Smith sat out the year without a job, but he's among the favorites for head coaches with defensive experience. His hire, though, would force a change. The Texans are a 3-4 defense. Smith is a 4-3, Cover 2 coach. Nevertheless, he's a winner and a good leader.
Mike Shanahan, head coach, Washington Redskins
"What?" you might ask. If he's let go in Washington or if he re-signs but he's asked to fire his son, Shanahan would have no problem with a quick transition in Houston. Shanahan and Kubiak run the same type of offense. Shanahan proved last year he could work with a rookie quarterback in taking Robert Griffin III to the playoffs. If the Texans are drafting a quarterback and Shanahan is available, it's an easy fit.
Ken Whisenhunt, offensive coordinator, San Diego Chargers
He'd be a strong candidate because he's won in Arizona and is great at coaching quarterbacks. His presence in San Diego has helped Philip Rivers bounce back after a couple of off seasons.
Tom Cable, assistant head coach, Seattle Seahawks
Cable is a master of working with the offensive line, and his zone-blocking scheme would be a good fit in Houston. He has head-coaching experience in Oakland.
Hue Jackson, assistant coach, Cincinnati Bengals
Like Cable, Jackson was the head coach in Oakland and does a good job of working with an offense and young quarterbacks. If McNair is looking to rebuild the offense, Jackson is a consideration.