In a move anticipated for over a month now, the Houston Texans and owner Bob McNair have extended the contracts of both head coach Gary Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith. The deals are coming on the heels off both the franchise’s first playoff appearance and playoff victory in 2011. Stability is the word of the day in Houston, as Kubiak’s extension carries him through the 2014 season and Smith’s through 2016.
Regarding today’s moves and their effect on the organizations stability, McNair commented, “Stability is very important and these people work well together and they are committed to bringing a championship to Houston. That's our goal and what we work for every day. I'm real pleased we were able to bring this about.”
Both Kubiak and Smith were hired in 2006 and struggled through mediocrity during their first five seasons together in Houston going a combined 37-43. However, both have worked together, along with the other coaches and members of the organization, to build a team with depth that fits the respective offensive and defensive schemes. In the aforementioned breakthrough season of 2011, the Texans went 10-6 and won the AFC South for the first time despite a slew of injuries, including several key players. Expectations for the 2012 Texans are through the roof.
Kubiak was honored to be given the extension, commenting, “It's an honor. It's a big responsibility. You guys know since the day I walked in here it's been a dream situation for me to come back home and build a winner in Houston. I'm just very thankful that Bob and Janice and their family have entrusted me with this situation and (have) done it again for a few more years.” Interestingly, Kubiak was actually offered a four-year extension, but opted for a three-year deal. Kubiak confidently added, “I pride myself on fulfilling contracts, not signing them.”
Smith has largely been credited with the overhaul of talent on the defensive side of the ball, where just one season ago the team was ranked as one of the worst in the NFL. The defense-heavy 2011 NFL Draft, coupled with the hiring of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator, saw the Texans jump to #2 in overall defense. On looking forward in the organization’s continued quest to build a championship squad, Smith remarked, “One of the things that's important to us is that we're a consistent winner, and it takes time to put processes in place to get players and coaches. We've set the foundation for success and we had a little bit of that last year and I think we're in position to continue that.”
With the core of the Texans brass in place for the next three seasons, Texans fans should expect that stability to pay dividends when it comes to wins and losses. Now on the verge of a bona fide contender, Kubiak and Smith have been put in charge of getting the Texans over the final hump and bringing Houston it’s first Super Bowl win.
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