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Old 04-29-2009   #1
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Default McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

The Houston Texans in the playoffs? John McClain seems to thinks it just might be time.

Here is the beginning and end of his article on the topic in the Houston Chronicle. The middle part can be read at the link.

Quote:
McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

Gary Kubiak has been in coaching long enough to know that if he doesn’t lead the Texans to their first winning record and their first playoff appearance he could be reunited with Mike Shanahan in a place like Washington or Dallas.

Kubiak has two seasons left on the five-year contract he signed to leave Denver to coach his hometown team. The Texans’ performance next season could cause owner Bob McNair to reward Kubiak with a contract extension or give him a pink slip out of town.

Kubiak knows expectations are incredibly high, and rightfully so, but don’t forget that he’s as pumped as anybody.
Schedule a plus

Last season’s 5-1 finish, a favorable schedule that has the Texans opening with three of four at home and a defense that has been improved by four free-agent signings and five draft choices have caused expectations to skyrocket.

Kubiak knows high expectations equals big-time pressure, but he doesn’t seem concerned about his job.
Quote:
Truthfully, it would take a monumental collapse to cause McNair to fire Kubiak. McNair likes and respects his coach. McNair didn’t want to fire Dom Capers after the 2005 season, but he had no choice after the 2-14 debacle.

It’s difficult to imagine the Texans having that kind of collapse, not with the confidence they developed at the end of last season, the schedule they have and the talent they’ve procured on both sides of the ball.

More than likely, the Texans will have the kind of season that pads Kubiak’s bank account and leaves him looking for his fourth offensive coordinator because the one he has will be joining Shanahan in a place like Washington or Dallas.
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Old 04-29-2009   #2
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

I think people get caught up in "making the playoffs". I'm happy if they make a dramatic improvement. Because they can go 11-5 and still not make the playoffs, (Patriots 2008). I am looking for these things:

1. Defense has to improve. They must get much more pressure on the QB and improve their run defense. Someone other than mario will have to get more than 8 sacks. The point totals against the defense will decrease if this happens.

2. They must score in the red zone,TD's not Fg's, at a decent rate. They will be a real juggernaut on offense if this happens.

3. They must stay healthy. Especially Schaub, Slaton and Mario. If schaub goes down again this year for a significant amount of time, then they will probably have to go another way. I hope Slaton holds up especially not having a real backup. And I don't even wanna touch the reality if Mario goes down.

These are all obvious points but it's really just as simple as that.
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Old 04-29-2009   #3
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray View Post
I think people get caught up in "making the playoffs". I'm happy if they make a dramatic improvement. Because they can go 11-5 and still not make the playoffs, (Patriots 2008). I am looking for these things:

1. Defense has to improve. They must get much more pressure on the QB and improve their run defense. Someone other than mario will have to get more than 8 sacks. The point totals against the defense will decrease if this happens.

2. They must score in the red zone,TD's not Fg's, at a decent rate. They will be a real juggernaut on offense if this happens.

3. They must stay healthy. Especially Schaub, Slaton and Mario. If schaub goes down again this year for a significant amount of time, then they will probably have to go another way. I hope Slaton holds up especially not having a real backup. And I don't even wanna touch the reality if Mario goes down.

These are all obvious points but it's really just as simple as that.
rep.

there's too many Texans fans who are placing unrealistic expectations on the team...even before TC. we still reside in a tough division, and steady progress towards being a playoff capable team is the goal.
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Old 04-29-2009   #4
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune



Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray View Post
I think people get caught up in "making the playoffs". I'm happy if they make a dramatic improvement. Because they can go 11-5 and still not make the playoffs, (Patriots 2008). I am looking for these things:

1. Defense has to improve. They must get much more pressure on the QB and improve their run defense. Someone other than mario will have to get more than 8 sacks. The point totals against the defense will decrease if this happens.

2. They must score in the red zone,TD's not Fg's, at a decent rate. They will be a real juggernaut on offense if this happens.

