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Old 10-22-2007   #1
Hervoyel
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Default Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

I am starting to believe that we have a "better" coach with the same problem as our previous coach.

Make no mistake about this, I'm not talking about whether or not these are good people, good men. I don't think that you can take anything away from Dom Capers (or Gary Kubiak for that matter) in terms of their character or quailty. Both of them are good men and I'm speaking only about them professionally.

Dom Capers was a good man, a quality defensive coordinator, and a poor NFL head coach who stuck by his assistant coaches to the bitter end. That "bitter end" was destined to happen because Dom didn't understand that you have to accept sometimes that something isn't working. You have to send a defensive coordinator or assistant coach packing. That he's your friend is beside the point. that you believed in him is beside the point. When something isn't working it isn't working and you must accept that and correct it.

Dom wouldn't, or couldn't do this and I'm starting to suspect that Gary Kubiak is going to have a similar problem.

Richard Smith's defense isn't working. Mike Sherman"s offense isn't working. A defense that can't put pressure on a QB is about as useless as an offense that can't run the football. Some thoughts I have on this and some decisions that have to be made follow;

Richard Smith and his "so-unpredictable-we-don't-even-know-what-we're-doing" defense has got to go regardless of how supposedly "aggressive" they think they are. They stink. You can point to the job they did yesterday and say they did a good job considering if you like. I still see a team that had almost 40 points hung on them yesterday. I still see a team that couldn't make a stop when it absolutely had to have one.

Do we need personnel? Of course we do. Can this bunch play good enough to win? Yes, they can. Are the people responsible for teaching them a defensive system and getting them prepared to play getting this done? No they're not. There are quality defensive coordinators out there. Go get one and stop wasting the limited number of years that these first round linemen have with Richard Smith's defensive quackery.

Mike Sherman needs to move on and he probably will following this season (if he's smart and we're lucky). His ideas and Gary Kubiaks ideas do not seem to be compatible and our offense looks like the kind of "Frankenstein Monster" you would expect to see when you patch together two different philosophies like that. Anyone who can't see that this isn't working is deluding themselves and I'd like to think that Bob McNair is experienced enough now to not need four years to connect these dots all on his own. I'd like to think that Rick Smith is intelligent enough to not make him do that.

Again here on this side of the ball the question remains "Do we need personnel?" and again the answer is "Yes, of course we do". The problem here is that you can't definitively say that this bunch can play better than they are today. I think we're getting the best we can out of these guys and I'm afraid that's not saying much.

Chester Pitts is having maybe his worst season as a Texan (excluding his rookie year) while Fred Weary is having maybe his best season. Our Guards are schizophrenic but then again maybe this is due to some of the turnstiles and weaklings surrounding them.

Eric Winston is doing well but he plays RT like a LT if you get my meaning. He plays it a bit too "refined" to truly be effective. "The caveman" is going to have to get a little more primitive over there if he's really going to make his mark and lock that spot down for a decade.

Ephraim Salaam can play maybe a half of football and then he's done.. He looks like a kid with asthma in the second half of just about every game he plays. By the fourth quarter the Texans should be bringing in Jordan Black and sitting Salaam down. No, Black isn't better than Salaam. He is better than an exhausted, winded Salaam however.

Mike Flannagan does not belong in the NFL today. He would be just settling into "Life After Football" if it wasn't for his connectiion with Mike Sherman. If we had a better option I think he'd be out there. We need players badly.

Even accepting the fact that our current healthy players are in many ways lacking it's difficult to imagine that they couldn't play better than we've seen them play over the last 5 weeks. I want to know what kind of lineman are we looking for in this Green Denver Bay Zone Power Blocking "thing" that we're doing here. We seem to have run all of the "Herman Munster" types out of town and tried to go with guys with better feet but we also seem to be trying to run the ball in a manner that to me at least implies the need for those big ol' road grader types. We don't have any of those guys.

What exactly are we trying to do there? Can anyone tell me what kind of linemen we are in pursuit of and more importantly why those linemen don't seem to fit what we're trying to do?

Beyond the offensive line and their mixed up "Shermubiak" system is the Texans running game. The Ahman Green signing has proven about as effective as the Mike Flannagan signing. This team is like some kind of great running back graveyard where careers either never happen or go to die. Green is on empty and while he didn't sign a cap-killer deal he is money down the drain for nothing in return (again). I was terrified of this when we signed him and take no pleasure in appearing to have been right about being worried.

