Texans GM Nick Caserio refers to criticism of Jack Easterby as ‘little bit unjust’

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Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio believes the criticism of executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby has been unfair.

Easterby, who was hired in April 2019 as vice president of team development and later promoted to his current role in January 2020, has been the subject of intense criticism from the Houston and national media as the Texans have posted records of 4-12 and 4-13 since his promotion.

The perception is Easterby has too much say in the organization, which has led to bad contracts and other deleterious results.

While that may have been the case when Bill O’Brien was the coach and general manager, Caserio insisted on “Payne & Pendergast” on Sports Radio 610 [KILT-AM] Tuesday that Easterby is not as heavily involved in football decisions any longer.

Jack has been a hot topic for a lot of people,” said Caserio. “I’d say candidly some of the criticism has been unfair. I think Jack has an important role in the operational and logistics standpoint. That’s what he was brought here to do. That’s his role in football operation. I talked about this last spring. Anything as it pertains to making football decisions, whether it’s players, contract signings, scouting, draft analysis, those all fall under my jurisdiction. So, I would say if you look at a football operation in its entirety, it takes a number of different people.”

Caserio suggested that the collaborative effort to put together a successful football team takes multiple points of input, and that there is a misperception as to Easterby’s role.

Said Caserio: “I would say that I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the job that Jack does, and candidly not a lot of people really understand the nuts and bolts of it. But when you get a chance to spend time with Jack, I mean, you realize it’s probably not as bad as everybody makes it out to be. I’d say from his perspective, it’s always been an operational and kind of a logistics standpoint, and there are certain areas that maybe fall under his jurisdiction that we’ll communicate about, and I can handle the football areas. If there’s something we can talk about collectively as a whole, whether it’s myself, Jack, the head coach, whoever it is, then those lines of communication are open.”

Caserio and Easterby go back to their time with the New England Patriots from 2013-18 when he was a character coach. The Patriots’ last three Super Bowl wins came during that time frame with victories at the end of the 2014, 2016, and 2018 seasons. As winning world championships does, it has fortified the bond between two ex-Patriots.

“Look, Jack’s been a punching bag since he got here,” said Caserio. “Some of it I think quite frankly was a little bit unjust. Everybody has an opinion and they’re certainly entitled to their opinion. We’ll just kind of keep moving forward.”

The Texans’ most pressing order of business is to find their fifth full-time coach in team history. Easterby may have input on that decision, but Caserio has tried to make it clear he won’t be a decision-maker on such consequential football moves.

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