Coach David Culley says Texans are building a culture

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The Houston Texans are 1-7. If the team is building anything right now, it is momentum toward the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Despite the Texans riding a seven-game losing streak, six of them with rookie third-rounder Davis Mills under center, coach David Culley says the team is building something more important in 2021: culture.

Culley has been a part of challenged teams before. In 1994, when he got his start as receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under coach Sam Wyche, the team finished 6-10. The next season, Tampa Bay finished 7-9, but the club went in another direction hiring Tony Dungy, and Culley went with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-98 in the same capacity.

The Texans’ current situation reminds him of the 1999 Philadelphia Eagles, where he was first united with Andy Reid, who was in his rookie year as the NFC East club’s coach.

“In Philly, when we first got there, we went through this,” said Culley. “Basically, the very first year when we were there, it was kind of similar to what we’re going through right here. End up at the end of the year finding some wins, and when you’re establishing a culture, winning is important.”

The Eagles finished 5-11 and won just two of their last six games. However, the Eagles made the wild-card playoffs the next year and took over the NFC East thereafter with five NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl berth to show by the time Reid and Culley left the Eagles at the end of the 2012 campaign.

Similarly, Culley seeks to stack wins in Houston’s increasingly lost season.

Said Culley: “Winning is important in the culture. Basically, we’re taking it one game at a time right now. When we get that first win and that next win, then we just keep moving from there.”

Houston is 1-7 for the first time since 2005, which was coach Dom Capers’ third and final season with the Texans.