Well, they finally did it. The Texans have requested an interview with Eric Bieniemy for their vacant head coaching job, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Houston’s interest in Bieniemy, or lack thereof, had become a point of major controversy over the past week, as it was reported that Deshaun Watson was very unhappy with the team over their handling of their coaching and GM searches. Watson had been assured by owner Cal McNair that he’d be involved in the process and kept in the loop, but then the team didn’t even interview any of the GM candidates he suggested and didn’t tell him they were hiring Nick Caserio.
The team had also to this point refused to even interview Bieniemy, unlike virtually every other team with an opening, who is reportedly a favorite of Watson. That had culminated in reports that Watson could eventually demand a trade. Clearly Caserio, and to some extent McNair, want to keep Watson happy, and this is a good step in the right direction toward mending the relationship.
It was reported that Watson had no problem with Caserio, only that he was left in the dark, so it’s entirely possible those two will have a good relationship moving forward. Bieniemy, of course, is currently the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator serving under Andy Reid.
He’s been a hot candidate this cycle, and Rapsheet also tweeted that the Texans are only now truly ramping up their search now that Caserio is in place. We heard yesterday they were going to speak with Ravens assistant head coach David Culley, and with Bills DC and former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier.
They had already interviewed several candidates before Caserio’s hiring though, so their attempt to now cast this as the beginning of the search doesn’t ring entirely true. Either way they won’t be able to interview Bieniemy right away, as Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets that since the initial anti-tampering interview window has closed, the team will have to wait until either the Chiefs lose or after the Super Bowl, whichever comes first.