Texans hire Culley as coach amid drama surrounding Watson

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FILE - This is an Aug. 17, 2020, file photo showing David Culley of the Baltimore Ravens NFL football team. David Culley has been hired as the coach of the Houston Texans, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday night, Jan. 27, 2021, because the hiring hasnt been announced. (AP Photo)

HOUSTON – David Culley became the coach of the Houston Texans believing Deshaun Watson would be his quarterback.

Whether that will be the case when next season begins is becoming increasingly unclear with The Associated Press told this week that Watson has requested a trade.

Culley was introduced as Houston's coach on Friday in a news conference that was dominated by questions about the future of the franchise quarterback.

“The reason I’m in this position today is because I knew he’s going to be a Houston Texan," Culley said. “And so the outside stuff that was being said was irrelevant to me."

Before taking questions from reporters about Culley, general manager Nick Caserio, who was hired earlier this month, addressed the turmoil with Watson.

“I just want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson," Caserio said. “He’s had a great impact on this organization, a great impact on a lot of people, great impact on this team. And we look forward the opportunity to spend more time with him here this spring once we get started."

“And we have zero interest in trading the player, we have a great plan, great vision for him and for this team and his role in our team."

The Texans interviewed Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Buffalo assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, former Detroit coach Jim Caldwell, former Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis and Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady before landing on Culley — the only African American among the seven head coaches hired this offseason. The only other minority candidate who was hired as a head coach this offseason was the New York Jets’ Robert Saleh, the league’s first Muslim head coach. He is of Lebanese descent.