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Old 11-15-2010   #1
Hervoyel
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Default "Simple Frank"

I keep thinking about how our solution to getting improvement from our defense every year since Gary Kubiak was hired is to simplify the system so the players can "just react" and "play faster letting their natural talent take over". I feel like I've heard that every year since Richard Smith arrived and began having less than stellar results in 2006.

Now don't get me wrong. I understand this is not at all uncommon in the NFL. New coaches come in and implement a new system then the players maybe don't pick it up quite as fast as they should and so the coaches choose to try and pare things back a bit. I'm not complaining that the Texans have done this.

I'm complaining because we've done this every year of Kubiak's tenure under both Richard Smith and Frank Bush. That I think raises some pretty big flags.

Go back to 2002 and look at how long it took Vic Fangio and Dom Capers to install the defense we began our existence with. Yes, we had veteran players across the board and two of them were Pro Bowlers that year but the defense was implemented in one training camp and within a few weeks of the start of the season they were playing solid football. Many times that year the defense was left hanging by the inept offense but they played well enough to win more often than not that year (and in fact won one game all by themselves).

Look at the 1993 Oilers who installed the 46 defense in training camp. We had Buddy Ryan as our DC and he's the man where the 46 is concerned but it still took 4-5 weeks into the season before our players started to really make some noise within the scheme.

That's just two examples of installing a defense and how long it took. Somebody in the NFL is trying to install a different defensive scheme just about every year somewhere I think. It doesn't take 5 damn years to put in place. The thing is, why are our players not getting it?

Is the scheme overly complex?
Are our defensive coaches inept?
Are our players stupid?

I tend to doubt that the Texans are doing anything too terribly complicated or outrageous on defense (prior to "simplifying things"). If they were and this system was complicated and cumbersome then we'd have heard players complaining about it already. Still the idea that we have to simple things up every year tends to kind of point to either an overly complex system or overly stupid players.

I question whether we've hired good teachers. It's not just a DC we're talking about. It's the entire staff. We've seen bad coaches here go on to be very good coaches in other places and in other systems. Chris Palmer was our "lousy" offensive coordinator. He goes to New York to work with Eli Manning and he's enjoying his Super Bowl ring now. Vic Fangio's defenses were considered complicated and difficult to learn here but he goes on to coach in Baltimore where he works with linebackers (and they got some linebackers in Baltimore) before going on to being Stanford's defensive coordinator. They arent' doing too bad.

You give these "bad teachers" good students and all of a sudden they're good teachers.

That brings me back to the players. Did we consistently manage to find athletically gifted dumbasses who can't play in a pro defense? If so how are we seemingly finding all of the dumbasses? Is it smarts or just bad football instincts? If it's the latter then you would think that this would show up before we pick them in the draft or sign them in free agency. Bad football instincts can be spotted on tape.

We've seen players put up respectable careers elsewhere, come here, and then sort of slowly fade into mediocrity right before our eyes. We've seen players leave here as busts or scapegoats, go somewhere else, and resurrect their careers. We can't help but notice that our 2003 draft is in the process of trying to go to this years Pro Bowl while playing for Atlanta and Tennessee. Both of those guys left here on the current administrations watch. I agreed (and still believe) that it was time for the Texans and Dunta Robinson to part ways. The "marriage" so to speak was broken. I don't however think it was predestined to fail.

This scheme looked bad with the holdovers from Capers team. It's looked bad with every draft pick and free agent we've added. It always looks bad until we strip it down to a very basic defense that then gets some results. over the last half of the year.

This year it doesn't look like we're even going to see that. At some point if you put enough vanilla on tape then the coaches and players in this league are going to come out and exploit it. We're not going to get away with simplifying this anymore.

I believe the scheme is unsound and I believe that neither of our defensive coordinators during the Kubiak era have been good enough to understand that hence they continue to trot this same basic system out year after year getting the same results regardless of who we plug in at what position.

That these players can't do well in it year after year says a lot about it being no good. That they have usually improved their performance once the system is suitably vanilla'd up tells me that they are not lousy defensive players with bad football instincts by and large. They are not being put in a position to succeed by this coaching staff. True some of them are less than what we'd hope they'd be (Okoye, Kareem Jackson so far) but if you look at most of our players who've been here for more than a year or so you see that they do play better when the coaches get the system out of their way.

