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Texans_Chick
09-14-2009, 10:42 AM
I am wanting to have a reasoned discourse about the fixability of this year's team. (i.e. no fire the owner, ball boy kind of discussions). As for Kubiak's tenure with the team, I do not wish to engage in this discussion now because McNair isn't going to fire him midseason so save your powder.

Actually, I want you to take the roll of Kubiak in this exercise. Given what is realistic to do, can you fix this team and how?

The game against the Jets was the perfect storm of suckage. Here's our inventory:

Schaub, Myers, Pitts, Leach coming off of injuries. Even without injuries there were questions whether the middle of the line could hold against physical teams. #2 receiver out. Backup QB has questionable understanding of the offense and #3 QB is uh, not ready for primetime or Sunday at noon for that matter. Running game has gone AWOL. OC is rookie at calling plays, game planning.

The defense has a new coordinator putting in new scheme and techniques. Hard to pinpoint weakness on defense that has a lot of weak positions. The defensive tackles are underwhelming and the secondary is a bunch of rooks and Mr. Just Wants to Get Paid who skipped camp because he could and is relearning how to tackle. Eugene Wilson and Jacques Reeves are both recovering from injuries, don't know when they are available. DC is rookie at caling plays, game planning.

Next week you are facing the Titans on the road. What do you do? (Please, I want this to be a football discussion, so please leave out the "assume the fetal position" or "punch yourself in the face" comments cuz there's plenty of other threads to vent).

And if you don't want to answer from a Kubiak perspective, how about this question? Do you think:

1. The Texans are just going to struggle against more physical teams but beat up weak sisters.

2. This team is just going to be bad.

3. This was just one of those games, and the Texans will get their stuff together. The offense and defense need more time to gel instead of looking like gel.

Or some sort of combo of one of these.

gtexan02
09-14-2009, 10:46 AM
Heres my honest opinion after 1 game:

The Texans continued their trend of looking very unprepared for their opening game against an aggressive defender. Heavy blitzing 3-4 teams often give pocket passers a difficult run (remember when SD dismantled Payton and the Colts OL looked horrible and Payton yelled at them).

Do I think we're fixable? Absolutely. This team has talent, which is more than you could say in 2007.

What will it take? Clever playcalling to maximize. I think our defense has the potential to be very, very good. We shut down the run for 90% of that game. Thomas Jones had 10+ carries for <20 yards at one point--if we had taken advantage of that ,the Jets would have abandoned the run game. Our offense will be better if the other team isn't as aggressive as the Jets OR if we learn how to gameplan against aggressive defenses.

Second Honeymoon
09-14-2009, 10:48 AM
they will be somewhere between Option 1 and Option 2. One of the few things that Kubiak has shown an ability to do is to keep a team from quitting when things look bad. I think we have enough talent to salvage 5-7 wins but talk of the playoffs is clearly over after yesterday's performance at home.

the only way they could reach Option 3 is to nut it up and win next week at Tennessee and then carry that into the following 2 home games.

I thought 10-6 or 9-7 before season, 7-9 or 8-8 after preseason, 4-12 after yesterdays game, but after a night of sleeping on it, I will go with 6-10 or 7-9.

Maddict5
09-14-2009, 10:50 AM
imo, this team will be better than last years team because of the defence. they are alot better than last years outfit in that respect. i know we were by no means shutdown yesterday, especially on 3rd down, but they were pretty fun to watch whereas last year anytime they came out, it made me feel 'oh shit, here we go again'.

the offence will fix itself. they didnt become a bad unit over the last 8 months. they're a bit nicked up right now with schaub, pitts, myers & walter not 100% but they'll play themselves into shape hopefully

Texans_Chick
09-14-2009, 10:51 AM
Do I think we're fixable? Absolutely. This team has talent, which is more than you could say in 2007.




How do you know they have talent? Some people thought Phillip Buchanon was an upgrade for an aging secondary.

Or in 2007, they had Schaub, Rosenfels. Is dinged up Schaub + a dude that missed most of the preseason because of a hamstring an upgrade?

It's not like they brought a bunch of proven Pro Bowlers to the team.

The things they did are what they did. My question is what their next steps are.

HOU-TEX
09-14-2009, 10:52 AM
they will be somewhere between Option 1 and Option 2. One of the few things that Kubiak has shown an ability to do is to keep a team from quitting when things look bad. I think we have enough talent to salvage 5-7 wins but talk of the playoffs is clearly over after yesterday's performance at home.

the only way they could reach Option 3 is to nut it up and win next week at Tennessee and then carry that into the following 2 home games.

I thought 10-6 or 9-7 before season, 7-9 or 8-8 after preseason, 4-12 after yesterdays game, but after a night of sleeping on it, I will go with 6-10 or 7-9.

Yeah, clearly. :rolleyes:

It was an embarrassing loss, but to say any hope of playoffs is over is kinda ridiculous. Do I think we're going to the playoffs? Doubtful

Maddict5
09-14-2009, 10:59 AM
How do you know they have talent? Some people thought Phillip Buchanon was an upgrade for an aging secondary.

Or in 2007, they had Schaub, Rosenfels. Is dinged up Schaub + a dude that missed most of the preseason because of a hamstring an upgrade?
It's not like they brought a bunch of proven Pro Bowlers to the team.

The things they did are what they did. My question is what their next steps are.


5/11 starters are either injured or just back from injuries. they need time to get into shape & re-gel so to speak. they were good last year. the exact same 11 are there & they arent an aging unit who have suddenly past their prime

on defence i think everybody would agree that it was the secondary struggled most especially imo ferguson who wouldnt be in there usually. wilson & reeves are close to coming back. that'll help. dunta is just back and played decent but admitted he mssed some tackles he usually makes. busing played decent & offers an alternative if barber plays badly. moldens just coming back. brice wont make a dumb mistake like that again if he wants some play time etc

there are plenty of reasons to still believe in this team

nunusguy
09-14-2009, 11:10 AM
I dunno, but I tend to believe the defense played well in the first half and by the second half they were on the field so much they were gased, especially since this was the season opener and conditioning was an issue because of limited playing time in preseason. BTW, Cushing looked good,
had a favorable NFL debut.
The only TD they gave up before halftime was a busted play because we had a rookie in for a regular starter in the D-backfield.
The problem was on the offensive side of the ball and the coaching staffs puzzling lack of readiness/preperation agasint the 3-4, especially with Schaubs injury and therefor inabilty to have any mobility ? If they insisted on starting Schaub, why on earth didn't they make a change at the half after
discovering his ineffectiveness ?

