Dissapointment with a season, a coach and a team

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by Texanmike02, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Texanmike02

    Texanmike02 Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    753
    I've been quiet so far this year. Very quiet. I was watching unsure of what to think. Are we the team that got blown out by the Jets? Are we the team that beat the Bengals? WHAT ARE WE? Well we're at that familiar time again. Its December and we are going to play 4 more meaningless games. Fans will shell out $50+ to go watch a team that is stuck in the mud. And so begins the disagreement.

    In one corner you have the fire Kubiak crowd. Weighing in at a mighty 55% (ok that's a completely random number) the voice is loud and the reasons are sound. Below .500, dissapointing losses, one play short over and over. The learning curve can't be this big, we can't continue to rely on any variation of Chris Brown, yet we do. I'm sympathetic with this group, no really, I am. I'm sick of dressing my entire family in Texans Uni's only to have drop my head in shame as time expires and we come up a yard or two short or to the left. MAN I'm sick of it. I hate the closeups of Kubiak after a bad play. Why can't we have Jessica Alba as our coach? At least that cod-fished mouth open clueless look would be enticing. FIRE HIS @SS!!!

    In the other corner you have the Kubiak apologists. Weighing in at a hefty 45% they are still a force to be rekoned with. They point to the fact that the team Kubes took over couldn't have competed in the WAC, much less the NFL. Now we expect to win every week. (ok we expect to find a new way to lose a game we should have won). The injuries and contract situations have been difficult and your prized rb declined faster than Glenn Davis. (If you know who that is you're a TRUE Houston fan). The list of reasons is long. You can call them excuses, you can call them reasons I don't care... some of them are legitimate and others aren't. The problem is... I agree with them too.

    So what to do? I've thought about it a lot. I go back and forth. Monday I was calling for Cower's head (assuming he will come here and fail in 3 years too... that seems to be the pattern). Tuesday I just wanted Kubiaks on a platter stuffed with pink soap. But its hump day now. Its time to start thinking instead of reacting (which is ironic don't you think?... players need to react and not think while fans should think and not react). And here is my suggestion.

    First, lets consider the real situation.

    This is a young team that is loaded with talent. Johnson, Schaub, Daniels (pre-injury), Mario, Demeco and Cushing are all BIG time players. At every position but RB and CB and the interior OL you have average or better talent. Its not just a young team, it is THE YOUNGEST team in the league. You are not in a situation that you will be losing key players and you don't expect a decline any time soon.

    You have drafted VERY well over the last 4 years. You took a team that had a lot of mid-major FBS talent on it and turned it into a very talented team in 4 years. You should be able to add a DT and/or a RB and some secondary help easily.

    You lack leadership on the field. Even the veterans on this team have never really played in a winning culture. I know, we brought in someone from a superbowl team this last offseason. Really? Are you going to tell me Arizona has a winning culture? They had a nice 6 game stretch, other than that they are the Texans of the NFC. You MUST go get some veteran leadership at a position that matters. Maybe a center on the OL? Maybe bring in a DT or a LB? They can be backups on the cusp of starting, or maybe even a grizzled vet who is the PITs of the world see as "too expensive to keep". You need that guy who can deliver a "Miracle-esque" speach on cue, especially when the wheels start falling off.

    You are very close to being good. This team isn't a "bad team". The are a frustrating team. With Capers, we were hoping to hang around until the 4th and steal one, those days are gone. This team expects to win every week, the problem is they just don't know how. (see comment above)

    Realistically, the worst you could see from this team next year is this year. This team has too much talent. Barring injury, the absolute worst this team could do next year is repeat this year. Do I want to go through this? No. In order to get a "known commodity" from what's out there this year we would wind up switching our defense at the very least.

    The upside for this team? Very deep into the playoffs. If you draft well (check) and if you get good coaching (not checked yet) this team's first forray into the playoffs could be a deep run. If/when this team gets into the playoffs its not going to be a 9-7 sneak. This team is bound to figure it out at some point, and bust out with a 11-5/12-4 season.

