The Texans’ overhauled roster seems to be stocked with players from David Culley’s coaching past.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back Mark Ingram quickly come to mind. Wide receiver Chris Moore, who is not as well known as Taylor and Ingram, signed with the Texans this offseason after spending the past couple of seasons working under Culley with the Baltimore Ravens.
If you think he is here by coincidence, think again.
“When he asked me to come over here, I was just excited to come here and join him,” said the sixth-year veteran.
His willingness to follow Culley had everything to do with their relationship in Baltimore and how he saw the coach conduct his business as an assistant coach with the Ravens. Culley served as the Ravens’ assistant head coach, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator prior to taking over in Houston this past winter.
“He always preached about putting the team first,” said Moore, who spent all five of his professional football years with the Ravens before joining the Texans on a one-year deal this offseason. “That’s something he’s told us in the receiving room at Baltimore. It was just about us coming in here and helping the team get better.
“So I knew if I traveled with him and came over here that he was still going to have that same mindset and that was still going to be his main motto coming here, so I was just excited to join him in that process.”
Having players who are familiar with how the new coach goes about his work and know his system helps make the transition easier for all involved. That’s why you will see players like Taylor and Ingram playing a major role this season, as well as Moore, who is also likely to contribute as a kickoff returner this season.
“There’s a comfort level in guys that have been there and done that. The experience,” Culley said Thursday. “They’ve been through the wars. There’s a really big comfort level there with guys that you know have been there and done that.”
Familiarity is also big for players. The guys Culley has coached know exactly what to expect from Culley because they have seen him in action.
Moore said the energy Texans fans saw from Culley in the first preseason game was classic him on the sidelines on game days.
“That’s one thing about Coach Culley, you can always hear him,” said Moore, who has 45 catches for 511 yards and four touchdowns during his first five seasons. “No matter where he’s at on the field, you hear him screaming, giving coaching pointers always. So I already knew, when he was out there, he was going to bring that same energy, and that’s what he did during the game.
“After the game was over, I congratulated him because he’s doing his thing.”
But all of that aside, Moore’s focus is on making the team and then making an impact this season. His biggest value may come on special teams.
“I’m just a fast dude who’s going to go out there and work,” said Moore, who had one catch for six yards in the preseason opener against Green Bay. “It doesn’t matter what they ask me. They ask me to run a clear out route, I’m going to run at full speed. If they ask me to block for a run play, I’m going to give it all I got.
“I’m a blue-collar guy when it comes out here. I’m just working.”