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in News & Regeln 31.05.2019 04:13
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HOUSTON -- Gary Kubiak pulled the Texans out of the NFL basement and remains the only coach to take them to the playoffs. That wasnt enough to save his job, not with the Texans mired in an 11-game skid that has dropped them back to the bottom of the league. Houston fired Kubiak on Friday, one day after the Texans lost 27-20 at Jacksonville and continued their stunning fall for a team that expected to make a Super Bowl run. Houston (2-11) was flagged 14 times for a franchise-record 177 yards. The 52-year-old Kubiak was hired in 2006 and led the team to AFC South titles in 2011-2012, the highlights of his eight-year tenure as coach of his hometown NFL team. The Texans said they couldnt wait any longer to start turning things around, not with the losses and undisciplined play piling up. "Whats taken place with this organization is unacceptable," general manager Rick Smith said. "Weve got three weeks of an evaluation process left and weve got to right the ship." Kubiak thanked the team for giving him his first head coaching job in the NFL. "Though we came up short this season, the work, effort and sacrifice they gave me and this organization over the last eight seasons is not to be taken for granted," he said in a statement provided by the Texans. "We had a great run here and we will never forget our back-to-back AFC South championships. Coming back home was a dream come true for all of us. This will always be our home." Kubiaks overall record is 61-64, with a 2-2 mark in the playoffs. Owner Bob McNair said the decision to let him go was a hard one. "It was difficult for me because I think so much of Gary," McNair said. "Weve been evaluating it every game and asking the question, Whats in the best interest of the organization? Were at the point now where we need to go ahead and make some changes because losing like this is unacceptable." He added: "Were here to have a winning culture and this year has not contributed to that." The Texans said defensive co-ordinator Wade Phillips would serve as interim coach for the rest of what has been a miserable season. McNair said NFL and head coaching experience were important factors in filling the job, and that the 66-year-old Phillips will be considered. Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke Nov. 3 in a frightening scene, collapsing at halftime during a game against the Colts and being rushed to a Houston hospital. He suffered a transient ischemic attack, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is briefly interrupted, typically by a blood clot or narrowed blood vessels. Experts say they are often a warning sign for a future stroke, particularly within three months of a TIA. Kubiak returned to coach, but the Texans have been unable to rebound from injuries to top players including quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster and linebacker Brian Cushing, who was lost for the second straight season. McNair pointed to messy play and the handling of second-year quarterback Case Keenum as reasons for the move before the end of the season. "I think the last straw was losing," McNair said. "Weve got a lot better talent than Jacksonville and to lose to them twice, to their credit they played harder, played smarter and to have them beat us on that is not acceptable. If a teams going to beat us because theyre better than we are, or have better ability thats fine, but we expect to go out and play hard and play smart, and we didnt play smart." Kubiak, a former NFL quarterback who calls the teams plays, has long been known as a top offensive coach, mentoring quarterbacks in Denver under Mike Shanahan and then Schaub and Keenum in Houston. He was hired in 2006, along with Smith, after the Texans finished a franchise-worst 2-14. Smith spent 10 years with Kubiak while the coach was offensive co-ordinator of the Broncos. Smith was Denvers defensive assistant for four seasons before moving into the front office for his last six years with the Broncos. The pair helped transform the Texans, which began play in 2002, from league laughingstock to contender. The team went 6-10 in their first year and 8-8 in each of the next two seasons. Expectations were high in 2010 after Houston finished at 9-7 for its first winning record in 2009. The Texans instead fell to 6-10, which led to many fans calling for Kubiaks firing. His original contract was due to expire after the 2010 season, but McNair defended him several times amid the bumps. Last year, the Texans announced contract extensions for both Smith and Kubiak, rewarding them for taking the team to the playoffs last year for the first time. Kubiaks three-year agreement has him under contract through 2014. McNair said at the time he offered Kubiak a four-year deal, but the coach preferred to make it for three. Kubiak made his mark as Denvers offensive co-ordinator under Shanahan, winning two Super Bowls. An eighth-round pick out of Texas A&M, he spent nine years as John Elways backup. He finished his career 4-1 as a starter, all in emergency relief of Elway. "You always hate to see guys fired," Broncos coach John Fox said. "It happens, its tough. But you never like to see that. Hes a good friend and a heck of a coach, a guy I have a lot of respect for and its unfortunate." The Texans also fired special teams co-ordinator Joe Marciano and replaced him with