Quotes: McNair on coaching changes, search for DC


Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair sat down for a 1-on-1 interview with Drew Dougherty of Texans TV on Tuesday, one day after the team retained head coach Gary Kubiak and released defensive coordinator Frank Bush and three other assistants.

Below is a full transcript of McNair's comments.

Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair
(on how tough Monday was) "It was a tough day because it's not easy to let people go. No one likes to do that. All of these fellows that we relieved of their duties are guys that we've worked with and they've been around the building and in our locker room and out on the practice field. We've just spent a lot of time with them and we know their families, so, it's very difficult."

(on why he released the four defensive coaches and what criteria he'll use in hiring their replacements) "When you look at our team and ask the question, 'What is the problem here?', it's pretty clear. Our offense is the third-ranked offense in the league. We've got some offensive weapons that some other teams would love to have. If you take our quarterback Matt Schaub, our running back Arian Foster, our wide receiver Andre Johnson, our tight ends Owen Daniels and Joel Dreessen, and throw (TE) James Casey in there, you take those four positions, and what team in the league has got better players at those four positions? Not just picking one of them, but at all four of those positions, you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody that's better equipped at those four positions. So we've got an awful lot of talent that's still young, and the problem that we've had is that we haven't been able to stop the other team. They've been scoring 28, 29 points a game (on) average. You just can't do that and win in the NFL. So clearly, we weren't getting the job done on defense. We just had to make a change, and we're going to bring in an experienced, proven defensive coordinator that has had good, solid defenses throughout his career."

(on what sort of process goes into the coaching search) "Well, first of all, an individual has to be free to talk to us, and if he's under contract, he isn't. So you're looking at who is available now and then you're looking at who might be available, and as head coaches are fired who have good defensive backgrounds, those are candidates, and we're looking at all of them. So we're trying to keep up with what's happening, but it's a lot like musical chairs. Once the music starts, boy, there's all kinds of action, but when the music stops it's a mad scramble for the chairs and there aren't enough chairs to go around, as you know. And that's what happens with these coaches is you can come up short if you're not careful, and so we want to move quickly and make sure that doesn't happen to us."

(on how important it might be to get a defensive coordinator with head coaching experience) "I think that a person with that background brings a lot to the table, because your head coach is in a unique position, and to have someone on his staff who's been in that same position and understands what he's going through when he has some tough questions that he has to answer, it's someone he can go to and sit down and discuss some of those issues and know that they have a common background. So I think it adds quite a bit."

(on if he has any particular peers that he leans on for guidance or counsel) "Well, I have some. There's some owners that I'm closer to than others. I probably spend a little more time talking about various things with (New England Patriots owner) Robert Kraft. I respect the job that he's done there with the Patriots and I think that that's a great model, and I'd love to have the success that they've had. But we're competitors with all these folks, so you're limited as to what you want to be discussing with them. And I talk a lot with (Dallas Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones. Jerry and I have a lot of common interests and look things in many ways in very similar ways. But when it comes to things like this, your coaches and what have you, you're pretty much on your own because they might be interested in the same coach you're interested in, and so you're not in a position to be discussing it."

(on how attractive of a defensive coordinator candidate Wade Phillips is) "Well, Wade has a terrific record. His background, number one as a head coach, I think he had the third-highest winning percentage of active coaches at the time that he was fired as head coach. So he's been a very good coach, and his record as a defensive coordinator has been outstanding. And he's done it at a number of different places. He did it at Buffalo, he did it at San Diego, he did it at Denver. He was at Philadelphia there for a few years, so he's done it in so many places and every place he's been he's always had a good, solid defense. So he's viewed around the league as being a very solid defensive-minded coach, and one that has been able to get outstanding results."

(on if it can't hurt that former Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips is Wade's father) "Well, no. I think that's great. And Bum is a great fan of the Houston Texans. He just loves our team and organization, and certainly Wade is from Houston, he went to school at the University of Houston, he coached for the Oilers under his dad and he has family that lives here. So there are a lot of positives about Wade. And we know him. You know, we know he's a good person, and Gary (Kubiak) knows him, so all those things enter into it and influence us to some degree, but whoever we get's going to be an outstanding defensive coach."

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