The Houston Texans held their introductory press conference for David Culley, first head coach hire by Chairman and CEO Cal McNair and the fourth in franchise history. McNair gave a brief statement on the hiring process. Texans general manager Nick Caserio and Culley then answered questions from media via Zoom.
Here were the key takeaways from Friday's presser:
1. Why David Culley landed the head coaching job
Both McNair and Caserio gave introductory statements on Culley's passion for coaching and his impressive 27-year NFL career.
"We met with a lot of terrific candidates throughout the process, but David's vision and ability to bring people together made it obvious to us that he is our guy," McNair said.
Caserio thanked the other head coaching candidates in the Texans' search before listing the impressive resume that ultimately led Houston to Culley.
"After a successful career, first in college and then with Tampa Bay and the Pittsburgh Steelers, David's subsequent stops revealed an intentional act by some of the top coaches in the league, coaches like Andy Reid, John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott in identifying David as a key figure as those coaches put their programs in place," Caserio said. "David was a part of Coach Reid's first staff in Philadelphia, which included Steve Spagnola, Coach McDermott, Coach Harbaugh, the late Jimmy Johnson and Ron Rivera, all of whom have had a pretty big impact on the league and then again, when Andy was named a head coach in Kansas City in 2013.
Caserio recalled his first meeting with Culley many years ago at the NFL Scouting Combine. Culley was on the field helping out with wide receiver drills on the field and made an impression on Caserio.
"You might be asking, what are the Houston Texans getting in David Culley? They're getting a great man with a passion and a joy that is singularly focused on getting the best out of people," Caserio said. "David defines what it means to be a football coach, and he takes great pride in being able to call himself Coach. Coaching is ultimately about teaching, communicating and leading people in any environment and David Culley epitomizes those qualities to a T."
2. Culley is clearly very optimistic and excited for his first head coaching opportunity at age 65.
"If you think I'm excited and happy to be here, just look at my face," Culley said.
One of Culley's biggest assets, besides his lengthy coaching resume, is his positive energy and cheerful personality which shined through with each question he answered. Culley is clearly excited for the opportunity to be a head coach for the Texans.
"After going through this process, sitting down with those three (Cal, Janice and Hannah McNair) plus Nick, I said, 'I hope and I pray if I'm blessed enough to be the head coach of the Houston Texans, this would be as good as anything that I could have ever asked for in my profession,'" Culley said. "And what I do. And it is an honor. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this organization because of this family and not only what they mean and what they do with this organization, but with what the Houstonians here understand about this family and what they mean to this community, and I can't tell you how happy I am to be here."
3. Texans have "zero interest" in trading Deshaun Watson because of what he means to the team.
Before taking any questions, Caserio pre-emptively addressed the Watson situation and emphasized wanting him to be a part of the organization moving forward.
"So organizationally, just want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson," Caserio said. "He's had a great impact on this organization, a great impact on a lot of people, a great impact on this team. We look forward the opportunity to spend more time with them here this spring. Once we get started and we have zero interest in trading the player, we have a great plan, great vision for him and for this team and his role in our team. And we look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring."
Culley also answered questions about the news of Watson asking for a trade, reiterating that he also wants the quarterback to remain with the Texans.
"Deshaun Watson's a Houston Texan, he's a quarterback of the Houston Texans, and that's all that I was concerned about and that's all I knew," Culley said. "And whatever was being said about what was what he wanted to do or he didn't want to do, all I know is this, having been in this business this long, he is a Houston Texan and I want him to be a Houston Texan."
4. Cully is just the second minority and only Black head coach hired during this NFL cycle of interviews across the league.
Culley is used to blazing his own trail. At Vanderbilt in 1973, he was the first black quarterback to ever play for the Commodores. In 2021, he was the only Black head coached hired among seven NFL openings.
"I don't feel like I'm the head coach here at the Houston Texans because I'm a minority," Culley said. "I feel like I'm the head coach here with the Houston Texans because the McNair family and Nick, with a collaborative effort, felt like I was the best guy for the job. What does that mean? That means that David Culley was the best hired for this job, for this family in this franchise who just happens to be African-American. And that's how I look at that and that's how I look at it a whole way across the league. Do we need to have that happen more? Yes."
5. What's next for Culley and Caserio?
After Culley's first official day of work is in the books, the next order of business will be to put together a coaching staff.
"We're going to spend a lot of time together here, obviously, over the next few days," Caserio said. "There's a number of things that we're going to address and that we're going to tackle, I'd say in the in the interim staff construction will be at the forefront of that. So like anything, it's going to be through hard work is going to be through honest communication, and we're going to do the right thing by people because that's what we believe in."
The Houston Texans have hired David Culley as the team's fourth head coach in franchise history. Check out the photos of Coach Culley's arrival to NRG Stadium.