Bob McNair says Texans will hire an experienced NFL head coach

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Texans owner Bob McNair apparently isn’t looking for the next Chip Kelly.

McNair said after firing head coach Gary Kubiak that his successor will be someone who has experience in the NFL. That would rule out hiring someone like Kelly, who jumped from Oregon to the Eagles last year having no NFL experience at all.

“We would like someone who has had head coaching experience, but has also had NFL experience,” McNair said. “It’s a combination of those two things would be the ideal situation and there are people who meet those conditions.”

Art Briles of Baylor and Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M have both been mentioned as coaches who might interest McNair, but the fact that neither of them has any NFL experience (not to mention that both of them signed contract extensions last month) would seem to rule them out for the Texans job. McNair also indicated that he’s looking for someone with prior head-coaching experience, not an experienced assistant coach (which is what Kubiak was when McNair hired him).

“Well, experience shows that those people who were selected to be a head coach in the NFL, met with more success if they had had head-coaching experience,” McNair said. “And if you take someone who has been a coordinator, you’re basically moving them from a lower level of management, let’s say, to a higher level of management that they’ve never been in before. So, there’s a question mark as to whether they can elevate their performance to be able to handle those additional responsibilities, and some people can’t.”

Some candidates who fit McNair’s criteria include Lovie Smith, Jack Del Rio, Jon Gruden, Ken Whisenhunt and the Texans’ current interim head coach, Wade Phillips.

95 responses to “Bob McNair says Texans will hire an experienced NFL head coach

  1. usually ex-head coaches are that way not because they are doing a good job.

    also bob…. eventually there will be no upper management if you don’t promote lower management.

  2. Great, so instead of finding a forward-thinking innovator the team is guaranteed to have another retread.

    Hey, McNair, if a guy has head-coaching experience and is available, it means he’s been fired from at least one head-coaching job.

  3. Lovie has experienced failure, losing, choking, poor decision making, and embarrassment. Remember Green Bay going to Chicago and walking away with the George Halas trophy in their house? Priceless. Is that the kind of “experienced” coach Houston wants? I hope not.

  4. Yeah, Whisenhunt. Because he did such a great job driving the Cardinals into a ditch. Well, one thing he’s got over Kubiak; the Whiz only lost 10 games in a row in his last season, not 11. But at least he’s got NFL experience, which is most important.

  5. I think the Texans job is one of the most coveted job opening in the NFL in over a decade.

    1. Very possibly the #1 OVERALL pick in the draft. Along with their 2,3,4,5,6,7th pick.
    2. Hall of famer in Andre Johnson. Defensive player of year in J.J Watt and multiple pro-bowlers.
    3. Ownership who stays out of the way.
    4. Ownership who gives a long leash.
    5. Good fanbase who supports the team win/lose
    6. Hosting the Superbowl in 2017
    7. Not overwhelming strength within the division
    8. State of the art facilities
    9. No state income tax
    10. Great weather & Great food.

    If the Chiefs can turn it around, the Texans can too.

    If I were the Texans, my wishlist would be.
    1. Jon Gruden
    2. Lovie Smith
    3. Tony Dungy
    4. Bill O’Brien
    5. Ken Wisenhunt

    It will be an exciting off-season in Houston.

  6. Oh, and if the Texans do even bring in Mike Shannahan, I will need to be put on suicide watch. PLEASE cut down and burn that “Tree” from Denver. I’m so sick after 8 years of the “Denver Shannahan tree” with Kubiak, Rick Smith, all the assistant Denver coaches, hell even Colorado State players…..” NO SHANNAHAN!!!!

  7. Isn’t Shanny pretty much the same as Kubiak? Lovie deserves another shot, he did great in Chicago without many weapons on offense, and injuries to the qb with no viable backup sank the ship. Houston should be happy with that list and hope they don’t get too clever.

  8. realfootballfan says:
    Dec 7, 2013 7:45 AM
    Sorry Tampa fans, Lovie’s got a new suitor. Gruden also fits here if he likes Bridgewater to groom because he’s never had a young stud to teach from day one.

