Owner Bob McNair
(opening statement) "Thank you very much for coming out today. This is a very exciting, happy time for us, and we're delighted that you could come out and enjoy this with us. As we started through this process of selecting a coach, we really had been quite deliberate about it. I want to thank Philip Burguieres, Charley Casserly and Cal McNair, who worked with me in this process. We talked to a number of really outstanding coaches. The discussions were very thorough; in most cases we spent almost a full day with the candidates and we really got to know them all. As we went forward in the process, it became obvious to us that there was one person who really fit our situation. We've said that we're going to build a championship team here in Houston and we knew in order to do that we had to have people of championship caliber – people who had been there, who had won championships not only coaching but also playing at the championship level.
"We just felt that the man who could really fill our bill was Gary Kubiak. As we looked at our own situation and the performance that we've had over the last four years, we've had some outstanding defensive performances and a little more consistency there. We've had some difficulty in getting our passing game to the level that we would like to have it. We just felt that someone such as Gary, who had been a quarterback, coached young quarterbacks and had been responsible for the offense and has the philosophy of always being aggressive, always attacking; attacking in terms of offense, attacking in terms of defense and attacking in terms of special teams. That's the kind of philosophy that we buy into as Texans. Of course in addition the great record he had at A&M and then being out at San Francisco with a championship team there and a great quarterback, Steve Young, to being in Denver and to be a player there first before coaching John Elway and later with Jake Plummer. To see the great improvement that Plummer has made, it's clear that Gary is the kind of person that can elevate the play of our players. There is no doubt that he was the man. And then to think that we had someone who was born in Houston, raised in Houston – St. Pius High School and Texas A&M. His wife, Rhonda, is from Houston also, and both their families are still here. What better way to lead the Houston Texans to the championship level than to be led by a Houston Texan. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our new head coach, Gary Kubiak. And since we signed the contract this morning, it's time for him to go to work."
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) "How's everybody doing? This is a great day. It's awesome. It's been a little overwhelming, but it's so exciting for me and my family. I have so many people to thank and I want to do that first, starting with my family and friends that are here today. I've seen some people today that I haven't seen in 15 or 20 years, and it's a welcomed sight for me. My family – my mom and dad, my sisters – I always told my parents that I'd be home someday. I think they started not to believe me after a while, but I finally made it back. I want to thank them so much. And Rhonda's family, her sisters and their families, my life has been about support from them the whole time. They've always shared in what I do, and that's important to me and they're in my heart today. I also want to mention the family I just left, the Denver Broncos family. They're the reason I'm here. I wanted Mike and Pat to know that they're on my mind today. The great players that I had the pleasure to coach and the coaches I had the pleasure to coach with. Those guys are the reason this guy's up here today, because of what they did for me and the effort they gave me. Last, Rhonda and the boys. They've been my backbone in this business. They share everything with me, the wins, the losses, and I just can't thank them enough. I have so many support systems in my life and football is a tough business, so you have to have people around you that appreciate that and want to do it with you on a day-to-day basis. I want you all to know I'm thinking about you.
"Now the task at hand; first thing is that we've got a lot to do. Houston, I want you to know one thing: the key to being successful as a team in this business and finding a way to get this done, you've got to have a great owner. And you've got one. I just left a Hall of Fame owner for the last 20 years and this guy right here is well on his way, I can tell you that. He will do anything for this team, he'll do anything for this city and that's what you have to have. His passion to bring a winner to the city of Houston is something that we've both shared since day one. I've had some really good times with him in the last five years. One was really brief, and I'm going to tell you the story. I came down here for an interview about four or five years ago. I spent the day with him and Charley and some of the guys. We went through the process and at the end of the day we stood up and shook hands and Bob said, 'Gary, you keep working.' And he was right. When I left that day I said, 'I'm going to keep working.' This time when we got together and went through the process again, at the end of the day I told him, 'Bob, I've been working. You were right that time and I think you'll be right this time if you give me a chance.' Bob, I want to thank you for this opportunity. I want to thank your family; you're lovely wife and Cal, who I've gotten to know. Thanks so much.
"A couple of other people were very important in the process. Charley Casserly, Philip Burguieres and Dan Reeves were all there throughout this process and I know they had a lot to do with me getting this opportunity. I want them to know how much I appreciate it, because there are so many suggestions and views that come along as you're going through the process. For them to listen to all of mine, I want to thank them for that.
