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View Full Version : Should Gary Kubiak give Matt Schaub more freedom at QB


b0ng
04-21-2010, 02:37 PM
After seeing a lot of discussion of a certain non-play (Colts vs Texans near 2 minute warning at half time), the idea that Schaub does not have enough control over the offense has come up.

I agree. I think Schaub proved he was a decent QB (Who has some decision making problems), who generally knows whats going on in a game. Should Schaub be allowed to audible out of a play at the line of scrimmage? Absolutely. Does Kubiak allow this? As far as I know, he doesn't. He calls the plays and they run what he calls.

What do you guys think?

TexansBlood
04-21-2010, 03:22 PM
Yes he should be able to call audibles at times, especially when he sees and all out blitz coming!

m5kwatts
04-21-2010, 03:27 PM
The Texans offense isn't designed to allow audibles. The first 15-20 plays are scripted to begin with. And in the Denver ZBS WCO offense, each play called is designed to affect the next one. So two runs for 3 yards may look like failure, but it is called with purpose to set up play-action down the line. Allowing audibles would defeat this purpose.

b0ng
04-21-2010, 03:31 PM
The Texans offense isn't designed to allow audibles. The first 15-20 plays are scripted to begin with. And in the Denver ZBS WCO offense, each play called is designed to affect the next one. So two runs for 3 yards may look like failure, but it is called with purpose to set up play-action down the line. Allowing audibles would defeat this purpose.

I think having a design for each game offensively is fine, but I think that allowing one of the top passing QB's to be able to audible out of what looks like a potential sack or broken play would give the Texans offense some elasticity and not be so predictable.

Dutchrudder
04-21-2010, 03:33 PM
I am pro-choice when it comes to Shaub running the offense from the line.

m5kwatts
04-21-2010, 03:36 PM
I think having a design for each game offensively is fine, but I think that allowing one of the top passing QB's to be able to audible out of what looks like a potential sack or broken play would give the Texans offense some elasticity and not be so predictable.

I agree, I'm just doing my best to mimic what the powers-that-be would say.

Ole Miss Texan
04-21-2010, 03:41 PM
I think if Schaub sees a mismatch, he has the ability to capitalize on it. I forget which game it was but Schaub saw a mismatch with Andre Johnson, called an audible and hit a strike for a huge gain.

b0ng
04-21-2010, 03:48 PM
I think if Schaub sees a mismatch, he has the ability to capitalize on it. I forget which game it was but Schaub saw a mismatch with Andre Johnson, called an audible and hit a strike for a huge gain.

So Schaub is allowed to audible during games?

m5kwatts
04-21-2010, 03:58 PM
I think if Schaub sees a mismatch, he has the ability to capitalize on it. I forget which game it was but Schaub saw a mismatch with Andre Johnson, called an audible and hit a strike for a huge gain.

Are you sure he was calling for an audible or was he motioning some one? I'm guessing its the latter, the Texans have someone in motion before every snap, another reason why they don't audible. This tells Schaub whose in man or zone coverage.

barrett
04-21-2010, 04:00 PM
Considering that it's one of the top passing offenses in the NLF I think we should change everything about it. Clearly it's not working.

b0ng
04-21-2010, 04:06 PM
Considering that it's one of the top passing offenses in the NLF I think we should change everything about it. Clearly it's not working.

Are you saying that the QB not having the ability to call a different play at the line is the lynchpin of our offense and we should keep it exactly the same as we had last season because that was most Schaub has ever passed for? I don't think anybody is calling to scrap the play-action pass, but would our offense be really hampered that much with Schaub having access to audibles?

I guess what we're really asking is, Is Schaub smart enough to have that responsibility?

badboy
04-21-2010, 04:15 PM
My understanding of Kubiak's comments on this is, if every player does what he is supposed to do, there would be no need for an audible. Well, yeah, but you can not let your QB get killed as few plays are ran perfectly.

dalemurphy
04-21-2010, 04:25 PM
So Schaub is allowed to audible during games?

