David Culley has been put in a tough position, but he’s clearly overwhelmed by a barrage of Deshaun Watson questions that aren’t going away.
The product of a haphazard coaching search done by a dysfunctional organization, David Culley surely didn’t envision what his first head coaching opportunity has been thus far. Right now, as Deshaun Watson trade rumors linger, he can’t even know who his quarterback will be.
After meeting with Culley last month, Watson remained dug in on never playing for the Texans again. The situation is the cloud hanging over the Texans’ offseason, and a trade still feels inevitable.
Ahead of free agency starting, NFL head coaches are speaking to the media this week. Culley surfaced on Thursday, first via the Huddle and Flow podcast with Jim Trotter and Steve Wyche of NFL Network. Afterward Trotter passed along his belief Watson will be traded, based on Culley saying Watson was the Texans’ starting quarterback “right now”. Culley also said “we want guys who are all in.” At this point in time, and never again as long as he’s a Texan, Watson is not all in.
David Culley has been put in a no-win spot
Culley spoke to the broader media later Thursday, and he looked uncomfortable.
During the press conference Culley said, “We are very committed to Deshaun as our quarterback” and he “didn’t know anything about him not wanting to be a Texan.” On the latter point, apparently the Texans’ head coach has been under a rock somewhere. The gap between what he said to Trotter and Wyche and what he said later didn’t go unnoticed.
Culley said “right now” in regard to Watson, which is clearly not allowed, lest he reveal the Texans are actually willing to trade him. Organizational overlord Jack Easterby clearly got to Culley between the podcast recording and the press conference, probably with a script to follow.
That someone got “Easterby’d” has become a common refrain as he’s gained more power and far more credible people have been fired or left the Texans’ organization. Culley didn’t get fired and he hasn’t left, but he clearly got a different version of “Easterby’d” on Thursday.