Did GM Nick Caserio hint at the Texans’ new coach?

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HOUSTON — For the second consecutive year, the Houston Texans are searching for a new coach following the jettison of David Culley Thursday afternoon. Culley spent one season with the Texans, who ended the year with a 4-13 record.

For general manager Nick Caserio, the objective for his second coaching hire is to find someone who can get the Texans closer to some of the NFL’s most prominent franchises. While his next hire will likely be a disciple of Bill Belichick, Caserio may use the model of a rival coach in hopes of finding stability on the sidelines of NRG Stadium.

“No one respects what the Pittsburgh Steelers have done as a franchise more than myself — three head coaches over the course of Art Rooney’s ownership,” Caserio said. “When you look at coach [Mike] Tomlin, he was a coordinator for one year in Minnesota, and he was 30 something years old. People did not know he would be the coach who would not have a losing season in 15 years.”

Caserio added: “Forget about sports, Mike is as good of a leader in organizational management. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Tomlin.”

Caserio wants to replicate the faith —and success — Rooney had in Tomlin when the Steelers hired their Super Bowl-winning coach in 2007 — after one season as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator.

Prior to becoming the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl in 2008, Tomlin had two stops as a defensive back coach with the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Most of the Texans’ candidates have an excessive background, except for New England Patriots’ linebackers coach Jerod Mayo — who could emerge as Houston’s top nominee for their coaching vacancy.

Mayo has served as a Patriots’ position coach over the previous three seasons following his nine-year playing career with the organization. Similar to Tomlin in 2007, Mayo is an intriguing contender despite not having the same qualifications as his more experienced contemporaries.

According to Caserio, there is no timetable on the Texans’ head coaching hire and will choose a candidate based on who makes the organization comfortable.

“That’s the goal, and it is a difficult mountain top to reach,” Caserio said. “But that’s what we are striving for. We are not there yet, but we certainly made some incremental progress this year. Hopefully, we can continue to make more incremental progress and understand that change is going to be a part of it.”

In addition to Mayo, Brian Flores, former coach of the Miami Dolphins who was canned on Monday, is another leading candidate for the Texans coaching vacuity.