My observation is that Schaub started making those kinds of decisions, regardless of what Kubiak wanted over the last 6 weeks of the season. He really took over that offense.

wagonhed
04-21-2010, 04:54 PM
How do you even script 15-20 plays in the first place when you don't know what the down and distance will be?

DexmanC
04-21-2010, 05:29 PM
With the "Murderer's Row" of a schedule, Kubiak BETTER make damn sure
this team plays with urgency at the start of the season. If that means
letting Schaub lead this team, then so be it.

Good luck Texans fans. We're gonna need it.

......that schedule.

(Let's pray.)
Please, God. Please let the schedule mean we make the post season, without
anybody discrediting our path to the playoffs!

sbalderrama
04-21-2010, 05:47 PM
I seem to remember a quote from Gary in some interview where he said that multiple methods of execution are available in their offensive formations; so while it may not look like Schaub is calling audibles in the vein of Peyton histrionics, I don't think he's completely set in stone on every play.

thunderkyss
04-21-2010, 06:00 PM
Maybe Schaub did so well, because he didn't have to do a lot of thinking.

I'm trusting Kubiak, I'm sure when Schaub is ready, he'll let him do whatever. If I were a QB guru, I could tell you when that will be.


As it is now, let him continue to successfully coach Matt to a successful season, and let's question the decisions that don't help our team become the most prolific passing attack in the NFL.

76Texan
04-21-2010, 06:15 PM
How do you even script 15-20 plays in the first place when you don't know what the down and distance will be?

They have a play for all situations.
John Madden wrote in a book that Bill Wash (former Niners coach) scripted 3 quarters every game toward the end of his career.
And the PC wasn't anything quike like today in the late 80s.

76Texan
04-21-2010, 06:40 PM
I think if Schaub sees a mismatch, he has the ability to capitalize on it. I forget which game it was but Schaub saw a mismatch with Andre Johnson, called an audible and hit a strike for a huge gain.

That MS had become quite good against the blitz probably indicates that the hot routes quickly became the priority; ie. there must be some sort of preset signals???

u_got_stomped
04-21-2010, 07:02 PM
I heard on The Blitz that Schuab actually goes to the line with more than one play and then picks a play from what he sees the opp defense is doing

infantrycak
04-21-2010, 07:34 PM
This is not a binary system of no audibles or call the plays at the line. Kubiak and Schaub have both stated they script about 15 plays to start the game. They basically want those run as called to see the reaction of the D. Even then they don't rule out audibles entirely. After that Schaub has the option to audible but his playbook of audible options is much smaller than say Manning's. It isn't a comment on Schaub - Shanahan/Kubiak didn't want Elway running free either.

michaelm
04-21-2010, 07:39 PM
I heard on The Blitz that Schuab actually goes to the line with more than one play and then picks a play from what he sees the opp defense is doing

I heard something similar, but a bit different.
They differentiate between an audible and a "check". Quarterbacks who call audibles, generally have quite a few plays that they can audible to.
With our system, there is one play called, and a single check play that is designed to beat any defense that would be strong against the original play.
The philosophy is that we know what defenses will stop our original play, and are confident that the check play will be effective against those defenses.
If you can defend play A, then you have a weakness that can be exploited by play B.

DocBar
04-21-2010, 07:41 PM
I really can't see Schaub having to go to the line and run the play called regardless of situation. That would be suicide for the offense. That's not to say he has anything remotely resembling free rein, but it certainly seems that he has options.
Much has been made of plays being scripted. That script isn't written in stone. If a particular play is working or the down and distance dont favor the scripted play, it gets changed. To think otherwise is naive.

CloakNNNdagger
04-21-2010, 07:53 PM
This is not a binary system of no audibles or call the plays at the line. Kubiak and Schaub have both stated they script about 15 plays to start the game. They basically want those run as called to see the reaction of the D. Even then they don't rule out audibles entirely. After that Schaub has the option to audible but his playbook of audible options is much smaller than say Manning's. It isn't a comment on Schaub - Shanahan/Kubiak didn't want Elway running free either.