Hagar
09-14-2009, 11:16 AM
Depends on what you call fixable. If fixable means taking a team to the playoffs, then I'd say no, probably not. This team is weak up the middle of the o'line and has been for years (aka small linemen). Until we get it fixed, we'll have trouble against team possessing strong defensive lines. On the up side, we don't face teams with great d-lines every week. We can still beat the Raiders, Cardinals, Bengals, 49ers & Colts. A winning season isn't outside the realm of possibilities but we'll have to get strong line play on both sides of the ball to make it to the playoff.

HOU-TEX
09-14-2009, 11:22 AM
I dunno, but I tend to believe the defense played well in the first half and by the second half they were on the field so much they were gased, especially since this was the season opener and conditioning was an issue because of limited playing time in preseason. BTW, Cushing looked good,
had a favorable NFL debut.
The only TD they gave up before halftime was a busted play because we had a rookie in for a regular starter in the D-backfield.
The problem was on the offensive side of the ball and the coaching staffs puzzling lack of readiness/preperation agasint the 3-4, especially with Schaubs injury and therefor inabilty to have any mobility ? If they insisted on starting Schaub, why on earth didn't they make a change at the half after
discovering his ineffectiveness ?

The offense (coaching) probably deserves most of the blame, but I'm not going to excuse the defense's inability to get off the field on 3rd down. The Jets had a 55% conversion rate and posted ridiculous yeards on 3rd downs. That's unacceptable, we sucked in all phases.

Second Honeymoon
09-14-2009, 11:23 AM
Yeah, clearly. :rolleyes:

It was an embarrassing loss, but to say any hope of playoffs is over is kinda ridiculous. Do I think we're going to the playoffs? Doubtful

houtex, i am not saying they can't make the playoffs, i am just saying that all the talk we have heard about playoffs is over for the near future. if they rattle off a bunch of wins, they could hear the P word again but for now that type of talk is over.

obviously many teams have gone 0-1 and made the playoffs. i do understand that.

hopefully they can turn it around against our natural rivals next week in Tennessee

Runner
09-14-2009, 11:24 AM
Yes, if fixable means better than yesterday. If the fix is better than last year, I don't know.

The offense and personnel aren't much different from last year, so I expect marked improvement immediately. Well, maybe after the Titans D goes off on them.

I thought the defense showed stretches that exceeded my expectations. I don't know at this point whether that can be expanded and maintained. It has too many glaring weaknesses that will be exploited by someone who can use past game film to game plan.

As far as coaching, they have ample opportunities to get better just by correcting mistakes. I don't know if they are capable of doing that, since many of these mistakes are recurring themes. if this staff is capable of fixing them, why haven't they been fixed before? This same factor of long lingering problems also makes me question the ability of the coached to not only correct mistakes, but take the next (big) step of exploiting other teams weaknesses and becoming difference makers in the games themselves.

The front office has lost much of it's good reputation for finding good free agents to fill needs, so I don't think it will help much this year. The draft will probably be average next year, and I expect more turmoil between it and the players.

So, I think they'll rise to the level of average. I'm not confident about anything much higher.

GP
09-14-2009, 11:27 AM
I'm sure you guys have seen my posts about "patterns," which I adopted from swt and one or two other posters yesterday. But I think it's true.

This team has a slow start, then tries to recover the rest of the season.

It's habitual. It's consistent. It's a pattern.

So at this point, I'm uncomfortable NOT because we lost the Jets game. I am uncomfortable because of the trend and what it means for the next three games.

Someone, or someTHING, is causing this team to not gear up at the end of preseason. And we get smashed in the mouth on opening day, and it continues until the players and coaches finally decide that they'd like to start playing focused football.

How does that get changed? It doesn't. Because THAT is the climate: A failure to stop a runaway train and say "No more."

IF Kubiak could do something, he could start by creating an opening drive that focused primarily upon AJ and OD getting balls thrown their way. We usually have a very good opening drive, so what happened to it in the Jets game?

IF Kubiak could do something, he could maybe throw James Casey into the slot (surely he isn't on the PS, right?) instead of Andre Davis. Kubiak could throw Jacoby out there a little. But it was like Kubiak just tried a WR set that was all jacked up and ineffective. If Kevin Walter is THAT vital, then put a possession-type guy in his spot (James Casey for example).

IF the players could man up and start chewing on each other a little, that'd be great. But nobody could do it, I suppose, because they ALL kinda' stunk it up and it's like "You're going to point the finger at ME? Look at you!"

Even DeMeco mad e a very unwise decision right before the half. I mean, was he FOR REAL with the taunt? Uh, 'Meco check this out: You guys are getting o-w-n-e-d by a rookie coach and rookie QB in your own house on opening day. You probably should go grab one of our own DBs (who can't wrap up) and do the taunting to one of those guys. Make people on your side of the ball be accountable, and don't be afraid to pressure them out there on the field.

I would also, and YES I really mean this, cut Dunta Robinson immediately. Of course, this should have been done BEFOREHAND...so I doubt we can do that without having to pay for it. Not sure on the contract stipulations for payment, though. He should not have been on this team, and his actions after the game are very poisoinous and are only hurting this team.

I liked the defense, despite the long TD runs. If we could get two interior dlinemen who are gap-pluggers like what they have in Minnesota, and a true safety, then I think the defense and this style would be awesome.

This team starts slow, and I am worried that it's just the way it is with a Gary Kubiak coached team. We can't start 0-4 or 1-3 and even 2-2 is worrisome in the AFC South and in the AFC in general.

beerlover
09-14-2009, 11:35 AM
1. the game plan has to adjust more fluid to whats happening in games. Seems like the Texans always try to stick with the orginal game plan regardless of effectiveness.

2. Dunta needs to be benched, maybe released?

3. Bush has got to come up with a defensive combination up front that's more disruptive. If that means starting Connor Barwin @ RDE, Mario @ LDE kick Antonio Smith inside in rotation with Amobi, Okoye, Cody & Robinson then so be it, move on.

4. Ferguson should never play CB. Go with Quinn, Molden, McCain rotation until Reeves returns.

5. Need two TE sets to support edge (Brown) so the inside guards/center are not so isolated. Is Hill injured? must keep Schaub upright to regain his confidence.

those are just a few things they might try? didn't expect to be talking about this week one, don't think the Texans are as good as hoped & the Jets are better than we thought. The combination of the two was devastating :gun:

Marcus
09-14-2009, 11:37 AM
You asked if the 2009 Texans are fixable?

