Texans GM Nick Caserio on firing coach David Culley after one season: 'One of the hardest decisions I've made in my life'

The Houston Texans fired coach David Culley Thursday after just one season and a 4-13 record in 2021. On Friday, general manager Nick Caserio said it was his decision to move on from the 66-year-old coach.

"These decisions are always difficult," Caserio said, via Aaron Wilson. "Anytime you're in a position of leadership, you're put in positions that are difficult. It's never personal."

Caserio added the Texans were in a "rough spot" when Culley took the reins and said he has "respect and admiration" for the coach but called it a "challenging year."

 "It was a difficult decision, one of the hardest decisions I've made in my life," Caserio said of the firing. "[Ownership has] instilled in me the authority to do what's best for this organization."

The GM touted Culley instilling a positive culture in Houston that will carry on to the next coach. Caserio, however, didn't get into the philosophical difference that led to the firing.

"There were some things we did as a team that were OK. There were other things that needed to be better," he said.

Moving forward, Caserio said he didn't have a timeline for hiring the Texans' next coach. The GM dismissed rumors that he's targeting a former Patriots coach -- offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and linebackers coach Jerod Mayo have been reported as potential candidates.

"I would say, I don't think anybody should assume anything," Caserio said. "I'll be very deliberate with this process. The most important thing is finding the best fit for this organization." 

The GM is now tasked with hiring his second coach in as many seasons in Houston, but believes the club is in a better spot than a year ago. 

"Our situation right now is a lot better than it was a year ago as far as assets, salary cap," he said. "I think there are some pretty good things in place. (But we have) a lot of work to do in front of us. The competitive spirit and process is overall positive."

As for the Deshaun Watson situation, which loomed over Culley's tenure, Caserio said there was nothing new to report.

"I think there are going to be a number of things we talk about this offseason," the GM said. "That particular situation, I don't think there is any more clarity today than there was here previously, but we're going to work through it, and ultimately we're going to do what we feel is best for the organization." 

Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and inappropriate behavior. The QB also requested a trade last year.

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