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Texans get a jump on head coaching search

HOUSTON -- When the Texans fired Gary Kubiak two weeks ago after an uninspiring loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, there was some discussion about the timing.

What's the point in doing it then? It won't change the fate of the season.

Timing matters in a coaching search.

Being the first team with a head coaching vacancy means the Texans can be the first team to interview candidates without embroiling themselves in a messy situation that makes everybody look bad.

Today Mark Berman of Fox 26 and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texans have interviewed former Bears coach Lovie Smith. He is the Texans' first interview and the first official head coaching interview league-wide. Read more about Smith here.

As I've written before, this hire is critical for Texans owner Bob McNair, who believes his team is talented enough to win with the right leadership. McNair is heavily involved in the search. It's also critical for general manager Rick Smith. His job security is solid right now, but if the Texans can't recover from this season under the new head coach, the entire staff's situation will become tenuous.

Having a head start on the rest of the teams who will need head coaches after the season is especially important with a candidate such as Lovie Smith. The Texas native isn't coaching right now, so there's no waiting period to interview him.