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Old 10-15-2013   #1
Vinny
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Default Don Banks: Kubiak appears to be out of answers

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In a remarkable NFL coaching career that spanned from Kennedy to Clinton, Don Shula managed to lose 156 regular-season games in his record-breaking 33-year run on the sideline. The most telling statistic that illustrates his success and explains his longevity? Only eight times during his memorable multi-decade run did his teams suffer through a losing streak of at least three games, or roughly once every four years on average.

Shula never experienced even a three-game losing skid with the Baltimore Colts from 1963-69, and his Miami Dolphins had just one three-game slump in his first five years in South Florida. That's 12 seasons, one three-game losing streak. The Dolphins would go on to experience five more three-gamers in his final 21 seasons, and even uncharacteristically dropped five in a row on two occasions. But that's it. Eight legitimate losing streaks in 33 seasons.

Did he have great quarterbacks for the majority of those years? You bet he did. Unitas, Griese and Marino are all Hall of Fame names. But Shula also had an extraordinary ability to fix problems and make corrections midseason, rarely letting his team's little flaws grow into a big, season-killing crisis. Bar none, that's the most vital part of a head coach's skill set, because when things go wrong and the sky starts falling, that's when they really earn their money. Or should anyway.



Which brings us to Gary Kubiak. The beleaguered Houston head coach is still in the first half of his eighth season with the Texans. But he's currently working on his ninth career losing streak of at least three games, with two-time defending AFC South champion Houston (2-4) dropping its past four games after a mirage-like 2-0 start to the season.

Let that sink in for a moment. In less than seven and a half seasons, Kubiak has already caught and passed Shula, at least in that one dubious distinction. In a fraction of the time, his Texans have already endured more prolonged slumps than Shula's teams did in three-plus decades. That's not a statistical milestone likely to be churned out in the pregame notes by Houston's public relations staff, but it's part of his record and it speaks volumes about what I think is the Texans' biggest underlying problem.

Kubiak's team is free-falling and he doesn't know where the cord is to pull the chute. Logic tells us a soft landing isn't likely.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl...#ixzz2hpc5k8Gr
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