Will the Texans finally hire Josh McCown?

Will the Texans finally hire Josh McCown?

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As the Texans fill out their third annual coaching search dance card, one name has yet to make the list. But it seems inevitable that, for the third year in a row, former NFL quarterback Josh McCown will become a candidate for the job.

This year, will Texas owner Cal McNair finally make the leap?

In 2021, the Texans stunned the NFL world by giving McCown an interview. After the Texans hired David Culley, some believed Culley was a bridge to McCown.

Then, after the team fired Culley after just one year, citing “philosophical differences” that hadn’t had nearly enough time to fester, McCown reentered the mix. Ultimately, the team had three finalists: McCown, former Dolphins coach Brian Flores and Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

The Texans really wanted to hire McCown. They wanted to hire him so much that they were trying to get other teams with vacancies to interview him, to legitimize him as a candidate. (The Jaguars eventually spoke with McCown, without interviewing him.)

Then it got weird, or maybe weirder. Out of nowhere, the Texans got off the board and promoted Lovie Smith, a running back from Culley’s staff, to the position.

Why Lovie and not McCown? With Flores filing a history of racial discrimination against the NFL, it would have seemed appalling if the Texans had rejected Flores for a white candidate with no college experience or professional coaching. So Smith became Plan B and, necessarily, another bridge to a future hiring cycle in which the Texans eventually offer the job to the person they truly believe is the team’s perennial leader.

So now the question is whether it will be McCown. He has no college or professional experience yet. His hiring would become an issue in Flores’ lawsuit, especially since Flores has since sued the Texans for not hiring him because of his lawsuit against the Dolphins, the NFL and other teams.

Gannon is already back in the mix. If they don’t interview Flores, they better have an objectively more plausible explanation than “he sued us.” Especially if McCown is interviewed again.

Some think McCown’s candidacy ended the moment Jack Easterby’s spell over McNair was broken. Others feel that McCown was and continues to be McNair’s preferred candidate.

They wouldn’t do it in 2021. They couldn’t do it in 2022. Would they now, especially with former Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans considered one of the leading candidates for a head coaching job?

Ultimately, it’s McNair’s call. While he would have to deal with potential fan and media scrutiny, along with potential legal complications, McNair owns the team. He runs the show. And if Colts owner Jim Irsay can install Jeff Saturday for eight games (and maybe more), why can’t the team that initially considered hiring a completely inexperienced coach do the same?

So the question is whether McNair, after the previous two seasons of climbing to the top of the high dive but not jumping, will finally attempt a Triple Lindy in the form of rolling the dice on Josh McCown.

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