The Houston Texans have begun their coaching search having fired Gary Kubiak on Friday, and while owner Bob McNair has talked about NFL experience being a prerequisite for the job, several league sources maintain he still has a strong affinity for Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who himself has strong ties to the city of Houston. Sumlin has agreed to an extension at the college but the extent and amount of his NFL buyout is unknown and McNair could still pursue the coach.

The Texans are expected to interview former Bears coach Lovie Smith for their opening and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, a former head coach in Arizona, could end up on McNair's radar too.

However if Mike Shanahan is let go by the Redskins, he would be a strong candidate in Houston. Kubiak's offensive system -- its calls and language and concepts -- are a direct extension of Shanahan, so there would not have to be wholesale changes there or big adjustments for the veterans on offense. The running game and block schemes and the chores of say, star receiver Andre Johnson or star running back Arian Foster, would remain the same and ditto for the duties of the offensive line.