The Texans’ GM search is starting to heat up. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle brings us a lengthy list of possible candidates that includes Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, former Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, and former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli.
That’s in addition to former Browns GM Ray Farmer, who will apparently be the first to interview with the team. But just because Farmer is up first doesn’t mean he’s the top option. Caserio is “believed to be the leading candidate” for the job, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (Twitter link).
As soon as the Texans fired Brian Gaine, we heard rumblings that they would again pursue Caserio in their search. When the Texans were looking to fill their GM vacancy last offseason they requested to interview both Caserio and Ossenfort, but were denied by the Patriots. It’s unclear what would’ve changed, but people seem to think they’d have a good shot at them this time around.
Further, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com examines what the situation will look like after a GM is hired. As he points out, this will go one of two ways. Either the Texans will hire another Bill O’Brien guy like they did last time, or they’ll hire an outside candidate with no connection to O’Brien, which means they could be looking for a new head coach after the season as well.
We heard on Friday that Texans exec Jack Easterby, who was recently appointed to a prominent position, will be playing a large role in the search. It was reported that Easterby is close friends with Caserio, so this latest development makes a lot of sense. The other names we’ve already seen mentioned, but this is the first we’ve heard of McKenzie as a potential candidate. After losing a power struggle with Jon Gruden in Oakland, McKenzie recently signed on with the Dolphins’ front office.
It’ll be interesting to see whether they let O’Brien run the hiring process, and that will go a long way toward showing us whether O’Brien is on the hot seat entering 2019. Caserio is apparently close with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and his presence is what has convinced McDaniels to stay in New England in the past, so many have speculated they’ll be paired together as an eventual coach/GM combo if Caserio ever leaves the Pats.
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