NFL Countdown #9: The Houston Texans defense was just not good at playing defense in 2020. The Texans ranked among the worst in the league in most defensive metrics, and only generated 9 turnovers over the course of the season.
Jack Easterby. A man whose Wikipedia page says he was either born in 1982 or 1983. A man who was hired on two separate occasions to help teams cope and move on from their teammates murdering people. A man who has consistently found a way to work his tentacles into every aspect of any organization he touches.
Jack Easterby began his career of being a mysterious man lurking behind the scenes of an NFL team in 2004 when he took an internship with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not much is known about his time with the Jaguars, but Easterby left to become the “character coach” for the South Carolina Gamecocks men’s basketball team from 2005 to 2010. Again, not much is known about Easterby’s time in South Carolina, except for the fact that he managed to weasel his way into involvement with the women’s basketball team as well. In 2011, the Kansas City Chiefs brought Easterby in to become the team’s “chaplain”. In this strange part secular-part religious role, Easterby most notably helped the team cope and work to move on after their teammate Jovan Belcher committed a murder-suicide in December of 2012.
The New England Patriots hired Jack Easterby to become the first “character coach” in NFL history ahead of the 2013 NFL season. This was just after Bill O’Brien had left his position as offensive coordinator to become the first head coach at Penn State after Joe Paterno. Easterby was hired specifically to help Patriots players cope with the whole Aaron Hernandez situation, but quickly worked his way into every aspect of the organization. While in New England, Easterby apparently worked similar hours to regular football coaches, coming in early and staying very late on a daily basis. He spent a lot of time counseling players and their families, but slowly worked his way onto the field, warming up with players before practices and even participating in drills. Easterby decided to leave New England in 2019 after Robert Kraft was indicted on charges of sex trafficking stemming from his visit to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. In a statement later released by the Houston Texans organization, he left the Patriots because “Easterby felt his time with the team had run its course, and the Kraft situation does not sit well with him.”
Months later, Jack Easterby was hired by the Texans to become their new “executive vice president of team development”. He quickly established a strong, faith-based relationship with the son of the team’s owner, Cal McNair, and was involved in discussions leading up to the firing of the Texans general manager, Brian Gaine, just two months after Easterby arrived in Houston. The whole organization quickly devolved into chaos, spending the whole 2019 season without a general manager before head coach Bill O’Brien was named GM directly after that season. O’Brien’s short and hilarious tenure as head coach/GM was highlighted by his trading star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for an old runningback, and 2nd round draft pick, and a 4th round pick. In the months leading up to this trade, Jack Easterby reportedly had been lobbying for the team to trade Hopkins, telling members of the organization “we need to move on from that person”.
After Bill O’Brien was fired as the general manager and head coach of the Texans, Romeo Crennel was promoted to interim head coach to close out the 2020 season. Crennel had been the Chiefs head coach while Jack Easterby was their team chaplain back in 2012. With Bill O’Brien out of the way, Easterby and Cal McNair essentially began to run the organization together. The team had promised their franchise quarterback that he would be involved with their GM search, but quickly reneged on that promise when Easterby was able to convince Patriots director of personnel, Nick Caserio, to become their next GM.
I’m sure Jack Easterby is very litigious, so I will just leave some dots here that you may choose to connect if you wish. Throughout his wild and unorthodox career with numerous vague job titles, Jack Easterby has somehow always found a way to do way more than what was asked of him. Just like Senator Palpatine slowly consolidating power in order to take over the galaxy as Darth Sidious, Easterby has climbed through the ranks of every organization he's touched in a similarly shady fashion. He snaked his way into organizations in turmoil – twice after team members were discovered to be murderers, and once when the team was just incompetent and had no clear power structure. When he was fresh out of school, he secured an internship with the Jaguars, the second closest team to Palm Beach, Florida. He got his first real NFL job working under Romeo Crennel, then arrived in Foxboro just after Bill O’Brien left to replace Joe Paterno after everything that had happened within the Penn State football organization. Easterby hung around in New England until early 2019, getting out just after Robert Kraft’s human trafficking case came to light, and just before Jeffrey Epstein was arrested. Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself, and his murder on July 23rd 2019 fell right in between Texans OTAs and training camp that year. Easterby started working under Bill O’Brien in April of that year, ingratiating himself to the son of the team’s owner while whispering advice into O’Brien’s ear that eventually became the head coach’s demise. Easterby’s first boss in the NFL, Romeo Crennel, took over at head coach for just enough time for the team’s “executive vice president of football operations” to essentially handpick their next general manager. At this moment, Jack Easterby is seemingly calling all of the shots in Houston with no real explanation on how he has gotten to this place. I would like to formally declare that I don’t know how he got here and nothing in this article intends to answer the many questions surrounding Jack Easterby’s entire existence.