Houston Texans and Head Coach are Looking to Make Their Relationship More Permanent.

By Chris Shelton

The Houston Texans are gearing up to extend the contract of head coach, Gary Kubiak and general manager, Rick Smith, on the heels of their best season ever. Kubiak and Smith’s second deals mirrored each other in length previously and would again, presumably. A new deal would be their third.

The team went 10-6 and broke the playoff barrier emphatically with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Reliant Stadium. It’s Kubiak’s third contract since joining the Texans in 2006.

Owner, Bob McNair is secure in his decision to extend the coach and general manager.

“I think they’ve done an outstanding job,” McNair told the Houston Chronicle. “I’m pleased with them, and if that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be extending them.

“We’ll start working on that,” McNair said. We’ve just had a lot of other things on our plate. We typically will visit with Gary first and then with Rick. That’s sort of the sequence we go through.”

Extending Kubiak was not always as cut and dry as it is today.

After the Texans 2010 season culminated with a victory over the beaten and battered New England Patriots and the team’s first winning season, head coach, Gary Kubiak and general manager, Rick Smith were rewarded with contract extensions amid much fan disagreement. It showed Bob McNair’s resolve as an owner and his willingness to stick to the plan.

It was not popular at the time. Kubiak had a year remaining on his current deal and many believed the extension was premature. After a disappointing 6-10 season the following year -which was marred by injuries-, many were saying “I told you so.”

After Smith’s influence on the talent base, through the draft and free agency, and Kubiak’s ability to coach them into good players -at least for one year- McNair can say I told you so.

The Texans have been a staple of stability the past seven years.

According to the Houston Chronicle, ” Only Philadelphia’s Andy Reid (1999), New England’s Bill Belichick (2000), Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis (2003), the New York Giants’ Tom Coughlin (2004) and Chicago’s Lovie Smith (2004) have been with the same team longer than Kubiak.”

What is clear is that Kubiak and Smith have had a major hand in elevating a two-win franchise in 2006 into a legitimate playoff contender. The growth and development has happened before the eyes of all Texan fans. The players believe in their coach and general manager. To some degree, so do the fans.

The measure of the Texan’s will be sustained success. Can they continue at a championship level?

If so, this deal will prove to be a great decision. The Texans have their stability. The architect’s of their success will be in place for the long-term.

But if the team slinks back to its mediocre ways, McNair will be criticized heavily by fans. But if the 2010 deals are any indication, McNair doesn’t care what any of us think.

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