Texans reward general manager Smith, coach Kubiak with extensions

The Texans rewarded Kubes big 2011 with a new deal. (US Presswire)

The Texans rewarded general manager Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak with extensions on Wednesday, a well-deserved reward for taking Houston to the playoffs for the first time in the franchise's history.

Kubiak was considered on the hot seat heading into 2011 after a 6-10 season in 2010 and continued late-season collapses. But the Texans won the AFC South (pretty handily) and weathered a slew of injuries to stars like Mario Williams, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson to make the playoffs and advance past the Bengals in the first round.

"I believe it is very important to have stability within an organization, and it starts with leadership,” Texans Owner and CEO Bob McNair said.  "We now have all of our key executives and coaches under long-term contracts. I feel this action gives us stability going forward and positions us to have many successful seasons for the Houston Texans."

Kubiak is 48-50 as Texans head coach (including the playoffs) and while Houston had mixed success early on -- especially defensively -- it's hard to argue with the production in 2011.

Interestingly, Kubiak opted to take a three-year extension, rather than a four-year deal, apparently because that's how long his coaching staff is under contract.

"I pride myself on fulfilling contracts, not signing them," Kubiak said. "We're all heading in the same direction."

That direction looks pretty bright for the Texans: the combination of hiring Wade Phillips, signing free-agent cornerback Johnathan Joseph and the sudden implosion of the AFC South primed the Texans for a big run in 2011.

With most of their opponents -- particularly those pesky Colts -- in somewhat of a rebuilding process, the Texans are the clear-cut favorite to win the division again in 2012. And if they can keep their stars on the field, they could even be the best team in the entire conference.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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