Casserly officially resigns as GM of Texans

Updated: May 11, 2006, 12:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

HOUSTON -- Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly resigned Wednesday, ending months of speculation that intensified in recent weeks after the team used the No. 1 pick to draft defensive end Mario Williams.

Len Pasquarelli
The resignation of Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly on Wednesday afternoon, a departure which culminated months of speculation and finally confirmed one of the league's worst-kept secrets, officially ended an era for the team.

It also ended, most Texans observers agree, a way of doing business for the franchise.

To read more of Len Pasquarelli's analysis, click here.

Casserly had been with the Texans since the expansion franchise joined the league six years ago. The Texans played their first season in 2002.

"I've been in this league 29 years," Casserly said. "I spent a lot of time talking about this with my family. We came to the same conclusion -- the time was right to move on."

Casserly met with Texans owner Bob McNair on Wednesday morning, telling McNair he wanted to pursue a job in the NFL office in New York. He also met with the Texans' coaching staff and contacted Houston's scouts.

Casserly will officially step down on June 1.

"I have an interest in doing other things right now," Casserly said.

McNair said Casserly was not fired. He said he had no replacement candidates in mind.

"I have talked to no one. I have no list," McNair said.

Candidates for the opening in Houston are expected to include former Atlanta Falcons personnel chief Ron Hill and current Denver Broncos director of pro scouting Rick Smith.

The Texans went 2-14 in 2005, prompting the firing of Dom Capers, the franchise's first coach. Gary Kubiak was hired and was disappointed to see Casserly go.

"I have grown very fond of him," Kubiak said. "We had a lot of work to do to try to get this thing headed in the right direction. We've had a good four months together. I wish it would be longer, but I understand the business."

Casserly, 57, joined the Texans in 2000, after 23 years with the Washington Redskins. He started with the Redskins as an unpaid intern under Hall of Fame coach George Allen and was hired as a scout the next season.

The Redskins elevated Casserly to assistant general manager in 1982, the year the franchise won its first Super Bowl. Casserly became Washington's GM in 1989.

Casserly's first big move came in 2002, when the Texans drafted David Carr. He also participated in the search that landed Kubiak.

Casserly said he wanted to stay with the team through the NFL draft, but he and the Texans drew plenty of criticism when they selected Williams -- and not Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush or University of Texas star Vince Young.

Casserly defended the decision on Wednesday, promising the Texans would quickly improve.

"Our record is what our record is," Casserly said. "But I think this ballclub will make a dramatic jump this year in caliber of play. Eventually, the wins will come. With the offseason we had, I feel really good about it."

Kubiak said the Texans now face a pivotal decision in finding Casserly's successor.

"This is a huge hire for our organization," he said. "There's a lot of good things going on. The key thing is we have to do our homework and make sure they keep heading in that direction.

"This person has to be a great fit for what's happening right now with the Houston Texans."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.