The Houston Texans have fired head coach Gary Kubiak, according to various media outlets and beat writers on Twitter.
The Texans embarrassed themselves on Thursday night by losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the second time this season. Actually, they have pretty much embarrassed themselves since Week 3. After reaching the playoffs in 2012 and coming into the 2013 as a contender in the AFC, the Texans are 2-11 and have — amazingly — lost 11 games in a row.
There have been questions about Kubiak’s inability to make halftime adjustments throughout the year. Some have also speculated that he lost the Texans’ locker room and was no longer able to get effort out of his players. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted, Texans owner Bob McNair said the search for a new head coach is underway and that some candidates are currently working for other NFL teams.
“We’ve got to turn this around,” McNair said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “We want a winning culture. Our goal is to win last three games. We’re going to do everything to win. We’re looking for a coach who’s bright, ethical, innovation and is able to make adjustments.”
Wade Phillips will stand in as the team’s interim head coach, and McNair said he will have an opportunity to interview for the head coaching position. We doubt he’ll get it.
Remember when the Jacksonville Jaguars were the laughing stock of the NFL? Those same Jaguars have won four of their last five games. Two of those wins — including a 27-20 victory on Thursday night — have come over the Houston Texans. As you might imagine, that does not reflect well on Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak has had a tumultuous season both on the field and off. He suffered a mini-stroke during a Week 11 loss to the Oakland Raiders and has fortunately made a seemingly full recovery. His team, however, continues to struggle. The Texans were a playoff team last year. That same team could end up earning the top overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. After Thursday night’s loss, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Kubiak’s job is in danger.
Kubiak did a great job of transforming the Texans from a mediocre expansion team into a legitimate AFC contender. For whatever reason, all of that has flown out the window this year. Instead of preparing for another playoff run, Houston players have resorted to accusing opponents of spying on them when they can’t make halftime adjustments. Now, Kubiak can only wait and see if the organization gives him another chance to make a drastic turnaround.
The Houston Texans won’t be looking to make excuses for blowing a 21-3 halftime lead against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, though we all know they don’t need to. Not to take anything away from Andrew Luck and Indy’s 18 unanswered points over the game’s final 15:05, but the Texans had to have been distracted after head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed at the end of the first half.
Fortunately, Kubiak did not suffer a heart attack and is in stable condition. The Texans official website reported on Monday that he remains in the hospital undergoing tests. As you might expect, his episode led to a hectic environment at halftime for Houston.
James Palmer of CSN Houston told PFT Live on Monday that Kubiak’s collapse led to “12 minutes of chaos” during halftime. Coaches typically adjust their play-calling at halftime based on what they saw in the first half, but the Texans players and coaches were worried about much more than winning a football game. Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison also had to take over play-calling duties in the second half, which is usually Kubiak’s job.
Again, we’re not trying to take anything away from the Colts. They won a hard-fought football game after it looked like they would be laughed out of the stadium. Having said that, there are more important things in life than football. The Texans were likely focused on those more important things during the second half on Sunday.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak was taken to the hospital on Sunday after collapsing while walking of the field at Reliant Stadium during halftime of his team’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Kubiak showed signs of being in pain prior to walking off the field. As he was around the 25-yard line, he collapsed and kneeled down in obvious pain. A stretcher came out to get him and he was taken to the hospital with his family accompanying him.
The video below shared by David Nunio of ABC in Houston shows Kubiak in pain:
Arian Foster’s hamstring injury has been one of the biggest concerns in the fantasy football world this season. The Texans haven’t been as worried as fantasy footballers because Ben Tate has proven to be a more than capable backup. Looks like neither group needs to be worried about Foster’s health, if what Houston coach Gary Kubiak says is true.
Foster ran for 33 yards on 10 carries and had two catches for seven yards in the win over Miami, but he did not play in the second half. Early reports suggested he had re-aggravated his hamstring injury, but Kubiak said after the game that wasn’t the case.
“He’s fine. He obviously wasn’t himself and got pretty fatigued. He wanted to play in the second half,” Kubiak said after the win.
Kubiak reiterated that Foster didn’t see action in the second half because of fatigue. Ben Tate, the second-year running back from Auburn, rushed for 103 yards on 23 carries and helped milk the clock at the end. It was Tate’s second straight 100-yard game and he’s now averaging 4.66 yards per carry.
Fantasy football owners will still have questions about Foster’s status, but the Texans should not be worried. Tate has proven he’s the real deal and that the Texans may not be losing much with him carrying the ball instead of last year’s leading rusher.
UPDATE: Despite what Kubiak said, Foster admitted that his hamstring tightened up during the game.
The Houston Texans began the 2010 season with high expectations. For the first time in the history of their young franchise, Texans fans were thinking playoffs. They began the year with a huge win over the Colts and featured an offense that looked as explosive as any in the league. Following their week seven bye, things went south in a hurry.
While most teams use the bye week to get healthy and regroup, the Texans found a way to crash and burn. Since the bye, Houston has lost eight out of nine games. For obvious reasons, head coach Gary Kubiak is on the hot seat. Houston fans and media are calling for his head, as they should be.
One such writer is Sean Pendergast of the Houston Press. In his Tuesday article, Pendergast raises a series of questions that he would like to ask Kubiak as a close follower of the Texans meltdown. One question that stuck out to us is whether or not a coaching staff should have to follow the same curfew rules the players are asked to abide by. Good question, huh?
Pendergast said he was out at a local watering hole in Denver the night before the Texans took on the Broncos, and Houston defensive coordinator Frank Bush was out socializing with friends until about 2:00 a.m. He stressed that Bush didn’t appear to be intoxicated or doing anything wrong, but wouldn’t you think the defensive coordinator of the worst defense in the NFL would have better things to do the night before a game? Study a playbook, watch some film, get some rest — anything.
Fantasy football owners and Texans fans were stunned by the news that running back Arian Foster was benched to start the game in Oakland. Foster, who won the AFC Offensive Player of the Month Award, had fantasy owners in panic as he started off the game on the bench for no apparent reason.
Houston decided to play Derrick Ward and Steve Slaton at running back and allowed both men to carry the ball their first four drives of the game. The first drive ended with a 33-yard touchdown by Ward. Their next drive led to a punt, the third drive resulted in a touchdown pass (set up by a nice 23-yard run from Slaton), and it wasn’t until Houston punted on their 4th drive that we finally saw Foster.
The NFL’s leading rusher had his first carry with six minutes left in the second quarter. Foster posted just 13 yards on three carries before halftime but came out with a vengeance in the second half. On the second play of the second half, Arian Foster busted through a hole for a 74-yard touchdown — his longest career run — to break a 14-14 tie. Foster split the load on the team’s next drive, but then he regained his role as the feature back after that.
Arian Foster finished with 131 on 16 carries and added 56 yards on three receptions (plus a receiving touchdown). His strong performance bailed out fantasy owners who were freaking after the unproductive first half. He also bailed out the Texans and Gary Kubiak who were struggling with a tie game until Foster broke free.
So far there hasn’t been any news explaining why Foster was benched. Because it was a surprise benching, the best guess is it was due to a violation of team rules. Often times when there are surprises like this, it’s related to a player screwing up on a road trip by being late to a meeting, flight, or curfew. Knowing that the team was on the road in Oakland, it’s plausible something happened along these lines. Good thing it didn’t cost the Texans in the win column.
UPDATE: Foster was benched for missing a team meeting and being late to another.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma