Fools in the Hands of an Aggravated Texan!! By Brad Lorkovic Ladies and gentlemen: make sure to keep your arms and hands inside the cart at all times and make sure you seat is secured safely because we are about to go on one hell of a roller coaster if we already havent. In the past few months, all us Texan fans have heard about is Brady Quinn, Carr trade rumors, Jake Plummer, and even Jeff Garcia. In spite of all the speculation and the assertiveness some fans had, just about nobody couldve guessed what happened the other day when we traded for Matt Schaub as well as released David Carr and Domanick Williams. Since then, I dont think Ive seen more coverage of the Texans since exactly 1 year ago. Just like last year too, I dont think Ive ever found myself more defensive or annoyed with all the ignorance and unawareness then I have been the past few days. Instead of taking the time to try to understand the decisions the Texans front office is making, most choose just to take the easy route and laugh at the decisions and crack jokes. But instead of trashing them and taking the low road like they have, I have therefore taken the time to not only get you to suffer from my drawn out introduction, but to also hopefully suffer from the rest of it. So here it is my thoughts on the state of the Texans as of now, better known as Fools in the Hands of an Aggravated Texan! We Gave Too Much?! To start off, what better way than to discuss the Schaub trade itself. The trade is very simple, we move down 2 picks in the 1st round and give up our 2nd rounder this and next year. For the most part, the general consensus is that we paid way too much for a career backup who hasnt proved anything (to put it nicely). However, when you think about what we are potentially getting, is it really too much to ask? When you think about it, teams sometimes spend several picks trying to find their QB of the future. For instance, the Oakland Raiders drafted Marques Tuiasosopo in 2001 as the eventual replacement to Rich Gannon. However, after a few years of showing very little improvement, Andrew Walter was drafted in the 2nd round of 2005 to end the QB situation. While its too early to label Walter a bust, he has shown so little in the time hes been seen that the Raiders are considering using the 1st overall on a QB, trading for a QB, or bringing in Carr. So in the long term, did we really give up a huge amount when we couldve ended up using more picks on QBs in the future than what we gave up? The second part to acquiring Schaub was the tricky part. His contract is a maximum of 6 years, $48 million dollars. Most think this is way too much for Schaub, but in all reality its built in our favor. Over the first 3 years, hell make $20 million. Its an interesting deal because its a two bonus deal that will pay $7 million dollars in guarantees and will pay another $10 million dollar bonus if we decide to keep his contract past year 3. In essence, its like the Carr deal, but we have a chance to do it right this time. So while people think this contract is ridiculously overpriced (even with the consideration that FA contracts this year have jumped up a ridiculous amount), the truth is that Schaub wont even see half of that if he underperforms or doesnt prove hes worth it. So in the end, if this trade ends up not working, we dont pay too much financially. If it does, we could actually be underpaying for a top talent at QB based on how big of a rate free agent contracts are increasing by. Schaub vs. the 2007 NFL Draft QB Class Next, I feel its necessary to discuss Schaub himself because of all the talk surrounding how unproven he is. In essence, yes he is unproven because he hasnt been through an entire NFL season as a starter. But when you think about it, whats the bigger risk: wasting a high 1st round pick on a player who has only been comparable to mostly obsolete talent at the college level or someone who has played in the NFL and had an incredible game against one of the leagues premier teams? Yes, its only one game, but Schaub has played and shown serious potential in that NFL game than any college QB prospect could show in any collegiate game. Consider it less of a risk than taking someone like Brady Quinn in the crapshoot known as the NFL draft if anything. Also, most of what Ive heard from Schaub from fans, players, several others has been better more helpful than any draft workout could ever be. He has an accurate arm, calm demeanor under pressure, great leadership, and has great size. While this could be said for draft prospects, consider this: in the combine, you get 15 minutes to ask as many questions about the player trying to figure out whatever you can. You try to gauge their personality, demeanor, character, and what type of player they are in 15 minutes before its on to the next guy. You can have a private workout with a certain draft prospect, but youre so set on poking and prodding them physically that you cant gauge them nearly as much as you could if they were already in the NFL. Kubiak on the other hand was able to ask close NFL coaching friends who were trusted and he knew for years, as well as go golfing with Schaub in a much more personal and relaxed environment. He also was able to look at what Schaub has done in the NFL, not just in college. So in the end, Kubiak was able to get a better idea of Schaub on several levels and truly figure out how big of a risk he was. The Carr Era During the regular season, I never saw more disregard and distaste for Carr than ever before. The media didnt think too highly and too often compared him to Vince Young. Speculation was he was on his way out to the likes of Brady Quinn or some of the other aforementioned players in my introduction. Problem is that now that weve changed around our QB group, the media is flaming up about it because we did something they werent expecting. Now all of the sudden, the world has Carrs back and were nothing short of morons for letting him go. What people dont realize is that Carr had nothing to gain from another year in Houston as did we. Truthfully, it wouldve been the same thing over again and nobody would benefit from another year. Carr needed a fresh start with a new team and Houston needed to see someone else at QB. Carr still has great potential, but the odds of him succeeding in Houston were on the decline. He still has a good arm, is very mobile, and can be a solid QB. The only problem is that in Houston he also became rattled, locked onto WRs, and was depended on too much. And while everyone wants to blame every problem on everything else in our offense, in reality it was a little bit of both. For every time Carr was pummeled by an O Linemen for missing a block, there was another instance where he couldve made a deeper throw downfield but dumped it off. In the end, when you think about it, everyone needed a change of scenery. Houston needs to know what another QB can do and Carr needs to know that we were what was holding his potential back. It sucks that it had to come down to what it did, but it seemed inevitable. For all the hell hes caught in Houston, I wish him the best and hope that he finds success elsewhere. But What About the Divine Ones Known as Vince and Reggie!!! We didnt draft them, get over it. Reggie fit in well in New Orleans, Vince lead the Titans to almost making the playoffs, and Mario played his ass off with an injured foot that limited him. Did we draft Reggie? No. Did we draft Vince? No. Should we of drafted either of them? That question is irrelevant. We did make a mistake to extend Carr (and McNair even admitted it), but we just did everything possible to correct that mistake as best we could. There is no point to dwelling on the what ifs of the 2006 draft, all we can do is move forward and progress as a team. Its understood that people will continue to focus on last years draft and hold it against us, but who knows what happens next year. Vince could get depended on too much and crack, Bush might not progress, and Mario could make the pro bowl. Then again, it could be the opposite. Nobody knows, thats all in the future and its unfair comparing apples to oranges to bananas to begin with. All we need to focus on is out of all this is how our team performs as a whole, the rest will take care of itself. What the Future Holds Please keep in mind that a lot of my opinionated stances are based on dreaded what ifs. However, when you really think about it, everyones opinions are at this point. Nobody knows for certain what Schaub will do, what we couldve done with our picks, what Atlanta will do with their picks, or anything else of this nature; and if they do, its a complete guess and not based on future statistics or the win column. In fact, everything to this point that everyone has said about Schaub is nothing more than sheer speculation of the unknown. The true answer is that nothing can be certain until Schaub actually plays and we truly see what has been and I hope that everyone can realize that in the end. I know that I will catch a lot of flack for this and people will also get upset and angry by reading this, I just felt it necessary to express a different view on Schaub and the state of the team than what has been published lately in the media. Take it for what its worth and heres to a better 2007 season!