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Old 06-04-2012   #1
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Default Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Texans G.M. relies on emotional detachment in overhauling roster

Two years ago, the Texans wanted to be the featured team on Hard Knocks. Now, they’re not interested.

They’re not interested because they’re getting attention the old fashioned way: By winning football games.

But the team’s first playoff berth in a decade of existence has been chased by a stunning out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new offseason, during which G.M. Rick Smith has tried to keep up with the Joneses by treating his players like John Does.

“One important thing I’ve learned is when your core changes, you’ve got to be willing to change your philosophy too,” Smith tells Peter King of SI.com. ”Your core of players has to be a living, breathing thing, and you have to be willing to examine it all the time to be sure you’re comfortable with it. The good thing about making those types of decisions is being able to be emotionally detached a bit. I don’t have the attachment to the players that a coach does.”

That lack of attachment has seen Smith move on from linebackers Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans, along with 40 percent of the team’s stellar offensive line, letting right guard Mike Brisiel leave via free agency and cutting right tackle Eric Winston. (It could have been worse; center Chris Myers hit the market, but he ultimately stayed put.)

As to the departure of the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, Smith was able to rip the “Williams” off the back of the jersey and made the sort of business decision the team made six years earlier, when ignoring the sizzle of Reggie Bush and Vince Young. ”There’s no way to minimize the loss of Mario Williams,” Smith said. “But you turn the tape on from last season, and what players were out there on the field?”

Looking ahead, Smith’s approach means no one is truly safe. If receiver Andre Johnson, whose knee problems already have him on the shelf this offseason, can’t contribute much in 2012 and if the team’s youngsters at the position step up this year, Johnson could (in theory) be elsewhere come 2013. And with quarterback Matt Schaub entering the final year of his contract, Smith apparently feels no compulsion to extend Schaub’s deal, willing instead to take a wait-and-see approach regarding Schaub’s recovery from a serious foot injury — and if necessary to trust T.J. Yates, who led the franchise to its only playoff win.

Regardless of whether the Texans can fend off the Titans for a second straight AFC South crown, Smith’s approach is the tough one, but also the right one. In professional sports, there’s no place for sacred cows, if the overriding goal is to win. And so the “what have you done for me lately?” cliché has become “what will you do for me tomorrow, and how much are you expecting to be paid to do it?”

Successful teams will stubbornly ask that question as to every man on the roster, and they’ll answer it without regard to who the player is.
If Smith has emotionally detached his decision-making from the players, how then have we held onto so many poor performers for such a long time..........Was it just plain poor decision making? And what has been the "entertaining" appeal watching "Hard Knocks?" Watching a train wreck comes to mind. I don't see where any team was helped, but the "warts" were certainly revealed for good drama. Drama, the Texans don't need.
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Old 06-04-2012   #2
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

They were talking about this on the radio this morning. Pretty interesting quotes from Smith.

But that's how it should be. The GM should be the bad guy. Even though we all know that Kubiak is a large part of the decision making process behind the scenes, I like Smith coming out and saying this stuff.
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Old 06-04-2012   #3
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Texans GM Emotionally Detached????
As he should be...
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Old 06-04-2012   #4
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

Stupid column. I guess Peter King has never heard of the salary cap. It would have been a better column if King had explained how King could have kept all these players without mortgaging the future of the Texans.

I'm going to guess that King knows at least twenty times less about the Texans than the average poster on this board. That's why I go to forums and totally ignore newspaper columns. Especially out of town ones.
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Old 06-04-2012   #5
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Default Peter King: MMQB on Rick Smith

Winning division didn't stop Texans from bold offseason changes
Peter King>MONDAY MORNING QB -- Sports Illustrated


Before I get to the state of the Texans ... here's a preamble about the life span of the best prospects in football.

Six years shouldn't be forever in the NFL, but looking at the top of the 2006 draft is evidence that six years is more than enough to make or break careers. The top 10 players in the 2006 NFL draft have been employed by 19 teams through six seasons -- the smart teams don't stay married to guys when either the marriage isn't working or the priorities have changed.

