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Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Texans interview Linehan, plan to talk with Ferentz

Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Scott Linehan sees a lot of potential in the Houston Texans and that has him excited about the possibility of being the team's next coach.

Linehan was in Houston on Wednesday to interview for the job left vacant when Dom Capers was fired after the Texans finished their season with an NFL-worst record of 2-14.

Texans to interview Ferentz
 Kirk Ferentz
Ferentz
University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has accepted an interview with the Houston Texans, ESPN.com's John Clayton reports. The interview is expected to take place this weekend.

"I think the players fit the criteria of the systems I want to run," he said. "When you look at a job, you want to be successful, especially if you're going to take a head coaching job."

Linehan spent the 2005 season with the Dolphins after three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Minnesota Vikings.

Under Linehan's watch the Dolphins improved from near the bottom of the league in offense to 14th. He helped the Vikings become one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. The unit was ranked fourth in the league in 2004, No. 1 in 2003 and second in his first season.

He has never been a head coach and said Wednesday that this was the first time he'd interviewed for such a position.

Houston also plans to interview several other candidates, including Denver's Gary Kubiak, Cam Cameron of San Diego, Kansas City's Al Saunders and Jerry Gray of Buffalo.

Some speculated that Linehan would be a top candidate to coach the Vikings, but he said the Texans are the only team to contact him so far.

Linehan got a firsthand look at the Texans offense in perhaps its most impressive game in history in 2004. Both David Carr and Andre Johnson had career days in a 34-28 overtime loss to the Vikings.

Carr threw for a career-high 372 yards and three touchdowns and Johnson had 12 catches for 170 yards and two scores.

Linehan was so impressed by Johnson's performance that he recited his statistics almost perfectly -- he was just one catch off.

"Andre Johnson is probably the young version of a Randy Moss," he said. "A guy that could dominate a game. I saw it in person."

Linehan thinks that some of the things he learned in Miami would help him if he became Texans coach.

"I think we were in a very similar position last year in trying to get things turned around," he said.

He said he saw Dolphins coach Nick Saban transform the "culture and attitude of the team."

"Those are some of the things that are going to have to be addressed here and hopefully those would be some of the lessons I've been able to learn and maybe draw upon for this franchise," Linehan said.

Houston's offense was ranked 30th in the NFL in 2005, averaging just 253.3 yards per game.

Before moving to the NFL, Linehan worked as a college assistant for 13 years at Louisville, the University of Washington, Idaho and Nevada-Las Vegas.

He coached Texans reserve quarterback Dave Ragone while at Louisville and said: "there aren't many better people in this world than that kid."

Ragone was also very complimentary of his former coach.

"I respect him not just on the football field, but he taught me a lot in those three years about growing up and helping me become a better person," Ragone said.

Linehan played quarterback at Idaho, where he led the team to the Big Sky Championship in 1985.