Nick Caserio and David Culley communicate regularly during matches

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A slight buzz emerged from Houston today after Texans coach David Culley spoke freely and candidly about his in-game communications with general manager Nick Caserio. Unlike the situations that created problems for people like, say, former Browns general manager Ray Farmer, Caserio is indeed allowed to communicate with Culley because Caserio doesn’t talk to Culley via a cellphone but with a headset. official training.

Prior to the start of the season, John McClain of Houston Chronicle reported that Caserio would have a helmet during games. Obviously Caserio uses it.

On Monday, Culley was asked by reporters to explain his in-game discussions with Caserio.

“Just like I go back to the two-minute situation when we’re there,” Culley said. “I immediately went on a line with Nick, and obviously him and [senior football advisor] Romeo [Crennel] talked about it, and he said, ‘OK, our timeouts now, how do we use these timeouts?’ And then immediately, ‘OK, depending on what’s going on on this game, we have to call it. If this does not happen, do not call a timeout.’ So all of these things are discussed before we get to that point. We’re usually a game ahead of that. When that happens, I have to be ready to make that decision. It’s usually with all of these types of decisions.

“Going back to the New England game, I remember like it was yesterday the conversation was, ‘Let them score.’ I overheard the conversation, and then all of a sudden I didn’t like it at that point. All of a sudden, from that point on, I learned to be ahead of those things. When you’re ahead of those things like that, you’re much better at making those decisions. [It does] doesn’t mean you’re going to make the right decision, but when you make that decision, you’re pretty sure you’re making that decision. When you make those decisions, those players know it. They know immediately if you go there on the fourth try. A lot of times when we get into a third down, third and two or whatever situation, I say [offensive coordinator] Tim [Kelly], ‘You have two downs.’ I want him to make the decision knowing that you have two tries to get that first try. Nobody knows, except him and me. The thing is, being able to have these things ahead of time allows us and our play callers to be able to do the things they need to do.

As McClain noted when he announced Caserio would have a helmet, Caserio did it in New England with coach Bill Belichick. The difference, as a source familiar with the dynamics in New England explains to PFT, is that Belichick wanted Caserio to have a helmet so he could better understand the decisions made during the games, and the connection between the problems that arise in the games and the constant search for good players. Caserio didn’t have headphones to talk, but to listen. In Houston, Culley is not the one who implemented this approach; Caserio did. And Caserio uses it to talk, not to listen.

As the source said, any GM who actively communicates with the coach during games on issues such as calling timeouts, going in pairs and making other decisions does not necessarily remain not in his way.

That said, Culley took the job knowing full well that Caserio would do it. Which means that, with some wondering if Culley will be one and done, Caserio won’t be inclined to replace Culley with a head coach who says to Caserio, “Yeah, I don’t want to hear about you during games.

Caserio found a way to act as a puppeteer for his head coach. For that to continue, he needs a head coach who is willing to accept his strings being pulled by someone else.


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