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Issue 17 Out Now

Toxic Culture: Watson Should Want Out

(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Houston Texans are a mess of an organization that has accepted mediocrity for nearly 20 years and are about to destroy the career of yet another promising player, quarterback Deshaun Watson. The quarterback has been in the news a lot the past week, as reports surface of his unhappiness with his involvement in the hiring process for the teams next general manager and head coach. Some league executives have even stated he may ask to be traded.

The Texans finished this season with a 4–12 record. The head coach and general Bill O’brien, who had been with the team since 2014, was fired four games into the season after being winless. The roster of talent O’brien assimilated was quite awful. While Bill O’brien the coach might have been good in some people eyes, winning four divisional banners in seven years is good, but never getting his team to an AFC Championship game is unacceptable. The three years the Texans didn’t win the division, their rivals the Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and Jacksonville Jaguars were all a game away from the Super Bowl.

Watson has won on every level dating back to his Pop Warner days, and is a very prideful person who does great work in the community and uses his voice to speak up on issues that plague disenfranchised communities. The quarterback unhappiness isn’t about just this past season, there is a culmination of issues that have taken place with the team since he’s arrived in 2017. The young quarterback has had four general managers in the past four years. Future hall of fame receiver Deandre Hopkins traded away in one of the most lopsided deals in NFL history, a now deceased Bob McNair, the franchise then chairman describing the players as inmates during a league meeting about social injustice protest Colin Kaepernck led back in 2017, firing Amy Palcic one of the most respected PR representative in sports,citing she didn’t fit the team’s culture and to put the icing on the cake the Texans also have several discriminatory lawsuit pending based on race and gender the past couple years.

The Houston organization reeks of dysfunction and ineptitude that starts at the top with ownership. , Watson should put his name on the trade rumors. Andre Johnson, arguably the franchise’s greatest player and the first member ever inducted into the Texans Ring of Honor at the moment, emphatically pleaded for Watson to do what’s best for him and gave even more credence to the inner workings of the organization on twitter.

“If i’m Deshaun Watson I will stand my ground. The Texans organization is known for wasting players’ careers. Since Jack Easterby has walked into the building nothing good has happened in/for the organization and for some reason someone can’t seem to see what’s going on. Pathetic!

Johnson stepped away from the team before the 2020 season began. He served as a special advisor for only a season. He has a first hand account on what’s taken place with Jack Easterby.

Recently Sports Illustrated presented an incredible article on Easterby, detailing his rise from character coach and chaplin to being a key decision maker on roster personnel in Houston. The power that O’brien and Easterby graved has left the organization with one of the worst salary cap situations in the league, stricken of talented players who were pushed out of the door, and lack of draft assets that the Texans failed to get back in trades or traded away all together. Anyone that didn’t fit the “culture” of the team were sent packing.

Championships aren’t won that way so why are the Texans asking their quarterback to make up for the sum of its parts in a sport that relies on team chemistry and building the most. It’s hard to even defend the front office, when they don’t themselves. Cal McNair was asked during the introductory press conference for new Texans general manager Nick Caserio about Easterby job description from reporters and to list the skills that helped him retain the job of executive vice president of football operations.

“Jack’s very gifted in a lot of different areas,” said McNair. The chairman couldn’t list a specific skill he did add that Easterby isn’t going to make roster or free agency decisions anymore.

Caserio shares the same agent as Easterby and are great friends dating back to the time they spent together In New England. Texans paid Korn Ferry consulting firm $600,000 to recommend the hires of their vacant jobs. Two candidates for general managers were Louis Reddick and Omar Kahn, both black men. Caserio wasn’t reportedly even on the list of names given to McNair.

McNair sentiments are maybe a year too late and keeping Easterby around after some of the most important players have voiced their frustrations is terrible business. Watson was promised a seat at the hiring table and the McNairs lied to him, during his exit interview he told the organization exactly what he wanted.

“There’s too many different minds, too many different ideas and too many people who think they have this power and it’s not like that. We need someone that stands tall and this is who we’re following and this is the way it goes, and we’re going to do it this way to win.” Watson wants Eaterby gone but as of now the McNair family wont do what needs to be done for the sanity of the future of the franchise, and it’s why the quarterback must get out of town to save his best years for a organization that is committed to excellence not toxicity.

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