How the mighty have moved since 2006:
Player, Position: Teams (current one last)
1. Mario Williams, DE: Houston, Buffalo
2. Reggie Bush, RB: New Orleans, Miami
3. Vince Young, QB: Tennessee, Philadelphia, Buffalo
4. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, T: New York Jets
5. A.J. Hawk, LB: Green Bay
6. Vernon Davis, TE: San Francisco
7. Michael Huff, S: Oakland
8. Donte Whitner, S: Buffalo, San Francisco
9. Ernie Sims, LB: Detroit, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Free agent
10.Matt Leinart, QB: Arizona, Houston, Oakland

One other note before I move on to my point about the Texans. The 2007 draft has something in common with 2006: Four of the 10 top picks in each remain starters for the teams that drafted them. And there isn't a quarterback among the top 10 in those two drafts (Young, Leinart and JaMarcus Russell in 2007) still with the team that drafted him.

But I bring you this list to make a point about the Houston Texans. They had a chance to re-sign the first pick in the 2006 draft, the man they hoped would be their defensive centerpiece and lead them to multiple division titles, Mario Williams. They let him walk. They had a chance to keep Leinart as the backup to Matt Schaub. They let Leinart walk. They had a chance to bring home Young as the backup to Schaub. They watched as Buffalo signed Young.

Instead of keeping the first pick in the 2006 draft, they chose to put their pass-rush future in the hands of the 46th pick in 2009 (Connor Barwin), the 42nd pick in 2011 (Brooks Reed) and the 26th pick this year (Whitney Mercilus). Instead of signing a high-profile backup to Schaub, they chose to put their faith in the 152nd pick in the 2011 draft (T.J. Yates), who quarterbacked the Texans to the franchise's first playoff win last season.

And instead of keeping 4-3 middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and asking him to play out of scheme in Wade Phillips' 3-4, GM Rick Smith traded the most respected Texan in the locker room to Philadelphia and signed free agent Bradie James to team with Brian Cushing and Darryl Sharpton inside.

For a team that finally won a division and a playoff game in its 10th season, the Texans certainly made a lot of changes. Two-fifths of a stalwart offensive line (right guard Mike Brisiel and right tackle Eric Winston) were allowed to walk. The right side of the linebacker group, Ryans and Williams, are gone too. "There's no way to minimize the loss of Mario Williams,'' Smith said. "But you turn the tape on from last season, and what players were out there on the field?''

Williams missed 11 games with a torn pectoral muscle. Ryans came off the field on third downs. And Houston finished second in the NFL in team defense. In one offseason, core players like Williams, Ryans and Winston were gone; if the Texans could save $2 million on the cap going with Yates over Leinart, so be it. It's GM School 101.

"One important thing I've learned is when your core changes, you've got to be willing to change your philosophy too,'' said Smith. "Your core of players has to be a living, breathing thing, and you have to be willing to examine it all the time to be sure you're comfortable with it. The good thing about making those types of decisions is being able to be emotionally detached a bit. I don't have the attachment to the players that a coach does.''

Smith said he's studied NFL history at length, and he's studied business models of different business leaders. One that he's adopted is former GE boss Jack Welch's 20-70-10 philosophy: the top 20 percent of your employees are standouts and must be nurtured. The majority, the 70 percent, are the working class -- needed but still able to move if the right situation arises. The lowest 10 percent have to be churned and replaced, because a company always is looking for ways to get better by importing new blood. "If you have a 53-man roster, maybe you've got 10 or 11 core players,'' Smith said, "and then 25 to 30 roles players, and then you're always looking to churn the bottom of the roster.''

Smith didn't want to lose Williams, but it was a matter of economics; he had young guys who could get to the quarterback, maybe not as well as Williams. But all three combined wouldn't make what Williams was going to demand in free agency this year (he got a six-year, $100 million deal, with $50 million guaranteed). "At quarterback,'' Smith said, "the way T.J. played, we didn't have to pay market value to a backup quarterback.''

