Whisenhunt emerges as short-list candidate in Houston

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When it comes to former NFL head coaches who have taken a team to a Super Bowl, Lovie Smith isn’t the only potential candidate.

And we don’t mean Jon Gruden.  With the Chargers bracing to lose offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, the Chargers could lose him to Houston.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Whisenhunt is on the short list to become the next Texans coach.  He took the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII, and Whisenhunt had a successful run as an assistant in Pittsburgh.

Schefter explains that Whisenhunt has a strong relationship with Texans G.M. Rick Smith, forged when they served together on the Competition Committee for a year.

A strong relationship with Smith helps Whisenhunt tremendously.  With Smith signed for the next three year, it’s important for the team to hire a head coach who won’t be looking to replace Smith with his own guy if/when the new head coach has some success.  Ideally for Smith, the Texans will hire a coach who already regards Smith as the new coach’s guy.

The first order of business for the new coach and Smith will be to find the right guy at quarterback.  In 2011, Whisenhunt sealed his fate in Arizona by picking Kevin Kolb to be the quarterback.

Chances are Kolb, who played for the University of Houston, wouldn’t be Whisehunt’s first choice in Houston.  Or his 50th.