With the Texans running Gary Kubiak out of town after being something other than the broom in a two-game sweep involving the Jaguars, Houston has gotten a head start on finding a new coach.
More specifically, the Texans have gotten a head start on the looming land rush for Lovie Smith. Per multiple reports, Smith will be the first candidate interviewed by the Texans.
Smith’s mostly successful stint in Chicago will make him attractive in the coming hiring cycle, especially since Andy Reid’s change of venue produced immediate results for a Chiefs team that was 2-14 in 2012. Members of the Fired Football Coaches Association will be more attractive this year given Reid’s efforts in Kansas City, and Smith currently is at the top of the list.
If other franchises with coaches on the hot seat covet Smith and want to make a run at him before it’s too late, other owners could decide to make a move with their current coaches sooner rather than later. Whether it’s the Buccaneers or the Vikings or the Jets, if the decision has essentially been made to move on and if the time is coming for others to speak now or forever hold their piece/peace/whatever, coaches who are expected to be dumped may be dumped a bit prematurely.
That said, Lovie Smith surely realizes that other NFL teams will be interested, making him less likely to make a quick decision until he knows the full content of his potential dance card. But that could prompt Texans owner Bob McNair to request a quick decision from Smith, with the threat/promise/whatever that McNair will move on to someone else if Smith isn’t ready to make a commitment sooner rather than later.
While some of the discussions with other teams could happen behind the scenes pending the completion of the season, Smith possibly will refuse to engage (directly or through his agent) in any discussions with a team that currently has a non-interim head coach. If Smith takes that position, the end result is that more guys could be getting fired before December 30, otherwise known this year as Black Monday.