View Single Post
Old 02-12-2014   #1
CloakNNNdagger
Hall of Fame
 
CloakNNNdagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,469
Rep Power: 266923 CloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respectedCloakNNNdagger is a quality contributor and well respected
Default Our New Schemes on Both Sides of the Ball Will Promote Adaptability

Expect a different battle cry. Look for the old "We must work HARDER" to turn to "We must work SMARTER."

Pulled this very astute piece by Rivers McCown published near the end of last season.

Quote:
Case Keenum and The Dumbening of the Texans
December 16, 2013


I once saw Case Keenum’s existence as a blight upon the Texans. Not because I didn’t enjoy his work (I went to the University of Houston), and not because I thought he was untalented — but because his background inevitably meant that radio callers would wonder why he wasn’t starting yet. It’s the Tim Tebow Jacksonville syndrome taken to a much smaller scale — a loud minority that stakes a claim on a bandwagon that seems kind of ridiculous.

But after this season, I am thrilled with Case Keenum, because his play has illustrated a core problem that the Texans have. The people involved in this organization are not dumb men, but they are men that are married to the ideas that got them to where they are today. There is no learning on the Houston Texans. Keenum’s development shows exactly why that is. Here is what we know about Keenum’s short time as a starter:

– Keenum started off by hitting the deep balls that Matt Schaub could not. Through Week 15, Keenum’s average deep pass has gone 26.9 yards in the air — only Ryan Tannehill and Jason Campbell have thrown deeper among quarterbacks with more than 30 attempts. With no time to prepare Keenum for the intimate details of the offense, Gary Kubiak adjusted his scheme to fit the player. They ran plenty of play-action. They mostly kept him in shotgun or pistol looks. And through his first three starts, he had 231 DYAR against two of the three best defenses in the league — Arizona and Kansas City (with Justin Houston) — and a Colts pass defense that has yo-yoed between good and bad throughout the season.

– Kubiak benched him for Schaub, twice, late in games. The original reason given was that he does not know the proper protection schemes. My (admittedly unchecked) observation is that Kubiak did not trust Keenum without a running back in the backfield, and moving to Schaub would presumably avoid hot read confusion, which has been an issue for Keenum. Of course, Keenum ran a no-huddle spread offense pretty well in college, but okay, sure, the protection scheme is an issue. Not an undying belief in an obsolete quarterback. Got it.

– Bob McNair, at the press conference firing Kubiak, praised Kubiak to the rafters. He also explained to the remaining coaching staff in no uncertain terms that Case Keenum was the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans for the rest of the season.

– And then, this week, Texans fans were treated to a completely inept offensive display, where Keenum mostly stayed in the pocket and checked down, the Texans barely ran any play-action, and deep passes were almost non-existent in the game plan. This is the kind of game plan you’d put in if you were intentionally tanking a season. But the Texans have been so adamant that they’re putting full effort in and trying their best down the stretch that they couldn’t even give us that sliver of hope that somebody upstairs decided it was time to throw in the towel. No, it’s the fact that this was a game plan they intentionally came up with that is the saddest thing of all.

In those first three weeks, Keenum threw 20 deep balls and garnered 176 DYAR on them. Practically all of his positive value as a quarterback was coming from his ability to make the deep throw. In five weeks since, his DYAR on deep balls has dropped to -8, and his average deep ball is going just 25.4 yards in the air past the line of scrimmage. It was nearly 29 in the first three games.

Is it possible that Keenum just rode a hot start and wasn’t really that talented at all? Sure. I think there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical of an undrafted quarterback. But the fact that he did it against fairly good competition stands out to me. My evaluation of Keenum right now is, to steal a Matt Waldman trope, that he’s on the Titans quarterback scale. He’s somewhere behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jake Locker, with a ceiling in between the two. It’s funny to picture him as Locker because of the obvious physical differences, but that’s how they play: inconsistent on short passes, can run around all day, and can make any throw on the field even if they often won’t. I think he’s got a career as a backup, and with a little development he’s got a chance to be more.

Well, here’s the problem, then: when you shift from using a player the way he’s best used to trying to make him fit your system, it’s obviously going to destroy his value to some extent. Most players are not as extreme as Keenum — as we just went over, almost all Keenum’s value comes from throwing deep — but to me that points to a failure of coaching. A failure of properly utilizing the parts you have in the best possible way.
FOR THE REST OF THE STORY CLICK THE LINK IN THE TITLE
CloakNNNdagger is offline   Reply With Quote