It did not take long for the Houston Texans to identify a coach who could replace Gary Kubiak.
According to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport, the Texans plan to interview former Bears coach Lovie Smith to fill their current vacancy. Kubiak was fired on Friday, and Wade Phillips is currently the interim coach.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2013
Houston’s interest in Smith definitely makes sense.
Smith, 55, posted an 81-63 record in the regular season in nine years with the Bears. He led the Bears to three division titles, two NFC title games and a Super Bowl appearance during his tenure. Smith was fired in January with one year remaining on his contract and has been collecting roughly $5 million from the Bears for this year.
Prior to this speculation, Smith interviewed for the USC job, which was recently filled by Washington's Steve Sarkisian.
Texans CEO Bob McNair did not rule out the possibility of hiring a college coach to take over his team, but said he wanted somebody with NFL credentials.
“We would like someone who has had head coaching experience, but has also had NFL experience,” McNair told reporters on Friday. “It’s a combination of those two things would be the ideal situation and there are people who meet those conditions."
Unless Smith overwhelms Houston’s decision makers during his interview, the Texans will likely speak with several candidates. There are NFL coordinators who cannot be interviewed until after their team’s regular season, or postseason, concludes. That means a hiring decision may not be finalized until January or February.
However, Smith has a chance to convince Houston why he is the best coach for the job before anyone else.
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