We need a running back in the worst possible way. When you lack an offensive line that can open holes that anybody can run through you need to fix that and of course doing so takes time. One thing you can do with a single draft pick (assuming one is available) is grab a running back who can create something on his own. Our line sucks and our running game suffers because of it. We all know that. If Adrian Peterson had fallen to us and been picked instead of Amobi Okoye does anyone really believe he'd be missing the creases like Gado does or running into the backs of his blockers like Dayne does?

We need a real running back. Not a re-tread or somebody's backup who everyone suspects might be the real deal. We need a young, fast, strong running back who can break open his own daylight from time to time. We need to replace the entire backfield. Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado don't belong in the NFL. Ahman Green is probably a season away from retirement and nobody should be expecting him to carry any kind of load.

Some things have gone very right this year on offense. QB, WR, and TE are all "done". We have our players there. We are "improved". Coach Kubiak can't ignore what isn't right though. He can't pull a Dom Capers on us and spend four years telling us that Richard Smith is a quality defensive coordinator. He can't let Mike Sherman tinker on offense for four years trying to make pieces from two different puzzles fit together. We just saw that with his predecessor and Texans fans won't sit still for it again. This year will be a .500 or so campaign but once it's over and we've staggered into another long off-season then the Texans need to make some moves and not just to bring in more talent.
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Old 10-22-2007   #2
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

"You Must Spread Some Rep Around"

Well thought out post. I have nothing much to add except I'll be severely disappointed if our draft and FA doesn't revolve around RB( a keeper, not the retread), CB and O-line. Sounds easy but we need to find someone to make the D-line work because the investment is already too high. We need a RB we can say.."this is the guy" and not a bunch of guys that hit the hole 5 seconds after it is swallowed back up. Dunta needs help. The O-line is patchwork.
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Old 10-22-2007   #3
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

McNair got too close to his QB, and kept him around much longer than he should have. Lets hope he doesn't do the same thing with Kubiak if a change needs to made, and maybe sooner than later.
Marty Schottenheimer anyone ?
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Old 10-22-2007   #4
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

I think Kubes made the mistake of thinking his system would make crap RBs great like in Denver, but didn't bring the cheap-shot blocking scheme with him, which was the key to Denver's offense.
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Old 10-22-2007   #5
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

I think a lot of coaches go out and try to find personnel to run their system, instead of adapting their system to the personnel that they have. That and the "I'm the smartest guy in the room" syndrome seem to be the downfall of most coaches that fail. Sometimes a big dose of common sense would do these coaches some good.
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Old 10-22-2007   #6
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

I just posted this somewhere else...but it's worth stating here in this thread.

defense was awful...the more I watch mario the more he becomes JAG. the "just a guys" on a team should not take up too much cap room or you end up with a team building on a foundation of sand (think of the David Carr offense). The Titans were without their top WR, their top RB, and their starting QB. I've mentioned many times that it's hard to score TD's without your elite skill guys and it applies to the teams not named the Texans also.

and the offense...oye...all that bad offense in the first half was just a matter of three things...lack of talent, bad coaching/schemes (Kubiak outcoached), and losing the battle in the trenches. All that said...when the offense gives your team the lead with under a min left and you are kicking off to a team that doesn't have their game breaker RB in, their starting QB in (Collins is a lifetime 55% passer), and without their best WR....you should win. Until teams have to worry about our pass rush we will not be a good team in the NFL. The first thing I asked myself on that long pass to win the game was where the F was the safety?
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Old 10-22-2007   #7
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
the more I watch mario the more he becomes JAG. the "just a guys" on a team should not take up too much cap room or you end up with a team building on a foundation of sand (think of the David Carr offense).
I seriously doubt that Mario (and his agent, and his family, etc.) would be a party to renegotiating his contract downward to where the ownership and coachs would feel comfortable with his salary/cap-amount, if it comes to that. And cutting Mario outright would dump onto McNairs lap the mother-of-all PR problems.
How much time do they give him to mature/develope ? What to do ?
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Old 10-22-2007   #8
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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Originally Posted by nunusguy View Post
I seriously doubt that Mario (and his agent, and his family, etc.) would be a party to renegotiating his contract downward to where the ownership and coachs would feel comfortable with his salary/cap-amount, if it comes to that. And cutting Mario outright would dump onto McNairs lap the mother-of-all PR problems.
How much time do they give him to mature/develope ? What to do ?
that's the problem with drafting workout warriors...you hope they develop and if they don't, you end up with a workout warrior. There isn't much you can do.
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Old 10-22-2007   #9
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nunusguy View Post
I seriously doubt that Mario (and his agent, and his family, etc.) would be a party to renegotiating his contract downward to where the ownership and coachs would feel comfortable with his salary/cap-amount, if it comes to that. And cutting Mario outright would dump onto McNairs lap the mother-of-all PR problems.
How much time do they give him to mature/develope ? What to do ?

