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My “blink” reaction is that they got it right. “They” are the Texans, and “it” is Tuesday’s hiring of DeMeco Ryans as the team’s fourth head coach in four seasons. Ryans reportedly has signed a six-year contract and will be formally introduced as Houston’s HC at a Wednesday news conference.

Dating back to his collegiate playing days at Alabama, Ryans has always stood out as a natural leader. In most cases, all I need to know about a guy is how his teammates felt about him, and Ryans was beloved both at Alabama and throughout his ten-year NFL playing career with the Texans and Eagles. And did you see the job he did this season as the ‘Niners’ defensive coordinator? This just feels right. Let’s just hope the Texans’ ownership and front office doesn’t mess it up. Houston will have every chance to get the Ryans Era off to a solid start, since the Texans have both the second and 12th overall picks in April’s draft.

Needs? Quarterback, obviously. But Ryans will also want to get busy fixing the Texans’ historically horrible run defense.

Ryans is a good fit in Houston, to say the least. But Sean Payton in Denver? I’m not sold. This much is apparent. The demand for Payton from around the league wasn’t as hot as he anticipated. Yes, the Broncos have pretty much unlimited resources. (Does the name Wal-Mart resonate financially?) Denver also has a defense that was ranked first in the NFL this season until it pretty much just said “screw this” because of the team’s offensive and coaching ineptitude. But Payton is an offensive coach whose undeniable success in New Orleans was keyed by his long and very successful relationship with his quarterback, Drew Brees. Payton and Russell Wilson? That’s an Odd Couple, to put it mildly. Color me skeptical.

The winner here may be the Saints, since they received a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-rounder from the Broncos in compensation for Payton, who was under contract in New Orleans through 2024.

How’s this for a “mixed message”?  Panthers owner David Tepper says he is committed to breaking up the “old boys” network in the NFL that leads to white guys hiring white guys. OK. But this is the same David Tepper whose team just passed over Steve Wilks, who did a good—bordering on wonderful—job as the Panthers’ interim head coach after Matt Rhule was fired early in the season. Wilks is Black. Instead, Carolina hired the notably pale Frank Reich as their coach going forward. Don’t misunderstand. Reich is a helluva coach, and I’m delighted he found another head coaching gig after his ridiculous firing in Indy. He’s one of my faves. I’m merely pointing out the inconsistency between Tepper’s words and deeds. Sounds like he was just trying to fade the heat from fans and media.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.