The Texans were smart in letting Gary Kubiak go a few weeks back. It gave them a jump start on a search for a new head coach. They can legally speak with anyone who is available and not under contract. And I'm sure they have illegally, by NFL rules that is, spoke with coaches already with positions on pro or college teams. I'm not singling out Houston guys, this happens all the time with every team in the league. I doubt the NFL is tapping every coaches phone, so the lines of communication are open.
However they did follow the rules when Lovie Smith interviewed for the head coaching job at Houston yesterday and according to sources, Smith was atop the Texans list of candidates. And why not! Smith has taken his team to a Super Bowl, losing to Peyton Manning's Colts. The Bears starting quarterback was Rex Grossman. Exactly! Lovie led and guided his team with his old school defensive mind and won games by causing turnovers and 3 & outs consistently. The Bears had trouble scoring at times during that 2006 SB run so it was Lovie Smith and his well coached and very talented defense that won the Chicago Bears the NFC Conference Championship.
It's funny how people say that losing the Super Bowl is a failure. That's complete nonsense. Some people just don't understand how hard it is to make it to 1 SB let alone 4 consecutively. The Buffalo Bills infamously lost 4 straight Super Bowls. While at least 1 victory would have been amazing for the franchise and maybe solidify the Bills as a small dynasty, would have changed the perspective of many analysts and alike. I say making it to 4 title games in a row is absolutely incredible and I applaud that accomplishment as opposed to deeming it as a failure and a team synonymous with losing. Maybe you haven't noticed but many of those players from that early 90's Bills team are enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Lovie Smith was released last season by the Bears despite a (10 - 6) record and enduring numerous injuries to his team. Jay Cutler is constantly getting injured, the defense has aged and some have retired. Yet Smith was able to keep his Bears in the hunt every year. After losing the Super Bowl in 2006, Lovie led the Bears to the cusp of Super Bowl serenity, but once again a Jay Cutler injury put a stop to those dreams as they lost at home in the Conference Championship to the eventual SB Champions the Green Bay Packers.
Smith never had much of an offense to work with. He's gone through guys like Caleb Hanie, Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Kyle Orton, Brian Griese, Rex Grossman and of course Josh McCown who actually did a very good job. Nevertheless, how can a coach have positive consistency when you have a different QB under center almost every year?!
Usually when a team fires their head coach they end up going after the antithesis of what they had. Gary Kubiak is an offensive minded coach who was smart enough to bring in Wade Philips to help with the defense which despite the Texans record has been pretty good for the most part. Still, it's time for a switch and to shake things up.
Smith is a defensive minded, tough head coach who demands and earns the respect of his players. He's a players coach but he runs a tight ship. His players get in line and follow orders. I don't mean to put down Gary Kubiak but he appeared a bit more passive then a guy like Lovie Smith. The Texans are way too talented to have lost 12 straight games this season. I believe Lovie can get the most out of these guys but one issue remains. The Texans need a quarterback and coach Smith knows all too well how the lack of performance at that position can hinder a team.
Whether or not Lovie Smith becomes the next head coach of the Texans or it's Mike Shanahan who apparently will be fired after this season, finding a solid starting, franchise type quarterback is the key to any teams ignition. Maybe they do it through the draft since they are headed towards the number 1 overall draft pick. Perhaps they still have some belief in Matt Schaub or Case Keenum. My guess is probably not! So whatever happens with the Texans coaching position, the quarterback position is a top priority. Maybe even more so than the head coach.
I expect the Texans to draft a quarterback in 2014 and allow the new H.C. time to mold him and the rest of the team into possible winners. They were on that track the past few seasons but the train completely fell apart. Maybe Arian Foster is as good or better than advertised and is a yearly MVP candidate in my book every season.
Quarterbacks are abundant in this draft with guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Jonnny Manziel, Derek Carr and A.J. McCarron. Possibly a few hidden gems in the later rounds! So it makes sense to me that the Houston Texans draft a QB with their first pick and could even trade back to get more picks from other teams in desperate need of a quarterback. One thing is absolutely for sure among the many scenarios the Texans are dealing with. And that is the fact that Houston has a problem. The good news is that they aren't too far away from success as long as they make the right moves during the off-season.