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Sean Pendergast, SportsRadio 610 Morning Host

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January 31, 2023 9:32 pm

Sean Pendergast, SportsRadio 610 Morning Host

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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January 31, 2023 9:32 pm

Sean Pendergast joined Zach to discuss his reaction to the Texans hiring DeMeco Ryans as their next head coach and if Nick Caserio is on the hot seat after hiring his third head coach in three years. 

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I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears, the show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch.

He is bad vibes. We talk to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears, the show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch. He is bad vibes. We talk to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. D'Amico Ryan's Mufasa going back and joining the team that drafted him in the NFL in the Houston Texans on a six-year deal. And I feel like every time in the last three years that we've gone to either Sean Pendergast or Seth Payne, the two hosts of the very popular morning radio show on sports radio 610 in Houston. It's been a very negative story and it's been a lot of pessimism because there's really nothing to be positive about with the Texans last two, three years. Now we finally get to go to Sean on a day that's actually positive and there's some optimism with the Texans because they hired D'Amico Ryan. Sean, how you been? I'm doing good. Zach, it's good not to be a circus freak for a day. You know what I mean?

You nailed it, man. And that was our lead in. I just got done.

I'm still up at the studio. I mean, I'm coming back in here at six in the morning to do my morning show, but this is one of those things where you call an audible and you come in and you do some emergency radio because this is the biggest hire in the history of this franchise. That's not hyperbole. And I think you laid it out perfectly because people will go, well, look, this is a first-time head coach who's been a coordinator. Yeah, he played for the team back in the day.

That's a great story. The people who look at it from 30,000 feet and see that don't understand a couple of things. One, D'Amico Ryan's the person. He's one of the most beloved people that's been a Houstonian, let alone players on the Texans, universally respected and beloved here in Houston.

But yeah, you nailed it. The way these last three years have been, the lead in tonight was, man, this is a fan base. And this is who I'm most happy for is the fans. This is a fan base who's had to endure Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby just dismantling this franchise with bad trades and bad contracts and then a two-year cleanup of that. They had to endure Deshaun Watson quitting on the city of Houston and then getting sued by 30 women so you couldn't trade him for a year. You've had to endure a David Cully era, which I didn't even know that existed. I didn't know that there was such a thing as a David Cully era in the dictionary, but there was for a year.

And then a Lovey Smith era, and now here we are. So to understand what this hire means is not just about D'Amico Ryan's, but it's very much about where this franchise has been. And I think it's, look, I think it's safe to say he was the most coveted candidate in this job cycle amongst all the teams. He's one of the only ones that had requests from all of the teams to do interviews. He only ended up doing interviews with two of them, with Denver and with Houston. And I think it's safe to say with the way reportedly things played out in Denver today, they wanted a crack at D'Amico Ryan's again and he said no. And then it sounds weird to say this, they might've settled for Sean Payton instead of D'Amico Ryan. So today is a phenomenal day to be a Houston Texans fan. Well, you got Schefter against Rappaport, Sean. Yeah, dueling pianos.

I love it. And those are like the two most respected insiders in the game. As much as I do like Adam Schefter, I kind of believe Rappaport more because you had the hardball stuff with Denver last week, right? Wasn't Denver the favorite to go get D'Amico Ryan's?

And it seemed like he was the leader in the clubhouse. Then they were talking to Sean and then those things kind of stop and he's talking to the Cardinals. It seems like the Broncos were looking elsewhere. And then, yeah, it's, it's weird to say that they may have settled on Sean.

Yeah, and as far as the stuff goes last week, yeah, you're right. There was one hiccup in this journey with D'Amico Ryan's when it came to the fans here. It was that Thursday, I think, last week where the reports were that D'Amico Ryan's was at the top of the list for the Broncos. What wasn't reported was that the Broncos were never at the top of the list for D'Amico Ryan's.

I think there was a general assumption. And, granted, the Texans have earned this place that I'm about to describe, but there was a general assumption, I think, that, well, if D'Amico Ryan's is going to pick between the Broncos and the Texans, of course he's going to pick the Broncos, not the dumpster fire that the Houston Texans have been. And I went on a few radio shows up in Denver and said this, and I think the host that I talked to about this kind of came around, but, you know, the thing is whoever takes a Denver job is not going to get credit for Peyton Manning's Super Bowl or John Elway's two Super Bowls. Because Denver has a rich history, it doesn't change the fact that it's been more recent where the Texans have had a winning season than the Denver Broncos. It doesn't change the fact that the Texans have four first-round picks, including the second overall pick in the next two drafts. It doesn't change the fact that the Texans don't have a quarterback who might be broken and is getting a quarter of a billion dollars over the next five years. The Texans' job was the best job this cycle, across all the jobs, on paper. If you can ignore the fact that they've been dysfunctional the last few years, and I think a lot of that is getting fixed, and I think Jack Easterby getting fired, a lot of that went out the door with that. This was, on paper, the best job this cycle.