Are these "scripted" 15 plays called per series, or continued into the next possession? The latter would not make much sense to me. Also, either way, a test of 15 straight plays could explain why the Texans, at least on occasion, look like slow learners (adapters).

Texan_Bill
04-21-2010, 08:04 PM
Are these "scripted" 15 plays called per series, or continued into the next possession? The latter would not make much sense to me. Also, either way, a test of 15 straight plays could explain why the Texans, at least on occasion, look like slow learners (adapters).

Many teams script their first 10, 12, 15 plays. As Cak said, they can still audible out, but the idea is to give the OC a good sample size of what the defense is trying to do to you. So yes, the scripting will last into a second, maybe even a third series.

infantrycak
04-21-2010, 08:14 PM
Are these "scripted" 15 plays called per series, or continued into the next possession? The latter would not make much sense to me. Also, either way, a test of 15 straight plays could explain why the Texans, at least on occasion, look like slow learners (adapters).

Many teams script their first 10, 12, 15 plays. As Cak said, they can still audible out, but the idea is to give the OC a good sample size of what the defense is trying to do to you. So yes, the scripting will last into a second, maybe even a third series.

Most teams script plays. They are not lock step but have down and distance contingencies. Yes they will carry over to a 2nd series, again dependent on down and distance calls. Imagine the Denny's menu with 8 plays for 2nd and 5 or less with 1 selected as the first time it comes up in the first 15 plays and another for a 2nd instance if necessary. Scripted doesn't mean be stupid and the 3rd play of the game must be run to the left on 3rd and 25 yds.

CloakNNNdagger
04-21-2010, 08:38 PM
Am I understanding that these scripted plays are only used at the beginning of the game........or are they used repeatedly throughout the game (changed from the initial one if need be). If you are feeling out your opponent, it would seem that you would be able to get their general "pattern" at the beginning........but, then again, if they change their tactics later, you would need to rescript your next 15 plays.

infantrycak
04-21-2010, 08:40 PM
Am I understanding that these scripted plays are only used at the beginning of the game........or are they used repeatedly throughout the game (changed from the initial one if need be). If you are feeling out your opponent, it would seem that you would be able to get their general "pattern" at the beginning........but, then again, if they change their tactics later, you would need to rescript your next 15 plays.

Traditionally they have been used to begin the game. More recently some teams including the Texans have been playing with having 8-10 to start off the 2nd half with the same theory of pulling out what half time adjustments the other team has made.

Texan_Bill
04-21-2010, 08:42 PM
Am I understanding that these scripted plays are only used at the beginning of the game........or are they used repeatedly throughout the game (changed from the initial one if need be). If you are feeling out your opponent, it would seem that you would be able to get their general "pattern" at the beginning........but, then again, if they change their tactics later, you would need to rescript your next 15 plays.

Traditionally they have been used to begin the game. More recently some teams including the Texans have been playing with having 8-10 to start off the 2nd half with the same theory of pulling out what half time adjustments the other team has made.


Exaclty... Spot on.

CloakNNNdagger
04-21-2010, 09:14 PM
Cak and TB,

Thanks for the clarifications.

Texan_Bill
04-21-2010, 09:20 PM
Cak and TB,

Thanks for the clarifications.

No worries Doc, I owe you so much more.

b0ng
04-21-2010, 09:33 PM
I don't see any problem with the Texans running scripted plays, I think once we get out of the script the coaches are having a hard time making adjustments to defeat opposing defenses. I think the "check" format of our plays is the one I hear about being true, where we have 2 plays, 1 is the main play and 1 is the check.

It seems silly to me to be so restrictive of Schaub. Tell him that audibles are to be used whenever you think the defense will have a severe upper hand if the play goes off as normal, but at least give him more than 2 plays to choose from at the line.

We can also bring into the conversation the play from the Indy game. (http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2009110803/2009/REG9/texans@colts#tab:analyze/analyze-channels:cat-post-playbyplay)

1-10-IND 10 (2:30) (Pass formation) 8-M.Schaub pass short left to 21-R.Moats to IND 1 for 9 yards (41-A.Bethea). Indianapolis challenged the fumble ruling, and the play was REVERSED. (Pass formation) 8-M.Schaub pass short left to 21-R.Moats to IND 1 for 9 yards (41-A.Bethea). FUMBLES (41-A.Bethea), ball out of bounds in End Zone, Touchback.