The answer is no. They are not.

The offensive line (you know, that same offensive line that played last season) got thrown around like rag dolls, especially Pitts and Myers. What's to prevent them from getting thrown around next week, or the week after that, or the week after that? Better scheming, better preparedness, better coaching? You could do all those things, and you're still going to get thrown around like a rag doll.

Same way with the defensive line. Did the front four get any pressure on the QB yesterday? I'm talking about the front four. Leave the fancy exotic blitzing schemes out of this, that's another story. They gave a rookie QB all day to throw the ball. Do you actually think the front four is going to all of sudden get pressure on the QB next week, or the week after that, or the weekafter that? They are not physically capable of doing it. You could come up with some kind of fancy blitzing scheme that might hide that weakness, but that weakness will still be there, to be exploited.

You cannot fix a team during the current season that can't win the battle in the trenches. It all starts up front. That is as fundamental as you could possibly get.

That is what was so disheartening about yesterday's game. They got manhandled up front, on boh sides of the line.

gtexan02
09-14-2009, 11:45 AM
Other than the patriots and the dolphins, no team has ever gone undefeated. Every team loses an embarassing game once in a while. Its the nature of the NFL. Sometimes you come across a gameplan you simply cannot handle effectively and your team loses horribly because of it. It happens to every team.

We've lost 1 game. This messageboard gets pretty exhausting when everyone gives up after 1 game. There is a lot of reason to be concerned, but I doubt we'll see this team just roll over and go 0-16

Are they fixable? Yeah

Hooston Texan
09-14-2009, 11:51 AM
I think we can count on Schaub getting fixed. The next good game he has in a season opener will be his first.

In 2001, he started his first collegiate game as a sophomore at Wisconsin and went 3-for-10 with 2 picks where he drilled the defenders square in the numbers with the ball. The guy looked utterly hopeless.

In 2002 (his breakout year), he was boo'd in Charlottesville for his poor play against Colorado State as UVA lost. He was benched after that game but earned his job back the next week.

In 2003, he separated his right shoulder in his first series against Duke. He missed the next two games.

Dogfighter was obviously the man in Atlanta, so Matt's next season-opening game was for us.

2007 against KC. Yes, we won and everyone got excited, but the offense only put up only 13 points on a bad defense (that was missing Jared Allen because of a suspension), and the lone offensive TD was because Herm Edwards thought it would be a good idea to cover AJ with a safety. Not a terrible game for Schaub, but not one for the time capsule, either.

2008 at Pittsburgh. Just a stink-bomb of a game; worse than yesterday as Schaub threw some early picks that contributed to the rout.

Then yesterday. Clearly, we had a terrible time blocking on the interior and picking up the Jets' exotic blitzes, but Schaub just wasn't very good, either.

So why has he been so awful in his season-openers? I don't know, but it is clearly a trend with him. He's always rebounded nicely from his worst openers, so hopefully that trend continues this year, too. It had better, or else there will be a large number of "Help Wanted" signs going up on Kirby and Main pretty soon.

HOU-TEX
09-14-2009, 11:55 AM
1. the game plan has to adjust more fluid to whats happening in games. Seems like the Texans always try to stick with the orginal game plan regardless of effectiveness.

2. Dunta needs to be benched, maybe released?

3. Bush has got to come up with a defensive combination up front that's more disruptive. If that means starting Connor Barwin @ RDE, Mario @ LDE kick Antonio Smith inside in rotation with Amobi, Okoye, Cody & Robinson then so be it, move on.

4. Ferguson should never play CB. Go with Quinn, Molden, McCain rotation until Reeves returns.

5. Need two TE sets to support edge (Brown) so the inside guards/center are not so isolated. Is Hill injured? must keep Schaub upright to regain his confidence.

those are just a few things they might try? didn't expect to be talking about this week one, don't think the Texans are as good as hoped & the Jets are better than we thought. The combination of the two was devastating :gun:

1. I can agree with this

2. I must have missed something. Other than missing a tackle, what did Dunta do to deserve all the hate? I don't think they even threw his way but a couple times.

3. You start Barwin you become suspect against the run. We need to get off the damn field on 3rd downs.....again.

4. I don't think Ferguson was playing CB. They knew our safties sucked, so they threw at them. Quin and McCain played quite a bit. McCain's the one that busted his coverage on the long TD in the first half.

5. Going big might help a little, but I think it's more than that. It's about pre-snap reads and coaching. When the defense shows a massive overload to one side you'd think we'd audible to a run or quick pass instead of a 7 step drop.

IMO, this loss is on coaching. We saw what they (Ravens D) did last season, yet did nothing to prevent a repeat of last season. Kubiak stated they only spent 1/3 of the time getting ready for their blitzes and the rest was spent on the base 3-4. WTF is up with that? The Ravens ans Jets blitz 90% of the time.

Unacceptable

GP
09-14-2009, 11:56 AM
If our dline could get together and have a real come-to-Jesus meeting with one another, led by Mario, and it went like this:

"We are going to take charge now. We're going to commit to doing our part no matter what happens or what the score is. We're going to get in each other's face when we do well, and when we don't. We will commit to playing all out on every snap."

Maybe stuff like this has been happening and I don't know about it.

But I would like to see on unit (the LBers or the Dliners or the DBs) start acting like a group who holds each other accountable.

There are times when I wish Cushing or 'Meco would blindside a DB and form tackle them into the turf. Then stand over them and say "I'm going to come looking for you if you don't start wrapping guys up."

This team has tackling issues. Big time. But we all know it. What's being done about it?

Mr. White
09-14-2009, 12:07 PM
I'm sure they're fixable by Kubiak's standards....which usually means improved play and some kind of bounce-back after a loss.

This means that they'll probably play tough for the first half against the Titans next week. Then they'll play tough against the weak teams and we'll think everything is okay again until Kubiak gets out-coached again by a good defensive coach.

Then we're back where we started again. It's painfully obvious that the team isn't ready to take the next step.

Another year of mediocre football. For Kubiak homers, I'm sure that's good enough.

SheTexan
09-14-2009, 12:09 PM
Well, maybe be need to send them down the yellow brick road to the land of Oz where MAYBE they can find a heart, brain, and some courage!!

Are our boys fixable? Sure they are! There's more to talent than a bunch of stats! It's called PASSION, and it's a rare find amongst our Texans.