They deserve to get the best candidate. Well, when I was thinking about it today, and I don't know which job is better than the other, but the Denver job, it does concern me because, hey, getting Sean Payton, who's going to disagree, who's going to be annoyed at that? But I don't know what Russell Wilson's going to be, Sean.

Right. Yeah, and he's expensive, and you cleared out a lot of draft capital to go get him. I mean, you traded significant draft capital for the right to give Russell Wilson one of the worst contracts in the history of football.

At least that's what's trending right now. I'm sure, Zach, that they're viewing the draft capital they gave up today and whatever salary it is that they're going to pay Sean Payton. The salary is probably less significant to the Walmart people than the draft capital, actually, because money doesn't matter to them. But the price, the cost that they're going to pay, I'm sure baked into that is that they're going to have to take this distressed asset that they have in Russell Wilson, and he's going to have to turn it around. The problem for him is he's going to have to turn it around in a division that has Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in it for the next 10 years.

Great point. Yeah, I mean, I wish Payton luck, but he's going to get paid a lot of money, and I'll leave it at that. But the Russell Wilson-Sean Payton dynamics is going to be fascinating to watch this year, no doubt. And once again, D'Amico Ryan seems like he's a rock star. We know he was a great leader, kind of like a coach when he was a player, but we've been through this cycle before where there's a hot name coordinator, defensive side of the ball, offensive side of the ball, and they just don't work out as a head coach.

But that's not my concern. I don't know if it's going to work or not if I'm a Texans fan, but it's just okay. Now you finally have a coach that you could say, this is the guy that's going to start the rebuild.

Because you knew the last two hires. If they got more than a year in David Coley and also Lovey Smith individually, it would have shocked everybody. Yeah, they're now operating like an actual, real, kind of bad rebuilding team.

You know what I mean? I'm not here to say they're now announcing their presence with authority. Look out, playoff teams, here they come. What I'm saying is that what had happened before Nick Casario got here was so dysfunctional with Jack Easterby and Bill O'Brien completely ruining this team with their trades, the signings, and then the Deshaun Watson thing on top of it. I mean, it already would have been an uphill climb for Casario to get the books cleaned up even if Deshaun Watson wanted to be here and didn't get sued by nearly 30 women. But the fact that Nick was able to pull off a trade for three first round picks for Deshaun Watson, and now he's got the salary cap cleaned up, and now they've got Jack Easterby out of the building. And now they've got a franchise icon coaching the team, who's not just some franchise icon who you go, well, he's a Houston Texan legend and this should be good because at least we reconnect with our fans. Every team in this coaching cycle wanted a shot at D'Amico Ryan's. He's a good coach too. So yeah, I'm not here to say they're going to be a playoff team next year, but I do think it's optimism that is very, very well grounded with D'Amico.

And now we'll see. Now he's got to put his staff together and they've got to do this draft, they've got to get the quarterback right. There's a lot of things they still need to get right, but I mean, I can't express enough. There has not been a single day in the last three years where you've been able to feel good about the Texans living in Houston, like not one. And today is just, I can't overstate how massive it is for this city.

Well, here's my biggest question for you. You talked about Kasari who's been there for the last few years. Now he finally makes a hire where people think that it's going to work out and they're believing in the coach that he hires and you never see a GM hire three people and never have enough wins to be able to do that. Does this reset the timeline for Kasari? Like where is the timeline at when there's even more pressure being put on Nick Kasari? Is this viewed now like year one with Kasari or no?

I don't know if it's viewed like year one. This is what I'll say. I will say this. Cal McNair, the McNairs as a whole, they love Nick Kasari. So I don't think there's any loss in faith in Nick Kasari. I think they fully understand the cleanup job that he had coming in here. My guess is he had some very honest conversations with the McNairs as to how long it might take to clean things up before they could function normally again. He came into a team that wasn't picking until the 67th overall pick and had five draft picks his first year. And he was tens of millions of dollars over the cap. So as far as what this does as a timeline, Nick has four years left on his contract still. He's two years in. He signed a six-year deal, which is actually a little longer than the normal GM contract, which kind of indicates that maybe year one was really sort of year zero, if you know what I mean. So I don't think he's on a hot seat.

