Houston Texans have fired head coach Gary Kubiak after a 2-11 start, according to Jay Glazer. The Fox reporter tweeted just after Noon on Friday that Houston's head coach informed his assistants that he was being let go. Kubiak's dismissal comes on the heels of a 27-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. The team confirmed the news shortly after initial reports surfaced.
A lot of people thought Ed Reed was done. A lot of people thought Rex Ryan was done.
Now they are together again in New York, on a team that's anything but done.
The Jets, known for so long as the team that gets beat on and off the field by the New York Giants and New England Patriots, made a swift move Thursday in signing the Hall of Fame-bound Reed. The safety was supposed to ride off into the sunset with the Houston Texans, but he spoke a little too candidly about Houston's coaching and got cut Wednesday. The Jets flew him in and locked him in.
Rex Ryan says sentimentality has nothing to do with the singing of Ed Reed. (USA TODAY Sports)
There's plenty of reason for skepticism. (Isn't there always reason for skepticism where the Jets are concerned?) Reed is old (35), coming off hip surgery (which has slowed him down), and he did not make an impact in Houston (zero passes defended). If he had done better, the Texans likely would have kept him and dealt with his candor. Instead, Reed was expendable.
Kind of like Ryan was expendable only a few weeks ago. The Jets coach was seen as a lame duck in the preseason, in line to be canned by new general manager John Idzik at seemingly any moment. He lost his favorite quarterback, Mark Sanchez, to the man Idzik drafted, Geno Smith, and he lost him because he played him late in a meaningless preseason game and watched him get hurt. There wasn't debate over whether this would be Ryan's last season, but rather about whether he would even make it through 16 games.
Reed and Ryan, close since they dominated together in Baltimore, are not only still standing; they are suddenly standing together against predictions of extinction.
And for those who haven't looked at the standings lately, the Jets are very much alive. They are 5-4, and if the season ended today, they'd be in the postseason. Outside of the division leaders, there's only one other AFC team with an above-.500 record – the Denver Broncos. Not bad for a lame duck coach and a rookie quarterback.
Here are the 4-5 teams: Browns, Titans, Dolphins, Chargers, and Ravens, Reed's old team. That's the Jets' competition right now, so it's clear how little the margin for error is. With all those teams one game behind (including one in the same division), one loss makes a big impact on the playoff race. So every little bit of defensive assistance goes a long way – especially considering the Jets are 24th in the NFL in yards allowed.
Can Reed help with that? It's still unclear. What is clear is that Reed is respected by pretty much everyone, including starting safety Dawan Landry, whom Reed helped along in Baltimore. The "coach on the field" idea is overrated, but Reed reads offenses extremely well, and he communicates just as well. For a grand total of $412,000, plus $62,500 per game played, that's a huge bargain. And with the NFL going through so much soul-searching lately about locker room culture, it can't hurt to have someone like Reed involved on a daily basis. He has consistently done something the Jets have not: win.
The signing would likely have been greeted by more approval if it was done by the Patriots. Finding other franchises' discards and turning them into contributors is the domain of Bill Belichick, not the Jets. (Heck, it was the Patriots who took Belichick from the Jets in the first place.) New England's trade for Aqib Talib last season looked risky then, but now looks inspired. That's how the Pats roll. But this time the veteran acquisition will be trying to beat New England. That's a chess move by a team that usually loses in checkers.
The Jets were supposed to be in rebuild mode under Idzik, and Ryan was supposed to be collateral damage. Clearly, however, Reed was Ryan's idea. If Ryan was so inept, he wouldn't have been able to convince his boss to bring in his guy in the heat of a playoff race. There's hope for Ryan yet in New York, and now new hope for Reed.
There's also new hope for the Jets, who play just one winning team, Carolina, from this point on. And a week from Sunday, they visit Baltimore, where Reed and Ryan made their names.
Together, they have at least one more shot to remake those names, and remake the Jets' reputation.
Courtesy of Yahoo.com
HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Texans released nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed and put running back Arian Fosteron injured reserve Tuesday, the latest blows in a disaster of a season.
Interim coach Wade Phillips, who is the team's defensive coordinator, seemed unhappy when asked about Reed's comments on Monday.Reed missed the first two games after hip surgery and was recently relegated to a backup role. On Friday, he expressed his displeasure at not starting. On Sunday, after Houston's seventh straight loss, he publicly criticized the team and said they had been outplayed and outcoached in the team's first full game without coach Gary Kubiak, who is recovering from a mini-stroke.
''Everybody has their own feelings about what's happening,'' Phillips said. ''They have their own ideas about what's happening or didn't happen. We try to keep everything in house.''
