Looking To Next Season...Already, Part 2
By Emin Avakian
Let me preface this by letting it be known that I am well aware that the 2013 regular season is not quite over.
Some of you may have read the "Looking to Next Season...Already" article, and noticed that I'm already thinking about quarterbacks the Texans can give the ball to next season, as they look to rebound from this abysmal season.
Having said that, let's talk about some coaching candidates! Sorry interim head coach Wade Philips, you're not getting the job. Now go and beat Indianapolis!
Undoubtedly, the Texans need to find a coach with the right pedigree--one that can spark optimism and quickly erase bad memories of yesteryear. Houston's owner Bob McNair told reporters his ideal candidate has NFL experience, but it seems he has become more open-minded since, which is a good thing. You shouldn't re-tread the tires on a Lovie Smith if you don't need to.
Of course, Smith will get an interview, and he'll say all the right things and he'll impress McNair, general manager Rick Smith and company. Same with Ken Whisenhunt. Same with Jon Gruden. Same with Greg Roman.
If you ask me, however, and even if you don't, I feel the Texans' best bet is to pursue Stanford's current head coach, David Shaw. The problem is most people believe he'll stay at Stanford. Nevertheless, it's worth a call for McNair.
It's worth a call because the "college coaches don't fare well in the professional ranks" theory hasn't been uttered recently, given Philadelphia's success. Needless to say, Shaw is just as capable as Chip Kelly.
His track record at Stanford speaks for itself. In three seasons at the helm, Shaw has a 34-6 record and has led the Cardinals to two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. He didn't miss a beat in taking over for Jim Harbaugh, and did an OK job preparing Andrew Luck for the NFL, to say the least.
Again, Shaw will likely stay in the northwestern Silicon Valley, but McNair and Rick Smith are paid to lure prospective coaches to Houston, and they ought to put extra effort (and dollars) into Shaw. According to John Clayton of ESPN, "McNair won't be cheap in trying to find a new coach. He's an aggressive owner who is willing to do whatever he can to get his team to a Super Bowl. In fact, he thought this team could get there, but an 11-game losing streak has the Texans at the top of the draft..."
Houston needs a head coach and a quarterback. In all likelihood, the coach will be a "quarterback-friendly" coach. Shaw and Whisenhunt come to mind. Better it be Shaw, but try to not show disappointment when Whisenhunt is introduced in the press conference.