I think that pulling the system back to "Defense for Dummies" levels hasn't helped anybody in the long run. When the 1993 Oilers weren't getting Ryans 46 defense he didnt' scale it back to help the short bus guys keep up. He stayed the course, said it will get better, and it did. All Frank has done by following Richard Smith's path is to put a defense on the field that everybody knows on sight. Now there's nowhere else to take this.

The defensive coordinator must go and his replacement must be a known quantity with a known history of success. He should be allowed to hire and/or dismiss his coordinators without interference from Kubiak and he needs to be given the upcoming draft dam near in its entirety to get whatever pieces he needs to fix this.
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Old 11-15-2010   #2
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Old 11-15-2010   #3
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Old 11-15-2010   #4
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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tl;dr
That's cool. I write a lot, always have.
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Old 11-15-2010   #5
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

I like the method you used to weed out what you felt the problem was. I agree that it can't be stupid players (Terry Bradshaw was always accused to being a monumental *****, and he was able to win 4 Super Bowls).

At some point you know the players (or at least there family members) have heard guys like Steve Young talk about how easy this defense is because it isn't challenging. They may think these guys are wrong, but at some point that questions might start nagging them in the back of their mind: what if they're right?


I like Kubiak and I wanted him here. I feel he's done wonders for this franchise and I think the offense will suffer if he is let go. That being said, I think the time is right for both parties to move on. I would prefer a defensive-minded coach, but I will support whomever our next head coach is (whenever that change is made).


I think the major problem here lies with McNair. He is a great guy to work for, I'm sure. But if I remember correctly he tried to establish and NHL franchise in Houston before turning to the NFL, which tells me that perhaps he isn't the greatest at making football-related decisions such as coaching. If that is the case, I hope he sees that and decides that he needs to play very hands-off and gets a guy who's proven he can get the job done, or has a proven track record of success as a coordinator.

My list would be: Cowher, Ryan, Frazier, Fewell.

My only "do not touch" coach would be Gruden. He's supposed to be some kind of offensive genius, but his offenses always sucked when he didn't have Gannon and Rice/Brown.

Besides...Gruden would be too busy marvelling at "The Sheriff" during our games against the Colts to do any actual coaching...
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Old 11-15-2010   #6
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

I think the system is too simple that other teams know what we are going to do and just tee off on us. I was watching Football Night in America last night and Dungy was talking about how to beat the teams with defense. He made the comment about having to try something different when you played them because they knew your habits and techniques and would make you pay if you trotted out the same old routine (I'm paraphrasing here). Anyways, it's true. We don't disguise what we're doing or make changes pre-snap. We just line up, let the QB adjust, and then run to the receiver after he catches the ball. Hell....I'd be salivating to play our defense if I was any of the other 31 teams. Our sorry ass play is partly due to our sorry ass play calling.
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Old 11-15-2010   #7
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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tl;dr
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Old 11-15-2010   #8
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
Is the scheme overly complex?
Are our defensive coaches inept?
Are our players stupid?

You give these "bad teachers" good students and all of a sudden they're good teachers.

The defensive coordinator must go and his replacement must be a known quantity with a known history of success. He should be allowed to hire and/or dismiss his coordinators without interference from Kubiak and he needs to be given the upcoming draft dam near in its entirety to get whatever pieces he needs to fix this.
Nice post Herv. I wonder if the problems stem from 2 origins:

1. Kubiak is an offensive coorodinator and has more trouble recognizing defensive coaching talent.

2. Kubiak's coaching philosophy dictates unity among his coachs. He will only hire a defensive coordinator he considers a friend and trusts. He will not consider a coach who may be more abrasive despite being the best candidate.

I have no problem drafting dumb players as long as they are disciplined and maintain their assignment. It is a coach's responsibility to instill discipline and teach the assignment.