He has serious potential even still. His physical ability is too much to let go this early in his career. But he is playing like he did in college. He plays well against the crappy teams, and does nothing against the "good" teams. He lacks a "go to move" as well as the ability to use more than one or two moves per game. I blame a lot of this on the coaching he has recieved, but even still, he should be able to pick some stuff up along the way in the NFL, especially when what he has been doing hasn't been working.
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Old 10-22-2007   #10
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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that's the problem with drafting workout warriors...you hope they develop and if they don't, you end up with a workout warrior. There isn't much you can do.
Mario hasn't had the time to develop. I don't think is has been 3 seasons yet, so it is still unfair to label him a bust.
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Old 10-22-2007   #11
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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Originally Posted by nunusguy View Post
McNair got too close to his QB, and kept him around much longer than he should have. Lets hope he doesn't do the same thing with Kubiak if a change needs to made, and maybe sooner than later.
Marty Schottenheimer anyone ?
Doesn't Marty control the defense mostly, and run a 3-4? or am I completely off base on both those assumptions. I thought Marty was a great coach, and that our team has a lot of the same makeup as SD does, but Marty was able to bring it out in the regular season. However, if he does run a 3-4 like I think, we have shifted our personel to a 4-3, and while we could adapt some players, it wouldn't be worth it. Also, I doubt Marty settles for anything less than HC, because if I'm a GM with a losing team, he is one of the first guys I go after in the offseason.
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Old 10-22-2007   #12
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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He has serious potential even still. His physical ability is too much to let go this early in his career. But he is playing like he did in college. He plays well against the crappy teams, and does nothing against the "good" teams. He lacks a "go to move" as well as the ability to use more than one or two moves per game. I blame a lot of this on the coaching he has recieved, but even still, he should be able to pick some stuff up along the way in the NFL, especially when what he has been doing hasn't been working.
I look at it this way...when you are superior physically you can get away with athletic ability alone and overpower competition in high school and college. When you play people on your own level, you either need a better motor or better technique. Mario got away with padding stats by beating on the sisters of the poor in college but got shut down when playing similar competition. In the pros almost every player is a great athlete in some shape or form, but you really need the motor and technique. You'd think what you said is right and he'd pick something up.
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Old 10-22-2007   #13
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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Originally Posted by YoungTexanFan View Post
He has serious potential even still. His physical ability is too much to let go this early in his career. But he is playing like he did in college. He plays well against the crappy teams, and does nothing against the "good" teams. He lacks a "go to move" as well as the ability to use more than one or two moves per game. I blame a lot of this on the coaching he has recieved, but even still, he should be able to pick some stuff up along the way in the NFL, especially when what he has been doing hasn't been working.
He beat up guys who didn't have the physical ability to stay with him. You don't find those matchups in the NFL too often.

What does "serious potential" mean if you have no football skill or instinct for the game? Do you remember when that wrestler named Brock Lesnar worked out for the Vikings? He is everything you want when looking for "serious potential" in an athlete in a sport such as football. He couldn't overcome his lack of instinct, football smarts, and ability to harness all that potential when dealing with NFL veterans. For all his immense physical ability guys with lesser potential whipped his ass all the time.

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Old 10-22-2007   #14
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

Herv your post sums up everything I have been thinking about the Texans. Just a flat out spot on great post.