You want us to take the role of Kubiak! Hummm, sorry Steph, that's hard to do, since I truly believe Kubes is center of the problem. He's exactly right when he say's, "it's all on me" YEP, it truly is all on him!! He has to prepare his team, something he is not very good at. PLUS, he is hard headed!! He'll stick with a lackluster running game when it's pretty obvious it AIN'T working!!! How many times did Matt throw a long ball yesterday? Not many! AJ never got the chance to shine, and neither did OD, esp in the first half. IF Matt can't cut it, bench him!! Kubes attitude is "he's the starter" PERIOD!! Matt sucked, he was having a very BAD day! IF I was Kubes, which is the question you asked, I would have benched his ass the second half. I would have benched half the Oline! Heck, if our backups are as bad as our starters, we're truly screwed anyway!

Mix it up! There were no surprises! Any opposing HC could have a field day with our team! VERY predictable!! Kubes does not like to vary from his gameday plan, which is why I say he is hard headed. If it's not working, FIX IT, or we're gonna get our butts handed to us.

All said, I tend to lean toward #3. Part of that is simply because I refuse to give up on them! Hopefully, they will not give up on themselves, and will find their way down that yellow brick road where they will find a heart (passion), power to use their brains (eliminate mental errors), and courage (ATTITUDE), to compete with the big boys! While they are on that journey maybe they will grow some balls!:fans:

beerlover
09-14-2009, 12:11 PM
1. I can agree with this

2. I must have missed something. Other than missing a tackle, what did Dunta do to deserve all the hate? I don't think they even threw his way but a couple times.

lack of playmaking needed. also dropped a possible INT on first possession which might have affected Sanchez confidence that continued to grow as the game wore on. the post game interview aside it is a buisness if he doesn't produce to match his franchise contract I would have no problem cutting him loose allowing the opportunity he so strongly wants & Dunta use to be one of my favorite Texans. call me fickle, but I'm not alone I can assure you of that.

3. You start Barwin you become suspect against the run. We need to get off the damn field on 3rd downs.....again.

Barwin plays hard, from whistle to whistle. you have to find a way to get him on the field, heck I'd even think about moving him to SAM if Cushing can play WILL, don't really care if it works. Texans need defensive playmakers besides Mario & DeMeco (Busing is making his case) Barwin is always around the ball don't see why he can't stop the run either?

4. I don't think Ferguson was playing CB. They knew our safties sucked, so they threw at them. Quin and McCain played quite a bit. McCain's the one that busted his coverage on the long TD in the first half.

Ferguson was playing CB in situations, maybe not all the time but give credit to the Jets for recognizing it. His lack of speed was exposed, in his case speed does kill.

5. Going big might help a little, but I think it's more than that. It's about pre-snap reads and coaching. When the defense shows a massive overload to one side you'd think we'd audible to a run or quick pass instead of a 7 step drop.

The Texans got smash mouthed in the face & could not handle the size or strength of the Jets Ryan 3-4. Texans have to adjust you can't just sit back let Matt Schaub drop back in a pocket that collapses in less than 3 seconds.

IMO, this loss is on coaching. We saw what they (Ravens D) did last season, yet did nothing to prevent a repeat of last season. Kubiak stated they only spent 1/3 of the time getting ready for their blitzes and the rest was spent on the base 3-4. WTF is up with that? The Ravens ans Jets blitz 90% of the time.

Unacceptable

My response :)

eriadoc
09-14-2009, 12:13 PM
I don't believe this team is fixable. I believe they can play better than yesterday, and they can win some games, but I don't think this team, as currently comprised, will ever make it to the SB, much less win one.

1. OLine - Kubiak and Co. make a point of getting a specific type of linemen for the ZB scheme, and while it has its moments, it is consistently weak against teams with a big NT and the 3-4 (many of which are one and the same). The game is evolving, and the ZBS is like the R&S of the '80s and '90s. You still see elements of it, with four and five WRs on the field sometimes, but no one makes it their base offense. The ZBS can be effective in certain scenarios, but you need to be able to line up and smash some heads sometimes. As a result of this, they will never dominate the LOS on the offensive side of the ball.

2. Running game - Kubiak and Co. have gone with the philosophy that you can find a back anywhere and do not need to draft top talent. While it is true that you can find a back anywhere, it's also true that you can find any position anywhere. That doesn't mean you will. Slaton had a great year last year, but I think many people have forgotten how shaky it was. He gobbled up yards between the 20s, just like the rest of the offense, and couldn't do anything when it mattered, whether that was in the RZ or on 3rd and short wherever. This ties into the OLine, of course, but Slaton is simply not a feature back, IMO. He's their Leon Washington - the guy that is explosive, can make plays in space, and carry the ball a few times in relief of your main guy. He's a guy that you want to touch the ball 12-20 times a game, but not as a prototypical back. Again, JMO.

3. QB - Schaub is never going to shake the "when healthy" tag, I don't think. Furthermore, he isn't one of those QBs that can do well no matter how his line is performing at any given time, a la Manning. To be fair, there are precious few of those QBs around, and it's easy for a QB to develop happy feet once line play goes south. We've all seen that firsthand. There were a few plays yesterday when Schaub had time and he just froze. Furthermore, Kubiak's scheme really requires the playaction and bootlegs to work, and they have neither, in part because of line play, in part because of a lack of running game, and in part because Matt isn't mobile enough to do the job when he's dinged or when you're worried about him getting hit and dinged.

4. Defensive Line - I actually think this is fixable. Kubiak has drafted two top guys here and signed another. Well, Mario and Smith are actually doing fine. Ok0ye isn't working out. Kubiak has also acquired Deljuan and Okam, as well as Cody. These are low-level acquisitions that may actually pan out and be a big help. Okam is only in his second year, and Deljuan has shown well. It's up to Bill Kollar to get the best out of this group and Frank Bush to scheme it up. Kollar has one game under his belt as a Texan, but Bush has been around a while. We should have seen better yesterday. Letting a rookie carve you up on 3rd down all day doesn't bode well. I think they have a combination of personnel issues and coaching issues. Bush and Kollar need to get to work, and they need to find that guy in the middle that can do something, whether it's Okam or Okoye. In the meantime, they aren't controlling this side of the LOS, either.

5. Secondary - this is a disaster, and it's been a disaster since the team lost Glenn and Coleman. I don't believe Kubiak has spent a first day pick on the secondary since he's been here, which either says he places a lower priority on it, or the team needed a ton of help (which goes back to prioritizing where you need help first). But acquisitions like Reeves, Bennett, Molden, Barber, Harrison (gone), Quin, and McCain are not going to solve the secondary problems. This team needs a top flight safety, and with Robinson likely gone soon, needs at least one top flight corner. It's been neglected for too long, personnel-wise, and I don't see any coach working wonders with these low-round picks. I don't see this as being fixable anytime real soon.

