Originally Posted by steelbtexan
Consecutive 12-4 seasons?
Manning got hurt and the Texans played a relatively easy schedule in the weakest division in the NFL.
The Texans won 12 games in 2011 (playoff game included)... including 5 of them with a rookie 5th round pick at QB and essentially without Andre Johnson. (How does the depth Rick Smith developed via the draft compare with what Bill Polian had minus Peyton Manning?)
Then, the won 13 games the next season (playoff game included), without the services of Brian Cushing most of the season and a diminished Schaub, resulting from his injury in 2011... How does that roster and cap management compare with what Indy did, with the good fortune of falling into Andrew Luck's draft pick?... The two teams played essentially identical schedules over the course of the two seasons (The Texans schedule only appears weaker, according to record, because Indy played the Texans while the Texans played Indy over those 4 games).
I have issues with some personnel decisions the Texans have made. But, I'm not going to hold Rick Smith responsible for things he had nothing to do with...
His draft record is pretty good... It's even better if you are correct about how poor of a coach Gary Kubiak was. Smith put together a team with multiple All-pros. He drafted those players without ever having the luxury of a top 5 pick. All of the Indy Colts success throughout their domination of the AFC South is a direct result of capitalizing on the good fortune of the 1st pick in the draft (Peyton and Luck). As you asserted earlier, the Colts are nothing without that one, single person... Essentially, that means the Colts would've had similar success if Mel Kiper was their GM.
It will be interesting to see how the talent acquisition changes with the new staff. It will also be interesting to see how the new staff assesses the existing talent. Are you going to credit Rick Smith with his drafting prowess if guys like: Mercilus, Hopkins, B.Brooks, Swearinger, T. Williams, Quessenburry, KJ, Posey, B.Harris appear to be more effective players in 2014 and 2015? Or, will you then argue that Smith doesn't deserve credit, but their success is due to the coaching staff?
I would just like to see some consistency from the anti-Smith crowd. Please explain how much responsibility the coaching staff has for the development, assessment, and quality of play from the players. I should make a correction: the arguments have been consistent- if a player under-performs, Smith and Kubiak are both 100% responsible for their failure. If a player over-performs, it is a fluke and neither deserve any credit. It is the only way to bash Kubiak for failing as a coach in 2011 and in 2012 while still discrediting Rick Smith's assembly of the talent capable of winning 25 games in two seasons with an awful head coach.