    —————————————

    People who wish Gruden coached their team deserve the utter destruction and distraction he brings

  9. The Texans should be able to attract an experienced and quality coach. They have; above average talent base, great facilities/mild weather, good owner, likely top pick of draft and of course, no state taxes.

    A good off season and the Texans will be good enough to lose in the playoffs again.

  10. I’m not a Texans fan, but i do enjoy watching some of the guys they have on D play. Having said that why limit yourself to a guy that has already burned out in the league? They are obviously unemployed for a reason. Why not at least take a look at some of the younger guys who are itching for their first shot? Just makes no sense to me.

  11. speedback says:
    Dec 7, 2013 7:44 AM
    Lets get Marty Ball in Houston!
    **********************************************
    Marty Ball never won a single playoff game.

    I think you should aim a little higher than that.

  12. Don’t let facts get in the way of a good Jon Gruden hate fest.

    Fact: His Oakland Raiders were victimized by the NFL, Brady and the “Tuck Rule”, which no longer exists. Otherwise, that would have been Super Bowl one for Boy Genius.

    Fact: Tony Dungy failed, miserably, to win in the playoffs. Year after year Dungy would make the playoffs and then get his butt handed to him in the first game. Gruden – year one – Super Bowl champions. Then?

    Fact: Gruden went to a Bucs team that — thanks to Dungy, was in salary cap hell and could not keep a bunch of good players. They also didn’t have two years of 1st round draft picks because the Tampa GM spent them for — Gruden.

    So don’t let facts get in the way of a good Gruden Sucks rant.

  13. joetoronto says: “Marty Ball never won a single playoff game.”

    You must be thinking Mornhinwheg. Because I watched Schottenheimer win several playoff games in Cleveland. 5-13 in playoffs.

  14. Brian Billick should be one of the coaches on the hire list. Since Wade Phillips is currently the head coach, besides me who thinks he should wear a cowboy hat on the sidelines like his dad Bum Phillips? In tribute to his late Father Bum. Throwback to the days of the Houston Oilers. Like Father, Like Son. And the Astrodome is right next door to Reliant Stadium. Only in the NFL could this be scripted.

  15. 12strikes says:
    Dec 7, 2013 8:04 AM
    usually ex-head coaches are that way not because they are doing a good job.

    also bob…. eventually there will be no upper management if you don’t promote lower management.
    ————-

    1. Not necessarily true at all. Sometimes things simply get stale and/or the situation isn’t right. It happens in many industries, from corporate America to Education. Sometimes a change of scenery is just needed.

    2. Agreed. I thought that was a weird comment.

    As for me, I still disagree with how they did Kubiak (and I’m not a Texans fan, btw). The man was there 7 years, won 2 division titles, 1 playoff game, and just recovered from a mini-stroke. You’re going to fire him with 3 games left? Come on. Granted, he’s not “twisting in the wind” now (as one commenter put it), but it just seems dirty to me. Better to fire him after the season ends. Imagine if the Eagles had fired Reid mid-year after 14 years and all the success he had, and having gone through losing his son. McNair seems to be just that classless, though.

  16. He didn’t say “experienced nfl head coach”, he said a head coach and nfl experience independently, meaning also college head coaches who have spent time in the NFL previously. Carroll would be an example of what he is aspiring too.

  17. Please hire Gruden, so he isn’t available once my Skins are finally rid of Shanahan! (otherwise, I fear that Little Danny won’t be able to resist going after the shiny object)

  18. None of the guys they’re looking at are any better than Kubiak, and some of them are much worse.

    McNair has made a mistake, IMO.

  19. What awful choices you just listed. It is sad that Wade is the best coach listed. By a wide margin. Del Rio, L Smith, Whisenhunt??? My god those are bad candidates.

  20. For the record… I know Bill Cowher and his family personally. He would only consider coming back to Coaching for the NY Giants job and even that is probably not going to happen. Case Closed.

  21. .
    joetoronto says: Dec 7, 2013 8:47 AM

    speedback says:
    Dec 7, 2013 7:44 AM
    Lets get Marty Ball in Houston!
    **********************************************
    Marty Ball never won a single playoff game.

    I think you should aim a little higher than that.