I do think that if we're looking up two years from now and this is still a team that's picking in the top five and the other shoe needs to drop on somebody, it's now Nick. And he knows that. He's very accountable to that. He comes on my show. He's coming on our show this Friday.

He's a pretty frequent guest with us. He's pretty open about just the microscope that he's under now. The first couple of years, he hasn't pointed fingers, but as far as the fans and us in the media going, okay, whose fault is it that they're this bad right now? The first couple of years, at least you could point to what he inherited.

We're past that now. It is Nick Casario's runway moving forward, and I can tell you that if things are going sideways a couple of years in, it'll probably be Nick, not D'Amico, that's taking the brunt of that. I don't think it's a hot seat, but I do think he's the one that the pressure is, at least at this point now, is squarely more so on him than it is D'Amico. D'Amico will have that normal pressure of being an NFL head coach every week.

He's not operating under no pressure, but it's Nick who this is on right now, for sure. Is there anything you don't like about this hire just one there? It's not that I don't like these things, but if I'm looking at the modern NFL, the fact that D'Amico is a defensive coach, not an offensive coach, doesn't scare me greatly, but I understand the dynamic, especially in this postseason it seemed like. If you didn't have an offensive coach, you didn't get into the club, that kind of thing. And you do tend to then have to, especially if they draft a young quarterback, you're going to have to worry about possibly cycling through offensive coordinators. Now the flip side to that is the Texans haven't had an offensive coordinator in a decade. Since Gary Kubiak was calling plays here, that other teams would even want to touch with a 10-foot pole. So if you all of a sudden have teams sniffing around your OC, it means you've probably done some pretty good things. That would be a welcome problem to have around here. But probably that and the part that there's really no head coach body of work to go with on D'Amico. He's only been a coordinator for two years. Those things aren't things that I dislike or hate or anything like that. Those aren't ideal. But there's so much good about D'Amico Ryan.

If you're doing the whole Ben Franklin pro and con thing with this, the pros far outweigh the cons. And I think it's borne out by the fact that all these other teams, there's no other team in the league that can point at this and go, well, that's a bad hire. This was a good hire. Now we got to see.

It's different when you're in the big seat for some guys. I think D'Amico's going to be okay with it just because I've covered him his whole playing career in Houston, the six years he was here. He was someone who, and it happened in Philly too when he got traded there. His leadership qualities shine through literally the first day he's anywhere new.

He's exceptional. Seth Payne, who you mentioned, my co-host, his last year in Houston, his last year as a player was D'Amico's rookie year here in Houston in 2006. Seth played, for those who don't know, he was a defensive tackle for 10 years in the NFL, his last five in Houston. And Seth will tell the story where D'Amico stepped into the huddle as a rookie in training camp. He's a middle linebacker, so he's the one calling all the signals. And veterans tend to look at rookies a little sideways until they earn their stripes, that kind of thing, especially in a position of kind of force leadership like D'Amico's in. And so Seth said, like any veteran, he was kind of like, okay, Rook, okay, Rook.

It literally took three plays, and Seth will tell the story where he's like, within three plays, I'm like, yes, sir, no, sir, that kind of thing. D'Amico's got a vibe. He's got an it factor about him. So I think it's going to serve him well in this new role.

Hugely respected guy. I also think the biggest word here may just be alignment. Like, this is the first time in a while where it feels like the main people in charge are aligned.

Yeah, no doubt. I think from ownership down through the head coach, and I think Cassario and D'Amico are very aligned. They're different in terms of kind of the football, I'll call it the football religions they were brought up in. You know, Cassario is a guy whose roots are in the Belichick kind of religion. D'Amico is more of a West, you know, kind of a Kubiak, Shanahan.

You know, he's part of that tree. I think both guys, though, are very intellectual. They're very smart. And I think they're both guys that recognize, like, it's better to have multiple schools of thought in a building and then we hash it out with some constructive conflict and an exchange of ideas than just to bring in everybody who thinks the same way. You know, and I think D'Amico's hire demonstrates that for sure with Cassario that it doesn't have to be Patriots South. I think that was always a big concern with Texan fans is, okay, well, he's just going to hire, someday he's going to hire Josh McDaniel, and then the two John Carroll University guys are going to get to run a football team together like they always talked about at the student union at John Carroll University.

