UPDATE: It appears the Texans brass reads The Big Lead. Either that or they listened to their star quarterback. Either way, after this story was written the Texans reportedly requested an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their head coaching opening. What follows below is the original report pointing out the fact that the Texans are behind other teams in terms of interviewing the top candidates despite being the first team to have an opening.
The Texans were the first team to have a coaching opening after firing Bill O'Brien in the first week of October. Somehow, even given that head start, they are completely blowing their search.
Most recently, the Texans reportedly set up interviews with Ravens assistant head coach David Culley and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Former head coaches long out of the league Jim Caldwell and Marvin Lewis were also interviewed as well as Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The Texans reportedly reached out to Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus requesting an interview but were turned down by Eberflus, who apparently can read the writing on the wall that things aren't going great down in Houston.
Meanwhile, the top head coach candidate on the market for every team other than the Texans, current 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, has not been contacted by Houston. Saleh has been interviewed by the other six teams with coaching openings, including the Eagles literally one day after they fired Doug Pederson. But apparently he's not good enough for the Texans.
UPDATED: Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, the second-most sought after interview on the head coaching circuit, was not contacted by the Texans until today. He has been interviewed by the Jags, Jets, Lions, Chargers and Falcons, the final of which is reportedly strongly interested in him. Disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson also reportedly encouraged Houston to interview Bieniemy.
Perhaps the Texans think they're playing chess while the rest of the league is playing checkers, but based on all that's transpired, it seems it's the other way around.
Interviewing all of the top candidates is common practice around the league and doesn't constitute anything more than the general manager and owner and whoever else speaking with a candidate and learning what their vision is. It's an opportunity for both sides to get to know each other and understand the circumstances better. There's no harm in speaking with as many candidates as you can. Again, it's what most teams do. Why not pick the candidate's brain, see what they're made of, and learn from them? What's the downside? It's just a time commitment, which the Texans have plenty of.
Yet for some reason the Texans have the most narrow head coaching search of any team with an opening. Even the Eagles, less than 24 hours after firing Pederson, seem to be moving at a more rapid and focused pace than them. How is that possible when the Texans had a three-month head start?
It's shortsighted and presumptuous to pass over interviews with Saleh and Bieniemy, who have established themselves as innovative minds on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, respectively. It's equally uninspiring to interview two former head coaches (Caldwell and Lewis) who didn't even coach in the NFL this season. The Texans could still surprise everyone and make a great hire, but they've blown the head start they gave themselves and appear to be getting lapped by the competition.