In this play if Schaub was allowed to run up and spike the ball or run a quick play, we would've gotten out of giving the ball up as it took the refs awhile before the play was challenged. For whatever reason, Schaub either didn't want to go up and run a quick play himself, or has been instructed to wait until the play is called from the sidelines. If Schaub had more leniency in situations like this, would we have had a better shot against the colts that game?

I think Kubiak pretty much being the entire offensive mastermind with not really giving up playcalling duties has affected other game time decisions in other areas (Challenge flags for one) that he is less comfortable with. Could the offense be modified to allow more freedom with quick-snap decisions?

infantrycak
04-21-2010, 10:04 PM
In this play if Schaub was allowed to run up and spike the ball or run a quick play, we would've gotten out of giving the ball up as it took the refs awhile before the play was challenged. For whatever reason, Schaub either didn't want to go up and run a quick play himself, or has been instructed to wait until the play is called from the sidelines. If Schaub had more leniency in situations like this, would we have had a better shot against the colts that game?

Manning is the only QB in the league with the kind of discretion you are talking about (and that only after Dungy left). Even he would have expected to get the call from Dungy as you could see on multiple occasions where he clearly disagreed with whether to go for it on 4th down, etc. and got called off the field by Dungy.

b0ng
04-21-2010, 10:25 PM
Manning is the only QB in the league with the kind of discretion you are talking about (and that only after Dungy left). Even he would have expected to get the call from Dungy as you could see on multiple occasions where he clearly disagreed with whether to go for it on 4th down, etc. and got called off the field by Dungy.

That was a potential 2nd and 10 play if we had run a quick one to get out of being nailed with a fumble. Why is Peyton Manning the only QB in the league allowed to run up and either run a true play quickly or spike the ball to get a quick play off before the previous is challenged? Now I know I've seen teams other than the Colts run a quick play after a questionable call was made in their favor, and you're telling me that every one of those plays not involving Manning had a coach making that decision with nothing coming from the QB?

GP
04-21-2010, 11:13 PM
Why would Gary Kubiak let his QB audible?

He sat behind one of the greatest QBs of all time, a semi-Peyton Manning type of game-changing QB named John Elway.

No, this is Gary Kubiak's chance to be a starting QB. Gary calls the play, closes his eyes, and imagines it's him throwing that ball to Andre Johnson. Maybe THIS is why he looks away all the time?

I kid, I kid...:lion:

barrett
04-22-2010, 01:17 AM
Are you saying that the QB not having the ability to call a different play at the line is the lynchpin of our offense and we should keep it exactly the same as we had last season because that was most Schaub has ever passed for? I don't think anybody is calling to scrap the play-action pass, but would our offense be really hampered that much with Schaub having access to audibles?

I guess what we're really asking is, Is Schaub smart enough to have that responsibility?

No. I'm saying whatever it is that the Texans are doing as it pertains to who has what athority to make what decisions is clearly working and therefore, it doesn't need to be changed.

b0ng
04-22-2010, 01:39 AM
No. I'm saying whatever it is that the Texans are doing as it pertains to who has what authority to make what decisions is clearly working and therefore, it doesn't need to be changed.

I think it's pretty inevitable things in our offense will change from year to year or we'd be incredibly easy game-plan for. As it stands one could say that many changes are going to happen over the off-season and even decision making duties have changed hands since Kubiak has been here.

To act as though our offensive design will work just as well from one year to the next seems like an easy way to fall behind the curve of other NFL teams.

TimeKiller
04-22-2010, 07:39 AM
Why give special permissions to those who can't stay on the field? Schaub has proven he can stay healthy up to 15.5 games in a year and that only once.

