Says here in the Chronicle (if you got that joke, you're welcome), that Texans owner Bob McNair is working on giving both head coach Gary Kubiak and GM Rick Smith extensions; they're both on the last year of their contract. The news itself should come as a surprise to no one after last season's division crown and 1st round playoff win. Considering Kubiak received a 3-year extension after the 2009 season, in which the Texans went 9-7 and missed the playoffs; this news was expected. At the time, coaches hired in the same year as Kubiak had ALL either made the playoffs or been fired; McNair likes Kubiak, he doesn't want to fire him. Now that the Texans have reached a certain level of success, I believe the only way McNair would consider firing Kubiak is if he were to have 3 consecutive losing seasons.
Now to the merits of the decision. McNair wants to avoid what he calls "lame duck coaches," meaning in his mind he feels it undermines the authority of the coach if players and staff feel that he might be on his way out after the season is over. In some cases, he's right, but for the most part I think that's an overrated sentiment. Even if a coach is in the last year of his deal, so are a lot of his assistants and players; I don't think it's a big deal. Really I think this news is a nothing story, or at least should be. If McNair made this decision to reward "Smithiak" and to keep them from being in a "lame duck" status, that's fine, but he also needs to be willing to fire them with years left on their contracts if things fall apart. I don't mind extensions when guys still have years remaining, as long as it doesn't prevent them from moving on if things don't work out. If the Texans go 12-20 over the next two seasons, I don't want to hear McNair say he won't fire Kubiak because he doesn't want to pay two coaches; no one forced him to offer an extension.