportunity to go out there on Sunday and duplicate and reduplicate success. I would say just take a big picture view of it with a couple of specific examples, that would be something that we would hope to permeate and articulate to our team and to our group and understand why it’s important. If you do these things along the way, you’re going to give yourself an opportunity to have success on Sunday. I know that was a long-winded answer, but hopefully, it sheds some light on the mindset and some of the things that are going to be important with this team as we piece it together.”