It all sounds smart, and the Texans should be favored to repeat as division champs. But isn't it amazing that a year ago, entering training camp in 2011, Ryans and Williams were the two cornerstone players on a defense being retooled by Wade Phillips, and the Texans flourished so often defensively last season without them? These Texans illustrate the way of the world in the NFL.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...mqb/index.html
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Old 06-04-2012   #6
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Originally Posted by Cutblock View Post
Stupid column. I guess Peter King has never heard of the salary cap. It would have been a better column if King had explained how King could have kept all these players without mortgaging the future of the Texans.

I'm going to guess that King knows at least twenty times less about the Texans than the average poster on this board. That's why I go to forums and totally ignore newspaper columns. Especially out of town ones.
I think he was being complimentary of the Texans...I don't think he was saying we should have kept any of the guys we cut/let go...
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Old 06-04-2012   #7
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Texans GM emotionally detached . . .
Good to hear. If he's not, then we need a new GM.

Only the fans get that little luxury of being emotionally "attached".
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Old 06-04-2012   #8
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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I think he was being complimentary of the Texans...I don't think he was saying we should have kept any of the guys we cut/let go...
That's the way I read it, too.
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Old 06-04-2012   #9
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

I wonder who is actually telling the players that they are cut, especially the vets? On Hard Knocks, it always seems to be a coach, and often the head coach. Does Kubiak avoid the blood on his hands by making Smith the hatchet man?

'eh, it's a business, and this is just the dark underbelly of it. The flip side is keeping players that cannot produce, which is always a recipe for failure.

It's going to be a sad day when they cut AJ down the road. It's not a matter of if, but when. I hate that part of it. Some players are so special to franchises that they should get a pass, but it is what is is. Montana on the Chiefs, Emmit Smith as a Cardinal, Jerry Rice as a Seahawk & Raider, Earl Campbell as a Saint...heck, just look at Manning as a Bronco. Such is life.
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Old 06-04-2012   #10
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I wonder who is actually telling the players that they are cut, especially the vets? On Hard Knocks, it always seems to be a coach, and often the head coach. Does Kubiak avoid the blood on his hands by making Smith the hatchet man?

'eh, it's a business, and this is just the dark underbelly of it. The flip side is keeping players that cannot produce, which is always a recipe for failure.

It's going to be a sad day when they cut AJ down the road. It's not a matter of if, but when. I hate that part of it. Some players are so special to franchises that they should get a pass, but it is what is is. Montana on the Chiefs, Emmit Smith as a Cardinal, Jerry Rice as a Seahawk & Raider, Earl Campbell as a Saint...heck, just look at Manning as a Bronco. Such is life.
That's one of the jobs of the HC. I don't think he passes that buck to someone else.
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Old 06-04-2012   #11
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

I'm pretty sure Rick Smith had just finished watching Moneyball, and that was when he realized that he's not supposed to have personal investment in the players.

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Old 06-04-2012   #12
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I wonder who is actually telling the players that they are cut, especially the vets? On Hard Knocks, it always seems to be a coach, and often the head coach. Does Kubiak avoid the blood on his hands by making Smith the hatchet man?

'eh, it's a business, and this is just the dark underbelly of it. The flip side is keeping players that cannot produce, which is always a recipe for failure.

It's going to be a sad day when they cut AJ down the road. It's not a matter of if, but when. I hate that part of it. Some players are so special to franchises that they should get a pass, but it is what is is. Montana on the Chiefs, Emmit Smith as a Cardinal, Jerry Rice as a Seahawk & Raider, Earl Campbell as a Saint...heck, just look at Manning as a Bronco. Such is life.
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That's one of the jobs of the HC. I don't think he passes that buck to someone else.

I'm just guessing, but I think during the off-season leading up to the season Kubiak does a lot of the cutting when it's based mostly on performance. I think when it comes to money issues Smith probably takes on more of a role.

