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Capers' firing to be announced Monday


HOUSTON -- Houston Texans coach Dom Capers has led two
expansion teams from their inception.

On Monday, he will have been fired by both of them after a
fourth season.

The Texans plan to fire Capers, but will retain general manager
Charley Casserly.

Capers, 55, was let go by the Carolina Panthers in 1998.

The Texans are widely expected to make the announcement Monday. The team lost Sunday to the San Francisco
49ers to finish the season 2-14, the worst record in the NFL and
the worst record in the Texans' history.

When asked about his status after the game, Capers said: "Those
decisions are beyond my control. I always tell the players to focus
on the things you can control."

But he added that the team's woeful season has been "extremely
difficult."

"You don't want to have years like this," Capers said. "I
told the guys, you have to learn from this."

The Texans did not immediately return a call from the AP on
Sunday night, but following the game team owner Bob McNair said he
would "make some announcements [Monday] of where we're going in
the future."

While team consultant Dan Reeves wouldn't mind becoming the Texans' next coach, McNair will look closely at offensive coordinators like Denver's Gary Kubiak and San Diego's Cam Cameron, with Iowa's Kirk Ferentz likely on the radar of teams who have or will have openings, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports.

McNair made it clear when hiring Reeves that Reeves was not interviewing to be coach of the Texans, nor was he brought in to critique Capers or Casserly.

"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.

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.

Upon joining the Texans, Reeves wouldn't rule out the possibility of returning to coaching
("Never is a bad word to say") but said he wasn't actively
looking for a sideline job.

Capers' plan for bringing along the Texans slowly and building
for future success worked well until this season. The Texans won
seven games last season after winning five in 2003 and four in
their first season.

Houston opened this season 0-6 before beating Cleveland and then
losing six more. The Texans got a win over the Arizona Cardinals
and then lost their last two games. They own the top pick in
April's draft.

SportsNation put Dom Capers on the hot seat from Week 1. His approval rating never rose above 28 percent all season. Even after the Texans' first win of the season in Week 8 over the Browns, only 21 percent of Texans fans gave Capers a vote of approval. After the final week of the season, Capers had a 23 percent rating. (Vote)

Capers, who has one year remaining on his five-year Texans
contract worth $9.5 million, was hailed as an expansion wizard
after leading Carolina to seven wins in its first season and the
NFC title game in the team's second year in 1996. The feat earned
him NFL Coach of the Year honors.

Things went downhill from there and Capers was fired after the
Panthers went 4-12 in 1998. When the Texans hired him in 2001, he
said he hoped fans would be patient as they slowly built the
program after he failed in Carolina following early success.

"You have to be careful and stay with your step-by-step
program," Capers told the AP in 2001. "Then, you have to have the
courage to stick with it and not sacrifice the future for the quick
fix."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.