The Houston Texans have decided to fire head coach Gary Kubiak today, and it’s a move that doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Although the Texans had plenty of success in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, they have the worst record in the league this season and have been a huge disappointment. The sudden implosion of Matt Schaub has been a factor, but there are plenty of reasons. Kubiak mis-managed Arian Foster’s reps, had too predictable play-calling, drew the ire of the front office at one point, and he was also unwilling to bench the horrid Derek Newton (one of the worst RTs in the league) for a better player in Ryan Harris. It’s easy to feel bad for Kubiak due to the mini-stroke he suffered earlier this season and the fact that he could be viewed as a scapegoat, but coaches quite honestly deserve to be fired for having this kind of disappointing season with a playoff team. And unlike Mike Smith and the Atlanta Falcons, Kubiak and the Texans can’t point to massive injuries as a legitimate reason.
So now the Texans job is to find a new head coach, and they need to be exceedingly careful with their next hire. They can’t afford to hire somebody who is going to be complacent and take the franchise another step back, and I think it’s preferable for this team to hire another offensive-minded head coach. Wade Phillips has the defense locked down and is one of the league’s best DCs, so it really makes no sense to hire a head coach whose expertise is mostly restricted to the defensive side of the ball.
But oh wait, the the first name being circulated (yes, it’s already happening) in the Houston Texans head coaching search is former Chicago Bears HC Lovie Smith, who was rumored in several high-profile college coaching gigs. Smith is definitely much more adept at coaching the defense than the offense, which is a big reason why the Bears decided to hire Marc Trestman, whose expertise is coaching offenses and QBs.
According to the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, Texans owner Bob McNair “indicated” that he “wants” to speak with Lovie Smith about the team’s new head coaching vacancy. Smith is a solid coach, but I’m not sure it’s the guy this team needs. To be honest with you, the Texans need to hire a smart, innovative coach who is excellent with offenses, and guys like Mike McCoy and Rob Chudzinski come to mind as the kind of coach the Texans need to target. McCoy and Chud were excellent first-year hires this year, and I think the Texans need to go for that type of HC.