3. They must stay healthy. Especially Schaub, Slaton and Mario. If schaub goes down again this year for a significant amount of time, then they will probably have to go another way. I hope Slaton holds up especially not having a real backup. And I don't even wanna touch the reality if Mario goes down.

These are all obvious points but it's really just as simple as that.
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Old 04-29-2009   #5
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Oak View Post
rep.

there's too many Texans fans who are placing unrealistic expectations on the team...even before TC. we still reside in a tough division, and steady progress towards being a playoff capable team is the goal.
I don't know if our division is as tough as it once was....

I'm not giving Tennessee anything. They'll have to do it again, before I believe they can repeat last years success. I honestly don't fear their defense, neither do I fear the Jags defense anymore.

Our division was tough, because those teams built stout defenses to battle Indy. And Indy was mechanical in their success. I don't believe that's there anymore. I think they'll have to fight for Wins like every other team.

I'm not saying we're going to the play-offs.... But I do believe we should have a winning record in our division. IMHO, that's our next step.
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Old 04-29-2009   #6
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray View Post
I think people get caught up in "making the playoffs". I'm happy if they make a dramatic improvement. Because they can go 11-5 and still not make the playoffs, (Patriots 2008). I am looking for these things:

1. Defense has to improve. They must get much more pressure on the QB and improve their run defense. Someone other than mario will have to get more than 8 sacks. The point totals against the defense will decrease if this happens.

2. They must score in the red zone,TD's not Fg's, at a decent rate. They will be a real juggernaut on offense if this happens.

3. They must stay healthy. Especially Schaub, Slaton and Mario. If schaub goes down again this year for a significant amount of time, then they will probably have to go another way. I hope Slaton holds up especially not having a real backup. And I don't even wanna touch the reality if Mario goes down.

These are all obvious points but it's really just as simple as that.
I think if we do all these things we will make the playoffs.

First step though is we HAVE to go at least 3-3 in our division.
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Old 04-29-2009   #7
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

When the Texans do make the playoffs, I want them to stay at that level for a long time- none of this flash in the pan stuff. If it takes a little longer to get there, so be it. From the looks of things, the FO seems to be building towards that.

I used to be very impatient as far as the playoffs were concerned, but I believe the coaches and Rick Smith know what they're doing. When we get to that level, we need to stay there. Maybe not win the division every year, but consistently make the playoffs, and be a threat to go all the way. I'd be happy if we can do that.
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Old 04-29-2009   #8
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune



I'm still waiting for our first winning season. I'm not going to expect the playoffs until they can at least accomplish more wins than losses in a season.
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Old 04-29-2009   #9
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldensilence View Post
I think if we do all these things we will make the playoffs.

First step though is we HAVE to go at least 3-3 in our division.
Going at least 3-3 in our division most likely will go hand in hand with reaching the playoffs.
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Old 04-29-2009   #10
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

I don't think McCain writes for diehard fans. Which is cool. Just an observation though...
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Old 04-29-2009   #11
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

This is the first year that I expect the Texans to have a winning record and reach the playoffs.

The last two years I've loved our progress, although it's been slower than most have hoped. My wish was that Kubiak & Smith build the team the right way so that once we're "good" we stay "good". I was willing for the Texans to take longer to become a comlete team than for us to be a 1 year wonder, so to speak. Get to the playoffs but then not go back for a while = blah.

This is first year I am really impressed with our team as a whole. I still think there's room for improvement, but I think we have quality starters and quality depth at virtually every position. I like what Bush/Kollar are going to do with the Front 7 and think that will play a huge part in our defensive success. I think the FA's we got Antonio Smith, Cato June and Shaun Cody will play a big part in this. Add Cushing and Barwin and it's fantastic.

On offense I think Schaub will cut his turnovers down, I think the line (even if it's same 5) will be better than last year. WR are solid and TE's look much more intruiging now. I like Dano as our backup QB, and LOVE the 3 offensive draft picks. I think we need another RB to compliment Slaton still. I like the addition of the two UDFA's but I'm cautiously optimistic about their contributions.

