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Houston Texans

1-on-1 w/GM Nick Caserio | Drew's Dozen

DD: Who are you as a worker, as a leader?
Caserio: We're always a product of our experiences, right? We're going to take bits and pieces of different people, different ideas, different philosophies. I think the most important thing is just to try to figure out what's going to work for the Houston Texans. I just try to be as consistent as possible, day-to-day. Just try to work as hard as possible to help the team and do it with grace and humility and just trust others. Those are some of the things that hopefully I will try to lead. Again, it's about earning the trust of a lot of different people and a lot of different folks. I'm the new person here. So part of my responsibility is to have an understanding of what's in place. There's a number of great people that are here. Part of the process is to try to figure out what's going to work moving forward and what makes the most sense, and just trying to make good decisions that are the best for the organization.

DD: What football qualities are you looking for in the next head coach?
Caserio: Ultimately, you're the face of an organization, right? You're the face of a group. So the ability to lead a large group of people will be will be paramount. The ability to communicate a message and then get everybody to understand why that's important will matter. Each coach is going to have a strength, a respective side of the ball in terms of their background and how they've come up. But it's not necessarily about your particular skill on one side of the ball or the other. It's 'How do you communicate that message?' 'How to articulate that message?' 'Are you consistent week-to-week with that message?' Understanding you're going to have to deal with some things that, quite frankly, you can't prepare for. So the ability to adapt, The ability to just to have some flexibility, both mentally, whether it's just practice, planning, scheduling week-to-week, game planning. If we have an adjustment personnel and understand that's going to happen. Don't be surprised by that and to be able to handle that. Continue to move forward and not lose sight of each week, we really have one opportunity to try to go out there and perform. Whatever we have to do to get to that point to optimize our performance on the field, that's the mindset that that individual should possess. We're going to work together to try to identify the person that has those qualities.

DD: So with all that in mind, how important will the assistant coaches be? How much of a teaching role do these folks need to have?
Caserio: Coaching is teaching. Right? The ability to communicate clearly. Joe Judge, who I worked with, half jokingly talked about last year how he was a kindergarten physical education teacher, kind of half joking. But again, the ability to take a group of people, get them to understand what you're telling them, what you're giving them, and process that and be able to go out there and apply it on the field...that's your job as a coach. So being able to teach, being able to lead, being able to communicate clearly and get them to perform, that's what the role of an assistant coach or a coordinator may or may not be. The head coach kind of sets the table, puts some parameters in place. But then ultimately it's up to the coaches in their respective spots to be able to take their group of people, and your job as the coach is to get that group to go out there and perform and maximize their ability. Whether it's a player, personnel, a scheme, whatever it may be, if we have to make a change, then we go ahead and make a change.

DD: Over the years, we've gone to pro days at South Carolina, Baylor, Texas A&M, LSU. In a lot of the spots we've seen you running the drills, throwing the balls to receivers, etc. Why did you do that? Why was that important to you? And how much might that change, if at all, moving forward?
Caserio: I think we'll take it as it comes. The core mindset behind that is just to have an idea of what you want to try to accomplish or what you want to try to see. Then to take some ownership and not afraid to be hands on as a part of that process, not certainly to step on anybody's toes or anything like that. But you have a vision of what you're trying to accomplish in that particular setting and not be afraid to to step in and try to help and serve. So more than anything, it's just the willingness to assist in several instances where whomever was there would ask 'Would you mind running this drill?', and say 'No problem at all'.

DD: How much do you enjoy this time of year, between the end of the regular season to the start of the Draft?
Caserio: It's awesome. What you have to do is you have to embrace the team-building process. It's not about one particular segment or one particular time of year. The draft is kind of its own bucket, because of how much time it encompasses. From September all the way up through April. That covers a pretty wide window. We know that's kind of a fixed element. There's a lot of information that's been accumulated at this point that (Director of College Scouting) James Liipfert and his staff have probably accumulated on that side. Now we take that information and we're going to get a little bit more information relative to underclassman declarations, All-Star Game performance. Then you're going to get some other measurements and some data, whether it's the combine their pro day, if in fact that's going to happen. The overall team-building process from start to finish, there's a lot that goes on. This is when everybody has the opportunity to have a voice. But I think eventually you have to take all the information, process it and then tear it down. Then also we just make a decision and then move forward.

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