I have seen so many lists and stories around the country about who the Texans are considering as Gary Kubiak’s replacement, and you can rule out a couple of prominent former and current coaches being mentioned.

The Texans will not try to hire ESPN analyst Jon Gruden and they won’t be pursuing Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, even if he does get fired.

Owner Bob McNair said during and after last week’s news conference announcing Kubiak’s firing that he prefers candidates with head-coaching experience. He also wants the candidates to have NFL experience.

Among the candidates I know the Texans are interested in are former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, Stanford coach David Shaw and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

There will be many others they evaluate, including some who’ll be interviewed.

Smith is taking off this season and is expected to be the first candidate interviewed. He was fired by Chicago, a team he led to a Super Bowl, after the Bears finished 10-6 last season and missed the playoffs.

Just like McNair did in 2006 when he hired Kubiak, who was Denver’s offensive coordinator, he’ll use Jed Hughes’ search firm. Hughes works for Korn/Ferry International.

McNair, general manager Rick Smith and vice chairman Cal McNair will be involved in the interview process.

Reports persist that McNair is interested in Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who doesn’t fit his criteria. Some seem to think because Sumlin and Smith played at Purdue – but not together – and are friends that the Texans will try to hire him.