    ______________________________________

    Not so Der fan!

    While it is true that Marty had his post season issues, he did win playoff games about everywhere he coached.

    Hell, while in KC, he even beat the Raiders in a playoff game.

    #getyourfactsstraight

  22. Then why are you in discussions with Joe Jamail this weekend to see if Mack Brown wants to test the waters?

  23. .
    vikingsvoice says: Dec 7, 2013 9:46 AM

    He didn’t say “experienced nfl head coach”, he said a head coach and nfl experience independently, meaning also college head coaches who have spent time in the NFL previously. Carroll would be an example of what he is aspiring too

    ______________________________________

    Um, just for clarity, Carroll did have NFL head coach experience (x2) before arriving in Seadderall.

  24. How long since Gruden and Cowher have coached? At certain point you wonder if they really want to do the job. I don’t think you win a super bowl by waiting for the perfect opportunity. You win a superbowl by coaching actively, trying to get better every year. What have these guys learned about coaching on a TV set?

  25. norrinradd12,

    Who? Chris Simms? You have to be joking. It’s amazing he got a playoff berth out of a team that was quarterbacked by him seeing that he went on to do nothing past that 2005 season. He’s never had a young top of the draft type QB. Now, you could blame him for passing on a few when in Tampa because he was essentially running the whole show but that’s not the point we’re talking about.

    He’s definitely not good at picking players or putting a roster together, which is why the Tampa situation fell apart, but the guy can flat out coach. That’s pretty undeniable considering what he did with those poor rosters he put together in Tampa, not to mention what he did with the Raiders who haven’t consistently won since he left. Considering that Rick Smith isn’t getting fired, that’s all Bob mcNair is looking for, a coach, not a football czar.

  26. probable list is

    1. Jon Gruden
    2. Bill O’Brien
    3. Lovie Smith
    4. Ken Wisenhunt
    5. Bill Cohwer
    6. Jack Del Rio

    I doubt Dungey wants the job and I doubt hes who McNair wants.

  27. Everyone is implying that Lovie Smith is McNair’s idea. Look at the press conference video. The reporter asked him about the type of coach he was looking for and she specifically mentioned Lovie Smith. He only responded in kind that sure Lovie is a good coach. He never said they were going to interview him. He was only being nice as Bob usually is in an Aw Shucks manor.

  28. realfootballfan says:
    Dec 7, 2013 7:45 AM
    Sorry Tampa fans, Lovie’s got a new suitor. Gruden also fits here if he likes Bridgewater to groom because he’s never had a young stud to teach from day one.

    ======

    You don’t have to apologize to Tampa fans, because the Bucs aren’t going to fire Schiano.

    As far as Art Briles and his shiny new contract extension, everyone knows college coaching contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But you’re looking in the wrong place if you’re thinking Houston.

    You don’t think RGIII has whispered his name into Daniel Snyder’s ear a couple thousand times this season?

  29. David Shaw has NFL experience, is a head coach, and has had success. He’d be a good one to interview, anyway

  30. realitypolice,

    Yea, I’m sure that 3 game winning streak while the same horrible decisions he’s been making of trying to sit on a TD or 10 point lead still are front and center will save his job. If that does it, no wonder Tampa fans are used to being losers. But hey, there were several Tampa fans here who actually thought Josh Freeman is a good QB. So that’s the logic we’re dealing with.

  31. realfootballfan says:
    Dec 7, 2013 11:36 AM
    realitypolice,

    Yea, I’m sure that 3 game winning streak while the same horrible decisions he’s been making of trying to sit on a TD or 10 point lead still are front and center will save his job. If that does it, no wonder Tampa fans are used to being losers. But hey, there were several Tampa fans here who actually thought Josh Freeman is a good QB. So that’s the logic we’re dealing with.

    =====

    Not saying they shouldn’t, just saying they won’t. Schiano has a 5 year deal and the Glazers’ aren’t eating 3 full years of it.

    They’ll point to their “promising” finish and the development of Mike Glennon and give him another year.

  32. In stead of finding the best coach possible, he’s going to find the best coach who fits his requirements. Why limit your search to previous NFL head coaches. Good coaches come in many different forms. Looks like Houston is going back to what they do best—insignificance and mediocracy.

