Texans coach Gary Kubiak addressed the media on Tuesday about the dismissal from the team of defensive coordinator Richard Smith, defensive backs coach Jon Hoke and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) "Obviously, I made a decision today: We let three guys go on the defensive side of the ball. Of course, Richard, our defensive coordinator Richard Smith, Jon Hoke, our secondary coach, and Jethro Franklin, our defensive line coach. Those guys have worked extremely hard for me, for (Texans owner) Bob (McNair), for these players and this organization, and I'm very proud of the work that they've done. Richard came with me here three years ago. We started from scratch going from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I think he's done a wonderful job. He deserves a lot of credit for the progress that's been made. He's a great coach, a great person. Jon, Jon's been here I think seven years, if I'm right. He's been here ever since the organization got started. He worked his tail off, stayed here with me when I came. He's done a heck of a job for us. I'm very proud of him. Like I said, he did a heck of a job for me and then Jethro, of course, has been here with me for two years in the same manner. But anyway, they're all fine coaches. They're even better people. (This is) a very difficult day for them and their families. Difficult on this guy, too, but bottom line is I've made a decision to move in a new direction and want to give them the opportunity to do the same thing as quickly as possible."
(on what is he looking for in a replacement) "I'm going to take my time. With this league, this gets pretty crazy here over the course of the next few weeks. So I think it's important that we just settle down right now and get some of these guys some time here next week. I'll begin to put together a list of candidates. (Senior defensive assistant) Frank Bush will be one of the guys interviewed for the job, and we'll get our group together, but we'll take our time getting that done and probably start our interview process not next week but the following week."
(on if the candidates have to have a 4-3 background) "Well, obviously, we've got a lot of work put in in that area and would like to stay there, but at the same time, I think we're just going to do what's best for this team, find the best football coach, and we'll do that."
(on if this decision was made last night because the reports regarding these changes were out last week) "There's always reports out there. There were a lot of reports out there. That's part of our business. But this decision was made over the course of the last couple of days. I had a process to follow, as I told you, and players came first. I never do anything in this organization without spending time with (Texans owner) Mr. (Bob) McNair, (Texans vice chairman) Cal (McNair) and (general manager) Rick (Smith) first. I had to do that last night. I spent a great deal of time with them and once again this morning before we moved forward. I've got some things to do amongst player evaluations this afternoon. I didn't want those guys to be sitting around waiting on me any longer, so I began to talk to them this morning."
(on if he will replace defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and secondary coach Jon Hoke even though senior defensive assistant Frank Bush and assistant defensive backs coach Ray Rhodes are still on staff) "Well, I think we have to see what's going to happen. Ray will definitely be here. He will help me in some way, shape or form after we decide on who is going to be our next coordinator. Ray will either be helping me, helping the DBs, helping assisting the coordinator – however we go about doing it. We'll decide his role once that decision is made. As I said, Frank will interview for the job. I think a great deal of Frank and his knowledge and his passion for this game. So he's going to be a part of our staff, and then (linebackers coach) Johnny Holland will also be a part of our future also."
(on how he would expect a new defensive coordinator to come in and get some new, premiere players in free agency) "Well, obviously, we have to get better. We're always looking to get better. I think we have some pieces in place that give us a chance to be successful. I think we've got more than two or three pieces. I think we've got some fine young players. It's up to us to find a way to get them better. But naturally, (general manager) Rick (Smith) and I have to give this coordinator, whoever that ends up being, the best chance to be successful. That's what's difficult to me today. I told (former defensive coordinator) Richard (Smith) the same thing. I said, 'Richard, I hurt because I didn't do a good enough job of giving you the people or putting you in the position to be successful.' So that starts with me. But we have to do a better job with this guy and surrounding him with the right people and do a better job with the people we have."
(on if he prefers someone who is an experienced play-caller as a defensive coordinator) "That doesn't concern me. I'm sure that I will end up talking to guys that have been coordinators in this league for a great length of time. I'm sure I will interview some guys who have not been coordinators that I think have a chance to be excellent coordinators. I'm not worried about that. I'm worried about finding the best fit for our football team and the guys that we have here."
(on if there was anything these guys could have done to save their jobs, even with the way the team played the last several weeks) "No, I mean, we definitely played better. We were more consistent the second half of the season. My decision is strictly based on (this): I go over the three-year period and I look at how we progressed. I do not feel good about the progress we've made on that side of the ball, and I think for us to take the next step, we have to make a big-time improvement there. So it's something that's taken place over a long period of time. Like you said, this is not an overnight decision. It's something that I've had a very difficult time with as we've worked toward it, but it's a tough decision I had to make as part of my job."