Houston (CBS Houston) – It’s funny how quickly expectations can change in the NFL.
Going into the 2013 season, the Texans were the odds on favorite to win the AFC South. Getting to the playoffs seemed a certainty.
Ten weeks later, those dreams are gone. A seven game losing streak has essentially killed all aspirations of playoff success, replacing them with frightening questions…like “Will I have a job next year? Will Gary Kubiak be our coach?”
“The nature of our business, if you don’t perform and you’re not successful, you don’t win — there’s a chance you will be out of the business,” offensive lineman Wade Smith said. “This business is not kind on those that don’t perform well,”
Players realize their jobs are on the line. But some also acknowledged their actions on the field could directly impact Gary Kubiak’s future with the Texans.
“We want (Kubiak) here. He’s a great coach. We want him to stay here so obviously we have to win ball games to help him out and not have that (him get fired) happen.” tight end Garrett Graham said.
This week, NFL.com reported that the Texans front office was frustrated with the coaching staff. That isn’t surprising considering the team is 2-7. And with just seven games left on the schedule, it’s not a crazy leap to guess that Kubiak and company are on the hot seat.
Whether that’s reality or not, no one (except maybe the Texans front office) knows exactly what it will take for Kubiak to retain his job. But his players are going to make sure they do everything in their power to help.
“I think we can still turn this around and change opinions.” Brooks Reed said. “I love Gary Kubiak and what he does as a coach and as a person. I would hate to see him go.”
Kubiak is in his eighth season as Texans head coach, and during his time has compiled a 61-60 overall record. Many consider him a “players coach”. He’s popular in the locker room, but most players know wins and losses will likely determine his fate. Not to mention their own.
“We are all are playing for our jobs,” Wade Smith said.
D.J. Swearinger is well aware of what’s at stake if the team continues to lose.
“It’s a big responsibility.” Swearinger continued, “The key is finding anyway to win for us, for (Kubiak), for anybody.”
With four divisional games left, plus home matchups against AFC powerhouses New England and Denver, the opportunity is there for Kubiak AND his players to prove themselves.
“We’re still playing,” said cornerback Jonathan Joseph. “Hopefully things work out.”
Beating the Raiders on Sunday would be a good start.
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