HOUSTON (Dec. 12, 2005) -- Grasping for answers in their 1-12 season, the Houston Texans hired Dan Reeves as a special consultant to team owner Bob McNair.
McNair made it clear that Reeves, an NFL head coach for 23 seasons with the Broncos, Giants and Falcons, was not brought in to critique coach Dom Capers or general manager Charley Casserly. Both he and Reeves said he is not a coaching candidate for the Texans.
"If Bob had talked to me about coming here and being the head coach, I wouldn't be standing here sitting next to Dom saying, 'I am going to try to help Dom,'" he said, although he did not rule out the possibility of returning to coaching somewhere.
Said McNair: "He's here as a resource to assist me as we go forward and to assist the other people in our organization to help us be a better team."
McNair said he hired Reeves to get an outside opinion of his organization and that he would spend time talking with coaches, watching practice and reviewing game film.
Reeves, who will turn 62 next month, last coached in Atlanta. He resigned with three games left in the 2003 season with Atlanta at 3-10 after being told that he would be let go after the season. The Falcons were without an injured Michael Vick for much of that season.
He has an overall record of 201-174-2, and coached in four Super Bowls, three times with Denver and once with Atlanta, losing them all. Only six coaches have 200 wins.
McNair said Reeves would likely be with the team for "a couple of months," but that he could remain with the Texans longer.
Reeves said that when McNair contacted him last week, it was the first time a team asked for his opinion since he left coaching.
"I want to be an asset," said Reeves, flanked by McNair and Capers. "I don't want to be a threat to anybody. I want to be able to give some insights and thought into what I feel like good organizations have done."
Until this year, Houston had been a model for an expansion team, winning seven games last season after winning five in 2003 and four in its first season.
Reiterating earlier statements, McNair said he would not make any top level personnel changes until after the season.
"None of us are happy with the performance of our team this year," McNair said. "We're all disappointed. It's been very frustrating and we all want to do everything we can to improve our team. That's what this effort is all about."
Capers said he has the "utmost respect" for Reeves, calling him a "very bright guy," and doesn't think his presence will be a distraction.
Reeves played for the Dallas Cowboys before beginning his coaching career there as a player-coach and later as an assistant coach.
He became a head coach in Denver in 1981 and was with the Broncos for 12 seasons before spending four years with the Giants and almost seven years with the Falcons.
Reeves led Atlanta to its best season in 1998, going 14-2 and reaching the Super Bowl, where it lost 34-19 to Denver. He missed two games that season when he underwent heart bypass surgery, but returned in time for the playoffs.
Reeves said he had a physical last week and that he felt fine.
He currently hosts a show on Sirius satellite radio five days a week, although he said he probably won't be able to continue that.