New England Patriots

Dec 26, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Late Thursday afternoon, the Houston Texans became the eighth team to fire their head coach, parting ways with David Culley after just one season. New names quickly emerged as leading candidates, mostly those with Patriots ties.

Shortly after Culley’s firing was announced, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Patriots’ linebacker coach Jerod Mayo is “expected to emerge as a leading candidate” for the job. Mayo has been linked to a number of jobs in this cycle.

Around the same time, Texans writer Aaron Wilson reported that the Texans are targeting former Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores “as their top candidate.” Flores was fired as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins earlier this week after two winning seasons.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the Texans focusing on Patriots-centric candidates. General manager Nick Caserio spent almost two decades with the Patriots, mainly as the director of player personnel. Executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby was also with the Patriots from 2013-2018 as a ‘character coach.’

Some have speculated current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be in the running for the job, given his close relationship to Caserio and Easterby. However, it was reported by Wilson Thursday morning that McDaniels is not expected to take interviews until after the Patriots’ postseason run is over.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at