HOUSTON (Jan. 4, 2006) -- Miami offensive coordinator Scott Linehan wants to use the lessons he learned working with Dolphins coach Nick Saban to help turnaround the Houston Texans.
Linehan was in Houston on Jan. 4 to interview for the job left vacant when Dom Capers was fired after the Texans finished their season with an NFL-worst record of 2-14.
Miami won its last six games this season to finish 9-7, a five-game improvement from the previous year. Linehan said he saw Saban transform the "culture and attitude of the team."
"Those are some of the things that are going to have to be addressed here and hopefully those would be some of the lessons I've been able to learn and maybe draw upon for this franchise," Linehan said.
Linehan spent the 2005 season with the Dolphins after three years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Minnesota Vikings.
Under Linehan's watch the Dolphins improved from near the bottom of the league in offense to 14th. He helped the Vikings become one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. The unit was ranked fourth in the league in 2004, No. 1 in 2003 and second in his first season.
He has never been a head coach and said this was the first time he'd interviewed for such a position.
Houston also plans to interview several other candidates, including Denver's Gary Kubiak, Cam Cameron of San Diego, Kansas City's Al Saunders and Jerry Gray of Buffalo.
Some speculated that Linehan would be a top candidate to coach the Vikings, but he said the Texans are the only team to contact him so far.
Linehan got a firsthand look at the Texans offense in perhaps its most impressive game in history in 2004. Both David Carr and Andre Johnson had career days in a 34-28 overtime loss to the Vikings.
Carr threw for a career-high 372 yards and three touchdowns and Johnson had 12 catches for 170 yards and two scores.
Linehan was so impressed by Johnson's performance that he recited his statistics almost perfectly -- he was just one catch off.
"Andre Johnson is probably the young version of a Randy Moss ," he said. "A guy that could dominate a game. I saw it in person."
Houston's offense was ranked 30th in the NFL in 2005, averaging just 253.3 yards per game.
Before moving to the NFL, Linehan worked as a college assistant for 13 years at Louisville, the University of Washington, Idaho and Nevada-Las Vegas.