Other than some play calls, some boneheaded mistakes and some....boneheaded play calls...the process of the offense runs fine. Audibles/no audibles/checks/whatever. Of course Schaub will be given another level of trust/responsibility because he earned that. Hootin' and hollerin' ala Manning pre snap isn't going to be one of them.

threetoedpete
04-22-2010, 08:38 AM
I don't know about freedom, but I hope they give him the big American Samoan guard. that way if there's eight or nine in the box, they can run the play anyway.

76Texan
04-22-2010, 03:24 PM
Here's a play in which MS might have pulled an audible:

4th and 1 just outside the Dolphins 10.

Miami lined up with 5 men on the LOS plus 2 LBs (one of them inched up to the line).

Texans in 3-WR set with TE and Foster as the lone RB.

A run here would pit six blockers against seven defenders.
There's also the big possibility of a blitz.

So the Texans sent Foster wide to the left as a decoy.

The Dolphins blitzed 6.

Dreesen went out to take on one LB (who was dropping back).

AJ (from the slot) headed for the spot where the other LB had vacated (he was blitzing).

Quick pass MS to AJ. Touchdown Texans.

DocBar
04-23-2010, 01:37 AM
Here's a play in which MS might have pulled an audible:

4th and 1 just outside the Dolphins 10.

Miami lined up with 5 men on the LOS plus 2 LBs (one of them inched up to the line).

Texans in 3-WR set with TE and Foster as the lone RB.

A run here would pit six blockers against seven defenders.
There's also the big possibility of a blitz.

So the Texans sent Foster wide to the left as a decoy.

The Dolphins blitzed 6.

Dreesen went out to take on one LB (who was dropping back).

AJ (from the slot) headed for the spot where the other LB had vacated (he was blitzing).

Quick pass MS to AJ. Touchdown Texans.
I can see this being the called play since at 4 and 1 EVERYONE knows you're going to run the ball. I say 70-30 it was the called play.

thunderkyss
04-23-2010, 08:13 AM
That was a potential 2nd and 10 play if we had run a quick one to get out of being nailed with a fumble.

Nobody at the game thought there was anything at all going on, on that play. It was cut and dry as far as everyone was concerned. No reason to treat it any different than any other play downed at the one.

Even if Matt had that freedom (which is ridiculous, if you have to tell a QB that he can think for himself, he doesn't need to be thinking for himself. Beg for forgiveness, don't ask for permission). But even if he "had that freedom" he wouldn't have, because he didn't see any reason to.

If that were to happen, with 4:34 seconds left in the 3rd Qtr, it would have been a non-issue. It was only reviewed because it was inside 2 minutes (or actually just before the 2:00 min warning) and a commercial break.

And it was the wrong call to boot.

b0ng
04-23-2010, 11:04 AM
Nobody at the game thought there was anything at all going on, on that play. It was cut and dry as far as everyone was concerned. No reason to treat it any different than any other play downed at the one.

Even if Matt had that freedom (which is ridiculous, if you have to tell a QB that he can think for himself, he doesn't need to be thinking for himself. Beg for forgiveness, don't ask for permission). But even if he "had that freedom" he wouldn't have, because he didn't see any reason to.

If that were to happen, with 4:34 seconds left in the 3rd Qtr, it would have been a non-issue. It was only reviewed because it was inside 2 minutes (or actually just before the 2:00 min warning) and a commercial break.

And it was the wrong call to boot.

I can't see how you can say that first paragraph with a straight face. How do people not know what is going on? It even looked like Texans players were just milling about waiting for a play to be called while time ran down. I'm sorry but if I just ran a play and the guy carrying the ball had it pop loose at the end of the play, if we retained possession I would want another play run now. If either Kubiak notices this or Schaub notices I would want either guy to be able to get the offense together to say "run the ball now".

I'm pretty sure judging from the video that you can say that Schaub realized what was going on, but since he can't tell the offense what to do until it comes down from up on high, we have to wait for Kubiak and his clock management to get things together.

I believe this is still a situation where Schaub having more freedom would have benefited us and possibly have led to a W in Indy.

