UPDATE: Gary Kubiak Fired: The Kubiak Era Is Finally Over
UPDATE: Many Texans fans will rationalize their exuberance over another person losing his job today as "hey, it happens"-type collateral damage, and as one very large step back to "football fan happiness" for most of us.
Photos by Groovehouse Our long, local nightmare is over.
No tears should be shed for Gary Kubiak. He made a lot of money to lose more than he won, and to ultimately fail as the head coach of the Houston Texans.
However, once the party tonight is over, and you begin to distract yourselves with coaching "hot lists" and mock drafts, I would encourage you to go back and watch the press conference today one more time. Look at the luminaries on that dais, listen to the answers. Watch Bob McNair defer to general manager Rick Smith on roster questions.
You see it now, don't you? Yeah, we are all still screwed.
The 2013 Texans were as poorly coached a team as I've seen in my nearly four decades of watching NFL football. Poor decision making, poor play calling, poor roster management, just everything. Poor, poor, poor.
However, you don't arrive at 2-11 (on the Shitbird Express to 2-14) by having a roster that's even close to functional. Rick Smith has had almost as much time as Gary Kubiak to construct a sustainable, winning NFL roster, and what do they have? Massive offensive line issues, no pass rush, no quarterback, horrific special teams, a slew of bad draft picks (many still playing prominent roles with the team because they're just less shitty than the ones who've been let go), a salary cap situation that can best be described as "fiscal gridlock," and a Red Wedding of dead cap money that they may have to choke on this offseason.
Whose fault is that?
Well, that's the fault of Rick Smith, father of Cal McNair's godson, and the guy who, when the media asked questions to Bob McNair about the roster today, McNair turned to for answers. Unfortunately it would appear that he is the guy McNair will turn to when it comes time to make the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
And this, friends, should scare the ever loving shit out of you.
If ever an NFL coaching/front office situation called for a full housecleaning, a football CTRL-ALT-DEL, the 2013 Texans is it. If ever there were a time to find a bright football mind as a GM who could then hire a coach, draft a quarterback, and y'know, do things that successful NFL teams do, this was it. Instead, McNair has been snowed into leaving it up to Rick Smith who has done nothing to prove he is up to the task that is about to be at hand.
However, if Harvard Business School needs someone to teach a course on insulating and politically aligning themselves, Smith has a five star syllabus for that.
Firing Kubiak was only going to be truly meaningful as a part of terminating the whole regime. As it is, the significance of what happened to the ousted head coach was only in that a famous native Houstonian, a generally popular one until the last few years, lost his high profile job. Life will go on for Kubiak.
So go celebrate, Texan fans, if that's what you want to do, but just know your franchise did not win today. Much like his team on the field these last seven games, all games in which the Texans have lost by one score or less, as an owner Bob McNair did some good things today.
He just didn't finish the job.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: After nearly eight seasons of sub .500 football, briefly elevated by two division titles, and multiple new standards set for hitting rock bottom this season, the Gary Kubiak Era ended on Friday morning as owner Bob McNair announced that he had fired the now former Texans head coach this morning.
McNair told a media contingent this morning that the evaluation of Kubiak had been an "ongoing process" throughout what had become an "unacceptable" season, but that ultimately losing a second time to a less talented Jacksonville Jaguars outfit on Thursday night was the breaking point.
Ultimately, it appears that Kubiak's decision to ride Matt Schaub and insert him back into games the last few weeks factored in as well as the development and evaluation of Case Keenum was a topic McNair touched upon frequently, including a declaration from McNair that Keenum would be the starter the rest of the way.
McNair was clear that this is not expected to be a long rebuilding process, citing the overall talent level of the team, a clear indicator as to how safe Rick Smith (who was at the press conference alongside McNair) is in his job as general manager going forward.
"We are here to have a winning culture, and this year has not contributed to that. We've got to turn this around," McNair proclaimed.
The search begins immediately for the man who will be tasked with establishing that culture.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.