Well, they know football soap operas in Texas.
The Texans made the latest move in their fanfic of “As the World Turns,” hiring Ravens assistant head coach David Culley as head coach last night. Which leads to this:
Perhaps the Texans have just given up on the idea that they can convince Watson to stay, and are already planning on what to do with whatever they acquire in return for his eventual departure. As the hiring of Culley is...uncertain? Confusing? Weird?
Culley certainly has longevity in the league, having been a coach for over 25 years with various stops. And perhaps he’s the opposite of what reportedly Eric Bienemy is, in that he comes with no coordinator pedigree but is a great interview. He must’ve been, as it appears the Texans hired him on the spot.
The record we can look at, the tangible things, make the hire borderline bewildering. Culley, who is the only African American to be hired as a head coach this offseason, spent the last two years as assistant head coach for the Ravens, which doesn’t really mean much other than labeling, as well as passing-game coordinator and WR coach. But it’s hard to ignore that the Ravens passing game was bottom-five both years, and dead-ass last in 2020 in yards. Sure, passing isn’t the keenest priority when you have Lamar Jackson ready to rip off 40-yard runs at a moment’s notice. And not that Watson is immobile himself, but he’s more built to actually throw the ball. Maybe that’s a matter of what the Ravens had on hand as far as talent, but also DeAndre Hopkins isn’t in Houston anymore either.
Before that, Culley served as the Bills quarterbacks coach, and was there for Josh Allen’s rookie year. When Josh Allen was nothing short of terrible, barely completing half his passes. Before that, he was WR coach in Kansas City, so off the Andy Reid tree that apparently was viewed as having bed bugs this offseason. And in those years the leading receivers on the Chiefs were Jamaal Charles (a running back) and Travis Kelce twice (a tight end). Again, that might not be an indictment of Culley. It’s what the Chiefs had, and both Charles and Kelce are or were among the very best at their position. It just doesn’t answer what the Texans are seeing. Must’ve been a hell of an interview.
But hey, great coaches can come from anywhere, they don’t necessarily have to be coordinators first. It’s just the usual route. It would be nice to know, especially for Watson, that this guy had run something before taking over a whole team. Maybe he’s just that charming.
Perhaps the secret will be in the staff he’s going to hire. Though the rumors on that one are auspicious, to be kind. Nothing like getting the guy who just washed out at known NCAA powerhouse Illinois to really juice the atmosphere around headquarters.
Perhaps it’s becoming clearer why Watson has decided he’s had enough of this shit.
The Blue Jays apparently are full throttle in their not fucking around phase, as they acquired Mets starter Steven Matz for three middling prospects, which is being kind. After the signings of George Springer, Kirby Yates and Marcus Semien, the biggest hole on the Jays is the rotation. Whether Matz fills that is another question.
Matz was one of the many celebrated Mets pitching prospects of the past decade, though a good portion of that had to do with growing up on Long Island. He was going to join Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey to form yet another homegrown, Queens “Pentagono De La Muerte” in the rotation. Though many outside of greater Mets-dom couldn’t help but point out the similarities to the 90s Generation K (Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson). The modern-day version did get the Mets to the 2015 World Series, which is more than the first incarnation did, but that was about it.
Like the rest of them aside from deGrom, Matz has struggled with health, only throwing over 150 innings once. He doesn’t strike out a ton of hitters, though he doesn’t walk many either (last year’s aberration aside). Matz has gotten hit pretty hard the past two years as well, and is now moving to a division where he’ll see the Yankees and Rays lineup a ton. He’s 29 now, so this is probably all he’ll ever be.
As a fifth starter, he’s fine. Could do worse. Does he move the needle for the Jays that much? Probably not.