76Texan
04-23-2010, 12:27 PM
I can see this being the called play since at 4 and 1 EVERYONE knows you're going to run the ball. I say 70-30 it was the called play.
Perhaps it is.

Maybe it was a play with several options.

First, we spread the field w/3 receivers and a TE.
Then we lined Foster up in the bacfield, showing the possibility of a run.
MS saw that the Dolphins only had 4 to cover the 3 receivers (some teams would have 5).
If we run or sneak, they would have 7 men on the line and we would have only 6 to block.

So he sent Foster out to line up as a wide-out;
Miami didn't bulge. They are still concern that MS may sneak.

But now we have single coverage on all the receivers.
It makes sense to have a hot receiver running a quick slant to the middle.
If the MLB blitz or try to stop MS on a sneak, that interior will be wide open.

And that was the case.

thunderkyss
04-23-2010, 01:21 PM
I can't see how you can say that first paragraph with a straight face. How do people not know what is going on? It even looked like Texans players were just milling about waiting for a play to be called while time ran down.

I can say it, because that is how it happened. They are just milling around, because nobody thought anything of it. If any of them thought the play was questionable, they would have been hurrying to the line expecting to spike the ball. But they were all "milling around" waiting for the 2 minute warning.

I'm sorry but if I just ran a play and the guy carrying the ball had it pop loose at the end of the play, if we retained possession I would want another play run now.

Except the ball appeared to go out of bounds, and that is the way the refs called it.

If either Kubiak notices this or Schaub notices I would want either guy to be able to get the offense together to say "run the ball now".

I'm pretty sure judging from the video that you can say that Schaub realized what was going on, but since he can't tell the offense what to do until it comes down from up on high, we have to wait for Kubiak and his clock management to get things together.

That's a little over exaggeration. You make it sound like Kubiak is telling Matt which count to use, which receiver to throw it to, or when to step up, or step back in the pocket. I'm sure Matt has the same latitude every other QB has when it comes to calling a timeout, or throwing the ball away, or leaving the pocket.

If Matt "knew" something was up, and he didn't get his team to the line to spike the ball, we need to let the mental midget find another place to call home.

I believe this is still a situation where Schaub having more freedom would have benefited us and possibly have led to a W in Indy.

I'm not going to argue Matt needs more freedom, I believe he should. I'm sure once he's earned it, he'll get it. I just don't think this is one of those situations. The play happened. They waited several seconds for the 2 minute warning. We went to commercial, and it wasn't until we came back, that the red flag was thrown. It's not like the Colts "knew" the play was questionable.

barrett
04-25-2010, 01:03 AM
I think it's pretty inevitable things in our offense will change from year to year or we'd be incredibly easy game-plan for. As it stands one could say that many changes are going to happen over the off-season and even decision making duties have changed hands since Kubiak has been here.

To act as though our offensive design will work just as well from one year to the next seems like an easy way to fall behind the curve of other NFL teams.

I don't disagree with the concept that you have to change things to stay ahead of the curve as you put it. I'm not suggesting that everything about the offense should remain exactly the same.

The discussion that I thought I was commenting on was specifically about weather or not Gary should give Matt more freedom to audible at the line of scrimmage. That to me has less to do with the philosophy of how the offense is run and more of who is running it. I know no one is saying that Schaub should "run" the offense but it seems to me that Kubiak is using a system that involves a great deal of detail and order that wouldn't require Matt to change any kind of play but rather where he goes with the ball in the play that is called.

He requires Matt to be able to read the defense and throw the ball to the appropriate receiver based specifically on A: the pre-snap read and B: the post-snap read.. It wouldn't appear to me that in a system like that Matt would need to have more "freedom". In fact, the more comfortable he becomes the easier the post-snap reads should become because the plays are so consistent.

I feel like we were seeing that by late in the season in '09. Matt seemed to become extremely comfortable with the reads. The proof to me is how his pocket presence began to improve more and more from week to week. That's less thinking and more reacting. In my eyes that exactly what Kubiak wants. Read the D, react to their coverage and maybe pump your fist a little bit as your run off the field.