For the second straight year, an NFL franchise has auditioned a former Cleveland Browns quarterback for the team’s vacant head coaching job.
The Houston Texans on Thursday, January 20 announced that they had interviewed long-time NFL signal caller Josh McCown for their open head coaching position.
“We completed an interview with Josh McCown for our head coaching position today,” the Texans official team account wrote on Twitter.
McCown Has Momentum to Land Texans HC Job
NFL insider Adam Schefter noted Thursday night that this was not the first time the Texans had shown serious interest in McCown to lead the team’s sideline. The franchise also interviewed McCown following the 2020 regular season after parting ways with long-time HC Bill O’Brien.
Ultimately, Houston landed on David Culley to captain their team through the 2021 season. He did so to somewhat surprising results as the Texans played unexpectedly well throughout portions of the schedule, ultimately winning four games including one against the AFC’s top-seeded Tennessee Titans.
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Texans general manager Nick Caserio cited “philosophical differences” when explaining the dismissal of Culley after just one season to media members on Friday, January 14.
“When I took over, I’d say, you know, the organization was in a pretty rough spot and I think for where we were then to where we are now, we’re in a lot better position,” Caserio said. “Quite frankly, I think that’s because of the leadership and the guidance and the direction that David Culley provided this football team.”
“I think philosophically there was some things in the end that maybe we saw a little bit differently, so that was really the impetus for the decision that was made,” Caserio continued.
There has been widespread speculation in NFL circles that Culley was a lame duck coach from the jump, serving as a bridge to a post-O’Brien and post-Deshaun Watson future. Watson, the Texans Pro-Bowl quarterback, didn’t play a snap during the 2021 season as a healthy scratch from all 17 games.
Watson is currently facing 21 civil suits for “lewd and coercive behavior” in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct. The Texans spent last year shopping the quarterback and while he drew serious interest on the trade market, ultimately no franchises bit.
Houston is expected to move on from Watson permanently, either this offseason or next year, and he is not expected to play another down in a Texans uniform. Thus, if McCown does inherit Culley’s job, he’ll likely be continuing the development of QB Davis Mills.
Mills stepped onto the field for the first time in Week 2 of his rookie season against the Browns. He ended up appearing in 13 games for the Texans this year, starting 11 of them and producing a 2-9 record over those starts, per Pro Football Reference.
McCown Has Wealth of NFL Experience to Draw Upon as Head Coach
It can be argued that McCown is an ideal fit to lead the Texans when considering the Mills situation. Houston has a 23-year-old QB trying to make his way in the league. McCown made his way successfully through 16 seasons for nine different teams.
McCown started his career with the Arizona Cardinals in 2002. He was out of the NFL by 2010, playing that season for the Hartford Colonials in the United Football League. He caught on with the Chicago Bears in 2011, didn’t play in 2012, and was back with the Bears by 2013.
McCown spent two years in Cleveland between 2015-16, appearing in 13 games and starting 11 of those. The career journeyman played his final season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019 at the age of 40.