Texans zero in on Kubiak

The Texans' search for the team's second head coach is down to one.

Owner Bob McNair announced Sunday evening that Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is the team's final choice. After helping lead the Broncos to today's AFC Championship Game, Kubiak will return to home to Houston early this week to begin negotiations with the franchise.

"I look forward to getting Gary down here," McNair said. "I'll probably be talking with him tonight or in the morning. I'll give him some time to settle in after the game, and then we'll be ready to move ahead."

McNair said the biggest challenge for the Texans has been being able to produce an effective offense, so a candidate's potential to turn things around offensively was paramount in his decision-making process. The fact that Kubiak and his family are from Houston didn't hurt, either.

"I think all those are tremendous plusses," McNair said of Kubiak's Houston roots. "I think that had a lot to do with his desire to be with the Texans as opposed some other team."

A former St. Pius High School and Texas A&M standout, Kubiak has a knack for polishing quarterbacks, such as Steve Young and John Elway. He interviewed for the Texans' head coaching job in 2001, but has produced an even more impressive resume as Denver's offensive coordinator since then.

"I think number one, he was so much better prepared," McNair said of Kubiak's second interview. "He has a complete understanding of offense and in order to do that, you have to understand the defenses, too. He was impressive in that regard.

"He was very confident, very self-assured. After we had visited before, my comment to him was that he needed a little more experience. He said, 'You were right back then, but I can just tell you, I'm ready now.' And I felt that he is. I think Gary will fit in quite well with our team and allow us to make the most progress."

The Texans could not begin negotiations with Kubiak until the end of Denver's postseason run, which ended today with a 34-17 home loss to Pittsburgh.

"We could not engage in any negotiations until their season was complete and their season is just complete now," McNair said. "So I think that speaks for itself. We'll get together this week and get all that wrapped up."

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