    That brings me to my next point, this team doesn't know how to win (also tied to the veteran issue above). That might be the hardest thing about coming back from a 2-14 team. Changing the culture.

    So what do you do with all of this? Here's my plan, yours may differ. Tell Kubes he has 20+ games to win his next contract. Don't make him a lame duck coach, explain to the coaches and the team that he is on a 20 game contract. He essentially has 8 preseason games (4 reg this year and 4 real preseason games). Evaluate and find what parts you are really missing. Next year it is playoffs, or no new contract.

    Why? Why? Why? The bottom line is this. You are going to add talent, and there aren't many players you risk losing this offseason. The likelyhood that you look any worse to a potential coach (I think Dungy will coach the year after next) is little to none. You need to call Kubes in and tell him to start coaching. Its time for him to stop thinking and start coaching. You'll get him the RB that can hold onto the ball, you'll give Smith the money to go grab a Safety and a Corner and a DT. Right or wrong, its clear that Kubes had the wrong guy as his DC. That is no longer an issue, Bush has this defense playing like it should. On offense we are an interior lineman and a dependable rb away from rivaling the greatest show on turf. You potentially lose 1 year of rebuilding time by keeping him. You have him under contract anyway and there is a good chance that he will figure it out. When Kubiak sits down and evaluates this season, I think he's going to see he was coaching like he didn't have the talent to win. He'll see that he didn't need the gimmiks, the HB passes. He is close to being a premier coach, we are close to being a premier franchise.

    The reality is, whenever you let him go, you are going to be at the top of a short list of proven coache's desires. You're going to have a ton of talent and an owner with a history of loyalty. You'll basically have your pick and can go in whatever direction you want. Its not a fun position to be in, but this team is in a much better position than it has been.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
    2slik4u, JB, TimeKiller and 2 others like this.
  2. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    28,521
    Likes Received:
    813
    Location:
    In Transit
    :goodpost::bravo::fans:

    Very nice post Mike. I think you summed it up quite nicely.
     
  3. houstonspartan

    houstonspartan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,129
    Likes Received:
    192
    Location:
    The Inner Loop
    This says it all right here.
     
  4. Texanmike02

    Texanmike02 Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    753
    Yeah. I think the bad play calls he makes, he seems to think "I need to outsmart the other guy". For the first three years, your talent was below what the other team had... you HAD to do that... He needs to realize that he doesn't have to do that any more. Since our inception, we have been the 2nd most talented team when we stepped on the field in probably 70% of our games, maybe more. Then you do have to outsmart someone.

    Now we are the most talented team on the field when we play all but 5 or 6 teams. Kubes needs to realize that and realize that when he tries to outsmart the other coach, he is making a gamble he no longer needs to make. That's just my opinion.

    Mike
     
  5. tedr

    tedr Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Spot on. I haven't read a better description of our situation. Great job.

    I agree with the 20-game idea. After the game on Sunday, I was ready to get rid of Kubiak, but the more I think about it, he should get one more year.
     
  6. Goldensilence

    Goldensilence hipster elite

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    353
    Location:
    Austin
    I don't know where to start with this post.

    First can you please go back and replace Maria with Mario.

    Next I'm sick and tired of being reminded this is the youngest team in the league. If you're going to infuse young talent on a team you better have leaders on the field or a coaching staff that can provide it. Obviously when you go with one of the youngest offensive coordinators in the league and then a first time defensive coordinator with such a young team you're going to have growing pains. This falls on Kubiak's shoulders. His team, his staff.

    Next, I think Bush gets too much credit for the turnaround on defense from terrible to mediocre. Sad to say that we've seen such horrid play from the defense that we're excited to see a middle of the pack defense. I think the biggest thing is Bush and Co. got lucky that Cushing has turned out to be such a prime time player. If not this would be a repeat of Dick Smith's defense. I guess getting lucky with Pollard as well. Sorry but either him or Kubiak, or both thought they would be fine going into the season with Busing and Barber. Epic fail.

    Offense, Chris Brown. I shouldn't have to say more. They look like they have been unable to adjust to losing OD and now looks like they'll have to adjust to losing Steve Slaton.....

    You know I could go on..but what's the point. Guys like you have already made up your mind on retaining Kubiak for some reason that you feel in your guts or that the team is SOOOOOOO close you can feel it.

    Unfortunately I think barring a 4 game skid..you'll get your wish.
     
  7. Texanmike02

    Texanmike02 Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    753
    No I won't get my wish. Part of the attraction in keeping kubes is you get to see what you have for 8 games. As for getting lucky, well, Smith went out and got Pollard (we seem to forget that if there was a missing piece to the defense it was HIM), Cushing has done what they expected him to do.

    Really, I don't see your point... choose a side man, either you give coaches credit when they win and lose, you give players credit when they win or lose or its some combination of the two... We've got young coaches and a young team... If we have another 8 win season, worse things have happened... and I'll tell you if we bring in another coach with different systems, we may look at a 6 win season... IF there is a better coach that fits this system, bring him in... lets not switch to a 3-4 or go heavy OL this offseason... this is the first time we've had the better team on the field MOST of the time... I don't think Kubes realized that... If he figures that out, and we replace the few bad parts we have (anyone named Chris and Brown) we're going to be a D@MN good team next year... if not... then I was wrong... which is more than most will admit to around here.

    Mike
     
  8. Hervoyel

    Hervoyel The Right Track

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    15,609
    Likes Received:
    2,392
    I need to check this out to be totally certain but I believe another board member recently refuted the "youngest team in the league" angle effectively.

    We are something like 14th youngest.

    One of the announcers this year used that youngest team in the league line and it's been picked up and run with like an internet meme ever since. Again I can't remember who said it (Goatcheese?) or where the information came from but I will find out. The scary part was that the Colts were up there in the top 5 youngest teams in the league so they've apparently "mostly" reloaded without even going to lousy between great seasons. We take 4 years to rebuild and they are good enough to replace parts as they go, lose a HOF head coach, and from a win/loss perspective actually get better.
     


  9. Goldensilence

    Goldensilence hipster elite

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    353
    Location:
    Austin
    Guess I'm over the attraction of seeing what I have for 8 games. I've seen enough.

    I thought I made my point clear, but I guess I haven't this is on the coaching staff. This is Kubiak's roster. If players get the blame for our current record how come nothing goes on the guy that drafted them, signed them, and "coaches" them?

    I don't see how we can possibly praise Kubiak and Smith for Pollard while turning a blind eye that they completely did not care about upgrading the position in the off-season at all. They seriously thought entering the season they'd be ok with Busing and Barber. Again as I pointed out Epic FAIL. It's called foresight which is something this staff doesn't seem to have.

    I don't get the whole well what if we transition to a 3-4?! Williams and Smith would make good 3-4 DEs. I thought that was half the attract with Smith was that he could slide in as a DT too!(at least that's what I kept hearing) I think Deljuan Robinson could make an adequate NT, not great but something we can transition with until we sign or draft a NT.

    I think we'd excel with the LB corps. Diles and Ryans would be the ILB and then you have Cushing, Adibi, and moving Barwin to his more projected spot as a 3-4 Lber.

    Secondary would have the same needs either way. A legit FS and I'd be fine to signing Pollard to a moderate contract. He's not all world but he's one of the more competent safeties we've had.

    You've spelled out all the reasons that I've heard to keep Kubiak around for the final year of his contract, but I still find not one of them to be overwhelmingly compelling.

    What can Kubiak hang his hat on?
     
  10. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    28,521
    Likes Received:
    813
    Location:
    In Transit
    I believe that the Texans are not the youngest team overall, but they have the youngest starting lineup in the league. TC had a blog about this in the past...http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2009/10/more_on_the_houston_texans_as.html
     
  11. Texanmike02

    Texanmike02 Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    8,272
    Likes Received:
    753
    OK. So answer this then, the list works like this. Cowher, Dungy. If you don't land one of them you are bringing in a coach who is unproven and could well prove to be WORSE than Kubiak. If today, Cowher signs with Carolina and Dungy goes somewhere do you feel the same way?