assistant Bob Ligashesky, who is in his 10th NFL season and first full year with Houston. Other recent departures from the Texans include assistant head coach Alex Gibbs (for Seattle) and offensive co-ordinator Kyle Shanahan went to join his father in Washington. Keenum, Phillips and the rest of the Texans will get three weeks to show what they have to McNair and company. With Kubiak out, it is clear that the evaluation process could have stiff consequences as the team tries to rebuild. "We have a young quarterback in Case Keenum and we need to find out if hes capable of being a starter or capable of being the backup," McNair said. "The way you find out about that is by playing him." Cal Clutterbuck Jersey . -- Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, is expected to practice on Wednesday. Mathew Barzal Jersey . -- Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale searched more than three quarters for five guys who would play well together. http://www.authenticnyislanderspro.com/D...landers-jersey/. In the calls, Hernandez discussed the murder of Odin Lloyd, including his "belief about his criminal liability" and the "extent of his control over persons charged as accessories," according to the request filed Thursday in Fall River Superior Court. Nick Leddy Jersey . -- Each time the Utah Jazz threatened Memphis lead, the Grizzlies responded with defensive stops. Casey Cizikas Jersey . The Heat centre scored 10 of his 30 points early in the first quarter to silence the Toronto fans as Miami defeated the Raptors 113-101 on Friday night. UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- San Jose has dominated the Eastern Conference all season, and Sharks captain Joe Thornton kept that trend going against an old friend. Matt Nieto and Jason Demers scored first-period goals, and the Sharks made the most of 26 shots against the Islanders and goalie Evgeni Nabokov in a 4-3 victory on Friday night. Thornton and Marty Havlat added goals in the second period for the Sharks, who won their fifth straight and improved to 20-6-3 against the East. Antti Niemi made 35 saves for San Jose, which faced former Sharks goalie Nabokov in his first start against them. "It was definitely weird seeing him on the other side," Thornton said of his long-time Sharks teammate. "But we had to focus because they play hard every night. Were glad to get the two points." The Sharks (44-17-7) are battling Anaheim for the top spot in the Pacific Division. San Jose will play at the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. "Getting the lead was important and we had contributions from all four lines," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Every game is big this time of year. Now were just looking forward to our next game, which will be in a building thats always tough." Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, who lost for the fifth time in six home games. New York, which began a four-game homestand following a 2-1-1 trip, is an NHL-worst 9-17-8 at home. Islanders coach Jack Capuano chose to look on the positive side, despite another defeat at Nassau Coliseum. "Thats a top-notch team we played, so any little breakdown and its in the back of your net," he said. "I thought we had a great effort. We worked hard as a group and we were getting chances." Nieto made it 1-0 with 6:33 left in the first off a flurry in front of Nabokov. The 38-year-old Nabokov played 563 games for the Sharks during his decade with the francchise.dddddddddddd He left San Jose to play in Russia after the 2009-10 season, then joined the Islanders during the 2011-12 campaign. Demers made it 2-0 at 14:46 with a drive from the right wing for his fourth of the season. Lee cut the Islanders deficit in half 32 seconds into the second period, the rookies sixth goal in eight games this season. Thornton restored San Joses two-goal lead with his 10th of the season at 9:32, firing a rebound past Nabokov after Brent Burns initial shot came directly to him in the left circle. The Islanders stayed with the fleet and powerful Sharks, and Nelson tipped in Matt Donovans shot from the point to make it 3-2 at 17:02 of the second for his 12th goal. But Havlats goal put San Jose up 4-2 before Nielsen completed the scoring with his 21st goal of the season at 19:38 of the third with Nabokov pulled for an extra skater. The Islanders played without speedy forward Michael Grabner (concussion) in their first home game since trading forward Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andrew MacDonald last week. Johan Sundstrom made his debut for the Islanders, the ninth rookie to play for them this season. The Sharks are 8-1-1 in their streak of 12 games against Eastern opponents. This was their first visit to Long Island since Oct. 29, 2011. The Islanders (25-34-9) tied the franchise record for goals in a period on Monday, scoring seven in the third in a 7-4 comeback win over the Canucks in Vancouver. But they mustered little against Niemi (33-13-6), who replaced Nabokov as the Sharks starter after helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2010. NOTES: The Sharks lead the NHL with 69 first-period goals and have won 40 or more games 11 times since 2000-01. ... The Sharks were without defenceman Brad Stuart (upper body) and forwards Tomas Hertl (knee) and Raffi Torres (knee). ... Defenceman Thomas Hickey is the only Islanders player to be in all 68 games this season. 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