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Casserly officially resigns as GM of Texans


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Casserly resigns as Texans GM

 

ESPN.com news services

 

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly resigned Wednesday, ending months of speculation that intensified in recent weeks after the team used the No. 1 pick to draft defensive end Mario Williams.

 

 

Casserly had been with the Texans since the expansion franchise joined the league six years ago. The Texans played their first season in 2002.

 

"I've been in this league 29 years," Casserly said. "I spent a lot of time talking about this with my family. We came to the same conclusion -- the time was right to move on."

 

Casserly met with Texans owner Bob McNair on Wednesday morning, telling McNair he wanted to pursue a job in the NFL office in New York. He also met with the Texans' coaching staff and contacted Houston's scouts.

 

Casserly will officially step down on June 1.

 

"I have an interest in doing other things right now," Casserly said.

 

McNair said Casserly was not fired. He said he had no replacement candidates in mind.

 

"I have talked to no one. I have no list," McNair said.

 

Candidates for the opening in Houston are expected to include former Atlanta Falcons personnel chief Ron Hill and current Denver Broncos director of pro scouting Rick Smith.

 

The Texans went 2-14 in 2005, prompting the firing of Dom Capers, the franchise's first coach. Gary Kubiak was hired and was disappointed to see Casserly go.

 

"I have grown very fond of him," Kubiak said. "We had a lot of work to do to try to get this thing headed in the right direction. We've had a good four months together. I wish it would be longer, but I understand the business."

 

Casserly, 57, joined the Texans in 2000, after 23 years with the Washington Redskins. He started with the Redskins as an unpaid intern under Hall of Fame coach George Allen and was hired as a scout the next season.

 

The Redskins elevated Casserly to assistant general manager in 1982, the year the franchise won its first Super Bowl. Casserly became Washington's GM in 1989.

 

Casserly's first big move came in 2002, when the Texans drafted David Carr. He also participated in the search that landed Kubiak.

 

Casserly said he wanted to stay with the team through the NFL draft, but he and the Texans drew plenty of criticism when they selected Williams -- and not Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush or University of Texas star Vince Young.

 

Casserly defended the decision on Wednesday, promising the Texans would quickly improve.

 

"Our record is what our record is," Casserly said. "But I think this ballclub will make a dramatic jump this year in caliber of play. Eventually, the wins will come. With the offseason we had, I feel really good about it."

 

Kubiak said the Texans now face a pivotal decision in finding Casserly's successor.

 

"This is a huge hire for our organization," he said. "There's a lot of good things going on. The key thing is we have to do our homework and make sure they keep heading in that direction.

 

"This person has to be a great fit for what's happening right now with the Houston Texans."

 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Casserly was football face of the franchise

Pasquarelli

By Len Pasquarelli

ESPN.com

Archive

 

The resignation of Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly on Wednesday afternoon, a departure which culminated months of speculation and finally confirmed one of the league's worst-kept secrets, officially ended an era for the team.

 

It also ended, most Texans observers agree, a way of doing business for the franchise.

 

Since his arrival in Houston in early 2000, more than 30 months before the Texans ever set foot on the field for their initial practice, Casserly has been at the very top of the team's football structure. He handpicked the members of one of the league's deepest scouting staffs, had considerable input into the hiring of Dom Capers as the first head coach, struck back-room deals with other general managers anxious to unload salary-bloated veterans like Tony Boselli in the expansion stocking draft of 2002, and left his fingerprints on virtually every personnel move the Texans made, both big and small, during their brief existence.

 

Even as Bob McNair increased his sway in the league, quietly flexing his money muscles as one of the new age/high-revenue owners who view the NFL as more business than sport, Casserly remained the face for the football end of the franchise. He was a patient and accommodating go-to guy for the media and for folks who wanted to talk about linebackers flowing to the football, instead of cash flow issues.

 

But with Casserly's departure, probably to the NFL offices to replace Art Shell as vice president of football operations, there figures to be pretty significant change of football structure for an organization that has just 18 victories in four seasons. Not only will the name change on the door to the general manager's office, but the job description almost certainly will be altered, too.

