I am starting to believe that we have a "better" coach with the same problem as our previous coach. Make no mistake about this, I'm not talking about whether or not these are good people, good men. I don't think that you can take anything away from Dom Capers (or Gary Kubiak for that matter) in terms of their character or quailty. Both of them are good men and I'm speaking only about them professionally. Dom Capers was a good man, a quality defensive coordinator, and a poor NFL head coach who stuck by his assistant coaches to the bitter end. That "bitter end" was destined to happen because Dom didn't understand that you have to accept sometimes that something isn't working. You have to send a defensive coordinator or assistant coach packing. That he's your friend is beside the point. that you believed in him is beside the point. When something isn't working it isn't working and you must accept that and correct it. Dom wouldn't, or couldn't do this and I'm starting to suspect that Gary Kubiak is going to have a similar problem. Richard Smith's defense isn't working. Mike Sherman"s offense isn't working. A defense that can't put pressure on a QB is about as useless as an offense that can't run the football. Some thoughts I have on this and some decisions that have to be made follow; Richard Smith and his "so-unpredictable-we-don't-even-know-what-we're-doing" defense has got to go regardless of how supposedly "aggressive" they think they are. They stink. You can point to the job they did yesterday and say they did a good job considering if you like. I still see a team that had almost 40 points hung on them yesterday. I still see a team that couldn't make a stop when it absolutely had to have one. Do we need personnel? Of course we do. Can this bunch play good enough to win? Yes, they can. Are the people responsible for teaching them a defensive system and getting them prepared to play getting this done? No they're not. There are quality defensive coordinators out there. Go get one and stop wasting the limited number of years that these first round linemen have with Richard Smith's defensive quackery. Mike Sherman needs to move on and he probably will following this season (if he's smart and we're lucky). His ideas and Gary Kubiaks ideas do not seem to be compatible and our offense looks like the kind of "Frankenstein Monster" you would expect to see when you patch together two different philosophies like that. Anyone who can't see that this isn't working is deluding themselves and I'd like to think that Bob McNair is experienced enough now to not need four years to connect these dots all on his own. I'd like to think that Rick Smith is intelligent enough to not make him do that. Again here on this side of the ball the question remains "Do we need personnel?" and again the answer is "Yes, of course we do". The problem here is that you can't definitively say that this bunch can play better than they are today. I think we're getting the best we can out of these guys and I'm afraid that's not saying much. Chester Pitts is having maybe his worst season as a Texan (excluding his rookie year) while Fred Weary is having maybe his best season. Our Guards are schizophrenic but then again maybe this is due to some of the turnstiles and weaklings surrounding them. Eric Winston is doing well but he plays RT like a LT if you get my meaning. He plays it a bit too "refined" to truly be effective. "The caveman" is going to have to get a little more primitive over there if he's really going to make his mark and lock that spot down for a decade. Ephraim Salaam can play maybe a half of football and then he's done.. He looks like a kid with asthma in the second half of just about every game he plays. By the fourth quarter the Texans should be bringing in Jordan Black and sitting Salaam down. No, Black isn't better than Salaam. He is better than an exhausted, winded Salaam however. Mike Flannagan does not belong in the NFL today. He would be just settling into "Life After Football" if it wasn't for his connectiion with Mike Sherman. If we had a better option I think he'd be out there. We need players badly. Even accepting the fact that our current healthy players are in many ways lacking it's difficult to imagine that they couldn't play better than we've seen them play over the last 5 weeks. I want to know what kind of lineman are we looking for in this Green Denver Bay Zone Power Blocking "thing" that we're doing here. We seem to have run all of the "Herman Munster" types out of town and tried to go with guys with better feet but we also seem to be trying to run the ball in a manner that to me at least implies the need for those big ol' road grader types. We don't have any of those guys. What exactly are we trying to do there? Can anyone tell me what kind of linemen we are in pursuit of and more importantly why those linemen don't seem to fit what we're trying to do? Beyond the offensive line and their mixed up "Shermubiak" system is the Texans running game. The Ahman Green signing has proven about as effective as the Mike Flannagan signing. This team is like some kind of great running back graveyard where careers either never happen or go to die. Green is on empty and while he didn't sign a cap-killer deal he is money down the drain for nothing in return (again). I was terrified of this when we signed him and take no pleasure in appearing to have been right about being worried. We need a running back in the worst possible way. When you lack an offensive line that can open holes that anybody can run through you need to fix that and of course doing so takes time. One thing you can do with a single draft pick (assuming one is available) is grab a running back who can create something on his own. Our line sucks and our running game suffers because of it. We all know that. If Adrian Peterson had fallen to us and been picked instead of Amobi Okoye does anyone really believe he'd be missing the creases like Gado does or running into the backs of his blockers like Dayne does? We need a real running back. Not a re-tread or somebody's backup who everyone suspects might be the real deal. We need a young, fast, strong running back who can break open his own daylight from time to time. We need to replace the entire backfield. Ron Dayne and Samkon Gado don't belong in the NFL. Ahman Green is probably a season away from retirement and nobody should be expecting him to carry any kind of load. Some things have gone very right this year on offense. QB, WR, and TE are all "done". We have our players there. We are "improved". Coach Kubiak can't ignore what isn't right though. He can't pull a Dom Capers on us and spend four years telling us that Richard Smith is a quality defensive coordinator. He can't let Mike Sherman tinker on offense for four years trying to make pieces from two different puzzles fit together. We just saw that with his predecessor and Texans fans won't sit still for it again. This year will be a .500 or so campaign but once it's over and we've staggered into another long off-season then the Texans need to make some moves and not just to bring in more talent.