Did the Houston Texans create a sense of paranoia among its players?
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Multiple players from the Houston Texans expressed concerns about being followed and watched by team representatives while they were away from team facilities. This bizarre, intrusive style of leadership seems to come from Jack Easterby, the longtime character coach for the Patriots who was named the executive vice president of football operations for the Texans earlier this year.
Jenny Vrentas and Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated reported that Easterby created an environment that left many players feeling like they could not trust him or the organization.
“A culture of distrust had started to permeate the organization,” they wrote. “Multiple Texans from Easterby’s tenure say they began to watch what they would say in conversations with him, nervous that the culture coach was looking for reasons to move out people with different values or lifestyles.”
But this apparently went well beyond players watching what they say, with at least one player believing that he was being watched and several other members of the organization expressing similar concerns.
“One player was so convinced he was being followed by someone representing the team that he paid a friend to watch the dark sedan he says he observed frequently parked outside his house,” Vrentas and Bishop wrote. “He even went so far as to log license plate numbers of unfamiliar cars. Two other members of the organization shared the player’s concerns that members of the team were being surveilled away from the building.”
Easterby has not directly addressed these allegations, but given the serious nature of what the team is being accused of, it’s hard to imagine there will not be some sort of response from him or the Texans sooner rather than later.
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