AFC South: NFL Nation Confidential: Coach to play for

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three of the Jaguars who participated in this NFL Nation confidential survey are probably a bit disappointed today. The survey asked which NFL coach other than their own they’d most like to play for .

Their choice is unemployed.

Those three players picked Gary Kubiak, who at the time of the survey was still the Houston Texans' coach. He was fired on Dec. 6, one day after the Jaguars beat the Texans for the second time in 2013.

Kubiak received the most votes of any coach among the 10 players surveyed. Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin was the only other coach to receive multiple votes. He was named twice. San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh, St. Louis’ Jeff Fisher, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, Seattle’s Pete Carroll, and New England’s Bill Belichick each got one vote.

It’s understandable why Kubiak received more votes than anyone else. He coached a division rival so the players are familiar with him. Several players also are friends with Texans fullback Greg Jones, who spent the first nine season of his career with the Jaguars before signing with Houston as a free agent last March.

Carroll was the coach most named by the 320 players who participated in the survey. He got 72 votes. Tomlin received 44.

NFLN Survey/coach: Texans

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
As the Houston Texans' head coach, Gary Kubiak's players liked him. They talked about how he took care of their bodies and didn't grind them too hard. Veterans weren't forced to stay in hotels for training camp and the general rigidity that comes with some football coaches wasn't there.

The same traits that endeared Kubiak to his players, might have been part of the problem for the Texans last season. It might have led to the lack of accountability that defensive end J.J. Watt lamented after a game late last season, without calling out his coaches.

While being liked doesn't necessarily equate to winning, winning does appear to correlate to which coach players would want leading their team. In our survey of 320 anonymous players from around the NFL, a winner got the most votes. Pete Carroll, coach of the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, was the overwhelming winner with 71 votes. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was next with 44 votes and Broncos coach John Fox came in a distant third with 26 votes.

Kubiak got nine votes and Wade Phillips, who served as interim head coach for the final three games of the season, got votes from two players.