I'm pretty sure Kubiak at least talks to most (if not all) of the guys when they are let go....
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Old 06-04-2012   #13
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

I disagree with the emotional detachment thing when you consider guys like Chris Brown the RB, Jacoby Jones, Amaan Green, Kubiak, and some of the defensive coaches that were hired before Wade was.
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Old 06-04-2012   #14
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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I disagree with the emotional detachment thing when you consider guys like Chris Brown the RB, Jacoby Jones, Amaan Green, Kubiak, and some of the defensive coaches that were hired before Wade was.
maybe he listen'ed more to his coaches in the past? now he is a more confident, independent thinker, who can balance the equation in best business decision for his employer.....
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Old 06-04-2012   #15
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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I disagree with the emotional detachment thing when you consider guys like Chris Brown the RB, Jacoby Jones, Amaan Green, Kubiak, and some of the defensive coaches that were hired before Wade was.
Yeah, we had so many better options than those guys when they were here
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Old 06-04-2012   #16
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

Who cares? He hasn't done squat for this team since he's been here anyway.. IMHO. SURE, we went to the playoffs for the first time last year, but, how much did RS really have to do with that?! Nearly EVERYONE on this board has given Wade the credit for that!!

You guys can delude yourselves all you want about that man. We would NOT have been in cap hell in the first place if it wasn't for him, so, using that as an excuse for the stup*d moves he's made this off season is just lubicrous! JMO! I have zero faith in his ability as a GM. ZERO!!!! Wish he was GONE!!!
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Old 06-04-2012   #17
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Yeah, we had so many better options than those guys when they were here
I'm not sure what you mean by this post, because it's non responsive.
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Old 06-04-2012   #18
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Who cares? He hasn't done squat for this team since he's been here anyway.. IMHO. SURE, we went to the playoffs for the first time last year, but, how much did RS really have to do with that?! Nearly EVERYONE on this board has given Wade the credit for that!!

You guys can delude yourselves all you want about that man. We would NOT have been in cap hell in the first place if it wasn't for him, so, using that as an excuse for the stup*d moves he's made this off season is just lubicrous! JMO! I have zero faith in his ability as a GM. ZERO!!!! Wish he was GONE!!!
Well, he did bring in Bradie James. I liked that move. But of course that move had Wade Phillips written all over it as usual. Lol!

But for the most part you're right. 47-49 is what it is. People can chop those numbers up however they want from season to season, but this team has made it to one post season out of six. Those are horrible numbers.
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Old 06-04-2012   #19
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Originally Posted by SheTexan View Post
Who cares? He hasn't done squat for this team since he's been here anyway.. IMHO. SURE, we went to the playoffs for the first time last year, but, how much did RS really have to do with that?! Nearly EVERYONE on this board has given Wade the credit for that!!

You guys can delude yourselves all you want about that man. We would NOT have been in cap hell in the first place if it wasn't for him, so, using that as an excuse for the stup*d moves he's made this off season is just lubicrous! JMO! I have zero faith in his ability as a GM. ZERO!!!! Wish he was GONE!!!
My theory on this is..hes front loaded a butt ton of contracts so he can pay DBrown, BCushing, CBarwin when their contracts come up..
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Old 06-04-2012   #20
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Default Re: Texans GM Emotionally Detached????

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Originally Posted by Texecutioner View Post
I disagree with the emotional detachment thing when you consider guys like Chris Brown the RB, Jacoby Jones, Amaan Green, Kubiak, and some of the defensive coaches that were hired before Wade was.
Chris Brown was here for a short amount of time...I'm not even sure what your point is with him. Green was signed to a big contract and we didn't have a lot of options at that time. Jacoby was kubiak's project and they wanted to give him time to develop. Everyone hires coaches they are familiar with. That's not an example of anything.

This off-season they cut ties with Jacoby, Demeco and Winston. Mario went elsewhere Briesel went elsewhere. Those guys were a big part of this team. That's emotional detachment.
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