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Ben Tate: I can't answer if I'll return to Houston Texans

On the day he fired Gary Kubiak, Texans owner Bob McNair explained -- with utter sincerity -- his belief that Houston wasn't long for the AFC South cellar.

"This is not a long-term rebuilding process -- I want to make that clear," McNair said. "We've got core players who are outstanding players and we still need to fill a few holes. We had some injuries that hurt us at key positions in terms of leadership on the field. We have some things that we need to do, but we still got a good core group of players that can make for an outstanding team."

Running back Ben Tate painted a more realistic picture of the uncertainty surrounding the Texans when he was asked Monday if he believed he'd be back next season. Tate is a free agent-to-be.

"That's something I can't really answer right now," Tate said, via the Houston Chronicle. "Just the fact so many things are going to change once the season's over -- different head coaches, different people fired everywhere else.

"That's something I haven't really thought about yet," Tate added. "That's something I'll probably think about after the next three weeks."

The reality facing the Texans: They don't have a coach. Their quarterback is not on the roster. Brian Cushing and Arian Foster -- likely two of the "outstanding players" McNair alluded to -- have legitimate durability concerns, while top receiver Andre Johnson soon will have 11 full seasons of mileage on his tires.

Yes, there's J.J. Watt -- a once-in-a-generation talent that championship teams are built around. But the Texans have a lot of work to do -- more than their owner might realize.

*The latest "Around the League Podcast" recapped all the Week 14 games. *

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