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Hines Ward and Joe Lombardi have interviewed to be the next head coach of the Houston Texans. The Texans had already interviewed Brian Flores, who was recently fired after being the Dolphins' head coach for the past three years. 

The most prolific receiver in Pittsburgh Steelers history, Ward is currently serving as the receivers coach at Florida Atlantic. He broke into coaching as an offensive intern with the Steelers during the 2017 season. That season, Antonio Brown and then-rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster flourished for a Steelers team that went 13-3 during the regular season. Ward was a full-time offensive assistant for the New York Jets during the 2019 season. New York won six of its final eight games that season after a 1-7 start. 

As a player, Ward enjoyed a 14-year career that saw him earn four Pro Bowl selections. He won two Super Bowls and was named MVP of Super Bowl XL after catching five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. Ward has been a semi-finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in each of the last six years. He owns Steelers franchise records for career receptions (1,000), yards (12,083) and touchdowns (85). 

Lombardi recently concluded his first season as the Los Angeles Chargers' offensive coordinator. Before that, Lombardi spent 12 seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He served as Drew Brees' quarterbacks coach when the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV. He spent two seasons as the Lions' offensive coordinator before returning to New Orleans in 2016. 

Houston fired David Culley on Thursday after just one season. The Texans went 4-13 under Culley while finishing 30th in the NFL in scoring, 27th in points allowed, 32nd in rushing and 31st in rushing yards allowed. Houston's record was similar to the 4-12 mark in 2020 that resulted in Bill O'Brien being relieved of his duties after an 0-4 start. 

Culley inherited a less than ideal situation in Houston. The team benched Deshaun Watson throughout the season and endured an injury to Tyrod Taylor. Houston went 2-9 with rookie Davis Mills at starting quarterback. Mills showed growth during the season that included his 301-yard, three-touchdown performance in Houston's Week 18 loss to the Titans. Along with Mills, the Texans enjoyed solid statistical seasons from receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive end Jonathan Greenard, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill and defensive backs Desmond King and Lonnie Johnson Jr.

Texans GM Nick Caserio said he had "philosophical differences" with Culley "over the long-term direction and vision for our program moving forward."