"One of the great things I've learned along the way in this business, and I don't know if it's the most important but it's very important to me, is that the number one thing you've got to do when you get going with a team is that you've got to have expectations. You have to have a standard. Shanahan taught me that. We've got a long way to go, but I want you all to know that my dream is to see this city win a championship someday. I've been fortunate to be a part of that three times and being in that game six times. There's nothing like it. It's the greatest thing because it's an accomplishment by a bunch of people – a city, a team, and an organization – all working in the same direction. That is our ultimate goal, and when I wake up tomorrow we'll start working towards that. As I said, we have a long way to go. I understand that, but it can be done. There are great examples out there in this business of people turning teams around very quickly. You look at the job they did in Chicago in the last two years, the job that they've done in Cincinnati and we're going to get started on doing that job right here. I have total confidence that we can get that done.
"The NFL is a marathon, it's not a sprint. It's a long, hard season with a lot of ups and downs. But the key to every team and every organization is that you're all consistent, you are all heading in the same direction and that you all want the same thing. You've got to have people who are there day in and day out. You can't be a flash in the pan as a player; you can't be a flash in the pan as a coach. You've got to be there everyday to do your job. I'll surround myself with people like that, and I want you to know I'm very high on some young coaches that I'm bringing with me. I was given a chance 11 years ago by Mike Shanahan out of San Francisco. I'd been in the NFL for one year, been coaching for three. He took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity. I will give some of these guys that same opportunity I got because I believe in it. I will surround myself with good coaches that are great people. I want players that will bust their tails everyday and I want them to be good, quality people, because in the long haul that's what's going to win out. You have to be consistent so we will get that done.
"The last message I would like to send is to the players of the Texans. I haven't met any of them. I know a few of them just through my visits here and coaching against the Texans here at camp. The one thing I want those players to know is that this guy right here, and the people I surround myself with, will do anything we can to make them successful. That's our job. We've got to give them everything we've got. My job is to get them in a position so they can win and they can be successful as players. I will do that, and I'll give them everything I've got. The one thing I ask out of players is that they give each other everything they've got. Not me, but each other. And if we have that understanding and we're all working in that direction, with the type of people that Bob's got in this organization, there's nothing we can't accomplish. I'm so proud to be here today. I've been working really hard for this opportunity, and Bob, as I've told you before, I'm ready. I'm ready to go to work. I just want to thank everybody for coming out. It's a great day and I'm looking forward to many more."
(on decision-making process for drafting the first pick) "The great thing about where I've been coaching is that I've been a part of that process for 11 years. I was part of the draft, part of free agency, part of everything. It is a long, hard process and we're going to get a great player. It's exciting for this town to have that pick, but I want you all to know that I don't plan on picking in this spot again. It's exciting for this town and there are some great football players out there. We've got to evaluate them all. We've got three months to get that done, and it's going to be a process amongst all of us – the coaches, Charley, the scouting department – and everybody is going to be involved in that pick. We'll make a good decision. You can't go wrong with those type of kids that are there. But we've got a lot of work to do to get to that point."
(on David Carr) "There's tremendous upside to David Carr. There is a process in this business as a quarterback and you don't just hop in there and be successful from the get-go. It takes time, it takes work and it takes people caring about you and doing everything to get you in a situation to be successful. I've been fortunate to be around two Hall of Famers in John Elway and Steve Young. And watching them learn how to get there, it took John 14 years to win a championship but he kept fighting. Jake Plummer came to us from Arizona and a lot of people didn't think that he could get it done. But you surround him with good people who work hard and he came close. He's going to get better. David has all the skills that those players have; we just got to go to work. David has to do his part and I have to do my part in getting him ready to play, but I promise you I'll find a way to make him successful because it's in him. We have to get the people around him to help him out."
(on how to instill confidence in Carr) "That position is about success. In this league when things aren't going good that's the first place you go. But they also understand that if you're that guy and things are going well, you're going to get a lot of credit, too. But we'll go to work together. David has to understand that this guy right here is going to be with him everyday from that standpoint. That's the way I do it. I look forward to working with him, and I'm going to make him successful. I have confidence in that and we both have a piece in that puzzle, as does every football player. But as long as he knows that that's the direction we want to head, I know he'll do his part. I know he's a great kid, a great young man. And that's all you can ask for: a great kid that's willing to work. And we'll go to work to get it done."
(on if passed up other jobs because waiting for this one) "I've had a couple opportunities, but it's not like I've had so many that I had to say no a bunch. There's been a few. I'm not going to lie to you; it has been a dream of mine. It was a dream of mine back five years ago and I've held onto that. You never really knew if that opportunity would come around again. But in this business it's hard enough to have an opportunity like this, regardless of where it's at; to have it happen in my hometown is icing on the cake. The great thing is being able to share this football team, what I do, with family and friends because it's kind of what keeps you going. I want them to be here and experience those highs. It had been a dream, but I know I'm very lucky to have this opportunity."
