On Friday, the Houston Texans held a press conference for Nick Caserio. He was named the fifth general manager in franchise history this week. Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair formally introduced Caserio and the two answered questions from local media and discussed plans for the future for nearly 44 minutes.
Here are five of the key takeaways from Caserio's first appearance as Texans general manager:
1. As GM, Caserio will make the personnel decisions. Jack Easterby will assist in other areas.
From their time together in New England, Caserio has his own relationship with Jack Easterby, who served as interim general manager after Bill O'Brien was fired. Now that Caserio is the general manager, he will be in charge of the personnel side in football operations and making those decisions in conjunction with McNair and the new head coach.
"Any personnel decisions that will be made we'll make as a group, but ultimately that's a responsibility that Cal has instilled in me, is to handle the personnel side of the football operations," Caserio said. "So that's the expectation moving forward. Jack will have a role and we'll work in conjunction with each other on a number of things for sure. But as it pertains to football decisions, those will ultimately be my decision in conjunction with the head coach once we get to that point, as well."
2. Caserio plans to speak with Deshaun Watson. "He's our quarterback."
When asked about Deshaun Watson, Caserio plans to sit down and meet with Watson and the players in person. Caserio credits Watson's skillset and talent for being a big part of why the Texans have won against the New England Patriots in their last two matchups.
"I think each year is a new year and we're starting from scratch," Caserio said. "And I think the most important thing for us is to speak specifically to Deshaun. I'd say from far the respect and admiration that I have for him as a player and what he's done for this organization is significant. He's our quarterback."
3. Caserio and McNair's next order of business is to work on the search for a new head coach.
The next order of business is to hire the Texans' next head coach. Although no specific names were mentioned in the press conference, Caserio and McNair plan to begin their interviewing process after identifying candidates that would be a good fit for the organization.
"What we're going to do is we're going spend some time together here over the next few days, and the most important thing is try to identify the candidates that we feel are going to be the best fit or potentially best fits for the Houston Texans," Caserio said. "So at this point it's really not necessarily about names, but we're going to do whatever we feel is best for the organization on the head coaching front, and that will be front and center here as we move forward."
4. Caserio outlined his approach in building a roster.
Caserio will meet with the scouting department and begin working on the 2021 roster. He and James Liipfort, Texans director of college scouting, worked together in New England. Prior to joining the Texans, Liipfert spent nine seasons with the Patriots in scouting.
"I'll call it 25 to 30 percent of your team that is naturally going to turn over, whether it's players leave, releases, free agents, so there's a process in place. This part of the year is, A, understand your team, understand what you kind of have in place, make an evaluation of who fits moving forward. Then in conjunction with that, we are kind of in this college scouting evaluation period where we've gone through the season, whatever season we've had, and we're starting to transition to the offseason now with the Senior Bowl around the corner, the junior declaration. There's a lot of work to do in front of us."
5. Caserio learned a lot about processes and consistency with the Patriots, but he is his "own person" working for the Houston Texans.
"There has to be an investment on a lot of levels, and you just have to do it day after day, time after time, and hopefully your patterns and what you're doing is actually right, so that if you do those consistently, that gives you the best chance for success," Caserio said. "I would say each situation is different. I'm my own person. I'm going to try to be true to the Texans organization and be true to who I am and try to learn as much as possible and earn the trust of everyone that is here and around me because that's the responsibility that I have to everybody here."
Caserio joins the Texans after spending 20 seasons with the Patriots, including 18 in player personnel. He was named the director of player personnel in 2008 after serving in a number of roles for the personnel department and coaching staff. During his time with New England, he won six Super Bowl titles, which is tied for the most by any NFL franchise in league history, and was credited as one of the architects of the Super Bowl XLIX, Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl LIII teams.