Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Reliant Stadium. (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports) The 2014 season starts now for the Houston Texans.
Saying "this string of losses is unacceptable," Texans owner Bob McNair fired coach Gary Kubiak on Friday, one day after the underachieving 2-11 Texans lost 27-20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will serve as interim head coach.
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"The last straw was losing. We have a lot better talent than Jacksonville,'' McNair said. "We are so disappointed and shocked by what has happened. ... Gary accepted it and understands the situation."
McNair said that he decided to fire the 52-year-old Kubiak while flying back Thursday night.
A search for Kubiak's replacement has already begun, and McNair said Phillips will be considered for the job. Another potential candidate could be former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, a Texas native.
The Texans entered this season with legitimate Super Bowl expectations but have failed miserably, losing 11 consecutive games. During Week 9 Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke and missed two games before returning.
Now, the team is without a clearcut answer at quarterback. Thursday night's loss to Jacksonville was sealed by quarterback Matt Schaub's 10th interception after Kubiak benched starter Case Keenum in a bid to spark his team.
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"I truly felt that (Kubiak) would be with us until it was time to retire," McNair said. "But we have to do what's best for the organization. We're here to have a winning culture, and this year does not contribute to that.''
Kubiak was 61-63 with just two wild-card playoff appearances during his eight-season tenure since replacing Dom Capers in 2006.
"This has been a very disappointing year for the Texans organization,'' McNair said. "We started out with such high hopes, we started out with the best roster we've ever started a year with. ... And to have this string of losses that we've sustained is just totally unacceptable. It's not what this organization is about. It's about winning and accountability."
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