The Houston Rockets know a thing or two about entering a season with a proven superstar who doesn't want to play for a recently-hired rookie head coach, as the 2020-21 season saw the exact situation unfold with James Harden. Harden reportedly wanted the Rockets to hire Tyronn Lue instead of Stephen Silas, who wound up getting the job instead.
The Houston Texans appear to have a similar situation on their hands, as franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson has requested a trade in similar fashion, while also having made it known that he wanted Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to have gotten the Texans' head coaching job, as opposed to David Culley, who was eventually hired.
Like the Rockets' Silas, Culley has spent over two decades as an assistant coach, leaving little doubt about whether he meets the qualifications to be an NFL head coach.
As for Watson, he's faced 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault and misconduct, which raises doubts about whether he will play in 2021 altogether. The Texans have been left with no other option than to move forward, irrespective of what happens with Watson, as newly-hired Texans GM Nick Caserio signed veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the offseason, in addition to the Texans using their 2021 third-round pick in the NFL Draft to select Davis Mills out of Stanford.
The Texans have easily surpassed expectations in the preseason, as they've gone undefeated through their first two games, although it's dangerous to get excited about the preseason, for a number of reasons.
Former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy gives wild prediction for Houston Texans
Former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy shared his thoughts on how the Texans will fare during Tuesday's appearance on The Wheelhouse with Jake Asman, Cody Stoots, & Brad Kellner on ESPN 97.5 Houston.
"They're going to be the surprise team in the league. I have a friend that I was just talking about them [with]. I have season tickets so he says I'm a homer. I really believe they're going to get six wins.
If you're their coaching staff, I don't really remember a worst situation to take over than the one they took over with Watson, both wanting out, legal issues, and him being healthy but still doesn't seem available. If they're able to overcome that and put a competitive team on the field, man, what a great job they'll have done.
I'm really looking forward to seeing if they have enough to compete. I don't know what Vegas is saying, I probably don't wanna look.
They're playing 17 now, right? I might even up myself now. I might go to 7 right now."
Van Gundy is right: a seven-win season would be a major surprise, as the masses have the Texans picked to win fewer than three games, due in large part to the uncertainty surrounding Watson.