Texans' David Culley on Tim Kelly: 'Has done a tremendous job'

When the Texans retained offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, they had already signaled their intentions toward the young play-caller.

The Texans previously denied permission to the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars when they wanted to interview Kelly, 34, for non head-coaching positions, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly. And new Texans general manager Nick Caserio quickly met with Kelly upon taking the job in January.

Once David Culley was in place as head coach, he quickly ascertained that keeping Kelly, who made strides last season in running the offense, made a lot of sense.

Photo Courtesy of Houston Texans

Now, the Texans are meshing Kelly's ideas with Culley, a former Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton and other assistants.

“The offense that he’s had has been a group thing even previously," Culley said. "There’s a couple of guys that are on this staff here with him before and basically with some of the new guys that we have brought in, basically to bring in some new ideas to basically take what Tim has been doing for the last few years and just make it better. Tim has done a tremendous job. He knows exactly what he wants to get done in this offense. 

"As a collective group, they’ve sat down and Tim’s been great with this about getting the ideas from everybody in that room and usually, the best offenses in this league are usually offenses that are from a whole offensive group that are putting in input and basically doing what you feel like your personnel can do. During this offseason, they’ve done a really nice job of doing that. Tim’s done a nice job of incorporating that.”

A former graduate assistant at Penn State under former Texans coach Bill O'Brien, now the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama, Kelly has risen in the coaching ranks with the Texans. He was hired in 2014 as an offensive quality control coach before being promoted to tight ends coach and then offensive coordinator. He coached embattled Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has requested a trade and is facing 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, last season as he led the NFL in passing yards.

Photo Courtesy of Houston Texans

“As far as the growth, every time you go out there, I think no matter how many years you’ve been doing it, each game is kind of unique in how it all unfolds," Kelly said at the end of the season. "Being able to kind of learn to deal with each situations that comes up. End of the game, end of the half. Four-minute situation versus a two-minute situation. Having to adjust with multiple offensive linemen getting hurt.

"Just really, you have a plan going into it and the thing that I’ve learned the most and we talked about it is you’ve got to figure out really quickly what’s good about that plan and wear that stuff out because you don’t have a whole lot of time to go into every little box that you may have on there and see, ‘Well, is this going to work? Is this going to work?’ You need to have a really good idea going into the game and then confirm it right away so you can make sure that you’re scoring as many points as you can to try to capture the momentum and put yourself in a position to win the game.”

Culley had some familiarity with Kelly because of games against him. Now that they're working together and getting to know each other, Culley sees some shared philosophies

“Oh, I knew about him," Culley said. "We played against him three years at other places I’ve been. I knew they’ve been very good offensively. I like what he’s all about. The thing about when I interviewed Tim and we talked to Tim about it, I love the mindset of – I’m going back again to just like when Nick brought me in here, this organization brought me in here, we had some like-mindedness as far as how we look at things and I felt the same way with Tim when I talked to Tim about winning football. Again, that was a part of also why Tim is also still here.”

Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Previously at The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun, Wilson is on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.

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