(Houston) Nick Caserio’s first press conference as Houston Texans general manager on Friday was dominated by questions about the future of star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Caserio, who has spent the last 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, was hired Thursday to replace Bill O’Brien, who held the roles of head coach and general manager until his dismissal, when the team posted a 0-4 record.
The first question he was asked was about his reaction to rumors that Watson is not happy with the direction the team is going and wants to be traded.
“He’s our quarterback, and once we get a chance and hang out together, we’ll talk more about it,” Caserio first mentioned.
“I don’t know how to tell you how much respect and admiration I have for him, for the kind of player he is and for what he represents for this concession. ”
It was at this point in the press conference that owner Cal McNair stepped in to discuss Watson’s future. After welcoming Caserio to Houston, McNair spoke about Watson and all-star defensive end JJ Watt, who didn’t want to sign up when asked if he wanted to stay with the Texans. .
“As for the ‘4’ (Watson) and ’99’ (Watt), they are very valuable members of our team,” said McNair.
“They are important for the team and the city. They are passionate and they want to win, which is totally in line with the direction we are going and what we just did by hiring Nick. So this is perfect. We are very much aligned. ”
For the third year in a row, Watson has been named to the Pro Bowl, and he set team records with 4,823 yards, a National Football League-high, and 33 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, McNair has denied reports released by ESPN and NFL Network that he did not take Watson’s opinion into consideration before hiring Caserio.
“I understand it has been said that Deshaun feels left out of the process, but he and I have had several meetings, and I understood his point of view before meeting with candidates,” McNair said.
“I’ve communicated with Deshaun regarding Nick’s hiring and can’t wait for him to contact me when he returns from vacation. ”
The Texans’ next big decision surrounds the hiring of a new head coach. The Texans interviewed Jim Caldwell and Marvin Lewis, two former head coaches.
However, they did not ask permission to interview Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, and one of the top candidates for a head coach position, which would be one of the reasons for Watson’s dissatisfaction.