Kubiak cooked his own goose last year


After Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith led the Texans to their first playoff berth in franchise history, it was contract extension time.

Smith, the General Manager, signed through 2016.  Kubiak, the head coach, opted to accept a deal through 2014 only.

Owner Bob McNair wanted to sign Kubiak through 2015, but Kubiak’s agent (i.e., Kubiak) opted for only three total years of security.

“[I]t’s three years and that was his choice,” McNair said of Kubiak in June 2012.  ”It could have been four years but Gary has assured me that with the level of success he’s going to have that he’s going to be worth a lot more money if at three years instead of four and so I had to agree with him.”

That’s not how it worked out, with Kubiak gone and owed only one year of a buyout.  It doesn’t mean he’d still be the coach if he opted for the longer deal, but the size of the buyout could have been a bigger impediment to making a change.

For Smith, three years of a buyout could keep him around, at least for another year or two.  His presence could affect the potential interest of candidates who would want either to run the show from a personnel standpoint or to hire their own guy to set the table.

27 responses to “Kubiak cooked his own goose last year

  1. Woody Bryant signed 24 one year contracts. His thought was, if at the end of the year they didn’t want me, I didn’t want to be here.

  2. He will be somewhere next season if he wants to continue coaching. Now he has time to really get better health wise. He and his wife can take it easy for a while.

  3. Reminds me of QB Jon Kitna who, if I remember correctly, wouldn’t sign a two-year contract with the Seahawks after the 1999 season cause he saw great things for himself in the future. A year or so later his star had faded and ended up signing as a FA with the Bengals.

    Moral of the story…take the bird in the hand.

  4. Should have purchased for him one of those kiddie easy-bake ovens before letting toy around with a mega-million dollar kitchen. He’s an arson specialist more than he is a strategist.

  5. Surprise surprise. Say hello to the next head coach of the Washington Redskins.

    This Texans team tanked because the running backs got hurt and/or failed to carry the team. The Texans were a run heavy offense with a big emphasis on defense. That is a great combination until the bell cows all go tits up.

    Stick with Case Keenum and draft physical RBs. Wade will be the HC.

  6. The tough part for most coaches is that they can’t just take a year off, even if they are getting paid. If they aren’t actively coaching then they lose their seat at the coaching table. I don’t see many franchises seeing him as their head coach right now– his 1 good year had been followed by an epic collapse and now he has health issues. Hopefully, for his sake he can find a coordinator’s position.

  7. scrp2 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:35 PM

    8 years was a long run. The last head coach to last more than 8 years was Don Shula.


    Did you forget Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh or Bill Belichick in New England or Andy Reid in Philly?

  8. scrp2 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:35 PM

    8 years was a long run. The last head coach to last more than 8 years was Don Shula.
    Cowher, Holmgren, Belichick, Fisher,Reid,Coughlin.
    Probably a few more. You should purchase a computer.

  9. People on the outside usually do not know all the back and forth of a contract negotiation on in the inside. There’s usually more to the story.

  10. They really cooked their goose when they resigned Schaub. I was a casual observer of the Texans from 2007 on because I had Andre Johnson was on my keeper fantasy league roster. Schaub would infuriate me on a regular basis, mostly due to his pitifully under thrown balls when AJ would be wide open. The staff had to be aware of Schaubs limitations, and had ample opportunity to replace him or begin grooming his replacement.

    Having said that, I don’t think Smith should go. Team is loaded with talent, not his job to coach them up.

  11. Bob. I know you will not read this. But You need to kick Rick Smith to the curb. He’s your boy, we see that. You can’t go half way on this. Through all this season, I have not seen him say a word to the media. But when Texans were in the playoff hunt last 2 seasons, could not get him to shut up. Pony up the cash and see-ya. I just wasted 3 min of my time, b/c I know your going to keep him around.