Again, this is the first year that I really feel like we have a good team from top to bottom. I like our coaches a lot and have faith in them. I think we'll have our first winning season and we'll reach the playoffs. I also think from this season forward, we're on our way to being a perennial playoff team. No joke about it.
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Old 04-29-2009   #12
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

I'm with Ole Miss, CND, tedr, and Goldensilence on a few of their points.

I think it would take a complete repeat of Dom Capers' 2-14 season for Kubiak to be fired. In fact, I think the guy will be a long-term guy unless he desires to go somewhere else. But the synergy that he and Rick Smith have is something that will cause him to think long and hard if he ever desires to leave.

Look at the coaches that were hired the same year that Kubiak was hired. IIRC, there was an espn.com poll that asked which coach would have the most success. Kubiak wasn't at the top of the poll results. But he is probably going to have the most success when it's all said and done.

Kubiak has this offense dialed in, and it's not a gimmicky offense. The Colts, IMO, allowed themselves to get run into the ground. And I find part of that to be the fault of the robotic Peyton Manning. Yes, the dude won a SB. Not going to discount that at all. But after they won it all, it was like the rest of the team (minus Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzales) was tired of Peyton's drill sergeant way of handling things. I really think at the end of the day, those linemen, Marvin Harrison, the running backs, etc. were not digging the whole "Hurry up! We gotta' score one more TD to preserve our 21-point lead!" For all that Peyton did right, I think it contributed to their downfall. Simply put: Most of those guys are sick of his crap, and it's gotten old. In a hurry. That oline, last season, was plopping their butts down on the bench and they could care less that Peyton was pissed off about a drive ending in a field goal. Schaub has this vibe about him that says "We're going to my house for a cookout after this thing's over." Peyton? He's headed straight home so he can call his dad and they can plan for the next game. Two different QBs.

I ragged Schaub pretty hard. But that Green Bay game, to me, was where I felt it all came together for Matt. Frozen Tundra. Colder than cold. He kept rising up when it looked like we were trying to choke the game away. He looked like a guy who finally made it all click. In the Oakland game, he was madder than hell, and he was on everybody's butt...something HWMNBN didn't have the guts to do.

If we stay injury-free, for the most part, this defense is going to do at least marginally better than it ever has. It has to. The only place to go from the bottom is UP. How far they climb is anybody's guess. Mario seems to get stronger and more dominant every season. There's some fresh blood with Cushing, a stalwart in DeMeco who now has some backup, and some switches along the dline that I think will be key.

Playoffs doesn't matter. I'm looking for overall consistency. We might lose some close games, and that's OK if we just get outplayed. But those close games in the past were games that we should have easily won, IMO.

Kubiak looked like he was on the ropes after the first 3 games or so of last season. Sage spun us out in the Indy game. And then came Green Bay. Probably the most legitimate win I've seen for our team.

THAT is why I can live with this draft. There's a workable plan, a viable plan. You don't have that "Ah crap..." feeling, or at least I don't.
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Old 04-29-2009   #13
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Going at least 3-3 in our division most likely will go hand in hand with reaching the playoffs.
We can go 3-3 in the division, Jax could go 3-3 in the division. But if they are 13-3, and we go 11-5, we might miss the play-offs.

I'm looking for a stronger finish in our division though. At least 4-2.
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Old 04-29-2009   #14
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
We can go 3-3 in the division, Jax could go 3-3 in the division. But if they are 13-3, and we go 11-5, we might miss the play-offs.

I'm looking for a stronger finish in our division though. At least 4-2.
I think 3-3 is a realistic shot for us. I think we have a good chance of splitting the Colts and Titans series. Both teams aren't going to be fun to play this year with Peyton getting freaking Donald Brown in their backfield.

