Texans coach Gary Kubiak has been fired

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Gary Kubiak reportedly has been fired. (USATSI)
Gary Kubiak reportedly has been fired. (USATSI)

Texans owner Bob McNair announced Friday that he has fired coach Gary Kubiak.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports that Kubiak has left Texans headquarters and that a mandatory staff meeting will be held later Friday afternoon.

"This has been a very disappointing year," McNair said. "We started off with such high hopes. We felt like we had the best roster that we'd ever started the year with, and we anticipated a very favorable outcome. To have this string of losses we've sustained, it's totally unacceptable and it's not what this organization is about. Normally, we'd wait until the end of the year to evaluate our coaching staff and players. But under these extreme circumstances, we decided it was in the best interest of the organization to start that now."

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who was the interim coach when Kubiak missed a few weeks with his recent health scare, will take over again on an interim basis. McNair -- who said he'd like to hire a coach who already has NFL coaching experience -- also said Phillips would get the chance to interview for the full-time head coaching job.

McNair also mentioned that former Bears coach Lovie Smith could be a possibility.

After losing to the Jaguars on Thursday, the Texans are mired in an 11-game losing streak. The news that firing Kubiak was even a possibility on Friday was broken by MMQB.com's Peter King.

Kubiak was scheduled for a day-after-game news conference at noon ET, but instead, it became a press conference led by McNair and general manager Rick Smith.

Smith is an interesting figure, because it seems like he also would be in danger of losing his job. But the fact he was at the press conference and with McNair's praise of the opening-day roster, perhaps Smith is safe for now.

"We've got to right the ship," Smith said at the press conference. "We've got to move forward. We have three more games to evaluate every player, coach and process."

As for his future:

As far as quarterback Case Keenum is concerned, he'll be returned to his starting quarterback job. On Thursday night, Kubiak benched him for former starter Matt Schaub, who sparked the team into a near-comeback win. After the game, Kubiak said he wasn't sure who would start but praised Schaub.

Now that Kubiak is gone, Keenum is back to No. 1 on the depth chart.

"Case is going to be the quarterback, and we're going to give him a chance," McNair said.

During his eight-year tenure in Houston, Kubiak has recorded a 61-64 mark, but the franchise turned itself around in 2011 and 2012, combining for a 22-10 record and winning a playoff game each season.

But 2013 has been an unmitigated disaster, and Kubiak's time in Houston is over. Now, the team can move forward. And move forward quickly, according to McNair.

"This is not a long-term rebuilding process," McNair said. "I want to make that clear. We have core players who are outstanding players."

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