If you listen to someone who knows David Culley very well, the Texans offense will likely share some similarities to Andy Reid's offense.
Brian Mitchell won a Super Bowl ring as a return man and offensive weapon with Washington's last Super Bowl champion. He spent 14 seasons in the NFL, and only Jerry Rice has more all-purpose yards all-time. Mitchell played in Philadelphia from 2000 through 2002, while Culley was an Eagles' offensive assistant. Before his NFL career, Culley recruited him to Southwestern Louisiana (now known as the University of Louisiana). Mitchell threw for over 5,000 yards, ran for over 3,000 more, and Culley was his quarterback coach for three years.
In a 1-on-1 conversation Monday, Mitchell shared his joy for Culley's hiring as head coach of the Texans. Mitchell, now a radio host in the Washington, DC area, also detailed what he thinks the Texans offense will look like with Culley in command.
"I can envision him in a situation where you have a weak secondary (on your opponent's team), and they may throw the ball 30 or 40 times," Mitchell said. "But they're still going to try to run the football."
Mitchell, who made his name in the NFL as a returner, also averaged 5.1 yards per carry as a running back, and 9.2 yards per catch out of the backfield. While creativity in the passing game will be emphasized, Mitchell also said the ground game will be vitally important.
"Running the football is going to be key," Mitchell said. "They're never going to forget it. When you look at Andy Reid's offense, I think you can look at some similarities in that. Andy may not run the ball 50 times in a game, but every once in awhile, there's a game that pops up where the defense can't stop the run and they keep running it. So, I think Coach Culley's going to come out with a mindset to run the football."
The Texans were burned by this philosophy, and execution of it, in Week 1 at Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes threw for just 211 yards... But the Chiefs run game hammered the Houston defense with 166 yards on 34 carries. Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire picked up 138 of those yards, at 5.5 a pop.
Mitchell expects Culley to accentuate the positives of the playmakers in the Texans offense.
"Whoever your athletes are, anything that they do well, they will have the opportunity to do it over and over again, and I like that," Mitchell said. "Because I think it's influenced from Andy Reid, who we all know is an offensive juggernaut."