I couldn't believe the way they played those first 3 quarters. I paid good money for a parking pass, tickets, hotel, food, and gas to drive up to Houston to watch that pathetic performance. 3rd game I have been to this year so the cost adds up. All I ask in return is put forth your best effort to win. Play hard for 4 quarters. Get more than 25 yards of offense in a half. At least more yards than penalty yards. And please quit letting scrub qbs look like Peyton Manning against us. I don't want to go back to the days where our team didn't even look like an NFL team. Please no!

Where is the team that won in Carolina?
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Old 10-22-2007   #15
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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He beat up guys who didn't have the physical ability to stay with him. You don't find those matchups in the NFL too often.

What does "serious potential" mean if you have no football skill or instinct for the game? Do you remember when that wrestler named Brock Lesnar worked out for the Vikings? He is everything you want when looking for "serious potential" in an athlete in a sport such as football. He couldn't overcome his lack of instinct, football smarts, and ability to harness all that potential when dealing with NFL veterans. For all his immense physical ability guys with lesser potential whipped his ass all the time.

This is essientially what I was getting at. By "serious potential", I mean that he has enough physical gifts to overcome some of his inabilities, and some time left to learn some things. He will never produce similar to DeMeco, but he will always have the chance to destroy a OT based on his physical gifts. I don't think Mario will ever be a Peppers, but I think he can be a pretty solid guy who averages about 8 sacks a season.
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Old 10-22-2007   #16
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

Too bad Mario doesn't get paid by the number of benchpress reps or his vertical. He would be an all-pro in those areas.
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Old 10-22-2007   #17
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

Great post, Herv!

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Originally Posted by Leahmic223 View Post
Mario hasn't had the time to develop. I don't think is has been 3 seasons yet, so it is still unfair to label him a bust.
How much time should we give him to at least show some of that almighty "potential" we keep hearing about?

While I will not label him a 'bust' at this point, I do have to admit that his radioactivity is starting to be noticed on the bustometer readings. Cook or get the heck out of the kitchen, IMO. Waiting five years for a player to realize his "potential" should have been a lesson learned on this team already.
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Old 10-22-2007   #18
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

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Originally Posted by YoungTexanFan View Post
This is essientially what I was getting at. By "serious potential", I mean that he has enough physical gifts to overcome some of his inabilities, and some time left to learn some things. He will never produce similar to DeMeco, but he will always have the chance to destroy a OT based on his physical gifts. I don't think Mario will ever be a Peppers, but I think he can be a pretty solid guy who averages about 8 sacks a season.
you are living in a dreamworld if you think that Mario will ever "destroy" NFL OT's with his physical gifts. Most OT's "get destroyed" because they can't handle guys with great technique. Little bitty DE's like Freeney will always rush the passer better than physical freaks like Mario who don't seem to be able to get off blocks once OT's get their hands on him...most of that is technique and attitude.
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Old 10-22-2007   #19
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

I was noticing that the Titans QB would drop back and the ball would be gone before a pass rush could occur. Then I was watching other games in the day and the QB would have to look for an open receiver. I think some of the blame for the lack of pass rush is on the secondary/linebackers who arn't covering.
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Old 10-22-2007   #20
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Default Re: Kubiak: Better Coach, Same Problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalTexan View Post
I was noticing that the Titans QB would drop back and the ball would be gone before a pass rush could occur. Then I was watching other games in the day and the QB would have to look for an open receiver. I think some of the blame for the lack of pass rush is on the secondary/linebackers who arn't covering.
I think we often see Texans CB's playing far back from the LOS and I know that at least a couple of times this season we've had guys like Clark covering people that they were clearly incapable of handling. There's a thread in here asking if Robinson is our only DB and it might be reasonable to ask if DeMeco Ryans is our only LB as well. Not that Greenwood hasn't been playing well this year or that other DB's haven't had their moments. No team is made up entirely of Pro Bowl players but if you're talking about the Texans defense you've got Ryans and Robinson and they're about your only real "cream of the crop" kind of guys. Amobi is a "someday maybe, we hope" as is Mario. Travis is a "no sign of being a force yet".

I'd say on those short drop-quick pass plays the DB's and LB's are at least as much at fault as the pressure from the line. I didn't see the game yesterday so I have to take your word for it that those made up a big part of the Titans offense. If so then that's relevent.
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