 

Whoever supplants Casserly as general manager, and the list of alleged candidates has been whispered for weeks, might replace him nominally. But the next person who steps into the general manager's position with the Texans definitely will take a step down from the lofty perch Casserly held for a half-dozen years.

 

The franchise's second general manager is likely to function more as a personnel director, or the director of football operations, and won't possess the degree of encompassing influence that Casserly enjoyed. Then again, in the last several months, it's been obvious that not even Casserly maintained the same kind of clout that he held earlier in his Texans' tenure.

 

Ownership brought in longtime NFL coach Dan Reeves as a consultant for the final month of a disastrous 2005 season. Capers was sent packing. Even though Casserly insisted he never felt Reeves undermined him or was peeking over his shoulder 24/7, the veteran general manager could divine the tea leaves as easily as reading a scouting report. Casserly's house, available for virtual tour on a Houston real estate Web site, has been on the market for months.

 

Everyone knew his job would soon be vacant, too.

 

McNair, who has invested much in the franchise and garnered little dividend, has assumed a more active role. That was obvious in the selection of defensive end Mario Williams over tailback Reggie Bush with the first pick in last month's draft. First-year coach Gary Kubiak also has incorporated more power than predecessor Capers ever had. Chief negotiator Dan Ferens, who works the contracts and whose family finally will move to Houston full-time from Pittsburgh, is held in deservedly high regard and might move up the organization flowchart. And the new personnel man, someone who almost certainly will have strong ties to Kubiak, will complete a key front office foursome.

 

The Minnesota Vikings' so-called "triangle of authority" already has cracked, with personnel director Fran Foley dismissed after just three months on the job. So maybe Houston is going one better -- after all, things always have to be bigger in Texas -- with a "rhombus of responsibility." Whatever the geometry of the reshaped Texans football organization, the structure will be different.

 

Casserly never had the only word on football matters over the last six years. But, until recently, he typically had the last word. And when a team finishes last in the league, and first in the draft order, the guy with the last word eventually is held accountable.

 

For whatever reason, all of Casserly's hard work -- and he is known in league circles as tireless -- didn't add up to many victories. Only one expansion franchise since 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recorded fewer wins (17) in its first four seasons than did the Texans 2002-2005. And the laughingstock Bucs actually advanced to the NFC championship game in their fourth season. In the Texans' fourth campaign, they won half as many games, two, as they did in their 2002 debut season.

 

Ever the good soldier and the class act, Casserly took the bullet for the Texans, right to the end. To take his place, the Texans figure to position a small army now at the barricades.

 

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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Good drafting Williams over bush....you should have been fired!

 

He wasn't fired, he resigned.

 

Casserly is a pretty good portrait of life as an NFL GM. He's made some exceedingly shrewd moves in his time with Washington and Houston, and he's had his fair share of disastrous misses. All too often fanbases have the unrealistic expectation that teams should always hit a homerun on their draft picks and never strike out. Reality says that simply doesn't happen.

 

He's always been a class act. He seems like a good fit for the league office.

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He wasn't fired, he resigned.

 

Casserly is a pretty good portrait of life as an NFL GM. He's made some exceedingly shrewd moves in his time with Washington and Houston, and he's had his fair share of disastrous misses. All too often fanbases have the unrealistic expectation that teams should always hit a homerun on their draft picks and never strike out. Reality says that simply doesn't happen.

 

He's always been a class act. He seems like a good fit for the league office.

 

 

hence, he should have been fired.

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He wasn't fired, he resigned.

 

Casserly is a pretty good portrait of life as an NFL GM. He's made some exceedingly shrewd moves in his time with Washington and Houston, and he's had his fair share of disastrous misses. All too often fanbases have the unrealistic expectation that teams should always hit a homerun on their draft picks and never strike out. Reality says that simply doesn't happen.

 

He's always been a class act. He seems like a good fit for the league office.

 

 

I agree, although I was getting tired of seeing him on ESPN. He was the face of the Texans franchise and I would really like to still see him apart of this league.

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