Reeling Texans Hire David Culley as Head Coach

Reeling Texans Hire David Culley as Head Coach

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“I just have never been in favor of rewarding people for doing the right thing,” Tony Dungy, a former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts, said in May 2020. “And so I think there’s going to be some unintended consequences.”

Culley filled several roles for the Ravens across the last two seasons — assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach — helping to establish the league’s leading rushing offense in 2020, but one that ranked last in passing. In 2019, Culley helped bolster the Ravens to No. 1 in scoring with an average of 33.2 points per game.

Noted for his ability to develop creative schemes that improve players’ weaknesses and complement their strengths, Culley cultivated a reputation as an excellent teacher and communicator across his 27 seasons as an N.F.L. coach, most of which have been spent assisting Andy Reid, first in Philadelphia and then in Kansas City.

“David will do a good job,” Reid said after practice Thursday. “He’s a people person. He’ll bring energy to the building.”

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh overlapped nine seasons with Culley as assistants in Philadelphia and has said that he tried multiple times to hire him in Baltimore. When Harbaugh finally succeeded in 2019, luring Culley from Buffalo, where he coached the Bills’ quarterbacks, he called it a “coup.”

Culley was an athlete growing up in Sparta, Tenn., about 90 miles east of Nashville, where he played football, baseball and basketball at White County High School. He was a quarterback at Vanderbilt and went on to coach at several colleges before entering the N.F.L. in 1994 as the receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It came as no surprise to Harbaugh that Culley would be picked up this year by the Texans.

“I do believe that David Culley would be a tremendous hire for any team; maybe, especially, the Texans with Deshaun Watson,” Harbaugh said on Jan. 11.


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