Gary Kubiak is a good coach and a great guy. He is very well respected by his players, staff and the Houston community. Furthermore, Kubiak is recognized as an offensive wizard throughout the NFL. He will not struggle to find a coaching job in the future.
Perhaps all the Texans woes haven't been Kubiak's fault. In fact, a lot of them weren't, but he has had five years to build a playoff football team and failed.
Gary Kubiak was hired in 2006 after the Texans went 2-14 in the previous season. He had the first overall draft pick in the draft, which he used to get All-Pro defensive end Mario Williams.
Since then, Kubiak has gone 33-34 and has not taken the Texans to the playoffs once. In the NFL, average just isn't good enough.
Employing a coach for more than four years without going to the playoffs is unheard of. Owners demand success, and fast. Bob McNair has been perhaps the most patient owner in NFL history.
Sean Payton, head coach for the New Orleans Saints, is a good comparison to Kubiak. Hired in 2006, Payton started a new regime to turn around the previously 3-13 Saints. In his first season he led them to the playoffs, and last season he won a Super Bowl.
Some other coaches hired in 2006 include:
Childress was hired by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. He won the NFC North twice and took the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. He had an overall record of 39-35 before being fired this year.
Marinelli was hired by the Detroit Lions in 2006. He improved the team to 7-9 in his second year but had an overall record of 10-38 and led the Lions to a terrible 0-16 season. He was fired in 2008.
Hired by the Green Bay Packets in 2006, McCarthy has led his "cheese heads" to the playoffs twice with an overall record of 45-30. He has been on the hot seat numerous times.
Linehan was hired by the Rams in 2006. He ultimately took the team downhill and was fired four weeks into his third season with an overall record of 11-25.
Jauron had the Bills in a mediocre state during his four years with the team. Hired in 2006, he had three straight 7-9 seasons. In his fourth season, after going 3-6, he was fired.
The point is, these coaches have a job. Their job is to win and take their teams to the Super Bowl. Gary Kubiak, like many of the coaches above, has had his chance to do it. Even if he is a great coach and not solely responsible for the Texans' underachieving nature, enough is enough.
McNair can't justify keeping him in Houston. After all, what can Kubiak do next year that he hasn't in the previous five?
Hiring a new head coach means a new scheme and staff but many coaches like Payton have proven they can turn teams around quickly.
Lets explore some viable replacements that could bring the Texans quick success.
In ascending order...