  33. Lovie Smith will be the next coach of the Texans.

    He is a native Texan and the best Head Coach Candidate out there right now. The Defensive players there would be really good with Lovie as Coach.

    If they hire anyone else, they are stupid.

  34. lets not forget that at one point bill Bilicheck and Tom Coughlin, were “retread” who got fired just to win superbowls in their next HC job.

    a change of setting , a whole new roster , staff and management can do wonders for a coach and his career.

  35. You misconstrue what McNair said. He did not say that he wants someone with NFL head coaching experience. He said he wants someone who has NFL experience and head coaching experience. Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien would meet this standard, for example.

  36. One thing you can take to the bank: McNair ignores any candidate that refuses to make Case Keenum starting QB.

    Keeping David Carr was the way that Kubiak got hired.

  37. What about Saban?

    Seriously, I’d like to see Jimmy Johnson take over and lead the Texans to a SB win over the Cowgirls.

  38. whitemike55 says: Dec 7, 2013 8:38 AM

    If I were the Texans, my wishlist would be.
    1. Jon Gruden
    2. Lovie Smith
    3. Tony Dungy
    4. Bill O’Brien
    5. Ken Wisenhunt
    ===================================
    Remove 3 and 5
    Dungy is so overrated. Couldn’t win the big one in TB and then rode Manning’s coattails in Indy.
    Never been a huge Norv Turner fan but he might be a great choice for McNair

  39. Bob McNair is an idiot…he know about as much about football as he does horse racing…..
    He is a salesman that has cashed in on oil and networking……
    After an exhaustive search viola! he will find Wade in his backyard and anoint him HC….and in two years be whining and crying about starting over…

  40. I think Gruden is waiting for the jobs to open up in Dallas or San Diego. He doesn’t want to go to a cold weather team. It’s going to take a lot to get him out of the booth.

  41. Time to pile it on my losing Texans.We totally
    Deserve it this year. But with all do respect,
    The majority of teams in the NFL are mired
    In mediocrity.Majority are less than 500
    Winning percentage.Wow, you are going to
    finish in the neighborhood of 6-10,7-9,
    8-8.You will have the same coaching staff
    Picks in the 16-22 range.You have a lot to
    Look forward too.Texans, from worst to first.

  42. McNair wants NFL Experience and Innovation in the Next HC. Lovie Smith, Dungy, Cable, Phillips aren’t innovative, yes plenty of experience, but not innovative thinkers. Most of the innovators are NFL Assistants, which McNair needs to look at, but won’t because he listens to too many people instead of his “gut reaction”. He really needs to get Rid of Rick Smith now or else be looking at 5 years of rebuilding because Smith doesn’t have a clue on drafting or signing players. Ex: bad contracts Matt Schaub, Arian Foster.

  43. McNair has not provided anyone with a list. His only reference to Lovie was in response to a question about Smith. I believe all he said was “we’ll talk to him.” Everything else is just rumor and opinion. As far as people suggesting Kubiak should have been fired at season’s end, watch you team lose 11 in a row (TWO to the Jags) and see how patient you are.

  44. This is a very stale and inside the box attitude to a complex problem that is beyond McNair’s appreciation abilities.

    Silly requirements for an old fashioned thinker, and that’s why the Texans can’t win. It’s this attitude.

  45. Some candidates who fit McNair’s criteria include Lovie Smith, Jack Del Rio, Jon Gruden, Ken Whisenhunt and the Texans’ current interim head coach, Wade Phillips.
    ———————
    Jack Del Rio ends up at USC
    Jon Gruden (and Cowher) stay in the booth
    Ken Whisenhunt gets an interview but not the job
    Lovie Smith gets an interview but not the job
    Wade Philips gets a token interview but no job

    So, out of options and desperate, McNair goes with a retread like Jim Fassel or a longshot like Kevin Gilbride or Tom Cable.

  46. Yeah, hire Lovie Smith. Do it, seems like all the talking head at ESPN, NFLN,& NBCSN have forgotten how BAD Lovie is at running an offense. Good Luck Houston, you’ll be looking for another HC in 3 seasons.

