One of the Texans newest coach's names may have a familiar ring to it. Perhaps you didn't notice, or didn't hear, about the hiring of Wide Receivers coach Kyle Shanahan by Gary Kubiak. Kyle is the son of Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, where Coach Kubiak was the offensive coordinator before accepting his current position with the Texans.
Kyle Shanahan graduated in 2003 from the University of Texas, where he played wide receiver. During his senior year Shanahan played 12 games and averaged 8.9 yards per reception.
Kyle is one of the youngest coaches in the league at the age of 24, but this isn't his first time on the field in the position of "coach". For the last two seasons Shanahan has been the involved in a coaching position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kubiak does not believe that Shanahan's youth will be a detriment to the team. To the contrary, he believes that Shanahan will be able to relate to the players and says that there is already evidence of youthful vigor in the way Shanahan has approached his new position.
Shanahan has already spoken about who he believes the staples are in the Texans wide receiver crew. "Andre Johnson definitely is special," Kyle told Nick Schenck, the Houston Texans Publications Manager at a recent press conference. "He has all the attributes. He works hard. He seems like he's a great person. I've only gotten to speak with him once. Football is important to him. He's going to be as good as he wants to be every year. We just have to get him the ball."
Johnson isn't the only individual who has caught the attention of Shanahan. He [Shanahan] believes that Pro Bowler Jerome Mathis also has the potential to be a great weapon in the Texans offensive arsenal. "I was watching his one-on-ones, and I've never seen a guy run by someone sticking him 10 yards in front of him," Kyle said during his Texans press conference. "The guy can get open with just flat-out talent. Now, when you teach him a few technique things like keeping his body square, then a guy like that can't be guarded. So just teach him a few things and the talent will take care of the rest. The sky is the limit for him."
Kubiak firmly believes that Kyle Shanahan will be a great asset to the team. He has stated that his coaching style reminds him of his father. Kubiak also stated at the press conference that "I actually have watched (Kyle) work a little bit by being around me and Mike when he was in college coming to (training) camp with us," Kubiak said. "He's a fine football coach. I've known him for a long time and I'm looking forward to it."
The Texans do have the potential to be deadly from range with individuals like Andre Johnson and David Carr, provided Carr can be given enough time to actually hone in on his target and not be forced to worry about where his next hit will be coming from. Seeing what type of results Shanahan can produce with the talent he has been provided with will add an interesting element to the progression of the team in the 2006 season.
Authors Note: Quotes were collected by Nick Schenck, the Houston Texans Publications Manager