EDITOR'S NOTE:Texans fan Alan J. Burge continues to write his "Voice of the Fan" column for HoustonTexans.com. His latest installment is below. Alan's views do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.
Okay, where were we again? What week is this?
I am living proof that the news of Dan Reeves being hired to a six-week contract as a consultant was enough to stir even the most comatose Texans fans from their slumber.
After months of watching this team struggle against itself as much as against their opponents, the unexpected announcement at Reliant Stadium on Monday seemed as refreshing and rare as a breath of fresh air on Highway 225.
The full scope of Reeves' assignment remains a bit sketchy. Whether his hire will spark a resurgence of any kind remains to be seen as well, but the message sent by owner Bob McNair was loud and clear although not totally unexpected. Major changes are coming and they are coming soon. When you're 1-12 headed for 1-15, any change can be perceived as good.
Even though Dom Capers' fate as head coach of the Texans has been sealed for weeks, there remained a question of whether general manager Charley Casserly would return next year.
Casserly has been with the Texans since January 2000 and is about to celebrate his six-year anniversary with the organization. Or will he?
While many in the media have speculated that Casserly would be retained for the 2006 season, this is about as big of a 'no confidence' vote that McNair could give Casserly without outright firing him.
Monday's news conference nestled in the backdrop of comments attributed to McNair in a recent article by Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle suggests that McNair has lost confidence in his GM.
In the article, McNair was quoted as saying "When you're new, I think there's a feeling you have to do everything your football people tell you. You hear, 'Well, you haven't been in the NFL for 20 years, so you couldn't possibly know. That's not the way we do it in the NFL."
While McNair didn't identify his "football people" by name, one could reasonably assume that his direct report, the Senior VP and General Manager of Football Operations, Charley Casserly was the source of those comments.
So where does this leave Casserly?
Again, in the context of McNair's comments in the Justice article, if you're a senior executive and you find out that a consultant has been hired to review your organization - and you don't find out until the day of the press conference that announces that fact, and the consultant knows about the assignment before you do – that's not a good sign.
This is just a guess but reading the tea leaves tells me that Casserly is on his way out with Capers.
So let the speculation begin.
Should we take McNair at face value and go along with the story that Reeves assignment is simply no more than a six-week consulting gig designed to give a fellow Gamecock a helping hand? If you buy that, I have some swamp land in the Lowcountry for sale - cheap.
Will Reeves, the old Cowboy, return to the grind as a head coach working under Casserly the old Redskin? Not in our lifetimes.
Reeves' pulling double duty as head coach and GM seems equally doubtful. During the news conference, Reeves mentioned that while his health is good, he is planning knee replacement surgery in the near future. That doesn't sound like a good plan for someone needing the mobility of an NFL head coach.
Will Reeves be the new GM and hire his former pupil Gary Kubiak to be the next Texans head coach? I could think of worse scenarios.
Whatever happens, it's good to finally see something lift the spirits of Texans fans. It's been 13 weeks of heck. The fact that hiring Dan Reeves to a six-week consulting contract can cause this much excitement is testimony to how far the Texans have fallen. At least there's finally something to talk about besides Reggie Bush and 1-and-whatever. Hopefully this is the first step of the journey back to respectability. January 2 can't come quick enough.
You can email Alan Burge at: firstname.lastname@example.org