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In Texans G.M. hire, Jack Easterby wins big

The Texans' 2020 season was a disaster but Deshaun Watson put on a show whether Houston was winning or not. Mike Florio and Chris Simms look deeper into Watson's incredible numbers.

Reactions are trickling in following the news that the Texans will make Patriots V.P. of player personnel Nick Caserio the team’s next General Manager. The common thread consists of two messages.

First, Easterby wins. As in executive V.P. of football operations Jack Easterby. Caserio is an Easterby guy, who presumably will defer to whatever authority Easterby will have.

Second, Easterby really wins. As reported by Mike Garafolo of NFL Media, the Korn Ferry search firm identified five candidates for the job: Texans director of player personnel Matt Bazirgan, Seahawks V.P. of player personnel Trent Kirchner, Steelers V.P. of football and business administration Omar Khan, Louis Riddick, and Ravens director of football research Scott Cohen. Korn Ferry did not include Caserio on its list of finalists.

But Caserio got the job, because that’s who Easterby wanted -- and Easterby won the power struggle with Korn Ferry. (Korn Ferry presumably still gets paid its six-figure fee for creating a menu from which the Texans ultimately didn’t select.)

“Easterby is a wizard,” Garafolo declares.

Others in league circles would use other terms to describe Easterby. In the hiring of a G.M., however, Easterby got the guy he tried to get in 2019. Which, as one league source observed, allows Easterby to continue to pull the strings without the accountability that goes with being the G.M.

Next, the question becomes whether Easterby will get his preferred coach. Some wonder whether it will be Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who spurned the Colts three years ago and who has gotten less interest in recent hiring cycles.

The first question is whether McDaniels on Korn Ferry’s list. If not, McDaniels could be the man for the job.