HOUSTON – A source from Texas has fired coach David Cooley, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said.
On Sunday, after the Texans completed their 4-13 season, Cooley said he expects to return for a second season. However, Texas ownership and front desk have taken the past few days to evaluate the bus and decided to fire it on Thursday.
The shooting comes one year after the Texas team hired long-time assistant Cooley, who became the oldest head coach in the NFL for the first time at 65. Cooley, who was hired in January 2021 by CEO and head coach Cale, was McNair and General Nick Caserio, was the only black coach he hired last season and was one of three black coaches in the NFL. Cooley’s expulsion leaves Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin as the current only black coach in the NFL.
Prior to his appointment to Houston, Cooley spent two seasons as an assistant coach at the Baltimore Ravens, where he passed as the game’s coordinator and coach for wide receivers. Cooley spent 43 years as an assistant in college football and the NFL.
In Cooley’s first season as head coach, the Texans won the same number of games as they had done the previous season under interim coach Romeo Crenell. Cooley has done so with a depleted roster and a team that has had only one first-round pick in the past four years.
Houston was without quarterback Deshaun Watson, who requested a deal in January after the McNair family hired Caserio. Less than two months later, the first 23 lawsuits were filed against Watson alleging sexual assault and indecent conduct. Watson, who still faces 22 active lawsuits, reported to training camp and has been on the active roster all season. The quarterback was a healthy scratcher for every game.
The 2021 Texans were also without defensive end JJ Watt, who requested his release after the 2020 season and now plays for the Arizona Cardinals.
This season, the Texans dominated the Jacksonville Jaguars in their season opener before losing veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the second week with a left hamstring injury. He was replaced by 2021 third-rounder Davis Mills, who went 0-6 in his six games while Taylor was on the injured reserve.
After Taylor struggled on his return from the injured reserve, he was replaced by Mills, who beat the Jaguar and Los Angeles Chargers in consecutive weeks.
Houston’s offense ranked 31 in the DVOA rankings under Cooley and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.