HOUSTON -- After Houston Texans owner Bob McNair fired Gary Kubiak, he disclosed his criteria for finding the team's next head coach.
McNair said he prefers candidates with head-coaching experience as well as NFL backgrounds. That's his preference, but he also made it clear that he would look at others if he failed to find a suitable replacement in that pool of candidates.
A lot of Texans fans reacted negatively to the idea of hiring a coach who had already been fired, but that's preposterous.
Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll, Andy Reid and John Fox were fired. Now their teams are a combined 42-10 and headed for the playoffs.
Tom Landry, Paul Brown, Marv Levy, George Allen and Mike Ditka were fired. What else do they have in common? All are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bum Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves and Jon Gruden are on the long list of successful coaches who were fired.
There are 16 teams with winning records this week. Looking first at the division leaders, including co-leaders in the NFC North, Belichick (New England), Fox (Denver) and Carroll (Seattle) were head coaches who had been fired.
Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati) and Jim Schwartz (Detroit) were defensive coordinators.
Sean Payton (New Orleans) was an offensive coordinator.
Marc Trestman (Chicago) was a long-time NFL assistant who was the head coach at Montreal of the Canadian Football League when the Bears hired him.
Chip Kelly (Philadelphia) is the only division-leading head coach with no NFL experience when the Eagles hired him from the University of Oregon.
Of the division leaders, coaches who meet McNair's criteria are Belichick, Fox, Carroll, Reid and Trestman.
McNair mentioned last week that he thinks defensive coordinators have been a tad more successful than offensive coordinators as NFL head coaches, but that's not going to sway him when making the final decision.
McNair's first coach, Dom Capers, was a defensive coordinator who had been fired as Carolina's head coach. His second coach, Kubiak, was the offensive coordinator at Denver for 11 years when he was hired by the Texans.
A look at non-division leaders with winning records: Reid (Kansas City) was fired. Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco) was Stanford's head coach who had NFL experience as a player and as an assistant.
Joe Philbin (Miami), Bruce Arians (Arizona) and Jason Garrett (Dallas) were offensive coordinators. Ron Rivera (Carolina) was a defensive coordinator when he was hired as a head coach.
John Harbaugh (Baltimore) was a special teams coordinator.
Of these 16 coaches, Belichick, Payton and John Harbaugh have won Super Bowls.
Reid, Fox and Jim Harbaugh have been to Super Bowls - just like Lovie Smith and San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who's another candidate.
In other words, successful coaches come in all shapes and sizes and from different destinations. The key, of course, is to find the right one. And McNair has a long way to go.