9 weeks of some of the most dreadfull defense i've ever seen. Who's been fired? who's been benched? Has any one player recieved or lost signifigant playing time to shake things up? Have you guys noticed any major scheme changes? Do you as a fan think results will change if we dont make any changes on the field? Do something. Try something new - cause what your doing aint working!

Ofcourse, we've seen inaction before...like the offseason! Every year i become less and less a fan of the draft because of the texans. Everyone but the texans knew they needed defensive help. i had them slotted to take a running back and a center somewhere in the draft...everything else was going to beef up the defense.

What did they do?

We drafted a cornerback who was considered by many a 3rd round talent and a career #2 starter.No legitimate safety. No pass rushing DE. i like mitchell at DT...i'll give them credit for that...but do we really need 600 damn tight ends?

Now its to late to change the talent on the team till the offseason. They have to sleep in the bed they made for the rest of the season...and its only gonna get worse from here...

If we're gonna play a simple scheme they better play with relentless agression and not blow assignments
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Old 11-15-2010   #9
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
I keep thinking about how our solution to getting improvement from our defense every year since Gary Kubiak was hired is to simplify the system so the players can "just react" and "play faster letting their natural talent take over". I feel like I've heard that every year since Richard Smith arrived and began having less than stellar results in 2006.

Now don't get me wrong. I understand this is not at all uncommon in the NFL. New coaches come in and implement a new system then the players maybe don't pick it up quite as fast as they should and so the coaches choose to try and pare things back a bit. I'm not complaining that the Texans have done this.

I'm complaining because we've done this every year of Kubiak's tenure under both Richard Smith and Frank Bush. That I think raises some pretty big flags.

Go back to 2002 and look at how long it took Vic Fangio and Dom Capers to install the defense we began our existence with. Yes, we had veteran players across the board and two of them were Pro Bowlers that year but the defense was implemented in one training camp and within a few weeks of the start of the season they were playing solid football. Many times that year the defense was left hanging by the inept offense but they played well enough to win more often than not that year (and in fact won one game all by themselves).

Look at the 1993 Oilers who installed the 46 defense in training camp. We had Buddy Ryan as our DC and he's the man where the 46 is concerned but it still took 4-5 weeks into the season before our players started to really make some noise within the scheme.

That's just two examples of installing a defense and how long it took. Somebody in the NFL is trying to install a different defensive scheme just about every year somewhere I think. It doesn't take 5 damn years to put in place. The thing is, why are our players not getting it?

Is the scheme overly complex?
Are our defensive coaches inept?
Are our players stupid?

I tend to doubt that the Texans are doing anything too terribly complicated or outrageous on defense (prior to "simplifying things"). If they were and this system was complicated and cumbersome then we'd have heard players complaining about it already. Still the idea that we have to simple things up every year tends to kind of point to either an overly complex system or overly stupid players.

I question whether we've hired good teachers. It's not just a DC we're talking about. It's the entire staff. We've seen bad coaches here go on to be very good coaches in other places and in other systems. Chris Palmer was our "lousy" offensive coordinator. He goes to New York to work with Eli Manning and he's enjoying his Super Bowl ring now. Vic Fangio's defenses were considered complicated and difficult to learn here but he goes on to coach in Baltimore where he works with linebackers (and they got some linebackers in Baltimore) before going on to being Stanford's defensive coordinator. They arent' doing too bad.

You give these "bad teachers" good students and all of a sudden they're good teachers.

That brings me back to the players. Did we consistently manage to find athletically gifted dumbasses who can't play in a pro defense? If so how are we seemingly finding all of the dumbasses? Is it smarts or just bad football instincts? If it's the latter then you would think that this would show up before we pick them in the draft or sign them in free agency. Bad football instincts can be spotted on tape.

We've seen players put up respectable careers elsewhere, come here, and then sort of slowly fade into mediocrity right before our eyes. We've seen players leave here as busts or scapegoats, go somewhere else, and resurrect their careers. We can't help but notice that our 2003 draft is in the process of trying to go to this years Pro Bowl while playing for Atlanta and Tennessee. Both of those guys left here on the current administrations watch. I agreed (and still believe) that it was time for the Texans and Dunta Robinson to part ways. The "marriage" so to speak was broken. I don't however think it was predestined to fail.