6. Turnovers - this team turns the ball over way too much. I know Kubiak preaches it to his team, but either the message isn't getting through, or they are incompetent at holding onto the ball. I don't know how to fix this, and neither does anyone on the coaching staff, evidently.

Without controlling the LOS, this team will always be mediocre-to-bad. That is just a fact based on history.

TheRealJoker
09-14-2009, 12:15 PM
Rex Ryan was right, we are a soft finesse team. That doesn't mean we're terrible and the sky is falling but we are mediocre at best until we get some more physical players and a defensive minded hardass like Bill Cowher coaching this team. We need a whole lot of luck to beat the physical defenses because we are just too soft to compete with those teams.

Marcus
09-14-2009, 12:24 PM
Without controlling the LOS, this team will always be mediocre-to-bad. That is just a fact based on history.

That is my point exactly. If you can't win the battle up front, what can you really "fix" before the season is over.

That's not "giving up" Shetexan, that's facing a cold fact.

Goldensilence
09-14-2009, 12:27 PM
Are the 2009 Texans fixable? I think that really is something the coaches and players have to look themselves in the face and ask.

I could write a laundry list of off-season moves they decided not to do.

What could they do right now?

1. Hopes Reeves makes it back week two and we don't have to throw rooks out there as our primary DBs. Hope Eugene Wilson is back as well.

2. Start Busing at SS. Start scouring FA lists because safety is spot that continues to be unaddressed compleltely in FA or a serious draft pick used for it.

3. Stop hoping your base 4 is going to get pressure. Blitz.

4. Christ you have one of the best WRs in the game make a concerted effort to get him the ball. I know you want to run Kubiak but, from the looks of it again this year you should get it in your head pass to set up the run.

5. An entire week of practice solely devoted to tackling.

6. May as well get Caldwell some PT because we're obviously weak in the middle of the line. Will it help? Not sure but, hell at this point it couldn't hurt. Maybe it stuck out in my head more but I swear more then a couple of times I saw Myers flying backwards or tossed aside. Guard or center I don't care get him in there.

Look maybe it was a perfect storm for suckage. 3-4 defense that's stout up the middle, and Kubiak's tendency to not have his teams prepared to play. He also continually fails to make adjustments to his game plan(if he has one).

Maybe he should reconsider handing over complete play calling duties to Shannahan at this point.

I know it's one game and we did see SOME good things from the defense. Third downs killed us on both sides of the ball, I really was getting sick of run run, ok well we'll pass on third and long (predictably).

All in all yeah first game of the year, but if anyone is denying how disturbing it was to have a team come in and completely dismantle you on a home opener with a rookie HC and QB, you're kidding yourself.

Double Barrel
09-14-2009, 12:42 PM
Well, maybe be need to send them down the yellow brick road to the land of Oz where MAYBE they can find a heart, brain, and some courage!!

Are our boys fixable? Sure they are! There's more to talent than a bunch of stats! It's called PASSION, and it's a rare find amongst our Texans.

You want us to take the role of Kubiak! Hummm, sorry Steph, that's hard to do, since I truly believe Kubes is center of the problem. He's exactly right when he say's, "it's all on me" YEP, it truly is all on him!! He has to prepare his team, something he is not very good at. PLUS, he is hard headed!! He'll stick with a lackluster running game when it's pretty obvious it AIN'T working!!! How many times did Matt throw a long ball yesterday? Not many! AJ never got the chance to shine, and neither did OD, esp in the first half. IF Matt can't cut it, bench him!! Kubes attitude is "he's the starter" PERIOD!! Matt sucked, he was having a very BAD day! IF I was Kubes, which is the question you asked, I would have benched his ass the second half. I would have benched half the Oline! Heck, if our backups are as bad as our starters, we're truly screwed anyway!

Mix it up! There were no surprises! Any opposing HC could have a field day with our team! VERY predictable!! Kubes does not like to vary from his gameday plan, which is why I say he is hard headed. If it's not working, FIX IT, or we're gonna get our butts handed to us.

All said, I tend to lean toward #3. Part of that is simply because I refuse to give up on them! Hopefully, they will not give up on themselves, and will find their way down that yellow brick road where they will find a heart (passion), power to use their brains (eliminate mental errors), and courage (ATTITUDE), to compete with the big boys! While they are on that journey maybe they will grow some balls!:fans:

Good post, ST. Repped. I like the Oz reference. Wish I shared your optimism, though. Heart is not taught. This team either has it or it doesn't, and based on yesterday's debacle, I saw a team that reminded me of another lowpoint in our 8 year history. *shudders*

That is my point exactly. If you can't win the battle up front, what can you really "fix" before the season is over.

That's not "giving up" Shetexan, that's facing a cold fact.

yep. It's the most basic of football fundamentals: control the line, tackle, and protect the ball. The Texans failed miserably on all three fronts. In the words of Ron White, "you can't fix stupid".

Vinny
09-14-2009, 12:50 PM
I just twittered the Jack Pardee blast.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7OC0YbG2fek/R1alRVm7RuI/AAAAAAAAD-o/8V4o7FTYFmc/s400/JackPardee.jpghttp://www.chron.com/photos/2008/12/21/14498053/260xStory.jpg

http://twitter.com/Vincent364

Honoring Earl 34
09-14-2009, 01:03 PM
To me , Kubiak stuck his neck way out there when he gave Shanny the playcalling and Bush the DC . They may end up great but it won't be this year and that might sink Kubiak's ship . Peyton Manning said there is nothing that Tom Moore hasn't seen when it comes to defenses . Well ... our cordinators have a total of three games in charge .

I think every year , because we want to believe so badly , we buy into the McNair PR machine . I think Ol' Bob throws alot of bucks into this and likes a certain image of player to sell . It's not that I want thugs ... on the field maybe a little ... I would like to see some hitting . A Texan's best hits video would last 30 seconds for eight seasons .

We've got to many players who might not get a sniff anywhere else . That or they wouldn't get such a prominent role , is that a talent issue or a judgement issue .

So the question is , is it fixable . I'm going to say that if they beat the Titans , then yes they are a playoff team . If they start 0-2 why would I think it's going to be any different than hoping for 8-8 with the potential for 6-10 .

Porky
09-14-2009, 01:09 PM
Fixes? I don't know. I kind of feel like this team needs to have the heart of a lion transplanted into it, and instead it got the tin mans heart.

