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Saturday, January 28, 2006
Sherman considers Texans' assistant offer

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman met Friday with Houston Texans officials and is considering an offer to join first-year head coach Gary Kubiak's staff in the role of assistant head coach/offensive line.

Sherman and Kubiak worked together on the Texas A&M staff under then-Aggies coach R.C. Slocum in 1992-93 and are said to have a solid relationship. Landing Sherman, who has rebuffed assistant coach offers from other franchises in the past 10 days, would be a coup for Kubiak as he continues to assemble his first staff.

Sherman, 51, interviewed for head coach vacancies in New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills but lost out to Sean Payton and Dick Jauron, respectively, for those positions. He has also been approached in recent days by the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, in both cases for the offensive coordinator spot, but opted not to pursue those opportunities.

Whether the Texans, and more specifically, Kubiak, can attract his interest remains to be seen. It is believed, however, that Sherman is more intrigued by the Texans job than he was the other assistant coach opportunities that he eschewed.

Dismissed by the Packers the day after the 2005 season concluded, Sherman compiled a 59-43 mark, including playoffs, in six seasons. Green Bay went to the playoffs four times under Sherman, once as a wild card and three times as division champions, but never advanced beyond the divisional round. His 2005 team, which finished 4-12, was decimated by injuries.

Given his strong track record, most league observers were surprised that Sherman did not land one of the head coach spots that became available after the season. It seems that he was victimized by the trend toward hiring first-time head coaches and, perhaps, by the compensation level he enjoyed under his Green Bay contract.

Sherman signed a two-year contract extension last summer that runs through 2007 and is worth $3.2 annually. The Packers are liable for those salaries and, if Sherman takes the job in Houston, his salaries there will be deducted from the amount Green Bay owes him.

There have been no announcements from the Texans regarding assistant coach hires, but it is believed Kubiak has finalized deals with six to seven staffers. One sticking point remains the defensive coordinator position. Kubiak had hoped to hire Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Richard Smith and Arizona Cardinals linebackers coach Frank Bush as his co-coordinators. The Cardinals, though, denied permission for Bush, who recently signed a new contract in Arizona, to interview for the job.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.