We could learn a thing or two from Capers Texans coach on way out, but he's as good a person as you will find By JOHN MCCLAIN Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle When the Texans host Jacksonville on Saturday, Dom Capers will coach his last game at Reliant Stadium. No matter how frustrated and angry you are at the team's 2-12 record, and no matter what you think about the job Capers and his staff have done, here's hoping that you at least appreciate how well Capers has represented the organization and the city during his four seasons. Capers will be fired soon after the last regular-season game at San Francisco, and I have to admit that I wish the Texans had won enough games to justify bringing him back in 2006. They haven't, of course. Of the eight head coaches I've covered with the Oilers and Texans, I've never respected anyone more than Capers. From Bum Phillips to Jack Pardee and Jeff Fisher, the Oilers had some coaches who were outstanding people, but none had more class and dignity than Capers. Capers is a football coach, not an entertainer or a politician. He isn't a back-stabber. He doesn't point fingers. He doesn't make excuses. Some coaches whine that their team is too young. Others cry about injuries. Capers never bought into the alibi business. Getting credit isn't important to Capers, either, but he has no problem accepting blame. Fans should forget about coaching for a minute and think about what it meant to have a coach with so much integrity. Capers has been as honest as an NFL coach can be. He goes to work every day and tries to do the best job he can. This season, his best job wasn't good enough, unfortunately, for him and the Texans. Coaches are people, too I receive e-mails, read message boards and listen to talk shows in which fans who've never met Capers take cheap shots at him. It's the nature of the beast, of course, but I know if those fans knew Capers and watched him behind the scenes, they wouldn't resort to name-calling when they criticize him. Capers' imminent firing made me pay particular attention to something Chris Mortensen wrote on ESPN.com on Thursday. In writing about the apparent suicide of Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy's 18-year-old son, James, Mortensen told about some words of wisdom he received from the late George Young, former general manager of the New York Giants. "It reminded me of some wisdom that George Young ... imparted on me during this time of year," Mortensen wrote, "when we have to speculate and report on people's job security. " 'Just remember to show some compassion,' " Young said. " 'When you talk about firing a coach, you're not talking about how it affects one man. You're talking about how it impacts 14 families the family of every assistant coach. You're talking about 30, 40, 50 people and a lot of them are children.' " I know that losing this season, especially those three improbable defeats to St. Louis, Baltimore and Tennessee, made Capers sick to his stomach, but he never let it show. Capers remained on an even keel because he knows that players are often a mirror image of their head coach, and if he's on an emotional roller-coaster during the season, they are, too. Consistency is important to Capers. His players know what to expect from him. Like Capers, most are realists. They know when you're 2-12, coaches' heads aren't the only ones that are going to roll. "This is our last time as this group walking out of that (Reliant Stadium) tunnel," said defensive end Gary Walker, the senior member of the team. "There are going to be new faces next year. Nobody knows who. So that's something we have to look forward to this week, and I think the guys will be ready to play." A first-class act Not only is Capers respected by his players, but he's admired around the NFL, too. Many who have played for and coached with Capers and many who have covered him for a media outlet have called to see how he's doing during a season that began with so much promise and will end with so much disappointment. Before he leaves Houston, take a moment to pay tribute to a coach who isn't just a class act. He's a first-class act who's deserving of your admiration as he packs his bags, puts Houston in his rearview mirror and becomes one of the most-sought after defensive coaches in the offseason. John McClain covers the Texans and the NFL for the Chronicle.