Texans’ David Culley ready to seize opportunity to lead as coach

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HOUSTON — When the NFL kickoff their 2021 season, Houston Texans’ coach David Culley will be one of seven new head coaches taking the field on Sunday.

First-time coaches normally feel a sense of nervousness ahead of their opening game acting as head coach. But for Culley, the three preseason games were a way for the 65-year-old head coach to feel well prepared and established ere the Texans’ season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. The Jags will also have a rookie coach in Urban Meyer.

Unlike his rookie peers, it took Culley 27 years after his initial NFL gig to receive his first head-coaching job. He began his coaching career in 1994, serving as the wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I felt at some point that if it happens, I would be ready to do it,” Culley said during his presser Monday. “Fortunately for me, it did happen. And I am looking forward to it.”

Adjusting to life as a head coach will come with some challenges for Culley, but he does have the support from several of his former colleagues. One of Culley’s advisor is John Harbaugh, where he served as the Assistant head coach and passing game coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens the previous two seasons.

“I talked to John Harbaugh a couple of times because that was the last guy I was with,” he said. “I’ve taken a lot of things from him. He told me before the first preseason game that they keep score. So approach the game the same way. Once you get into the regular season, it should not be any different.”

Culley isn’t getting caught up in the moment ahead of his first regular-season game as an NFL head coach. He is concentrating on fixing the Texans’ lack of execution they displayed during their 23-16 loss to the Buccaneers amidst Houston’s preseason finale.

One intangible that keeps Culley focus on the job at hand is improving the Texans’ inability to take care of the ball. They committed five turnovers during their loss against the Bucs, and the Texans’ failure to take care of the ball has stuck with Culley since their final exhibition game.