“I came to this difficult but necessary decision after reviewing our football operation. While a change after one season is unusual, we had philosophical differences over the long-term direction and vision for our program moving forward.”
“There is a double standard,” Vincent told the Post. “I don’t think that that is something that we should shy away from. But that is all part of some of the things that we need to fix in the system.
“We want to hold everyone to why does one, let’s say, get the benefit of the doubt to be able to build or take bumps and bruises in this process of getting a franchise turned around when others are not afforded that latitude? … We see it at the collegiate level. And we’ve seen that in history at the (professional) level.”
Besides the Texans and Dolphins, the teams with current head coaching vacancies are the Bears, Broncos, Giants and Vikings.
The Rooney Rule aims to boost candidate diversity
The NFL has said it’s tried to increase diversity in its ranks of head coaches, after years of criticism.
Culley and Flores were two of five Black head coaches hired full-time in the last five years, according to the institute. The others were Anthony Lynn (Chargers, 2017-2020); Vance Joseph (Broncos, 2017-2018); and Wilks (Cardinals, 2018).
Six others had been hired full-time since 2010: Hue Jackson (Raiders, 2011, and Browns, 2016-2018); Leslie Frazier (Vikings, 2011-2013); Romeo Crennell (Chiefs, 2012-2013, after coaching the Browns the decade prior); Lovie Smith (Buccaneers, 2014-2016, after coaching the Bears); Caldwell (Lions 2014-2017, after coaching the Colts); and Todd Bowles (Jets, 2015-2018).
Culley says he ‘loved every minute’
Culley’s task at the Texans job looked like an uphill journey ever since he was hired.
Watson had requested a trade from the team before Culley was hired, and star defensive lineman and pillar of the organization J.J. Watt was released just weeks after.
But despite the turmoil the team was in, Culley managed to rally his players and the Texans seemed to play above their station.
“We appreciate Coach Culley for helping us navigate through a difficult season, but it is my responsibility to make decisions that I feel are best for our organization,” Caserio said. “The search for the next coach of the Houston Texans will begin immediately.”
In a statement released announcing his firing, Culley said he “loved every minute” of being head coach of the Texans.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win more games and I won’t have a chance to improve on the lessons I’ve learned, but I fully understand this is a bottom-line business and I didn’t do enough. I want to thank the McNair Family and Nick Caserio for giving me this opportunity, I am forever grateful for the experience.
“I wish this team and organization the best, they are building a special program and I truly believe the future is bright for Texans fans.”
Culley is the sixth head coach to be fired after the conclusion of the 2021 season, after Flores was fired from the Dolphins, Mike Zimmer from the Minnesota Dolphins, Vic Fangio from the Denver Broncos, Joe Judge from the New York Giants and Matt Nagy from the Chicago Bears.
CNN’s Leah Asmelash contributed to this report.