  47. If Lovie Smith gets this job, watch out, the Texans become a Super Bowl contender.

    How so?

    Look at his Bears teams. Lovie never had a QB until Cutler and when Cutler was healthy they won. Lovie actually started oxygen wasters like Greg Crenzel and Steve Hutchinson at QB. If the Texnas lose out, and those chances look really really good, they get a QB first overall in the draft and reload.

    To win they will need a defense, and Lovie made that work in Chicago by winning year in and year out with defense and special teams.

    Lovie is a great coach who got a bum deal in Chicago because Jerry Angelo couldn’t draft an offensive line to save his life, Lovie changes things for the Texans to the better and he would get them to the Super Bowl.

  48. Wow, can’t believe the fans excited about Lovie Smith as a candidate. Sure, Lovie knows defense. However, he can’t make game day adjustments and is a poor game manager. Also, he let’s his ego get in the way (didn’t want to keep Ron Rivera as D Coordinator and never could hire a true O Coordinator). He is rigid with only running the Tampa 2 defense. He completely ignores the offense, by the way, the NFL is now a passing league. Based on that alone I can’t see why anyone would be excited about Lovie as a hire.

  49. 2guysanda6pack says: Dec 7, 2013 10:41 AM

    Lookout for a Lovie Smith- Jay Cutler reunion in Houston. Draft Matthews in first. QB in second or third. Not excited about the prospect but I could see it happening.
    —————————————-
    Why on earth would Jay want to play for Lovie? Lovie didn’t do Jay any favors in Chicago the way the offense was ignored. Jay has a good thing going in Chicago with Trestman, there is no way he leaves Chicago for Houston & Lovie.

  50. shlort says: Dec 7, 2013 11:49 AM

    Lovie Smith will be the next coach of the Texans.

    He is a native Texan and the best Head Coach Candidate out there right now. The Defensive players there would be really good with Lovie as Coach.

    If they hire anyone else, they are stupid.
    —————————————————–
    Really? Being a native of Texas is one of the reasons he is qualified to be their next head coach?

  51. Jim Mora. Mostly NFL experience. Head Coacj experience and success. Most important, there’s usually a 2-3 month lag at UCLA between an announced contract extension and its actual approval by school trustees. Everyone thinks he passed on Washington because he wanted to stay with UCLA. He wants to return to the NFL. Houston’s an ideal spot.

  52. whitemike55 says: Dec 7, 2013 8:38 AM

    I think the Texans job is one of the most coveted job opening in the NFL in over a decade.

    1. Very possibly the #1 OVERALL pick in the draft. Along with their 2,3,4,5,6,7th pick.
    2. Hall of famer in Andre Johnson. Defensive player of year in J.J Watt and multiple pro-bowlers.
    3. Ownership who stays out of the way.
    4. Ownership who gives a long leash.
    5. Good fanbase who supports the team win/lose
    6. Hosting the Superbowl in 2017
    7. Not overwhelming strength within the division
    8. State of the art facilities
    9. No state income tax
    10. Great weather & Great food.
    ……………………..
    Just a few observations, dude:
    1. Andre Johnson will be 33 when next season starts and Foster has a huge contract to go along with a balky back.
    2. That good fanbase couldn’t keep the previous team in town.
    3. What does hosting the Super Bowl have to do with anything?
    4. Don’t the vast majority of NFL teams have “State of the art facilities”?
    5. Pretty sure that you can find great food in every NFL city.
    6. As to great weather; well there’s hurricanes and then there is also the fact that Houston was built on a swamp. If you believe 100 degree temperatures coupled with 100% humidity is “great weather”, you need help.

  53. From 1997-2007 9 of 11 super bowls were won by a coach with previous NFL experience. This list includes Mike Shanahan, Dick Vermeil, Bill Belichick, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy and Tom Coughlin. Belichick and Shanahan didn’t accomplish much in their first NFL head coaching job and the hiring of Vermeil was met with astonishment.

    From 2008-2012 4 of 5 super bowls were won by coaches in their first NFL head job. What does this mean? You can do it either way.

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