Not the case at all. You know, if he wanted to hire Josh McDaniel, he could have done it last year when they hired Lovey Smith. They hired D'Amico Ryans, and I think the two guys are going to work great together.

Two things before we let you run. I think a lot of people on the outside, like, they look at David Cully and they said, okay, he won four games, what else could you have asked for? And then the Lovey Smith thing, it's back to back years of firing a coach with only one year getting a chance to prove something. I never thought either David Cully or Lovey Smith should have been hired in the first place in the years of, what, 2021, 2022 to be a head coach in this league. What's the biggest misconception, you being there every day, about what happened with David Cully and Lovey Smith? Yeah, I would say that the biggest misconception is kind of what you just said, Zach, which is, hey, he won four games, who else would have won four games?

Oh, Lovey won three games, who else could have won three games? The people who are saying that are people who just didn't watch the Texans this year, and I'm not saying, trust me, I'm not telling anybody you should have watched the Texans this year. But as far as having an informed opinion, and especially because with both of those coaches, there is a racial element to it that gets dragged into it sometimes, which is, I think, a slippery slope to play when you accuse a franchise of being racist.

They just hired D'Amico Ryans, so take that for what it's worth. But I think the biggest misconception is don't look at the win total, you've got to have watched this team. David Cully was so overmatched as an NFL head coach, some of the in-game decisions he made, his explanations for those, they made no sense. And then Lovey was coaching a team that was supposed to improve a little bit year over year, and they went backwards in every way possible. And they were a joke defending the run and trying to generate offense.

So I think that's why. They got worse under Lovey, and they both deserve to be fired. There's no question.

Last thing I'll ask you, Sean Pendergast, who does a great job, Sports Radio 610 in Houston, also you could hear him here on CBS Sports Radio. So you said you thought this was the best job on the market, and the guy that was probably the most sought after, not probably was the most sought after, D'Amico Ryans, ends up taking the job. Why do you think this is the best job on the market in the year of 2023? Compared to the other openings, obviously. I think four first round picks in the next two years, this year the second pick and the 12th pick, next year it'll be wherever the Texans are picking, and Cleveland's pick. Doesn't look like Cleveland's ready to light the world on fire anytime soon. Although Deshaun probably should be better next year.

You would think, yeah. Yeah, they've got those four first round picks the next two years. They've got a plethora of picks overall. I think they've got 11 or 12 picks total in this draft. Plus they get John Mechie back from the second round pick last year, the kid out of Alabama who had leukemia this year.

He looks better now than he did when he arrived, according to Nick Casario. So it's almost like having another second round pick. So the draft capital, the salary cap space, they've got among the six or seven most salary cap space heading into this offseason, and now have a head coach that I think will have credibility with players on the free agent market. The division is a very winnable division.

Jacksonville won it with a 9-8 record last year. We'll see what Trevor Lawrence is, but Indianapolis and Tennessee both appear to be on the downturn right now. You have an owner who's willing to spend money, who's not a meddling owner. He's an owner who's made some bad decisions, but if he makes good hires, that dude stays out of the way.

Cal McNair does not want to be in the spotlight. Those are the big things. There's some good young pieces on the team too, especially on defense. Getting to watch Derrick Stingley this year and Jalen Petrie in D'Amico's defense instead of Lovie Smith's antiquated Tampa 2 defense. Watching Derrick Stingley play a soft zone all year last year while watching Sauce Gardner playing Robert Salah's defense was one of the most painful things about being a Texan fan. Well, guess what defense D'Amico runs? The same one Robert Salah does.

They both came from the same tree. So there's a lot to like about this job, and I think those are four or five I just gave you, but I think they check all green check marks in those boxes for the Texans. Sean, appreciate you doing this. Thanks so much for the time. Anytime, Zach. Appreciate you.

And download the free Odyssey app today. I'm Larry Mullins, host of the podcast, Your Weirdest Fears, the show that explores the odd things that make your heart stop. I am so scared of the Grinch. He is bad vibes. We talk to everyone from therapists to exterminators to lizard man. I was 25 when I actually got my tongue split.

I have one tattoo that covers my entire body. Listen and subscribe on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts from. There's a lot to listen to, so get started and download the free Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-31 22:54:26 / 2023-01-31 23:04:14 / 10

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