A few hours before the Texans announced his release, Reed tweeted: ''Thanks to the Texans! And the City of Htown!''
The 35-year-old Reed was signed to a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason after he spent his entire 11-year career with Baltimore. The Texans courted him in an effort to beef up what they saw as an elite defensive unit that needed an upgrade in the secondary to make an expected run at the Super Bowl.
But Reed never showed the playmaking ability he had become known for in Baltimore and had just 16 tackles this season.
The move could mean the end of the career of a player many believe is the best to ever play his position. He was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and led the league in interceptions that season and again in 2008 and 2010. He's made the Pro Bowl in each of the last seven seasons and was a five-time All-Pro.
He started each game for the Ravens last season and had four interceptions and 49 tackles to help them to a Super Bowl win. A first-round draft pick in 2002, his 61 career interceptions were most among active players and he has 109 passes defended, 524 tackles and 11 forced fumbles in 167 games.
The Texans (2-7) have gone from Super Bowl contenders to AFC bottom-feeders. Besides Kubiak's health problems, quarterback Matt Schaub was benched and standout linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season to an injury.
Now the Texans lose Foster, who needs back surgery. He didn't practice last week after injuring his back on Houston's first series against Indianapolis. The former Pro Bowl player gained 542 yards on 121 carries with one touchdown and had 22 receptions and another score this season.
Ben Tate, still recovering from four broken ribs, carried 15 times Sunday against the Cardinals for just 56 yards. He is expected to start against Oakland (3-6) on Sunday, backed up by Dennis Johnson and Deji Karim.
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KANSAS CITY -- The drive didn't end how any of the Houston Texans had hoped, but the young, inexperienced quarterback got into the huddle and urged his teammates with confidence.
"Let's take it 99," Case Keenum said, as Texans center Chris Myers recalled.
It was the fourth quarter of a game the Texans' trailed by one point. Their net gain was negative-1 yard that quarter and that particular possession was their only fourth quarter possession with positive yardage. It ended in a punt after Keenum was sacked.
"I told him before the game, keep everyone upbeat," Myers said. "Everyone enjoys an upbeat huddle."
For a first outing, it showed promise. And it leaves the Texans with a tough decision for their next game.
"Energetic, excited, ready to go," running back Ben Tate said of Keenum. "Natural born leader."
Keenum was poised. It wasn't apparent this was the first time he'd played in a meaningful game since his sixth and final year at the University of Houston. (Keenum insisted last week that the preseason games in which he's seen action since then are meaningful, too.) He took chances and he recovered well when those chances didn't work.
This was the toughest defense he's ever faced and the toughest crowd he's ever seen, both of which showed late in the game.
"They were doing a good job, and I got confused," Keenum said.
He was sacked four times in the fourth quarter, fumbling the ball twice. The second time he did so, the Chiefs recovered the fumble and thus ended the Texans' comeback bid. From there Kansas City ran out the remaining 1:34 in the game.
Keenum opened up a deep passing game that the Texans moved away from lately. According to ESPN Stats and Info, he completed three of five pass attempts longer than 20 yards including one for a touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins. In the previous four weeks, the Texans had attempted only six such passes total.
He finished with a passer rating of 110.6, completing 15 of 25 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked five times -- all in the second half -- by perhaps the best defense in the NFL.
"I learned a lot today," Keenum said. "That was a big stage, obviously, and a really good football team. I learned that it's those small one or two plays here and there that make a difference."
His performance left Texans' owner Bob McNair thrilled.
"I thought he did a hell of a job," McNair said. "He was outstanding."
It left coach Gary Kubiak feeling like he'd made the right decision when he chose Keenum because the Texans needed a spark.
"Yeah, we definitely did [get a spark]," Kubiak said. "We found a little heartbeat today."
This week's decision was between Keenum and T.J. Yates, who entered the season as the Texans' backup quarterback. Yates won the backup job in the preseason, but was deposed after a two-interception performance against the St. Louis Rams last week.
Keenum was chosen with starter Matt Schaub out with an injury to his foot and ankle that he suffered against the Rams. Schaub said he suffered some ligament damage, but no broken bones.
But now the Texans have a bye week, which might give Schaub time to heal.
So if he's healthy what do the Texans do?
Before this week, my opinion was that Keenum was a desperation choice. Start him if you have nothing to lose.
After this game, there might be more there. It's hard to tell, still, what Keenum's future will be. But there are a lot more unknowns about his potential than there are about veteran quarterback Matt Schaub.
It's likely Keenum benefited a bit from the Chiefs defense's unfamiliarity with him. It's also likely that as he learns more about reading defenses, he'll get better at it.
The answer will lie in which direction pulls him more strongly.
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