They are a finesse team, and finesse teams can win (see Colts, Indy) but even the Colts have gotten abused by real physical defenses. For instance, Pittsburgh's defense destroyed Indy in the playoffs a couple years back.

I mean is this offense kind of similar to our old run and shoot Oiler one? Not in style, but effectiveness/substance? Meaning, is this a gimmick offense that works well between the 20's, has trouble against physical blitz heavy teams, etc? And let's not forget that that offensive line was an all time great line. Yet, they still had trouble. Now with an average line that relies more on quickness then size/strength are we just simply doomed to doing poorly against the Ravens/Steelers/Jets/Titans model of defense?

And if that is the case, how the hell do you fix it in a week? Anyone got that answer because I don't?

Hervoyel
09-14-2009, 02:24 PM
"Can this team be fixed?" I don't really know the answer to that. I think it depends on what you consider "fixed".

I don't think that this team can be fixed to my satisfaction. I think it's possible that this team can be motivated (and I use that term very, very loosely) to win between 7-9 games. I think it's possible that enough of our coming opponents either stink enough, take us lightly enough, or don't care enough towards the end to allow us to climb back up at the end of the year to around .500 and pretend that we're on the right track one more time.

I'm not happy with that. I would rather watch them finish 6-10 or 5-11 and stand up to their opponents week in and week out than watch them crawl their way to .500 while beating bad teams and getting consistently destroyed by good ones. I don't believe in the coaching staff anymore after yesterday. Did anyone read Jerome Solomon's article where he quoted AJ about whether or not he could see this loss coming? AJ said he didn't want to answer the question. Solomon said that when he asked another Texan (unnamed) about Kubiak's pre-game "speech" the player just shook his head and laughed.

The article is here: http://blogs.chron.com/jeromesolomon/2009/09/texans_performance_inexcusable.html

If these are true quotes then I think this is really the end for Kubiak. He sounds to me like he's lost the team or at least a portion of it and that portion includes AJ I think. AJ wouldn't say anything bad about his coach to save his life because he's the consumate team player but he's not happy with this. He knows something is wrong.

Then you have Dunta. He's not a member of this team anyway. He's on the "Show me the money" team. I'm not even going to go into that because truly he's not even in our top 5 worst problems right now.

I think we have talent. I don't doubt that we have some talent here. We have holes on both sides of the ball but I don't see guys in Miami or Atlanta having trouble filling similar holes in their teams inside a couple of years. I don't think that the existing talent is great but it is pretty clearly in general "NFL qualilty".

I think that we still lack a quality defensive coordinator. We saw what one looked like yesterday and I'd venture to say that if we'd wanted to go with a rookie DC we could have picked our favorite of Ryan's assistants from Baltimore and given him a shot and got a better return than we did with Frank Bush. We could have at least made a run at someone from a proven coaching "tree".

This season though I think we get Reeves and Robinson both on the field and healthy and we do about like last year. I'll be pulling my hair out watching them take turns giving up big plays but they'll be nice and average in the end. We need a CB to replace one of the two (my opinion Robinson when he leaves) but we also need a FS as well. Add a DT to that list unless Amobi grows up this year. Don't hold your breath.

None of that can we fix this year so we'll be back in the low 20's on defense.

On offense we are starting to make me believe that we have a system that's played out. I've talked a bit about our dreaded Alex Gibbs ZBS and how we're the first team in his NFL career he couldn't make good at running. I'd be shocked if he returns for 2010 at the rate we're going. We need a center and we need a real franchise running back. We could also stand to find some linemen who are mean nasty sons of bitches who hate everyone in the other teams colors on gameday. Our marshmallows play with a smile on their face and it isn't an evil get-inside-your-head grin like Hines Ward wears all game long. It's a "Golly fellas that was a good run!" dopey grin. I can't believe this is the group Alex Gibbs assembled. He kept Pitts who I would like to see depart (Don't go telling me he's our best. Just, don't.) and he brought in Myers and on his watch we've seen Briseil come into his own as a starter but damn these guys play some soft football. I don't think I've ever seen a Texans lineman just destroy the guy he's blocking. I've seen Leach do it on more than one occaision but Pitts? Nope.

On offense we need a C, RB, and upgrades at one or both of our G postions.

So in terms of holes I'd say we need a FS, CB, DT, C, RB, and at least one G.

Can't fix any of that until the end of the year to my satisfaction so we stick with our .500 kids for now.

If we fast forward I try and get at least two of those guys in FA contracts and the rest I try to get on day one of the draft. I'll be short a guy or two though.

Even if we had those guys today we'd have to overcome the coaching here and we saw exactly what's up there yesterday. Frank Bush is a rookie DC who appears to be able to motivate his guys but seemingly is still walking around with Richard Smith's playbook. Yes they stopped the run for most of the day yesterday. Just like before though they couldn't get to the QB and couldn't stop the run when it mattered. I'll accept that the offense left them out there all day though so hold that thought.

On offense we have Kyle Shanahan who is so obviously out of his depth that I can't imagine Kubiak will allow him to continue calling plays. No adjustments. No imagination. Inexplicable calls. You name it the Texans offense did it yesterday. Kyle has been touted as this coaching wonderboy of some sort but honestly, right now he looks like a classic favor hire. He's giving Mike's boy a step up and nothing more. Kubiak is our OC and should remain that. He can let Bush take care of the other side of the ball and just focus on our offense. That way we can at least lose games in a wild shootout scoring contest instead of the beat down we took yesterday.

Ultimately though I can't address this without a "fire the coach" type comment because I'm off Kubiak now for good. The man isn't up to the task and so we're back to searching for a coach again. Sure, we won't be doing it this year. We may not even be doing it next year once Gary gets them fired up for another 8-8 finish and Bob tells us all how he's satisfied that his guys are going in the right direction. We are however a HC shy of fixing this the right way. I've come to that realization and now I can't look at the problem without concluding that this guy and the staff he assembled and the decisions he makes will never put us where I want to see us.

But fix it Gary style? Hang around .500 and always lose badly to the real playoff teams? Yeah, that's a piece of cake. Gary can do that. It's all on him!

Malloy
09-14-2009, 02:29 PM
The way I saw the game last night, our three biggest problems were on secondary (especially at safety), Center (Meyers looked like a kid playing against men), and offensive playcalling.

Problem one and two are fixable to a degree, it'll take some serious FA/trade activity, but it's doable. I mentioned that we needed a Ray Lewis kinda deal, and I stand by that.

