Now that Nick Caserio has taken the wheel of the Texans football operation, it's time to get down to business.
With the top position filled, Houston can fully begin constructing the 2021 team that's going to, among other things, try to make everyone forget about the 2020 season.
We could go on and on about Caserio's qualifications and reputation. He checks all the boxes with flying colors. And he'll be the first to say none of that matters right now. The GM search is over, the coach search is very much in progress and Caserio has many decisions to make on how he wants to set up his organization.
Often in a GM change, the personnel staff will stay largely intact until after the draft, like it did here in 2006. Even after Rick Smith took over for Charley Casserly that year, many on that side of the building remained. Every situation is different.
The department has been gathering reams of data on the draft class and prospective free agents and it's good to get their perspective. The Texans have seasoned pros here including Director of College Scouting James Liipfert who Caserio worked with in Foxborough.
The most important decision is who fills the coaching vacancy. Caserio didn't exactly unfurl a banner with his top candidates but (and you don't even need to ask this to know it's true) this is undoubtedly something that he's been thinking about and working on constantly since this opportunity arose.
He also talked about communicating with Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt and, well, everyone.
"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." he said.
While Watt and Watson have been discussed plenty on social media, Caserio knows that how the Texans perform is dependent on a lot more individuals than those two superstars. He emphasized a need to 'take inventory' of the current group before making decisions.
There's a great familiarity between the Patriots and the Texans who Caserio said were "almost like a division opponent" to them because they've played each other 10 times since 2012. Now that he's here he'll deep dive and evaluate who will be on the bus for the first year of his tenure. He acknowledged that typically you get 25-30% NFL roster turnover because of players leaving through free agency or various reasons. But what happens this year in this building remains to be seen.
Who stays, who goes and who is new will be discussed and covered here for the next seven months. And who are we kidding? The roster is always in flux and players that get little ink or air time during the off season and preseason often end up making big contributions. Think Chad Hansen, Tyrell Adams, P.J. Hall and more!
The Nick Caserio show is on. We're barely out of the credits but it has begun and we'll all be watching as he strives to get the Texans back to the postseason and to their greatest heights.