The Houston Texans have signed head coach Gary Kubiak to a contract extension
through 2012, the team announced. His original contract was up after the 2010
"Bottom line is, in evaluating where we were and looking at our coaching situation, I believe Gary can take us to the Super Bowl, and that's why we tore up his existing contract and extended him. I think we're making progress and I think we're going to continue to make progress. So I'm excited about the upcoming year. Right now, our scouts have been working on free agents. There are not as many free agents out this year because of the change, this being the last year in the CBA, so those players that would've been free agents after four years are not free agents; it would only be after six years. So that reduces the number of free agents considerably, so there aren't going to be as many unrestricted free agents out there. But the scouts are working on it, and now the coaches are in and they're looking at all these players and we'll go through that process and see if there's anybody out there that'll strengthen us, and if so we'll try to bring them in. Then, we go right from that into the combine and to looking at the draft, so we're excited about the year. I think our fans are excited and I think they see the promise that the Texans hold for them and I think that we're going to start realizing that promise. So with that, we'll open it up for questions if you want to ask Gary any questions or if you want to ask me," owner Bob McNair said.
Kubiak was named the second head coach in Houston Texans history on January 26, 2006. In his four years at the helm, he has guided the Texans to a 31-33 record. He became the franchise's winningest head coach on December 1, 2008 when he recorded his 19th win in a 30-17 victory over Jacksonville on Monday Night Football.
Kubiak, 48, led the Texans to a 9-7 record in 2009, giving the franchise its first-ever winning season. Houston closed the season with four straight wins, which is tied for the second-longest active regular season winning streak in the NFL.
Kubiak took over a team that went 2-14 in 2005 and tripled its win total in his first season. The Texans' 6-10 record in 2006 was the second-best in the young franchise's history to that point. The six victories included wins in three of the last five games of the season and the franchise's first ever win over division foe Indianapolis.
In his second year, Kubiak guided the Texans to an 8-8 record, marking the first non-losing season in team history. The Texans won three of their last four games and five of their last seven to finish with a .500 record. Houston also began to establish a true home field advantage at Reliant Stadium, going 6-2 at home.
The 2008 season was marked by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike early in the year and a resulting 0-4 start, but Kubiak rallied his team to win eight of its last 12 and finish with a second straight 8-8 record. Houston became just the tenth team in NFL history to start a year 0-4 and finish at or above .500.
Kubiak came to Houston after spending the previous 11 seasons as the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator, bringing with him an offensive philosophy based on a strong running game and an efficient passing attack. Kubiak's Texans have completely rewritten the franchise's record book in his four years on the sidelines. The Texans have broken or tied 228 team and individual franchise records during Kubiak's tenure.
Under Kubiak's guidance, WR Andre Johnson has been the most productive receiver in the NFL, averaging a league-best 90.2 yards per game since 2006. Johnson became the second receiver in NFL history to surpass 1,500 yards in back-to-back seasons, posting 1,575 yards in 2008 and 1,569 in 2009. Both totals led the league, making him the second receiver since 1970 to lead the league in consecutive seasons.
Kubiak found the quarterback to run his offense in 2007 when he traded with Atlanta to acquire Matt Schaub. Schaub showed promise in 2007 and 2008, but truly came into his own last year when he threw for a league-leading 4,770 yards and a franchise-record 29 touchdowns. Schaub's yardage total was the sixth-highest in NFL history and earned him a spot in the 2010 Pro Bowl, where he was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
The Texans defense has also improved under Kubiak, particularly in 2009 after he hired first-year defensive coordinator Frank Bush. After a slow start to the season, Bush turned the defense around and ultimately set franchise records for total defense, allowing 324.9 yards per game, and scoring defense at 20.8 points per game.
Kubiak, along with general manager Rick Smith, has emphasized building the roster through the draft. His commitment to this philosophy was evidenced by the selection of DE Mario Williams with the first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Williams, a two-time Pro Bowler who holds the franchise career sack record with 39.5, is one of four Pro Bowlers drafted by Kubiak, along with LB DeMeco Ryans, TE Owen Daniels and LB Brian Cushing.
The key for the Texans to take the next step in their development is to build their defense. Their front-seven showed good improvement last season, but their secondary still gave up too many big plays.
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