Problem three is tricky in a way, but if I were Kubiak I would utilize our strengths on our offense first, and then follow up with runs and tricky stuff. I do not care if our #2 is injured or not, when AJ was down AD stepped up and did just fine. Our problem is not WRs and TEs in the passing game, it's plays that give them the ball. Last night I felt that we had three different plays on offense, run up the middle (not good against a penetrating DL), Carr-style dump-offs to Slaton on the edge (I'm glad he didn't catch more than he did, because he had a defender waiting on him every time), and third LONG passes (well, a few...).

What happened to OD, not even sure he saw the ball in all of the first half, AJ, AD or Jacoby over the middle? No short 5-10 yard passes to take the pressure of the pressure.

I would probably try something real wierd if I were Kubiak, I would ask the OC to pass the ball 80% of all plays, just to see if that indeed would work... And I would look real hard for a Center and a Safety, possibly throwing good picks at them too.

euro-Texan
09-14-2009, 02:44 PM
Use the pass to set up the run!
Use the pass to set up the run!
Use the pass to set up the run!

We were so predictable yesterday

1st down and 10 - run for no gain
2nd down and 10 - run or dump pass (Schaub through behind the recievers almost every time)
3rd and long - try to hold the defence back as their ears are pinned back various ugly results
PUNT!

WE NEED TO BREAK THIS CYCLE NOW!!!

eriadoc
09-14-2009, 02:45 PM
euro-Texan, why do you taunt us with your avatar? We get it, your boy beat us.










































:D

euro-Texan
09-14-2009, 03:12 PM
euro-Texan, why do you taunt us with your avatar? We get it, your boy beat us.
:D

yeah yeah yeah my boy haha

texasguy346
09-14-2009, 03:14 PM
I think the 2009 Texans should be fixed. That way they can't reproduce and spawn another pathetic excuse for a professional football team.

*Sorry still stewing from yesterday*

BuffaloglennTX
09-14-2009, 03:38 PM
1. The Texans are just going to struggle against more physical teams but beat up weak sisters. The Texans will struggle against more physical teams just as they did last year (Steelers, Ravens, Titans) and be more productive against the less physical teams as they added nothing to their lineup, or apparently play-calling, to offset other team's physicality.

2. This team is just going to be bad. The Texans will likely win 7 or 8 games again because of point 1 above.

3. This was just one of those games, and the Texans will get their stuff together. The offense and defense need more time to gel instead of looking like gel. This was one of those games where nothing clicked offensively, except for the one drive wrecked by Slaton's fumble, but they will lose 3 out of 4 of these "physical" games.



Or some sort of combo of one of these.

Responses in red above. TC, you posted something in a previous blog on the Chron and it included something to the effect of a "steaming pile of excrement". I think that your point of that blog had something to do with preseason predictions or something, but maybe you were foreseeing the effort and results of the Texans' first real game?

I've got to say, I thought Pitts was literally the pitts on the O-line. He is either not in game shape yet, or his elbow is still injured/weak. Coaches should have seen that and tried Studdard or someone at least healthy.

keyser
09-14-2009, 10:29 PM
After letting the game digest a bit more over the past day, I am at least feeling slightly more positive.

On the offense, I have to think we will improve, and I expect it to happen pretty rapidly. Considering we have basically the same offense as last year, that offense was quite good, and I don't expect that anyone should actually be notably worse, I expect them to be able to turn it around. Pitts worries me that he might have had a sudden dropoff (maybe due to injury), and maybe the (temporary) loss of Walter is worse than I realize, but on the other hand, I think we have better depth at most positions in the offense now. Overall, I expect they should be able to get back to last year's form. And, I think the offense's biggest problem last year was red zone production, which I think is a "fixable" issue, particularly in that I think some of the depth we have added (Chris Brown, Casey, Caldwell) will help there. Given that the coaches and players all know how to run a good offense, I am going to put on my optimist hat and say that this will get fixed.

On defense, strangely enough, I thought we played better last night than we did at several points last year. We showed the ability to shut down the run (I am discounting the long runs late in the game). And, though we didn't get sacks, it seemed to me that we were actually getting good pressure at several points. I think there are two big problems on defense. The first is the inability to blitz effectively. We tried a pretty good number yesterday, but it seemed that most of them would get picked up. Fortunately, I think this is something fixable. The second big issue is the inability to hold on third downs, particularly in medium-long situations. I don't know exactly what our issue here is, but I'm guesing that we're using a coverage scheme that is getting easily exploited. Again, that should be fixable - we showed an ability to play well on 1st and 2nd downs, so there's no reason we shouldn't be able to also stop the other team on 3rd downs.

So, yes, I think they're fixable. The problem is that I haven't seen evidence that our coaches will make these changes, or if they do, it might take so long that the season will already be shot.

Lucky
09-14-2009, 11:30 PM
The game against the Jets was the perfect storm of suckage. Here's our inventory:
I wrote a few days ago that my biggest concern was that this team needed to find a way to win rather than an excuse to lose. The Jets had every excuse to lose. Two of their top defenders suspended. Starting a rookie QB and a rookie head coach. On the road versus a team that was 12-4 at home over the past 2 seasons.

The Jets shrugged off these excuses and found a way to win. Because they cared about the game. When the Texans care enough to forget the excuses (hurricanes, injuries, hurt feelings) and commit themselves to the game, they can turn this around.

It's not about X's and O's. It's not about the injury report. It's about making a commitment to winning. Where winning means more than anything else. From the owner to the ball boys. Until that happens, this organization will be mired in mediocrity.

silvrhand
09-15-2009, 11:58 AM
Actually, I want you to take the roll of Kubiak in this exercise. Given what is realistic to do, can you fix this team and how?

And if you don't want to answer from a Kubiak perspective, how about this question? Do you think:

1. The Texans are just going to struggle against more physical teams but beat up weak sisters.

2. This team is just going to be bad.

3. This was just one of those games, and the Texans will get their stuff together. The offense and defense need more time to gel instead of looking like gel.

Or some sort of combo of one of these.


1 or 2 I'm struggling against. For whatever reason this team was offensively completely unprepared, the playcalling was HORRID, I don't know how this happens as a HC, but you didn't want to go there but just a couple questions.

IMHO if those players were really hurt when the game was out of reach in the 4th quarter after the last touchdown when we went down by 17 again in the 4th why put your players back out there?

- put in rex/dan and get him some reps, and rest Schaubb.
- put in your backup RB and get him some reps.

Once the game was done in the 4th quarter they should be thinking about next week.