    I guess my question is this... are you cutting Kubes to get better, or are you cutting him just to get different?

    Mike
     
  12. aamcneill

    aamcneill Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Mike, excellent post. Recently I've moved over to the camp that is in favor of giving Kubiak another year. My angry reactions during games always fall into the "Fire him!" genre, but after sleeping on it and sorting things out, I vote to give him another year.

    It's easy for us fans to say fire him and get Cowher or Dungy. Most likely, the Texans won't be able to get either coach and we'll settle for a young, inexperienced coach.

    If a coaching change is made, it sets them team back at least a season to adjust to the new schemes and plays. And bring in players who better fit the new system.
     
  13. Vinny

    Vinny shiny happy fan Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    21,847
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    I think he gets another year in lieu of McNair's personality but let me ask all you guys who chortle on about how a change sets teams back. How far were the Bucs set back when they went from Dungy to Gruden?
     
  14. Norg

    Norg Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    5,082
    Likes Received:
    101
    so bassically you are on the keep Kubes club

    that sums up your post pretty much
     
  15. TexCanada

    TexCanada Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,337
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    The thing that this team needs more then anything else is a leader. The leader could be a coach, a player or an owner, doesn't really matter. The problem is right now that we don't have one in any of those spots. If Kubes is getting another year, he needs to be smart about it and bring in a proven guy. We desperately need a guy who knows how to win on our O-line, and another guy somewhere on the defense, preferably at FS. I've said it before, but we need to bring in a guy like Denver did with Dawkins.
     
  16. aamcneill

    aamcneill Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I think that was a different situation. The Bucs were already a playoff team and had a strong defense. There were some changes made, sure. But I think that was an easier transition than most.

    It's uncertain how the Texans offense will transition from a zone blocking scheme to something different. Or how the Texans defense would go from 4-3 to 3-4 or something different.
     
  17. Goldensilence

    Goldensilence hipster elite

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    353
    Location:
    Austin
    So the Straw-man goes we've got two long shot coaches. If we don't get either of them what's your best option? You might as well say ok two options you can get kicked in the balls or get an ice cream cone. Technically it's still a choice. Either way I'll play

    I don't think Dungy is coming out of retirement. I think he's one of those guys that says when he's done, he means it. I'm not even sure why his name is floating around as a candidate.

    I think if Carolina does fire Fox it becomes difficult to lure Cowher to Houston.

    I think if we fired Gary Kubiak today we instantly become one of if not the best coaching vacancy.

    Mike Holmgren could be swayed to come here. Though he's got roots in Seattle overall I think we've got a much better squad.

    Although I'm not the biggest Shanahan fan he's out there and has a good resume. I don't buy the well he won't come here if Kubiak gets fired.

    John Fox could make an interesting case.

    Brian Billick is out there as well.

    After that I'd start looking at coordinators from successful coaching trees or franchises.

    Let me ask you an equal hypothetical. If we go on a 0-4 slide to finish the season how do you feel about retaining Kubiak? Or are you already set no matter what he returns?
     
  18. JB

    JB Old Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    28,521
    Likes Received:
    813
    Location:
    In Transit
    WTF? Damn, I coulda sworn Gruden was an offensive guru that started with Holmgren at Green Bay as QB coach(coaching Farve).
     
  19. aamcneill

    aamcneill Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yeah I know. I changed it right after I posted it.
     
  20. Goldensilence

    Goldensilence hipster elite

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    353
    Location:
    Austin
    I think other good examples would be Jim More Sr. to Tony Dungy.

    Jim Haslett to Sean Payton.

    Cam Cameron to Tony Sparano.

    Brian Billck to John Harbaugh.

    I think the only HC I know of right now who went past when he should've been fired but managed to rebound is Marvin Lewis.
     

Share This Page