Originally Posted by eriadoc
The other top 5 teams that were in shambles when Rick Smith came to Houston were, in order of draft pick, the Saints, Titans, Jets, Packers, and Niners. There are three Super Bowl wins and a couple extra championship games mixed in there. Do with that what you will; just thought I'd offer it up for consideration.
Saints - Had a winning record from 2000 to 2005, and reached playoffs once. Had one bad year in 2006 going 3-13. Have a winning record and gone to playoffs four times since 2006 with one Super Bowl. NOT SHAMBLES
Titans - Averaged 11 wins per season from 1999 to 2003, made playoffs 4 out of 5 years and went to Super Bowl. Had two poor seasons in 2004 and 2005. They rebounded with four years above .500 and two playoff appearances. NOT SHAMBLES
Jets - Had one losing season between 1997 to 2004 with four playoff appearances. Had one bad year in 2005. Posted winning record and 3 playoff appearances since. NOT SHAMBLES
Packers - 13 straight winning seasons from 1992 to 2004 with 10 playoff appearances and a Super Bowl win. One bad year in 2005. Have made playoffs 5 out of 7 years since. NOT SHAMBLES
Niners - Possibly the only "shambles" team in your list, because they had four straight losing seasons before 2006. Of course, the four losing seasons from 2007-2010 before becoming good the last two years looks an awful lot like Rick Smith's career trajectory.
So four of the five teams you mentioned were historically good and even playoff teams before having one bad season, quickly rebounding to their winning ways.
The Texans, on the other hand, were an expansion team that was 18-46 through four years, coming off of one of the worst seasons in NFL history with HWSNBN holding all of their career passing records, before bringing Kubiak and Smith on board. Big, big difference.