Gary Kubiak isn't as bad a coach as the blowout loss to the Rams would indicate, but it is time for the Texans to move in a new direction. With games remaining with the Chiefs, Broncos, Patriots, and two with the Colts; the Texans have the look of a 5-11 or 6-10 type team. This is Kubiak's eighth season as the Texans head coach, if he finishes at or below the record he had during his first season (6-10), how can they justify keeping him? The overall talent has greatly improved since he took over, but the results have not. Where should the finger be pointed for consistently underachieving? The head coach of course. If they don't make the playoffs, and I see no reason to think they will, they have to fire Kubiak.
Two playoff wins in eight seasons; the head coach of the Houston Texans should be held to a higher standard. He's had enough time, just look at the teams who picked right after the Texans in the 2006 draft; Kubiak's first draft/season with the team.
The next five picks were made by the Saints, Titans, Jets, Packers, and 49ers. Two of those teams (Saints and Packers) have won a Super Bowl since the 2006 draft. During that same time period the 49ers have reached Super Bowl and the Jets have reached the AFC Championship game twice.
All but one of those teams, (Titans) have clearly achieved more than the Texans since the hire of Gary Kubiak, and an argument can be made that even the Titans have achieved more over that time period. Since the hire of Kubiak, both teams have made the playoffs twice and the Titans actually have more team wins (63-61) than the Texans. It should also be mentioned that a couple of those teams, 49ers and Jets, had to change coaches during that time to reach the success I mentioned earlier. Their owners weren't afraid to make a move when a move had to be made; I hope Bob McNair has the stones to do the same.
Kubiak should be given a chance to coach with a better quarterback on the roster, some delusional fans will say, but they're missing a key piece to team's struggles. Gary Kubiak told the team and its fans when he took the job that he could work with David Carr and make him into a good quarterback. He later hand picked Matt Schaub, a quarterback that seemingly didn't fit the offense, to be his quarterback for the future. Kubiak told the fans that Schaub was capable of winning at the highest level and despite the opposite results, has stuck with him for seven seasons and refused to draft a player at the position that could really compete and push Schaub. So if you think Kubiak should be around next year with a new quarterback, ask yourself this: do you trust him to pick the next quarterback? The answer should be an resounding no.
Who Should They Hire?
Here are a few names that I'd like to see them call and hopefully interview for the job.
Greg Roman (49ers Offensive Coordinator)
Innovative offensive coordinator with his use of formations that either no other team uses or they were the first to use. Helped turn Alex Smith into a solid NFL quarterback and was able to adjust his offense seamlessly when Colin Kaepernick took over to include the read option plays. Seems to do a great job of coming up with plays and route combos to get wide receivers wide open and create easy throws for his quarterback.
Darrell Bevell (Seahawks Offensive Coordinator)
Long, good track record in other West Coast offenses (at least when Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst weren't his QB). Seahawks scheme looks very similar to the Texans, think he would be a great fit. Would be a plus to not have to overhaul the roster to fit a completely new scheme.
Nick Saban (Alabama Head Coach)
His stint with the Dolphins didn't go very well, but I'd be willing to give him another chance in the NFL. He's probably a better college coach than an NFL head coach with the way he likes to lead his team and strong arm the media, but you have to give him a call.
Jon Gruden (Former Tampa/Oakland Head Coach)
Obvious track record of success. I don't think he'll stay in the Monday Night Football booth forever; I'd give him a call. I'd like to have an offensive guy in charge when they pick their next quarterback.
Ray Horton (Browns Defensive Coordinator)
Former Cardinals coordinator took over the 23rd ranked Browns defense and in his first season in Cleveland turned them into 7th ranked defense through the early schedule. Had some pretty good defenses in Arizona as well before being passed over for the head coaching job there.