Jax is going to be interesting because if last year's DE's grow up quick and they can get both new T's to gel quicker then expected. Probably won't be able to depend on Garrad's arm and Can MJD carry the load alone or do they get help? I'm sure we could split the series with them at least and hope we can sweep.

I fully expect the AFC South to be if not the toughest division one of the toughest this year. This team really needs to take full advantage of playing the usually week NFC west this year.
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Old 04-29-2009   #15
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

I want to see noticable improvement this year along with a winning record, and taking one each from Indy and the Tits for a change. I want to see some improvement in our red zone offense and our defense.

If I see all that, and we still don't make the playoffs, I'm OK with that. Now, what I really want is playoffs, but if I can get the rest this year, I won't complain. At least no to much.

But, if our red zone offense doesn't improve, and our defense still sucks, and we go 8-8 again (or worse), I'm gonna be bitching up a storm. (Unless of course we are beset with the injury bug again, in which case you can throw away the season anyway)
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Old 04-29-2009   #16
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

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I want to see noticable improvement this year along with a winning record, and taking one each from Indy and the Tits for a change. I want to see some improvement in our red zone offense and our defense.
If I see all that, and we still don't make the playoffs, I'm OK with that. Now, what I really want is playoffs, but if I can get the rest this year, I won't complain. At least no to much.

But, if our red zone offense doesn't improve, and our defense still sucks, and we go 8-8 again (or worse), I'm gonna be bitching up a storm. (Unless of course we are beset with the injury bug again, in which case you can throw away the season anyway)
Agree on all these points, if they merely improve on these areas I feel very strongly they will have their first winning season and that will be enough for me. Granted, making the freaking playoffs would be a huge bonus. What would really burn my ass though is if they improve in these areas and let what they've been doing well slip. I don't see that happening though (fingers crossed).
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Old 04-29-2009   #17
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

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Originally Posted by stingray View Post
I think people get caught up in "making the playoffs". I'm happy if they make a dramatic improvement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Carr
I wouldn't call this a must win season. I'd call it a must play well season.
When are we going to shake this expansion mentality and become a real NFL team? In the real NFL, you're either a winner or a loser. Winners go to the playoffs. Losers stay home and talk about improving and top 3 offenses. I am tired of being a fan of an expansion team. The only way this team will ever shake that label is to appear in the playoffs. Playoffs or bust it up.

And if by some 1000-1 long shot that the Texans go 11-5 and don't make the playoffs (which has happened once in 23 years)....Kubiak, you should've gone 12-4.
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Old 04-29-2009   #18
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

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I think people get caught up in "making the playoffs". I'm happy if they make a dramatic improvement. Because they can go 11-5 and still not make the playoffs, (Patriots 2008). I am looking for these things:

1. Defense has to improve. They must get much more pressure on the QB and improve their run defense. Someone other than mario will have to get more than 8 sacks. The point totals against the defense will decrease if this happens.

2. They must score in the red zone,TD's not Fg's, at a decent rate. They will be a real juggernaut on offense if this happens.

3. They must stay healthy. Especially Schaub, Slaton and Mario. If schaub goes down again this year for a significant amount of time, then they will probably have to go another way. I hope Slaton holds up especially not having a real backup. And I don't even wanna touch the reality if Mario goes down.

These are all obvious points but it's really just as simple as that.
Excellent post. I will be thrilled at 11-5 and no playoffs. But lets hope that is not the case. Lets hope we can have a winning record against our division and take it outright.
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Old 04-29-2009   #19
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Default Re: McClain: Kubiak likely to sing playoff tune

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
And if by some 1000-1 long shot that the Texans go 11-5 and don't make the playoffs (which has happened once in 23 years)....Kubiak, you should've gone 12-4.
If we go 11-5 and don't make the playoffs... I'm fine with that. If we go 10-6 and don't make the playoffs... I'm fine with that. Those are both records that will usually get you into the playoffs. Those are records of winners. 8-8 won't usually get you into the playoffs but it will every few years if you're lucky.

I'll only be happy with the 8-8 next year if we're in the playoffs and win a game.
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