  12. For every story of a guy betting on himself and cashing in (i.e. Flacco), there are 100 telling the total opposite. Take the money and security while you can in this business.

  13. Poor coaching is only part of the problem. The man who built this 2-11 team needs to go as well. Rick Smith mismanaged the cap and had to let half the offensive line walk away. Smith picked Brian Cushing, who was suspected of juicing at USC, instead of Clay Matthews. Cushing had a great rookie year, then got popped for steroids. The past 2 seasons, Cushing has had season ending injuries (a common side effect of steroid use). There is no depth anywhere on the team, and our secondary is a joke. Speaking of our secondary, Smith signed the washed up Ed Reed (who got paid $5 million to “play” in 5 games). Smith said “no thanks” when Peyton Manning expressed interest in coming to Houston. Think about that for a minute. He decided Matt Freakin’ Schaub was a better QB than Manning. This, all by itself, is reason enough to fire him. This debacle of a season justifies a major house cleaning. Firing Kubiak alone is simply slipping a bandaid on the problem. Dont get me wrong, Kubiak deserves to be fired. But the man doesn’t deserve to be a scapegoat, either.

  14. Talk about gambling and losing. I can’t see him ever getting a chance to be a head coach again either. McNair was more than patient with him. He only won when the bottom fell out in Indianapolis, and the following year when they were transitioning to a new regime.

  15. Yes, but a desperate team will give him WAY more “stupid money” in 2015.

    John Fox, Mike Shanahan, Jeff Fisher, Mike Holmgren, Tom Coughlin, Dan Reeves, … and Wade Phillips all got re-hired with more ca$$$h.

    Brian Billick can’t because he was a bigger fraud than Gruden was in Tampa and only has a deep voice with no educational or influential opinions on TV.

    Apparently, Gruden’s going to Dallas (even though Lovie Smith will).

    Do you really think that Gruden won’t be paid “stupid money”??

  16. rajbais,

    Don’t think anyone is that desperate. You do realize that every coach that you named has been better, significantly I might add, than Kubiak? He only has 2 winning seasons and alot of 8-8, 7-9 or worse records on his resume in an organization that gave him everything he asked for. McNair even hired Rick Smith when he was interviewing for the open GM position back in 2006 by letting all of those candidates know that they were to work at his discretion. If he couldn’t succeed in that environment, it’s not going to happen, and I would think the other owners will agree.

  17. @realfootballfan


    There’s Woody Johnson, Stephen Ross, and Daniel Snyder.

    He’s an offensive head coach and owners want scoring.

    You’re pointing out all of these records of Gary Kubiak, but you are missing out on some weird second job recipients.

    Jeff Fisher had six winning seasons out of 17 before going to St. Louis. He’s now heading for 6 out of 19 and won’t get fired. Mike Mularkey and Eric Mangini got second jobs. Look at their first job records.

    By the way, ever heard of agents????

    They power broker deals beyond our visibility.

    Personally, I think that you’re underestimating the stupidity behind a lot of these owners.

    Kubiak will get a job in 2015 and he’ll be welcomed by fans with open arms.

    The approval rating of his hiring will be at 99%.

    Also, the GM-connection is gone now. General managers who are new to the job do not bring their ex-coaching colleagues into their new organizations anymore. The last time a new general manager brought in his former coaching colleague was when Tom Heckert brought in Pat Shurmur into Cleveland in 2010.

    Kubiak is picking the GM and he is too smart to wreck interviews. In fact, he was such a hot commodity before going to Houston he turned down jobs just to stay by his family in Denver.

    No joke.

    When coaches like Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh, Chip Kelly, Jeff Fisher, and various other big names get hired that is when the general manager is irrelevant. Whether a general manager is in your organization or not, the owner rules at the end of the day.

    also more offensive coaches get hired. Owners love offense. Coaching turnover usually has led to more offensive oriented head coaches. Who will do better in an interview Gary Kubiak or a young offensive assistant?


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