This scheme looked bad with the holdovers from Capers team. It's looked bad with every draft pick and free agent we've added. It always looks bad until we strip it down to a very basic defense that then gets some results. over the last half of the year.

This year it doesn't look like we're even going to see that. At some point if you put enough vanilla on tape then the coaches and players in this league are going to come out and exploit it. We're not going to get away with simplifying this anymore.

I believe the scheme is unsound and I believe that neither of our defensive coordinators during the Kubiak era have been good enough to understand that hence they continue to trot this same basic system out year after year getting the same results regardless of who we plug in at what position.

That these players can't do well in it year after year says a lot about it being no good. That they have usually improved their performance once the system is suitably vanilla'd up tells me that they are not lousy defensive players with bad football instincts by and large. They are not being put in a position to succeed by this coaching staff. True some of them are less than what we'd hope they'd be (Okoye, Kareem Jackson so far) but if you look at most of our players who've been here for more than a year or so you see that they do play better when the coaches get the system out of their way.

I think that pulling the system back to "Defense for Dummies" levels hasn't helped anybody in the long run. When the 1993 Oilers weren't getting Ryans 46 defense he didnt' scale it back to help the short bus guys keep up. He stayed the course, said it will get better, and it did. All Frank has done by following Richard Smith's path is to put a defense on the field that everybody knows on sight. Now there's nowhere else to take this.

The defensive coordinator must go and his replacement must be a known quantity with a known history of success. He should be allowed to hire and/or dismiss his coordinators without interference from Kubiak and he needs to be given the upcoming draft dam near in its entirety to get whatever pieces he needs to fix this.


I enjoyed the post Herv. Didn't think it was too long at all. Very educational for me as prior to last season I was more of a casual observer than a "Die Hard". I guess I chose a great time to become one, eh?

Referencing the bolded I agree that Bush must go. On the sidelines yesterday would have been fine with me. That would naturally point to a successor. Anyone particular on your shopping list? I agree he should have carte blanche to do whatever he wants regarding coaches under him. The "without interference from Kubiak" quote infers, I think, that you're cool with Kubiak remaining as Head Coach or just on the offensive side? Reason I ask is because as has been posted in other threads many don't feel like McNair will fire him and eat a salary in conjunction with the labor uncertainty, which I think is prudent. IMO, this can be a great team with a decent defense. Sure I'll get a lot of flack for that stance, so be it. Sticks and stones so to speak.
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Old 11-15-2010   #10
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Originally Posted by powda View Post
9 weeks of some of the most dreadfull defense i've ever seen. Who's been fired? who's been benched? Has any one player recieved or lost signifigant playing time to shake things up?
Granted it's not on D, but the only player I've noticed thats lost time is Slaton
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Old 11-15-2010   #11
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Originally Posted by powda View Post
Nice post Herv. I wonder if the problems stem from 2 origins:

1. Kubiak is an offensive coorodinator and has more trouble recognizing defensive coaching talent.

2. Kubiak's coaching philosophy dictates unity among his coachs. He will only hire a defensive coordinator he considers a friend and trusts. He will not consider a coach who may be more abrasive despite being the best candidate.

I have no problem drafting dumb players as long as they are disciplined and maintain their assignment. It is a coach's responsibility to instill discipline and teach the assignment.

9 weeks of some of the most dreadfull defense i've ever seen. Who's been fired? who's been benched? Has any one player recieved or lost signifigant playing time to shake things up? Have you guys noticed any major scheme changes? Do you as a fan think results will change if we dont make any changes on the field? Do something. Try something new - cause what your doing aint working!

Ofcourse, we've seen inaction before...like the offseason! Every year i become less and less a fan of the draft because of the texans. Everyone but the texans knew they needed defensive help. i had them slotted to take a running back and a center somewhere in the draft...everything else was going to beef up the defense.

What did they do?

We drafted a cornerback who was considered by many a 3rd round talent and a career #2 starter.No legitimate safety. No pass rushing DE. i like mitchell at DT...i'll give them credit for that...but do we really need 600 damn tight ends?

