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.