David Culley met with the media on Thursday afternoon for the first time since being introduced as the Houston Texans new head coach. With no media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine, Culley held his offseason presser via Zoom answering questions on a number of topics. Check out some of the highlights from Culley's meeting with media.
- Deshaun Watson is the quarterback and currently the only Texans quarterback on the roster.
The very first question for Culley about quarterback Deshaun Watson. Culley, who met with players after being named head coach, did not give details about their conversation saying what he discussed with players was "private" but did re-iterate the Texans' commitment to their quarterback.
"We are very committed to Deshaun as our quarterback. He is our quarterback. He's the only guy we got under contract at this time right now. Nick, and our personnel department are in the process of looking at other guys out there right now and we're going through that process daily and we'll continue to do that."
- Coaching staff is officially in place.
The Houston Texans made their full coaching staff official this week. Culley was asked about several of the new additions, including defensive coordinator Lovie Smith who brings 19 years of NFL coaching experience, including 11 years as an NFL head coach.
"Obviously, Lovie is someone that has had a great track record in this in this league. He's someone that he's been a head coach. He's had a great track record as a defensive coordinator. He's someone that I've known for a long time and been able to get him here was very, very important simply because I felt like that he's the kind of guy that you want on your team to be able to have success. And that was the reason that he was here and we're very fortunate to be able to have him here."
Pep Hamilton, who served as the Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator from 2013-15 with Andrew Luck, will be the Texans passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
"He has a world of experience. I've known Pep a long time. You've seen what he's done, his track record coaching quarterbacks, whether it's been in Indianapolis or whether it's been this past year with the Chargers. I mean, he's done a tremendous job. He's got a world of experience. I was very fortunate to get him and I'm glad to have him and and looking forward to him doing the same thing, having success here that he's had every place else he's been."
- What's happening ahead of free agency?
The Texans have begun making moves ahead of free agency, including released Nick Martin and signing seven-year veteran center Justin Britt (6-6, 315). Free agency officially begins Wednesday, March 17. Culley didn't give any details on future players that might be released or signed, deferring to general manager Nick Caserio, but he did say that the team was being evaluated from "top to bottom."
"Each year the team changes and at that point we look at everybody from top to bottom, we look at all positions and you always want to upgrade those positions. Basically the reason you want to do that is because it creates competition. Competition makes everybody better. You're always trying to do that through free agency. You do that through the draft. And that's a yearly thing. And it's something that we're trying to do right now."
- Culley described his vision for the Texans offense.
With the return of Tim Kelly as the offensive coordinator, Culley believes the direction of the offense will be determined by the personnel on the roster.
"In all offenses in this league, first and foremost, you want to make sure you're a turnover-free type of offense. Tim did a nice job with this football team last year offensively. As an offensive staff here, it'll be a collaboration of direction that we go in and that direction will (be) determined on our personnel and we're going to do what we feel like is best for our personnel. And I felt like last year that Tim did a great job of doing that and I foresee that moving forward."
- David Johnson returns for a second season with the Texans, who hope to put him in a position of success.
Along the lines of offense, Johnson picked up steam late in 2020, scoring four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) in his final four games of the season.
"He's been a very productive player here, and that's why he's still here. And obviously, he's a very versatile player. He's very, very good at not only just running the football, but also catching the football in the backfield. We feel like Tim and our offensive staff have put him in a position to be successful to keep doing those things."
- Culley is excited about the direction of his team.
After his first month on the job, Culley says his enthusiasm has only increased. Now that his staff is in place and free agency and the NFL Draft are around the corner, the 2021 Texans will begin to take shape with the offseason program beginning April 5.
"If you saw me before then, you see me now and you hear me now, you'll see it's gone through the roof and it's getting higher and higher every day as I get excited about this football team and where we're headed. As far as the coaching staff, I've been very excited about the guys that are on our staff right now. We've been very fortunate. I've got teachers, we've got guys that have the same vision that we have here as far as moving forward and teaching and coaching and I couldn't be more excited about that."