Texans clean out their lockers
The Texans won just two games in 2013 after coming into the year with serious Super Bowl aspirations.
Changes are coming. And they know it.
“It’s going to be an uncertain future here,” rookie tight end Ryan Griffin said on Monday as players cleaned out their lockers. “Hopefully we can get it nailed down in the next couple days so we have some direction going forward as an organization going forward.”
The first thing the Texans will need to figure out is the name of their next head coach. Wade Phillips wants the job but he's one of several candidates. The Texans fired Gary Kubiak three weeks before the end of the season to get a jump on the coaching search but now the rest of the league is catching up.
After Sunday's games, the Lions, Redskins, Buccaneers, Vikings and Browns all have coaching vacancies. There's more competition for those top candidates.
Many Texans said they aren’t paying attention to the team’s coaching search through media reports. Those players said there wasn’t anything they could do about it, so they’ll just focus on what they need to do to improve. Safety Shiloh Keo admitted that he’ll start to pay attention to the coaching search more closely now.
“I try not to pay any attention to it now but I’ll probably start to look into it now that the season’s over, just during the season you don’t pay attention to that because you’re working,” Keo said. “It’s a job still. You got to get ready week in and week out and not worry about outside things. But now that the season’s done and over with, I think I’ll pay a little more attention to it.”
Jared Crick, who just finished his second season in the NFL, said he has an idea of the changes the Texans will go through because he was in college during a coaching switch. He was at Nebraska when the Cornhuskers made the switch from Bill Callahan to Bo Pelini. But still, Crick said he won’t pay too much attention to the new head coach until he needs to.
“Not really,” he said. “If I’m here Day 1 of OTAs, then I’ll hopefully start to know something about our coach. So far, I don’t really pay attention to it.”
One of the biggest question marks heading into the 2014 season will be surrounding the quarterback position. Matt Schaub will likely be cut and Case Keenum did his part to prove he’s not a starter in the NFL, while T.J. Yates is hoping to get a chance to prove his talents elsewhere.
Schaub has been the quarterback of the Texans since 2007 but it appears his time in Houston is over.
“It’s big,” cornerback Johnathan Joseph said about the quarterback position. “In Cincy, we did that with Carson Palmer. Anytime you see a guy that led this team for so long, the possibility of leaving this team and going to another team, it’s gonna always make you feel… just the way this business operates, but at the same time, sometimes change is good. I hate to see Matt go and things like that but I look at Cincy and they got a young kid in Andy Dalton that took them the last couple years to the postseason so hopefully things work themselves out correctly.”
Joseph also pointed toward some teams this season that went from a losing record to the playoffs after offseason changes. The most notable one is the Kansas City Chiefs, who went from two wins to 11 in 2013.
“We’re going to be able to take this and turn it around,” center Chris Myers said. “For the most part, we have the same guys that went 12-4 and we went 2-14, so it’s not like our guys can’t do it, it’s just that we didn’t get it done this year. We have to get it turned around and fix those things.”