(on how hands-on he plans to be with quarterbacks) "I'll have both of these on him, I'll promise you that. That's what I do, that's how I grew up and that's what I know. I mean working with that quarterback, understanding what he's going through everyday and being his helmet on the field from a managing the game standpoint. That's the key to your football team. That guy has to lead your football team. That guy has to be the heart and soul of your football team. Every player in that locker room has to bleed for that player for you to be successful. So I will be with him everyday, every step of the way."
(on if he's reviewed film on Reggie Bush and Vince Young) "No, I haven't. Just like a fan like the rest of you. Watching the games and watching those two kids compete this year at the college level was something else. They've both had tremendous careers, and the great thing is that they're both great young men. But I have not sat down and evaluated those kids yet. That's what I have to do."
(on what he likes about Texans) "I think we have some fine young players. I've been down here a couple of years working against them in the preseason, and I've had tremendous respect for what they were doing and the direction they were heading. As a coach, when you sit down with Bob and Philip and the people that are the heart and soul of the organization, and how they want to do things and the type of people they want there on a day-to-day basis, you know right away that gives you a chance to be successful. You have their backing when you go down to that locker room and put your team together because you know what type of guys they want and I'm the same way. If you know you're on the same page with somebody like that in this business, which is very tough and requires a lot of time and a lot of hard work, you know you're working in the same direction. It was an easy fit."
(on if he's leaning towards a running back with first pick) "As I said, there is so much work to do before that takes place. But you are right from the standpoint that I'm a David Carr fan. I watch him work, I know what kind of skills he has and I know as a coach what you've got to have to work with in this league to win. And there's no reason why David shouldn't be a very successful quarterback. That's my job, that's my challenge and I can't wait to get going with it."
(on his staff) "I really don't want to talk about certain coaches because that's an ongoing process and until that's done I don't want to jeopardize that. But I would say we're over halfway through putting the staff together. We've got some very important positions to fill, that will be number one on the list right now as we get going. Also from day one, one of the things I appreciated about Bob from the process is that I told him, 'Bob, we're going to take our time. We're going to hire good people, good coaches. They'll be there, don't worry. We can't panic. We don't need a full staff right now, let's take our time and get the right people.' And I'm very adamant about that, because when it's all said and done the people that wait on you and the people who want to be in Houston, those are the people that you want. We're about halfway done, so I'm going to stay away from talking about names. As far as calling plays, yeah, that's what I do. I'm bringing a kid with me who I think the world of, and we will all work together. Too much credit in this business goes to one person too many times, whether it's on offense or defense. You're going to be as good as your whole group and every guy that I'm hiring and trying to get here to be part of this group, I'm letting them know they're going to have input. It's going to take all of us to win, not just me calling the plays on Sunday. It will take every one of us, and I'll give everybody who comes to work with me an opportunity to be a part of that."
(on thought process upon learning he got the job) "I don't know if you know, but I was a ball boy for the Oilers back in the day. I worked for them for a couple of years. I can remember being in the Astrodome with my sister-in-law when the Oilers came back from Pittsburgh and the bus pulled up in the middle of the dome, and waving the pom-poms. There are so many things that come back to mind from my days here in Houston, but I was going through another process when Bob called me and we talked about the situation. I was right in the middle of the playoff games and I had so many things going on. Really everything kind of hit me these last two days just driving back through town and talking to old friends, so that process will continue as we go. It's been kind of overwhelming, but golly it's sure been exciting."
(on getting in touch with the players) "I plan on getting in contact with them as quickly as I can. I think the number one thing with me, and I want them to know this, is that we have a couple of months here before our offseason program gets started and I want them to know I'll be ready when that time comes. I want to get this group together so they know who's going to be here to coach them. But that process will take place. Those guys are around the office and I'll catch up with them. I just want them to know I'm going to go to work for them and I want them to know that we're ready to go when this thing gets started with the offseason."
(on if will use philosophy from Denver) "I learned from Mike that you want to be involved with everything; that's part of it. But we'll bring our system from Denver, might change the color of the book a little bit, maybe a little darker blue. One thing about that scheme is that you teach a system. You don't necessarily teach everything that you're going to do. You teach a system and you've got to be able to branch off from that system. We have to do what our players do best, and that's one of the great things I've learned. You can't be stubborn and say, 'this is the way we did it.' We're going to do what's best for the Texans. And we're going to have the Texans' offense, the Texans' defense and special teams. I want us to be aggressive. There are three ways you can win on Sunday: offense, defense and special teams. You can't devote any more time to one than the others, and your players have to know that you're committed in all three areas, and we will do that."
QB David Carr on Kubiak
"I am very excited that Gary Kubiak is our new head coach. He brings a tremendous track record of winning and offensive performance to our team. I am looking forward to having him lead us to a championship in Houston and to help me become the best quarterback I can be."