As for next week:

Offensively:
- spread the field more and not allow them to stack 7-8 in the box and blitz, force them to a nickle package that you can match up, we have probably one of the top 5 receiver package in the game IMHO.
- maybe it's time to move Vonta in a single back spread formation for max protection, hell put a TE back there even, hell a guard/center.
- be more creative in your play calling, calling so many screens in the first half was a total failure.
- STRETCH the field, I don't think we had a single attempt at a long throw other than the really bad interception.
- if we can run, throw first to losen up the run and get some draws or swing passes out of the backfield to get slaton in the open.

Defensively:
- disaster on 3rd downs, look at every 3rd down conversion and whatever you did rip it out of the playbook..
- find a blitz package that's working for you and that everyone in the stands doesn't know it's coming, honestly blitzing schemes are absolutely horrible for this team.
- tackling improvement will come it's too late not to start drills but it has to be brought up.. WRAP up the ball carrier.
- get your hands UP on the DL when you aren't going to get there.
- containment containment containment... did I mention containment?
- great job on the run defense, but we have to find a way to work on our left side, every big run is on the left side badly.
- ball handling skills, run them ever day all week long for the rest of the year, we missed two interceptions that we should of had at least 1!
- get #40 on the field more, he's been making plays all preseason, and in your first game.
- Keep rotating your DL, and make sure everyone stays rested.
- Start thinking about rotating your LB core soon, we have some depth there this year with Diles coming on, and Abidi doing a bit better.

The secondary is the rough spot, try to work Dunta in more, but ultimately defensively we have to fix, blitz packages, secondary coverages, and tackling. if you can take care of the first two, the third should get better as the year goes on.

gtexan02
09-20-2009, 10:41 PM
I think we can count on Schaub getting fixed. The next good game he has in a season opener will be his first.

In 2001, he started his first collegiate game as a sophomore at Wisconsin and went 3-for-10 with 2 picks where he drilled the defenders square in the numbers with the ball. The guy looked utterly hopeless.

In 2002 (his breakout year), he was boo'd in Charlottesville for his poor play against Colorado State as UVA lost. He was benched after that game but earned his job back the next week.

In 2003, he separated his right shoulder in his first series against Duke. He missed the next two games.

Dogfighter was obviously the man in Atlanta, so Matt's next season-opening game was for us.

2007 against KC. Yes, we won and everyone got excited, but the offense only put up only 13 points on a bad defense (that was missing Jared Allen because of a suspension), and the lone offensive TD was because Herm Edwards thought it would be a good idea to cover AJ with a safety. Not a terrible game for Schaub, but not one for the time capsule, either.

2008 at Pittsburgh. Just a stink-bomb of a game; worse than yesterday as Schaub threw some early picks that contributed to the rout.

Then yesterday. Clearly, we had a terrible time blocking on the interior and picking up the Jets' exotic blitzes, but Schaub just wasn't very good, either.

So why has he been so awful in his season-openers? I don't know, but it is clearly a trend with him. He's always rebounded nicely from his worst openers, so hopefully that trend continues this year, too. It had better, or else there will be a large number of "Help Wanted" signs going up on Kirby and Main pretty soon.

Well you called it

Hooston Texan
09-20-2009, 11:28 PM
Well you called it

There was really only one way to go after last week's debacle, but even I am surprised how thoroughly Matt destroyed the Titan pass defense.

This just in: the Jet defense may just be that good.

Texans_Chick
09-21-2009, 02:16 AM
Here's my latest blog post trying to talk about the meat of the game without much silly talk:

Step aboard the roller coaster, Texan fans (http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2009/09/step_aboard_the_roller_coaster.html)

After the game, they were trying to get Kubiak to do happy talk and he wanted to focus on consistency. Offensive consistency (I'm guessing running game, false starts, dropped balls) and defensive consistency (I'm guessing the obvious big play thingies).

The offense is usually good enough against most defenses as long as the individual matchups aren't too bad. Good offenses can overcome making mistakes.

The defense has been bad and is trying to dig its way out of bad. Lots of depending on young players for key roles. I think I see more examples of the defense looking like a real one but those are completely obliterated by the stupid plays, especially the poor play on 3rd downs.

How are they going to fix that defense? You can clearly scheme some stuff, but once they are on the field, how do you make sure they remember to cover the best offensive player on the field. Duh. New schemes often struggle and so do teams that depend on many young players. The way you learn is partially by good teaching but partially by making mistakes and learning from them--how do they accelerate the learning curve? Do they hope that the Texans offense carries them long enough to figure it out before their record gets hurt by their performance?

Last year's performance by the Texans defense against the Titans was much more encouraging. This year's performance by Schaub against the Titans was surprisingly good. Nice to see another good road performance.

leebigeztx
09-21-2009, 02:22 AM
I just think about the superbowl giants. They gave up alot of points and yards in their 1st 2 games then played well defensively after that. The texans have given up some huge plays most on gap control and blown assignments. Those are things that can be fixed and need to be fixed because they reflect on coaching. I think the pressure schemes are made to give up some big plays, but their gap control has been bad and the guys arent getting off blocks fast enough. Pitts have sucked this year on another note.

Jackie Chiles
09-21-2009, 02:46 AM
How are they going to fix that defense? You can clearly scheme some stuff, but once they are on the field, how do you make sure they remember to cover the best offensive player on the field. Duh. New schemes often struggle and so do teams that depend on many young players. The way you learn is partially by good teaching but partially by making mistakes and learning from them--how do they accelerate the learning curve? Do they hope that the Texans offense carries them long enough to figure it out before their record gets hurt by their performance?

I don't want to give them a built in excuse but something from Kubiak's press conference speaks volumes to me:

(on the play of LB Brian Cushing) "He's a hell of a player. You can see that he makes special plays. But he had some busts today, too, as a young player. I think we had three busts by very young players - (Brice) McCain, Dominique (Barber), and I think Brian had one of them. Some of those touchdowns they had were just way too easy and strictly assignment problems. Those are things we have to get better control of."

McCain (and Quinn) figures to lose out a pretty good share of the reps when Reeves comes back so that gives us another veteran out there. Barber seems to be in the doghouse and Busing has been a pleasant surprise. Cushing missed the entire preseason but has all the talent and work ethic in the world so I am not that worried about him. Hopefully we get Cody back on the Dline because we just need some more bodies in there and he is solid at least. Pretty much we have to eliminate the rookie mistakes and replacing two guys that are making those mistakes should help a lot. Consistency consistency consistency, gotta get those vets healthy and keep the rookies/young guys progressing. On paper our next two games set up much better for our D, looking forward to it.