Now its to late to change the talent on the team till the offseason. They have to sleep in the bed they made for the rest of the season...and its only gonna get worse from here...

If we're gonna play a simple scheme they better play with relentless agression and not blow assignments
Talk about a ghost of disenchanted past.

Welcome back powda.
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Old 11-15-2010   #12
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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"Simple Frank"
Ah man, I was expecting a EPIC photoshop job.
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Old 11-15-2010   #13
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Originally Posted by Hervoyel View Post
They are not being put in a position to succeed by this coaching staff.
Been saying this for weeks now. The defensive coaching staff sucks. Simple things they mess up on...

Blitzing and coverage are my main pet peeves though. Not just about how often and when to blitz or what coverages they are in. But I don't see what they are trying to accomplish...Like..Are you trying to attack a weak link on the O-line...Get a match-up with Cushing on the RB...

Different little things like that...I just don't see it.
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Old 11-15-2010   #14
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

My main problem with Kubiak is while he may say he holds people accountable, it's only figuratively.


Frank Bush has thus far set a pace for one of the worst defenses in the last 40 years. The secondary is arguably the worst since that time (as evidenced by the end of the game yesterday).

Where is the accountability? I understand Kubiak doesn't want to hurt people's feelings...but obviously this team doesn't have the playoff/super bowl aspirations it says it does. If they did...Bush would have been fired weeks ago.

This defense is single-handedly killing our hopes of a playoff appearance (and the first ever for us, in case anyone forgot). Where is the accountability for that? Any other team and Bush would have been long gone by now.

Heck, at the very least fire Bush and promote Kollar or Rhodes...anyone. At least that way offenses will have to figure out our defense for a change.
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Old 11-15-2010   #15
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

I was gonna make a Frank Drebin reference, but he can tackle.
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For being the most intelligent form of life on our planet, we sure do some incredibly stupid things.
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Old 11-15-2010   #16
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

I'll coach the D! Someone send in my name.

Mike
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Old 11-15-2010   #17
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Granted it's not on D, but the only player I've noticed thats lost time is Slaton
Yeah, and all Slaton did was average like 5 yards a carry. He was explosive and completely lost PT. His returns were awful, but that's not his niche. Our D has been the worst Ive ever seen in my life and it has damn near the same starters. It's bad that I was a little happy when Kareem got nicked up cause that would force them to play someone else.
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Old 11-15-2010   #18
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

Our D stands for dumbasses, LOLz.
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Old 11-15-2010   #19
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

Dumbing the play book down at this stage is ridiculous. Why does it take an entire half to adjust to the opponent? There has been at least three maybe four games that we gave away the first half and then looked reasonable in second half. That is on coaches. Why do we insist on drafting corners that can not cover like Quin and Jackson when our Dline can not disrupt the QB? Why do we keep drafting light DTs that can not use their "speed" to get to QB or collapse the pocket? Why do we not address free safety knowing all the above? We have not had a good defensive backfield EVER!!!
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Old 11-15-2010   #20
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Default Re: "Simple Frank"

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Originally Posted by TheCD View Post
My main problem with Kubiak is while he may say he holds people accountable, it's only figuratively.


Frank Bush has thus far set a pace for one of the worst defenses in the last 40 years. The secondary is arguably the worst since that time (as evidenced by the end of the game yesterday).

Where is the accountability? I understand Kubiak doesn't want to hurt people's feelings...but obviously this team doesn't have the playoff/super bowl aspirations it says it does. If they did...Bush would have been fired weeks ago.

This defense is single-handedly killing our hopes of a playoff appearance (and the first ever for us, in case anyone forgot). Where is the accountability for that? Any other team and Bush would have been long gone by now.

Heck, at the very least fire Bush and promote Kollar or Rhodes...anyone. At least that way offenses will have to figure out our defense for a change.
While I don't necessarily agree that the defense is "single handedly" killing our hopes - I totally agree that replacing the DC now is definitely an idea whose time came 3 games ago. The fact that Bush is still in charge of anything is an error of egregious proportions. I don't think Kubiak should be fired now - but Bush sure as hayull should. Anyone will be an improvement if for no other reason than to get the defense off their collective apathetic butts.
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