Join Date: Dec 2011
Re: Kubiak: Schaub couldn’t audible out of “very, very poor play”
and more in this great read. Links to the video are in the original article
The Audible Issue.
For some fans, that the Texans do not have a Peyton Manning-style audible system is a problem for this offense. And they look to the Pick-6 play in the Seattle game as evidence of that.
I’ve written in the past about how the Texans do audibles using words directly from the players. This is worth reviewing if you haven’t seen it. Basically, they audible about 30% of the plays, and not to the entire playbook. And the line and the quarterback have different responsibilities as it relates to the play and the line protections. They have the ability to audible from run to pass and vice versa, from a selection of two to three plays based on what they see from the defense.
Also worth noting that this isn’t a trust in Matt Schaub thing. Any quarterback running Gary Kubiak’s version of the West Coast offense would have the same system.
Ultimately, I think that Sage Rosenfels view of the Texans audible system is a sensible one. There are pros-cons to the way that the Texans do audibles. (Just to clarify, not all West Coast offenses do no traditional audibles. I think the headline of the podcast overstates Rosenfels’ point).
As it relates to the Pick-6 call, Gary Kubiak was asked a yes/no question of whether Matt Schaub had the freedom to audible out of that aggressive play call given what the defense did. And his response was, ““No, once we called it, started the motion, it was game on.”
If you watch the play, if the TE is in motion, and the defense declares after that starts, it is too late to audible out of that play whatever your audible system is. The quarterback’s responsibility is to not force a play if the defense does things that make the play not workable.
The Texans have done counter-intuitive, aggressive plays to close out games in the past. For example, check out the 5:17 mark of the Bengals-Texans highlights in the playoff game last year. Which leads to the larger point:
That Bengals play is not as aggressive as the one called against the Seahawks, but certainly could have been not successful. It was a risk/reward play that tried to nail the win.
My view of audibles is that it isn’t a huge problem. The Texans have had highly productive, efficient offenses with this exact system. If the quarterback does smart decision making, he eats dumb plays and can still take advantage of matchup issues he can see with what the defense is doing. You can look at audibles as “the problem,” though they really are allowed to change plays, or your can look at the simpler explanation:
The pass protection is a season killer if not fixed. It’s a problem for a non-mobile quarterback. It would be a problem for just about any quarterback. Part of the issue is that in games that you get behind, teams can pin their ears back. But that shouldn’t have been an issue in the Seahawks game. They had the lead for a large part of the game.
"I always said I wanted to play for one team, and to be able to play for the Houston Texans for the rest of my career, it's a tremendous honor." -Andre Johnson