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Old 04-11-2013   #24
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Default Re: [Grantland] Hey, Don't F*$% This Up: The Houston Texans' Outdated Offense

Originally Posted by deucetx View Post
Your first line contradicts your last statement. I wasn't saying that you were stating they are imitating the total Texans offense because quite honestly that would be a bit silly. And I'm sure the Ravens did pick it up since they started messing with ZB in 2011.

Either way that wasn't my point. My point was what does someone imitating or taking points from our zone blocking system have to do with the issues we have on offense? In the NFL everyone takes something from everyone. This isn't something the Texans have exclusively. Our offense isn't horrible so of course other teams will take finer points and see how to install them into their own or find ways to adjust it to their benefit. Every single team does this. It's nothing new.

The point is the offense has issues that need to be addressed, adjusted or changed. We shouldn't have problems when we're down against a good team if we wish to be among the elites. We shouldn't look out of sync when things don't go perfectly to plan or the script. We shouldn't be handicapped on 3rd and 8+ yards. For the personnel on this team and having an offensive minded coach you would expect our 3rd down conversions to be 40%+. You would never suspect we'd go 6 quarters without scoring a touchdown against bottom half or medicore defenses, etc.

So someone imitating or taking points from the things we actually do well on offense does not erase the issues at hand. That is the point. Yay they imitated the one thing we do excellent in. Great. But now we earned 1st place schedules so will have to perform against these top tier teams consistently. Not showing up offensively one moment and completely becoming a field goal-a-thon the next won't cut it. Whether it is playcalling, personnel usage, or scheme, something needs to change to keep the team consistent which last year definitely was not the case especially after the bye.

It's as simple as if you want to go to the next level (which they do and fans should too) then you have to raise your level of play.

That's a huge problem around here: Fans looking at Schaub's stats, showing Schaub's numbers to AJ (completions, yards, etc.), talking about our rankings on offense...all of it, they say, is some sort of indicator that all is well and we just need this or that to jump to the next level.

I don't want to talk about stats. In the NBA, for a few years, the Phoenix Suns had crazy insane numbers...unbeatable, can't keep up with them, they out-hustle defenses, they're built for speed, blah blah blah...and yet they never won a title. Were never even really close, actually. So the STATS game is not where titles are won. And that's Kubiak's overriding problem, as well.

With Gary Kubiak, you get the sense that he thinks his offense and his guys--if they perform the way they should--it should end up with the good guys (Texans) winning the game. He's built an offense, he's stocked it with his guys, he's loyal to his guys, and if those guys will just run the plays and do what he wants (how he wants it) then it should add up to a victory.

When watching A Football Life: Tom Landry, the entire underlying framework of what Tom Landry was about was his idea that IF his players would just run his plays, the way they should run them based on how Landry wanted them to, then they would win. The interviews with players echoed this over and over, to the point that the players said "You really honestly felt like you were just a drone. Like you needed to just do what Coach Landry said and that's all there was to victory. Do it his way, every time, and the system would be unbeatable." I'm paraphrasing there, but you get the drift. When I saw that documentary, it really turned on a light bulb for me in terms of what Kubiak's biggest downfall is. He has a form of Tom Landry Syndrome, the idea that you've built the perfect offense and you've got the perfect guys for all that needs to happen is for them to do it the way you want them to do it and it means victory on Sundays.

In a way, it's worked. But only in the sense that it's enabled us to beat teams who are either at our level of talent or teams below us. When we have to play "up" to teams such as GB and NE, we can't. Those are the games where crafty, innovative, and just plain "nasty" head coaching has to push the guys over the top against teams like Patriots and Packers.

In essence, it kinda' sucks that Gary basically has this philosophy that his system and his guys are good enough to win every Sunday just on the merits of their knowledge and execution of his system. How many times have we seen this team come off a bye week, the past however many seasons now, and they looks flat? They had two weeks to rest and get ready for a team and they blew it. How about the fact that you got your ass spanked by the Patriots in the reg season and the best you could manage in the playoffs against them was to at least not look as pathetic as you did before? How can you continue to call plays that don't work, give up on 3rd and long ROUTINELY, and how do you not fire a really really bad special teams coach?

At the end of the day, your numbers can look good but you're not really achieving anything of true factual significance. Ask Barry Sanders about all his crazy stats he had; ask him if he wanted those stats or HOF entry or a Super Bowl Title the most. I bet he'd say Super Bowl Title.

Stats are fun. But stats do not win championships. Good coaches, good players, and making your own luck DO win championships. Gary needs to dig deep into the suitcase of courage and start watching game-deciding field goals, start letting his guys compete on 3rd and long, and make changes at positions such as special teams...but he won't. He even had to have his hand forced on firing Frank Bush, basically being advised that if he stayed with Frank in 2011 and things stayed bad that it would be everyone's head on the chopping block for having stuck with his guy.

And it pisses me off. We finally have a competent defense under a real d-coord and it's being wasted. All because Gary values his ideology more than the overriding concept of TEAM FOOTBALL. Sure, he takes the blame for his guys' failures. That's nice. Sure, he sticks with underperforming coaches because he wants them to work out of a rut and get back to winning form. That's nice. Sure, he has some decent stats every year. That's nice.

But nice doesn't win hardware in February. And I think that's what Michael Lombardi and others mean when they say the Texans are soft, or that we're posers and phonies. We're the Phoenix Suns of the NFL.
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