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Gary Kubiak praises new Lions special-teams coach

INDIANAPOLIS -- He had been with Houston since the beginning, but now new Detroit Lions special-teams coach Joe Marciano is on his second team in two seasons.

Last year, he was a consultant for Minnesota with its special teams. And now, he is running a special-teams unit again, having been hired by the Lions last month. And his former boss in Houston, Gary Kubiak, praised Marciano’s passion Wednesday.

“Joe's a fireball. He's been a very successful coach in this league for a long time,” Kubiak said at the NFL combine. “Obviously we went through a tough situation in Houston a couple years ago and Joe sat out last year.

“I think a lot of times in this business there's coaches that kind of reassess where they're at in their career and go back at it are even more hungry than maybe they have been in the past. I think you're getting a guy that's really ready to go back to work and be successful.”

Marciano was with the Texans from 2002 to 2013, when he was fired just after Kubiak was let go. In 2013, his last year with Houston, the Texans were 16th in net punting yards and 28th in both punt return coverage and kick return coverage. The Texans were also 20th or lower in punt and kick return during his last season there.

During Marciano's tenure in Houston, the Texans were 288 of 364 on field goals (79.1 percent) and 13 of 23 on two-point conversions. His punters averaged 42.49 yards per punt and 37.81 net yards per punt. The Texans had seven kick return touchdowns during his time there and averaged 22.62 yards per kick return. His returners also averaged 9.16 yards per punt return with five touchdowns.

His unit allowed six kick return touchdowns and six punt return touchdowns during his Texans tenure as well.